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COVID-19 UPDATE #3

March 20, 2020

MESSAGE REGARDING COVID-19
Update #3
March 20, 2020

To all leaders and members of SGI Canada:

Over the past week, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread at an accelerated rate around the world, causing schools, businesses and many organizations to close. The goal is to “flatten the curve” through social isolation, working from home wherever possible, and not travelling. It is an unprecedented global crisis, and it has no doubt given rise to heightened levels of stress and worry.

SGI Canada is bringing the following updates on the ways we are coping with the situation, as well as guidance from SGI President Ikeda to study and share. From now on, we will be posting all these materials on our website, and references to them on social media. The English and Chinese-language materials will appear on the English side of our website, and the French materials will appear on the French side.

SGI President Ikeda’s Encouragement
The following excerpts were published in recent issues of the Seikyo Shimbun:

CONSTRUCTING THE NEW ERA

The Women of Soka Are Bright Suns of Hope and Peace
(Excerpt) To be published in June 2020 New Century


Countries around the world, including Japan, are making all-out efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Let us chant the lion’s roar of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo even more powerfully, praying together in one heart for an early end to the outbreak and a return to normality.

Also, with deepest gratitude, my wife, Kaneko, and I are praying earnestly for the good health and safety of all our noble “uncrowned heroes” who deliver the Seikyo Shimbun newspaper each day, as unfailing as the sunrise.

(Translated from the March 3, 2020, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai daily newspaper)

*** 

OUR BRILLIANT HUMAN REVOLUTION

Winter Always Turns to Spring
(Excerpt) To be published in May 2020 New Century


The medical profession and society as a whole in Japan and around the world are making great efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). I have deepest gratitude for the countless individuals who are working tirelessly day and night on various fronts in this challenge. I am also chanting wholeheartedly with a fervent prayer for the quickest possible end to this threat and a return to normality and safety.
          The eminent British historian Arnold J. Toynbee (1889–1975) said that those living in an age of crisis must become pioneers of a better age, striving to find positive solutions and thereby turning the age into one of achievement.[1]
          I am confident that our valiant young Bodhisattvas of the Earth will join hands with friends the world over and work together with strength, wisdom, and optimism to create a better age.
          Let us once again engrave in our hearts the famous passage from “The Opening of the Eyes,” which I have shared so many times with our members in Tohoku, Hokkaido, and all around the globe: “Although I and my disciples may encounter various difficulties, if we do not harbor doubts in our hearts, we will as a matter of course attain Buddhahood” (WND-1, 283).
          Facing “various difficulties” time and again, the mentors and disciples of Soka have never forgotten these words at crucial moments and have steadfastly pressed on. That is why we have been able, quite naturally, to manifest our Buddhahood.
          As we continue to triumphantly overcome each difficulty arising in our path, let us extend throughout the world an ever-growing movement to unlock the life state of Buddhahood, the highest life state of all humankind!

(Translated from the March 11, 2020, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai daily newspaper)

 

One-Two-Three Campaign
At the time of the SARS epidemic in 2003, President Ikeda sent a message in which he referred to a campaign initiated in Hong Kong and Taiwan, called the “One-Two-Three Campaign.” SGI Canada would like to adopt this same campaign in battling the COVID-19 coronavirus. The campaign is comprised of:

Today, we can also use Internet-based media and video-conferencing to extend our reach even further, being able to see each other’s faces, individually and in groups.

Following is the excerpt from President Ikeda’s message, which was published in the June 13, 2003 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun:

SGI President Ikeda’s Message

Advance with Vigor along the Path of Your Mission

(The following is the text of SGI President Ikeda’s message to a nationwide prefecture leaders conference, held at the Soka Culture Center in Shinanomachi, Tokyo, on June 13, 2003.)

(Excerpt)

Changing Poison into Medicine

Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism is the eternal law of life and the universe, and the path of absolute happiness.

