In this section we offer resources for the SGEs discussion meetings; namely: a quote that sheds light on the relevance of the efforts that crystallise on these gatherings («Globally»), a presentation of the groups that sustain them («Locally»), a passage from the writings of Nichiren Daishonin commented by Daisaku Ikeda («Advancing with the Gosho»), a «Perspective» and some «Keywords».
“In this significant year (…) discussion meetings brimming with fresh vitality are being held everywhere. They are attended by new members with whom we share deep karmic ties, as well as many friends and acquaintances. Discussion meetings are gatherings where Buddhist dialogue blossoms. Infused with the light of hope, they are always bright with smiles.
First Soka Gakkai president Tsunesaburo Makiguchi placed particular importance on discussion meetings. During World War II, authorities bent on repressing his just and humane activities filed charges against him. Those documents mention that Mr. Makiguchi conducted more than 240 discussion meetings at one Tokyo venue alone over a two-year period (between May 1941 and June 1943). He was already in his early 70s at the time.
Mr. Makiguchi called these gatherings ‘discussion meetings offering experimental evidence’ and ‘discussion meetings proving the way of life of great good.’ (…)
Furthermore, by ‘great good,’ he meant the highest good of all.
True to these descriptions, Soka Gakkai discussion meetings are gatherings where people enthusiastically discuss the actual proof they see in their lives from testing out the principles of Nichiren Buddhism.”
In the origins of Buddhism, we find a “discussion meeting”—the one that Shakyamuni held, after attaining enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, with the Pancavaggiya monks, five ascetics with whom he had shared austerities before. This took place in the Deer Park in Sarnath. The wallpaper chosen for their virtual meeting by the members of this discussion group in Barcelona—which has an inspiring name—reminds us of such episodes. It also confirms that the proliferation of smiles that—as we read above these lines—the Soka discussion meetings give rise to, happens in the most diverse environments.
ADVANCING WITH THE GOSHO
(The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind, WND-1, p. 376).
“This is a passage from ‘The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind,’ elucidating the principle that Buddhism is manifested in society. Both Mr. Makiguchi and Mr. Toda frequently discussed it. (…)
The phrase ‘knows the Lotus Sutra’ means to have a deep understanding of the essence of Buddhism. Because of the relationship between Buddhism and worldly affairs, one who thoroughly grasps the teachings of Buddhism can also understand the essence of all matters in society.
In terms of our daily existence, this means that by embracing the Mystic Law we can bring forth wisdom and show actual proof of our Buddhist practice in our work, our lives, and every aspect of society. (…)
Through our Buddhist practice, we find fresh hope and a clearer understanding of our life’s fundamental purpose. We build an unshakable foundation and unlock the courage to rise to life’s challenges and the strength to persevere. We experience boundless joy. This is the true benefit of faith. Nichiren Buddhism is a teaching of inner transformation, a religion of human revolution, and a philosophy of genuine humanism.
Because we practice Nichiren Buddhism, whenever we encounter problems or difficulties, we chant earnestly, make efforts, and come up with new ideas toward finding a solution. We bring forth tremendous wisdom and life force to overcome our hardships. We can thus be said to ‘understand the meaning of all worldly affairs’.”
In the same lecture that inspires the other parts of this section, Daisaku Ikeda cites a well-known guidance “Regard your service to your lord as the practice of the Lotus Sutra” that Nichiren Daishonin gave to the samurai called Shijo Kingo, and hence to all his disciples.  He also shares some words of his mentor, Josei Toda, both kind and strict at the same time, “People who fail to notice the weaknesses in their business or consider ways to improve it should seriously reflect on themselves. It’s vital that you keep studying and learning about your business and strive to do better. My wish is that you, my dear fellow members, will come to ‘understand the meaning of all worldly affairs’ as quickly as possible in the context of your own work and lead secure lives.”
Embracing the Mystic Law · Show actual proof · Understanding of our life’s purpose