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Soka Gakkai International

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New to SGI [29 Oct 2011|11:32am]

Not sure if this community is at all active anymore, but I figured I would try posting anyway.

I have recently converted to Soka Gakkai. I actually started in Japan this past month, and will be joining Denver's chapter of SGI soon.

I'm not jumping in blindly. My best friend lives in Japan, and is a member there. She and I have talked about it for many years, and it is something that I have been weighing for several years now. (I was formerly Irish Roman Catholic).

There have been many signs pointing to it this year, and this trip I just took to Japan was obviously the right time. I made a circle of many new friends, as well as discovered some connections from Setagaya to Denver that will help me along.

I feel very priveledged that during my trip I attended an SGI meeting in Shinanomachi, chanted at the Soka Gakkai Headquarters in Shinanomachi, attended a meeting Setagaya, visited the Min-on, and visited Soka University in Hachioji. Now I look forward to joining the SGI community here in Denver.
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A Shot In the Dark? [08 Jan 2010|01:16pm]

[ mood | curious ]

I am currently looking to join a new chapter merely because I lack transportation and even though I know it's not a big deal to ask for a ride, I still hate doing it because I'm a little far out from other members.

I currently live in Fircrest, WA and I'm part of the North Tacoma district's Narrows Bridge chapter. I'm curious of anything in the Fircrest/University Place areas that won't be a hassle to get to by foot or bus.

Thanks in advance for any info.

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[07 Jan 2010|04:21pm]


This year's is  "The year of Total Victory of Soka and Dramatic Development for Youth", so how  will you challenge it ?  
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Reflections on my first meeting - from a former member of other Buddhism [02 Apr 2009|03:18am]

I have been exploring, from the book 'The Buddha In Your Mirror', trying to follow along with daimoku from Youtube videos, and last night I went to the Intro to Buddhism meeting at my city's SGI center. I'm going to go to the group chant tonight.

I am very, very, very impressed with what I've experienced.

I'm familiar at least shallowly with a wide variety of Buddhism, I've sat with a couple of different sects, and I practiced in the Tibetan tradition (specifically, Geluk-pa sect) for years, up to the point where I left I very seriously wanted to become a nun.Getting to know Nichiren's Buddhism at all is pretty new to me, despite the fact that I went to one meeting of another sect when I was still a Tibetan-tradition practicioner.

These are my reflections, after going to the meeting last night and I am very long winded and ramble a lotCollapse )
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Do you think that SGI could be for me? [29 Mar 2009|03:16am]

Just curious – years ago I used to practice in the Tibetan tradition, but also attended other Buddhist sanghas in other traditions. I am going to an introductory SGI meeting on Wednesday. I am very interested in learning more; in my reading about Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism it seems very similar to things I have already realized/believe, and I am just curious about how others came to this and if anyone comes from other sects of Buddhism.

I have always been attracted to the beliefs of Buddhism but in my practice, I always I hit a philosophical dead end, and I also ripened some pretty nasty karma and made my grasping worse not better... when I was a member of a sangha and very serious, the trouble is, everyone in my group was at a higher level up the Maslow heirarchy and nobody was of much help. So very easy for the priveleged to suggest I need to do retreats, expensive empowerments and worry less about the material things that they already have. There was next to no guidance or advice on how to apply Buddhism to everyday life. I did not have the luxury of doing retreats or becoming a nun.

I was also very disappointed that for a Westerner, sangha was nonexistent. I wanted the community found in churches and in Asian congregations. It was very disappointing to see that the Buddhism that is practiced by people from the traditions' native countries and that practiced by Western converts is not at all the same religion, especially since I first learned of Buddhism from a Chinese family and hoped for the kind of cultural and moral backbone that this family enjoyed.

Everyone in every sangha I've sat with, has been a total individualist; I do not WANT my individualism, I want community, and it is very difficult for me to follow “right association” when the people I practice with are not role models, not to judge them but I simply can't identify with them, the walk of life is too different. If I'm to take up a religion at all I really want a sense of community and sense that I am walking a common moral path with others...

Recently (via, oddly, some “New Age” sources which are disapproved of by a lot of mainstream religions) I have discovered what the philosophical dead end was... I decided to devote myself to being at cause rather than effect and make the Law of Attraction the center of my life. Doing practices from books such as “The Secret” I found myself clearing up major obstacles at subtle levels, not merely in the attainment of material things; things began to manifest in very subtle forms, such as, in visualizing healthy, happy relationships I actually began to have insight about the reason I have not created this, and how it is I have created my relationships to be bad. It is not like I manifested a good relationship to drop out of the sky. I actually discovered that I was making changes in my mind and opening up to new sources of insight. This has been as hard to explain to 'skeptical' people (who think these practices are ridiculous) as it is to explain to the 'true believers' (who think I am manipulating cosmic forces).