          Everyone faces problems, and issues they have to challenge. However, if we confront these while basing ourselves on faith, we can definitely change poison into medicine. We can overcome everything, and in the end gain the victory of having led a life of deep satisfaction. Buddhism enables us to win no matter what difficulties we may encounter. I hope all of you will have courage, remain steadfast in your faith, and become happy.

          Soong Ch’ing-ling (Song Qingling; 1892-1981), the wife of Sun Yat-sen, once said: “Only those who do not fear hardship may reach the peak of happiness.”[2]

“One-Two-Three Campaign”

Since last year, several regions of the world have been afflicted by the disease known as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). I pray for the repose of all those who have lost their lives to this illness, and I am praying earnestly for the earliest possible eradication of this disease.

          In SARS-stricken regions such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Canada, our fellow members have been working together and encouraging one another as they combat this epidemic. A number of our members are among the doctors and nurses who are battling valiantly on the front lines with a dedicated sense of mission to save people’s lives.

          Also, large gatherings have not been held for a long time now in SARS-affected areas. SGI members have responded by using the telephone and other means to stay in touch, talking with friends and fellow members and spreading hope.

          Of particular note, our members in Hong Kong and Taiwan have devised what they call the “One-Two-Three Campaign.” “One” means to chant at least one hour of daimoku each day. “Two” means to read the Daishonin’s writings and study SGI publications for at least 20 minutes a day. “Three” means to encourage at least three people over the phone each day.

          Since the start of the health crisis, many people are staying home in the evenings and not going out. Because of this, even friends and members who previously had been difficult to contact are now within reach by telephone, making it possible to carry out heartfelt conversations. The situation has been turned into an opportunity to further strengthen and increase the bonds of friendship.

          I have also heard that since entire families are staying at home, parents have been able to take the time to teach their children how to do gongyo. And I’ve been told that in households shared with those who are not SGI members, these non-members have used some of their time at home to browse through SGI publications and books, thereby deepening their understanding of Buddhism.

          These efforts to spread hope by telephone have drawn wide praise from many people in society.

          Our fellow members, undefeated by any adversity, are actively making valuable contributions to their communities and to society.

          In his writings, the Daishonin clearly indicates: “Myo means to revive, that is, to return to life” (WND, 149). There are no deadlocks with the Mystic Law. Even if our situation right now may be painful or trying, we continue to make efforts for the sake of the Law, for the happiness of others, and for the welfare of society. These efforts and the history they create will later come to shine with increasing brilliance.

          The greater the hardships we go through, the stronger we become, the more we grow as human beings, and the more meaningfully we live our lives. All of our hardships are transformed into treasures. Such is the world of faith. It is not a matter of immediate results. Our lives will come to be filled with the immeasurable fortune of what is called “inconspicuous benefit.”

(Translated from the June 17, 2003 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, the Soka Gakkai daily newspaper)

 

Suspension of Activities and Centre Closures
SGI Canada’s in-person activities will continue to be suspended and our centres will continue to be closed until at least the end of April.


New Members
Individuals have decided to join SGI Canada during this period, and we encourage their decisions to be celebrated at district video meetings and Kosen-rufu video meetings. Let’s do our very best to encourage each person!

Keeping Connected
It is more important than ever that we connect and communicate with each other more frequently. At this time, we can’t look forward to seeing each other at meetings, so we must be proactive and reach out to everyone, making special efforts to telephone elderly people and those who do not have computers or access to the Internet. As we send our prayers to our families, friends and fellow members, let’s imagine their faces, one by one, and take the initiative to reach out to each individual.


Basics Exam Results
We have printed individual sealed cards with the results of the Level 1 Basics of Nichiren Buddhism Study Exam. These cards were to be handed out to each participant at district meetings this month. As this is not possible right now, and in consideration of not adding to the workload of postal workers during this time, we invite participants to email the SGI Canada Study Department at study@sgicanada.org . We will reply with your exam mark. When it is possible, we will distribute the exam result cards.


