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SGI Canada Newsletter, No. 31 - July 16, 2021

July 16, 2021

SGI Canada Newsletter

Issue no. 31

July 16, 2021

 

Welcome to the 31st 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.

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NEWS

SGI President Ikeda’s Message to 4th Headquarters Leaders Meeting: “Discarding the Shallow and Seeking the Profound”

In his message to the 4th Soka Gakkai Headquarters Leaders Meeting toward Centennial 2030 held conjointly with the Youth Division 70th Anniversary General Meeting in Tokyo on July 7, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda speaks of the importance of courage in our daily lives:

What is the common trait of all great people who have lived truly noble and meaningful lives, whether celebrated or unheralded? It is the quality of courage, of the spirit that dares to take on difficulties, that seeks, chooses, and is committed to leading a more profound life. 

Faith is the ultimate form of courage. 

Nichiren Buddhism, faith in the Mystic Law, is the most profound philosophy of respect for the dignity of life. Our vow for kosen-rufu means making the most profound contribution to peace and the welfare of humanity. And the unity of the Soka Gakkai is built on the most profound bonds of trust among fellow human beings. 

May each of our members of the young men’s and young women’s divisions and the Student Division and Future Division have “the heart of a person of courage,” regarding hardships as an honour and embodying the spirit of oneness of mentor and disciple. I hope you will enjoy a wonderful youth of great joy and victory, and that you will pool your wisdom and strength as youthful Bodhisattvas of the Earth so that you can lead the way with optimism and resilience to a new decade of fresh value creation for the global family of humankind. 

Please CLICK HERE to read the full message

 

Message from SGI Canada General Director on SGI Canada’s COVID-19 Guidelines

I would like express deep appreciation for the dedication and compassion of all the leaders across Canada to care for and encourage the members through this challenging time. We have been carrying out online meetings, visits and daimoku sessions, always thinking about each person, especially those who are struggling. Because of the pandemic situation, we have had to strengthen our communications more than ever. Our meetings are well planned and prepared, and great efforts are made to involve youth and Future Division members. And despite not being able to confer the Gohonzon at this time, many new members are joining with great joy and enthusiasm, and they are sharing Buddhism with their friends as well. The extraordinary situation of the world today is giving us an unprecedented opportunity to change poison into medicine, as Sensei explains in The New Human Revolution:

The reason we’re moved by films and television dramas that have happy endings is that the characters have gone through all kinds of troubles to reach the conclusion. All of you are enacting a great drama of kosen-rufu. Without tribulations, there’d be no story. Obstacles provide fuel for victory….

Buddhism teaches the principle of changing poison into medicine. When the members in a region or country work together in a spirit of unity, they will definitely be able to make a breakthrough and increase understanding of our movement. This is what will enable kosen-rufu to greatly develop in the twenty first century. This is Buddhism….

The earth below ground is dark, and establishing roots is hard work, but when a plant is well rooted, it will send out fresh shoots. Stems will form, and eventually lush flowers will bloom. We need to bring about such a time and await its arrival. Don’t accept defeat, under any circumstances. (Volume 22, “Currents,” pp. 134-35)

The projections for the battle with COVID-19 are far more hopeful than they were a year ago. However, the pandemic has not ended. Despite widespread vaccination and dramatically lower case numbers, the spread of the Delta variant has presented new challenges and uncertainties, and some jurisdictions that had loosened restrictions have had to reinstate them.

At this time, I would like to reconfirm that, as a nationwide organization, SGI Canada’s guidelines are also nationwide, despite local variations in the numbers of COVID-19 cases and differences in provincial and municipal government guidelines. The reason for this is that the situation changes in different parts of the country, and we cannot adjust and communicate changes to our guidelines in the day-by-day way governments and health care authorities are able to do so, based on their legal authority and their ability to communicate at any moment with the public through government agencies, medical institutions, law enforcement and the media.

I have heard directly from several members who have been infected with COVID-19. Some have experienced mild symptoms and have recovered after a short time, some have experienced more severe symptoms for some time, and some are still struggling after many months with lingering and debilitating after-effects. Each of the individuals I have heard from has expressed their strong support for our guidelines and have urged us to continue.

