Wow is this ever a challenge!! but I have truly deeped my faith by supporting my fellow members. What's hard is being able to encourage people without getting in their lives. Does anyone else have this challenge? I really work hard to not give 'advice' but instead use guidance and direct members to guidance that might be encouraging. Members in my District receive benefit but we don't yet have the gakkai family spirit and really connect life to life with each other. Would anyone have guidance they might share on this issue?Thank you....

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Hi Christine,

Here are some Sensei's guidances;

" Our district are treasured castle for kosen-rufu. Let's each resolve to protect our members with a sense of responsibility as 'lord of the castle." -Daisaku Ikeda - To My Friends.

"Trust" is the consummate treasure. Leaders should capture people's hearts with sincerity and trustworthiness. -Daisaku Ikeda, - To My Friends.

Your "district" is the source of victory! Triumph with sincere actions, courage and compassion! - Daisaku Ikeda, - To My Friends.

A leader should be a good listener before being a good talker. Give wise and warm advice and guidance that opens the heart of others. - Daisaku Ikeda, - To My Friends.

Listen to what others have to say. This is the way to open the door to people's hearts and gain their trust. - Daisaku Ikeda, - To My Friends.

Leaders should be cheerful! Ill-humour personifies the image of a loser. Take excellent leadership with the strength and brightness of the sun!, - Daisaku Ikeda, - To My Friends.

The "district" is the "bastion" of the SGI. The potent strength of the solidarity of the district members becomes the ignition for all great advancement. - Daisaku Ikeda, - To My Friends.

Treat members working in the front lines with sensitivity and courtesy. For the sake of advancing kosen-rufu in the local community and great conviction. - Daisaku Ikeda, To My Friends.

Respect your members and praise their positive attributes. This is the starting point of the spirit of itai-doshin, "many in body, one in mind."- Daisaku Ikeda, - To My Friends.

No matter how deep your hardships persevere with tenacity. People of perseverance always win in the end!. - Daisaku Ikeda, - To My Friends.

What moves people is a compassionate heart and words imbued with conviction. These are a Buddhist's spiritual strength. - Daisaku Ikeda, - To My Friends.
thank you so so much .you and president ikeda have good answers and grat matter any hardship i will not b defeated. and will respect all - members . even though it ;s not one in mind and many in body .. but i have faith ..and positive attitude most of the time...... thanks again ..markgomes
Thanks. I am sure glad I have you as a friend. These guidances you shared came right on time.
I have been thinking about this also. How to encourage the members to reach out to other members especially those that aren't attending meetings. I usually chant first to find the wisdom. One district in our chapter has made it a goal to become like a family. They said its starting to happen. This is an important challenge!!
Wow what a great question. Can't wait to hear the results. " Recommendations" are usually well received, if they seem to contain great substance. For example a leader could say something to the effect. It is recomended to chant lots of daimoku when you have a big obstacle to overcome, rather than just saying, I recommend that you chant lots of daimoku, or saying rather bluntly " you must chant lots of daimoku brrrr. Hope this helps a little.
I am not a district leader- but I am active as a group leader in my district. We have had many growing pains in our district in the four years I have lived here and broken through many challenges.
For me the most fundamental thing is Daimoku- Daimoku starting with myself to create harmonious interactions, to bring a smile to meetings, to be open to dialogue.
When I first moved to my current district, I started a "Smiling Daimoku" campaign that spread throughout the district- man people smiled more at meetings and when with each other!
Daimoku with members also is key to developing unity in a group and district.
The best encouragement I can get from a leader is the kind that will renew my desire to go back to the Gohonzon and challenge whatever obstacle I am facing.
Family spirit for me comes when the relationship is not always about giving encouragement- it is also about listening to another person, hearing where they are coming from. Life to life connection for me develops when there is an atmosphere of dialogue and understanding.
then mo' daimoku, more study and hang in there- took many years of practice for me to see changes- funny thing is that I had to do most of the changing- darn:)
I think that your' job' is be always the 1st to use the Gohonzon for your problems so you can lead by example. Pascual Oliveira once gave me some strict guidance about always striving to be a daimoku champion, study champion, and faith-first champion. WE all in some way become somehow involved in our members' lives at some point, whether intimately or even superficially. The point is to be the point man to lead your members to the Gohonzon. The rest is details and you have to use common sense. Just my 2 cents
Christine, that is always the challenge of the District, home visits are a good idea, you can get to know a member in this way and maybe they will share something about their life and what is going on. Its difficult to have a life to life dialogue if a member is not sharing their obstacles with you. So we have to develop a friendship and gain their trust.
All we can do is our best.
We also have a District Toso, sometimes two, it will unite the District, sometimes if we are challenging to do shakabuku and hopefully bring a guest. Things that you can do as a District.

I know this has nothing to do with Buddhism, but I always serve some kind of refreshment and Dist. meeting we do a potluck, food can bring you close, lol.

Thank you and thank you to everyone who has offered guidance and experience. When I wrote this question, the personal relations were a little strained in my District. This month we had a great District meeting with 2 of our youth division members present!! A YMD and a YWD! we also had a great discussion using the material from the February 19th WT suggested discussion material. There is tremendous guidance in that article for the people in the US, I really encourage people to read it! The next day, I called each of the members and thanked them for a great meeting and one of them indicated an interest in assuming a leadership position in the District!!! I'm so encouraged. And, this same member pledged that in the year, we would triple in size...including doubling the size of our youth division!! So with daimoku, encouragement and faith we are beginning to really move in the right direction. Betty, I agree with you about the potluck. For five years we had a weekly District meeting and I provided dinner for the members, two of whom were homeless at the time. It was a great experience....thank you for sharing your thoughts with me....Also, one of our members lobbied for a resolution to be adopted by the Cook county Board of Commissioners to name March 16th SGI Youth Division day and to name President Ikeda and his wife Kaneko honorary citizens of Cook County!! it passed unanimously and the Cook County board all chanted Nam Myoho Renge Kyo 3 times!!!! I hope this news will appear in the WT....
Great question and a great challenge too. Every individual is different and as a district leader we have to show patience, lead by example, do more daimoku than members and reach out to them. I am a district chief and a co-ordinator too. I was told by my seniors that as a leader one is the representative of Sensei and one has to behave as Sensei would handle a given situation or circumstance. Compassion is the key to success. Never ever think of collecting good fortune while on a mission. As a leader, our objective is to "REACH OUT" to our members not to collect good fortune -- it follows,if we fulfil our duties and reponsibilities nicely.
Yes - well said Dhruba, our intentions come across even if we don't really want them to. It is a struggle that I am learning is important for all involved. How can I deepen my compassion and really listen to the members. I am trying to home visit as many of the members as possible to help create a friendly atmosphere at our meetings.
Raising capable people is a question have. It has to go beyond just assigning responsibilities I think. Any ideas?


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