Turn Ons: The SGI teaching that we all possess the inner strength, power and wisdom to overcome suffering and achieve anything we want in life by developing our innate enlightened condition, or Buddhahood.
Turn Offs: The 3 key elements to their practice are faith, practice & study which I get in theory. But as a new person, I didn't receive much guidance or instruction about how to begin my practice and was never given anything to study. I won't join any organization until I have a more comprehensive understanding of their beliefs.
Rate My Date:
- Not My Type
- 1 Night Stand
- In Love
- Happily Ever After
I've been craving some type of spiritual grounding, healing ritual and "tribe" to connect with. And as much as I want to fall in love with Soka Gakkai International, a Buddhist sect based on the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, I find myself in the same relationship dilemma as always. Should I heed the red flag warnings, follow my gut and break things off before I'm seduced by SGI's "potential" to satisfy my spiritual needs? Or should I be more open, less judgmental and give SGI the benefit of the doubt despite its imperfections?
SGI gave me flashbacks of being a Jehovah's Witness. Completely different faith. Completely different belief system. But, I got the same wary feeling I now get around any organized religious group that seems overly happy and overly zealous about converting new people into their fold; luring them with their supreme joy for life despite its many obstacles and their triumphant rise from personal and spiritual rock-bottom. And, I'm also uncomfortable standing in a circle, swaying arm-in-arm with strangers who are singing with religious fervor and plastered smiles. I hate being the awkward one that doesn't know the lyrics but manages a forced smile, hoping the singing and the swaying would hurry up and end. Oh, and I'm always cautious about religious groups sharing stories about courageously approaching strangers in order to share with them their faith. I gave up proselytizing in 1993 when I gave up my last religion. I feel neither the need nor the interest in encroaching upon other people's religious beliefs. Been there. Done that.
In SGI's defense, I really liked the people I met and I enjoyed being around others making a conscious effort to transcend suffering and experience peace; not simply committed to living their best lives, but effecting change in the world. I'm drawn to their belief that we all possess the inner strength, power and wisdom to overcome suffering and achieve anything we want in life by developing our innate enlightened condition, or Buddhahood. And I enjoyed one of the three essential elements of their practice which is chanting "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo". I found it meditative, grounding and mentally clarifying. I loved the diversity, their respect for humanity and appreciation for the arts. But, after two meetings, I wanted to know more about their beliefs. I wanted to be challenged with new spiritual ideas and teachings since I've never studied Buddhism before. I wanted books, a guide, a teacher... something to help me find my Buddhahood.
As I've learned in love relationships, falling in love with one's "potential" doesn't lead to long-term happiness. So, my search for a spiritual relationship continues...
7 East 15th Street b/w 5th Avenue & Union Square West
Getting There By Subway:
- N, R, Q, W, 4, 5, 6, L to 14th Street - Union Square