Jan 28, 2015

A Shared Pledge for a More Humane Future: To Eliminate Misery from the Earth

Daisaku Ikeda, president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Buddhist association, has issued his 2015 peace proposal, "A Shared Pledge for a More Humane Future: To Eliminate Misery from the Earth."

In the proposal, Ikeda welcomes the ambitious scale of the United Nations' proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which call for putting an end to poverty "in all its forms everywhere." In the 70th year since the UN was created, he calls for a return to its founding spirit, as well as for increased collaboration between the UN and civil society.

In order to lay the foundations for elimination of the human suffering caused by poverty and conflict, he stresses a need for the rehumanization of politics and economics based on a solidarity of ordinary citizens, for empowerment that enables people to overcome suffering and for a broadening of the sphere of our friendships and concern for others as a basis for building peace.

Ikeda makes specific proposals for protection of the rights of displaced persons and others living outside of their country of origin for economic reasons. He suggests including in the SDGs the protection of the dignity and human rights of all such people, and calls for regional cooperation toward the empowerment of displaced persons, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East, building on pioneering initiatives in West Africa

Regarding the abolition of nuclear weapons, a consistent theme of Ikeda's proposals, he applauds the fact that in October 2014, a total of 155 countries and territories signed the Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons. Over 80% of UN member states have now clearly stated that nuclear weapons should be never used under any circumstances.

Ikeda asserts that while the gulf between the nuclear-weapon states and those calling for nuclear abolition appears great, there is common ground in the desire to avoid the horrific outcome of any use of nuclear weapons. He urges heads of government to attend the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference and calls on them to voice there the pledges of their governments to eliminate the danger posed by nuclear weapons.

Planning is underway for a World Youth Summit for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons to be held in Hiroshima in September as a joint initiative of SGI and other NGOs. Ikeda hopes a youth declaration pledging to end the nuclear age will be adopted, building momentum in support of a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons.

In his proposal, Ikeda also calls for increased regional cooperation and youth exchange, specifically urging China, South Korea and Japan to come together to create a regional model for such collaboration.

He stresses the importance of reviving trilateral China-Korea-Japan summits and hopes that leaders of the three countries can mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II with a pledge never to go to war again and regional cooperation in support of the SDGs.

At the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction to be held in Sendai, Japan, in March, Ikeda mentions that SGI will organize a workshop in which representatives of the three countries will discuss possible regional cooperation in disaster prevention, relief activities and post-disaster recovery.

He also hopes to see the establishment of a China-Korea-Japan youth partnership through which young people can cooperate in efforts to realize the SDGs and other trilateral initiatives.

Buddhist philosopher, author and peacebuilder Daisaku Ikeda (1928 - ), president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) lay Buddhist organization, has issued a peace proposal offering ways forward in tackling global challenges every year since 1983.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of SGI in Guam on January 26, 1975. SGI now links over 12 million people in 192 countries and territories around the world who practice Nichiren Buddhism and contribute to their communities. SGI's activities to promote peace, culture and education are part of the longstanding tradition of Buddhist humanism.

Oct 31, 2014

Boy George: 'I'm Catholic In My Complications And Buddhist In My Aspirations'

 Watch Interview here

Boy George offered an eloquent explanation of his evolving spirituality during a conversation with HuffPost Live on Wednesday.
The music icon, who is set to reunite with his band Culture Club for a tour this year, is a mix of many ideas. He had a "strong Catholic upbringing," he eventually became a vegetarian thanks to preaching from Hare Krishna devotees, and he's practiced Nichiren Buddhism for the last four years.
"I always say I'm Catholic in my complications and Buddhist in my aspirations," Boy George told HuffPost Live's Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani.

Embracing Buddhism, which includes "morning gongyo," has made a significant impact on him.
"It's a practice that improves my life on a daily basis," Boy George said. "It changes the way I behave. It changes the way I behave towards myself, towards other people, and I would highly recommend it."

TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc

Oct 13, 2014

Sep 18, 2014

Making a Change in One's Heart

"The Lotus Sutra has the drama of fighting for justice against evil. It has a warmth that comforts the weary. It has a vibrant, pulsing courage that drives away fear. It has a chorus of joy at attaining absolute freedom throughout past, present and future......
It offers unsurpassed lessons on psychology , the workings of the human heart; lessons on life; lessons on happiness; and lessons on peace. It maps out the basic rules for good health. It awakens us to the universal truth that a change on one's heart can transform everything"

(The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, vol. 1, p. 14).

Daisaku Ikeda
Living Buddhism -Nov/Dec 2006

Aug 28, 2014

The Heart is Most Important

The human heart is sensitive, multifaceted and rich; it has the capacity for magnificent achievement. For that very reason, the heart often undergoes great suffering and torment, and can become trapped in an endless, downward spiral. Will we transmigrate forever along the paths of evil, or can we succeed in directing our lives into an orbit of good? As evidenced in many of his writings, Nichiren repeatedly stresses the crucial importance of life, the potential resides for dramatic shifts from evil to good or good to evil. That is why Nichiren's teaching of enlightenment can be viewed as a process that begins with inner change. In other words, through the power of faith, we can defeat the negative functions inside of us that are governed by the fundamental darkness in all human hearts and manifest the positive functions of life that are one with Dharma nature- our Buddhahood.

Living Buddhism- Sept- Oct 2006

Aug 18, 2014

Aug 4, 2014

Viewing Illness as an Opportunity

"Buddhism views illness as an opportunity to attain a higher, nobler state of life. It teaches that, instead of agonizing over a serious disease or despairing  of ever overcoming it, we should use illness as a means to build a strong, compassionate self, which in turn will make it possible for us to be truly victorious. This is what Nichiren meant when he stated, 'Illness gives rise to the resolve to attain the way'"

(Unlocking the Mysteries of Birth and Death, p. 53).