SGI Canada Newsletter, No. 74 - March 10, 2023
SGI Canada Newsletter
Issue no. 74
March 10, 2023
Welcome to the 74th 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.
Study for March: “On the Treasure Tower” - Awaken to Your Inner Treasure!
The study material for March is taken from President Ikeda’s lecture entitled ‘'‘On the Treasure Tower’ – Awaken to Your Inner Treasure!” which is addressed to the members of the Future Division. This excerpt is taken from the section “Those Who Experience Great Suffering Have a Great Mission”.
The Daishonin goes on to say: “No treasure tower exists other than Myoho-renge-kyo. The daimoku of the Lotus Sutra is the treasure tower, and the treasure tower is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” (WND-1, 299). The treasure tower is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. By wholeheartedly chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we can make the treasure tower within us shine its brightest.
We need never lament our circumstances or feel unworthy compared to others. In fact, the more challenging our situation, the more earnestly we can chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
Those who steadfastly chant daimoku will eventually attain unsurpassed happiness and impart hope and inspiration to many others. Not only do those who have suffered the most become the happiest, they also become people of courage who help others achieve happiness. If you are suffering or going through hardships now, it is proof that you have a great mission.
Each of you has an important mission that only you can fulfill. As you strive steadily and persistently toward that mission, I hope you will make the most of your unique qualities and talents, shining as the brilliant treasure tower you are. With that prayer, seniors in faith, including many of your parents, are doing their utmost to create an environment in which you can do so.
The entire study article appears in the February edition of New Century.
SGI Canada reopening plan
With COVID-19 indicators now declining across Canada, and understanding that the public health situation has improved significantly in the last year, the SGI Canada National Planning Committee (national and regional leaders) believes that this is the right time for SGI Canada to expand the range of its in-person activities.
Here is our plan for the next few months:
Districts hold hybrid meetings
The National Planning Committee (NPC) believes that districts can now safely meet in small groups of up to 6 people.
In the cases of some smaller districts, a limit of 6 people may mean that the entire district could meet in person if it chooses. For larger districts, it could mean holding several small-group meetings and connecting them through Zoom. Some members may prefer to participate in meetings as individuals online, and some districts may prefer to remain exclusively online for the moment.
We recommend that people attending in-person meetings wear a mask. The hosts of some in-person meetings may prefer that everyone wear masks, and we ask everyone to respect their wishes. Clear communication before each meeting will help avoid misunderstandings. Some districts may want to provide alternative venues or meeting formats in order to accommodate all members’ preferences.
No one should participate in an in-person meeting if they feel sick. In all cases, we should continue to use caution and common sense, and we should avoid creating situations where others do not feel safe.
These hybrid meetings will be an opportunity for districts to experiment with the new formats. The arrangements will not necessarily be permanent. This is a time for finding out what works and what does not. Some questions that leaders should consider are:
- Where will the small groups meet? Are the former meeting places still available, and are the meeting place hosts comfortable with having small in-person meetings in their homes at this time?
- Could the Zoom desktop be shown on a bigger device (such as a TV screen, for example)?
- Can everyone hear everyone else, whether they are participating in-person or online?
Through careful consultation among leaders and members, each district can arrive at its own unique solutions. In every case, the most important thing will be to respect the needs and concerns of each member, and to allow everyone to participate in meetings safely, equitably and happily. No one should feel obliged to offer their home for an in-person meeting, or to participate in district meetings in a way that is not comfortable for them.
Districts plan for future meetings in any format they choose
Districts can also start planning now for the time when all restrictions on district meetings will be lifted. Discussions in the district could include these topics:
- Formats for meetings in the future: hybrid, in-person, online, or a mix?
- New venues for meetings (if necessary)
- District members who have moved away from the geographical area of the district
○ District leaders will consult with the members concerned and with chapter and area leaders. Area leaders will record and report changes to their regional leaders and SGI Canada
Home visits continue
We encourage members to continue to visit members and friends in person, online, or by phone.
Centres plan for reopening
All SGI Canada centres can now begin planning for reopening, and these plans will be reviewed at the NPC. Each centre can create its own proposed plan for reopening, which should include:
- Proposed program of activities for centre
- Leadership, recruitment and training of support staff
- Repairs and maintenance needed for reopening
- New technology or procedures needed to hold large hybrid meetings
More details will be available in the coming weeks and months.
We thank you very much for everything you have done to keep members, family and friends safe over the last three years. Your efforts have truly been for the sake of kosen-rufu in Canada.
In his March editorial, President Ikeda writes:
This present time is an unsurpassed opportunity for us to realize the Daishonin’s idea of “establishing the correct teaching for the peace of the land” and ensure the eternal transmission of the Law.
With fresh determination, let’s join in energetically expanding beautiful circles of friendship!
(“Forever Passing On the Mission of Kosen-rufu”, to be published in New Century, May 2023.)
Thank you again for all your efforts in these challenging and exciting times.
SGI Canada National Planning Committee.
 COVID-19 epidemiology update: Key updates, Public Health Agency of Canada, February 6, 2023, <https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/current-situation.html#a2>.
March 16 Kosen-rufu Day Commemorative District Meetings
Districts across Canada will be holding meetings this month to commemorate March 16 Kosen-rufu Day. The following is taken from the “Commemorative Dates” section of the Soka Global website:
March 16 is a symbolic day for Soka Gakkai members, commemorating the occasion on March 16, 1958, when Josei Toda, second president of the Soka Gakkai, then in frail health, made an impassioned speech to 6,000 Soka Gakkai youth, entrusting them with the responsibility for the future of the Soka Gakkai and its efforts to contribute to the creation of a peaceful world and promote understanding of the humanistic philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism.
From that day, among his youthful successors, it was Toda’s closest follower, Daisaku Ikeda, who took up the baton of responsibility. He eventually became the third president of the Soka Gakkai in 1960 at the age of 32, and helped to develop the Soka Gakkai as a movement promoting peace, culture and education.
…March 16 is now viewed within the Soka Gakkai as a day of new departures, “of eternal beginnings and perpetual hope.” It is also an occasion for focusing on fostering capable youth.
For the full article on “March 16: Kosen-rufu Day”, please visit:
Soka Education Research Centre Hosts Symposium
On March 3, the Soka Education Research Centre on Global Citizenship (SERC-GC) at the University of Guelph-Humber hosted its second international symposium. The online event focused on Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” Professor Maria Guajardo of Soka University in Japan gave the keynote address, stressing the importance of gender equality, women’s empowerment and global citizenship.
We hope you found this newsletter beneficial. Please email your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that the next SGI Canada Newsletter will appear on March 24, 2023. See you then!