A few weeks ago Obama described his views on leadership appointments and decision-making:

"One of the dangers...based on my reading of history, is that you get wrapped up in groupthink and everybody agrees with everything and there’s no discussion and there are no dissenting views. So I’m going to be welcoming a vigorous debate..."

Am I alone to think that this mindset is very Buddhist, and further, that our beloved Gakkai needs to improve in this area?

A principle we place great importance on in our Buddhism is dialogue. Doesn't honest and genuine dialogue include, at times, some disagreement and debate? Perhaps a Japanese cultural element of conformity is at play here? In my view, inclusivity and freedom of thought are necessary components of, not only wise decision-making, but also peacemaking and our vision for the Second Act of Kosen-rufu. Free thought is a human right and we should foster it.

Any opinions, feelings or other discussion on the matter are appreciated.

Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo,
DP

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Hi Dan,
I would have to agree with you. Dialogue being so important in our practice and in being Buddhists examples to others must include the variety of all view points. Sometimes we are challenged to challenge! Sometimes we will have differences of opinion but the main focus is to reach victory harmoniously and to be compassionate, which does take solidiarity within our members and compassion toward our new members.

I remember my first SGI meeting in San Francisco, it scared me away! I felt I was put on the spot and I could not wait to get out of there. It took several other attempts at different introduction meetings to finally feel comfortable. I remember my reaction the first time I watched a DVD of Sensei at a large SGI meeting in Japan. It felt like a WW2 newsreal! I have learned to become more openminded and welcome differences of opinion with grace and acceptance. Since I have been practicing I have become so happy and optomistic and it is beginning to show outwardly and inwardly.

I was miserable not long ago (I got dumped by my fiance after moving from my home of 16 years), although I have been a member for over a year now and diligent about my gonkyo and daimoku. The entire emotional and physical upheaval turned into becoming a HUGE benefit for me. It was difficult to see it until I saw the changes through continuing to polish my mirror (Gohonzon) that my heart had been repaired by my practice and a lot of chanting... I mean a lot bro! I had dialogue for hours about my sadness and fear with other members on the phone and in here and everything was a benefit. Even the pain of change. So my new friend, please keep posting and smiling.

Thank you for the opportunity to grow.
Sincerely,
Denia
Denia,
Congratulations!!
We are SO happy for you.
Please keep polishing yourself.
Aiko
Oh my! If y/our leaders would only listen to President Ikeda.... You and he are on the same wavelength.... That's why someday you will be the leader....

Quote: Let us do our utmost to sustain the wonderfully warm atmospher of the SGI - an atmospher where
members feel free to discuss whatever is on their minds.

Unless we do so, our organization will stop growing, stop developing.

The SGI is a world of humanity - of the heart, of faith, of compassion. It's a world of unity and mutual inspiration.
That is why it is strong.

If we continue to value and promote these qualities, the SGI will continue to grow and develop forever.

I want to declare here and now the atmospher where we can discuss anything is fundamental to the SGI. Unquote....
Daisaku Ikeda, excerpt from the book - For Today and Tomorrow
- - - - - - -
Seems your should run off a copy of this and keep it on your person, for when it might be needed..... Best always....
Yes i also think pr.Obama is right ,democracy is for the people and without frank dialogue there is no democracy .Nichiren buddhism gives us the opportunity to express our very heartfelt desire in heart to heart conversation.,and i think if anyone has anything to say or points to debate he/she should feel free to do so. Also we are the soka gakkai it is there for us to forge our future but also to protect the Law of N.M.H.R.K.

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