Posts Tagged ‘Gohonzon’

by James C. Stephens


Friday, May 30, 1975

Well today is my fifth anniversary since I received my Gohonzon. What a day! The Human Revolution was definitely hot and heavy!

I made some resolutions pertaining to my practice in next five years. The next five years have to be my fortune building years with a consistent hard practice. I must study hard. I must graduate college and also become a professor in Buddhism. Definitely must somehow get close to all of my leaders and to General Director Mr. Williams. In my 6 year of practice my goal from August is 60 shakubuku. 5 a month for one year. I must really develop my life to show the power of the Gohonzon to Young Men’s Division and potential YMD in Los Angeles. In 1975-1976 I must become an outstanding member of the Liaison Division. I know inside that if I don’t fight really hard I don’t feel the courageous and victorious feeling I really desire. My Bodhisattva nature doesn’t come out as predominately is what I mean to say.

Saturday, May 31, 1975

Today GMW came to the warehouse. What a great benefit. First we cheered and and rushed around him and his guest then proceeded to do a vigorous! Gongyo! After Gongyo he talked about his tour to Panama. After that we went back to work. Then Mr. Williams came by each project and showed a special guest, the author, the warehouse. He was very impressed. The first stop was our hut then the movie hut. They breezed through- afterwards Rejicho dawned an apron and worked on several projects.

herbie-hancock

At one particular project he worked at with Herbie Hancock and my member Scott Ferguson showed Rejicho what was happening since Herbie didn’t know. That made my evening complete. Then to top it off he came by our hut again and came up to me shook my hand and asked me what I was making. I explained what the bamboo panel was for. He then saw that I forgot one nail hole. He nailed it all down and when he tried to pick it up he discovered it was nailed to the floor. We all laughed together and as soon as he finished we clapped for him. What a far out man!

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by James C. Stephens


November 2, 1974

Today I made a strong resolution to the Gohonzon. I have realized what Shibucho said not to chase your fortune. Well, I chanted to the Gohonzon about my relationship and the Gohonzon has really shown me deeply like a parent the route to my true happiness. It was a very valuable experience to my practice while it lasted. It nevertheless hurt me deeply to cut it off but considering what transpired it’s definitely the right direction. I want to build my fortune so that someday I can marry and have a happy relationship based on the Gohonzon.

The Gohonzon is my parent, without it I would have totally flipped out. But now I’m happier in a much deeper sense than ever before.

Thank you Gohonzon! It hurt deeply the way it happened but that the only way I could have learned what I needed to learn.

After the discussion meeting tonight, Shibucho and I had coffee at Corky’s. I expressed my frustration at several things in my life. He told me about following. We talked about school. I told him how I was frustrated about not going. He told me don’t worry–your future is in NSA. It’s stupid to go to school unless you feel the calling to.

I talked about setting my goals too high. He told me there is an art to this. Why chant for a specific # of YMD. Chant 1 million daimoku for a district. It will definitely put you through a lot of change to realize such a district.

On the whole I feel a great surge of hope in my future as a human being. If I can just encourage others to be happy and continue their practice then I will enjoy my life.

Shakubuku is my happiness.

I must establish a circle of friends in society to expand this.

After coffee with Shibucho I called Scott and drove to Northridge on a cold crisp night and had coffee with him. We had a mutually encouraging talk.

November 3, 1974

General Director Williams announced that President Ikeda said officially that we should raise three million dollars for a new headquarters.

Liturgy of Nichiren Shoshu Gongyo bookWilliams talked to us about the importance of Gongyo. Do it with rhythm of Chudo, the middle path, not too loud, not too soft, not too fast, not too slow.

Should not have sickness. Overcome with sincere Gongyo. Those who do weak Gongyo become sick. Don’t take a nap in front of Gohonzon. You may think you should go to bed early because you’re tired. But wrong idea. Better to do Gongyo sincerely, get in rhythm of the universe. 8 hours deep sound sleep from 2 hours. We try to excuse ourselves easily. Ask Gohonzon for medicine Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.. It is the best make-up. Best way to stay healthy. When really in trouble–chant 1 million daimoku and try your best.

