Posts Tagged ‘Gohonzon’

by James C. Stephens


Monday, March 10,1980

I apologize for my arrogance in faith and I apologize for judging people so quickly and thoughtlessly. I am now in a position where some people trust my judgment. I feel a little unsure-a hellavalot unsure about the effects of what I say. I’m pretty careful, and I have to chant more to the Gohonzon and sometimes I wonder “what do I know?” I want to be an example of the law–I’m not afraid of making mistakes and let me tell you I’m sure I am. Thank the Buddha for Hendoku Iyaku!

Confronted situation with Jeff S and Devorah individually last night. Two situations regarding friends resolved.

Liz and I had a nice Sunday together–Liz is going through a painful judgmental period. She’s incredibly perceptive of ignorance, arrogance and hypocrisy. We both are working on how to also become aware of the better aspects of people. It’s hard at present to walk the middle road.

I pray to to the Gohonzon of the universe for power, wisdom and mercy. I determine to develop the power to see the problems of a person of humanity for what they are and to help support them towards change. And to put myself in an environment where I’m supported to change and grow in the direction for Kosenrufu. I have a hard time apologizing to the Gohonzon.

I apologize if I am lacking the wisdom to see that I need to. It’s a hard concept for me to grasp. I can apologize to people–isn’t that the same as apologizing to the Gohonzon? The concept I feel strongest towards my practice is one of determination and recognition. I recognize the problem exists and make a determination to change myself. Apology to me has no meaning unless you change what you are apologizing for.

Friends,

An oasis in a vast desert

A creation by the universe to cool

the thirst of the heart

Friends,

A mirror

that we can reflect in

and see union and not separation

Friends,

A call,

A flower,

A note in the night,

When one feels alone.

Friends,

A thread

to reality, to beauty,

to life.

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by James C. Stephens


January 9, 1980

Snowflake

“Snowflake”

A snowflake carried by a cloud

and then dropped to the earth

An individual is it

Its duration unknown

but within it lies infinite meaning.

JCS

 

On Wednesday, January 2, Liz and I went to Dr. Stevens. She had been bleeding steadily for the last two days unlike a period however, we were worried. We had previously had two negative pregnancy tests. We soon learned that she indeed was pregnant and had a threatened abortion, which is a natural occurrence perpetuated by the body. Sent across the street to Dr. Gary McClellan’s, he diagnosed the problem as a miscarriage and recommended a D and C, which is a dilation and scraping and cleaning of the uterus. It would be short yet would require anesthesia since it was a painful operation. So off to the hospital we went (Glendale Memorial). Strange what a day can bring, one never knows. Life is change. So we checked into the hospital and around 3:00 the anesthesiologist took her to the operating room. Then the waiting began, and thinking, chanting, and contemplating, and worrying. Around 3:45 Dr. McClellan came down and reported she was fine and that he had removed some tissue that had formed and said she looked fine structurally and saw no reason she could not carry in the future. He gave no cause for the miscarriage, just one of those things he said.

Sweets woke up about 4:30 and I met her upstairs in her room where she would spend the night. I felt her pain very much. We talked about feelings; I had class that night, she wanted me to go, and yet I found it very hard to leave her there. I cried, she cried. So near yet so far. It was a trying day, yet we both took it well.

After class when I got home, it did not seem like home without her. I chanted for awhile and moved the bed into the Gohonzon room for her comfort and to be able to watch T.V. from bed the next few days after she got home.

From Thursday to Saturday we spend a lot of time in bed reading, watching T.V., sleeping, and talking. Liz felt like a fallen woman and I assured her she was not, which she certainly is not. These things will happen, let’s just change it into our fortune or benefit. It can really damage your self esteem when something like this happens. She even felt like she betrayed me. No! You have not! I love you and only worry for your health. There will be other times. The body is miraculous. If the pregnancy was wrong the body would reject the fetus and save your bodies energy. Don’t worry.

She’s feeling much better now. This morning I woke up around 4:15 A.M. and could not sleep, so I rose and decided to cook breakfast. I had a very uneasy feeling about some energy in the air and we talked about this over breakfast. I thought about the battles of wills in a human being and specifically over murder. It was not an easy subject to talk about, it chilled me. But I said we all contain a murderous, criminal, philanthropist, teacher, parent, lover in us. When people refuse to see this they refuse to see themselves. All men are brothers.

