Posts Tagged ‘Gary Murie’

by James C. Stephens

Friday, June 6, 1975

About 2:00 AM last night Mike Hayes and I got a call from Mr. Murie. In the morning we were to meet at 8:00 o’clock to do gongyo with Rejicho. So about 15 of the stage crew met with Mr. Williams to do gongyo at the Control Center. After an incredibly strong gongyo he talked to us about our health and how important it was to get energy from nature by exercise. He then gave us a Spanish lesson and read President Ikeda’s guidance for June 6, 1975. He said, no matter what criticism we may endure or no matter what flattery we may receive, let’s keep going ahead with the Gakkai spirit.

President Ikeda’s Daily Guidance: “No matter how we’re criticized let’s carry on. We know glory and victory await us in the course of our persistent struggle.”

Afterwards whawaii-outrigger-canoee had some rolls and coffee, then headed for the beach. We rode in outrigger canoes. What a gas! Then Rejicho came out and we gathered round him. He seemed very serious today. But I picked up on his incredible Ichinen for the success for this convention. He was looking all round this Bay with binoculars. I wonder what goes on in his great mind?

We rode in a catamaran also. What a gas. While riding his man who sailed this boat told us that July is known for big surf. And we had better really pray for something.

We’ll be taking performers to the Island in these catamarans.

A great experience with Mr. Williams.

Got a bad sunburn–used some Hawaiian herb on it and it. Works wonders.

Saturday, June 7, 1975

Helped finish the backdrop for tonight’s General Meeting! However, I got a tremendous benefit. I’m toban to protect the warehouse tonight.

Last night while treating my sunburn with that special succulent herb I talked to the warehouse nurse Bill. A very  encouraging talk about his district’s growth from nothing to a real dynamite district.

Finally caught up with my diary a bit!

My resolution is to work much harder than ever to create more fortune for my future, family and district. I must struggle each moment. I’m going for broke.


Friday June 20, 1975

Wow. I could not begin to believe that 13 days have passed since I last wrote in my journa. Time passes so quickly.

I have been realizing a whole helluva a lot about myself. The groovy thing is it feels like I am changing many things on the spot.

My strong pride has come out many times, you know-the I’m right feeling. Uptightness.

Tuesday, June 24, 1975

Lately I have been experiencing some of the greatest feelings I have experienced in my life.

Ichinen: Life force.

Rejicho: General Director

Toban: Guard


by James C. Stephens

Wednesday, June 4, 1975

Cut some more pealee grass today out in the country. Got Scott to come along by telling Dale he needed to get out of the warehouse. Had a good time, especially the dip in the ocean afterwards, pants and all. Worked til 1:00 AM.

Thursday, June 5, 1975

Went to bamboo forest at 9:00 this morning to get 3,000 more feet to finish off the rest of our projects. The ranger rode in our van. I guess re’s really a heavy guy being personally responsible for us to move the island to Waikiki. He told us all about plants and their history on our way to the bamboo forest. He us about the volcanoes and how they flow into the area and create deep holes on the big Island. He cautioned us not to wander into the grass. This once was a volcanic area and the lava burned out trees and their root system and this left big holes in the ground. People disappear every year into these death traps. Wow!

After we got back, right before dinner I was told I and about 7 other guys were going to zadankai meetings. All right!

Well, I ate and headed back to the hotel. My roommate (Scott Avery) and I proceeded to get into a yell out. Woo! Mr. Murie said a lot of tension was in the air. He said some thing that really hurt, but strangely I really picked something out from it which is really true about my nature. He said, “Can’t you be just one of the guys?” That is what I’ve been chanting about for several months. I believe this will change for the better.

I found myself giving guidance. Again my arrogant nature. This MUST CHANGE! And WILL!

At the discussion meeting tonight of Cam Chapter I really felt this was a new beginning of my practice. I had a very different attitude at this meeting. This time rather than criticizing the meeting inside, I really was digging what NSA was all about. People. Scott and I really dug the meeting and the people. Of course it was such a trip all these different people chanting.

Afterwards we had coffee with Mr. Tamara and his daughter and a YMD leader. It was such a refreshing experience for my practice. I got my first Hawaiian ley at this meeting.

by James C. Stephens


Friday, May 23, 1975

Came home around 12:30 daytime after Toban and showered, slept for about 3 hours. Went back to the warehouse, ate and got back to work. One of my dreams definitely came true tonight. When I was a young boy we used to travel to the beach; and on our way I always saw this little thatched Hawaiian type grass hut and I used to hear this song, “Little Grass Shack.” Well tonight I was taught by the grooviest Hawaiian Women’s division Helen, Margaret and Lizzie how to weave palm leaves. What a gas!

