Posts Tagged ‘Ichinen’

by James C. Stephens


Friday, June 6, 1975

About 2:00 AM last night Mike Hayes and I got a call from Mr. Murie. In the morning we were to meet at 8:00 o’clock to do gongyo with Rejicho. So about 15 of the stage crew met with Mr. Williams to do gongyo at the Control Center. After an incredibly strong gongyo he talked to us about our health and how important it was to get energy from nature by exercise. He then gave us a Spanish lesson and read President Ikeda’s guidance for June 6, 1975. He said, no matter what criticism we may endure or no matter what flattery we may receive, let’s keep going ahead with the Gakkai spirit.

President Ikeda’s Daily Guidance: “No matter how we’re criticized let’s carry on. We know glory and victory await us in the course of our persistent struggle.”

Afterwards whawaii-outrigger-canoee had some rolls and coffee, then headed for the beach. We rode in outrigger canoes. What a gas! Then Rejicho came out and we gathered round him. He seemed very serious today. But I picked up on his incredible Ichinen for the success for this convention. He was looking all round this Bay with binoculars. I wonder what goes on in his great mind?

We rode in a catamaran also. What a gas. While riding his man who sailed this boat told us that July is known for big surf. And we had better really pray for something.

We’ll be taking performers to the Island in these catamarans.

A great experience with Mr. Williams.

Got a bad sunburn–used some Hawaiian herb on it and it. Works wonders.

Saturday, June 7, 1975

Helped finish the backdrop for tonight’s General Meeting! However, I got a tremendous benefit. I’m toban to protect the warehouse tonight.

Last night while treating my sunburn with that special succulent herb I talked to the warehouse nurse Bill. A very  encouraging talk about his district’s growth from nothing to a real dynamite district.

Finally caught up with my diary a bit!

My resolution is to work much harder than ever to create more fortune for my future, family and district. I must struggle each moment. I’m going for broke.

Imua!

Friday June 20, 1975

Wow. I could not begin to believe that 13 days have passed since I last wrote in my journa. Time passes so quickly.

I have been realizing a whole helluva a lot about myself. The groovy thing is it feels like I am changing many things on the spot.

My strong pride has come out many times, you know-the I’m right feeling. Uptightness.

Tuesday, June 24, 1975

Lately I have been experiencing some of the greatest feelings I have experienced in my life.



Ichinen: Life force.

Rejicho: General Director

Toban: Guard

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by James C. Stephens


Wednesday, October 27, 1971

 

Attended a Transportation Seminar, only three Urban Studies Majors were present. How disconcerting!! Education in the United States is so similar to what Pres. Ikeda calls station-lunch universities in Japan (commuter colleges). They’re universal. I feel that I’ve got to do something to change that situation. Sogohonbucho can’t do everything. I must definitely fight to stand alone in my field.

Zhou Enlai and Daisaku Ikeda 1974I got home at 5:00 and was in time to do Gongyo with Sogohonbucho. He talked about the consequence of the Komeito party in the Red China situation. Chou En Lai talked to the head of the Komei party and wanted him to agree that the US was an imperialist nation. He scolded him and said the U.S. has made it possible to have freedom in Japan of religion and politics.

Chou En Lai respects Komei so much he sent telegrams and everything. Komeito said to Chou En Lai~ “There’s two sides to everything, it’s only natural isn’t it?”

Now starting Nov. 1 the only Japanese newspaper in Peking is the Komei Shimbun (newspaper of Komeito party circulation 3 million).

The Komei representative shook everyone’s hand while other representatives just would not mingle. In fact, he invited 100 guests, including doormen, elevator operators, bell boys, everyone. He really showed Pres. Ikeda’s Ichinen for the Chinese people.

My guests, one freaked out, just split, but Ron in a wheelchair, really has decided to try chanting. It really blew my mind because at one point Sogohonbucho just pointed to his exact circumstances. Ron got a degree from UCSB, but has never used it and he got paralyzed from the waist down in a motorcycle accident. Sogohonbucho, wow!

by James C. Stephens


Wednesday, October 20, 1971

 

This morning Russ enshrined Dave’s Gohonzon and afterwards Dave and I did Gongyo together. The day I had was really vigorous. Class in Urban Administration was interesting.

 

This evening, a Shakubuku of mine actually called me and wants to come to a meeting. After Dinner, I wrote a couple of letters to friends in Japan and then I studied at the library for a 1 ½. After the library closed I did some Shakubuku. I won a religious debate over two Christians. One agreed with me about the pure lineage lacking in Christianity. In fact, when I left they argued about their philosophy. Christianity is a dangerous illusion definitely!

