by James C. Stephens

Wednesday, August 11, 1971


Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve written in my record, but I will try my best to record the last days. The period before Seattle was absolutely amazing. Like Shibucho said, the convention is the preparation, the convention itself is the victory party. But still the Seattle Convention was great human revolution. I was really chanting to do something. I realized it is never too late to start so I resolved in my daimoku to do such. It I believe was a great benefit to me.


July, 19, Tuesday 20? After Brass Band (I was laid off work on Monday, so I decided not to look for work until after Seattle) I asked Gary Murie if he needed any help at all. I was in rhythm he did. So for the next three days all I got to look at was music. That night we started putting together the music for the 500 members of America Joint Headquarters Brass Band. We didn’t work too late. Wednesday morning.


I helped my dad move until about noon and hitched down to the Hdqt’s. I got one ride from Nordhoff to the front steps of the Honbu. I shakubukued an assistant of the Santa Monica District Attorney and he just drove me all the way, far out! He was interested, said he had attended meetings before, along time ago. That day we worked on the music quite long and I copied music until late afternoon. That is when I really cut a lot of karma. The copying machine broke down and so Orlando said shiki-shin-funi-esho funi[1]—so let’s go chant some daimoku so it gets fixed.

I really got yelled at by Tony Sugano and he said, “This could stop the whole convention.”  You should have seen the expression on my face. Whew. It’s really true, everything in the Headquarters runs on Ichinen[2]. It took a senior leader to fix the machine it definitely shows the power of Gohonzon. So we worked on music until about two and wrapped it up for that night.

So Bob Ludovise, Barry and I jetted home and spent some time scarfing[3] at Barry’s—we stayed there. Chanted an hour and slept from 5 until 10 that morning. So they couldn’t go to the Headquarters because of their jobs, so Barry drove me to get my suitcase packed and dropped me off at the Freeway on Roscoe. I immediately got a ride to Santa Monica and another ride down Santa Monica Blvd. and took the Bus to the Beach for two bits.[4]

Tom and I worked on the music and about four in the afternoon, Gary Murie, Tom and I went to Lunch at the Brown Bag. Good food, good music, good people. After lunch we found out that the deadline was 8:00 that morning. So Bob, Barry and I worked all night. What a heavy cause, never have I been so spaced[5] in my whole life. I can’t write the experience inside very easily on paper. But I think I cut a lot of ego problems. I really like doing things at the Honbu.

We completed the music 10 minutes before the deadline. It was definitely the power of the Gohonzon.

Thursday afterwards I took a good nap and went to a daimoku toso at the Chiku. Friday was busy as hell, getting ready for the flight.

Tonight I am really forcing myself to write about the Seattle Convention. At this moment I am going through the heaviest numbers I think I have encountered in my practice. What it is, I can’t just pin down.


[1] Shiki shin funi esho funi was his way of communicating two terms~oneness of body and mind and the second separate term esho funi was the oneness of you and your environment. He basically was saying that my laziness affected the copier

[2] Ichinen is basically the power of your life force.  “Literally, “one mind.” The life moment, or ultimate reality, that is manifested at each moment in common mortals…one can manifest his or her Buddhahood inherent in each life-moment.”

[3] “Scarfing,” slang for eating a lot of food quickly when you’re very hungry.

[4] “Two bits,” slang for 25 cents.

[5] “Spaced, spaced out,” slang for a physical, mental feeling of not being in touch with your body or emotions—managing to go through your daily routine without being in balance. Often a result of trauma, lack of sleep, improper eating.


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