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Seikyo Shimbun Highlights for November 13, 2020

November 13, 2020
Seikyo Shimbun is a Soka Gakkai daily newspaper

News Flash 

New Social Media Names 

Marking the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Soka Gakkai on November 18, the social media pages below are renamed as: 

Facebook:Soka Gakkai (global) 

Instagram:Soka Gakkai (global) Official 

Twitter:Soka Gakkai (global) Official 

Seikyo Shimbun – Highlights 

SUA Holds Annual Dialogue on Culture of Peace and Nonviolence 

On October 2, Soka University of America (SUA) held its 7th Annual Dialogue on the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence to commemorate the UN International Day of Non-Violence. Four alumni, including two working with the International Organization for Migration, spoke at the online event, titled “Living the Culture of Peace in 2020,” about how they have been able to promote dialogue at work thanks to knowledge and experience gained at SUA. Some 100 students, staff and faculty joined the event. 

SGI-Germany Training Course for Educators 

On October 18, in an online training course, the educators group of SGI-Germany studied “The Eight Winds” from The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin. Five members shared their experiences as educators, and environmental activist Hazel Henderson gave an online interview.  

SGI Participates in Online Event for Religious NGOs 
On October 24, Hiro Sakurai, director of the SGI Office for UN Affairs and president of the Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN, spoke at an online meeting of religious NGOs to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the UN. Mr. Sakurai stressed the importance of interfaith collaboration and the role of religious communities in connecting civil society with the UN. The event brought together some 70 participants. 

Remember the Moments” Recognizes Soka Youth Initiatives   

On November 8, the Seikyo Shimbun reported that “Remember the Moments,” an international project acknowledging young people’s action in response to the pandemic, recognized four of Soka Gakkai Japan’s initiatives among the twenty that made the final round. The initiatives were an online performance by the Soka Gakkai Fuji Boys Chorus and Hope Girls Chorus, the Youth Division’s songwriting project, an experience from a member of the Soka Youth Physicians Conference and a video performance from an Arts Division member. This project was co-organized by eight youth organizations from China, Russia, the Czech Republic, Argentina, Ghana, India and Japan including the All-China Youth Federation and the Soka Gakkai Youth Division.

Soka Gakkai Youth Launch New Human Revolution Generation Project 
On November 18, the Soka Gakkai Youth Division in Japan will launch the New Human Revolution Generation Project toward 2023 to mark the 5th anniversary of the completion of The New Human Revolution and the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu. The youth will hold study meetings and lectures on The New Human Revolution and strive to put in practice the spirit of oneness of mentor and disciple it describes.

Media – News watch 

Tricycle (USA): Absolutely, Indestructibly Happy - An interview with Tina Turner (Clark Strand, Winter, 2020)

Clark Strand interviews Tina Turner about her journey with her Buddhist practice, how to stay positive as we age, and her perspective on the current pandemic and social unrest in the US. 

“When I first learned about it, I liked the fact that the practice offered me a simple, practical formula for happiness. As I began studying Buddhist teachings and chanting more, it led me to take responsibility for my life and to base my choices on wisdom, courage, and compassion. Not long after I started chanting, I began to see that the power I needed to change my life was already within me. For me, the practice feels active and invigorating. In the Soka Gakkai tradition of Nichiren Buddhism, we chant with our eyes open and in vigorous rhythmic repetition, which I’ve always loved. Little by little, it brought out my courage to break away and live an independent life on my own. Some friends in my neighborhood chanting group had been practicing for years before I started. They promised I’d become happier than I ever dreamed possible if I stuck with it and never gave up. They were right! I truly believe that anyone can do the same… Buddhism has taught me that hidden inside of our challenges are the lessons we must learn in order to break through to a better life. As hard as that might be to grasp in the midst of difficult times, when we can see our problems from that perspective, things naturally change. Then even the impossible becomes possible… Choosing hope is crucial, as is finding ways to use our difficulties to move forward. In my life there were a lot of so-called impossible circumstances that I couldn’t control or change, but my epiphany was that, through my spiritual practice, I could change my way of responding to challenges. I realized that the most valuable help comes from within… As the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) president Daisaku Ikeda says: ‘When we realize that our lives are one with the great and eternal life of the universe, we are the Buddha. The purpose of Buddhism is to enable all people to come to this realization.’ This is so important because it’s open to everyone, regardless of culture, language, even religion. It’s a reminder that everyone equally has the potential for Buddhahood, for enlightenment, and that our salvation is up to us…” Read more 

 

Indepth News (Berlin): Faith-based & Other NGOs Look Forward to Entry into Force of the Nuclear Ban Treaty (Ramesh Jaura, November 10, 2020) 

This article spotlights various faith-based NGOs that have been working toward nuclear disarmament and quotes from the SGI statement on the 50th ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. 

“A joint interfaith statement on the 75th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 signed by 189 organizations around the world reaffirmed that ‘the presence of even one nuclear weapon violates the core principles of our different faith traditions and threatens the unimaginable destruction of everything we hold dear’… Less than four months later, a broad spectrum of the non-governmental organization (NGOs) including churches, and a major Buddhist group have hailed the TPNW, which seeks for the first time to establish a comprehensive ban on atomic weapons. The treaty aimed at destroying all nuclear weapons and prohibiting their use forever crossed a decisive milestone October 24 and will enter into force on January 22, 2021. ‘The Holy See and the popes have vigorously supported the effort of the UN and the world against nuclear weapons,’ Vatican News reported. In a video message on September 25 on the occasion of the UN’s 75th anniversary this year, Pope Francis reiterated his call for increased support for the principal international and legal instruments on nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and prohibition. The World Council of Churches (WCC) representing more than 550 million mainly Anglican, Orthodox and Protestant Christians also welcomed on October 26 the ratification of the prohibition treaty…The director-general for Peace and Global Issues Hirotsugu Terasaki of Soka Gakkai International (SGI), a community-based Buddhist organization, spanning 192 countries and territories around the world, said: ‘The entry into force of the TPNW establishes the fundamental norm that nuclear weapons are subject to comprehensive prohibition. This has a profound historical significance.’ He expressed the hope that more countries will ratify the treaty by the time of its entry into force, thus further strengthening it as a prohibitory norm. ‘At the same time, I sincerely hope that the significance and spirit of the treaty will be widely disseminated among the world’s people,’ Mr Terasaki said… [he] further expressed the hope that ‘the nuclear-weapon and nuclear-dependent states, including Japan, will participate (as permitted by the Treaty) in the first meeting of States Parties to the TPNW to be held within one year from its entry into force, where they can consider a full range of concrete steps to abolish nuclear weapons and how best to fulfil their nuclear disarmament obligations’.” Read more