Face to Faith – February, 2014

Written by WISDOM on . Posted in Newsletters



Face to Faith Event at the

Buddhist Center in Southfield

On Thursday evening, January 23rd, about 50 adults and teens gathered at the SGI-USA Buddhist Center on 12 Mile Road in Southfield for a Face to Faith gathering to learn about Buddhism.  After our pizza dinner, everyone gathered in the main auditorium for a fun icebreaker, followed by a very informative video about the SGI and Nichiren Buddhism called “Our Shared Humanity.”  Teens and adults learned interesting facts about this particular denomination of Buddhism.

The origins of the SGI-USA worldview can be traced to the teachings of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni, who lived some 2,500 years ago in what is modern-day Nepal. Born Gautama Siddhartha, he abandoned his sheltered, princely life and sought instead to understand the inescapable sufferings of every human being-birth, aging, sickness and death-and the means by which these sufferings could be overcome. Following his enlightenment at age 30, he traveled throughout India for some 50 years, sharing the wisdom he had discovered. The term Buddha, or “enlightened one,” is applied to any human being who realizes the eternity of life and the operation of cause and effect throughout the three existences of past, present and future. The Lotus Sutra (meaning teachings) teaches the existence of an innate and universal truth known as the Buddha nature, the manifestation of which enables one to enjoy absolute happiness and to act with boundless compassion. It is therefore a teaching which profoundly affirms the realities of daily life, and which naturally encourages an active engagement with others and with the whole of human society.

The members of the Southfield Buddhist Temple – Cole Beber, Victoria Bayagich, Laurent Schiratti, Koji Cassetta, Gumbo Potter, and Marie Sassano – took us through the overview of SGI Buddhism. They opened the Gohonzon, the scroll that practitioners chant to, and revealed the Chinese characters that are so important. The Gohonon functions as a spiritual mirror. The characters spell out the Gongyo chant “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo,” the universal law of life.  Reciting this chant allows each individual to tap into the wisdom of their life to reveal their Buddha nature. Faith, practice and study are the basics of Buddhist practice, pursuing activities for oneself and activities for the sake of others. This chant is performed morning and evening.
Cole Beber teaches us about SGI-Buddhism

After this fascinating demonstration of the Buddhist chant, we all had a chance to ask questions, and then broke up into two groups to talk about our own faiths, what religion means to us, and what motivates us in our lives.


The final Face to Faith event for this school year will be held on Thursday, March 20th from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Birmingham Unitarian Church, 38651 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

Our next planning meeting, if you would like to join us, will be at the Birmingham Unitarian Church on Tuesday, February 25th from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM.  Contact Gail Katz at 248-978-6664 for more information! We hope you will join us to brainstorm exciting Face to Faith events for the 2014-2015 School Year as well!

WISDOM Mission Statement

To Provide concrete modeling of women from different faith traditions working together in harmony for the common good.
To Empower women to take a more active role in furthering social justice and world peace.
To Dispel myths, stereotypes, prejudices and fear about faith traditions different from our own.
To Nurture the growth of empathy and spiritual energy that result from our projects and interfaith dialogue.


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WISDOM’s challenge is to bring together people from different faith traditions, ethnicities, races, and cultures in an atmosphere of safety and respect to engage in educational and community service projects. Let’s change our world through the positive power of building relationships!