Posts Tagged ‘Ikeda’

by James C. Stephens


March 22, 1978

Black Dial Phone

Raining steady. No work. Campaign at my desk. Up at 6:30. Several phone calls from members this morning making determinations for their individual daimoku campaigns. Chanted til late last night. Went to bed depressed and searching for where and what my problem was.

My guidance and attitude towards my members should change. Pres. Ikeda says, “if a leader is an autocrat and scolds his members for reasons like being late to the meetings, people are likely to slander the organization and will want to avoid it.” It is my feeling that I tend towards this attitude. I should be cheerful and greet each member as the priceless treasure they are. Then they will seek shelter and encouragement from the organization. I should become an attractive person as Pres. Ikeda says. This does not mean appearance alone, that I am sure of. Where I need to change is becoming more cheerful and less abrasive. Pres. Toda said we are not missionaries. This must be my realization. Patience, step by step advance.

Pres. Ikeda’s guidance is “For more than 2,000 years after the Buddha’s (Sakyamuni’s) demise, people had constantly cherished a fervent desire in the depths of their lives to seek out one thing. That which they sought, whether they were aware of it or not was Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.”  Realizing that each person has this desire, we are constantly seeking ways of explaining the significance of practicing to the Gohonzon.

April 3, 1978

Pulitzer Prize banner

For the past week or so I have found it extremely difficult to chant daimoku and extremely hard to motivate myself. Mr. Curtis and several of the bucho’s and myself drank sake after our planning meeting. He related a story of President Ikeda’s meeting with a famous journalist in Japan and how the journalist felt about the Soka Gakkai. He felt the following: He admired the programs of the Soka Gakkai. However he felt that if the Soka Gakkai were really great it would have produced a Pulitzer Prize winner or the equivalent. Well this story leaked through to some YMD. One of which was a hack journalist. At that moment he had not ever written anything of much significance. Well, he took this challenge to heart! He locked himself up in his room for three years. The novel he produced just recently received the the Kurobachi Award which is not awarded yearly, but only when a work is really merited. This award is the highest in Japan.

This YMD was the youngest person ever to be awarded this honor. Advertisements are all over Japan for his book.

Mr. Izumi said that Kosenrufu only is produced and rooted in the accomplishments of one person in his daily life. Just because one has a 1,000 members around him does not bring true satisfaction. Danny Nagashima was explaining to me the principal of a T person.  A T person has a grasp of many fields, but finds his specialty in one field–he is outstanding.

I am at present struggling deeply in re-evaluating my goals and strategy in attacking my goals. Liz and I are planning on getting a house within this year.

I have a determination to excel in my field this year. Each day I must accomplish a lot of things towards this end. Therefore 1. I must chant 2 hours per day without fail. 2. I must have a good healthy diet. 3. I must set up an exercise program. 4. I must strictly schedule myself so that my activities do not slip. This has happened to several NSA leaders.

I feel now I have to cut down on the tobans I do. I must prepare myself for the fight. Business must be based upon the Gohonzon.

5:30–rise.

5:45-Daimoku.

6:45- Gongyo

7:15-Breakfast.

7:45-Leave for work.


Random thought on the Pulitzer. I actually was shocked when I read about the origins of the prestigious Pulitzer Prize. Here’s a clip from Wikipedia:

 

“Joseph J. Pulitzer born April 10, 1847 – October 29, 1911 was a newspaper publisher of the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the New York World. Pulitzer introduced the techniques of yellow journalism (a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news) to the newspapers he acquired in the 1880s. He became a leading national figure in the Democratic Party and was elected congressman from New York. He crusaded against big business and corruption, and helped keep the Statue of Liberty in New York.

In the 1890s the fierce competition between his World and William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal caused both to use yellow journalism for wider appeal; it opened the way to mass-circulation newspapers that depended on advertising revenue and appealed to readers with multiple forms of news, entertainment and advertising.

Today, he is best known for the Pulitzer Prizes, which were established in 1917 as a result of his endowment of Columbia University. The prizes are given annually to recognize and reward excellence in American journalism, photography, literature, history, poetry, music and drama. Pulitzer founded the Columbia School of Journalism by his philanthropic bequest; it opened in 1912.”

Does the term Pulitzer Prize fit the bill of an oxymoron? Distinguished journalism? Nobel Prize for peace? From a man who developed bombs? Are these rewards just built on guilt?

