Page 1 of 1

Creating an alternative/how to move forward

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:41 pm
by hopefullotus
A couple weeks ago, I hosted a youth meeting at my house and advised my fellow friends that I have some serious concerns about SGI. I love SGI and it has done a lot for me over the past ten years. But it is no longer substantial and I think new members are not getting the point of the practice because the same topics are constantly simplified and recycled.

So we made our own group, NOT to replace SGI but as a supplement. Something that can be open to both outside sources as well as deeper study. This is a balancing act. As I've seen repeated on this forum, SGI has gone too far into the simplification. For the intro level, that's fine. But for us who want a deeper understanding...?

I have felt that this practice is very serious and that this practice is my life. Not everyone will jive with that and that's ok. But there are youth out there that want more...

I guess my question is: how do I maintain a balance in this little supplemental group so that people can bring outside resources and also encourage deeper study of Nichiren and the Lotus Sutra?

If anyone has suggestions, I'm open. I've brought my concerns to fellow leaders. One senior leader actually told me I can pick my mentor (since I have qualms with Ikeda being the default mentor - cool guy but doesn't always get me to go deeper)... in this sense, Nichiren feels like my mentor (I frequently imagine myself as a samurai chanting at his side - weird probably).

I'm going to keep going to meetings and encourage people to see mentor/disciple as more about the *spirit* than the person... and to encourage deeper study. But I'd still welcome input. There is of course resistance from the organization itself to change. Some have suggested this will change when Ikeda dies. I'm not sure and also...why wait?

Re: Creating an alternative/how to move forward

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:29 pm
by Queequeg
(looks around the room)

Uh, you ever get the feeling others are already in on what you're just coming around to? There's already a club for this.

:rolling:

I won't spoil how this thought process ends.

Re: Creating an alternative/how to move forward

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:48 pm
by hopefullotus
I get that these online places are a great resource... I've been learning a lot!

But I guess I'm asking how to actively create change in the org? Because I've tried and I've gotten resistance. I'm not sure what to do to be more effective with what I'm presenting.

Re: Creating an alternative/how to move forward

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:54 pm
by Queequeg
Good luck. People with much more pull than you can imagine have tried and ended up giving up. The power of least common denominator. You're dealing with an organization that is part of the Japanese government. Power is deep, heavy and well funded. Momentum is set and they've already dealt with you and people like you.

Re: Creating an alternative/how to move forward

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:13 pm
by Queequeg
But good luck!

Re: Creating an alternative/how to move forward

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:17 pm
by Yavana
You'd have better luck spreading Shinto throughout the American South while dressed as the opposite sex or chanting alone until you explode into coherent, living light.

Re: Creating an alternative/how to move forward

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:47 am
by narhwal90
Far as i'm concerned theres nothing wrong with studying as you please in and out of sgi. i've been sharing stuff from "outside" with other members, one to one- some of them leaders. its been well accepted, i think quite a few people are interested in dharma beyond the usual.

Re: Creating an alternative/how to move forward

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:51 am
by anjali
Yavana wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:17 pm
You'd have better luck spreading Shinto throughout the American South while dressed as the opposite sex or chanting alone until you explode into coherent, living light.
You made my day! :lol:

Re: Creating an alternative/how to move forward

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:22 am
by Yavana
anjali wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:51 am
Yavana wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:17 pm
You'd have better luck spreading Shinto throughout the American South while dressed as the opposite sex or chanting alone until you explode into coherent, living light.
You made my day! :lol:
I figure if I can keep whoever monitors individuals on US watchlists for potential religious extremists laughing, they'll come for me last.

:hi:

Just kidding. Anyway, gotta go apply for a loan and stamp this envelope for the charity I intend to donate to in Israel after I get done watching these Kamala Harris videos in Spanish my Muslim friend recommended to me. :heart:

Re: Creating an alternative/how to move forward

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:32 am
by gohonzon
Queequeg wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:54 pm
Good luck. People with much more pull than you can imagine have tried and ended up giving up. The power of least common denominator. You're dealing with an organization that is part of the Japanese government. Power is deep, heavy and well funded. Momentum is set and they've already dealt with you and people like you.

May I say that your statement, though filled with rascal impunity is indeed filled with wisdom.

Re: Creating an alternative/how to move forward

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:54 pm
by Queequeg
Folks, I realize the subject matter is pushing the envelope of what is acceptable for the SGI sub-forum and is fraught with volatile history, but let's keep the discussion positive and constructive. I will be the first to take that guidance.

Re: Creating an alternative/how to move forward

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:59 pm
by hopefullotus
narhwal90 wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:47 am
Far as i'm concerned theres nothing wrong with studying as you please in and out of sgi. i've been sharing stuff from "outside" with other members, one to one- some of them leaders. its been well accepted, i think quite a few people are interested in dharma beyond the usual.
I've had some positive responses when I've done that and some not so positive. But yes, you're right there are people who are interested in dharma beyond the usual. Thanks for your statement since it feels encouraging.

Re: Creating an alternative/how to move forward

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:59 am
by KiwiNFLFan
What changes are you going to make in your new group? I'm interested because I'm still technically a member of SGI, but I don't practice their form of Buddhism or go to meetings. I too have felt that SGI has simplified too much and gone too far astray from standard Mahayana Buddhism. I also don't like the simplicity of their worship and worship spaces. I visited beautiful temples when I was in Japan that were ornately decorated and I attended a Jodo Shinshu service at Tsukiji Hongwanji Temple in Tokyo, and they were so much more beautiful than SGI services. It's like comparing a three course meal at a fancy restaurant to a TV dinner.

By the way, have you looked into either Nichiren Shu or Rissho Kosei Kai? I don't know where you're located but they might be able to help even if there's not a temple or centre anywhere near you.

Re: Creating an alternative/how to move forward

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:44 pm
by hopefullotus
KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:59 am
What changes are you going to make in your new group? I'm interested because I'm still technically a member of SGI, but I don't practice their form of Buddhism or go to meetings. I too have felt that SGI has simplified too much and gone too far astray from standard Mahayana Buddhism. I also don't like the simplicity of their worship and worship spaces. I visited beautiful temples when I was in Japan that were ornately decorated and I attended a Jodo Shinshu service at Tsukiji Hongwanji Temple in Tokyo, and they were so much more beautiful than SGI services. It's like comparing a three course meal at a fancy restaurant to a TV dinner.

By the way, have you looked into either Nichiren Shu or Rissho Kosei Kai? I don't know where you're located but they might be able to help even if there's not a temple or centre anywhere near you.
So the new group will mostly be supplemental with the intention for youth to bring back better study to other members and at district meetings or to be able to have formulated points when recommending changes to leaders. It is open ended but lots of study into both Nichiren and just understanding Buddhism as a whole so we can frame Nichiren better.

I have looked into both! There are no local resources to me. Closest Nichiren Shu is in New York. I know Rissho has an online sangha and I may try that sometime.

Yes, the worship is a bit plain... pros and cons. For some people it is perfect since it is "modern" and "integrated into society". But I think having the option to go to a temple occasionally would be nice.