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ANNOUNCEMENT ON COVID-19

March 17, 2020

MESSAGE REGARDING CORONAVIRUS COVID-19

TO ALL SGI CANADA MEMBERS

February 28, 2020


The novel coronavirus COVID-19 has significantly impacted the world and created the need to restrict travel and access in certain countries and regions. It has also affected some locations in Canada to varying degrees. As a result, we have closed our centre in Vancouver and suspended meetings there for February and March. The Chinese-speaking area in Toronto has taken the same measures. Additional measures may need to be taken elsewhere, depending on what happens in the coming days and weeks. At the present time, it is crucial that we exercise caution in order to prevent further spread of the virus.

People around the world are hoping and praying for the end of this health crisis. For us as SGI Canada practitioners, we can take inspiration from the following well-known passage from Nichiren Daishonin’s writing “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land”:

If you care anything about your personal security, you should first of all pray for order and tranquillity throughout the four quarters of the land, should you not? (WND-1, p. 24)

Our prayers for every person’s welfare and happiness constitute the essential spirit of Nichiren Buddhism and the Soka Gakkai, coupled with our actions to encourage our families, friends, fellow members, and the people in our communities. A crisis is the time when our prayers and actions are most needed. We must not give in to feelings of discouragement or resignation; rather, we should exert ourselves even more strenuously to reach out and give hope and courage to others.

We are fortunate to have technology that enables us to make contact with each other and transcend obstacles such as distance, weather, or unusual circumstances such as what we are currently facing. SGI President Ikeda stated in his New Year’s message in 2017:

Life is full of unexpected difficulties and obstacles; it is a struggle against complacency and stagnation. The lion’s roar of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the ultimate means for overcoming every problem. Those who keep chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, no matter what happens, are never defeated.
      In regions around the globe, SGI members are taking on inspiring new challenges and initiatives. For instance, members in Oceania, which includes many small island nations spread over a vast area in the Pacific, have started using Internet video conferencing to hold leaders’ meetings. For these members, traveling overseas to gather physically can be very expensive and time-consuming, but online meetings allow them to communicate regularly, exchange ideas, and encourage one another, creating waves of joy and inspiration. Members are able to connect heart to heart across great distances and work together to strengthen the network of capable individuals on these “Victory Islands” of Oceania that are breaking through limitations. (NEW CENTURY, January 2017, p. 3)

Since 2017, SGI Canada has used video conferencing for our monthly national planning meetings, and it is now widely used in leaders meetings to bring in those leaders living in distant locations. It is also regularly used in district discussion and study meetings where some members live very far away or are unable to attend in person due to health or other circumstances. Last month, Central Region experienced a snowstorm on the day of their all leaders meeting. The snowstorm had been predicted two days before. Rather than cancelling the meeting on short notice, the decision was made to contact everyone right away and hold the meeting entirely by video conference. More than 120 leaders participated.

Free accounts are available with this technology so that any district could have a “Plan B” video meeting if weather made it risky to travel to the meeting. It can also be used to meet with individuals if visiting in person is not possible. In a country like Canada, where winter can interfere with our meetings, it is really never necessary to cancel a meeting if we have this alternative plan at the ready during winter months.

We might think that obstacles like the coronavirus will impede our growth and slow down our kosen-rufu movement. This doesn’t need to be the case at all. Limitations and obstacles can awaken our determination and inspire our sense of how important it is to encourage and care for each other, thus giving rise to greater growth.

Let us work harder than ever to support and inspire each person, never forgetting our mentor’s eternal guidance in “A Rainbow over Niagara”:

One person is not simply one person;
One person's power can reach far beyond that single life.
A human being’s unrevealed potential
Is boundless and inexhaustible.

Begrudge your life-and then you lose it.
Give your life-and you gain its true power.
A passionately determined person can surpass
Ten thousand.
We should never forget this profound principle.

Nichiren Daishonin states,
“The Law does not spread by itself.
Because people propagate it,
Both the people and the Law are worthy of respect.”

This is why, my friends,
You must thoroughly polish your character.
Faith is manifested in your daily life;
Faith is reflected in your character.
We must show that
A person of strong faith is one
Whose well-rounded personality
Embraces all with compassion.
Only the brilliance of your character
Will make it possible to expand the circles
Of the Law forever wider.

Let’s advance together toward May 3, the 60th anniversary of our mentor’s inauguration, and achieve a brilliant victory, keeping the motto of 2020 foremost in our hearts: Everyone Advances! Everyone is capable!