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by James C. Stephens


December 18, 1977

JCS Note: The following are verbatim notes as I took them down in a Toban meeting with General Director Williams and are not embellished. I will break the long post into two parts. The following will cover page 1-5, the second from pg. 16-29. My notes include phrases which Williams would use which were not always phrased in proper English. However, I think they provide an accurate historical and linguistic eyewitness insider account of what actually transpired during the 17 year old movement. This is probably one of the longest entries I had written up to this point in my journal. It also paints a picture of the early relationship of George M. Williams with the young Ikeda who was serving under President Toda. I will include explanatory notes in brackets integrated into the post rather than at the end because of the length of the post. All mistakes are not Williams, but sometimes my notetaking was as not quite as quick as a particular series of exhortations when he rattled off many terms. But you do get the general flow.

Begin entry. Williams begins:

“Wow. Good morning. How are you?”

“Fine.”

As you heard about this President Ikeda’s H.R. Volume X, it covers a tendency of campaign details of, what he done actually. The beginning of this study pg. 14 Josei Toda assessed the situation in Kansai for exactly what it was..almost hopeless. So actually this hopeless campaign President Toda send Sen’nichi Yamamoto [Daisaku Ikeda’s pseudonym in the multi volume collection of the Human Revolution which I then abbreviate throughout my notes] this campaign Pres. Ikeda first time he write about his own campaign. In other words, his maiden campaign, his first campaign for himself, so actually remain in history. P.I. [President Ikeda] was behind the scene more likely previously. Previous H.R. Pres. Toda is the center. This Vol. X as you heard, his camp, his reply to his master Pres. Toda. Actually, Vol. 9 is ended last Sept. 1976 and this Vol. X start year after Sept. 3, 1977. Previously he start writing of the HR, he really founder and his self. because this is his campaign and also he replying to Pres. Toda. Therefore in one of his essays in Book essays on HR they appear in Seikyo Shimbum in which HR book you know can’t cover whole things. The essay covers up between the lines. Pres Ikeda says in Essays in H.R., ‘that it is really difficult to write, not because of his inability to write, but because of his intensive Ichinen so diff. to write because Vol. X covers Pres. Toda’s last 2 1/2 years of campaign and SY his campaign his reply, how he dedicated. So actually writing about himself is not easy. Writing about someone else, Pres. Toda is easy. every detail he could write. Of course, once in awhile he couldn’t write every detail sometimes. Now before Sept this year, for one year he really consider how to write about Pres Toda’s last two and half year campaign which cover Vol. X and S.Y. own campaign. But, finally one of the morning Aug 27, 77, Morning he came to Honbu and said, “Now I’m going to write S.Y. march campaign. Then he start writing Sept. 3, 1st article Seikyo Shimbun appeared. Because Kansai campaign is the most important campaign of all. We heard of many people talk about Kansai campaign or spirit of Kansai. So easy we heard about, and many people still remember the wonderful campaign, but how Shin’nichi Yamamoto suffered himself to make victory of Kansai campaign. Because the campaign’s prime point of the Soka Gakkai for the future. You know honmatsu kukyo to? Consistancy form beg. to end? Recently many people looking for new guidance, any from Pres Ikeda. Some members return from Japan always, “did he say something new guidances?” no such a new guidances! Principal the same! Have you ever heard about same tree, but another roots? Same tree, but same roots more deeper in ground that is tree. Some tree looking for another roots, that is strange question. This is roots of Soka Gakkai today. If you understand this point clearly. If you understand roots of the Kansai campaign you can understand future, what kind of lower what kind of fruits its going to bear. That much Osaka campaign is very important to all those who S.Y. of today. That time Osaka a terrible situation like NSA many people not well trained members even group chiefs is 1 or 2 years of faith. Just like NSA. not easy. Many members go to Japan astonished and surprised. Gee Japan wonderful. Of course! 47 years. NSA only 17 years. To compare is impossible from the very beginning. That why we have lots of future. Don’t you think so?

“Hai!”

Josei Toda and Makaguchi

Josei Toda (standing) the second President of the Soka Gakkai and Tsuneburo Makiguchi (seated), the first President of the Soka Kyoiku Gakkai in 1930. 

Only 17 years don’t compare to 47 years, give me another 30 years and another 30 years on top of that, then see what happens. Today fantastic Japan. Of course! 47 years Pres. Makiguchi started. President Toda completed foundation. Pres I. built on top of that. We going to be foundation first, for future NSA don’t you think so?

