by James C. Stephens

Tuesday, August 17, 1971


Jr. Hancho Meeting


Goals of Sogohonbucho.


  1. You are the meeting. Relate how Gohonzon changed you.
  2. Bring guests.
  3. Should call and see if they (district leader) need anything.
  4. Condition of Chiku.[1]
  5. Forget about what you are. Concentrate on what are you’re doing. What you’re doing shapes the future.


Monday, August 23, 1971


Summer is going by so fast, it really is a mind boggler[2]. Friday night I got guidance from Guy McCloskey my Shibucho and it straightened out a lot of thing in my practice. It was really a benefit to be able to talk to him. One day last week I went taitan[3] in my head and refused to do Gongyo, but ended up doing it at 1:30. I really felt good after I did it. Gongyo is far out.


One day I encountered a “Jesus freak.” He knew Nichiren Shoshu because he had been a member for 2 ½ years and burned his Gohonzon. I will never forget the terrible condition of his life. I could tell he was in hell, before he even said a word. His head was like they say split into 7 pieces. Very strange, I really see the terrible condition and effects of Christianity today.


I did a lot of Shakubuku this week, but am determined to do much more! I’ve really been encountering a lot of Christian heavies, but man am I cutting that karma.


My brother came down last week and it brought a big argument and he split. I really felt bad about it because my Dad’s nature comes out on Ron in a bad way. I hadn’t done morning Gongyo yet, but did after he left. I really chanted hard for Hendoku Iyaku “changing poison into medicine.”


Immediately after Gongyo I could not stay awake, so my Dad and I went to sleep and woke at 1:30, saying we’ve got to get out of this rut. So I said I want to look at some butsudon’s, so I ended up putting $10 down on a nice cabinet I’m going to make into a butsudon. It is definitely a benefit. So after we went out and ate and for some reason stopped at the Builder’s Emporium. We had already passed it but turned back and went in.


After looking around for about 10 minutes we ran into Rick Richards and I introduced him to my Dad. My Dad was hit very strongly by Rick’s Shakubuku.  My Dad attended his first meeting on Saturday Aug. 21, 1971, a day I will not forget.


I had one experience last week which I must write down because it is a very important benefit to my practice. One night, Rudy, my member stayed over. Because of that a girl he met, Linda, came over here, after being kicked out, to get Rudy’s #.  I let her stay here. It was a bad slander to Buddhism to let someone us my home as a crash pad, but I though it would be a good Shakubuku. It was the worst! You are a Bodhisattva not a Christian, practice like me. More mercy, better Shakubuku to not let them take advantage of you.

The girl ate our food without asking and never really thanked us. Never again!


[1] Chiku is a district meeting place. A men’s district leader is called a chikubucho.

[2] “Mind boggler,” slang for a situation or series of events that happen so fast that your mind can’t   correctly evaluate the situation because there are so many elements involved.  Liken it to attempting to rake up a pile of autumn leaves and a gust of wind comes along and blows them in circles.

[3] Taitan is the term for quitting one’s practice of Buddhism.

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