We have received inquiries asking if we have a plan for reopening our activities. It must be remembered that the government itself is unable to predict how and when life will return to what we knew as normal—a condition where we can freely meet with people without wearing masks or practising physical distancing. Our core activities are discussion and study meetings and home visits, all of which take place in members’ homes, and where new guests are invited. The national leaders meet every week to discuss the situation, and this reality is the key factor. Our priority is and will remain the safety of every member, their families and their friends. We are determined to prevent anyone from being infected as a result of participating in an SGI Canada activity.

Our plan for reopening, simply stated, will be to reopen. The question is when will that be, and the answer is, when it is safe for everyone, as described above. At this time, we are not contemplating the kind of gradual opening of businesses, services and facilities that is happening in various parts of the country, as conditions can change at any time. Governments can decide to open with safety regulations, and they can just as quickly close them again if outbreaks occur. Governments have the authority to do so. They have opened businesses, schools and other facilities, closed them, reopened them, and closed them again, attempting to balance educational, economic and social needs with public safety.

We have never seen a worldwide pandemic like this, and there are still parts of the world where COVID-19 and its variants are spreading rapidly. However, we are on the road to recovery, and we can look forward with confidence and optimism to an eventual return to seeing and embracing each other. As leaders in faith, let’s share our conviction with every member that we will without doubt change poison into medicine, and that in the process we will advance kosen-rufu more widely and deeply than ever before.

Thank you very much,

Tony Meers

SGI Canada General Director

Special discount on single gongyo books at online bookstore

It is now possible to order a single gongyo book at a discounted price through SGI Canada’s popular online bookstore. The price for one small-format gongyo book shipped to anywhere in Canada will be $3.00 (taxes and shipping included).

Please note that this offer cannot be combined with any other order.

To order a single copy of a small-format gongyo book, click here.

To find other items in the SGI Canada online bookstore, please click here.

The power of words and writing

Have you been inspired by something you read in one our publications? Do you turn to an SGI Canada magazine when you need encouragement? We’d like to hear from you!

Toward the 40th anniversary of SGI Canada’s publications in October, we are asking you, our readers, to send us a short statement expressing how SGI Canada publications have touched you and made a difference in your life. Selected quotes from readers will be published to encourage everyone, to reinforce the use of our publications in our activities and to inspire each other in sharing Buddhism with our children, our family members and our friends.

Submissions can be emailed to: publications@sgicanada.org

Thank you for your participation and for your support of our vitally important SGI Canada publications.

 

Upcoming events

National Student Division Meeting on July 18 at 5:00pm ET

There will be a national Student Division Meeting on Sunday, July 18 at 5:00pm - 5:30pm ET by videoconference. 

We would like to connect student division members across the country to study together and share encouragement. Hope to see you there! 

Please contact your local youth leaders to register for the meeting and get the online link.  

Young Women’s and Young Men’s Divisions commemorate their 70th anniversary!

 The youth of SGI Canada are energetically preparing for their meetings in July commemorating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Young Men’s Division and Young Women’s Division! 

In his message to the 4th Headquarters Leaders Meeting which was held on July 7th in Tokyo, President Ikeda writes: 

May each of our members of the young men’s and young women’s divisions and the Student Division and Future Division have “the heart of a person of courage,” regarding hardships as an honor and embodying the spirit of oneness of mentor and disciple. I hope you will enjoy a wonderful youth of great joy and victory, and that you will pool your wisdom and strength as youthful Bodhisattvas of the Earth so that you can lead the way with optimism and resilience to a new decade of fresh value creation for the global family of humankind…. 

The SGI Canada youth are connecting with Sensei through studying this inspiring message throughout the month of youth! 

The commemorative Young Women’s and Young Men’s Meetings will be held in each region across Canada, from July 8 to July 31.

 

We hope you found this newsletter beneficial. Please email your questions or comments to postmaster@sgicanada.org. The next SGI Canada Newsletter will appear on July 30, 2021. See you then!

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