“Hai!”

That why I’m asking all you Shin’nichi Yamamoto’s. Now you are SY for future NSA. 47 years after say you are tremendous organization. We are Soka Gakkai but we are 17 years young Gakkai like Kansai. Shin’nichi Yamamoto who campaigned with young members, not easy, if you think of that. If your age is 28 please understand this situation. Hopeless situation in NSA! If all of you 20 years in NSA I can ask you many things. But you are really just young members, how can I ask you” You are just babies looking for milk. What I can give you is steak. Develop yourself first. Prepare your own tooth, sharpen enough. Then ask steak. Go through middle food first. Pres. Toda knew how difficult Kansai campaign was. That time in 1956, that time SY only 9 year member. He joined in 1947. This year is 30 years. August 24. Not easy to launch campaign. Why he ask SY? Reason is he like to know how SY reply in Osaka in impossible situation. Membership less than 30,000. Most of them newly joined members. And also Osaka Chapter Chief Sheracki, his name here Haruki, his real name Geichiro Sheracki, used to be Tokyo Flyer Pro Ball Pitcher. He was well know, but not a good candidate name for election for House of Counselor’s-like Senate in America. And target to win election was 200,000 votes, have to have that and membership, you, not age, but young in faith, not well trained in other words. Go do anything kind of members is fine. Like many of you who joined recently and doing Toban. Sometimes don’t know the reason is for Toban. Your senior leader assigned you that’s why you doing. Inside sometimes complaining feeling you have. You don’t know how much years after you will be able to talk about what you are doing today. Osaka members just like that, less than 30,000. Even hancho today equivalent today to chapter chief, shibucho is top in Osaka. No Honbucho is top, next is Chikubucho, next is Hancho today homencho, hancho ..Chikabucho is one year member-Han meetings more likely today. Now today’s hancho more likely 10 years members..Just young member is equivalent today that time Chapter chief, Shibucho is top in Osaka right. No Honbucho or anything, remember? So Chapter chief is top next is Chikabucho. Then next is hancho, so today you know you have Homencho. Homencho next Honbucho right? Chikabucho, Honbucho is Chikabucho appearing right here right? Hancho. What do you know? Chikabucho is today. Such Chikubucho is one year so you can understand how situation is difficult in Osaka.

(….Some inserted explanation for my readers

[Are you confused yet? Williams was talking about how fast the Soka Gakkai was growing and talking about the leadership ranking. Here’s a short and simplified breakdown from the bottom up. And do remember each of the leadership levels also was broken down into four divisions. Young women’s, young men’s, women’s and men’s.

Junior hancho– small group which formed the foundation of the Soka Gakkai usuall composed of 3 to 8 or so members.

Hancho-group leader over several junior hanchos. There could be several hanchos in district depending on the size of the district.

Chikabucho-District leader. There were often many districts in a chapter.

Shibucho-Chapter leader-There could be several chapters in a General Chapter.

Soshibucho-General chapter leader. There could be several General Chapter chiefs in a headquarters.

Honbucho-Headquarters leader. There was one headquarters in Santa Monica composed of several general chapters.

Sogohonbucho-Leader over multiple headquarters in a region. I’m a bit unclear to this day what the difference between a Homencho and a Sogohonbucho is. At one time we called Mr. Williams, Sogohonbucho.

Homencho– Territory leader. There were several Headquarters in a region and one Territory leader, e.g., Santa Monica Headquarters, North Hollywood Headquarters, East Los Angeles, Santa Ana.

Rejicho-National leader. George M. Williams was over all the territory leaders in the US and associated territories. He was headquartered in Santa Monica on 525 Wilshire Blvd and other buildings nearby. Known as the North American Headquarters.

….Post based on notes continues below

Young Ikeda and President Toda 1955 Seikyo Shimbun

The young Daisaku Ikeda seated next  Second President Josei Toda with trademark glasses holding a cigarette in 1955.

Han meetings, they could meet in today’s hand meetings more likely, but today you know homencho most likely 10 year member in NSA, but that time such Honbucho, Shibucho only 1 year, then training to fight for 200,000 target! Pres. Toda almost cruel mission given to SY. And Osaka itself is really terrible member who were very poor. Sick. I still remember that time Soka Gakkai 1956, I came to United States in 1957. Next year. So I remember clearly this time of Pres. Toda’s situation. I was eye witness. 1956 January, I was at President Ikeda’s home. This time I’m the one after he returned from Osaka who rubbed down his shoulders. SY skinny., eyes only so sharp. Scary. I became disciple to Pres. Ikeda in 1953. The first time I met him person 1955. One year after, before Jan. 3, I became disciple of President Ikeda from my side, my Ichinen and determination. Although Pres. Today alive, but I decide I like to become disciple to him Pres Ikeda SY one year before 1955.

