by James C. Stephens


Tuesday, March 22, 1977

It is with a solid determination and growing confidence that I begin Volume #9 of my diary.

Last evening, I sorted out some old paper items that I had collected over the years. I read some papers I had written in college. I must confess that my level of understanding was not as high as I had thought. This was to me a profound realization of the wisdom and awakening my life has gained from an assiduous practice to the Gohonzon following President Ikeda’s guidance through the encouragement of Mr. Williams and my leaders.

Every since I have began to put President Ikeda’s guidance related by Mr. Izumi on eliminating slander into practice, it has been as if the veil was slowly coming off my eyes and I was seeing the world for the first time.

I have been experiencing a flowering of benefits, probably conspicuously important to me in my practice. One of, nay most of my members have been developing their faith and practicing. Kudoshin is the word I am trying to use. Scott Ferguson and I have been going to World Tribune Correspondent’s meetings. Our friendship is growing. I can say now that the friends I have always been seeking throughout my life are appearing. I believe it is in keeping with the emergence of the life of Buddha within my own life.

For the first time in my practice I actually talked and got guidance alone from Mr. Kikimura (with Scott). He read my World Tribune experience I was working on. Said I have to work on reporting.

The next is a many faceted benefit. On February 16, Mr. Williams attended a Marina Chapter study meeting at our Chiku (district house) on Jasmine Street. Many of my YMD attended this meeting. What was interesting was the fact that Scott Ferguson had prepared a letter to Rejicho regarding the Literary Group we had started. He invited Mr. Williams to a meeting of this group and put me as the founder and included my phone number.

As I walked into my home around 10:30 that night, my father was sitting by the phone at the dinner table looking asleep, but was awake. He casually remarked as it was an everyday occurrence, that Mr. Williams called for me and he had a chat with him. I of course was extremely excited, but questioning what it was about. I tried to reach him at the Headquarters, but without success. He had left for home. About a week later after much guidance I was fortunate enough to talk to Rejicho at the Study exam. Mr. McCloskey introduced me to him in the proctor’s room. He conveyed his happiness at my endeavor and offered some guidelines for the group and said he would like to attend a meeting in the near future and would like to discuss a book on the basis of Human Revolution and Kosenrufu. “Try your best!”

I have proceeded to receive guidance on the direction of this group from fellow senior leaders. Soon I will be writing a memo to Rejicho on this subject.

This is a great benefit for my practice. I’m becoming more excited about this literary group at each meeting. So far we have read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway and East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

I will keeping a more complete diary on the group meetings on each book.

As far as the Young Men’s Division of my chapter, it is my resolution to find many capable leaders for Kosenrufu. The final moments we spent with our General Director Mr. Williams pronounces my resolution. He said, “As a YMD centering on Mr. Hall, Homencho’s, Honbucho’s, Shibucho’s–develop yourself, don’t run out of breathe, run your pace, your way, your type, with Ku Doshin.”

I Resolve: To develop my self identity, to discover my potential and to develop and to raise many capable Young Men’s Division.

Again I resolve to become an outstanding member of the Liaison Division.

I resolve to put the 6 points of President Ikeda into practice. They are:

  1. Gosho first
  2. Unity first.
  3. Practice first.
  4. Shakubuku first.
  5. Eliminate onshitsu.
  6. Ku doshin first.

My resolution is for our chapter to carry out Sugano’s resolution of 1 shakubuku per YMD each month towards the next YMD Kosenrufu Day meeting on March 16, 1978.

We have 7 leaders. Our goal is 84 practicing new members in one year.

Sundays we will chant 2 hours and do Gongyo, and study towards that goals at the 1st Headquarters.

My goal is 3 hours of daimoku per day. Until then. Somehow, no matter how long it takes to build up to that I must return to the prime point of my faith-the relationship to my Gohonzon-Shitei Funi.

To become close to Mr. Williams. to develop the correct spirit of President Ikeda toward our literary group.

I chant for my members, my wife, my family and my business.

Somehow I have to put a home visitation campaign into effect for my practice. Must awaken some taitan members. Like to make this month and April loaded with these visitations. Must wait til schedule comes out for April.

My correspondence campaign has taken a bit of a dip. Right now I must develop my chapter as far as Young Men’s Division, this is of ultimate importance. I may type a form letter to my friend’s. I think this is the only way I can reach them all.

 

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