Posts Tagged ‘Gohonzon’

by James C. Stephens


Thursday, January 30, 1978 –30 days

Up 5:45. Made calls for daimoku campaign. Raining moderately.

Last night I could not write about my experience, because it was so fresh in my life, so I decided to wait til today.

Before I go into it though, I called Tom Brittingham in Las Vegas. He is going through a lot of human revolution and says he is seriously thinking of coming back to Los Angeles. I will hear from him at 10 this morning.

One of my inner struggles is vanity. As I was reading Pres. Ikeda’s Youthful Diary I was encouraged by one paragraph in his–Thursday, June 2 diary,

“Men thirst after vanity, even I myself. Future life, future leader, must have unshakable power. Never forget the spirit of pathfinders and forerunners–especially in youth. Day after day, age progresses. Wish to make myself catch up with progress, and become its pioneer.”

I feel the same. We have to truly realize we are the pioneers, the sons of liberty, the sons of the American Revolution of this age. If we don’t, if I don’t grasp this fact, I feel I have missed the point of my life.

Foundation in study.

Speed reading–I read too slowly to read all that I wish, no, that I need to read to grasp and face the harsh realities of the intellectual society. All mankind must reach for enlightenment. Must tap power and mercy deep within.

Sunday, February 12, 1978

For the past couple of weeks it has been raining off and on again. We have already far surpassed seasonal norms. Catalina came off their water rationing program. They now can take regular baths again. I bet husbands and wife’s are really happy for that…The rains have not however brought only good, they have brought much grief to many people in Los Angeles. Tornado’s swept El Segundo. Flash Floods, mud slides have left hundreds homeless, and even wiped out one entire mountain community.

It is most Tragic. It is truly as in the Rissho Ankoku Ron*. Water drought, rationing, fires, floods, spiritual famine. People are at a loss.

1978 is definitely a very significant year for my own personal development. This month we are studying through Ho’on Sho which is a Gosho of extreme importance. It deals with the Three Great Secret Laws*, and appreciation. We are studying the section dealing with appreciation. This is truly my human revolution. I realize honestly that I don’t appreciate Pres. Ikeda or the Gohonzon nearly enough. This is extremely important to do however! Bruce, Jerry, Liz and I started a group reading the Human Revolution–all ten volumes. With this campaign as a start it is my determination to develop this appreciation of Pres. Ikeda and become a true disciple. I am little more than a follower now. However! It is my determination to receive extensive training from Pres. Ikeda when he comes to the United States. Until then each moment, I must prepare for that step. I am so distant. Last night at my Chapter Gosho discussion I felt so limited to move or encourage Pres. Ikeda’s YMD. I made a determination from that meeting to develop a pure seeking mind and an appreciative, most appreciative life toward Pres. Ikeda. I voiced my determination at the meeting to fulfill this vow and for all present to become the kind of persons that would get and give the most when Pres. Ikeda comes to the U.S. But it begins not just physically, but to spiritually prepare, when the master is not physically present.

My 1,000,000 daimoku target is nearing. I am 22 hours from completion. My goal is to be finished by Thurs. 2 days prior to our wedding. Friday night, 2/10 I chanted 10 hours. It definitely was an experience. I was tired yet I feel it was worth it.

Did 5 hours today. Happy YMD Senior Leaders meeting today. Much more real unity. Sleep is my campaign now, so, goodnite.


*Rissho Ankoku Ron: Treatise written by Nichiren Daishonin to the Shogun calling for the Pacification of the Land through the Establishment of the True Religion. Nichiren the Buddhist prophet states:

“I have pondered the matter carefully with what limited resources I possess, and have looked a little at the scriptures for an answer. The people of today all turn their backs upon what is right; to a person, they give their allegiance to evil. This is the reason that the benevolent deities have abandoned the nation and departed together, that sages leave and do not return. And in their stead devils and demons come, and disasters and calamities occur. I cannot keep silent on this matter. I cannot suppress my fears.”

https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd-1/Content/2

The core of the Three Great Secret Laws*: The Gohonzon, or the object of devotion of the essential teaching, is the core of the Three Great Secret Laws in Nichiren’s doctrine that represent the purpose of his life. The Three Great Secret Laws are the object of devotion of the essential teaching, the invocation, or daimoku, of the essential teaching, and the sanctuary of the essential teaching.