Trouble make you chant. Why trouble visit me? All nite toso. I send daimoku to everyone of you. You should chant a lot. Not matter how strong the transmitter if receiver is weak. It doesn’t matter how strong the transmitter is. If you as a receiver are perfect you can feel strong. Meaningless if you do not put your thoughts into practice.

King Devil of the Sixth Heaven. The Devil within us such a nature. Try to make you sleep. “Why don’t you taitan?” But challenge yourself. You say, “children are noisy that’s why I don’t do Gongyo.” Devil trying to take fortune from you. If you chant strong daimoku, the Devil becomes your shotenzenjin (Buddhist god).

Sessen DojiSessen Doji never become enlightened. Tell me last work of enlightenment. Tell me I will give you anything. Devil said, I want human flesh and human blood. Okay, take my body and tell me the last half. Then he’s ready to jump to mouth of devil. He jumped and then he caught him. He was a Sho-tenzinjin. You are the real Buddha.

President Ikeda explained, no matter how much you suffer, you can definitely break through. Get it?  You reach for the unreachable star. Mountain=trouble. Good jet engine–don’t feel low level life–mountain boring. Get jet engine practice.

Hendoku Iyaku (changing poison into medicine) is possible with person chanting lots of daimoku. Hell waits for a person with no daimoku. Happy? Chant! Trouble? Chant! Chant until the last moment of your life! People postpone death with daimoku.

Nichiren Daishonin said he closed the gate to hell. Lotus sutra=Gohonzon. Shakyamuni said the Hokekyo is above all other sutras. Welcome to the ocean-oneness equal all over. Salt necessary everywhere.

U.S.A. has a sho-tenzinjin protecting her. Hachiman (open field) dai-Bosatsu.

by James C. Stephens


Tuesday, October 29, 1974

Last night we had a hancho meeting with Shibucho and he called for a return to the Gakkai spirit of 5 years ago. I specifically asked him after the meeting for guidance on my relationship. He told me he couldn’t give me specific guidance because his situation or experience was totally different. But the guidance he did give me was only to talk to Soshibucho about this, and to really practice like a YMD hancho should, which does not leave much time for anything. This is the spirit that is lacking today in NSA. Let’s get it back. Too busy to see a movie.

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My resolution is to return to the original Gakkai Spirit. This month 30 World Tribune (our publication) and 5 Gojukai (new members who receive the Gohonzon). Two hours daimoku a day. Get that jet engine moving!

by James C. Stephens


May 29, 1974

Changes

My life is like the weather. Some mornings it is foggy, but later it becomes sunny, the fog being burnt off by the midday sun. Other times I feel like a smoggy day. Sometimes smoggy days are days that bring wisps of memories back to me while at other times they are trying days to my patience, frustration. But with the rise of a new sun the next day and a Santana breeze I am filled with new vitality and hope for the future.

 

 

Challenge

The challenge of this frontier is not in conquering others but in conquering ourselves. An old man being beaten in the street, from Clockwork Orange or New York, no sir it happens in the peaceful San Fernando Valley, Sepulveda. Brutish people living as animals where are the people who cry out for humanism, brotherhood and equality? They hide from the grave responsibility which besets us as inhabitants of planet earth. The only humans fighting the greatest enemy to man are NSA members who strive to perfect their daily life. I along with my fellow NSA members brave the streets in search of Bodhisattvas who will in the near future fight alongside us for World Peace. At times it becomes a depressing ordeal, pounding the streets for hours and only words of scorn from cold hearted people. Then you ask “Is World Peace possible?” and you might reply inside with hopelessness only the next person you Shakubuku responds with a gleam in his eye of hope. A girl who joined two days ago looks to us for hope. We can’t let her down, the Gohonzon is these people’s only hope, as it is ours.

