SGI Canada Newsletter, No. 29 - June 18, 2021
SGI Canada Newsletter
Issue no. 29
June 18, 2021
Welcome to the 29th issue of the SGI Canada Newsletter, a bi-weekly summary of news, upcoming events and encouragement. If you are not subscribing to the SGI Canada Newsletter, you may do so by clicking on the button below. Subscriptions are free of charge and the SGI Canada Newsletter will be emailed directly to you.
SGI President Ikeda’s editorial: “Shine Brightly as Youthful Treasure Towers!”
In his July editorial for Daibyakurenge (the Soka Gakkai study magazine), SGI President Daisaku Ikeda encourages young people in the same way that he himself was encouraged by his mentor, Second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda.
When I was young and struggling with illness, my mentor, Josei Toda, once encouraged me by having me read this passage from The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings:
Our head corresponds to myo, our throat to ho, our chest to ren, our stomach to ge, and our legs to kyo. Hence this five-foot body of ours constitutes the five characters of Myoho-renge-kyo. . . . Now persons like Nichiren and his followers, who have learned to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, may be said to have entered the treasure tower. (OTT, 28–29)
Mr. Toda told me firmly: “Because you chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, your body itself constitutes the Mystic Law. So don’t let yourself be defeated by the likes of the ‘devil of illness.’ Win and shine brightly as a youthful treasure tower for the sake of kosen-rufu and society.”
Young people today face a host of daunting challenges, especially now amid the coronavirus pandemic. Many have lost hope and confidence and are suffering from loneliness. That is why it is my deepest wish that they may awaken to the supremely noble treasure tower of life that they and all people possess.
Nichiren Buddhism is a teaching for making one’s youth shine its brightest.
Please CLICK HERE to read the full message
Joint Young Phoenix Group and Youth Division General Meetings, June 19 - 20
Joint Young Phoenix Group and Youth Division General Meetings will be held by area or region across Canada this weekend (June 19 and 20), and next weekend (June 27) in Eastern Region only.
Toward these meetings, the Young Phoenix Group and Youth Division have been carrying out a Friendship Campaign focused on deepening friendships, encouraging members one-to-one, and engaging in Buddhist dialogue.
Nationwide Young Lions Group General Meetings, June 26 - 27
Young Lions Group General Meetings will be held online across Canada on the weekend of June 26 - 27. The Young Lions Group is comprised of children aged 5 to 12. Details are available from the regional Young Lions Group representatives.
SGI Canada Statement on Kamloops Indian Residential School
SGI Canada members share the shock and dismay that has been widely expressed on the discovery of 215 unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. The discovery comes as a heart-breaking reminder of the thousands of Indigenous children who died while in the care of residential schools.
SGI Canada offers its deepest condolences to the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc community, and to all Indigenous nations in Canada. We pray for the eternal happiness of all those who suffered under the residential school system.
Nichiren Buddhism is founded on the Lotus Sutra’s message of absolute respect for all living beings. As documented by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Canada’s treatment of Indigenous peoples has been the very opposite of respectful. The residential school system is the result of a deluded disregard for life and human dignity.
SGI President Daisaku Ikeda writes:
The universe is the perfect stage for the struggle between the Buddha and the devil, between compassion and the devilish nature of power, for the struggle between the desire to turn life into a means, and the compassion to make life the objective; for the battle between the power that attempts to turn people into grains of sand, to reduce them to nonentities, and the power that seeks to enable people to become treasure towers. (The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra vol.3, p.58)
The members of SGI Canada are dedicated to spreading Nichiren Daishonin’s message of respect for all; and to do our utmost to create a world in which horrors such as the residential school system could not exist.
COVID-19 Update #15
As we enter the 15th month of the suspension of in-person activities, SGI Canada’s national leaders are meeting every week to talk about the changing COVID-19 situation. Discussions focus on how to keep people safe, and how to support the members as they continue to enthusiastically carry out activities for kosen-rufu online.
We all wish to return to in-person activities as soon as possible. In some places, certain government restrictions are being lifted, and we may personally feel safe. But the situation is different in every community in the country. Infection rates and public health regulations vary across Canada, and can change frequently. It is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, regardless of where we live or our personal situations. Nationwide, the Public Health Agency of Canada says that COVID-19 remains a serious health threat and considers that all Canadians are at high risk.
SGI Canada’s prime concern is the safety of all members and their families, friends and communities, wherever they might be. In the article we are studying this month in our district study meetings, President Ikeda writes:
Nothing is more valuable than a person’s life. Nichiren Buddhism sets forth a profound and luminous view of life, teaching that we should make respect for life’s dignity and worth our first priority. (New Century, May 2021, p.30)
We would like to reconfirm that all in-person SGI Canada activities remain suspended until further notice. This includes outdoor and indoor activities of any size, from individual home visits to larger meetings. Additionally, we ask all members to please follow the local public health guidelines in your respective communities. We thank you for your patience and understanding.
After a very successful year of holding SGI Canada activities online, we can feel proud of our achievements. In his message to the recent SGI Canada Nationwide All Leaders Meeting (June 5), President Ikeda congratulates all SGI Canada members on their victories over the past year:
I am well informed about how you have persevered to encourage and support one another with the resolve to “leave no one behind”, continuing your advance in the face of the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic. The splendid growth and development of your successors, the youth division members, is also truly promising.
Each of you is a noble and precious individual. The sincerity of your efforts for kosen-rufu as you freely reveal your unique capacities in accord with the principle of “cherry, plum, peach, and damson blossoms” (cf. OTT, 200) is most certainly known to Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law.
New Arrivals at Online Bookstore
With bookstores in SGI Canada centres closed because of the suspension of in-person activities, we invite you to visit SGI Canada’s Online Bookstore. The Bookstore recently received a new shipment of prayer beads and incense to add to its stock of books in English, French and other languages, as well as Buddhist altars, accessories, gongyo books and gift items.
You can find the Online Bookstore at https://sgicanada.myshopify.com/
Buddhist Soccer Superstar Roberto Baggio Is the Subject of a New Netflix Film
Legendary Italian soccer superstar Roberto Baggio’s story of striving for his dreams while encountering serious obstacles is told in a new Netflix film “Baggio: The Divine Ponytail,”
Roberto Baggio began practising Nichiren Buddhism in 1985 and went on to a stellar career in Italian professional league and international soccer.
The film incorporates the story of “Roby” Baggio’s introduction to Nichiren Buddhism, and how his practice enables him to muster the courage to continue fighting for his one great objective despite serious injuries and setbacks. Through his struggles, he comes to realize “it is the journey,” recognizing the constant love and care of his family and fans through victories as well as losses.
For a SGI USA Buddhability article on “Baggio: The Divine Ponytail”, please click here.
We hope you found this newsletter beneficial. Please email your questions or comments to email@example.com. The next SGI Canada Newsletter will appear on July 2, 2021. See you then!