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A Message from the National Leaders of SGI Canada

June 5, 2020

As neighbours and friends of the people of the United States of America, we share your shock and grief at the horrific death of Mr. George Floyd. We express our sincerest condolences to the family, friends and community of Mr. Floyd, and we absolutely reject the culture of hatred and violence that led to his death.

Humanity has been traumatized by this unspeakable incident, as has been demonstrated through numerous protests in our two countries and around the world.

The blazing, unfiltered light of truth has been shone into our eyes, and we can no longer turn away from it. We are not distant, disconnected bystanders. The purpose of this message is to acknowledge the underlying causes of systemic racism— and with the pain of this incident still fresh—to recognize our responsibility to transform our society by reflecting on ourselves and changing the ways we treat each other and live with each other. Canada has its own struggles with racism.  As practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism, we take full responsibility to transform not only our own society, but our global community. With this recognition, we would like to offer a message of hope; understanding that hope does not come to us from elsewhere. We can and must create hope.

SGI Canada is part of the Soka Gakkai International, a worldwide Buddhist organization dedicated to peace, culture and education. Our president and mentor, Daisaku Ikeda, visited North America for the first time in October 1960. He witnessed racism during that first visit and wrote about it in his 30-volume chronicle The New Human Revolution. After the incident he witnessed, he met with a group of young people and discussed the issue with them. One young black man asked a question: “You said that Buddhism will bring people’s hearts together. What exactly does Buddhism teach with respect to how people are connected with one another?”

In responding, Mr. Ikeda explained:

“Buddhism teaches that no human being can exist in a state of total isolation; instead we congregate and live by supporting and helping one another. This philosophy opposes the idea of rejecting or shutting out certain persons or groups of people. If anything, the principle of dependent origination leads us to give the utmost consideration to how to enable others to reveal their potential, how to establish better human relations and how to create the greatest possible value. 
     “In short, we—indeed, all people—are brothers and sisters from the infinite past who share a mission to bring peace and happiness to the world we live in. What we base ourselves on has a drastic influence on the meaning of our own individual lives.
     “The earth belongs equally to everyone. It revitalizes all human beings, transcending racial, ethnic and national distinctions, and supports a flourishing of culture. A vibrant wellspring of pure altruism, of compassion, surges forth from its soil. If everyone were to awaken to their missions as Bodhisattvas of the Earth* and take action based on it, there would not be the slightest doubt that we could build true world peace and human harmony.” (The New Human Revolution Volume 1, excerpted from pages 146-157)

The world has been plunged into a global pandemic, with conflicts raging and people suffering and dying because of ignorance, anger and greed. As Buddhists, we pray for healing and for the awakening of our inherent goodness, wisdom and compassion. Our mentor encourages us to overcome every hardship together, leaving no one behind and understanding the value of every life. By building solidarity with our fellow human beings, we can revitalize our society.

We renew our vow to advance with great joy, revealing our unique capabilities, and fulfilling our mission to shine as a rainbow of hope, illuminating the lives of our families, our friends, our communities, and the world.

June 5, 2020

Tony Meers                   General Director
Helen Izumi-Choi           Women’s Leader
Ian Mattinson                 Men’s Leader
Ryan Brouwer                Youth Leader
Mai Ogushi                    Young Women’s Leader
Alex Meers                     Young Men’s Leader

 

*Bodhisattvas of the Earth - A bodhisattva seeks enlightenment both for self and others. The predominant characteristic of a bodhisattva is therefore compassion. The Bodhisattvas of the Earth are described in the Lotus Sutra as an innumerable host of bodhisattvas who emerge from beneath the earth and to whom Shakyamuni Buddha entrusts the propagation of the Mystic Law, or the essence of the Lotus Sutra, in the age after his passing.

 

加拿大SGI全國幹部之訊息 

 

作為美國人的鄰居和朋友,我們對佐治弗洛伊德先生的逝世感到同樣的震驚和傷痛。謹此,向弗洛伊德先生的家人、朋友和社區,致以最深切的慰問,我們是絕對反對釀成他死亡的仇恨與暴力文化。 

從我們兩國以至全世界發生的無數示威行動中,可見這個難以形容的事件已經深深創傷了人類。

耀眼的真理之光已經影射在我們的眼裡,我們無法再逃避。我們不是遙遠、漠不關心的旁觀者。這個訊息之目的是確認根本的原因是系統性的種族歧視,這事件的傷痛仍歷歷在目,我們要認識到自己有責任通過反思,和改變彼此間的相處和生活來變革社會。加拿大在種族歧視的問題上也有自己的挑戰。日蓮佛法修行者的我們,承擔著不僅改變自身社會、而且改變全球社會的全部責任。本著這個認知,我們想為大家帶來希望的訊息;要明白希望並非來自其他的地方,而是我們可以、並且一定要創造希望。 

加拿大SGI是世界佛教組織「國際創價學會」(SGI)其中的一個部份,以和平、文化和教育為目的。我們的會長,也是我們的師匠於1960年10月第一次到訪北美。在這次的探訪中,他親身目睹了種族歧視,他並且把事情寫在他30卷的記事小說《新人間革命》裡。目睹這事件發生後,他跟一群年青人討論了這個議題。一位黑人青年問道:「說聯結人心的就是佛法,那麼,佛法裡是如何闡說人與人的關係呢?」(原文) 

在回應這提問上,池田先生如此解釋: 

人也不是自己單獨存在,而是互相依靠,互相幫助地生存。有了這種觀念,就不會產生排斥他人的想法。相反地,會考慮怎樣發掘人的長處,締結更好的人際關係,如何創造價值 。 

無論是誰都負有使現實社會和平與幸福的使命,是久遠的兄弟。人生的意義取決於自己將立足點置於何處。 

這個大地是普遍的,超越人種、民族和國藉,使所有的人甦醒、文化昌茂、將充滿慈悲、利他的生命清泉滋潤這片大地。如果大家都自覺「地涌菩薩」*的使命,並付諸行動,就一定能築起真正的世界和平與人類共和。(《新人間革命》第1卷 錦秋)

世界已經陷入了全球性的大流行,到處怒火衝突,人們因貪、嗔、癡而受苦和陷入垂死。作為佛教徒,我們祈求癒合、以及內在的善良、智慧和慈悲的甦醒。師匠鼓勵我們要秉持「不讓任何人掉隊」、「每一個生命皆可貴」的信念,一起戰勝每一個的困難。只要在我們同志間構建起團結,我們可以令社會蘇生。 

我們重新誓願,要滿懷喜悅地前進,大家發揮各自獨特的才能,達成閃爍如希望彩虹般的使命,照亮我們的生命、家庭、朋友、社區和全世界。 

2020年6月5日 

Tony Meers (東尼梅亞斯)       理事長
Helen Izumi-Choi                     婦人部長
Ian Mattinson                           壯年部長
Ryan Brouwer                          青年部長
Mai Ogushi                              女子部長
Alex Meers                              男子部長 

*地涌菩薩 – 追求自他成佛的菩薩,因此主要特徵是慈悲。地涌菩薩描繪於釋尊托付其滅後妙法(法華經要義) 弘通之任務時從地面湧出的無數菩薩。