Central Region Young Men Stand Up for Kosen-rufu!
By Rakesh Verma, Toronto
Participants at the young men's conference in Toronto (Photographed by Tom Hamilton)
On November 2, the Central Region Young Men’s Conference was held at the SGI Canada Culture Center in Toronto. A total of 32 young men attended with a keen seeking spirit to learn more about the conference theme of “Enact a Dramatic Life of Victory.” SGI President Ikeda sent an encouraging message for the meeting.
Both Ocean Chen and Kai Leong gave powerful experiences highlighting the important life lessons learned through participating in the Gajokai and Sokahan behind-the-scenes groups. Their experiences inspired many young men to challenge themselves in behind-the-scenes activities.
SGI Canada youth leaders Ryan Brouwer and Alex Meers conducted the first session based on “The Dragon Gate”, a writing by Nichiren Daishonin. In their session, they stressed the importance of the mentor-disciple relationship, unity and the never-give-up spirit. They also shared guidance about how to introduce and encourage others and deepen our vow with our mentor. “Shine as the Rainbow of Hope!” was also announced as the 2020 youth festival theme.
The second session included a leader’s session on “Carrying Out Our Vow” and small discussion groups to discuss the following topics: giving and receiving encouragement, goal setting, compassion and unity, speaking and listening, reporting and follow-up, and truth and honesty.
To close the conference SGI Canada General Director Tony Meers conducted a Q&A session, where many young men shared their sincere questions ranging from such topics as mentor-disciple spirit, happiness, introducing others, how to transform fundamental darkness and fostering young men. Tony also spoke about the 2020 SGI theme, “Year of Advancement and Capable People.”
Central Region leaders Steve Ray and Chris Sunagawa concluded the conference with words of encouragement as well.
Following the conference, the young men redetermined to deepen their faith and transform their karma into mission for kosen-rufu.