SGI Canada Celebrates Soka Gakkai Day
By Dwight Rudisuela, Ottawa
Toronto (photographed by Tom Hamilton)
SGI Canada commemorated May 3rd Soka Gakkai Day and Soka Gakkai Mothers Day in high spirits on May 5 throughout the country.
May 3rd is the anniversary of the inauguration of both second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda in 1951 and third Soka Gakkai president Daisaku Ikeda in 1960. For more details see http://www.sgi.org/resources/study-materials/the-significance-of-may-3.html
Since 1988, May 3 has also been designated "Soka Gakkai Mothers Day" in the spirit of appreciation for the sincere efforts of all women practitioners. It has become a tradition in SGI Canada to sing the song “Mother” (Ha Ha in Japanese) to honour them. The newly formed men’s chorus called the “Life Transformers” in Calgary as well as groups in other locations sang this song with gratitude in their hearts for the great efforts the women practitioners make. In Winnipeg, the men’s group members delivered readings of two poems to mothers written by President Ikeda sharing their deep appreciation for the influence of their own mothers on their lives. In Edmonton all of the women received a flower at the end of the meeting.
Throughout the country other cultural performances raised the spirits of those in attendance. In Montreal the youth sang an African song from Togo and performed a dance. In Toronto the Niagara chorus sang “Flowers of the Field” a favourite of Mrs. Ikeda who likes it because it shows the heroic spirit of ordinary people. They also sang “Thank You” about appreciating others as well as appreciating one’s mentor written and composed by SGI Canada practitioner, the late Kiki Misumi. In Edmonton, a children’s choir sang “Ode to joy”, the youth band comprised of mostly young men performed and the young women performed a beautiful dance.
There were many heartfelt experiences in using the Buddhist practice to better one’s life at the meetings. In Ottawa, one person related her overcoming her struggle with her daughter’s death by writing a book that is helping others overcome their grief. In Toronto, one woman explained how chanting helps her struggle with her anxiety and how reading the New Human Revolution which she feels is like receiving guidance from President Ikeda to help navigate through her obstacles. There were many other experiences of overcoming work, illness and relationship problems given throughout the country.
At many locations there were new people officially joining SGI Canada. They expressed their gratitude to having met the practice that has helped them improve their lives.
Ottawa (photographed by Glenn Turner)
At the Vancouver meeting organized by Area 1 and Area 4 the youth were totally involved as in other parts of the country. They emceed, read from Nichiren Daishonin’s writings and President Ikeda’s editorial.
In his editorial which was read at all the meetings, SGI President Ikeda was especially encouraging to the youth saying that together with the youth, whose precious lives are filled with limitless potential, let’s forge ahead confidently in our efforts to perpetuate the teaching of the Mystic Law.
Calgary (photographed by Henry Cheng)