Wisdom, Glory & Passion–Third American Student Congress

Posted: October 23, 2015 in Uncategorized
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by James C. Stephens


Saturday, July 17, 1971

 

File3288With only 5 days to Seattle, such excitement and progress is definitely being made in my human revolution. Today I believe a giant stride forward was taken. We moved today and probably Monday will be living in our new apartment. I really feel cleansed of a lot of junk, and as I sit in the apartment now, by candlelight, I feel like a pioneer in the great new civilization. It is definitely a great feeling. I think these days will be the greatest of my memories.

 

Wisdom, Glory, & Passion—Third American Student Congress.

 

J.F.K. once said, “World Peace is a daily process.”

Gary Curtis related Pres. Ikeda’s guidance to “fuse into society.”

The Canadian delegate said, “More shakubuku and more daimoku. Time to construct, not complain. Pres. Ikeda encourages us to be foremost.

The delegate from Hawaii said, “What is culture? The zadankai[1] meeting.”

Mr. Fukishima spoke. “From the bottom of my heart, Congratulations to Glorious Third American Student Congress! Such a youthful, bright, cheerful members of Student Division meeting. If President Ikeda attended he be very happy. President Ikeda make such a fantastic foundation. On this July Student Congress, this July very meaningful month. July 4, 1776—thirteen colonies declared independence. President Toda, the second President who was imprisoned was released on July 3rd.

July is month of revolution. Most meaningful meeting right now. This meeting must be turning point. Don’t you think so? Hai![2]

“This July is a very important meeting. Sokagakkai 20 years ago inaugurated. President Toda say: ‘New generation depend on passion and strength of youth.’ Create a new world means creation, means not Christian, but something as never existed before. Such passion means youthful searching of true idealism…strength means believing in Dai-Gohonzon.”

“In America today generally several 100 thousand young losing targets for future. Furthermore all you are studying in college or University because of Gohonzon, your study return with great wisdom. Crisis you face now are most important. What should be done? Greatness of master only shown by disciples. At work—image greatest of master. We are prince and princesses of Nichiren Daishonin. Must overcome obstacles.”

Sogohonbucho said, “I move that next May at USC we hold Student Congress.”

 


 

 

[1] A zadankai meeting is a discussion meeting which follows a prescribed routine and is held in member’s homes to which guests are invited to attend.  They typically begin with chanting the daimoku, followed by Gongyo. After the evening prayers are finished, the leader and emcee turn around towards the audience and then the emcee welcomes people to the meeting, followed by a couple of rousing Gakkai songs.  The tunes are usually quite familiar, like “I’ve been working on the Railroad” but the lyrics are totally Buddhist, e.g., “I’ve been doing Shakubuku all the live long day.” Early on everything would be followed by a vigorous, “AAO!AAO!AAO!” with fists thrust into the air, the Japanese equivalent to “hip, hip, hooray!” Then the emcee would ask us to introduce the guests.  Shortly afterwards, people would ask if they had an experience they’d like to share which varied from getting a free parking place, a new job, car, healing, etc. After the experiences, the meeting with be opened to questions from the guests and new members which the leader would answer. Following the questions, guests were asked if any of them would like to try chanting. The meeting usually started at 7pm sharp and ended promptly at 8:30pm.

[2] Hai was Japanese for yes. In the early days of the movement we would respond in Japanese to a question with a determined “Hai!” to express our commitment.

Looking back: My brother who had moved to Mammoth and looked fit. He was worried that I was not getting enough to eat. With around the clock activities, donuts and coffee became a standby. Not a good formulae for healthy living.

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