The hardest woods come from trees that grow slowly

When I first became involved in the SGI I formed the opinion that they were not marketing this Buddhism effectively. Marketing is perhaps not the correct terminology, but in essence, I felt they were not “putting this Buddhism out there” as aggressively as they could.

My head was full of Shakabuku – or rather my interpretation of it, and my mind was busy developing plans and schemes to recruit new Buddhists. Later that year, however, during a discussion someone explained to me that this simply wasn’t the way the SGI worked.

At the time felt frustrated, but un-necessarily so. While on one hand, Shakabuku means to “suppress others’ illusions and to subdue their attachment to error”, on the other hand, Shoju, a less used term for the more subtle form of propagation, means to “lead others to the correct teaching gradually, according to their capacity and without directly refuting their religious misconceptions”.

Nichiren Daishonin, in The Opening of the Eyes prescribes both methods, and indicates the conditions that should prevail in order for each one to be used effectively.

Mahatma Gandhi wisely said, “Good travels at a snails pace.”

We cannot rush the spread of peace, or we risk peace itself. The slow growth of the SGI does not imply a lack of motivation or commitment – on the contrary, it should be regarded as a steady and indefatigable march towards realising peace and human happiness. A glacier travels slowly but unceasingly toward the sea, so Kosen Rufu too should be regarded as a steady and unstoppable inevitability.

Our mission to foster relationships built on the firm bonds of friendship, trust and respect, allows us to demonstrate the benefit of our practice in our daily lives. Through sincere dialogue and the steady cultivation of a solid common consensus, Kosen Rufu will definitely be realised.

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