Posts Tagged ‘Honbucho’

by James C. Stephens


April 19, 1974

Spirit of Toban

Talk by Honbucho Mr. Hall

Protecting the Joju Gohonzon means protecting the Headquarters from crazy people. It’s President Ikeda’s building, Mr. William’s building. There are three things to remember as Yusohan:

  1. To protect the Dai Gohonzon.
  2. Protect President Ikeda or the President of the organization.
  3. Protect the members.

Prevention is a hell of alot better than putting out a fire. In your mind be alert. As assistant you should be at your seat when members are around, but not glued. You represent President Ikeda!

NSA constructs people. Toban is for your future development! Look at young men today in our society. Damn few developing men with vigor.

Toshiro Mifune is an example of someone who is courageous and has guts. One who exemplifies spirit of master and disciple. Human spirit strong like a lion and mountain. Fighting to grasp the same spirit.

General Director Williams has unshakable courage and words like swords. Shakubuku meeting is a war of words. Not to chop people. Our enemies are misunderstanding, confusion. Such a perfect battle to engage in today. Special training to become treasure of NSA. To understand spirit of Toban. Where else can you find a master that gives a damn. That stays up nights thinking how to train you.

Because of training you become a free person. Not training for NSA, but as a leader in society. We need leaders who give a shit about the people. Happy society will not happen until leaders stand up.

Victory-to win. No win, no mercy. Win so you can help another. Devote your life to what is good and what is right.

Mercy. Work for people, work for society according to the law of the universe.

 

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James C. Stephens


Sunday, May 16, 1971

Last three days, I’ve been going through hell. I feel either I will titan or stand up.

Monday, May 17, 1971

But luckily when you are in hell you can see why you are there and chant to overcome it. Like Nichiren Daishonin said that you pick yourself up off the same ground you trip on.

Yesterday, I got a benefit. My neighbor wants me to keep his pool up on my spare time for $20 a month. Today I got an even bigger benefit. MyFile1109 - Copy brother gave me his clarinet for my birthday. He is doing well in ski racing. Yesterday he took a first place at the San Gorgonio G.S. (giant slalom).

Tonight we had a study meeting and it turned out well and afterwards we had a Jr. Hancho meeting. Russ related guidance from Gary Curtis and Honbucho to us. Some points to remember:

  1. Your duty as a Jr. Hancho is not to give guidance but to chant Gongyo & Daimoku alongside of them.
  2. Even if you have one member, do your best.
  3. It is our mission to do Shakubuku. And Shakubuku for others is not merely telling them of it and leaving them, but getting them to a discussion meeting and helping them practice.
  4. Most important is to take your Shakubuku to Shibucho and make sure they know of every meeting and where the headquarters is at and introduce them to their senior leaders.
  5. The Discussion meeting is where Kosen-rufu is and it’s your opportunity to grow with your members. When you have a friend it makes everything much more enjoyable.
  6. The Seattle campaign will be very difficult but it will be like trimming the branches of a tree to make it stronger. Let’s advance with Seattle as our goal.
  7. If you are involved in a campaign and are hating it, you are losing. If you think of it as making money for Nichiren Shoshu you are losing. It is rather for you to realize your human revolution. Through a campaign you develop sincere action and through sincere action a sincere mind.
  8. Even when you have a goal of 50 Shakubuku set for 2 weeks and attain it in one, it is your benefit not to stop there, but to continue winning until the end. That is the way Nichiren would have it, for your human revolution.

It seems I am studying a bit more now because I have to, but I must make the determination to study day by day.

Ariba u Adelante” to Seattle.

Up and Go to Seattle.


Note: What I’ve noticed is that there is inevitably a post campaign depression after such a frenetic pace of activity. At the time however, I was simply exhausted and depressed, but did not connect the two.


by James C. Stephens


Thursday, April 15, 1971

About 3:30 this morning we had a 3.5 earthquake. Really strange…I got back my gov’t test-got a D, as in Despicable, and then had a talk with Professor Machado. I shakubukued him. Now I must really shakubuku him through better grades and class participation…

I studied for my Man’s religions exam but fell asleep, in the library. That seems to be a real problem with me, I use it as an escape…

Today I have a new determination to advance on my clarinet and in my studies day by day. But we’ll just have to see how long that lasts….[1]

We had a very good Brass Band practice tonight. I helped another member with his music and it really felt good. After Band, Honbucho, Mr. Kikamura spoke to us about Sundays activities at Myohoji.[2]

He quoted President Ikeda, saying that we should all develop our talent.” Because we can do something no one else can do for Kosen rufu. However he said that we should never think that Nichiren Shoshu needs us, but we really need Gohonzon for our individual happiness.

