SGI-Switzerland and SGI-Spain Hold Training Courses, Launch Youth Campaigns
In September, to meet the needs of a diverse membership, SGI-Switzerland held fall training courses in three different languages. The session for Italian speakers was held from September 1-2 in Cadro in the district of Lugano. From September 22-23, German speakers attended meetings in Spiez, Vitznau and Flims, and French speakers met in Leysin.
At the gatherings, participants studied passages from The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, including "On Prolonging One's Life Span" (WND-1, 954) which explains the principle of changing one's karma or destiny.
The youth of SGI-Europe recently launched an "Actual Proof" campaign to respond to SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's encouragement to achieve happiness and victory in their own lives. SGI-Switzerland youth members have now taken up this initiative, whereby each individual strives to demonstrate in a concrete way the benefit of Buddhist practice in their life and environment in the lead-up to November 18, 2013. [November 18 marks the anniversary of the founding of the Soka Gakkai in 1930.]
SGI-Spain also recently launched a "My Victory" campaign as part of this initiative launched by the youth of SGI-Europe. Over the coming year, each member aims to use their Buddhist practice to win over their personal struggles, and through their own experience, spread courage and hope to those around them.
Since the 2008 global financial crisis, Spain has been experiencing a recession, and at the end of September 2012, the unemployment rate climbed to 25%. Amidst such challenging circumstances, SGI members in Spain gathered for commemorative meetings throughout the country on October 14 and 15 to celebrate Mr. Ikeda's first visit to Spain on October 15, 1961, and the establishment of SGI-Spain in the same year.
SGI-Spain young women's leader María García Zambrano, a Spanish literature teacher and poet, recently published a collection of poetry influenced by her positive outlook on life gained through Buddhism. The collection won the prestigious Carmen Conde Poetry Prize for Women, sponsored by Torremozas, a major publishing house dedicated to publishing works by women.
[Adapted from articles in the October 26 and 30, 2012, issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]