Dominic Berry
  • 54, Male
  • Musashino-Shi, Tokyo
  • Japan
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Dominic Berry's Friends

  • Michael Lucas Monterey
  • Joanna Murray
  • Suzy
  • louise berry
  • Krishinda
  • Aiko
  • Sooey Smith

Dominic Berry's Page

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About Me (tell us a little bit about yourself):
I used to practice in the UK - Scotland and London. I got married in January and moved to Japan, May 2008. Since then, I changed to Nichiren Shoshu, so strictly, I'm here under false pretenses. I teach English and philosophy and also work as an artist. I live in a quiet area near central Tokyo. We don't have yakuza, just yoga. My life is sometimes difficult, but very interesting. Japan's really good. The weather's nice, the food is good and the culture is amazingly interesting. The only thing that's really bad is my japanese. I registered here principally to be in touch with my old friends from SGI-UK who invited me, but I'm very open to dialogue between Nichiren Shoshu and the SGI with anybody at all.

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At 1:58pm on February 20, 2015, Chris Tinney said…

At 1:04am on February 20, 2012, Frankie T said…

At 11:48pm on February 20, 2011, Dan said…
Happy Birthday, Dominic!
At 3:09pm on October 5, 2008, Michael_H said…
Hi Dominic. Last time I actively practiced was during the time of the split. One of the reasons it's been hard to come back to this practice is the Us VS Them arguments I sometimes hear. I can see merit in both sides and think that only good can come from being able to speak to each other like human beings with feelings and inward buddha natures. I applaud your mission. Michael
At 9:20am on September 16, 2008, Joanna Murray said…

Hi Dom, I want to hear all about your wife! Oliver is at Annisland College doing Business Studies - that's after he bummed around for a year and working at the Byres Rd supermarket on the checkout! Here's a pic of him to prove he is nearly 6ft - he's in a thrash-metal band and loves to skateboard... sharks & all that are very old news...
At 6:16am on September 16, 2008, Joanna Murray said…
Hey Dom - what are you up to in Japan? Married? What's going on???
At 6:37pm on September 15, 2008, Sooey Smith said…
Hi Dom,
Great challenge you've undertaken. Please be guided by Sensei, President ikeda and be grounded in your participation of SGI activities. You will then have great life force to create maximum value.
At 2:07pm on August 24, 2008, louise berry said…
well done for finding us!I like your mission.good fortune.I'm chanting for you
At 5:46pm on August 22, 2008, Dominic Berry said…
Thanks Krish -

The stuff I sent you is best contained within direct contacts of mine. Suzy and Lulu can read all of it if they want. It's passed time I was chatting with them about it.

I seem to be having a dialogue principally with a woman called Hiromi who practices on the Temple side. She arranges meetings with leaders who can speak English and argue the Temple's case. I also have dialogue set up with a senior guy at Shinanomachi. Mostly the Temple guys are kind of amazed that someone from the SGI will hear them out, so it makes me wonder whether the local members have made much effort at all at open-minded dialogue. Sometimes their arguments centre on Ikeda, sometimes on the authority the gosho lends the priesthood, and sometimes the issue about SGI stealing gohonzons or destroying them. They're usually not drooling at the mouth and chanting Nikken's name. This kind of thing could whip up a huge storm on each side without achieving anything. I just let them express themselves, nod, smile and say that the hard evidence would be interesting to see and we continue to talk. One gets the feeling that the split caused great pain for them and they didn't make their choices lightly. When I'm finished, I put my questions and perspectives to them and thank them for their time. I've never had a word of disrespect from them. They always heard me out, gave reasonable answers, and tended to take my perspective seriously. I also had a few emails with Vida Adamoli on the SGI side and a few with Annette whitelaw on the Temple side on the history, the theory and the weight of evidence in the split. These dialogues tended to defend their own position, (in each case, very reasonably and self-sufficiently).

It's mostly me and Hiromi who have creative discussion on our perspectives which will dignify each side's position and establish common ground. We can talk very openly about the flaws in our own organisations and speculate as to whether this is a real division or just an ego war between the senior bods. At first we were trying to sell our side to each other, but now I think we're closer to talking about what you and I were talking about, which is - politics aside - how do we nurture enlightenment, how do we build trust and how do we create unity and value in the face of all this?

I don't really want to circulate the facts I've sent you, because as intriguing as they are, they're just hearsay from each side. I can feel this huge energy from many of the members on both sides to fire facts at each other. When you hear both sides of the argument, you quickly learn that most of these facts are a lot less demonstrable than they would like to imagine. They generally aim to damage the opposing side's credibility right up. "Great! I torpedoed the fucker! Now everyone will know he's a lying shit!.. Now let's get back to world peace..."

The idea that you could make someone honest by rewarding their honesty with openness, or that you could educate them by helping them listen to themselves, or that you could create a dialogue which sought a solution rathr than a crushing vistory... Well, I guess that's just my own maddness coming out. I'm very happy to discuss ideas about that with anybody, but I think really I'll get pelted with hundreds of emails ranking "The case against the Temple" (as if this could alter anything), and asking me to succumb to reason (or face their contempt). As if being on the right side could make a bad man good, or as if aggression in a good cause could dignify that cause rathr than defile it. My preferential judgement won't teach them how to learn compassion and respect for their enemies.

What we need is a philosophy for having dialogue with people who don't really want to trust us. If my research gets passed around as "This is what these bastards are saying about us amongst themselves", I'll have friends on both sides saying "Are you really going to sit there and listen to this shit?" And of course I am. I'm going to sit there and listen until they all start to hear themselves and wonder what you're achieving.

I don't think it matters what people believe. It only matters why they believe it, and what kind of people these beliefs make out of them. When I met the enemy, heard them out, understood their position, sympathised with their experiences and their dilemas... I actually felt like a much better person for it. That's what needs to be getting around.
At 11:50am on August 22, 2008, Krishinda said…
Please put your cool stories on as well, when you get a chance. Even the stuff you just sent me. Would make an interesting Blog.

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