Posts Tagged ‘Beverly Hills General Chapter’

by James C. Stephens


March 05, 1980

Last night I started a six week course on “Sexual Self Expression” on Tuesday nights at 7:30 with Actualizations. Our workshop conductor is a man named David Crump. (He trained at Esalen in California under Carl Rogers, a world renown expert on Group Dynamics). One of our homework assignments is to keep a journal–daily of our dealings around a sexual focus. So I might not be spending much time here for the next six weeks, but things will be recorded. I think I will record it in another journal I have. It will just be of this workshop experience. I will ask the workshop conductor if this is okay.*

David A. Crump later developed the Essential Experience.

[JCS 2019 Note: *Not many years later, I sat in on a Psychology class at UCLA to take notes for a sick friend and was deeply impressed by the Professor’s take on the psychological dangers and relational damage due to Pornography. The class radically changed my view of pornography. In the Sexual Self Expression class we were instructed to build a book of sexual images, basically our own personal Playboy, which I did. After the class at UCLA, I made the decision to discard and destroy the notebook and clean up my own mind. It was softcore only, but it was interfering with my own marriage and imagination. I have never regretted my decision to do so nor the results of a discipline of fidelity and the resulting fruits of that practice].

Lots of work these days along with a good deal of stress and frustration. However, I’m trying to work through all these factors and learn my lessons. Wrote a short letter to Daisaku Ikeda and sent it, expressing my feelings re: my role in NSA as I see it.

As usual I’m pushed to the line for my work. Must get to work on Garcia’s plan. (I was training to become a landscape architect and worked on designing gardens for clients).

March 06, 1980

Didn’t tell you-went through two difficult days at divorce court where two fellow members Bob Rafkin and Joanne Harris decided to part.

[Bob passed away awhile ago. Joanne has gone on to be quite a famous hair stylist in Hollywood. Years ago she was one of the members of the Sweetie Seven a performing group in Nichiren Shoshu. Here’s one of her recent YouTube video series from her hair saloon. Hope she is doing well. Say hi if you see her!]

By the way, Dad presented my plan to the Garcia’s today for $12,000-$15,000 and they loved the plan. Now I’ve lot’s of work to do on the working drawings, irrigation, plant plan, staking plan, drainage, contour grading–I’m learning so much by doing–unbelievable amount of work. It’s quite absorbing and I am having fun. Finally. It’s so great to have completed a plan and to have been able to have it presented. Next I’ve got to learn #1. How to budget my time for deadlines–now I know there’s a lot of work to be done in designing the landscape for a home.

#2. To have the whole plan done at least two days in advance–with all prices, all plans in order to relax the day before and to #3. Be in shape for a presentation. #4. Pricing and sales are real weak for me!

One thing David Crump said to me in the workshop on Tuesday was (and it was very perceptive of him) –Stick to it, don’t give up–>see it through.

I thought about that often last night and morning. I would finish the presentation plan no matter what. I knew I could, but it would take discipline; which I’m trying to develop.

I had never seen Chaplin speak.

Before I sat down to continue my work last night I watched some movies on “ON TV.” The first movie was a Chaplin film-much to my surprise, I had never seen Chaplin speak. It was so damned funny. I didn’t know it was Chaplin until after the film (The King of New York City). I was really taken over by him. It must have paralleled his own life, as his son was in the movie also. He did deliver some real eloquent punch lines about the American system and it was really sad, but true. It revolved around the Communist issue, which involved Chaplin quite deeply. He left America I believe because of it. I will research this. A very warm, funny man.

I could not help but be inspired by Truman’s guts, courage, honesty and conviction.

The next movie was “Give ‘Em Hell, Harry”–a story, a play about Harry S. Truman played by James Whitmore. Well done–damned inspiring. I could not help but be inspired by Truman’s guts, courage, honesty and conviction. A man of integrity. I wanted to run out and get into the political arena right then. I realize now it is rather the guts and other traits I aspire to enhance in my own life. If politics ever becomes my destiny–I give my life in service to the people. This is the only raison d’etre for politics. Great play. I highly recommend it. I must study history more. What makes such a man. I’m inspired.

Yesterday–got a call from Paris regarding an apartment we looked at in Santa Monica. Two bedrooms-dining room, big living room-French windows, Spanish style. Really nice. It will take some work. We have an interview Friday or Monday. It’s on 6th Street diagonally across from the World Culture Center. Close to Liz’s work and close for us to W.C.C. Bank. Well, whatever’s in the stars for us–that will be fine.