The Sho Hondo: https://youtu.be/dXS5MwdLW7o

The Dai Gohonzon being inscribed in sumi ink by Nichiren Daishonin.

Inscription of the Dai Gohonzon

Advertisements

by James C. Stephens


Tuesday, May 23, 1977

99.7 degrees F-my temperature. Went to work today, but felt very sick, aches and sharp pains- probably the flu. I chanted to the Gohonzon for a correct attitude and clearer head regarding my relationship with Isabel. I feel from reading President Ikeda’s guidance the following:

Toynbee Ikeda Dialogue Choose Life

Choose Life is the title of a series of talks between Daisaku Ikeda and the famous English historian Arnold Toynbee.

In the World Tribune there is an editorial, no a series on the “Dialogue on Life.” I’ve read it twice and it has struck a very deep chord in my life. I will copy it in my notebook, but first I would like to give my impression. Recently I received the guidance of President Ikeda conveyed through Mr. McCloskey at a recent Senior leader’s meeting. His guidance is not starting to take on meaning in my life, because of my experience with Isabel. Because my desire is so selfish, our relationship soured totally. Primarily I believe I lost temporarily the prime point of my faith. By chasing my desire, my lower early desires I have become a victim of the King Devil of the Sixth Heaven.

My vital life force has waned and now I am ill. This is my Karma*, I can see it somewhat clearly.

Isabel is not the cause of my Karma; it is not the Gohonzon either. It is primarily my ignorance of the true essence of life. I believe before I can confidently pursue a mate or have a mate I must first struggle with this darkness in my life. I am not going to forget Isabel, she has become a Zenchishiki.* I just will shift gears of our relationship. She said she is not ready, I too am not ready, so we will become good friends. My primary goal is to lead her to the Gohonzon. From here her happiness will really spring, not from my evil desire to possess her. I feel now that my conversation with her Sunday was the result of my evil nature and desire of power and dominance.

However, I have the Gohonzon and can chant the daimoku to do Hendoku Iyaku* on this situation. Faith first.


Zenchishiki: A good friend in Buddhist philosophy.  It could be the experiences which come through having  a bad relationship or being attacked by an enemy which one learns the greatest lessons from. Like in sword fighting. The more qualified your sparring partner, the better one becomes-that is if they don’t kill you.

Hendoku Iyaku– changing poison into medicine. Not literally, but taking a bad circumstance and turning it a positive growth experience.

Karma [業] (; Pali kamma;  ): “Potentials in the inner, unconscious realm of life created through one’s actions in the past or present that manifest themselves as various results in the present or future. Karma is a variation of the Sanskrit karman, which means act, action, a former act leading to a future result, or result. Buddhism interprets karma in two ways: as indicating three categories of action, i.e., mental, verbal, and physical, and as indicating a dormant force thereby produced. That is, one’s thought, speech, and behavior, both good and bad, imprint themselves as a latent force or potential in one’s life.”

King Devil of the Sixth Heavendairokuten-no-maō): “Also, devil king or heavenly devil. The king of devils, who dwells in the highest or the sixth heaven of the world of desire. He is also named Freely Enjoying Things Conjured by Others, the king who makes free use of the fruits of others’ efforts for his own pleasure. Served by innumerable minions, he obstructs Buddhist practice and delights in sapping the life force of other beings. One of the four devils.”

(Post reflection: The aforementioned doesn’t sound like what I really felt, but what I was fed through guidance. I didn’t have what one would call an evil desire to dominate or for a need of power over another. I had a healthy attraction to Isabel and most likely misinterpreted her mixed signals, e.g., I drop by and you’re in a negligee type robe. Hello, I am a male. I just left with a peck on the cheek. She said she was busy and I took her at her word. I think when I later wrote my journal entry at the time I was hurt and in denial of her rejection and did not take the proper time to process my emotions, nor my past relationships with women. I wanted to be married, was ready, but Isabel was clearly never going to be ready for a lifelong commitment which I was looking for. I had also as you may have read earlier been accused of having an affair and was the object of rumors. I later discovered that certain of my senior leaders were having affairs at the time which I was totally unaware of. I was the naive ‘true believer.’

