The big question on this Chinese New Year: To resign or not to resign. It was brought on by the mass resignation initiative by Daylight and many have debated over the questions, whether it is wise to do so. And what we can do if we don’t resign. Many have misgivings about resigning. We are certainly in uncharted territory.
We do not have the answers. It is a decision that each and every one got to make for himself. But if you do resign, or already resigned, we want to share our views with the hope that it can offer you some food for thought.
- Never give up faith in the Gohonzon. Base everything on the Gohonzon. It is easy to say now that we will not give up our faith. But from past experiences, we have seen many instances where those who had resigned eventually gave up their faith entirely. We understand that many were very deeply pained by the sheer arrogance and cruel actions of top leaders in the past two years. The Soka Gakkai and the power of the Daishonin’s Buddhism are correct. It is only the top leaders that are at fault. To give up our faith will not be worth it.
- Do not argue or quarrel with other leaders on this matter. Do not look down or belittle them as retards. We may disagree on this issue, but we are still friends. Remember, human first. Dialogue is possible, but avoid hostile confrontation. Also, the wrongs were committed by top leaders, the ECC, to be precise. The decisions to terminate and not to pursue thorough investigation into Johor’s account were made by the ECC . It has nothing to do with the other leaders. Though many chose to fully trust GD and went out of their way to rebuke those who ask question. Do not worsen the relationships. Treat each person as a Buddha and continue to value them as a Bodhisattva of the Earth. They, too, have a unique mission. To teach us, perhaps, the real meaning of compassion.
- There will be hurtful words and false allegations like you going over to the other side to play basketball or were an agent of Nikken, etc. It’s ridiculous, we understand. Regard it as no more than dust before the wind. Don’t get angry. Don’t go down to their level. Stay above it.
- Study Mr Ikeda’s Gosho lectures and guidance, read as if a thirsty person seeking water in a dessert. Set aside some time everyday for serious study. Many people give up their faith due to a lack of study. Their shallow understanding of Buddhism and the philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism make them ideal candidates for abandoning faith.
- Gain trust in our workplace. In fact, being a trustworthy and dependable person in our workplace is one of the most fundamental criteria for kosen-rufu. Otherwise, no one will listen to us, and we can never persuade others to practice this Buddhism if we have a lousy character. Gain victory in our workplace. Show actual proof. If you move up the ranks, fantastic. If you do not, fine. Showing actual proof simply means we gain trust of our colleagues and our friends.
- Continue to support, guide and encourage our members, whether we are a leader or not. The word ‘priest’ in Chinese means the ‘Teacher of the Law’. The Teacher of the Law is not decided by outward appearances; the robe, the large beads, the bald head, etc. Rather, it is in the actions of protecting the purity of the Law and propagating it. Similarly, a ‘leader’ of Gakkai is defined as a person who lead others to happiness, leading them towards the Gohonzon and towards our mentor in faith. Whether we have a position as a leader or not is not important. Our practice is one of practice for oneself and others. Never think that ‘I have resigned and I will no longer care anymore.’ Sensei do not want us to abandon our members.
- Last but not least, chant more daimoku. Daimoku serves to strengthen our Buddha nature. The benefit of chanting include purification of our six senses, discarding evil and revealing good, and most important of all, attaining Buddhahood in this lifetime. The best time to chant daimoku is when we are in deep pain. The Gosho passage…
Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life, and continue chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, no matter what happens. How could this be anything other than the boundless joy of the Law? “Happiness in This World” (WND, 681)
To sum up, it is important that we become even stronger in our faith after we resign as leaders. Think of it not as giving up in our struggle for a cleaner and stronger SGM. Rather, more like Nichiren Daishonin moving to Mount Minobu after three of his remonstrations to the government went unheeded. He used all his life to foster disciples for the sake of future propagation.
Many have fought and struggled, and gained victories in the past in SGM. We have a lot of memories and build many good relationships with people. We have also accumulated great good fortune and developed our faith. To resign today does not mean that all these are being negated. That was phase one. We have won. The victories and benefits are real and no one can take them away.
Today, after we resigned, we are moving into phase two. We want to go back to our roots and care for them. We want to go back to our own basic practice, strengthening them through our faith, practice and study. There is no way we can win by keep attacking the top leaders. Too powerful and too much poisons (greed, anger, stupidity) in their lives. The time and the people are not ready. Even after massive sacking and hundreds of resignations in Johor, SGM moved ahead and business as usual. Majority of our leaders are not ready, prefer to turn a blind eye, and hung on to wrong views, like GD is always right, all those who ask questions are trouble makers and we just need to work harder.
Looking at the overall picture, we can say that it is a good thing that happened. We are turning poison into medicine. Resigning, by itself, is not regressing or giving up faith. Rather it is how we continue our practice after our resignation that determines whether we are victorious or not.