Fight on you courageous Bodhisattvas! Work is our battleground and still reeking with sweat the discussion meeting is our oasis. The streets are filled with challenges. Only because of the Gohonzon’s power can I keep up with the pace of NSA. NSA has a strong rhythm which I must build into my life. It is one constructing a harmonious positive daily life. Soon it will be my fourth anniversary with the Gohonzon. From this moment on I hope to fight with a more passionate spirit everyday. This year is my year of construction of a firmer foundation of faith with the Gohonzon as my basis. I must become like the Rock of Gibralter. My experiences are definitely going to improve and when I emcee a meeting I want people to know the Gohonzon works because of the Ichinen I show through the power of the Gohonzon.

My main task and desire is to find someone I can form a close bound with who knows a lot about the spirit of President Ikeda and Mr. Williams.

My dream is to be able to get up at 5 each morning and chant 2 hours of daimoku for one year and to become a more eloquent and intelligent person that people can look at as an example of the Gohonzon.

by James C. Stephens


April 29, 1974

This is my resolution: I have resolved for a year to chant 2 hours of dmk a day. I believe now is the time to launch such a campaign. It is also time for me to launch my Shakubuku campaign.

Here’s my resolution for the month of May. 1) Everyday to advance vigorously and with a smile at work and in district activities; 2) To chant 2 hours of vigorous dmk for these personal goals; 3) To Shakubuku 7 Y.M.D. (Young Men’s Division); 4) To promote 25 World Tribune; 5) To learn the true spirit of Sta-Funi (Oneness of Master and Disciple) and follow no matter what; 6) To read a news magazine each week; 7) To study Buddhism at least 1/2 hour per day. My goal in Shakubuku each day is 10 phone numbers every day. To support my Chikabucho to my fullest extent.

May 1, 1974

This morning I rose at 6:45 and went to Ric’s with Gary and put up a Butsudon for him. We chanted for about ten minutes. It was a groovy visit. He asked us to help him chant for a couple of weeks every morning, because he said, “I’m lazy, and I won’t keep up unless I get help.”

Afterwards when I got home around 8:00, Paul and I went next door and put up a Butsudon in the neighbor’s house. Pam had a marijuana cultivation charge to face in court today. We told her to chant for that. The charge was dismissed. Because of such a benefit, their family received Gohonzon tonight! I positively promised that the Gohonzon would work on her court case. It did!

Tonight I worked overtime until 10:00. We chanted til 11:00. Part of my resolution was to get 10 phone #’s. So I shakubukued until 1:40 AM from 11:00PM to get them and I did! Fantastic Shakubuku!

Now I’m chanting my 1/2 dmk to complete my 2 hours and then time to hit the hay!

May 2, 1974

In my campaign today, I shakubukued some people with it seems alot of potential. After work at about 8:30, Chico and I went out and did a couple of hours of Shakubuku. At work I ran into an old friend of mine from Monroe. He is my age and already has some grey hairs. He is not in the best condition.

May 3, 1974

Worked until 8 and then left immediately for the JHQ (Joint Headquarters in Santa Monica). I caught the end of Mr. Williams lecture. Today was President Ikeda’s Inauguration Anniversary. I did TCD (Traffic Control Division) there by passing out the candy and drinks, gifts from Mr. Williams.

Afterwards I did Shakubuku until 2:00A to try to reach my goal of 10 phone #’s. Only got 8. Try harder tommorrow. Didn’t get to talk to Soshibucho, but he said to come down tomorrow night..

 

by James C. Stephens


February 1, 1974

America today is going through one of its greatest trials I believe in its entire history. President Nixon, innocent or guilty, is being questioned as to his credibility. Did he or did he not have his fingers in the Watergate pie? Unfortunately it makes little difference whether he is guilty or not. The fact is that the corruption within our government is widespread as uncovered by the Watergate investigations. Our economy is being put to its heaviest test ever. Many economists forecast a depression greater than 1929. At the present time paper prices are skyrocketing a book like this one year ago cost me approximately a dollar, the price now is 1.98, almost double.

