Aged twenty-five, and after three years of active service in Burma, Richard Causton returned to England in 1945 with the realization that the world of his early youth had gone forever. The principles and beliefs on which he had been brought up, even the very existence of a loving and all-merciful God - all were in doubt.
In 1958 he seized the chance of early retirement from the army, where, in his last post in the War Office, he was compelled to face for the first time the use of nuclear weapons and their appalling potential. At thirty-eight he began a fresh career in business.
In the 1960s, his business travels took him back to the Far East, where he encountered the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin in Japan. He describes it as an electrifying experience. All that he heard and read seemed exactly to match the beliefs and conclusions towards which he had already been moving. He began to practice and in 1971, aged fifty-one, he made his final commitment to the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin.
In 1974 he returned to England to join the 200 or so pioneer members practicing here at the time. Three years later he gave up business to become the first permanent staff member of what was then called Nichiren Shoshu of the United Kingdom (NSUK) and is now known by the name Soka Gakkai International of the United Kingdom (SGI-UK). He was head of SGI-UK between 1975 and 1995 and a vice chairman of both the worldwide lay society, Soka Gakkai International, and its European arm, SGI-Europe until his death on 13 January 1995.
Fear is destructive, a pervasive problem we all face. Vietnamese Buddhist Zen Master, poet, scholar, peace activist, and one of the foremost spiritual leaders in the world—a gifted teacher who was once nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr.—Thich Nhat Hanh has written a powerful and practical strategic guide to overcoming our debilitating uncertainties and personal terrors. The New York Times said Hanh, “ranks second only to the Dalai Lama” as the Buddhist leader with the most influence in the West. In Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting through the Storm, Hanh explores the origins of our fears, illuminating a path to finding peace and freedom from anxiety and offering powerful tools to help us eradicate it from our lives
So whether it's Mother Teresa's acts of charity, Gandhi's perseverance, or your aunt Betty's calm demeanor, as long as you're motivated to be better today than you were yesterday, it doesn't matter who inspires you. Regardless of religion, geographical region, race, ethnicity, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, flexibility, or vulnerability, if you do good you feel good, and if you do bad you feel bad.
Buddhism isn't just about meditating. It's about rolling up your sleeves to relieve some of the suffering in the world. If you are ready to be a soldier of peace in the army of love, welcome to Buddhist Boot Camp!