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Switch to Forum Live View SGI: A 'Cult' to the Average Japanese?
5 years ago  ::  Jan 27, 2009 - 7:22AM #21
Engyo
Posts: 138

etoro wrote:

IN Japan, 10% of the population are members of the SGI.


All -


I've often wondered about this, since I have seen and heard heard such wildly varying figures over the years.  Japan's population in 2008 was 127,704,000 according to Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co … n#See_also

Adherents.com gives a large variety of figures claimed for SGI membership over the years........the numbers vary quite widely even for a given locality and a very short span of time, both increasing and decreasing.  Look at this page and the next: http://www.adherents.com/Na/Na_609.html  http://www.adherents.com/Na/Na_610.html

Other than a generic 10% of the population, does anyone really know?

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 02, 2009 - 9:54AM #22
KittenlyGirl
Posts: 8
Here are some of the articles on SGI and the rise of Ikeda.   Quite an eye-opener. 

http://www.rickross.com/reference/gakkai/gakkai40.html

http://www.rickross.com/reference/gakkai/gakkai26.html

http://www.rickross.com/reference/gakkai/gakkai22.html

I have always felt that being informed and seeing all side of an issue is important.   When I was introduced to SGI I was handed a card with with the chant on it and just told to do it, that it would change my life.  At the time my life was very troubled, my anxiety and depression level was 20 or more on a scale of 1-10, way over the top.  I was a mess.  I have been healing through therapy, some very wonderful people outside of SGI, and just time (my anxiety and depression was drug-induced by an anti-depressant).   My greatest amount of healing happened over the Christmas holidays, around the time I stopped chanting.  My mind was becoming clearer and I was starting to question a lot of things, particularly this Ikeda worship thing.  The guy has been compared to Ghandi and King.   He is neither of those, not by a long shot.   Questioning is good, following blindly is dangerous.   Questioning what you believe is not heresy, either.   We don't live in the dark ages, you know.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2009 - 11:48AM #23
Lotus-4311
Posts: 10
KittenlyGirl:

Don't confuse politics with spirituality.  I haven't read where people were lead to drinking poision Kool Aide and dieing for President Ikea with the promising of going the "Promise Land".  I have read all the articles about SGI, I weighed the good and bad.  I have spoken to people who stayed for years and those who left.  The ones that leave have same response the bickering and the demands for attending meetings.  Some people have come back and not as involved as use to be.  If someone would said they would die for him.  I truley would question his mental state.  That person does not take responsbility for is own spiritual growth.  He relys on a power outside of himself.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2009 - 11:55AM #24
etoro
Posts: 564

KittenlyGirl wrote:

Here are some of the articles on SGI and the rise of Ikeda.   Quite an eye-opener. 

http://www.rickross.com/reference/gakkai/gakkai40.html

http://www.rickross.com/reference/gakkai/gakkai26.html

http://www.rickross.com/reference/gakkai/gakkai22.html

I have always felt that being informed and seeing all side of an issue is important.   When I was introduced to SGI I was handed a card with with the chant on it and just told to do it, that it would change my life.  At the time my life was very troubled, my anxiety and depression level was 20 or more on a scale of 1-10, way over the top.  I was a mess.  I have been healing through therapy, some very wonderful people outside of SGI, and just time (my anxiety and depression was drug-induced by an anti-depressant).   My greatest amount of healing happened over the Christmas holidays, around the time I stopped chanting.  My mind was becoming clearer and I was starting to question a lot of things, particularly this Ikeda worship thing.  The guy has been compared to Ghandi and King.   He is neither of those, not by a long shot.   Questioning is good, following blindly is dangerous.   Questioning what you believe is not heresy, either.   We don't live in the dark ages, you know.


Kittingly,

Don't follow blindly.  Practice and Study for yourself. Most of all you should seriously study hard, as if you were seeking a black belt in karate. Study all sides of an issue with a completely open mind. After you study hard then go and chant about the things that you are seeking to contemplate. Always approach everything with a clear and open mind. Consider all sides of an issue including your own preconditioning.   