Subscriptions and Contributions
Subscriptions: If you or someone in your local organization wishes to subscribe to our publications at this time, please download and print the subscription form on our website, and then mail the form with payment (cheques only) to:

SGI Canada
2050 Dufferin Street
Toronto, ON M6E 3R6
Attention: Carina Fong

Monthly Pre-Authorized Payment (PAP): Payments can be made by VISA Credit Card (not VISA Debit card) only and Debit chequings account. Forms could be emailed to: postmaster@sgicanada.org 

Annual Subscription: Any credit card accepted.

Forms available:

English and Chinese: http://sgicanada.org/publications

French: http://sgicanada.org/fr/publications

Contributions: If you or someone in your local organization wishes to make financial contributions at this time, please send a cheque (no cash please) to:

SGI Canada
2050 Dufferin Street
Toronto, ON M6E 3R6
Attention: Mai Ogushi


A Brief Message
The world has entered a new reality that has made President Ikeda’s 2020 Peace Proposal all the more relevant. Titled “Toward Our Shared Future: Constructing an Era of Human Solidarity,” he states, “The foundation of [first Soka Gakkai president Tsunesaburo] Makiguchi’s thinking was an awareness that this world is, more than anything, the site of shared living.”

We are in a situation today in which our cooperation and care for each other is crucial to the lives of countless others, possibly in places far from where we are living. As practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism and fellow members of the worldwide SGI family, our individual initiative in reaching out and caring for one person—especially since we can’t meet physically—can become a crucial factor in how that person is able to cope and feel hopeful. Let’s generate hope in our hearts through our powerful chanting of daimoku; and let’s create great waves of hope and encouragement through our self-motivated efforts to reach out to others, stretching ourselves beyond our previously assumed boundaries. Whenever we think of someone, let’s call that person right away or as soon as possible.

As the staff and responsible leaders of SGI Canada, we will redouble our efforts to support all the members and keep you informed of new developments and encouragement. 

Thank you very much,

Tony Meers
SGI Canada General Director

 

[1] Cf. Arnold J. Toynbee, “Can We Learn Lessons from History?” in Democracy in the Atomic Age: The Dyason Lectures 1956 (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1957), p. 16.

[2] Translated from Japanese. Soong Ch’ing-ling, So Keirei Senshu (Collected Writings of Soong Ch’ing-ling), translated from Chinese by Fumiko Niki (Tokyo: Domesu Shuppan Co., Ltd., 1979), p. 416.

 

有關新冠病毒之通訊

更新#3

2020年3月20日

 

給全體加拿大SGI幹部及學會員

在過去一週,新冠狀病毒於全球迅速蔓延,學校、商務及很多機構亦因此而關閉。這個做法的目的是希望透過社交隔離、在家工作(許可的話)、和取消旅遊來遏止蔓延速度。這個前所未有的全球危機,毫無疑問地引起了極度的壓力和憂慮。

為應對這個情況,加拿大SGI 會向大家更新訊息,並分享可讓大家學習的池田會長指導。從現在開始,所有這些的材料,將於我們的網站上發布,並在社交媒體上加以引用。中英文資料將放在網站的英語版,而法文資料將放在法語版。

 

池田會長鼓勵

 

以下摘文刊登於最近一期的《聖教新聞》

 

創造新時代

 

創價婦女希望與和平的明朗太陽

(摘文) 將刊登於新世紀2020年6月版

世界各國包括日本在內正盡最大努力遏止新冠狀病毒的蔓延。讓我們如獅子吼般唱出比以前更強而有力的題目,異體同心地祈求疫情早日完結,生活盡快返回正常。

再者,我與夫人香峰子衷心地祈求各位健康,與及各位如日出一般地每天派送聖教新聞的無冕之友的安全。

(摘自2020年3月3日《聖教新聞》)(意譯)

*   *   *

 

隨筆 「人間革命」大放光明

冬必為春  (將刊登於新世紀2020年5月版)