Doing these practices I had an insight as to the philosophical dead end I hit with mainstream Buddhism; I realized that I cannot unearth bad karma, without replacing it with positive seeds, and hope to have good effects, and I began to desire to be Buddhist again as I am realizing that keeping a positive mindset is a job that takes up every moment of your waking hour. The secular world is at war with you the moment you wake up. But now I am finding that standard-issue Buddhism does not seem to encourage the rather unorthodox path I took to the realization that to me “the only way out is through”. Recently I have begun reading about Nichiren Daishonin's approach and it seems philosophically close if not identical to what I already believe in my own homegrown beliefs, I wonder if I will find what I was missing in other buddhism? If a religion already practices, as a regular discipline, with a community, what I already believe, then it makes no sense to re-invent the wheel.

Anyway I am asking what others' experience is, and if anyone is coming from another form of Buddhism? What have you found here?
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cultural appropriation [22 Mar 2009|03:40pm]

From Amonja Three Rivers... If you are white and you find yourself drawn to Native American spirituality, Middle Eastern religion, African drumming, Asian philosophies, or Latin rhythms, make an effort to maintain some kind of balance. Don't just learn the fun and exciting things about us and then go home to your safe, isolated, white, privileged life. Learn about the history of the people whose culture you're dabbling in..

This has been brought up a couple of times on LiveJournal. This came from a discussion on racism101
Has this ever been brought up? I don't feel it is appropriation, but how does one convey that?  :/
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Time interview [22 Jan 2009|11:11pm]

Hello there!... UK member here. I just read the awful time magazine article about SGI and Ikeda. It made some seriously INSANE claims. Does anybody know of any decent article which examines the articlles claims that is available to read?
Many thanks
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[24 Dec 2008|07:32pm]

It's a strange stubborn faith with which I continue to read Gosho lectures. Even though I don't feel like I really understand or absorb them at all, I do feel faith that somehow every effort I make to take in even a little of it does me good.

Sometimes my Buddhist practise is my favourite thing in the world.
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Tricycle Magazine interviews Ikeda Sensei [05 Nov 2008|08:11pm]
Faith in Revolution

DAISAKU IKEDA is President of the Soka Gakkai International, the world’s largest Buddhist lay group and America’s most diverse. In a rare interview, Ikeda speaks to contributing editor Clark Strand about his organization’s remarkable history, its oftmisunderstood practice, and what its members are really chanting for.

From Hollywood celebrities to renowned jazz musicians to everyday practitioners around the world, Soka Gakkai Buddhists are best known for their familiar chant, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. What they are chanting is the Japanese title of the Lotus Sutra, which posits that all of us—without exception—can attain enlightenment through faith in its teachings...

Full text:

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The united states election:rambley post. [05 Oct 2008|05:49pm]


This election is bringing out the latent racist in people. I've gotten to the point that I can't stand most Americans. When I hear people wanting to bomb the hell out of the Middle East, say racist remarks about POC and Muslims, et al, I'm  sickened and sad.  The whole guns,god and war crap has gotten old. 
My fellow members, how has it gotten to the point where it's as if humanity is moving backwards?  I've actually (seriously) thought of moving to Japan.  Thoughts? Encouragement?  :/

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When your career hit a new low.. [03 Oct 2008|09:47am]

[ mood | exanimate ]

.. how much daimoku and kosen rufu activities do you need to do to climb back up?

I'm experiencing a very negative time of my career (what career??) life.

I've been doing lots of chanting, taking part in SGI activities (including joining as exhibition guide for an upcoming exhibition "Transforming the Human Spirit") and trying to have dialogues with people about humanism.

Recently I resigned from a well-paid job. One reason was because of the psychological damage I got from working under a psycho manager with her unpredictable temper and moodswings. Another reason also, I need the time to study for a Japanese test in Dec (Level 2 of Japanese Language Proficiency Test). It's going to be my 2nd attempt and I wish to pass it this time. At the same time I pursued some freelance writing job for a bit of side income.

So then. I got a part-time teaching position at a local college, which I used to work for 3 years as a marketing staff prior to the abovementioned well-paid job. I was given 4 different groups of students, despite I'm not a trained ESL teacher (I'm a Business major). So ok. I thought I could deal with it, with some prior preparations before each classes.

THEN. I got complaints by the students. They think I'm too inexperienced to teach them and they demanded for a change of teacher. The college cut down my groups to 2, reducing my monthly salary. I'm paid by the hour I work, so I'm quite low paid now. On top of that, there seems to be gossips and backstabbing going on in this organization, which almost got me involved.

After all the drama, I realize perhaps I'm not working the job I'm supposed to. In other words, I've yet to discover my true calling.

So I'm now chanting for the guidance, the wisdom to find a suitable and fulfilling career, something that contributes to kosen rufu and humanism.

I've yet to find any solution.

My mom isn't too pleased with me. She said I was being the smartass to resign from the earlier job. She keeps nagging that things are getting expensive by the day, economy is bad, yadda yadda and she said I was selfish.

I'm beginning to think I am. And I lost. *sobs*

Any advice, dear people?