 

Gosho Whether or not your prayers are realized depends on your faith

When I got home I read longer, and when I started to doze I started reading Pres. Ikeda’s Complete Works on the Komeito Party[1], etc. His Ichinen is extremely powerful, because I ceased dozing and became extremely alert. Very strange to me.

 

Sunday, October 24, 1971

 

Today, we had an Oeshiki Ceremony celebrating Nichiren Daishonin’s Death. However, the celebration is not like celebrating a past event, but celebrating now. It was the first time I saw Sogohonbucho for any length of time since he returned from Tozon.

 

Dave, my Shakubuku met Gary Curtis…It rained early so we left the Temple early.


 

[1] Komeito Party, literally “Clean Government Party”  is Japan’s third largest political party which was founded by the Soka Gakkai.

Tozon: A pilgrimage to the Head Temple to worship the Dai Gohonzon, Nichiren Shoshu’s object of worship which serves as the pattern for everyone’s Gohonzon. Gohonzon’s are not owned by the member, but loaned to them.

 

James C. Stephens


January 17, 1971

The month of December was unbelievably heavy but I made it and I’m happy for that. During the week before New Year’s I chanted to get closer to my leaders and also to create value and make causes for the New Year. I went to Brass Band one day, but the next day I left for Mammoth for two days, to have “someone” ride home with Mom. But really I had opportunities to stay home and go to Brass Band. Well, Dick Bond told me to chant and see what happened. The Two days at Mammoth were really a blast. I saw Karen and Shakubukued her. I really seem to like her, but I saw later what value such relationships create; and how girls really can break the bond between you and the Gohonzon, or at least take your Ichinen off practicing to change yourself during young days in faith. But those two days were a tremendously valuable experience.

The day I got back I went to a Yusohan meeting and volunteered and was chosen as a Yusohan for Shibucho. This was to be the start of my biggest benefit since I joined Nichiren Shoshu in May. From that moment I was Shibucho’s Yosohan. It was not just a valuable experience, but it showed me where my life was and where it is going to go hopefully into the future.

That night at 2:30 I went with Soshibucho to LA International to pick up baggage of Kansas City and saw the Kanki of “out of town” members. But they didn’t seem out of town at all. Then on the way back to the Honbu I got to talk to Soshibucho. But it’s hard to talk to him for me.

When I got back I was told to take a nap. So I went up to the second floor, boy was it humid, a million bodies were lying all around. So I didn’t lay down but five minutes and felt there was more to be done so I went downstairs and worked on the “Space Needle” in the Band room. While I was painting, Sogohonbucho walked in and wow. He was carrying his saxophone to find a place to practice, but he was checking on our progress I know. But I heard him in his office practicing his sax. Time passed by fast and at 4:30 I went upstairs only to find that Shibucho had gone to the airport.

Later that morning I went to sleep around 5:30 in the World Tribune room and really enjoyed my sleep. Then I was busy doing odds and ends in the morning and by afternoon Shibucho said, Well you can go see the parade and do New Year’s Gongyo at the Temple. So during that afternoon I knew there was more to do, I don’t know why I wanted to do more but I did. As I was changing I asked Gohonzon, first for something to do and something to eat. Well, instantly a member came up to me and said, “Jim, got time?” Yep! “Ok, let’s go deliver dinners to New York and Hawaii. Inga guji. So we delivered dinners to New York and Hawaii; and I had dinner with Hawaii. Good dinners too.

Honbucho from Hawaii asked me if they had the generator yet for their float, so I ran over to the warehouse and talked to Soshibucho. He told me they needed two generators and two floats were stranded at the warehouse. Well, it was about 5:30 and the parade started at six. By the time we got everything loaded and everyone fed it was almost 6:00, and no communication from the warehouse to anywhere. So we got everything loaded and hustled to the beginning of the parade route and I and two New York members chanted all the way for Gohonzon to help everything work out. Immediately everyone loaded the dishes and I called Shibucho. It was a blow mind because a guy just gave me the money (member from N.Y.) no hassle. Shibucho said get those floats down here and he told me where the Ryder truck and stake truck were. Everyone’s karma was really oozing out by this time. I found the stake truck but unfortunately the New York skyline was built on it. I found on of the three Ryder trucks, someone lost the keyes. The other Ryder truck was emptying dishes and the last was without a driver. By this time I was a little frantic. But I got one on its way and finally got the other on its way. Then I was assigned to a Sr. leader from Chicago and his float was the one of two missing. But through their faith the floats arrived two minutes before parade time. It was a fantastic parade. I was a self assigned runner for Shibucho Jim Cuda. Never ran so much and felt it so little, it was unbelievable. The Gohonzon brought out my true vitality.

