Monday, September 10, 2012

The Soka Gakkai is for all of US!

What is this Blog About? 

And what is the Soka Gakkai? 

Literally Soka Gakkai means Value Creating Society, and that's exactly what it is! There are Soka Gakkai members in 192 countries, all doing Gongyo (reciting from the Lotus Sutra) and Daimoku (Chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo over and over) twice a day every day. We meet in people's homes and form family-like districts of people who love and support each other. There are no temples and there is no clergy, although we do have community centers in most major cities where members gather. 

There is a network for support for the District leaders and members. Each of these supporting leaders has a burning passion to help people become happy through chanting these words...and we all have a boatload of benefits to PROVE that chanting works! I am a District leader in Oakbrook Terrace, IL and my district meets every single Wednesday all year. On Sunday seven members of our district gathered together to chant for two hours for one of our members who is in Dublin now because her beloved mother just died. I am sure our friend Pamela felt the waves of support coming her way. 

You can find your local members by going to The members will welcome you with open arms! 

What is this Buddhist Practice? 
How is it different from other forms of Buddhism? 

In the Soka Gakkai, we practice Nichiren Buddhism (also called Practical Buddhism). It's called Practical Buddhism because each person experiences RESULTS from chanting. 

In this practice we are ALL Buddhas...all equal Buddhas tapping into the rich resources of our life itself and the entire universe by chanting the words Nam Myoho Renge Ko. 

Chanting these words enables us to bring forth all we desire and manifest it in this lifetime, it also brings us the resources to change what we need to change in our own characters, and in our lives, to accomplish and build lasting happiness for ourselves and others.  

We belong to the Soka Gakkai International, an organization dedicated to Peace, Culture and Education, founded by educators with vision and passion. It was founded in 1930 by Tunesaburo Makiguchi who died while imprisoned by the Japanese government for refusing to give in to their war efforts during WWII. 
His disciple, Josei Toda went to prison with him, and lived to be released, to devote the rest of his life to laying the groundwork for world wide peace (Kosen Rufu). 
His disciple, Daisaku Ikeda has been living his life with no other thought but peace, culture and education ever since he was 19 years old and met Josei Toda for the first time. 
He fought alongside his mentor tirelessly day after day, even though he was sick with tuberculosis and not expected to live a long life. 

Daisaku Ikeda has founded countless educational institutions based on Soka Education. It's main tenet is that each person should learn how to create a life of VALUE and HAPPINESS through education. There are Soka schools all over the world. Soka University in America sits on a majestic hill in Aliso Viejo, California and my friend Kate's daughter is currently spending the semester in Lima Peru while attending Soka University. It is Daisaku Ikeda's belief that only education can truly change the world and its inequities and build the culture we all where peace, life, fairness and happiness can flourish. 

Daisaku Ikeda is now 84 and living in japan. His accomplishments are too numerous to mention here. You can find his quotes at and more information about him on he has over 300 honorary doctorates from universities all over the world. These schools recognize him for creating cultural and educational exchanges among the people of the world. When people share bonds of friendship, peace can truly exist. Ikeda lived through WWII. He has a fierce determination that war is not any solution for anything, and that dialogue between people builds bridges of peace. 

Every day I chant that my heart shares his wisdom, determination and courage. He is an ordinary man; I am an ordinary woman. What sets him apart is his determination to make the world a better place, and the energy He has been expending his whole life in that effort. Through using his example, studying his words and chanting to feel and understand his determination, we can all become strong towers of wisdom, courage and determination...helping others to forge lives of happiness and strength! 

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo! 

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