Some of the definitions are directly from my memory, while others are taken from https://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/.

by James C. Stephens


Monday, May 22, 1977

Two colored crayonsSunday morning my mind was wrought with confusion and burdened with anxiety. In my relationship with Isabel I am discovering much of myself. The romantic flash at the beginning is beginning to wane. I have talked to many people I regard with respect, concerning my new relationship. I admit to being a confused and naive young man. It is most difficult to fight the problems of the heart. However, it is these I desire most. Problems of the heart, yes these are definitely the most difficult. Knowing myself bit by bit I decided Sunday to confront the situation in a manner becoming of me. My stomach tightened by anxiety and my head was bulging with anticipation at my confrontation with Isabel. Not knowing where she was necessarily coming from I needed to know her innermost feelings. This was not just an important thing to me, but to us.

This is what happened in our dialogue:

I told her a story of a game we played at a World Tribune correspondent’s meeting. One, where two people unbeknownst to each other sat a opposite ends of a piece of paper and had a non verbal conversation with two different colored crayons. I explained how I made assumptions without any knowledge of knowing the other person and was applying this to our relationship. I told her directly that I was very attracted to her and was willing to make a commitment to knowing her better. We exchanged many feelings on subjects that concerned a relationship. She explained she had trouble expressing her true feelings in the past, but still hesitated. We exchanged our experiences. She lived with a guy who she almost married for two years. She told me she felt like a prisoner and could not feel her own person. She confessed to me that she didn’t feel ready at this particular time for such a relationship of devoting herself to one person. She said that she thought of me as a friend. She confided in me that sexually (this was not easy for her to open to me about, but she did open up) she never felt that sex was for her, but always for him to be pleased. She therefore confessed at being uptight about sex with men. Our discourse ran from this matter to freedom to live and pursue your dreams while you live with your mate. She didn’t feel she could make the commitment of living with one mate her entire life. Here I realize her frustration especially in a society in which marriage seems to be on its way out.

Philosophically I believe marriage is an important step in completing your character.

I’m now nearing my seventh year anniversary and am in my 26th year. I must now lay down my roots, chose a course to live and strive hard to become an expert in my field. There are so many things I want to do, but I am now making commitments in my life; I mean if Jefferson and Franklin could do so many things why can’t I? It is a matter of discipline. I am going to write a letter to Mr. Williams expressing my determination, but also asking him direction as far as my education as a human being.

Let me begin today! A new Jim Stephens is born. A new canvas is being unrolled. How fortunate I am to have the Gohonzon! Without such a teacher I could never even see beyond my present limitations.

Russ Dilando-I can not talk to him again until I have made some concrete changes in my life.

I want the kyo to become my life. Life is too beautiful to let slip by or become ensnared by its scheming webs. Don’t you become a victim Jim! Breathe deep! Run a race against yourself! Become the master of your destiny!

People say that Tchaikovsky is too schmaltzy. But his grandiose style moves me. Doesn’t this kyo have the possibility of becoming most actualized in our everyday life.

Vivaldi’s style-the heart cries out! The primordial instincts. Man is such a complicated machine. None can match him. How can we not be intrigued by this most phenomenal creature? What he makes, creates or destroys. This is a purpose to my life. I must find it! Search. Study, climb this mountain. Toda said ‘once you have scaled the highest mountain, you will be able to see all other philosophies clearly.’


Vivaldi~The Four Seasons, Op. #8-Numbers 1-4; Spring Concerto-Solstisi di Zagreb; Antonio Janigro conductor. Jim Tomasow-Solo Violin; Anton Heiller-Harpischord.

