Youth Training Course A Life Changer
By Jacqueline Churphongphun, Calgary
SGI Canada youth leaders participate in the SGI Youth Training Course in Japan
Beginning on March 7, eight representative SGI Canada youth leaders attended the SGI Youth Training Course in Tokyo, Japan. They joined in with 250 representative youth leaders from 65 countries and territories in the six-day course.
This year, the youth training course was earlier than usual to coincide with the World Youth General Meeting held on March 11, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Kosen-rufu Day (March 16, 1958). This meeting was simulcast live at 1,500 venues throughout Japan and other parts of the world where 750,000 SGI youth could participate.
At this meeting, I felt that everyone transcended nationality, ethnicity and all other differences to come together for the sake of kosen-rufu. I felt what it was like to achieve world peace at this meeting with so many different people gathered in unity. I will never forget that moment.
What an amazing and life-changing experience it was to participate in this youth training course. It really went above and beyond all my expectations of deepening my faith, seeking President Ikeda’s compassionate spirit and connecting with the SGI family internationally. Starting from the warm welcome at the airport and the friendly hospitality that all the local members showed to the overseas members, to the deep karmic friendship that we all forged together with other countries before leaving, I can really sense the world coming together for the sake of peace.
One of my determinations before going to Japan was to ensure my health was in the best condition in order to fully participate and not miss out on anything. As well as to bring that same energy and life condition back to Calgary to share with others and to participate in as many March 16 meetings as I can. This was a huge victory for me.
In the end, although we never got to physically meet President Ikeda, I know he was watching very closely over our activities and ensured every little detail was looked after for our own comfort. I really felt his spirit through the members who cared for us.
My determination is to:
- Win in the morning by chanting one hour every day
- Read and study the Gosho
- Foster the young women in Calgary so that each district will have at least one young women’s leader
This training course has provided so much time for exchanging and encountering members from other countries. The exchanges occurred so naturally many times over shared meals and bus rides. It’s been so wonderful learning how the SGI movement is developing in South America and Africa. It has been profoundly encouraging to witness how President Ikeda's spirit has spread throughout the world and truly building a worldwide network for peace. Amy Hrdina, Toronto
Being present at the World Youth General Meeting in Japan was a very special moment for me. I have never felt that kind of powerful connection with SGI members from all over the world fighting for kosen-rufu so strongly. I felt like I am one with President Ikeda. I will make sure to strive to do my very best and support all high school students to awaken to their unique mission. Christopher Sunagawa, Toronto
Through this training course I have engraved the shared vow of mentor and disciple in my heart. I will achieve kosen-rufu in Canada! Together with the youth of Canada, we will forge a new path for peace and win in our lives. Canada will carry the baton for peace and emerge as joyful and victorious champions. I will never give up no matter what obstacles arise. I will fulfill my potential and my mission from now and to eternity with President Ikeda. This is the training I received in Japan and I will never forget it. Alex Meers, Toronto
The guidance I received pierced my fundamental darkness, cutting to the core of my life. Rather than using the practice for my personal success, I am now fully resolved to be victorious for the sake of kosen-rufu as a musician. Because of this focus on my true mission, I know I will win in every aspect of my life. Ryan Brouwer, Toronto
What a significant training course! I felt so united with youth around the world especially when we chanted so powerfully together. President Ikeda's heart permeated this entire week through messages and little details and the radiant smiles of the local staff and practitioners. I am so appreciative of my parents for introducing me to this world changing religion. This week, I was able to feel the magnitude of our collective mission as SGI Canada. I am determined to engrave the spirit of my mentor in my life and realize the vision of absolute happiness in Canadian society. Young women of Canada, let's run together! Casey Ng, Toronto
I am very grateful to President Ikeda and the SGI staff who gave us continuous support and care throughout the training course. Meeting youth from around the world is a testament to President Ikeda's compassion and dedication to humanity. I am honoured to have represented my country and fellow practitioners at this training course. Thank you! Andre Ghoshal, Vancouver
I was able to create a new prime point with President Ikeda during this training course, an eternal prime point which I will continue to go back to. I am excited to advance Canadian kosen-rufu like never before! I am determined to unite with the women's group and be a driving force for our expansion toward our goal of 10,000. With the heart of appreciation, I will challenge myself to put my chanting first and always start with my own human revolution. Mai Ogushi, Toronto