Soka Gakkai International (SGI) is an independent network of lay practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism. SGI is also a United Nations Non-Governmental Organization. While programmes of socially engaged activities are developed nationally and regionally in line with local priorities and expertise, the SGI Charter expresses SGI’s united purposes and principles. The starting point is for SGI to contribute to peace, culture and education for the happiness and welfare of all humanity based on Buddhist respect for the sanctity of life, as reflected in the teachings of Nichiren Buddhism. We are committed to respect and protect the freedom of religion and religious expression, to safeguard human rights and not to discriminate against any individual on any grounds. Based on the Buddhist ideal of symbiosis, we are committed to promoting the protection of the environment. (For more information, see www.sgi-uk.org/about-us/sgi-charter)
SGI-UK is one of 90 national SGI organizations around the world which uphold the SGI Charter, and is a member of the Network of Buddhist Organizations (NBO). Our national motto is “Trust through Friendship, Peace through Trust”. We aim to foster these humanistic principles through open meetings, in particular through our monthly local discussion meetings. Ours is an engaged form of Buddhism. Following the example of our 3rd Founding President, Daisaku Ikeda, who has travelled the world building bridges between people through dialogue and cultural exchange, SGI-UK members promote the values of Buddhist humanism in their daily lives, and aim to contribute to the positive transformation of society as engaged citizens.
SGI members follow the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, a 13th century Japanese Buddhist monk.
Nichiren was educated and ordained as a Tendai (Lotus) School monk. After years of studying Buddhist sutras in monasteries across Japan, searching for answers to the sufferings of ordinary Japanese people in those troubled times, Nichiren concluded that the remedy lay in the teachings embedded in Shakyamuni’s Lotus Sutra. The Japanese reading of the Chinese title of the Lotus Sutra is “Myoho-Renge-Kyo”.
Nichiren taught that chanting the mantra “Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo” enables people in the present age to attain the life-state of Buddhahood, which is characterised by courage, wisdom and compassion. The purpose of our Buddhist practice is to overcome suffering by unlocking our innate positive potential. Nichiren Buddhism begins from the belief that all of life is interconnected and that the Buddha nature is an inherent potential in all of life. Nichiren Buddhism therefore takes the fundamental position that since all people have the Buddha nature inherently they ultimately have the potential to not only change any situation for the better but also to transform their karma to suffer. We start this process of change by chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo and by engaging in humanistic dialogue. Through Buddhist faith, practice and study, members of SGI-UK transform their inner lives, a process known as “human revolution”, and strive to develop the qualities needed both to bring personal fulfilment and to contribute to the positive development of society.
Contact in Manchester:
Jill 07931 412453
Alternatively, go to http://www.sgi-uk.org/ to find your nearest member of SGI