Posts Tagged ‘Emily Bronte’

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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by James C. Stephens


January 10, 1977

I’m very excited tonight. First we had the grooviest, warmhearted and funny meeting tonight with Mr. Kikumura.  His wisdom and ability to make things so clear through daily life examples is so encouraging. He said to give guidance to our members we first must really know them inside and out, otherwise we’re like a surgeon who operates and starts taking things out the first visit of the patient.

Asked about street shakubuku, he talked and compared Phase one to that of laying a foundation for a tall building. At first it is ugly. You don’t know what to make of it. But eventually it grows and becomes beautiful. Buddhism is changing constantly, but it is also constant. Like a tree from a seed. You don’t prune it like an older fruit tree do you? When it first breaks the soil? No. Different stages, different treatment.

What if you had a $20 bill to give away. Would you find the first person on the street and give it to him? No. You would probably give it to a close friend or relative. No street shakubuku.

To another question where a district chief (Ric Coleman) had 75% Fujimbu (women). That’s healthy. It will grow into something greater. He explained women’s, man’s nature. Also explained district is like a family. So much more.

Afterwards Mr. Bell asked if I wanted to got out and eat. I said, “Sure.” (I only got a cup of coffee since I’m trying to conserve money).

One other thing Mr. Kikumura said was ‘that we could know someone for 10 years and then bang, in an instant they could totally change.

We went to the Penguin, talked to Gary McCarty. World Tribune Correspondent’s meeting the 20th of January 6:30PM at the World Culture Center. Strange, I was talking to Mrs. Bell and mentioned my plans to shakubuku friends in Missoula and she said wow, “you know one of Gary McCarty’s members goes to school there. They’re having two meetings a week. The girl that goes there is Karen Perandozzi. She has five members there.’  To me this is so damned exciting!

Also Fujimbucho (Mrs. Bell) sensed I was attracted to Pat (Kremer). She said, not yet. Give her a chance to get established. That’s not to say you can’t get acquainted with her. But you know what I mean. It’s so much groovier to get to know people on the other level. It also makes it less awkward if the relationship doesn’t turn up to be what you first intended it to be. I agreed and expressed the fact that this is happening to more and more to me.

In fact she suggested that the first article I submit to the World Tribune could be about Pat and Charlotte’s experience in France since I had expressed such an interest in them.

Wuthering Heights

Well, must read Wuthering Heights some more–only 6 more days until our Literary meeting.

12:30 AM.

by James C. Stephens


Sunday, December 13, 1976 12:40 a.m.

Many obstacles trying to stop my advance. I must somehow develop the spirit of a lion. Day by day towards the 21st Century.

Saturday night, I had a guest. Her name is Carma. She was greatly encouraged by meeting. Gave her a ride home. Had coffee. Controlled my Sancho Goma. Very difficult.

Oh, I don’t believe I told you. Scott and I started a Book society. Once a month we will read a book and discuss it. Each member of the society will in turn select a book for his month. Our group consists of Bruce Barnes, Scott Ferguson, two non-members which I have not yet met, and myself. First Book is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

Yoni Netanayahu killed in Raid on Entebbe

Saw a movie on the July 4th incident in Uganda of a terrorist hijacking of a plane with 200 people, 100 which were Jews. What a ghastly problem! It sickens me greatly. Fortunately the Israelis held a surprise attack which was successful in only 3 hostages were lost and 1 soldier. The terrorists were all gunned down. We were not so lucky at Munich. All the hostages lost their lives. Unfortunately terrorism is gaining a foothold in many movements, e.g., IRA.