Tenth SGI Europe Study Session Held in Milan, Italy
From July 19-22, the tenth SGI Europe Study Session was held in the suburbs of Milan, Italy, attended by 480 members from 30 countries throughout Europe. A total of 10,000 people will be attending such study sessions held in different European countries over the summer.
In his message to the opening ceremony held on July 19, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda commended SGI members who are challenging themselves to transform their own lives and take action for the well-being of others and society. Mr. Ikeda also shared a passage from The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin: "Since the Law is wonderful, the person is worthy of respect; since the person is worthy of respect, the land is sacred" (WND-1, 1097) and encouraged participants to have strong faith and contribute to the development of their communities based on the philosophy of the dignity of human life.
One young woman shared her experience of overcoming negative feelings toward her father and deepening her understanding of life and death through his passing. She quoted a passage from one of Nichiren’s writings: "Therefore I should first of all learn about death, and then about other things" (WND, vol. 2, p.759).
SGI Study Department Chief Katsuji Saito lectured on passages from The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin such as "On Prolonging One's Life Span," "The Real Aspect of the Gohonzon" and "The Selection of the Time."
SGI Europe Study Department Chief Hideaki Takahashi and SGI Europe Youth Committee Chair Tae Takahashi also spoke.
On July 22, a special lecture was held for SGI-Italy members, which drew an attendance of 1,800 people. The following day, 1,000 SGI-Germany members gathered for a study session in Neu-Isenburg on the outskirts of Frankfurt. Mr. Saito lectured on "The Real Aspect of the Gohonzon" on both occasions.
[Adapted from an article in the July 31, 2012, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photo courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]