SGI Canada Participates in 2017 Spring Training Course
By Ocean Chen, Waterloo, Ontario
SGI Canada representative leaders participate in the SGI Spring Training Course in Tokyo
The SGI Spring Training Course in Japan took place from May 10-18. For this event, 255 members from 52 countries, including eight participants from Canada, went to Japan to deepen their faith in Nichiren Buddhism.
During the training course we had the opportunity to visit different places of significance to remind us of our vow in creating a society based on the humanistic ideals of peace and respect for life as taught in Nichiren Buddhism. Some of the places we visited included the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum, Min-On Culture Center, Tokyo Makiguchi Memorial Hall, Soka University and The Tokyo Toda Memorial Hall.
The Fuji Art Museum and The Min-On Culture Center are buildings that feature visual art and music respectively. Art comes in many forms. But in any form, it comes from the heart. It is beauty that people can experience and appreciate each story behind the masterpiece. The two buildings themselves echoed President Ikeda’s strong message that through appreciation and respect for culture the strongest bonds can be formed in pursuit of world peace. As a Canadian I feel that this is something that we sometimes take for granted, but am also very proud that appreciation for diversity is so common in our society that it can be taken for granted.
Soka University, The Tokyo Makiguchi Memorial Hall, and the Tokyo Toda Memorial Hall stand as symbols for the ever-growing importance of humanistic education in achieving world peace. The buildings contain exhibits that pronounce the need for humanity in education. It was a reminder that knowledge is abundant in today’s world, but it is what we do with the knowledge – our wisdom – that is important. In 1995 President Ikeda spoke at Tribhuvan University in Nepal, and on wisdom he remarked:
To be master of one’s mind means to cultivate the wisdom that resides in the inner recesses of our lives, and which wells forth in inexhaustible profusion only when we are moved by a compassionate determination to serve humankind, to serve people.
All of the meetings during the Spring Training Course were a huge success. The presentations went smoothly and participants were able to enjoy themselves without incident. The nine-day training course packed with meetings spoke to the preparation of the staff. The Gajokai, Sokahan and Byakuren (support staff working behind the scenes) worked diligently to ensure that every participant was taken care of so they could focus on the sessions. The earnest work of these groups truly echoed my main highlight of the training course, the mentor-disciple spirit; that is, the unequivocal, sincere efforts to foster ourselves and others as warriors for humanity.
Because of the cool weather preceding the training course we were showered with the beauty of 700 blooming cherry trees at Soka University. These 51 year old trees had been the wish of second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda which his disciple Daisaku Ikeda fulfilled. The whole week was a reminder to me of the mentor and disciple relationship whether in the smiling faces and passionate hearts of the leaders and members in Japan or in the new friendships found within our Canadian group and with people from all over the world. Paula Reich, Edmonton
This was the first time for me to attend the SGI training course in Japan in my 12-year practice. From the beginning to the end, I felt the purpose of this training course was to inherit the spirit of the “oneness of mentor and disciple.” I determined to read through all the 30 volumes of The New Human Revolution, which allows me to communicate with my mentor, SGI President Ikeda, every day. Ayako Ochi, Toronto
To me the Spring Training Course was an opportunity to truly understand in my heart the meaning of “many in body but one in mind." I felt a deep sense of gratitude and comradeship meeting with other wonderful Canadian members, Japanese members in Ichikawa, the behind-the-scenes staff and members from around the world. Short dialogues with members which consisted of sharing the struggles and victories toward kosen-rufu was both humbling and inspiring. Every moment was a memorable moment! Sowel Kang, Toronto
The many messages from President Ikeda, personal guidance and Mr. Masaaki Morinaka’s lecture truly refreshed my spirit and determination for kosen-rufu. The beautiful Soka University, beautiful cherry blossoms and great SGI members from around the world were inspiring. I am proud to be a SGI Canada member! Charles Ukisu, Calgary
It’s been 24 years since SGI President Ikeda and Mrs. Ikeda’s last visited Vancouver. This year on my first training course in Japan, I brought with me the spirit of appreciation and the eternal bond of mentor and disciple. During the seven day activities, we were surrounded by brother and sister-like Soka Gakkai members, as well as the presence of the spirit behind the three founding presidents' hearts. From the study of the Gosho “On Repaying Debts of Gratitude,” I learned to start afresh and repay our gratitude to our mentor with actions to realize my own human revolution and kosen-rufu.
Siu-wan Ng, Vancouver