Posts Tagged ‘Human Revolution’

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!

by James C. Stephens


bamboo-forest

Friday, May 23, 1975

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

They’re becoming my good friends.

Saturday, May 24, 1975

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

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

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

Sunday, May 25, 1975

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

Tuesday, May 27, 1975

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 28, 1975

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

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

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

by James C. Stephens


October 25, 1974

You need a job to keep your life together. I decided that I could not go to school and keep my life somewhat together. Consequently, I sought work. For the last three weeks I have been working at Litton Industries, which has been a very good learning experience. I have been learning a lot about cost analysis in my position as a data aide. At first I was frustrated not going to school, but as far as my life is I can’t afford to go to school, nor can my life condition take it. I’m not a good professional student. In the near future I would enjoy taking nite courses and eventually graduate.

This month my practice has not been as strong as in the past moth, but I have nonetheless been learning much from my experiences. I have started dating a girl I’m falling in love for. I know that sounds corny, dating and in love. For me it’s really a change. And I think it has been coming for a long time. One thing I do know is that my human revolution is being magnified greatly. But I welcome it!

File1346

This month I got guidance to join the Bagpipes. What a groovy experience and human revolution on top of that!

We reached our Gojukai goal, AAO! AAO! (a Japanese “hip, hip hooray!”)

Last nite I was at the 1st Headquarters and Russ Dilando asked me to take toban because the other tobans were late, so I took toban (guarding the building and members).

Relationship

It’s difficult to make such a commitment 

                                    not knowing the uncertainty

of such a venture. 

    My human revolution has been magnified

             not in a bad way because Human Revolution is not bad,

but rather one can create value in his life

                                      through

the light of True Buddhism

no matter what the cause.

           I’m discovering the shallowness of my nature,

but also the joy of discovering the depth of Buddhism as it

 relates to my 

                 life.

At times, I’m so afraid of the fact that I have entered a romantic relationship

with another human being.

                               The joy is great,

                                         but at times the frustration 

almost tends to become unbearable. 

In such close relationship nothing is hidden,

your faults are definitely magnified.

             People warn me. People encourage me. I don’t feel it’s 

enslavement, but people warn me that it is. 

                      Only one way to go and that’s to week guidance from

Soshibucho.

But no matter what I Jim Stephens and she  must continue our practice to the Gohonzon.

Strongly!

Our goal, my goal is to create a happy district by April 1, 1975. 1 million daimoku by that date.

S H A K U B U K U   S P I R I T  !!

Only through the Gohonzon can I lead a happy life.

by James C. Stephens


April 2, 1974

Guidance meeting with President Daisaku Ikeda on the Anniversary of President Josei Toda’s death.

Goals of Faith.

  1. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is our life. Our life is the entity. Will tell you how your life should be. Must be healthy and show we’re healthy. If we are not healthy we can’t eat food deliciously and we will worry our parents. Faith direct link to health. Lack of sleep and car accident are all against Mystic Law. Our life has to match rhythm of the universe. Must have desire for health, pray for our health.
  2. Stay young all life. Must keep young heart until 50 or 70. Can only understand spiritual youth when you get older. Right before I asked dentist if he had ever seen perfect teeth. Dentist said, “Yes, in a man 85.” Let’s brush life from youth using this example.
  3. Life must be full of good fortune no matter how intelligent business man or politician, no fortune, you owe something: having good fortune is not being untidy or lazy. Lead a dignified life and this helps to increase your good fortune. If you have good fortune you will get happier. If you don’t have good fortune-not happy ever. Only by chanting daimoku can you can fortune. If someone is millionaire and good position, probably led good life in last life. To have good fortune daimoku. Good fortune always continues.
  4. Wisdom or knowledge. A stupid person is a loser of society. Must study hard and become a leader of society.
  5. Passion. No matter how much work, without passion like a dead person. Passion decides happiness or unhappiness of man.
  6. Confidence. Life without philosophy is like shop without destination. Ship without confidence in storm will probably sink. In this century society will be full of storms.
  7. Victory. If we don’t win we can’t help the losers. In many ways when we are losers we can’t have mercy. Fight for the good and the right in your life. When we realize we have grown even a little, we have realized victory.
  8. To have mercy. No matter if we have wealth, we work for the people of society. Therefore, ordinary people without Gohonzon lead lives with value. 7 characters make up mercy, make up Human Revolution.
  9. Then President Ikeda said I will now make a very important announcement. All of you here will be presented youth amamori Gohonzons. You are very fortunate. Only persons who practice for several years who promise to keep lifelong faith and who promise to fight for Kosen-rufu receive these special Gohonzons. Will you do this? “HAI!”