Anyway, during Gongyo I got tremendous chills like some entity was with me. At first I was frightened and then while I chanted and meditated on this, I felt strongly about the entity which had been born in Liz’s womb and which had died. I felt some energy crying out for recognition and during Gongyo I prayed for that entity and its happiness. Don’t worry I said, you did not come to us in vain. I felt immediately a warm feeling inside and almost tears. I felt in touch with a near possibility in life. I denied fear and reached out towards understanding.

I told Liz and she felt the same way. I’m not crazy am I? No. I understand and feel the same.

 

 

by James C. Stephens


February 11, 1979

Got back from dinner with Mom and Sully. They took Liz and I out for our anniversary. Had a tasty dinner.

Right now I’m reading an extremely interesting article on cults and a deprogrammer named Patrick. I really feel our present campaign in NSA towards openness and getting a firmer philosophical base is justifiable.

Jonestown massacre

Jonestown Mass Suicide of 918 individuals on Nov. 18, 1978 . If you ever wonder where the term “drinking the kool-aid” came from you’re looking at it. They drank cyanide laced kool-aid. This shook up Nichiren Shoshu which downshifted its activities and initiated “Phase Two.”

 

I would like and will ask some of the following questions in the coming days.

Josei Toda, “The organization is more important than my own life.”–This is a dangerous concept. It should be explained much more thoroughly.

If your house was burning should you save the Gohonzon or your kids? A girl once answered, “The Gohonzon.” I believe this is not Buddhism and extremely dangerous thinking and should be cleared up.

As RSG, we have often been told to protect the Gohonzon with our life. If the Headquarters and Gohonzon burned, we should burn with it. I think this is not Buddhist. I should like to question this and change this. It is a dangerous concept. Human life is more important than a piece of paper, no matter how you look at it.

Mrs. William’s children were in a serious car accident, but she helped President Ikeda in his movement first. It was called sancho shima* (four devils and four obstacles) that such a thing happened. And the kids turned out okay. I disagree. If my kids were in a serious crisis and the hospital needed my signature immediately I would go. I wonder what this experience is trying to prove?

Material benefits? Gosho?

Enlightenment in this lifetime? Gosho?

Kosenrufu in 2 years? Like world ending in seven in Christian religion?

Buddhist gods?

Chanting in faith alone? In Gosho without practice and study there can be no Buddhism. Every cult has signed letters from Presidents. This doesn’t make it legitimate. Question of our own signed books.

Organizations immunity from checks and balances. This is important for NSA to be totally open. And if anything is wrong, admit it and change it.

Word-leaders and leadership in sect.


Ted Patrick father of deprogramminghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Patrick

Retrospective: Nichiren Shoshu at the time was feeling societal pressure as a result of the Jonestown massacre and purposely slowed down the level of activity so as to maintain a lower profile in society and called it “Phase Two.”  At that time, a number of younger Buddhist radicals began to question the organization in an attempt to reform  and contexualize Nichiren Shoshu Academy (aka Soka Gakkai International) in what came to be known as “The Open Forum” movement.

Jonestown Massacre:

Wikipedia: “The Peoples Temple Agricultural Project, better known by its informal name “Jonestown“, was a remote settlement established by the Peoples Temple, an American cult under the leadership of reverend Jim Jones, in north Guyana. It became internationally notorious when, on November 18, 1978, a total of 918[1][2] people died in the settlement, at the nearby airstrip in Port Kaituma, and at a Temple-run building in Georgetown, Guyana’s capital city. The name of the settlement became synonymous with the incidents at those locations.

909 individuals died in Jonestown,[1] all but two from apparent cyanide poisoning, in an event termed “revolutionary suicide” by Jones and some members on an audio tape of the event and in prior discussions. The poisonings in Jonestown followed the murder of five others by Temple members at Port Kaituma, including United States Congressman Leo Ryan, an act that Jones ordered. Four other Temple members committed murder-suicide in Georgetown at Jones’ command.”