Got a call from school–Bonnie from Landscape Extension called regarding Neil’s class–I gave her my analysis of class. Too much in too short a time. Glad I could give input, by the way-a day before the department meeting. She was very receptive for which I was appreciative. She told me she would talk to Pat Allen regarding my input.

Next, Dad called me and reported to me he ran into a gentlemen he had been trying to contact for weeks to work for him. Best worker he ever had. We had just had a heated discussion the day prior regarding employees and his name had come up. Thanks universe for putting them together the next day. What a fortunate occurrence. Dad happened to go into a Montgomery Wards and ran into the guy. Very fortunate occurrence considering the size of this city… Dad also talked to his friend Pierre regarding his landscape crew and working together. They agreed to do some business. This will probably promote more design business for me.

Garcia had called me early Tuesday morning also and said the Hospital might need some design work. Mad appointment Thursday. What a day. Not only that, then Ann Hagihara called regarding the Youth Development Movement in Beverly Hills. She at first felt me out regarding my feelings and I reassured her that although Andrea was the figurehead at the time, I personally had already accepted total responsibility for the program in Beverly Hills. Right now I’m just not trying to make waves, with the powers that be, but instead just floating among them and scoping out the situation. I assured her that I got the same feeling as her on Andrea. She told me that Andrea really was not interested in the youth program at this time and was probably feeling guilt and pressure since she was formerly in charge of the Young Women’s Division. Whatever. I’m sure everything will work out for the best for everyone. I hope she is interested, if not we can work with the too.

After Liz got home we went out to MacDonald’s and had dinner and talked in the van about all the things going on. Something’s changing.

I’m chanting more and doing some music meditation. Getting a bit more in contact with myself. The Sexual Journal is helping me explore myself more for which I am thankful.

General ideas for Youth Development Program.

Summerhill-Freedom–Not teaching–Facilitating–Freedom–Patience–Coordinating–Finding people talented in area of youth anywhere-members or not–youth programs–non dogmatic–True Buddhism–True Freedom–Non authoritarian–non coercive–Room for youth–Library–Communication Newsletter national, local–workshops (summer courses) with real growth–not like past in NSA–Together! Planned M. Crenshaw (Actualizations leaders)–if youth needs something, let’s provide for growth–Parental cooperation–Community Service Program–Community Service Center–Sunday Daimoku Tosos–Preparation before meetings–Responsibility–Everyone–Youth Government–not benevolent Dictatorship–Youth free run of place.

Awe and respect for life.


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by James C. Stephens


December 5, 1977

Over the weekend I attended a Marina District Meeting. Only one Young Men’s Division is there now besides myself. I realize that I must raise more members, YMD. Tonight I talked with Honbucho Mr. Curtis and he said I need to talk more to Mr. Sugano. He said he learned when he was young that youth is time to tell your feelings to shut up, to cover up, ignore them. Unless they come from the world of enlightenment you can’t trust them. They will destroy you. We live in a human society you have to live with people. To get along with people is important. Your feelings are so strong they will ruin you. You don’t have to get rid of them, just control them. It can change very fast.

On the subject of daimoku. Ask yourself when is your favorite time of day to chant. Honbucho said nite bores him. That’s for beer and other things like being a father. I have to be a father til 10:30 after that I have so little time. I chant a lot when I’m happy, very little when I’m not. I get up early before everyone else and chant in the morning about 45 minutes. I chanted a lot when I was a new member. When you have a lot of problems Jim, I don’t think 40 minutes is enough, especially when you’re not in control of the situation.

20141117_085329_LLSTalked with Steven Parker. Wow, we sure had a nice talk compared to days when we were TCD (Traffic Control Division) together in New York. Told him I would send him book called Martin Eden. He’s a writer for Auto magazines. Showed Honbucho my diary. He said I hope there’s a significant change in Volume 9!..Talk to me when you have any problems.

During Gongyo tonight, I really thought about our wedding. With so many people invited it may be unwise. Possibly we should cut it down, since we are going to Israel. Financially it could put us into debt for a long while.

Thursday, December 8, 1977

Tuesday night I was home visited by Mr. Sugano who is our Territory I YMD Chief with Mr. Nagashima. From his visit, I really determined to begin anew! I must fight! Challenge myself! I can do 30 visits a month. Do it! Less theory more action. Encourage your parents in NSA and family by your strong action. You are future of NSA of the world. Human Revolution. Marriage–don’t become domesticated. Trust, President Ikeda and Mr. Williams that’s enough. We are all doing gongyo–human revolution. Have stronger life force–more compassion than others. Less controlled by outside. I took it be be more a true General based on the law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.