Study the true history of Buddhism
Study the true history of Nichiren's life and teachings.
Study the history of the SGI

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2009 - 1:22PM #25
KittenlyGirl
Posts: 8
I came into this with an open mind and then as I started to feel suffocated I decided to go outside of SGI-generated materials and investigate what I was getting into.  So I got the history of SGI from a lot of sides.   As far as I'm concerned Nicherin's life and teachings was not the problem here.   From what I read it was very profound and I'm sure I could have gotten much from it.   SGI was the problem.   And while it started out subtle in the end it had all the pushiness of a Jehovah's Witness coming to the door.   But at least with them I  know what it's all about and I keep my door shut.   

I believe that one must give back to Gohonzon when leaving SGI and I will be doing that shortly, along with the beads and anything else that I was given or purchased.   If I should ever went to study again or chant I will do it on my own without the pressure of SGI member phone calls or meetings and chalk up the whole mess as a learning experience.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 04, 2009 - 1:52PM #26
etoro
Posts: 564

KittenlyGirl wrote:

I came into this with an open mind and then as I started to feel suffocated I decided to go outside of SGI-generated materials and investigate what I was getting into.  So I got the history of SGI from a lot of sides.   As far as I'm concerned Nicherin's life and teachings was not the problem here.   From what I read it was very profound and I'm sure I could have gotten much from it.   SGI was the problem.   And while it started out subtle in the end it had all the pushiness of a Jehovah's Witness coming to the door.   But at least with them I  know what it's all about and I keep my door shut.   

I believe that one must give back to Gohonzon when leaving SGI and I will be doing that shortly, along with the beads and anything else that I was given or purchased.   If I should ever went to study again or chant I will do it on my own without the pressure of SGI member phone calls or meetings and chalk up the whole mess as a learning experience.


It is impossible to practice in an isolated manner. You will always return to the manifestations of mind that you are experiencing until you determine to look deeper into their causes. This is karma. f you were, say, in Law School and you were trying to pass the bar exam and failed it once, you may be inclined to give up.  But at that point those who care for your success and happiness may see that you are inclined to give up.  At that point they will decide to step out of formality and and start pushing you to keep trying and not give up.  Some out of compassion for you  may even become harsh and use tough language.  But this is because they care about you and want you to achieve your goal.

Now that your karma has come to the surface, this is called a crucial moment in your practice.  At this point you either challenge your karma realizing that the negative effects you are receiving in terms of thoughts, words and actions are the result of causes that you yourself have made in the past and the seeds of karma that reside in your 8th level of consciousness are manifesting in confusing form.  The external experience always simply serves as the catalyst that causes the internal cause and latent effect to ripen into a manifest effect.  So we are always experiencing our own karma.

Being born in the world at this time is an aspect of your karmic causality.  The world today is in utter chaos and there is no where to turn. Everywhere you look is in a state of confusion. The answers and true happiness only lies inside of you. The seeds of Buddha nature are in your life. You simply have to challenge yourself through this dark experience. If you have lousy leaders then you should go up the organization and speak to leaders with a broader understanding of Nichiren Buddhism. I myself can address all your concerns very effectively.

The negative stuff you are reading about President Ikeda is not objective knowledge.  You should learn the facts and then substantiate them. You simply read from other negative sources  so that you can validate your feelings. There is no truth in those web sites. They simply are people with their own axe to grind, their own agendas.  Those views and agendas are informed by highly distorted frames of reference.  The SGI leadership has addressed all those allegations, have taken opponents to court and have achieved victory against libel and slander in every case.

Now is the time to really go to your Gohonzon and chant with a great determination to get at the truth of your experiences and turn those experiences into a deeper understanding of your own life. When you do so you will experience a great sense of self satisfaction and joy.

Gassho

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 06, 2009 - 4:48PM #27
KittenlyGirl
Posts: 8
In doing further research on compatibility of Nichiren Buddhism and Christianity, or even the concept of God, I have found out that I cannot practice the two and, I'm sorry, I'm not giving up my Christian beliefs.  I asked this question several times at meetings and got different answers.  Now I understand why my mentor was so annoyed by my belief in God, both within and without.   

It was a horrible conflict that was hurting me mentally and I am so glad I was able to clear this up on my own.  It seems that my mentor simply wanted me to join SGI and I guess once there I would be so enamored of it that I would give up the faith that I have had for a lifetime and am committed to.   I have very little respect for people who would give up their faith so easily.  I'm not one of them.    So people who have a firm belief in God and are interested in Nicherin should take this into consideration. 