Background Check on Pelosi, Feinstein and Jim Jones

Unburied Truth About Jim Jones

 

 

by James C. Stephens


February 7, 1979

[JCS: The following are rough notes from a meeting with Soka Gakkai Vice President Hojo.  It is worth including in its rough form because of some of the unique perspectives offered regarding the contextualization of the American practice of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism in relationship to its practice in Japan. The notes are as taken. At times I bracketed ideas with a <People who practice outside NSA> for example. If you have not been following the JYBR blog, then you will have missed earlier definitions of the many insider language terms utilized in this talk which have built upon one another. Sorry for the inconvenience. A number of the questions posed were never answered in their entirety.]

Mr. Williams-First floor World Culture Center for members.

Mr. Morita, Vice Headquarters Chief; Hosoi; Yahiro; Nagata.

What does it mean “everyone return to the time of Nichiren Daishonin?”

  1. Relationship between Nichiren Shoshu and the Soka Gakkai.
  2. Basic principle in achieving Kosenrufu.

Nichiren Daishonin. 700 years teaching has been handed down correctly.

Will study in accordance with Japanese Dai Byaku Renge.

Some areas of the Soka Gakkai too far into. So they had meeting with Head Temple.

Two points.  1) Kechimyaku of Hotai--relationship between Nichiren Daishonin and Nittatsu Shonin. 2) Relationship between High Priest and Nichiren Daishonin.

General: 2 ways. (Carefully use).

The way of organization–not correct to say Ikeda–Williams Shitei–only master is Nichiren Daishonin. Person who has carried on this is none other than Nittatsu Shonin (the High Priest).

Relationship with President Ikeda is only through respect and everyday practice.

Matter of faith (Nov 7)–I will send earliest possible time. Study professor to help you better understand the teaching.

We have two wonderful priests to develop relatioship with. To clarify this relationship to maintain unity.

Talk of basics of practicing in Soka Gakkai. Faith, practice and study.

Q: Are we members of Soka Gakkai or Nichiren Shoshu?

Shoho Jisso Sho-Shin Gyo Gaku.

(Definition: Shoho jisso-the ultimate truth; Shin Gyo Gaku-faith, practice, study).

In the past–you had conventions and you put great effort into them. Showed tremendous result, but wasn’t Shin Gyo Gaku. Two and a half years ago new start in the organization.

Before said we had objective (in regard to conventions) and they were necessary. Now we have realized this was not necessarily so. We push towards Shin Gyo Gaku.

Q: What of World Culture Festival?

We have a goal. One by one to help each other in practice. We have Dai Gohonzon. As we polish one person, we polish ourselves. Slow progress, but we can bring forth humanism…

Third point: Principle of achieving Koserufu. Last year President Ikeda mentioned the following: No matter what ideology a nation may have, ours is the Universal teaching embracing the culture of each individual country.

As mentioned daimoku is never changing principal. it is still daimoku anywhere it is. Therefore in order to understand the principles, let’s study the Gosho.

Q: What Gosho?

This never changing principle that was mentioned. How is it to be understood in different countries? Leaders in each nation will value the Law based on the customs of each nation.

I’d like to say, you live in this wonderful country United States. Japan does it, its way. You do not have to import it. Today, you are sitting on the floor. Tradition in the U.S. is to sit in chairs. Next time I come, I hope all can sit in chairs.

In Japan, man-woman sit on opposite sides. In America I hope you can sit as man and wife.

Local  custom. Chanting and Gosho has nothing to do with custom. Nichiren Daishonin wrote Gosho in Japanese because he was born in Japan. Nichiren Daishonin said all people who believe in what he taught should propagate.

Two more points. One, World Peace Culture Festival slated to be held in August 1979. As mentioned before, looking at situation, like to cancel convention at this time, although it is unofficial.

Two, Translation of Gosho. Printing now. Will be got out as soon as possible.

New Spark.  1) Our activity is to study Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism; 2) Polish each individual’s faith; 3) People have dropped out. Teaching is for everyone. Mission to get people to begin again. No sacrifice. Said we did it, but correct way do Hendoku Iyaku.