You know after a Christian parade how long it takes to clean up? Well we had the entire parade route cleaned, the floats demolished, the warehouses cleaned in tow hours at 25 to 12:00, unbelievable. True unity. Afterwards I went back to the Honbu and we loaded food for the Min-on on New Year’s Day. Then I went to the Shibu washed my pants, did Gongyo and crashed until 5:30. Then I went straight to the Honbu and reported to Shibucho. He kiddingly said I looked terrible, as I had clean pants and a new sweatshirt. So we got them dirty working that day getting things ready for people leaving after the Min-on. I didn’t get to the Min-on but I felt it. That morning I got to say Gongyo with the NY members and Sogohonbucho. Later as I was loading trophies and gifts from Sogohonbucho, he came up and asked me to count the trophy’s. It’s hard to express how it is to look up and look Sogohonbucho in the eye. It’s much like looking at a sun but can see the face. It’s the feeling. He doesn’t say anything, but you can feel it more than words could express.

That afternoon, I talked with a member that was from England and shared Toban with him. We had two or three very strange experiences with people coming in. About 7:00 I decided to take a nap for an hr. in a guidance room. One person came and shut the door so I wasn’t disturbed. At 1:00 I was awakened and promptly taken out of the room by another person on Toban. By morning I would have been dead by gas. But almosts don’t count, you win or lose in Buddhism. Why I wasn’t phased I don’t know.  I then did evening Gongyo on the third floor alone at 2:00. Really fantastic. Russ did it at home at 2:00 also; really mystic. Then I went and slept on the second floor, but only after I went down to see and smell the guidance room. Whew!

The next morning Mr. Kato asked me to clean the 2nd floor Butsudon. I was happy to serve the Gohonzon, but why me? It seems I am way too unworthy to have been given the opportunity to have been so close to the headquarters. Maybe one day I might fathom; why.

I really saw that I have to battle my ego, my big head. I have to be more humble.

I saw Brass Band is really important, and I still don’t know how Sogohonbucho does it. Maybe Gohonzon? Most definitely.


Sogohonbucho: General Director George M. Williams of Nichiren Shoshu Academy, aka Soka Gakkai, North American Division. His name at the time I believe was still Masayasu Sadanaga.

Honbucho: Headquarters Chief.

Soshibucho: General Chapter Chief.

Shibucho: Chapter Chief.

Shibu: Chapter meeting house usually belonging to the Chapter Chief.

Yusohan: Young Men’s Division group assigned to protect the Gohonzon, the buildings, leaders, and members.

Dick Bond: Leader of Young Men’s Division Brass Band and also of the Tribune Band which was an exclusive band that was on call for all sorts of VIP events held at the North American Headquarters.

Kanki: Basically life energy of a person.

Mr. Kato: The quiet right hand man, an administrator of General Director Williams.

 

    James C. Stephens


Friday, April 16, 1971

Well, today was a far out experience. I took my Man’s Religions exam on Hinduism and Buddhism. I think I faired quite well. My English class brought out my lazy nature again. Mrs. Foster talked to me about trying and said she couldn’t help me if I just didn’t try. I’m ashamed, but then I’m not, because finally I can challenge this problem and overcome it….Oh, got a benefit tonight. I got turned onto a new butsudon[1] in exchange for my old one; truly a benefit. I practiced my instrument again today. I hope I can keep this up and extend it to my studies. I’m afraid if I don’t then I will definitely get behind in the busy month ahead. Sunday Myohoji sports festival, parade and picnic are coming. It’s really great to spend a day with Sogohonbucho.

 

…Today after school I talked with Dr. Shofner and we had a good conversation, he listened very intently to the little I could relate on Nichiren’s Buddhism. He got World Tribune for May…Lately, I have really been experiencing what the importance of one’s Ichinen actually is. When it slips (your life force), it really effects your environment; like people you talk to.

 

…I feel like my practice is getting together again, but usually it blows up again when I say or feel that. I am trying to have faith like water, and not fire. I usually burn out too fast. Hopefully, I can change that.

 

“High spirits tomorrow and very constructive.”

 

One of my members is not practicing everyday; he’s pushing, so I am really learning more about human nature. I just am not chanting enough Diamoku for my members. I just must make more causes by doing Gongyo with him more often…


 

[1] Butsudon, literally means “Buddha’s home.”  It takes the form of a cabinet which houses the Gohonzon. We used to raid the back of grocery stores for fruit crates, buy some black spray paint, white poster board,  and a picture hook. We’d spray the crate, let it dry,  bend the poster board to line it, staple it in, and then hang it up at a new members with the picture hook even before they got a Gohonzon to give them a place to worship. We’d then place two candles on either side of a makeshift incense burner, have then get a small juice glass for offering water, a small plate with fruit on it, and a glass with water to put an evergreen into as the final offering.

Ichinen: Mind of a person in one moment which can manifest itself in three thousand different ways, determination.