 

P. Tchaikovsky. Italian Capriccio

 

Moscow City Symphony “Russian Philharmonic” Conductor — Michail Jurowski Moscow International House of Music, Svetlanov Hall June 20, 2012 P. Tchaikovsky. Italian Capriccio.

by James C. Stephens


Wednesday, May 04, 1977

Wildflower

Obstacles or sancho shima will arise when we are making headway in our practice. For our district we can say we are making strong headway. As of late we have confronted the demon of death and the demon of insanity. I’m sorry to say that my friend and colleague John DeGomez had a great tragedy befall him this past week. His sister whom I knew committed suicide by hanging herself. I deeply regret that she did and am grieved by this unfortunate circumstance, I send my daimoku to her. Her face is very clear to me. Damn!

The second demon was the X* incident. A girl that, nay a woman in her 30’s, who used to practice in the old Wilshire, caused a scene at the World Culture Center and threatened to slit a member’s throat. She had to be physically restrained. Saturday night she ended up at our discussion meeting. I welcomed her, naive of the fact she had this incident behind her, but nonetheless I sensed a strange feeling.

Tonight we had a district daimoku toso in which Steve Bell, Bruce Barnes and I arrived early in order to meet X* and uninvite her to our meetings. She did come and Mr. Bell put it in very humanistic and rational manner to X*, ‘Hi, sorry we have to uninvite you. Please understand why. We have to go on your recent performance at the headquarters and until you improve your track record I’ll have to ask you not to come to any meetings.’

The way he said it was a bit different and very merciful, but strict. He spoke to her in a mild rational way. I could not have done it. I of course had mixed feelings, but I definitely was against her coming to any meeting if there was any chance that a member might be hurt in the least.  Incidentally, she did leave and it seemed she understood and didn’t leave uptight.

My Young Men’s Division have recently gone through many changes. You know that Jeff Silver finally rolled up his Gohonzon. Now he will be only able to blame himself instead of the Gohonzon for his problems. I sincerely believe this is an important step in his human revolution. He will eventually come back, as soon as he grows up, realizes his shortcomings and realizes the value of the Gohonzon. He needs to learn by facing society along. I feel confident in this.

Two of my other Young Men’s Division are in need of finding meetings closer to their homes. Darrel Schreiner and Walter Johnson. I am in the process of trying to make this happen. Darrel’s practice is so-so, but Walter is doing well and wants a place where he can bus to and fro and become more involved. I’m excited for him. But I’ve got to get my rear in gear and find him a meeting place.

Tom Brittingham had a fling for about a week with some girl from India until some Arab Prince whisked her off to the middle East in his jet. The Gohonzon has an incredible way of protecting members. Amazing! Anyway he’s back struggling with school and practice. I’m not worried. He’s young and has a lot of guts. He’s a good kid, just a bit unsettled and confused. But it will work out.

Last night and afternoon I got my filing system in order. A major accomplishment. I feel 100% better with things in their proper place. Now I can begin many projects I have neglected because the lack of my organization.

Called Pat Flaherty this morning at work in Helena. He has now gotten into Christ, he says. Sent me a letter, but I never received it. Well, he has to practice Christianity to see for himself. He is wanting to know Buddhism’s relationship to Christianity. I can’t relate to him falling into this Christ trip, but then he said it was a good looking girl who gave her Christ experience. And again life is so mysterious the mind so marvelous. I am not in the least discouraged at my shakubukuing him. When he joins, watch out! The guy has so damn much potential.

Friday night Isabel and I are going to a play called Vanities. It’s a comedy. Should be a lot of fun.

 

Each day I will try to advance if only a step.

Yesterday I sent my Japanese friend a letter.

In this way without fanfare we will develop bonds that can never be broken by war, or evil demons or selfish politicians.

I’m trying to correspond more. I feel I am the link to the Gohonzon for a great many people, many friends.

Mission. A growing sense of this is blossoming in my life.

I’m trusting the Gohonzon more. Isabel is not a member, but of course I would like her to practice. I will take my relationship seriously but not filled with anxiety.

The desire grows within me to find my mate.

It’s becoming more exciting as my trust in the Gohonzon, grows. What every happens for my human revolution and growth.

Soon,

Seven years

Each day

seems, no brings

with it

the realization of what

Jiyu no Bosatsu

means to me.

