Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The Same As Last Year

[Toda]...finished gongyo, chanting daimoku three times.  With a beaming smile, he turned to look at the leaders’ faces.  Although they were shabbily dressed as usual, their faces were bright and ... every eye was ... shining.
Koichi Harayama saluted him formally, “A happy new year to you, sir.  Please continue to support us, just as last year.”
Toda responded with a smile, “A happy new year to everyone.  But not “just as last year”.  If we continue this year “just as last year”, kosen-rufu will not be achieved.  Mr. Hirayama, will you continue your inactivity “just as last year”?”
A roar of laughter greeted this observation.  “I will be greatly distressed if Mr. Mishima is always complaining, if Mr. Konishi sulks and Mr. Seki looks pale and worried, just as they did last year.
Even louder laughter greeted this comment.  ... “I hope every one of you will, with strong faith, make the most of your abilities and carry out splendid shakubuku activities. ... I hope you will change a great deal for the better this year.”                                   
                                    (Human Revolution: Vol. 3, p3-4)

As Toda says, each year shouldn’t be “just as last year”.  Each year through chanting, study and taking action based on wisdom, courage and compassion, we can grow in faith and introduce our friends, family, co-workers and neighbours to Nichiren Buddhism, as well as supporting and encouraging other members to deepen their understanding of our practice.

New Year’s resolutions are a great opportunity to give up addictions to alcohol, tobacco or chocolate, strive to become a better person and overcome some of your negative traits and tendancies, but the greatest resolution at New Year (or any time of the year) is to renew your vow as a Bodhisattva of the Earth and a Votary of the Lotus Sutra. 

The SGI has named 2014 as “The Year of Opening a New Era of Worldwide Kosen-Rufu” but this new era of kosen-rufu won’t open itself.   All of us as individual members and as districts need to take action and “at all times ... think to [ourselves] “How can I cause living beings to gain entry into the unsurpassed way and quickly acquire the body of a Buddha?”  (The Lotus Sutra, Chapter 16, p273)  
See also:

"Happy New Year 2015"  (from 1st January 2015)

"New Year Resolutions"  (from 1st January 2013)

"Ready, Willing & Able"  (from May 2012)