     現在,為防止「新型冠狀病毒肺炎(COVID-19)」擴大感染,國內外醫療工作者和整個社會都在為此盡全力。很多人不分晝夜竭盡辛勞,我對此深表感謝的同時,強烈深切地祈願疫情能夠盡早結束、恢復安穩的日常生活。

    湯因比博士曾呼籲:

    ──活在「危機時代」的人,要讓局勢往好的方向改善,把現在轉變為「幹偉業的時代」,要成為「黃金時代的先驅者」。

    我堅信,年輕的地涌勇士們定將和世界的同志攜起手來,一起堅強賢明豁朗地開創「黃金時代」。

    以下是我曾和以東北、北海道為首的全體同志反復拜讀的《開目抄》一節,希望我們大家再次把它銘記於心。

「我及我弟子,雖有諸難,若無疑心,自然得至佛界。勿疑天之無加護,勿嘆現世之未得安穩。」(御書251頁)

創價師弟在連續不斷的諸難中,在「關鍵時刻」斷然不忘貫徹這教導。正因為如此,所以每一個人能勝利地「自然得至佛界」。

今後,也讓我們在克服一個又一個難的同時,更進一步向地球社會擴展「佛界」這至極的生命大網絡吧!

 

123運動」

2003年,非典型肺炎「SARS」於世界各地流行,池田會長給會友的一個訊息中提到一個由香港和台灣推動的「1‧2‧3運動」。在對抗新冠狀病毒的疫情中,加拿大SGI也希望推行同樣的運動。這個運動包括:

今日我們並且可以通過互聯網的媒體進行視像會議,讓彼此無論是個人或群體也可以看到對方,藉此擴展我們的聯繫。

 

以下是2003年6月13日 《聖教新聞》中池田會長的指導摘文 :

池田會長鼓勵

 

全國縣長會議 (節錄)

變毒為藥

日蓮大聖人的佛法是生命和宇宙的永遠法則、是絕對幸福的軌道。

任何人都有煩惱和問題。只要以信心為根本來進行對抗的話,就必定能夠變毒為藥,克服一切,爭取到滿足的勝利人生。只有大聖人的佛法能使我們在任何情況之下,都得以取得勝利。

希望大家能持著勇氣來貫徹信心,變得幸福。

被譽為中國的良心的宋慶齡女士說:「只有不畏困難的人才能到達幸福的頂峰。」

 

徹底鼓勵!123運動 

自去年以來,世界各地流行非典型肺炎「SARS」。除了為死者祈禱冥福之外,我衷心祈求非典型肺炎能早日根除。

 

香港、台灣、星加坡和加拿大等各地的SGI(國際創價學會)同志,大家團結起來,互相鼓勵,與病魔作戰。

 

SGI的醫生和護士在醫療現場勇敢地獻身於救人的使命。

這些地區由於非典型肺炎的影響,長期不能舉行多人參加的會議。

就在這情況之下,大家設法利用電話等來保持聯絡,互相關懷,給會員和朋友帶來希望。

 

香港和台灣的會友更在家裏展開「1‧2‧3運動」。所謂「1‧2‧3」運動,就是:

、每天一小時以上的題目。

、每天用二十分鐘以上的時間拜讀御書和鑽研學會指導。

、每天打電話給三個以上的朋友,鼓勵對方。

 

自從發生非典型肺炎事件以來,大部分人都留在家裏,減少在晚上外出。

SGI的同志正好利用這機會來擴大和加強會員間的聯繫。比方說,打電話給一直以來很難取得聯絡的會員和朋友,通過傾談、加深瞭解。

 

據說,由於大家留在家裏,父母乘機教孩子勤行,而沒有入信的丈夫,則在家裏開始看學會的機關報和書籍,加深了對信心的理解。

這「利用電話進行鼓勵」的活動,引起了社會的共鳴。

 

