SGI Leaders Attend North America and Oceania Study Conference
From August 24-28, the 2011 SGI Leaders North America and Oceania Study Conference was held in Santa Monica, California. Over 250 people attended from across the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Palau and Canada. SGI President Daisaku Ikeda sent a message on the occasion, reconfirming that study conferences are an important tradition within the SGI which underline the value of Buddhist practice and study.
The conference consisted of a series of lectures by Mr. Masaaki Morinaka, Soka Gakkai Study Department Leader, on three of the writings of Nichiren: "The Selection of the Time," "The Kalpa of Decrease" and "On the Offering of a Mud Pie," sent to his 16-year-old follower Nanjo Tokimitsu.
Mr. Morinaka also underscored three areas of focus in Mr. Ikeda's study lecture series: Nichiren Buddhism as a philosophy which can enable all people to discover the noble aspect of their lives, learning through the mentor and disciple relationship how to put Buddhism into practice, and the importance of fostering youth leadership. He encouraged those present to strive to develop a courageous spirit and break through spiritual indifference.
Mr. Morinaka added that those who help foster youth are genuine leaders. He also encouraged the women and men's group members to support young people as much as possible and to help them further develop their dreams and sense of purpose.
[Adapted from articles in the World Tribune published by SGI-USA and the SGI-Canada Online News; photos courtesy of SGI-Canada]