Check out the new “Discussion Meeting Toolbox” filled with ideas to revolutionize your district discussion meeting!

The Soka Gakkai tradition of the district discussion meeting is the place where the great wish of the Buddha—that all people become equal to the Buddha without distinction between them—comes to life.

SGI President Ikeda writes of its significance:

In today’s world, where developing real human relationships seems to be growing more difficult, our discussion meetings are beautiful, almost miraculous, gatherings of joy and harmony. Each meeting is a truly precious part of our Buddhist practice. (October 2018 Living Buddhism, p. 5)

On the heels of the historic 50,000 Lions of Justice Festival and with the determination to create lasting change in our society, the SGI-USA is focused on channeling the passion and power of 50K into the front lines, starting with the November district general meetings, which commemorate both the 88th anniversary of the Soka Gakkai’s founding and the fifth anniversary of the completion of the Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu.

We’d also like your help improving the toolbox by sending comments, suggestions, short videos, sample intro-to-Buddhism scripts, ice breakers, etc., to DMtoolbox@sgi-usa.org.

Toward that end, SGI-USA members across the country have united to gather 50,000 people—including 20,000 youth—at the November discussion meetings, which conclude the important two-year period that began with this call to action from President Ikeda:

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)

So, what does an ideal discussion meeting look like? President Ikeda encourages:

Make each discussion meeting so satisfying that people regret when it comes to an end and wish it could go on a bit longer. (July 14, 2006, World Tribune, p. 2)

To do just that, the SGI-USA has introduced its “Discussion Meeting Toolbox” at www.sgi-usa.org, featuring important resources to revolutionize your discussion meeting. In it, you’ll find practical information on:

• The spirit of discussion meetings
• Great ways to prepare for every discussion meeting
• The core elements of a discussion meeting
• How to share a great faith experience
• Tips on being an emcee
• Giving a powerful study presentation
• And more!

We’d also like your help improving the toolbox by sending comments, suggestions, short videos, sample intro-to-Buddhism scripts, ice breakers, etc., to DMtoolbox@sgi-usa.org.
President Ikeda writes:

At discussion meetings, everyone plays a starring role. Discussion meetings brim with prayers and encouragement, equal to those of the Buddha, so that each and every participant can move forward happily, in high spirits and with bright smiles. (October 2018 Living Buddhism, p. 5)

In commemoration of Soka Gakkai Founding Day on Nov. 18, the SGI-USA is gifting to all district through national leaders a new book titled Guidelines for Kosen-rufu, Victory, and Happiness: Selections From The New Human Revolution.

The book pulls pertinent passages by topic from volumes 1 to 26 of The New Human Revolution, SGI President Ikeda’s beloved and trusted textbook of faith. The book’s aim: to help all district leaders in their noble work of advancing our movement for peace and happiness. Please check in with your local zone for more information on distribution.

There’s no special secret for making a discussion meeting lively. Having said that, however, I think a meeting’s success lies in how many people share experiences of gaining benefit through faith. People who share their experiences brim with joy and energy. That feeling communicates to everyone else, and the joy spreads until the entire meeting becomes positive and vibrant. As a leader, it’s important to be firmly determined and to take action to ensure that each member receives benefits. This may seem like a long and roundabout way, but it is really the direct path to bringing real energy and life to discussion meetings . . .

First, you need to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo earnestly, exert yourself wholeheartedly in Soka Gakkai activities, and accumulate your own benefits through faith. Then joyously share your experiences with others.

It is also crucial to foster fresh talent. An organization with enthusiastic new members will not stagnate. In other words, I hope you will focus on introducing Buddhism to others and helping them deepen their faith and develop their lives. (Guidelines for Kosen-rufu, Victory, and Happiness, pp. 104–05)