The key to transforming our lives and society is to share Buddhism broadly.
by Akemi Bailey-Haynie
SGI-USA WOMEN’S LEADER
First and foremost, I wish to express my most sincere gratitude and appreciation to each of you for your selfless efforts to support our precious Soka family.
I deeply admire your seeking spirit and determination to respond to our mentor, SGI President Ikeda, in the midst of your own challenges, obstacles and struggles. Your determination to persevere is actual proof of the power of the Mystic Law. Your efforts are a constant reminder that American kosen-rufu advances through the resolve and commitment of the SGI-USA women’s division! Thank you again from the very depths of my heart.
This is a critical juncture for our beloved nation, which more than ever is being fractured “along a thousand fissure lines” (see My Dear Friends in America, third edition, p. 208). We all wish for a society that treasures and protects the sanctity of all life, but what can be done to move society in this direction?
Our essential mission as Bodhisattvas of the Earth is to spread widely the Buddha’s teachings, which enable all people to reveal the great life state of Buddhahood and transform their lives, creating ripples of peace that extend outward to our families, communities and the world. Sensei explains:
Kosen-rufu is a comprehensive revolution based on the revolution of the individual. It is the process of actualizing the Buddhist spirit of compassion and the philosophy of the sanctity of life in the realms of government, economics, education, art and every area of human endeavor. The purpose of kosen-rufu is to build a society in which science, medicine, law and all other disciplines and systems created by human beings contribute to the happiness of humanity and produce genuine value . . .
In short, the effort to introduce Buddhism to a single individual and thereby transform his or her life is the most gradual and certain path of nonviolent revolution. Furthermore, to live dedicated to kosen-rufu is the best way of life for a genuine reformer. (October 2016 Living Buddhism, p. 24)
Introducing others to the practice and engaging in our own human revolution represent the way forward— and it’s clear that the time to act is now. During the September 2016 Youth Training Course, Sensei issued this urgent plea:
Please promise with me to work hard over the next two years with our fellow members around the world to expand our network of Bodhisattvas of the Earth, and forge ahead with energy, wisdom and good cheer to make the triumph of mentor and disciple resound into the eternal future of the Latter Day of the Law. (Oct. 7, 2016, World Tribune, p. 3)
I am so proud and inspired by the SGI-USA youth’s immediate reply to Sensei’s call to take up the mantle for peace and justice. In September, the youth made the serious determination to gather 50,000 youth in 2018 to take a stand for the dignity of life—a goal that is being fully embraced and supported by members in all four divisions.
Our resolve to bring together 50,000 youthful Bodhisattvas of the Earth for the sake of peace represents our line in the sand. How can we achieve our personal and organizational dreams in 2017?
Sensei has written that the sun is synonymous with the women of Soka, who shine brightly with happiness and peace. For that reason, the SGI-USA women’s division theme for 2017 is “Be the Sun of Peace, Hope and Happiness.”
As suns of Soka, let’s focus on the following:
1) Prayer: The first of our Five Eternal Guidelines for the Women’s Division is “Everything begins with prayer.” Rather than “this will do” prayer, let’s shake up the universe with abundant, laser-focused “last moment of my life” prayer. This is the key to reviving peace, hope and happiness in our hearts, renewing and strengthening our vow, and resurrecting the courage needed to fully embrace our unique and irreplaceable missions.
2) Human revolution: As the mothers of Soka, let’s be the first to take action toward the SGI-USA’s goal to gather 50,000 youth in 2018, viewing it as our golden opportunity to grow beyond our wildest dreams.
3) Study: Sensei writes of study: “The Mystic Law is a jeweled sword severing unhappiness. Let us study and uphold the heart of the correct teaching” (September 2015 Living Buddhism, p. 7). Study is the key to correctly perceiving our circumstances, without distortion, and forging ahead with courage, wisdom and joy.
4) Oneness of mentor and disciple: Throughout 2017, I hope you will keep this guidance from Sensei engraved in your hearts: “When one is completely dedicated to the path of mentor and disciple, he or she experiences no doubt or confusion, no uncertainty or fear” (My Dear Friends in America, third edition, p. 486).
I hope you’ll always remember that the mentor-disciple relationship is not a destination we reach but rather an eternal journey. By ever deepening the oneness of mentor and disciple in our lives, we can reach the pinnacle of our mission and happiness!
5) Unity: Toward Nov. 18, 2018, the women of the SGI-USA will serve as the catalyst in forging ironclad, four-divisional unity. Sensei writes: “What’s the primary requirement for achieving unity in the world of the Soka Gakkai? It is for everyone to stand firmly on the solid foundation of mentor and disciple, striving together for the sake of kosen-rufu. The entire basis of the spirit of ‘many in body and one in mind,’ or unity of purpose, is first of all found in seeking the mentor-disciple spirit and taking action in accord with the mentor’s vision” (The New Human Revolution, vol. 25, p. 24).
Let’s extend the warm rays of Soka to our families and the youth of America, reaffirming our belief and commitment that the key to transforming our land is shakubuku, shakubuku, shakubuku! Advancing together with Sensei, let’s become known throughout the world as Soka women of action, advancing joyfully and shining bright as the sun!