"I can remember years ago - early 90's - the women in my district would meet a couple times a month for some incredible spirited talks about anything and everything. We would have book reviews that had great meaning to us and almost all the books were non-Buddhist! I miss those times. We were shut down. The only thing that we were allowed to talk about was Ikeda and his writings. For me that was the beginning of the end. When I go to a meeting now it has nothing to do with Buddhist teaching. I think people are starving for heart to heart conversations. The SGI says that's what we do, but only if the heart to heart is SGI and Ikeda talk. I know I'm hungery for some intelligent heart felt conversations where NO ONE feels threaten to speak what is in their heart. The format that the SGI has does not address a true expression of the human heart. It's too militaristic." -- Redrose
Yup. Back in my old district years ago, we could decide a subject for the discussion meetings from secular stuff, then relate it with the SGI Buddhist stuff, if that explains it right. A better way of putting it is we did not have to use the "Discussion Points" from the WT month after month. Like with Redrose's experience, we had great times and fulfilling, inspiring meetings.
Yes, now it is only from the WT/President Ikeda's guidance that discussion meetings can be based on. Anything else is verboten and shut off. There are no heart-to-heart dialogues in the SGI, unless you are contemplating "totally understanding Sensei's heart and making it your own". When you feel what's in your heart to be shared will be/has to be censored continually--there's that ol' fear factor again. P.I. always talks about how "true freedom" is found in practicing SGI Buddhism. Really, Sensei?" -- Shavoy