Central Region Bursting at the Seams
By Kate Greco, Toronto
"Bursting at the seams" is the phrase that immediately comes to mind when one thinks of the 69 district general meetings that were held throughout SGI Canada's Central Region. More than one of the districts had over 50 practitioners and 24 guests attend.
In November, 48 individuals joined SGI Canada, bringing the region’s total for 2017 to 205 new practitioners. Practitioners and their friends turned out in record numbers to celebrate the founding of the Soka Gakkai and to share their heartfelt experiences of persevering in faith and overcoming tremendous obstacles.
Stories were shared of mystic connections between people, some of whom had encountered Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in various places throughout the world over many years prior to finding their way to SGI Canada.
Niagara District (Left), Windsor District (Right)
As one may have come to expect at an SGI meeting, the experiences were at the heart of everything. What was impressive was that whether one had been practising for three months, three years or 30 years, the benefits from practising this Buddhism were truly remarkable.
District leaders and organizers demonstrated wisdom and confidence in inviting young people and very new practitioners to take responsibility in planning and carrying out the various roles for the meetings. At one meeting, a young woman who had only recently been introduced to this Buddhism and who was attending only her second district meeting provided an exceptional explanation of SGI Buddhism. Another meeting celebrated with a birthday cake inscribed with “Happy 90th Birthday Sensei!”
Erin Mills District (Left), Cosmos District (Right)
Making new friends, deepening the understanding of the oneness of mentor and disciple, being inspired and gaining renewed hope—all of these goals were achieved at these district general meetings. Bursting with people seeking to deepen their faith, bursting with enthusiasm and joy, bursting with a deep desire to work for Canadian kosen-rufu together with our mentor, there was definitely a sense that we are moving ever closer to our goal of 10,000 happy practitioners by October, 2018.
Tall Pine District (Left), Newmarket District (Right)
East York District (Left), Pure Gold District (Right)