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[20 Aug 2008|10:25am]

Ive been a Nichiren Buddhist all my life. I am a fortune baby and was raised in the SGI. Ive been really chanting for about the last 6 years, and just started to study more in the last year. Ive really been taking my practice seriously.
Im feeling a little wierd becauuse Ive been feeling generally unhappy lately. Not the way I want to live my life!

I actually feel a little stumped, and I want to study more with this question in mind. I know it isnt something circumstantial, but It keeps becoming something to do with that. I want to raise my life condition!

What is happiness?
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Anyone from Italy? I need help :) [13 Aug 2008|12:32am]

Hello anyone and sorry in advance if anyone thinks this post might not be appropiate, but I'm totally desperate and I hope you'll understand.
If anyone feels uncomfortable with this being posted here, just let me know and I will delete it.

Now, to the point: I live in Italy and I'm writing my Master Degree final paper in Anthropology on Soka Gakkai. My mum has been a member for over 15 years and my brother just joined. I enjoy going to meetings from time to time, but I haven't felt like chanting or taking it any seriously yet.
For my research I need at least 100 people LIVING IN ITALY to fill in a survey, that you can find HERE. I had only 14 people taking the survey so far and my deadline is Sept 10, so guess how desperate I am as of now.

If anyone of you lives in Italy, please please please, HELP ME!
Thank you so very much and my apologies to people who might not be interested.
Best wishes,
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Hard to chant... [12 Aug 2008|02:51pm]

 I have a cd of her guidence from a chicago meeting a few years ago. She talks about overcoming our fundemental darkness and that everything we need to be happy, we already have. I'm having such a hard time chanting right now and feeling discouraged in general. I live way up in Northern New York State, U.S, up near Canada. There are very few members up here, and the ones that are, are not strong. Anyone else going through this also? 
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Heard "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo" on Generation Kill [22 Jul 2008|10:17pm]

[ mood | contemplative ]

I've just started watching Generation Kill on HBO (time delayed on my PVR). Right off it feels pretty much right; I was never a Marine, but I've worked with Marines, Army, and Navy when I was in the Air Force and people really talk and act this way. I am not very far into it, but it has promise as a fairly realistic portrayal of what life is like for combat troops.

Now that is freaking surreal, one of the Marine snipers chants "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo" as he shoots an enemy RPG team, it happens about 45 minutes into the second episode. The same Marine is talking philosophy with his fellow troops a little later.

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Looking for members in The Netherlands [13 Jul 2008|01:45pm]

Hello everyone! =)

I'm Hui Zi from Singapore and would be going to The Netherlands for an study exchange this August, in University of Maastricht. I would like to meet the SGI members in Maastricht and join in for the student division/youth meetings if possible.

If you're from UM or a member of SGI-Netherlands, I would greatly appreciate if you could contact me at,

Thank you!
Looking forward to go over ♥

Hui Zi
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Opening the Washington DC SGI Cultural Center [04 Jul 2008|08:31am]

[ mood | contemplative ]

Last Sunday, sutragirl and I picked up fellow SGI member Ros in Centreville, took her to Vienna Metro and we rode in to Farragut North, then caught a bus to the brand new Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Washington, DC Cultural Center at 3417 Massachusetts Avenue, NW.

street view of new DC SGI Cultural Center

It is a lovely building, and we had an inspiring meeting there with experiences shared and some chanting, though I foolishly got the start time wrong and we missed opening chanting (gongyo). Ros is fascinating and we enjoyed the whole trip in and back with her talking about life experiences and jobs. Parking in the area around the new cultural center was not nearly as bad as we'd assumed, and I suspect I may carpool, but drive all the way in next time as the busses were unpredictable and slow.

I still want to sing the praised of the DC are public transportation planning site though:
The trip planning site is very useful for planning your trips. You can prioritize on time, transfers, or money; it includes information about competing (non-Metro) busses and trains, and it is very informative. If you plan to drive part of the trip - just skip that leg of your journey.

There are more photos of the new cultural center at my .Mac gallery.</lj>

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from Reply to the Lay Priest Soya [26 May 2008|12:51pm]

I have written out the prose section of the "Expedient Means" chapter for you. You should recite it together with the verse portion of the "Life Span" chapter, which I sent you earlier. The characters of this sutra are all without living Buddhas of perfect enlightenment. But because we have the eyes of ordinary people, we see them as characters... The blind cannot see the characters of this sutra. To the eyes of ordinary people, they look like characters. Persons of the two vehicles perceive them as the void. Boddhisattvas look on them as innumerable doctrines. Buddhas recognize each character as a golden Shakyamuni. This is what is meant by the passage that says, "If one can uphold this sutra, one will be upholding the Buddha's body." (WND, p.486)
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Parrots [03 Apr 2008|11:30am]

I just wanted to express my deep desire to get a parrot and teach it to chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. That would be totally awesome!
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Finding SGI members in Michigan State University [12 Mar 2008|11:36am]

This is Emily. I am a SGI member from Taiwan. I have just received an admission to MSU in 2008 (fall). I plan to take an airplane to Lansing in August. Hope I can meet SGI members in MSU. Thank you very much.

I would appreciate if you can contact me at:


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