Gas prices have gone up from about 30 cents a gallon to 55 cents in less than two months. Sunday it is virtually impossible to find a gas station open because of the President’s dictum on Sunday travel. Because of the energy crisis homes have been requested to cut down their energy by 10 % or be penalized monetarily and if that doesn’t work by having your energy shut off!

Food prices are also ridiculous. Hamburger was 88 cents now its 1.03 for the lowest quality ground beef.

Because of the rising cost of living I have had to postpone my schooling. At the present time I’m looking for a full-time job. Within the last weeks it seems like my life has exploded apart in a million pieces. Everyday it almost impossible for me to get up, rarely do I get up before 10:30. When my mail comes, it is either a warrant for my arrest for some parking ticket or else it is some bill or unpaid loan. I am having a dreadful time getting my life moving. For the first time I am realizing that I’m responsible. Maybe I have been afraid to face the fact until now, but now I’m realizing that life is not a joke. My practice of Buddhism until this moment has been like just belonging to a club. Now I’m realizing that philosophy is a much more serious thing in life. I have taken my practice to the Gohonzon too lightly in the past. Now when I chant to the Gohonzon it is to survive these times.  The time are not so hard as starvation but actually one of a spiritual desert. I know that if I persevere I will overcome this momentary problem. I worry too much for a youth. However, I feel hesitant to do Shakubuku when I have so many problems and so little confidence in the Gohonzon in the past. I enjoyed getting up early in the morning and enjoying the good earth. I know now I that I can regain this prime spirit, but to use it in a new way to build a great life.

As President Toda said in the Human Revolution, “I Josei Toda will begin with nam-myoho-renge-kyo.”  I can only begin with the same Nam-myoho-rengekyo. I have nothing really except the Gohonzon. Everything I receive from now on is from the Gohonzon.

File1246The San Diego-Mexico Convention is nearing. I have a lot to change before Pres. Ikeda comes. In the past conventions, I have not really enjoyed myself. I really must change this. I should really enjoy my life and become a man of action.

All great men become great only by their daily actions. I should not feel frustrated, I have such a long life ahead. I must be patient.

Just a little progress everyday. First I must take care of my responsibilities as a hancho, which I have failed at terribly recently. But I’m learning. Secondly, I must take care of my financial responsibilities. Thirdly I’ve got to care of my health.

I’d really like to gain about 20 lbs of muscle by the convention; learn all the Gakkai songs by memory; have a new car, 2 new YMD and 2 YWD members practicing in the convention, have a house and my finances together and have my practice on a strong foundation. To just be able to enjoy my daily life.

by James C. Stephens


Sunday, November 18, 1973

Kosenrufu Gongyo with M. Kikumura

Year of Society 1974

“Let’s go skating. Means let’s go do Shakubuku. That’s Mr. William’s spirit. New people think praying for World Peace, hell my family throwing alimony around and new member thinks hell what about my family?

Hancho up type. When Mr. Williams says go skating go do Shakubuku.

Sometime hard to make determination, but make up your mind and live courageous enough to walk out if you are going to onshitsu.

If you only chant Christian way, save the people, chant for world peace, you are leaving your true reason for determination behind.

I’m sure Mr. Williams will give us many targets before the end of 1974. Just like school need targets. To get something done big through minor goals. Then after many years you reach ultimate goal. Target he gave us of skating, I hope you just go to roller skating rink as an excuse.

Healthy goal, fat housewife worries about weight. Husband change. Otherwise without goals monorhythm of life. Daily practice of studying. Society pays you for what you have learned.

If you practice NSA and society disrespects you. Then something wrong with you or the Gohonzon. (Laughs) The something wrong with you.

Year of Society—good in school. Follow your Senior leaders. Start seeking and searching more than ever. And for those who have already made determination, start again. Train leaders. More benefits, more Shakubuku.’