Practicing with SGI as it is the only local option

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Practicing with SGI as it is the only local option

Postby dsaly1969 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:30 pm

I live in a rural area near a couple of resorts with few other Buddhists (well, there IS a Tibetan Buddhist Retreat Center that charges $600 per year membership fee and seems to be oriented towards celebrities and their kids as well as a Won Buddhist Retreat Center with no meetings or groups or anyone that speaks English). So my only local sangha option is Soka Gakkai.

Now I used to be involved with SGI. I now mostly gravitate towards a Rissho Kosei-kai interpretation of the Lotus Sutra. RKK does not "shakubuku" so it really has not grown or expanded much in the United States. (It also does not teach "chanting for stuff" which I think contributed much to SGI's growth.) So the closest RKK community is 3 hours away either in Los Angeles or Fresno.

However, it is lonely being an independent (and I have two kids - ages 12 and 14) so I am considering going to SGI activities but just adding the RKK interpretation and emphasis at home. I figure I can avoid the Soka Spirit meetings and just focus on the monthly meetings, Youth Division activities, and Kosen-Rufu Gongyo events in order to have connections with others. Or am I just going through temporary insanity? Has anyone been able to make it work?

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Re: Practicing with SGI as it is the only local option

Postby Queequeg » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:01 pm

I tried to practice with SGI while no longer accepting many of their teachings. I resisted quitting because I felt I benefited from the community. At some point, I couldn't take it anymore and quit. The day I did so, its hard to qualify, but my practice was freed. I still look on people who practice with SGI fondly, but I don't share their views, so its hard for me to abide them. I'm just not an Ikeda fanatic, I don't buy their Buddhist humanism spin, I don't interpret Nichiren the way they do, and its hard to talk about Buddhism in the terms they use. I still am concerned how I will introduce my children to Buddhist practice without a community - its always just going to be some weird thing Dad does. I don't know the answer to that, but I also can't accept the options around me.

Check out ION Buddhism's website. They have an automated app on their site where you can sign up and be put in touch with other independents in your area. Who knows, there may be another person feeling the way you do living next door. You could get together and just chant and study?
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