He says Sogohonbucho[3] is working very hard and maybe we could help him a little more by chanting some daimoku for our unity and his success in his travels…I really chanted tonight to feel unity maybe it will come with hard work.

Ask Gohonzon in Evening Gongyo[4] to be in high spirits the next day and have a constructive meaningful day.

Plan your activities a day in advance during evening Gongyo is a good time. And then rethink it during morning Gongyo.

 

 


[1] {I was very pessimistic about my ability to maintain a discipline}.

[2] Myohoji Temple was built in Etiwanda, California and was about an hour drive east of Santa Monica.  We used to take members there to receive their Gohonzon (Buddhist object of worship) and also for marriages, funerals, and New Years’ activities.  I became acquainted with one of the later priests who is now at Taisekiji near Mt. Fuji in Japan.

[3] Nichiren Shoshu’s organization was a hierarchy that was based upon the master-disciple relationship and used Japanese terminology to denote rank.  Sogohonbucho was George M. Williams, the General Director of  Nichiren Shoshu Academy (NSA, now known as SGI, International-or Soka Gakkai International).  Honbucho was Headquarter’s Chief, who was over the Soshibucho’s (General Chapter Chiefs) who were over Shibucho’s (Chapter Chiefs), who were over Chikabucho’s (District Chiefs) who were over Hancho’s (who were han or small group leaders) who were over junior hancho’s (who were cell leaders).  Each of the male roles had a female role that complemented it.  There were four divisions within the organization: Men’s division, Women’s division, Young Men’s Division (YMD), and Young Women’s Division (YWD).

[4] Gongyo is the prayer liturgy of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhists based upon a chapter and a half of the Lotus Sutra which is recited five times with accompanying silent prayers in the morning and three times in the evening.

James C. Stephens


 

Thursday, April 15, 1971

About 3:30 this morning we had a 3.5 earthquake. Really strange…I got back my gov’t test-got a D, as in Despicable, and then had a talk with Professor Machado. I shakubukued[1] him. Now I must really shakubuku him through better grades and class participation…I studied for my Man’s religions exam but fell asleep, in the library. That seems to be a real problem with me, I use it as an escape…Today I have a new determination to advance on my clarinet and in my studies day by day. But we’ll just have to see how long that lasts.

 

We had a very good Brass Band practice tonight. I helped another member with his music and it really felt good. After Band, Honbucho, Mr. Kikamura spoke to us about Sundays activities at Myohoji.[2] He quoted President Ikeda, saying that we should all develop our talent.” Because we can do something no one else can do for Kosen rufu. However he said that we should never think that Nichiren Shoshu needs us, but we really need Gohonzon for our individual happiness. He says Sogohonbucho[3] is working very hard and maybe we could help him a little more by chanting some diamoku for our unity and his success in his travels…I really chanted tonight to feel unity maybe it will come with hard work.

 

Ask Gohonzon in Evening Gongyo[4] to be in high spirits the next day and have a constructive meaningful day.

 

Plan your activities a day in advance during evening Gongyo is a good time. And then rethink it during morning Gongyo.


 

[1] Shakubuku: Tearing and crushing of another’s faith. “A method of propagating Buddhism by refuting another’s attachment to heretical views and thus leading him to the correct Buddhist teaching. The term is used in contrast to shoju, or leading another to the true teaching gradually without refuting his misconceptions.”

[2] Myohoji Temple was built in Etiwanda, California and was about an hour drive east of Santa Monica.  We used to take members there to receive their Gohonzon (Buddhist object of worship) and also for marriages, funerals, and New Years’ activities.  I became acquainted with one of the later priests who is now at Taisekiji near Mt. Fuji in Japan.

[3] Nichiren Shoshu’s organization was a hierarchy that was based upon the master-disciple relationship and used Japanese terminology to denote rank.  Sogohonbucho was George M. Williams, the General Director of  Nichiren Shoshu Academy (NSA, now known as SGI, International—or Soka Gakkai International).  Honbucho was Headquarter’s Chief, who was over the Soshibucho’s (General Chapter Chiefs) who were over Shibucho’s (Chapter Chiefs), who were over Chikabucho’s (District Chiefs) who were over Hancho’s (who were han or small group leaders) who were over junior hancho’s (who were cell leaders).  Each of the male roles had a female role that complemented it.  There were four divisions within the organization: Men’s division, Women’s division, Young Men’s Division (YMD), and Young Women’s Division (YWD).

[4] Gongyo is the prayer liturgy of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhists based upon a chapter and a half of the Lotus Sutra which is recited five times with accompanying silent prayers in the morning and three times in the evening.