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  • tsingtao55
    Many think that this discussion group is a bad thing, that it will turn people away from SGI. I have a different view. Back in the late 1980 s (NSA times), I
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 31, 2007
      Many think that this discussion group is a bad thing, that it will
      turn people away from SGI. I have a different view.

      Back in the late 1980's (NSA times), I used to go to the Daly City
      (south of San Francisco) meeting place for Saturday morning Men's
      Divison Gongyo. The meeting started at 7am and they always would
      announce, let's do "NSA exercises." These were calisthenics in the
      same mold that were shown on TV as being used by Toyota and Nissan to
      start their workdays. (Talk about being a colony and having to follow
      the Japanese way!)

      I thought this ridiculous and having nothing to do with Buddhism.
      "NO", I was told, "You have to be in the proper rhythm." (Sort of
      like "Mentor and Disciple" now, these exercises were the core of
      Buddhism.)

      One day, as the "NSA Exercises" were announced, I saw a long time
      member roll his eyes. It was then that I realized I didn't have to
      buy into everything that NSA (or SGI) said.

      This group is full of those who "roll their eyes." As such, It serves
      a very uselfull purpose and may actually prevent members from quitting
      over issues because it tells them that they are not alone in their
      doubts about some of the things that SGI does.
    • Byrd Ehlmann
      (top post) Hi, Tsingtao - It s possible that some of those who believe this site is a bad thing are reacting to more than the eye- rolling. I m sure there
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 2, 2007
        (top post) Hi, Tsingtao - It's possible that some of those who
        believe this site is a "bad thing" are reacting to more than the eye-
        rolling. I'm sure there are people who come here and are turned off
        from the SGI, however, I don't think that's the fault of this site.
        There are actually (on occasion, when we're not sidetracked into
        arguing about Toda's drinking)some substantive issues that get raised
        here. The issue of financial transparency, for example. There are
        people (many of them in public life) for whom this is a threshold
        issue. No transparency, no join-y. Now, if these people are coming
        from a religious background where congregations are organized locally
        and local groups elect their own treasurers, etc., then they might
        not ask about this right out of the gate. They might come here and
        discover that financial transparency and local fiscal control are
        issues. They are not issues because of this board, however - they
        are issues because the SGI's culture is in conflict with American
        culture.

        Same thing with the emphasis on M/D. Same thing with the SGI's
        unwillingness to "unite" with others who chant or
        actually "democratize". If you relied on your local leadership and
        the official publications, you would never know that these issues
        even exist. However, they do, and wishing them away will not make
        them go away. This board is one location online where issues get
        tossed around without being sanitized or edited for PR purposes.

        The upside is, that none of these issues(and I mean NONE) actually
        have anything to do with Nichiren Buddhism. They have to do with
        power, politics, control, and all the other matters which have made
        church histories so fascinating for centuries.

        People who are disheartened when they come here are those who have
        been living in a dreamland where there is a dream church, free of the
        matters which have separated the realm of faith and practice from the
        realms of money and political power forever. I hope that the hopeful
        message is that these matters which some find so "discouraging" are
        irrelevant in the extreme to the practice of the Lotus Sutra. These
        issues may, one day, decide whether the SGI will become a mainstream
        religion, but they can not and will not impact the freedom of people
        to practice themselves and help others to do so. Hoping that this
        makes sense,

        God, it's hot here in LA - a real anvil. Stay cool, everyone. Best,
        Byrd in LA

        --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, "tsingtao55"
        <tsingtao55@...> wrote:
        >
        > Many think that this discussion group is a bad thing, that it will
        > turn people away from SGI. I have a different view.
        >
        > Back in the late 1980's (NSA times), I used to go to the Daly City
        > (south of San Francisco) meeting place for Saturday morning Men's
        > Divison Gongyo. The meeting started at 7am and they always would
        > announce, let's do "NSA exercises." These were calisthenics in the
        > same mold that were shown on TV as being used by Toyota and Nissan
        to
        > start their workdays. (Talk about being a colony and having to
        follow
        > the Japanese way!)
        >
        > I thought this ridiculous and having nothing to do with Buddhism.
        > "NO", I was told, "You have to be in the proper rhythm." (Sort of
        > like "Mentor and Disciple" now, these exercises were the core of
        > Buddhism.)
        >
        > One day, as the "NSA Exercises" were announced, I saw a long time
        > member roll his eyes. It was then that I realized I didn't have to
        > buy into everything that NSA (or SGI) said.
        >
        > This group is full of those who "roll their eyes." As such, It
        serves
        > a very uselfull purpose and may actually prevent members from
        quitting
        > over issues because it tells them that they are not alone in their
        > doubts about some of the things that SGI does.
        >
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