I will not be chanting with determination in front of the Gohonzon at any time in the present or future.  And your post, Etoro, totally glossed over that part about my faith and my decision to give up the Gohonzon.

For those interested, here is the discussion of this on the Interfaith.org forum: 

http://www.interfaith.org/forum/nichire … m-844.html
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 06, 2009 - 11:34PM #28
Neverdespise
Posts: 270
Sear KittenlyGirl:

"However, later seeking and entering the deep cave, you see a single
hermitage. The voices of the reading and reciting of the Hokekyo echo
against blue heaven and the words of discussing the doctrine of the One
Vehicle are heard in the midst of the mountains. Informing [them, of 
your presence and requesting] admittance, you enter the chamber, place
your mother's bones before the Master of Teachings Lord Shakya, cast
your five limbs to the ground, press your palms together, and opening
your two eyes, look up to the Holy Face: Joy overflows your body and
the pain of your heart suddenly ceases."(On Forgetting Ones Copy Of
The Lotus Sutra, NOPPA Translation)

The Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin well realized that some people can not put complete faith in an impersonal Law no matter how logical or endowed with the Three Proofs (Writings, Logic, and Actual Reward). Perhaps this is because of our dependence on other people, our parents, our teachers, and our sovereigns. Some people will require a subject to revere in order to acquire the requisite faith to attain Buddhahood. Right or wrong, this is religious reality and of course, Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin were well aware of this. To those who can obtain Buddhahood through faith in the Law, Nichiren revealed the Law of Namu Myoho renge kyo and taught such things as, "Follow the Law and not persons." To those who can only obtain Buddhahood through faith in the "person", Nichiren revealed the Gohonzon and taught such things as,  "The Master of Teachings Lord Shakya of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra."

There is something in Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhism for everyone. I think you have only been exposed to one view of Nichiren Lotus Sutra Buddhism. I exhort you to either independently investigate the depth and breadth of this Buddhism, independent of the teachings of any particular sect or to examine the Kempon Hokke teachings. Please continue your chanting of Namu Myoho renge kyo.

Mark
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2 years ago  ::  Feb 24, 2012 - 12:09AM #29
Dolphyn
Posts: 2

I could use some advice to leave this practice. I enjoy the chanting, though really, good and bad things happen to me all the time whether I chant or not. I wonder that if no matter what I chanted I still would enjoy it, as I enjoy meditation very much so. I have beena member for 2 yrs. and not happy with it at all. WAY too many activities they expect people to be at, which makes me think of it like a cult.  When, at a home meeting, I mentioned how someone was harrassing me and was crazy (this did happen, and was curious as what their response would be) all I got was, 'That person has Buddha nature too'. Period. Nothing in the way of support, advice, or a hug, it was weird.


I have studied and like other forms of Buddhism and this seems SO different in sooooo many ways. I want to give back the Gonhonzon, or am thinking about it. I have others spiritualities that I will never give up, but SGI I could take it or leave it. Plus, when they have not seen me for a time, or need to be alone, they come to my house, even uninvited and pull me back in.


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2 years ago  ::  Feb 25, 2012 - 11:03AM #30
Dolphyn
Posts: 2

Feb 3, 2009 -- 1:22PM, KittenlyGirl wrote:

I came into this with an open mind and then as I started to feel suffocated I decided to go outside of SGI-generated materials and investigate what I was getting into.  So I got the history of SGI from a lot of sides.   As far as I'm concerned Nicherin's life and teachings was not the problem here.   From what I read it was very profound and I'm sure I could have gotten much from it.   SGI was the problem.   And while it started out subtle in the end it had all the pushiness of a Jehovah's Witness coming to the door.   But at least with them I  know what it's all about and I keep my door shut.   

I believe that one must give back to Gohonzon when leaving SGI and I will be doing that shortly, along with the beads and anything else that I was given or purchased.   If I should ever went to study again or chant I will do it on my own without the pressure of SGI member phone calls or meetings and chalk up the whole mess as a learning experience.


Me too Kittenlygirl, that is my plan exactly!

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