They’re becoming my good friends.

Saturday, May 24, 1975

Today we worked our bodingas off. Our crew is really uniting. Last night my project chief Mik Strawbinger and Dan  Pardo came over and we talked over a couple of beers then some cafe ole. Got to bed around 3:00.

We had a daimoku campaign in our group today and really got a lot accomplished. We switched off chanting about 20 minutes a piece. I must have chanted around an hour and a half today. I needed it too. I took my temperature and it was about 100 degrees and of course it made things a taste uncomfortable, but the daimoku saw me through the day.

I talked to one guy named Joel, a black guy and really had an incredible talk about racism and political activity. Very interesting talk.

Sunday, May 25, 1975

Had a mother of a tug-o-war. First our crew lost, got the most rope and were set. Next time we got set evenly and what a fight. We pulled and growled and fought. Finally in a last ditch effort we united to Wa-shoi and pulled the other team over the line and we claimed victory!

Tuesday, May 27, 1975

Went through mucho human revolution today. Carpentry puts me through changes like Brass Band training.

I understand that in a memo on the ABC campaign that this convention determines the success or failure of NSA. To me that is a very heavy responsibility for all of us. In a way I’m really scared for Mr. Williams. That’s why I am determined to try my damnedest to support anyone I have to follow, happily!

This afternoon during the height of my frustration with our Tiki hut, Mr. Murie had bought three big 5 gallon containers of ice cream and fudge. Perfect time, it made everybody relax and made it easier to go back to work joyfully.

Wednesday, May 28, 1975

This morning did Gongyo and instead of chanting for just my own shoga, I thought more of taige. Our group, headed by Mike Strawbinger; Mike Tamani, Dana Weeks, and Jo Michaelburger and myself all got to go to the Bamboo forest to cut 1000 stocks of Bamboo for the Polynesian village. Like a dream come true. So beautiful being inside a bamboo forest. Incredible feeling of serenity, but at the same time adventure. And what a view from the trail of the ocean wow!

Only one bad incident. Not really bad, but it put a perspective on why we were in this forest cutting the bamboo. One collegiate type guy with a mustache, beer in hand came walking down the trail emitting the worst possible vibes. Telling us how screwed we were for cutting down the bamboo, his friends for world peace. Jesus never intended this. A totally arrogant attitude that my words can not express. He asked me if we had a permit and I asked him if was a park ranger. He said, “Yes.”  I said, “Yes, we do. Talk to the man up by the trucks. Well later I went up on top and told Andy Hirama, Mr. Hirama’s son the details he told me.

“See that man?” referring to a gentlemen sitting on the ground watching the proceedings taking place. “That’s the park ranger.” Well, I really had a laugh.

by James C. Stephens

Sunday, August 29, 1971


This morning really felt like a fresh start to my practice. My Dad drove me to the Chiku at 7:00 and he was really in high spirits, it made me feel very happy inside. We arrived in time to catch our breath for Gongyo with Larry Shaw. Brass Band was very vigorous and high spirited.

The Maneuvers we worked on today were extremely challenging. As far as we know we are the only marching band that has tried a moving spiral since Nazi Germany 30 years ago. It is indescribable.

After Practice we sang Sensei and called for the clarinet section. I felt uneasy take leadership, but only through making attempts can you gain benefit through Gohonzon. I asked Gary Murie about Jay Stone not being there and he said it’s up to you. You take the initiative. Call Jay Stone and say, “The Clarinets are wondering if you’re still the section leader?”

Afterwards we worked at the New Headquarters and Phil, Ken Tapola, Chico, and I painted the back fence. Good benefit.

After the meeting everyone gravitated towards Russ and he stressed that from now on everyone must practice because he is not going to wait for people that are freaking out, but is going to steadily march to Sho-Hondo. He related that after Sho-Hondo a lot of regret will be happening because people did not practice with their full effort. “Everyone in our district has a chance to be in the Sho-Hondo Opening Ceremony.”  But right now everyone is just sitting wiping their ____must fight harder. Take the initiative myself. Form your own nucleus. More Shakubuku.” Immediately afterwards I just did lots of Shakubuku. Must continue no matter how bad I am freaking out!

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.