Mission is kosenrufu. Together in unity. Hope all can grow. Q on silent prayers.

What Kosenrufu means?

700 years ago Nichiren Daishonin born in Japan. In the Gosho, Nichiren Daishonin said, “I Nichiren, said in chanting daimoku the objective is to save one person at a time and in doing this is kosenrufu itself.

As we help others we help ourselves.

Must understand because we don’t have convention still are doing kosenrufu. Practice today you are achieving kosenrufu. You must come to realize this. There are 220 million people in this country. We are very small still trying to achieve kosenrufu. We come to realize our mission towards humanity. Matter of silent prayer.

Practicing within organization or without. Is there a difference? What does organization mean? Our organization is not to intimidate anyone. You have your own freedom. NSA-Soka Gakkai–our objective is study and learn about Nichiren Daishonin–polish each other.

Here we polish our faith and point out what we need to realize. Through polishing we come to realize our potential and can take what we learn into society.

Silent prayers.

<People who practice outside NSA, relationship between Soka Gakkai and NSA.>

Role of women of NSA in the future.

Since coming to the U.S. I must look into this matter much more.

Change of system here–needs study.

Josei Toda Portrait

President Josei Toda, the Second President of the Soka Gakkai.

4 Division system in Japan–time of second President Toda. Toda put great effort into youth division. Chapter Chief sometimes in 40’s. Youth Division in their 20’s. Took 40 year old gave same position.

<Maybe good principal–installation wrong in United States.>

Put great emphasis in youth so they could grow into people who could be of great worth in the future in society. Toda took Chapter Chief in the their 40’s and younger 20’s at the same table in combination to discuss.

Eternal machine–so ideal would always be alive.

 

 

Meeting with Mr. Hojo after meeting.

4th prayer, 5th prayer.

Dai Gohonzon —>handed down copy Gohonzon so everyone can have Gohonzon. Only one person can have Gohonzon. To all of us we receive Gohonzon. And to receive Gohonzon—there we can attain enlightenment or absolute happiness. Kechimyaku from 2 points.

General--Sobetsu, Shin Gyo Gaku. We are connected to Gohonzon so we can achieve kechimyaku of faith.

If ichinen is incorrect I was worrying, I would hurt my members. No! No! –no error in chanting to Gohonzon. Even if ichinen is wobbly. Encourage to chant. You chant you will straighten out. Kechimyaku–don’t overuse it.

I am lost–mumyo. Satorio–enlightenment. Hosho in Buddhism–to be.

Example he used was like a mirror. Used a book.

A mirror is a mirror because it has a back. This is mumyo. The lost part of you. Because you can see your lost part you can see your enlightenment. Without mumyo you could never become enlightened. Same with Bonno soku Bodai. Without earthly desires we could never become enlightened. Mumyo varies–different kinds of being lost.

How do I battle Gumpon no mumyo? [the darkness inherent in human life-according to Nichiren the final and most difficult obstacle to overcome to reach enlightenment.] Each day get up and face the situation and chant daimoku to the Gohonzon. It is so simple.

…..

Right after the meeting with Mr. Hojo I rushed to the elevator. I was told to go by the Soka Group and I stood fast. As Mr. Hojo came to the elevator I asked him if I could ask him a couple of questions. After the translator told him, he said sure. So I and a girl named Reza met him on the third floor. Up there we were able to ask him for some answers. (those are contained on previous two pages). Afterwards he asked us to meet him again and asked our names. He gave us each a present. It was a scarf with President Ikeda’s calligraphy. It said Kaido, I believe which translates as health.

Afterwards I went downstairs and talked with Bonnie Barcy for awhile about the present state of the Open Forum. We discussed various subjects.

Next as I was leaving, Gary Curtis and I had a real frank discussion. I have not recorded earlier incident in my diary which would of tremendous import in regards to this meeting. It was nonetheless a breakthrough. He was really happy I talked to Hojo and wondered if the meeting earlier was really of much import. I said to a degree yes.

Well, I should leave now and pick up my wife from work. Will continue later.


Gohonzon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gohonzon

https://www.sgi-usa.org/study-resources/core-concepts/the-gohonzon/diagram-of-the-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

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.