A blade of grass

weak?

No, I don’t think so.

Look at it

she pushes up through

the seemingly impervious concrete.

What does she desire?

I believe to live, to breathe,

to search for its purpose.

Life.

I feel like the seedling

now sprouting its head through

the crust of earth

Seeing, breathing, seeking

Sun,

Seeking a master

for the first time

seriously.


“The days of man are like grass. He grows like a flower of the field.  When the wind blows over it, it is gone. Its place will remember it no more.” Psalm 103:15

by James C. Stephens


December 5, 1976

File2982

Young Men’s Division Leaders gathered together for a commemorative group photo of the First YMD Training Meeting in North America with Nichiren Shoshu Academy General Director George M. Williams on the lawn in front of the Malibu Training Center on December 5, 1976.

(The following notes are from the first Young Men’s Division (YMD) training meeting in Malibu, California on December 5, 1976 as they were taken with no annotations, so it’s pretty rough, but provides an idea of what went on in the meeting).

Mr. Wilson-You have just learned formality and surface of Mr. Williams.

G.M.W.- Many years ago Y.M.D. Training meeting- Mt. Wilson, Santa Barbara. Always to study Pres. Ikeda’s writing. Today study Pres. Ikeda’s Guidance towards the 21st Century. Ode to Youth. Let’s make determination towards 21st Century. What we can do for Pres. Ikeda, not what he can do for us.

Your age 25. Perfect age as leaders of the 21st Century.

Read with sound.

Especially important for Y.M.D. Answer with sound. If you’re reply can understand by kyo.* Steady, inside strong determination.

Like Gongyo recite sutra-Ode to Youth. Sutra is writings. Pres. Ikeda’s writings sutra should..

  1. Many obstacles-attitude of everyday life. Life without problems. Something always there. Cold wind blows-to me not my members. Trouble to me not my members. Challenging-receive testing as a senior leader. Sanrui-no-Goteki.*
  2. Do-Juman* -from neighbors, etc. General public.
  3. Religious World-Clergy.
  4. Sancho Do Juman-Opposition from authority. Most respected journalists. People in General society.

Only people understand life emotionally. Peoples society based on religion. Religion way of life. Today IRA-Middle East, Lebanon, Christian, Jewish, Islam.

Roman Empire-Always condemning, killing.

17th Century-New England Area. Witchhunts-people burnt.

Catholic Pope vs. Emperor Kings.

In Question-Man of La Mancha, Cervantes.

Today, not religion, but religion is communism. vs Capitalism. Old wars, Hot wars.

People in 700 year ago Japan, Zokuchu DoJuman.

In future we can expect these enemies. Right now I don’t know how many will titan. Daniel Webster hope all will protect people with justice. Daniel Webster’s gravestone asks, “How’s the Union?”

Responsibility. is how we can protect Soka Gakkai, NSA, S.G. International.

Government level.

Constitution. Article I-Freedom of Religion

Nov. 21, 1620. Mayflower-Pilgrims.

Nation-USA-most fought subject-Pilgrims.

So many don’t know the power of the Gohonzon. You should develop and grow. Shakubuku.

Never change rhythm of faith.

Mass Media/ Magazine/Newspaper.

Most U.S. papers relay regional news. World Tribune only National.

NSA organization same way. Strong nationwide. Catholic, Southern Baptist.

Our target towards 21 century.

You are most important. Gakkai Spirit of Pres. Toda, Ikeda.

Eventually may expect Sanrui-no-Goteki.

Crucial moment remember. Stick with President Ikeda, Gosho, Gohonzon.

Eliminate Slander.

Searching Spirit.

5 points.

One. Always on side of people.

Practice sincere faith.

Master-Disciple Relationship-most important for Human Revolution.

Never stray.

Pray towards Japan. Thought sun from that direction. Old NSA headquarters (on Santa Monica on Pacific Coast Highway).

8:00- Morning sun. Symbol of Youth.

Eight-means Hachiman-Open

Boundless power-chanting daimoku.

Muhengyo-Power no limit.

Steady-Accurate.

Like Sun-never prejudice, but equal to grow.

