By Rev. Meredith Moise
Ending the August shakabuku (propagation) campaign on a high note, Charles Village district Soka Gakkai International members have decided to go the next step. Starting in September, there will be new member care meetings in Charles Village, a section of Baltimore City, every Monday. During these meetings, new and old members get a chance to share ideas, exchange thoughts on the practice of Nichiren Buddhism and nurture relationships.
Being a new Buddhist in Baltimore is not an easy feat. Baltimore is an overwhelming Christan city. As a result, finding supportive Buddhist networks can be daunting. Soka Gakkai International members in Charles Village have decided that the best way to support new members is to help them plug into existing Buddhist networks of friendship.
These meetings provide an opportunity for new members to ask relevant and in depth questions about their Buddhist practice. New practitioners learn altar care, the importance of faith, practice and study (the pillars of Nichiren Buddhism) and using Nichiren Buddhism to fully develop their lives.
Nichiren Buddhism is designed not only for solitary practice but practice for and with others. Nichiren, the 13th century Japanese priest who developed the mantra "Nam myoho renge kyo", taught that having a stand alone spirit is not enough. Not only must Buddhist cultivate the Buddha potential within but they have an obligation to help others do the same. In that spirit, Soka Gakkai members in Charles Village urge new members to come out and share experiences. For further information, please contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org