by James C. Stephens


Tuesday, November 14, 1973

Lately, I have been reflecting a lot on myself and my future. Sunday I got 3 people to receive their Gohonzon. It was definitely a good feeling. It seems like whenever I start such campaigns I definitely start to go through human revolution and this time is no exception.

Saturday, after work I went to our Chapter Kickoff meeting and boy was I on a strange trip. I wouldn’t smile especially after my Chikubucho (district chief) took away my members. I was definitely going through some H.R.! After the meeting and members had left for the Hdqtrs I went into Shibucho’s (Chapter chief) room. He was talking on the phone with Mr. Hall (the Headquarter’s Chief). Then my Chikubucho (Mike Lisagor) came into the room and shut the door. It was like I thought it would happen. I was really determined to get what I had on my chest out. So many times I had held, what I thought to be a stupid complaint, inside for months.

Then I told my Shibucho in from of my C what I thought my C was, a Jewish asshole. I told him I was human and that unity I felt could not be fabricated if I felt such an attitude towards him. He told me humanism is towards everyone.

Anyway, my Chikubucho left and my Shibucho (Guy McCloskey) and I sat down and talked for a long while. He really listens. I told him many complaints I had and the problems I have been going through. One problem was a personality conflict between hancho and Chikubucho. He said it is my responsibility on my end of the line to really learn to follow. He told me his district chief used to Jump up on the table and proclaimed his mission to destroy Christianity and it made his members titan. It was not until he realized he just should support him and his guests would join. For some reason they would take it some way different. The training I got was maybe the way, not to run a district, or the way not to treat my members. You should really chant for a seeking mind and then these petty things would pass you by and you would pick up on the things your Chikubucho or leaders are trying to tell you.

Another thing is your ability to make a good report. And don’t forget a good report is not just good news but bad news too. Your problem is giving a report and telling a person one thing and leaving out another so as to please their ear. Well, tell IT LIKE IT IS!!

I also asked him about marriage. He said I should really build up my fortune and maybe get married in five years, when I’m 27. He said don’t cash in your chips too early, because you may be really unhappy with what you get like some people I know.

I asked him about just having the company of a girl like going out to eat or to an art show. Sure if you can find the time.

I really feel far away from people in the district, is that because I am so far away from Chikubucho. Yes but don’t worry, others have been complaining of the same thing. It will change. It is good to complain really. I don’t know everything and you are my eyes into these areas. Please let me know at all times what it going on.

We have kicked your name around as a district chief, but I don’t know if you as yet can pick yourself up by your own bootstraps. You are an old member and you have got to learn to do this.

It’s time to go home, I’m tired.


Note: Please don’t despair about my comment about Mike. I love the Jews, my wife is Jewish and many of my former members were Jewish. My kids are Jewish. So, don’t take everything so seriously and you’ll live a lot longer, or at least when you’re alive you’ll be much happier. Oh and by the way, I don’t think the guy that jumped up and down on the table was related to Tom Cruise, and I never did meet the guy. I think his mission failed.

 

by James C. Stephens


August 21, 1973

I realize I haven’t written in my diary for awhile, but sometimes it’s difficult to write of your experiences. The Sho-Hondo convention is getting closer everyday. It seems like yesterday it was 200 days until the Convention, now it is just 53 or so days.

