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Travelling on the Road to Happiness

By Kate Greco, Toronto

Vista District women's general meeting in OttawaVista District, Ottawa

In her message to the Women’s Group General Meetings, SGI Canada Women’s Leader, Helen Izumi-Choi said, “We celebrate as women, as true friends, travelling the journey of life and advancing on the road to happiness together…We strive to bring happiness to everyone in our lives—our family, our friends, our co-workers and our neighbours—convinced that this is the road to peace and kosen-rufu.”

The women’s meetings across the country were a culmination of months of chanting, visiting, encouraging and preparing. One of the districts prepared a Banghra dance, and for months, the women in the group met weekly to chant and rehearse. Their colourful performance brought joy to everyone in the room. 

One of the newly formed districts held their gathering as a tea party, providing a friendly, informal opportunity to share this Buddhism with their guests. 

Sitka District women's meeting in VancouverSitka District, Vancouver

We had the good fortune to receive a message of encouragement from SGI President Ikeda. He quoted his mentor, President Toda, saying, “There may be times when we face serious problems and painful suffering in our daily life or in our family. If we continue to persevere courageously in faith, and remain true to our Buddhist practice to the very end, we are certain to show joyous proof of the tremendous benefits of the Mystic Law in our life.  We can come to embrace everything with our expansive life state of Buddhahood.” 

Montreal's District de la fontaineMontreal's District de la fontaine

This guidance was exemplified in the experiences that were shared by the women at the meetings. One woman described having been paralyzed for four months following the removal of a brain tumour. Although she couldn’t move or speak, she continued to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo inside, never, for a moment doubting that she would have a full recovery. She is now completely mobile and healthy, and fully supporting herself through her work. 

Other women shared experiences of abundant chanting for their children’s success in school and work, reporting joy-filled victories.

Richmond Hill North District women's meeting in OntarioRichmond Hill North District, Ontario

Our faith is strengthened, and our ability to have hope is magnified when we hear of others’ victories. We need to be reminded that we “voluntarily assume the karma” in order to be able to overcome obstacles and encourage others through our lived experiences. 

A special thank you goes out to all the families that opened their homes to host our meetings. Together, let’s continue to chant to meet those individuals in our immediate environment who are seeking this Buddhism. As President Ikeda encourages us to always live cheerfully and strive to create harmony, let’s each one of us enact an inspiring drama of the great triumph of our personal human revolution.

Treasure District women's meeting in Winnipeg Treasure District, Winnipeg