Thank you for all your sincere efforts,
Tony Meers
SGI Canada General Director

---------------------------

有關新冠狀病毒COVID-19之通訊

給全體加拿大SGI學會員

2020年2月28日

 

新型冠狀病毒COVID-19 對世界造成了重大的影響,並導致要對某些國家及地域實行旅遊和出入境的限制。加拿大某些地點在不同程度上也受到影響。因此,我們關閉了溫哥華的會館,並且取消了二、三月份的聚會。多倫多華人本部也相應作出同樣的措施。我們或有可能在其他地點需要採取同樣的措施,這全看未來數週事態的發展。目前來說,最重要的是我們要加緊注意,以防病毒進一步擴散。

 

世界各地人士現正熱切希望和祈求疫症早日結束。作為加拿大SGI的修行者,我們可從聖訓《立正安國論》中以下的這句著名御文得到啟發:

 

須知,汝欲求一身安堵,必先禱四表之靜謐。(中文御書,第30頁)

 

我門為每一個人的福祉而祈求,我們為鼓勵家人丶朋友、同志和社區人們而行動,這就是日蓮佛法和創價學會的最根本精神。危難當前,最必須的就是我們的祈求和行動。我們絕不能因此而感到沮喪和退縮,相反,我們要加倍努力地對別人伸出援手,為他們帶來希望與勇氣。

 

幸好我們擁有能突破距離、天氣或好像當前遇到此異常情況的科技,讓我們彼此得以聯繫。池田SGI會長在2017年的元旦賀辭中提到:

 

任何人都會在人生中遭遇出乎意料的考驗或障礙,也要與惰性或停頓挑戰,而突破這一切的究極力量是題目的師子吼。無論發生什麼事,唱題的人絕不屈服。

 

各國SGI也都生氣盎然地從事新的挑戰。

 

大洋洲的島國散佈在廣大太平洋上,同志們運用網路影像通話召開幹部會議。

由於交通等因素限制,定期在定點聚會談何容易。於是透過這樣的會議,交換意見,為彼此加油打氣,喜悅與啟發的漣漪層層蕩漾。超越距離的阻隔,心心相連,突破障壁,擴大了「勝利島」的人才網絡。

 

從2017年起,加拿大SGI每月的全國計劃會,已經採用視像會議。至於幹部會,我們現在已經廣泛地使用,好讓偏遠地區的幹部也連在一起。此外,地區座談會和教學會也經常使用,好讓偏遠的會友,或是臥病、及有事在家的會友,也能參與其中。上個月,中央地域舉行全體幹部會當天,正值雪暴來襲。該雪暴在兩天前已經預測出來。與其把幹部會取消,我們決定立刻聯絡每一位幹部,並全體以視像參加。最後超過了120名幹部出席了該個視像幹部會。

 

這些科技的帳戶,大家是可以免費設立和使用,如此地,在遇到天氣突變、會友有困難前往開會時,地區可選擇以視像開會的B計劃。如遇上探訪某些會友有困難時,這個也可以用得上。在加拿大,冬天經常會影響開會,但若果我們在冬季時節準備好這個替代方案,我們真的無須取消開會。

 

我們或會覺得這些阻障,如新冠狀病毒,會阻礙我們的成長、拖慢我們的廣布活動。而事實並非一定如此。制肘和障礙,是可以喚醒我們的決意、令我們明白互相鼓勵和關心的重要,從而我們會更加成長。

 

讓我們更努力地支持和鼓舞每一個人,不要忘記師匠在「高懸於尼亞加拉瀑布上的彩虹」中的永遠指針:

 

一個人不僅是一個人

一個人的力量

不會限於一個人

人所蘊藏的奇妙力量

無盡 無窮

 

生中無生 死中有生——

拼命的人 勝過萬人——

我們決不要忘記

這個深奧的原理

 

聖訓有云

「法不自弘

人弘法固

人法共尊」

 

朋友啊

正因如此

徹底 磨練人格吧

信心即生活

信心即人格

須知信心強盛的人

是仁慈地包容一切的人

是人格圓融圓滿的人

只有那種人格的光輝

才能令妙法之環重重擴展

 

讓我們銘刻著2020年的箴言:「所有人都一起前進,所有人都是人才」,大家一起向著師匠就任會長60周年的5月3日一起前進,一起創造光輝的勝利。 

感謝你們各位真誠的努力。 

東尼梅亞斯

加拿大國際創價學會理事長