After that’s why almost every night I visited his home to do something for him, rub down, or talking, or listening. So I know the behind the scenes story of this so clear vision that still comes up in my mind. I’m so fortunate at that time. 1956 Jan. 3, before he go to Osaka. So anyway, SY at that time so physically weak, and Osaka members, nothing but poor and miserable people. Members of SG bad. So you feel ashamed to belong to SG at that time. Everybody say, “Oh, some bunch of poor people. Whole bunch of sick people.” Whole bunch of not good name. Maybe another 20 yrs, 30 yrs, NSA will be the really slick SG of Japan type of big organization.

Everyone of the leaders millions of leaders behind you. But today just like SG or NSA is still small organization only through convention people know, “Oh, NSA”, but still not in so-called tremendous impression. But wisdom so far, so far. That’s why the name knowing NSA. But Osaka worse than that. Just like an org. of hippys, organization of poor people that is 1956. Jan. situation. Pres. Toda knew SY physical condition so weak. I remember, he was so weak. Always high temperature. Always skinny, not round face like mine, skinny, bronchial pneumonia all the time. Therefore Pres. Toda his clear mission give to SY, if we understand today. Why Pres. Toda did it? But Pres. Toda know how Pres. Ikeda would do it. Pres. Toda knowing not that in 2 1/2 years he would die. Pres. Toda have to know how SY sould reply and future of Soka Gakkai will response. That same today. Therefore, Pres. Toda Ichinen like King of Beasts, Lion, Lion King. Kick lion cub down hill, cliff. How lion cub can climb up cliff to succeed crown. If you’re lion cub take such a challenge. It’s not easy at that time, moment you are assigned so many things and gee why does this happen to me? Sorry you gotta have! If you’re honorable NSA YMD! You gotta have. Enjoy your mission, to do impossible things. Constantly, I’m going to ask you to do it especially 1979. I’ve never expected to have response like terrible year past. That is disqualification of NSA of YMD. That kind of attitude is no qualify you to be leader of 1979 up. Your response was terrible of that time. From now on, if you really try to understand SY-his spirit of Osaka, better do your best. Don’t response of terrible way. Please leave such YMD. We do not want to have such YMD in NSA. Because if you are NSA of the future. Do it. Take care of own property, own things…Don’t feel like you’re doing it for somebody else. Do for your own sake, that’s why SY did it. That’s why SY felt this decisive campaign is for himself. Win or not is for his future. 14 pg. 4 lines from right column.

