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Study Conference: A Driving Force for Introducing Others

By John Hunter, Toronto

 

The 2017 Caledon Study Conference was held from September 7-10. Fifty-two participants joyously studied Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism, embracing the theme for the conference, “Practice and Study—the driving force for introducing others to Buddhism.” 

Sadaji Mori, from the SGI Canada Study Department, started off our first session with an insightful presentation on the basics of Buddhism. The topic of “karma,” proved to be an invaluable lesson in clarifying some of our misconceptions. 

Kate Greco, Central Region Women's leader, delivered an inspiring overview of the Five Eternal Guidelines of the Soka Gakkai, and Mai Ogushi, SGI Canada Young Women's leader, presented a session on “The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra” in a practical and easy to understand language.

There were two lively discussion groups, centring on how to do introduce others to the practice. 

This Study Conference marked the 50th anniversary of second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda’s famous declaration on September 8, 1957, calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons, at a meeting of 50,000 members of the Soka Gakkai youth division at Mitsuzawa Stadium in Yokohama, Japan.

The Q&A session led by SGI Canada General Director, Tony Meers, thoroughly answered important questions submitted prior to the actual meeting. Earlier in the conference, Sadaji Mori encouraged us to take the initiative in pondering and researching any question that we may have. 

The Saturday talent night extravaganza glowed with the pure hearts of those giving experiences, and those who presented in song and dance. 

On the last day of the conference, one of the participants, officially joined SGI Canada and gave a stirring determination, expressing his commitment and appreciation toward the practice. 

As we departed, topping off four straight days of perfect weather, most of us determined to come back again to next year's study conference in 2018. 

As one participant said, "This was an exceptionally great Caledon conference. My major take- away is to refuse to be defeated by my fundamental darkness. I feel as if SGI is on a great new era of study, in our new era of spiritual liberation. Thanks to all who organized this event"