Published on January 29, 2008
The Three Kinds of TreasureBackground: The Three Kinds of Treasure Background Presented by Aisha Williams Pacific Zone Vice YWD Leader Slide2: Hello and Happy New Year!!! Thank you for joining this SGI-USA Nationwide videoconference for the January February Study Meetings. My name is Aisha Williams. I am a Pacific Zone Vice YWD leader supporting Northern California. The material for the January and February study meetings is the letter, The Three Kinds of Treasure. Slide3: I will present three topics related to the background of this letter. First, Tips for doing presentations. Second, Background on Shijo Kingo Lastly, My personal experience related to creating value at work. How do I Prepare for a Study Presentation?: How do I Prepare for a Study Presentation? I chant a lot so that I can fight the negative influences in my life. I take into consideration that many people present may be suffering with various challenges. I chant to compassion for every person present. I chant that everyone listening can have a breakthrough. Slide5: Please ask and encourage youth to do presentations. Often, youth will not participate if they are not asked to be involved. When asked to give or help with a presentation, I am spurred to prepare and study more. The more presentations I do, the more comfortable I feel to do it again. The future of the organization will require many youth to feel comfortable explaining Buddhist concepts. Slide6: In terms of the background for this letter, some questions come to mind. Who was Shijo Kingo? What was Shijo Kingo’s relationship with Nichiren? Slide7: What were Shijo Kingo’s struggles? What are some of the words Nichiren shared to encourage Shijo Kingo? Slide8: The Three Kinds of Treasure Gosho was written to Shijo Kingo in September 1277 from Mount Minobu. This letter is one of around 40 written to him. When Nichiren wrote this letter, Shijo Kingo’s circumstances were still critical but starting to improve. The letters written to him are very encouraging and personal favorites to many members. I would like to share some quotes from some of the letters written to Shijo Kingo: I would like to share some quotes from some of the letters written to Shijo Kingo Kyo’o’s misfortune will change into fortune. Muster your faith and pray to this Gohonzon. Then what is there that can not be achieved. Reply to Kyo’o WND volume 1 pg. 412 Slide10: To accept is easy, to continue is difficult. But Buddhahood lies in continuing faith. The Difficulty of Sustaining Faith WND volume 1 pg.471 Slide11: Shijo Kingo was one of Nichiren’s followers with resolute faith. He was introduced to this practice when he was 26 years old. He accompanied Nichiren to be beheaded at the Tatsunokuchi persecution. Slide12: Shijo Kingo was willing to give his life with Nichiren but due to a meteor appearance, they both lived. When Shijo Kingo was first introduced to the practice, it was probably unimaginable that he would choose to accompany Nichiren to Tatsunokuchi. His example shows the significance of sharing Buddhism with youth and the great purpose many youth members in our organization will fulfill. Slide13: Shijo Kingo wrote to Nichiren often He traveled long distances to visit Nichiren in various locations Shijo Kingo sent messengers with supplies for Nichiren and others under his tutelage. The relationship that they shared shows the great bonds between Mentor and Disciple. What were Shijo Kingo’s struggles?: What were Shijo Kingo’s struggles? He was concerned about his parents afterlife His daughter’s illness He had problems with his brothers Jealousy and rumors were spread about him by his coworkers Due to these rumors his boss mistrusted him Often, his boss threatened to confiscate his land if he did not denounce his faith Slide15: Shijo Kingo perservered in his service to his lord. He distinguished himself as crucial. His treatment of his lord’s illness lead to his lord’s recovery. Later, Lord Ema granted him an estate three times larger than his former one. Slide16: Worthy persons deserve to be called so because they are not carried away by the eight winds: prosperity, decline, disgrace, honor, praise, censure, suffering and pleasure. They are neither elated by prosperity nor grieved by decline. The heavenly gods will surely protect one who is unbending before the eight winds. But if you nurse an unreasonable grudge against your lord, they will not protect you, not for all your prayers. The Eight Winds WND volume 1 pg. 794 Slide17: Even a bad reputation will spread far and wide. A good reputation will spread even farther, particularly if it is a reputation for devotion to the Lotus Sutra. Earthly Desires Are Enlightenment WND volume 1 pg.319 Another quote reads Slide18: If you continue living as you are now, there can be no doubt that you will be practicing the Lotus Sutra twenty-four hours a day. Regard your service to your lord as the practice of the Lotus Sutra. This is what is meant by “No worldly affairs of life or work are ever contrary to the true reality.” I hope that you will deeply consider the meaning of this passage. Reply to a Believer WND volume 1pg.905 I would like to share a personal experience related to my job.: I would like to share a personal experience related to my job. Over 6 years ago, I started working at a new company. I was really excited and I worked very hard. Eventually, the job turned out to not meet my expectations. I thought about leaving. Instead due to my Buddhist practice, I decided to stay. I knew that I needed to do my best where I was. The following guidance from President Ikeda illustrates this point. : The following guidance from President Ikeda illustrates this point. President Toda said that the most important thing is to become indispensable wherever you are. Instead of moaning that a job differs from what you would like to be doing, he said, become a first class individual at that job. This will open the path leading to your next phase in life, during which you should continue doing your best. Slide21: Such continuous efforts are guaranteed to land you a job that you like, that supports your life, and that allows you to contribute to society. Then, when you look back later, you will see how all of your past efforts, have become precious assets in your ideal field. You will realize that none of your efforts and hardships have been wasted. Mr. Toda taught that this is the great benefit of the Mystic Law. Discussions on Youth Volume 1, pg.147 Slide22: I decided to stay and apply my faith. At this time, the United Prayer had just started and I decided I would not leave the house without chanting an hour every day. Six months later during a performance review, my boss mentioned that I had changed and I seemed more optimistic. She was curious what I had done. A year after that, I got a job on a new team doing work that is closer to my long term goals. Slide23: I encourage you to read the background in the January February 2007 Living Buddhism for more information. Thank you for listening. I would like to introduce Greg Martin who will be presenting the lecture on this Gosho.