“For the past 10 years SY had never once protested against Toda’s requests whether they were explicit or implicit.”  It’s easy not easy never question. Remember the Impossible Dream what we dedicated at the Sho Hondo Convention? Such a spirit of Sancho Panza. It’s like really impossible dream. Without question or pause to be willing to march into Hell for a heavenly cause. That exactly Pres. Toda asked SY and he reply to that. Osaka was hell, please remember that from the very beginning then you understand the whole article. Osaka was hell for SY, but he went for Hell. To Hell for Heavenly cause, now third President of the Soka Gakka International. You’ve got to understand this point-that was a campaign of Hell. You have guts to go to hell for a Heavenly cause-that’s SY. And Pres. Toda asked SY to go to Hell. Kicked cub down the cliff. Do you think its a clear thing? No! If you are future Rejicho’s of NSA got to do it. You will be my successor. I’m the 1st NSA Rejicho of America. So fortunately Pres. Iked appointed me that way. But some of you going to be 2nd Rejicho for the future. When you hesitate to do it you disqualify yourself. You’re the one really willing to do even job like Hell. Within hell for a heavenly cause. That’s the one SY did it for Pres. Toda. You know master and disciple Pres. Toda and SY. Pres. Ikeda asking us whole thing is hell sometime. Not only smiling NSA YMD “Oh you’re wonderful. He might say if you’re baby face, maybe. Faith if young he might say that. But when he really start training you, it’s not easy training for you. That make you great that’s why. Please understand that kind of way. P. Ikeda his expectation for you, is who going to become future leader of NSA? Who going to be willing to do for that? Therefore, Pres. Ikeda, SY accept everything without question. And worry inside, but with question he response everything he accept. Shitei Funi-you all call Pres. Ikeda master, easy to call him, but how many of you going to act as disciple? Disciple, not follower, only the Rolling Stones or Beatles fans they go any place give flowers, clap hands, easy! Many of you are fan for Pres. Ikeda. But disciple has really got to do it behind the scene. Like Hell. Job like Hell. So you sometime protect this building you say. But what kind of Ichinen do you protect the building? You’re RSG, you’re called. Reception, Security Group. But actually should be same spirit SY to protect this bldg. for Pres. Ikeda.  Whoever come to reception, this is opportunity to be future leader, please undertake this. If anything happens you take responsibility with your life. Die for it. To protect NSA. Devote yourself to NSA with your life. That kind of way is really spirit of SY. Impossible request from Pres. Toda. Never answer back, that is a disciple. Push down the hill, rolling down, climb up, try to answer the request. Up on hill, master looking down, see club climbing with nails coming off, blood all over but still going up the cliff. That the lion cub. Finally up to the top. Lion King looking down and really chanting for the disciple. Or Pres. Toda’s ichinen taht time. Pres. Today not clear, but Pres. Toda expecting how SY reply to Pres. Toda. And SY did among 6 candidates, 3 lost in good chances. Tokayo candidates Mr. Harashima’s father, those people they failed. But impossible Osaka won, the two of them. One district level area of Kansai Shakubuku target. Pres. Toda did not say 1000 shakubuku per month. But SY did it because he knew result of campaign, faith of Guidance, Gosho, Gohonzon first. Whole thing SY did to members of Osaka 1 by 1 to really develop 1 become like general of 1000 soldiers. It’s easy to become general of soldiers. But all of you YMD be future leaders you are Honbucho’s of future, you are the General Director’s of the future. Therefore your mission not going to be easy. General of generals that’s why. You go to Pentagon you can tell General of General 4 stars, 5 star generals, he has to lead other generals-1 to 2 stars. That General of soldiers. Soldiers are really, I don’t say stupid, but really soldiers they just surprised general know everything. but knowing many things and become General of Generals and Professor of Professors, Doctor of Doctors. You know what I mean. Philosopher of philosophers, Professor of Professors that is not easy. This is campaign President Ikeda did in SY. That’s why it’s a tremendous, harsh campaign, you’re reading now.

Toda and Ikeda

The young leader Daisaku Ikeda walking alongside his master Second President Josei Toda. I believe this was taken at the head temple on pilgrimage to the Dai Gohonzon before Toda’s death.  I don’t read Japanese, so if you do could you interpret the side bar written in Japanese into English? Thank you.

It’s really harsh and also so much severe, but so much affection from Toda to SY as experience for the future General of generals and SY suffered, but then finally Gokaihi ceremony January 2nd he found Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Gohonzon is really General’s strategy. To win whole campaign you use Gohonzon. This Gohonzon is one. President Ikeda say it is key to win your future. Everyone I don’t know who from this room is to become future general of generals. Dr. of Doctors, Prof. of Professors. Leader of leaders. Honbucho of Honbucho’s is Sogohonbucho. Rejicho of Rejicho’s, you’re going to be Rejicho of Rejicho’s, President of Presidents. To compare that Jimmy Carter, cheap, Senators nothing, Congressmen pussies. (laughter) Leaders of human being that is more great don’t you think?

Hai! (pg. 16)

 

 

 

 

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


Tuesday, May 10, 1977

Monday raining outside. As I lay in bed I picked up Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster and started reading (I believe I told you earlier that Mr. Williams had pulled this book from his library and told you it was one of President Ikeda’s favorite books.) Well, it has become one of my favorite books in fact. I couldn’t put it down except to do morning gongyo and what a perfect stormy day to be able to read through such a wonderful book.

Tuesday morning. Did or trying to do more relaxed Gongyo’s; I have felt, too nervous in the past, trying to become more relaxed and patient. Did rhythmical relaxed Gongyo. Decided at last moment, Dad and I should go do the route together. At Howard Johnson’s I had a very pleasant surprise. Isabel was there, came out and greeted me. We talked while I worked and made a plan to drop off Daddy Long Legs to her place tonite at 8:00.