Giving people hope, courage, confidence.

Two. Orbit-faith.

Aiming towards Kosenrufu (world peace through Buddhism).

Aiming towards our master (Daisaku Ikeda).

Loving the organization, protect and make harmonious, humanistic and unity.

Story. Friendship, never betray.

Help each other, support each other.

Ichinen (focused life force) of Responsibility-Severe on yourself.

One person in group.

Should stand alone.

Together strong, but alone?

On job, in society?

If all titan (quit the faith), one stands up. He is a true disciple.

West Point-strict training.

Strict training-severe on yourself. Never take mean strict guidance. You are qualified to receive this strict severe guidance.

Severe Guidance comes. Take strong. Follow sincerely Buddhism.

Broad mind.

Zenchijiki-Haeno Saemon made Nichiren Daishonin True Buddha.

Enjoy all days campaign.

King of Beasts-Lion never look for help.

But strong-people will follow you. Not easy way.

Three. Mission Civilization of the People, by the People, for the People.

To Wake Up! People waiting for YMD (Young Men’s Division).

Four. (no notes)

Fifth. Darker the night the nearer the dawn.

Steady burning of the Sun. Continuation. Rhythm, Vitality, Justice.

Sixth. Try to prove yourself. First, You yourself by such strong determination, Anger for the wrong things in the world. Reverse, not punish but reawaken spiritual Renaissance.

Ikeda University. Freshman.

Myo no Shoran. Inconspicuous.

Seventh. Fundamental challenge is oneself. Enemy within us.

Weak nature. Target to change. Ichinen within us.

Gumpon-no-mumyo. Dark spot which we can not realize.

Habitual laziness. Bathroom-reading.

Nichiren Daishonin-700 years ago.

April 1958. UCLA-GMW (George M. Williams, aka Masayasu Sadanaga) letter from President Ikeda, when President Today passed away. New Year’s message from Pres. Ikeda. Be Friendly, Bright, Cheerful.

Spoiled spirit.

Lagura Matsu nori- Son of Sakyamuni-Behind the Scenes.

Move, Action.

Sincere Motivation. Manyo, people’s poem. 1000 years ago in Japan.

Tale of Suiko. Emperor of China at the time, like the Son of Heaven.

He spoke of Revolution in terms of Kaku-Reformation, Mei-Order or life.

108-Devils under monument became stars in heaven.

108-People in Society.

Questions asked on Languages: Gosho should be in our language.

Question: Rissho Ankoku Ron in America asked by Ralph Anderson.

Question: L. Arnold- New position 5 YMD- Hippy type in Thousand Oaks.

[Our meeting ended on the lawn with a commemorative photo with General Director George M. Williams].

 

by James C. Stephens


Saturday, October 16, 1976

Matisse line drawing

At this time I look to the past. I look to the present. But as a youth I must look towards the future. I am in a time of struggle presently. In search of a companion. In search of a way I can create.

Oh stranger! Where are you? Where do you hide? I seek the way to happiness. Gohonzon what is in store for me? I continually find myself at a loss in the world of companionship. What is it you wish to show me? I have seen the women my life has attracted only make me unhappy. I find happiness in helping my members. I find happiness in being alone. Am I destined only to a life at present of a celibate, devoting my life to business and to helping my YMD develop? Please make this clear to me. I’m getting colder as time advances. You know if I had a women who loved me maybe I could rest more at ease. Or do you wish that I struggle by myself, not seeking happiness outside myself, but rather engaging in a solemn solitary campaign? If only I had a sign for the future. I feel much emptiness inside. Gohonzon I am confused and at times frustrated. Am I one of those freaks of society who don’t match with one? Honestly, I’m beginning to lose confidence in myself and in the Gohonzon.

I look at my father. So many women, but he’s not happy. Have I slandered the Gohonzon so badly? Something has to come about in the near future. Tonight I didn’t go to the discussion meeting. I don’t expect you to zap me with a benefit. I know it’s something inside of me. I’m no different than anyone else.

I don’t really know where I fit in the scheme of things. I don’t feel I have done anything special so I don’t deserve anything.