我們的同志,不向任何困難環境屈服,堅強地為地區和社會作出崇高的貢獻。

大聖人說:「妙者,蘇生之義;蘇生者,復甦之義。」(法華經題目抄,御書979頁)

 

妙法絕不會使我們陷入窮途末路。儘管目前遇到多大的困難,也堅決為法、為人和為社會奮鬥。這行動和歷史,定必為我們於日後帶來豐碩的成果。

一分耕耘,一分收獲,所經辛勞,必定能夠令本身變得堅強、成長和得以渡過有價值的人生。一切辛勞都將變為財寶。這就是信心的世界。不是眼前的利益。我們必定能夠沈浸在「冥益」這無窮的功德之中。

 ( 摘自2003年6月13日 全國縣長會議池田會長指導)

 

暫停活動和會館關閉

加拿大SGI所有會面的活動將繼續暫停,會館也繼續關閉,直到最少4月尾。

 

新會友

於這段期間,如果有朋友想加入加拿大SGI ,我們鼓勵大家在地區會(視像會)、或廣宣流布會(視像會)中一起舉行和慶祝。讓我們盡能力鼓勵每一個人!

 

繼續保持聯絡

現在比起以往更重要地跟每一個人保持聯絡。在這個時候,我們不能期盼在開會中互相見面,因此我們一定要主動聯絡每一個人,尤其對年長者和那些沒有電腦上網的人,我們更要特別用電話問候。在我們為家人、朋友和同志祈求的同時,讓我們的心中把他們的臉容一個一個的勾畫出來,而且要主動地關懷每一個人。

 

教學基礎考試

「日蓮佛法教學基礎初級考試」結果已經打印出來,成績表原於這個月的地區會中交給各位參加者。然而,由於現在不可能如此般做,加上不想在這個時候加重郵政員工的工作量,我們邀請參加者電郵加拿大SGI教學部study@sgicanada.org。然後我們會把成績回電郵給你們。當可以的時候,我們會分發成績表給大家。

訂閱及供養

訂閱:如果你或你所屬地方的學會有人在這個時候想訂閱刊物,請在網站上下載及打印訂閱申請表,然後填好附上支票寄給:

SGI Canada
2050 Dufferin Street
Toronto, ON M6E 3R6
Attention: Carina Fong

每月預授權付款(PAP):只能使用VISA信用卡(而非VISA提款卡)及支票帳戶進行付款。

年度訂閱:接受任何信用卡

可用表格:

英文和中文:http://sgicanada.org/publications

法語:http://sgicanada.org/fr/publications

 

供養:如果你或你所屬地方的學會有人想做供養, 請把支票 ( 不可以用現金 ) 寄給 :

SGI Canada
2050 Dufferin Street
Toronto, ON M6E 3R6
Attention: Mai Ogushi

 

簡單信息

世界已進入一個新的現實環境,它讓池田會長「2020年的和平宣言」顯得更見相關。在名為 「建設人類的共生時代 」的和平宣言中,他說:「牧口(初代會長牧口常三郎)的想法,就是對「世界最重要的意義,就是共生的場地」的認知。」(意譯)

在今天我們身處的境況下,我們彼此間的相互合作與關懷,將對無數可能遠於我們生活地方的其他人之生命帶來重要影響。作為日蓮佛法的修行者,以及全世界SGI大家庭的同志們,我們接近和關懷每一個人的這個行動,尤其在這個難以親身見面的時刻,能成為一個重要的關鍵,讓這一個人變得有力量面對困境和感到有希望。讓我們通過強而有力的題目,在自身心中發放希望,我們並且要走出自我界定的範圍,自發地接近和關心別人,從而創造出巨大的希望與鼓舞浪潮。當我們想到任何人時,就讓我們立即或盡快打電話給他。

作為加拿大SGI的職員和負責任的幹部,我們將加倍努力支持所有會友,並更新各位有關新的發展和鼓勵。

十分感謝大家! 

東尼梅亞斯

加拿大SGI理事長