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Buddhism

Back to listJan 24, 2011

SGI Members from the Americas Study Nichiren's Writings

110124x_wt_usa_study_conference_florida.jpgStudy conference at the SGI-USA Florida Nature and Culture Center

From January 21-24, Soka Gakkai Study Department Leader Masaaki Morinaka led a leaders' study conference at the SGI-USA Florida Nature and Culture Center in Florida, USA. More than 190 representatives gathered for the conference from Canada, Columbia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico Paraguay, Peru, the United States and Venezuela.

During the four-day event, Mr. Morinaka lectured on three of Nichiren's writings: "On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime," "The Essentials for Attaining Buddhahood" and "Many in Body, One in Mind," and underscored the major distinguishing features of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's commentaries on these works.

Mr. Ikeda, in a message to the conference participants, thanked the members for their efforts to work for peace within their respective countries and stated that "a sound philosophical system is indispensible to ensuring the future."

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During Mr. Morinaka's talk on Nichiren's key writing, "On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime," he stated, "If we forget to change our own lives, then what we're practicing ceases to be Buddhism." Referencing Mr. Ikeda's lectures on this writing, Mr. Morinaka emphasized that attaining Buddhahood does not indicate becoming something other than an ordinary human being. Rather, the practice of Buddhism is the means whereby people tap the life condition of Buddhahood that has always existed within their lives and manifest that supreme condition, just as they are. He further stated, "Because we are revealing what we already possess, it follows that all people can achieve enlightenment." and clarified that Nichiren created the practice for achieving this.

110124x_wt_usa_study_conference_youth_gathering.jpgSGI-USA youth members

Mr. Morinaka also stressed that what prevents people from manifesting Buddhahood is what is described in Buddhism as "fundamental darkness" or "fundamental ignorance"; the innate delusion that separates people from their Buddha nature. He posed the question, "Do we let our fundamental darkness control our lives, giving free play to destructive impulses, or do we fight it, and continue awakening and refreshing our fundamental enlightenment?" In answer to this question, Mr. Morinaka stressed that it is one's deep-seated resolve that determines winning out over one's negative impulses.

In conclusion, Mr. Morinaka left participants with five keys to transforming one's negative tendencies into Buddhahood:

  • 1. Rather than blaming others, be determined to stand alone
  • 2. Rather than avoiding challenges, have a spirit to challenge ourselves
  • 3. Rather than grumbling or complaining, have conviction and encourage others.
  • 4. Rather than harboring jealousy or resentment, create harmonious unity.
  • 5. Rather than being fearful, summon courage.

[Adapted from an article in the February 4, 2011, issue of the World Tribune, SGI-USA]