All I am at the moment is seven people’s link to the Gohonzon. Possibly many more. People I know in society. How do I develop so I can get people to join? No. How do I develop so I will chant daimoku more?

Flow of thought. I live but to create. Why do I practice? To be happy but not 🙂 happy, but to create value to sing out. Last night I went out with an old “girl” friend of mine. Once a year I see her. This disturbed me as I always have a bad time or a distorted feeling after I leave her, it is so strange why I see her is of interest to me. I feel bad inside sick last night I ached. asked for a good true companion one I can share with. Please this is something I want Gohonzon. Tears. I’m sick of looking around. People tell me don’t look around it will happen when you’re not looking. Why is this so much on my mind? From a weak Ichinen*. I’m in the lower worlds no doubt, lack of a rhythmical life, but why do I descend into this condition? Is it from not communicating with my leaders? What then causes this? Is it in the end a battle against oneself? I believe it is.

Without fighting oneself. How do I fight myself? I’m finding it very hard at present. Sleeping many hours not being on time not terribly bothering me, but terribly bothering me. Tonight, today I slept a lot stayed out late last night. Somehow have to change my rhythm. Maybe into a day rhythm.  Early to bed makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Ben Franklin maybe I should adopt his maxim. Its hard sometimes to relate to President Ikeda’s guidance, but many more times easy. My arms tired from writing so fast. Rest. Sports, playing clarinet, doing what I need to do to stretch my life. I feel unhealthy. I need new clothes. I need newness in my life. Now I feel like an old man. Shit I hate it. Boy do I hat it. Someday this has to change. Why can’t I get it into me to change soon. Last night I saw Paul, he married Choey. She’s from Mexico, he’s from Cuba. Tonight I met a girl from Argentina. Beautiful. Where do I want to go? I don’t know. Is this a stupid exercise just letting your pen flow with your brain, my arms falling asleep. My Gongyo’s during this phase have been pretty terrible, irregular. Low daimoku. no study hardly. I’m bored with practicing. I bored with listening to music but that is slowing losing its enjoyment. Maybe I’m dying. No hope. No future. Up and down no consistency. No one to talk to. Russ just onshitsu’s some of my leaders, I’ve even lost confidence in him. Jim Jay’s a nice guy. Shibucho call back in 10 minutes. Call back. Call back in 3 minutes. Call back later. Forget it. I don’t want it. I’m just about ready to titan. Just work. A room closed in on me. No phone. Haven’t paid rent. Had a good job Quit. Why? To enter a business with my Dad. Struggle. I can’t back out. If Gohonzon doesn’t work really let it END HERE. My dad is getting old must change fortune. Me lose hope easily. NSA club just like rest of society. Not Mr. Williams though. Too bad I don’t have the guts to get close to him. Probably never will. Lonely winter I’m entering. I hope dad is happy. I can’t die it would make him unhappy. Although I feel death many times.

Time is strange. We receive training in stranger ways. Tonight I went to a ski show. Saw some old acquaintances. Did not interest me in the slightest.  Saw people chasing illusions of happiness. Skiing many people’s identity. Sickens me. Maybe because I was so close to this. People like Jim Evans Business only. Not like a human being as far as I am concerned a sickening example of a dehumanized individual. Dorothy with her “escort” started talking to me. I interrupted and introduced myself to her escort. No courtesy, no human courtesy in society today. I hope I’m going in the right direction. Don’t people realize what’s going on in the Big World of ours? Revolution in the world! Red China now Mao is dead widespread chaos over who’s the new leader. Thailand’s bazooka’s, grenades, machine gunned armed soldiers gunning down students in university. Mappo. And yet here I am. What am I doing to change this? Raising YMD. No patience. Ski Show what a joke. Commercialism has taken a beautiful thing and truly ruined it. Why it was like a three ring circus.

I’m glad I’m getting involved in landscaping. Here is a field which can really make people feel refreshed…Environment is very important. That why I am so often depressed living in this place. If it wasn’t for Mr. Justus’ encouragement I think I would go bananas. Struggling pioneer. Hope from him.

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!