8:10 p.m.-After relaxed Gongyo stopped by Isabels and had a very relaxed and enjoyable conversation. Shared dreams and frustrations till about 10:30. “Gee, I’m going to have to get back to work, Jim.”

“Okay, I have to get home and read 50 more pages of Dostoevsky’s Idiot. Sunday at 11:30?”

“Okay.” She looked so relaxed. Dressed in a robe. Most sexy, but all I could imagine was her and I at home together relaxed, her writing in the study. I moved over and kissed her goodnight, very light kiss, although I wished more, it was so innocent. On the way home I smiled to myself. I would have it no other way. I trust her so much more this way than one who would have had more immediate motives as sex.

Here I was moved sexually, but more emotionally. I felt that I wanted to take her into my arms.

I loaned her a Jazz album of mine and also Brahm’s Fourth. She exclaimed! “Oh, It’s my favorite of Brahms. Thanks!”

What can I say? I would write the experience word for word if I could, but I realize its just the longing I have to be with such a person. I told you I had many conflicts inside about starting a relationship with a non-member. But I made a commitment to Gohonzon that I would follow this through and would stand by Isabel with true love which is true mercy and with strong faith in the Gohonzon hold on to my mission ever more dearly. If in fact this relationship is meant to be.

 

Does fortune have it

I should travel,

Should run into so many

different

people, places

and one day meet my wife

over coffee in a restaurant

Maybe I am crazy

Or a romantic

Or a bit of both.

But I have a feeling

From the depths of my life

Isabel is a such a beautiful name.

She is eloquent

But she has a certain shyness

Maybe they call it a feminine mystique.

Two of her upper front teeth overlap

her lip-she tries to hide it

But that’s what makes her so attractive.

She has luscious moderate lips

Brown eyes, not flirting

But with depth

That I know I could love.

Dark hair that frames her face

Like a full moon.

Not thin, but healthy

Lovely.

A life like a puppy dog

You want to hug,

Although it is shy at first.

We communicated tonight many times

Without talking and

We realized it.

Hope and confidence!

 

TO ISABEL

Please understand

My heart is pure

I too am not only in

Search of a romantic diversion

Dear

Only in search of someone I

Can share and grow with.

Someone I can see the

Stars through their eyes

And not be lost without

Faith and hope

Someone who can tell me

A sweater is not my color

or

Gosh, tears

I hope you could love me

I so wish to share my life

Closely with someone.

I hope that can be you.

Goodnite I must rest

My thoughts.

Love is too trite a word

to give to you.

 

by James C. Stephens


Tuesday, March 22, 1977

It is with a solid determination and growing confidence that I begin Volume #9 of my diary.

Last evening, I sorted out some old paper items that I had collected over the years. I read some papers I had written in college. I must confess that my level of understanding was not as high as I had thought. This was to me a profound realization of the wisdom and awakening my life has gained from an assiduous practice to the Gohonzon following President Ikeda’s guidance through the encouragement of Mr. Williams and my leaders.

Every since I have began to put President Ikeda’s guidance related by Mr. Izumi on eliminating slander into practice, it has been as if the veil was slowly coming off my eyes and I was seeing the world for the first time.

I have been experiencing a flowering of benefits, probably conspicuously important to me in my practice. One of, nay most of my members have been developing their faith and practicing. Kudoshin is the word I am trying to use. Scott Ferguson and I have been going to World Tribune Correspondent’s meetings. Our friendship is growing. I can say now that the friends I have always been seeking throughout my life are appearing. I believe it is in keeping with the emergence of the life of Buddha within my own life.

For the first time in my practice I actually talked and got guidance alone from Mr. Kikimura (with Scott). He read my World Tribune experience I was working on. Said I have to work on reporting.

The next is a many faceted benefit. On February 16, Mr. Williams attended a Marina Chapter study meeting at our Chiku (district house) on Jasmine Street. Many of my YMD attended this meeting. What was interesting was the fact that Scott Ferguson had prepared a letter to Rejicho regarding the Literary Group we had started. He invited Mr. Williams to a meeting of this group and put me as the founder and included my phone number.

As I walked into my home around 10:30 that night, my father was sitting by the phone at the dinner table looking asleep, but was awake. He casually remarked as it was an everyday occurrence, that Mr. Williams called for me and he had a chat with him. I of course was extremely excited, but questioning what it was about. I tried to reach him at the Headquarters, but without success. He had left for home. About a week later after much guidance I was fortunate enough to talk to Rejicho at the Study exam. Mr. McCloskey introduced me to him in the proctor’s room. He conveyed his happiness at my endeavor and offered some guidelines for the group and said he would like to attend a meeting in the near future and would like to discuss a book on the basis of Human Revolution and Kosenrufu. “Try your best!”