December 6, 1977 is a date I shall make a new beginning from. It is a prime point. During Gongyo I felt rotten, like what are they doing here? But I challenged that attitude and resolved that this could signal a totally new beginning.

Already I’m experiencing new great benefits. Possible landscape job for President of A & M Records. $700 job for one of Rick Coleman’s projects. A new customer next door to Rick’s. A clean up job for Ira Pelofsky, a clean up job for Chuck James partner. All since I made that resolution. Even an unprocurable book in the U.S. book in the U.S.–Dialogue on Life #1–I got from a friend last night. Visited Tony Schmidt last night after library committee.  He got back from Tozan* a new man, what a light bulb. He’s really felt the Kechimyaku and reality of Kosenrufu. He’s brimming over with determination. We have a transfer member from Hong Kong we gave Tony since he got back from Tozan.

Tonight we had a Bucho meeting with Mr. Sugano. Same as my home visit except I could give my determination. He really confessed privately tonight that he felt Beverly Hills YMD really possess something different. Really sharp! We initiated Ode to Youth study three months ago. No one else has yet to do. But Mr. Hall will start beginning of 1978. Mr. Sugano said we all graduated from college. So sharp. However he feels we lack on thing. We lack backing in action. Sort of give up half-way. But so many clever ideas and you all take notes. No other headquarters did I see this! I’m sure you pass this on. But must use this potential develop–carry through 100%!

Tonight felt that Kechimyaku, a mission of Kosenrufu. Immediately afterwards Danny and I went next door to our Chapter YMD’s daimoku toso. We chanted and planned lecture tomorrow night. Goal: to apply Buddhist terms concretely to daily life. Everyone to participate.

Afterwards Hiroshi and I went out. I ate, he had coffee. We had a nice talk and afterwards I dropped him off.

After I got home, I talked to Liz-she seemed depressed, misses me, I of course miss her, but campaign will determine our happiness as mates. I love her deeply. I felt unhappy for her feelings. Chanted one hour to end campaign today. Must write in diary daily.

Goodnite!

 

by James C. Stephens


May 4, 1974

Gary CurtisTonight after the meeting, I went to Santa Monica to talk to Soshibucho Gary Curtis. I told of my problem of following and wanting to take the lead. He related his experience of his early practice, when he was a butaicho with no real tai, but expected to lead gongyo at a meeting which the Senior leaders didn’t show at, but instead a younger member jumped up and led gongyo. I did plenty of onshitsu he said. Now my competition with that same leader is totally reversed. It’s more like, you lead the new member’s meeting, no you, no you.

I told him of the people I had shakubukued and how I’m not taking care of them, but others are. He said, each person’s mission is different, be proud of what you can do. Do what you can do, you are you. I can’t wait to see you a fatter smiley Jim Stephens, then I believe your true nature will come out instead of the thin you.

For a member of four years, you give rotten experiences and are a lousy emcee. For chanting four years you should have some heavy spiritual revelations which you can relate to the guests.

“How can I give better experiences?”

Paul Newman Exodus“You aren’t blind, just look around and see what kind of experiences you enjoy! Nobody likes a predictable character like Steve McQueen. They like a person like Paul Newman that goes through all sorts of conditions. You’ve got to be a good actor. You’ve got to have a bigger vision of the future. In front of a lot of people you have got to be a good actor. No more you knows or likes. How can you relate to older people that way?

Example of Mr. Enaba, a happy person who raised capable leaders, not a grab ass person, but a man happy to see people grow above him. But he has incredible fortune. Wow, when I was appointed he was so happy, he didn’t think of himself, he knew his mission. He did not give us much guidance and when he led meetings he never spoke more than 7 minutes. But such simple people are the people President Ikeda loves. And he shows them too. He almost ignores the screamers, Sensei! Sensei! But he goes out of his way to meet the behind the scenes people. He knows them. You should try to become such a person.

Wow, we (our General Chapter) won Gojukai for 6 months and I never once rubbed it in on anyone. Right now we are going to drive deep foundations for our lives. But two months from now the other General Chapters will wonder what hit them when we totally wipe them out.

I want happy people, not fanatics. He told me I was not ready to raise people all the way.

I ask, “How can I get ready?”

Don’t worry, that’s all.