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President Niwano Delivers First Dharma Talk of the New Year

January 2018

On January 7, President Nichiko Niwano delivered his first Dharma talk of 2018 in the Great Sacred Hall at Rissho Kosei-kai headquarters in Tokyo. Some 3,400 members gathered there to hear him speak and rededicate themselves to their religious practice throughout the year.

 The event began with 16 young women members bringing offerings to the altar before the image of the Eternal Buddha. President-designate Kosho Niwano then led the gathering in a sutra recitation, and Rev. Takeshi Kawabata, chair of the Board of Trustees, offered a New Year's greeting.

Two hanging scrolls of President Nichiko Niwano's first traditional Japanese calligraphy of the New Year were displayed above the stage. One scroll bore the characters for tomyo (candlelight) and the other the characters for ikan (easy and simple).

In his first Dharma talk of the year, President Niwano began by saying that in the course of our lives, many of us have the tendency to think about things in a complex way. He continued, "For example, keeping a lifestyle in which we wake when the sun rises and go to bed when it sets, is said to be easy and simple, but the very fact that we cannot actually do this causes us to suffer in our daily lives. Such is the wisdom that the Founder taught us, which might be expressed by the word ikan. If we reflect on our lives, we can realize that we are being given life through receiving many blessings of nature. We live and are sustained by nature; religion enables us to be aware of this important teaching. Furthermore, there is a feeling of gratitude in our awareness of the blessings of nature that constitutes a fundamental point of religion. Finally he said, "How important it is to realize that we are given life through the working of interdependent origination. It is necessary for us to lead our lives with the realization of this truth. With these thoughts in mind, I wrote the word ikan with all my heart."

Rissho Kosei-kai International held a two-week Leaders Training Seminar July 6-18 in Tokyo and the Founder's birthplace, in Suganuma, Niigata Prefecture.
Rissho Kosei-kai International held a two-week Leaders Training Seminar July 6-18 in Tokyo and the Founder's birthplace, in Suganuma, Niigata Prefecture.

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