Chanting together at the friends’ meeting house

  
‘In the Vimalakirti Sutra, there is a a scene describing the appearance of a jewelled canopy that covers the entire world. Five hundred youths had gathered around Shakyamuni, each holding their own jewelled parasol. This magnificent canopy came into being when the individual parasols held by each of the youths jouned together in an instant, symbolising their desire to create a society of peaceful coexistence. Their respective parasols no longer served just to protect each of them from wind and rain or the burning rays of the sun. Rather, these youths who had each travelled their seperate path in life, rose above their differences in a single shared determination, and it was this that brought this vast protective canopy into being. I see this as a beautiful symbol of the limitless possibilities of human solidarity.

I believe that such solidarity is also expressed in the new international development goals to be adopted by the United Nations toward the year 2030 a the determination to protect the lives and dignity of all people on Earth from every form of threat and misery – and it is through such solidarity that these goals will be realised.’

(From A Shared Pledge for a More Humane Future: To Eliminate Misery form the Earth. Daisaku Ikeda. Soka Gakai International. January 2015. Page 9.)

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