I have proceeded to receive guidance on the direction of this group from fellow senior leaders. Soon I will be writing a memo to Rejicho on this subject.

This is a great benefit for my practice. I’m becoming more excited about this literary group at each meeting. So far we have read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway and East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

I will keeping a more complete diary on the group meetings on each book.

As far as the Young Men’s Division of my chapter, it is my resolution to find many capable leaders for Kosenrufu. The final moments we spent with our General Director Mr. Williams pronounces my resolution. He said, “As a YMD centering on Mr. Hall, Homencho’s, Honbucho’s, Shibucho’s–develop yourself, don’t run out of breathe, run your pace, your way, your type, with Ku Doshin.”

I Resolve: To develop my self identity, to discover my potential and to develop and to raise many capable Young Men’s Division.

Again I resolve to become an outstanding member of the Liaison Division.

I resolve to put the 6 points of President Ikeda into practice. They are:

  1. Gosho first
  2. Unity first.
  3. Practice first.
  4. Shakubuku first.
  5. Eliminate onshitsu.
  6. Ku doshin first.

My resolution is for our chapter to carry out Sugano’s resolution of 1 shakubuku per YMD each month towards the next YMD Kosenrufu Day meeting on March 16, 1978.

We have 7 leaders. Our goal is 84 practicing new members in one year.

Sundays we will chant 2 hours and do Gongyo, and study towards that goals at the 1st Headquarters.

My goal is 3 hours of daimoku per day. Until then. Somehow, no matter how long it takes to build up to that I must return to the prime point of my faith-the relationship to my Gohonzon-Shitei Funi.

To become close to Mr. Williams. to develop the correct spirit of President Ikeda toward our literary group.

I chant for my members, my wife, my family and my business.

Somehow I have to put a home visitation campaign into effect for my practice. Must awaken some taitan members. Like to make this month and April loaded with these visitations. Must wait til schedule comes out for April.

My correspondence campaign has taken a bit of a dip. Right now I must develop my chapter as far as Young Men’s Division, this is of ultimate importance. I may type a form letter to my friend’s. I think this is the only way I can reach them all.

 

by James C. Stephens


January 25, 1977

[I am just including a few notes culled from pages of random notes taken at a meeting in Santa Monica on the Second Anniversary of International Buddhist League Day.]

George M. Williams lecture.

 

‘On October 5, 1960,  President Ikeda stood at Coit Tower in San Francisco looking at the statue of Christopher Columbus and said, “Although today seems like no significant day, 20 years or another 50 years to come, this day will be more significant than when Columbus discovered the continent.”

‘You can already see this as NSA was the only organization recognized to celebrate America’s birthday ( referring to NSA’s New York’s Bi-Centennial Parade on July 4, 1976 down the Avenue of the America’s). The goal of President Ikeda has awakened.

You are to practice Nyo setsu shu gyo– exactly as master taught. The disciple carries on the master’s teaching. The teaching can not be carried on without disciple.

Shin’nichi Yamamoto (Daisaku Ikeda’s pseudonym in the Human Revolution) carried on master’s will. Soka Gakkai was just a handful of small groups. Everyone against Toda. Who remained? President Ikeda tried to carry on master’s confidence toward Kosenrufu. Year 1951.

Most  crucial time-he tried to back master, but carried on mission as disciple of master.

April 2, 1957-President Toda died amidst criticism-everyone said Soka Gakkai will collapse within a few years. But Ikeda  as General Administrator behind the scenes developed the Soka Gakkai. Then up to 750,000 households.

May 3, 1960 rapid growth under Ikeda. Whole Soka Gakkai sincere dedication. Sho Hondo housing the Dai Gohonzon, the true sanctuary, Nichiren Daishonin’s will was completed on October 12, 1972. Besides the Sho Hondo, President Ikeda also was behind the reconstruction of the General Lecture Hall, Sobo’s (lodging halls on the grounds of Taisekeji) and several 100 temples throughout Japan.

Slow growth after the Second World War, but after the death of Toda the organization grew from 750,000 households to 91 nations. People looked down on such miserable members, but only Soka Gakkai established such history.’

 

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].