New to SGI

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.

A Shot In the Dark?

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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Reflections on my first meeting - from a former member of other Buddhism

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 )

Do you think that SGI could be for me?

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?
Hello mother

cultural appropriation

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?  :/

Time interview

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
The Ruins

(no subject)

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.

Tricycle Magazine interviews Ikeda Sensei

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:

Hello mother

The united states election:rambley post.

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?  :/