About three weeks ago, I was struggling to get my money in for Tozon, now I am really struggling to get the right spirit for reporting to the Dai-Gohonzon and President Ikeda. I have really been chanting for 3 goals I have in front of my Gohonzon. 1) 3 Gojukai by October 1; 2) To play for President Ikeda; 3) To develop a seeking mind and fighting Abutsubo spirit.

I have been getting really incredible benefits. At my one job Benson Jones I got alot of responsibility and developed alot at that job. Remember I was thrown into jail for traffic warrants? Well, I really chanted to do Hendoku-Iyaku on that problem. Just last week I was laid off my job because I wasn’t a fast enough typist. My feeling was fantastic because I was chanting for a way out of that job, because they wanted me to work for a year full time and I wanted to go back to school. Anyway, when my boss laid me off he told me to forget the $122 he’d loaned me to bail me out of jail and on top of that he paid me my regular wages for a weeks work just to look for a new job. Incredible!!!

While I was working at Benson-Jones I took on a second job, which I received guidance from my assistant Chapter Chief Russ Dilando to do. For two weeks I worked two jobs. Sometimes working for 24 hours in a row. It was an experience I will never forget. Those two weeks seem like they lasted for 2 months. It is really strange. On Thursday morning I would get up early, do Gongyo and go to work at 9:00, get off at 6:00, catch a bite to eat on the way to Santa Monica for Band practice, leave at 10:30 to be at work at 11:00. Then at Alphy’s Restaurant I would work my rear off washing dishes continuously for 8 hours. What Human Revolution! Come home between 7 and 8:00, do Morning Gongyo and go to work from 9 to 6:00. Get home from work and hit the sack. Get up at 9:30 or 10:00 do evening Gongyo and go to work at 11:00. After work on Saturday nite I would go to Band and after Band on Sunday go to work again and then the next morning back to work again at my regular job. Some Gongyos were really strange.

One morning I remember chanting and then falling over. I couldn’t help but laugh. Driving to work was a strange experience. One morning I literally had to pull off the road and take a 15 minute nap to be able to make it to work. Even then it was a terrible struggle. I would have definitely continued to work like this for my tozon money, if it hadn’t been for my district chief Mike Lisagor. As I was heading out the door to go to work on a Friday nite, he met me at the door of my car and told me to call in sick. So I didn’t go to work and was consequently fired. Mike told me to depend on the Gohonzon.

I definitely feel that the guidance I followed was the cause to get such a large settlement from the accident my dad and I had last December. I got $800 which paid off my tozon of $650 and also the $450 for my VW.

My health was definitely not too good as a result of all those hours.


 

Sho Hondo: The Grand Main Temple near Mt. Fuji housing the main object of worship of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism.

Dai-Gohonzon: The large wooden object of worship which Nichiren Daishonin carved and inscribed with his name that was enshrined in the Sho-Hondo.

Tozon: Making a pilgrimage to worship the Dai-Gohonzon at the Head Temple Daisekiji, near Fujinomiya, Japan.

Hendoku Iyaku: The practice of “turning poison into medicine,” or obstacles into benefits.

 

by James C. Stephens


September 10, 1972

Sometimes I do not know why I continue practicing Buddhism. But my own personal philosophy is that before I started practicing I was not enjoying my life, so I set out to try and find a philosophy which could change such a situation and which could bring about a change inside so I could really become excited about living.

Sapling in Winter Blackfoot RimeOnSaplingBuddhism brings about the deepest realization of life. I am a very impatient person, but as I look at the sapling tree next to me, I realize that life is a natural rhythm, and for a sapling to grow into a great tree it must endure many cold winters and hot summers, at times it will go without food and water and with little affection. But, at times it is very difficult to realize why we want to be happy.

Sometimes for instance I feel, why world peace? Why be happy? But for the very reason I question it I realize that to care naturally about people and your own life you must joyfully undergo human revolution.

At the moment I must sink my roots, I must strive hard, but naturally to progress.

If I quit now, I will only be like a footprint in sand on a stormy beach. But if I continue to progress in a natural way, I will one day feel like a majestic mountain inside in perfect harmony with life.

Let me try this practice for 20 years and on September 10, 1992, let’s see where my life has gone.