SGI,Buddhism,happiness

Brilliant Benelux Countries

Participants at SGI-Belgium's discussion meetings come from over 50 countries and speak some 40 different languages. The Benelux countries show us what a borderless world really looks like.

 

The EU Headquarters is located in Brussels, Belgium, and the International Court of Justice is in The Hague in the Netherlands. Luxembourg is home to many financial institutions.

 

The per capita GDP of Benelux is among the highest in the world. Though it is a relatively small region, Benelux sends a brilliant light across the whole world.

 

According to a local SGI member, many of their friends in Benelux live lives that appear to be prosperous and carefree.

 

They hesitate to join big organizations due in part to bad experiences prior to and during World War II.

 

Individualism is so strongly established that it is often difficult to explain the view that happiness is to be pursued not only for oneself but also for others.

 

In spite of this, or perhaps because of this, people in this part of the world are attracted to SGI as a place where people can gather, pray together and enjoy hear-to-heart exchange.

 

In this way, across the Benelux countries, members are working hard to develop their full potential through SGI activities and pave the way for a brighter and more peaceful future.

 

Benelux members have shared many precious memories with SGI President Ikeda, which led to significant turning points in their lives. In Amsterdam in May 1973, Mr. Ikeda held an impromptu meeting with local members during a tour of Europe.

 

At South Station in Brussels in June 1983, he met with SGI members and had a brief but memorable discussion.

 

The first joint Benelux meeting of SGI leaders was then held in Luxembourg in June 1991.

 

These were all seminal events in the development of today's SGI Organizations in Benelux with their many dynamic activities based on the spirit of mentor and disciple.

 

SGI in Benelux is a community of friends and members who all support each other in faith and in life.

 

Like rainbows that are both diverse and united, each meeting is a gathering of unique individuals who send out a message of peace and happiness across all of Europe.

 

SGI,Buddhism,happiness

In June 1983, SGI President Ikeda was in Europe, boarding a train at the Gare du Nord(North Station) in Paris and making a five-hour journey to Amsterdam in the Netherlands on the Étoile du Nord express train.

 

He had changed his original plan to travel by air, deciding instead to take a five-hour trip by land in order to see members along the way whom he would otherwise not be able to meet.
At one of the stations along the way in Belgium, Brussels-South, local members had gathered in the hope of meeting him.

 

Upon his arrival, Mr.Ikeda got off the train and suggested they hold a very short meeting of only a few minutes.

 

The train had stopped for only seven minutes, but he was able to shake hands with each member, encourage them wholeheartedly and even take a commemorative group photo.

 

The next stop in Belgium, at Antwerp-Berchem, was only one minute long, but he was able to encourage members who had gathered to meet him from the window of his train.

 

Several years later, when he visited Luxembourg in 1991, he decided again to travel by train and met with many members along the way.

 

These precious encounters all served as important opportunities to deepen the mentor-disciple bond that has lived on in the members' hearts even since.

 

Brilliant Benelux Countries

In 1948, the Benelux Customs Union was enacted, and in 1960 it was replaced by the Benelux Economic Union. Historically, the Benelux countries consisting of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, have served as forerunners of the EU.

 

Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi(1894-1972), often referred to as “a father of European unification,” worked toward the dream of a united Europe through the Paneuropean Movement he initiated in the 1920s.

 

He observed that the Soka Gakkai movement is“a revival of Buddhism, which was the world's first fraternal movement,”² and had a strong interest in its leader, Daisaku Ikeda. They met for the first time in October 1967.

 

They met again in Tokyo in October 1970 for further discussion of some 10 hours, which was published in Japanese under the title, Bunmei:Nishi to higashi(Civ-ilization:East and West), becoming the first even dialogue Mr. Ikeda published out of nearly 80 subsequent works with intellectuals from around the world.

 

Also, in 1983, Mr. Ikeda met with Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers who played a leading role in concluding a treaty for the establishment of the EU. In these ways, through dialogue,

 

Mr.Ikeda has endeavored to build peace and forge spirit of friendship across Europe.

 

2. Daisaku Ikeda, The New Human Revolution, vol.12(California:World Tribune Press,2006),p240

 

Brilliant Benelux Countries