I practice Nichiren Buddhism, a philosophy that embraces humanistic principles and allows people to live to their fullest potential to find true fulfillment and happiness. I’m also a member of Soka Gakkai International, an organization for practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism to connect with and inspire one another. Recently, I was asked to prepare a brief, introductory presentation on the fundamentals of Nichiren Buddhism for a meeting. I started by creating a Google Doc and typing out notes and points that I want to cover. When it came time to putting all the information together, I realized that with some tweaking, I already had what I needed.

I was a little hesitant to share this on my blog since it’s not the typical literary scenery that I create. But my obsession with poetry from a young age is where my love for writing all began. I begged my parents to buy me new journals every month because I’ve filled it up with poems. Nowadays, I write about the events I go to, the races I run and the things I learn. I rarely post any creative writing I do just because I’m not sure how much the content would align with the type of blog I’m trying to create. But I’d like for this to be an exception. And perhaps I’ll start sharing more creative work. So ladies and gentlemen, this is a raw expression of what Nichiren Buddhism means to me:

What is Nichiren Buddhism?
It’s a foundation.
An invitation.
And a disruption to what we think happiness is.
A dream job?
A lifetime partner?
A majestic bank account?
Yes, we could say all of the above.
But it is much more.
It’s an appreciation for devastation.
A delight for obstacles.
A welcoming for brutal challenges.
We chant nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
A repetition of this oration called daimoku.
Towards the Gohonzon, a mirror of our life.
Morning.
And evening.
Alone.
And with others.
To elevate our life condition.
To reflect on our fortunes.
To challenge our potential.
This is what we call “human revolution.”
It’s realizing that our capacity is limitless.
It’s creating a tidal wave of inspiration.
It’s the process of harmonizing wisdom with experience.
We follow examples of people just like us.
Tsunesaburo Makiguchi.
Josei Toda.
Daisaku Ikeda.
Real leaders who started out with a mission.
Complemented with their passion.
And never forgot to take action.
We call them our mentors.
Our Buddhist fathers.
Who encourage us to study hard.
Chant with a vibrant voice.
And be the best versions of ourselves every day.
They built this community.
This network.
This family.
The person on your left.
The person on your right.
The people that fill this room today, in this moment.
We are Soka Gakkai, a value-creating society.
A movement to bring profound change to our hearts.
And also a movement to bring peace to society.
192 countries and territories.
But only scratching the surface.
Our lives are not predestined.
Not planned out.
We are the writers of our own stories.
We are the heroes of our own narratives.
We start our own human revolution.
With a simple pulse of nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

Cheers,

Riri