Posts Tagged ‘Jim Jay’

by James C. Stephens


Friday, December 28, 1979

On Thursday I stopped by the World Culture Center and did Gongyo at about 9:15. During Gongyo–Mr. Williams stepped into the third floor room and there I made an appointment with him for Friday morning at 10:00.

Ikeda_Williams

Clipping from a World Tribune of Daisaku Ikeda and George Williams visiting the University of Chicago in January 1975. 

Friday morning I ran into Gary Curtis, Danny Nagashima, and Cheryl Bell, all of whom I had been attempting to contact. Afterwards Ann Hagihara ushered me into GMW’s office. At first he greeted me and bluntly asked me what items I wanted to talk about. I heard what he said, but inside refused to be led down such a path. I told him I had just ran into Danny Nagashima and he changed gears a bit and asked if I had gone to his wedding. No, I said, but I had sent congratulations via a tape recorded message. He asked if I had gone to school with him. No, I replied, but we practiced together in the same district for awhile. Then I proceeded to show him a book he had recommended to me from

Honoring Vietnam Veterans Nov 11 1979 stamp

In my journal’s I occasionally posted a stamp or two. Here’s one on this page honoring the Vietnam Veterans on November 11, 1979

Cheryl Bell in 1977 and I told him I enjoyed it tremendously and that on several occasions I had been moved to tears by the book. He glanced at the book’s pictures and seemed to relax a bit more and so did I.

Daddy Long Legs Book Cover Jean Webster

What I came here for was basically to communicate with you and let you know what is going on with me. It has been 10 years I have been in this organization and this is the first time we have communicated person to person. 

“I know,” he said, “and still I’ve seen you so much, TCD, brass band, youth division activities and i feel I know you in my heart.

And I said, I feel too I know you like this diary here I have 10 others, many filled with experiences with you at special meetings and brass band. I have many notes of all these activities and I feel close to you in this sense.

However, the reason I came here was to also communicate with you the feelings that I have developed in the past year. 1979 was definitely a rough year, painful, but I know I grew a lot and am not in the least regretful. The beginning of the year I constructively criticized the organization and I also grew resentful of you. In my diary I recounted you talking of being with President Ikeda so much, massaging his back, sharing time with him. I thought to myself, why don’t we get to do the same now with you, you have so much experience and yet you are getting older and we are young. Many of my friends including myself ask you to let us have access to your experience.

He replied that he was close to President Ikeda before he was President because he was a member in the same district as Mrs. Ikeda, and that they had meetings at Mrs. Ikeda’s house at times. Even before he was President or the Shin’ichi Yamamoto that people talked about, I felt that he was my master in life, Mr. Williams said. In Phase I we were really busy and there wasn’t much time to talk. He said he knew maybe Phase I was pretty militaristic, but it was what we experienced. 

 

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I talked of my experience with my father in parallel with my experience with the organization. The organization has been much like a father to many of us and I personally have learned a lot. In my relationship with my father I experienced a period of rebellion and outright criticism, both warranted and unwarranted; followed by a period of separation, during which I learned what I had learned from my father, what I had to learn and still benefit from, and I felt appreciation towards and a loss of negativity towards and a new awakening of the significance of our relationship, followed by a reunification of our relationship and this is what takes work and courage. It is here where not only does the child realize he can learn from his parent, but also the parent must realize he can learn from the child. If the parent does not also open himself up, it ends in conflict and incredible frustration for the child. Mainly because the parent does not allow the child to grow up. I think now we are in a very creative space in NSA which demands cooperation and communication. I grew up in part because of my father’s near death (which I explained to him GMW). But a lot of my friends, Russ Dilando and Jim Jay have still not confronted this situation and are very resentful towards you (GMW). I feel there is a definite lack of communication in NSA.

He talked about the politics between NSIC and NSA. I said I didn’t like the theory going around that President Ikeda would come over here and straighten out NSA. Earlier GMW and I had established in the conversation that NSA is in a very touchy state, many problems. He explained that NSIC tried to run our organization and he was out of the picture and the members asked NSIC more not him. I said much like the parent-son relationship in adolescence.

I mentioned Nagata who Liz and I met with and had told Liz to shut up, GMW said, he was sorry and I told him I understood in a way about Japanese culture, Zuiho-bini is harder than they think. He said yes, and he had many complaints and hard feelings were spawned by Nagata. Nagata had been practicing only 8 years and because he was able to be physically close to President Ikeda though he had much power. He was quite authoritarian. (GMW continued) I felt I was in winter from 1976. We needed a couple more years of Phase I. In fact we hadn’t even got there. We were more likely in the preface.

Fortunately the control has been returned to me and the leaders now in NSIC are much more experienced and closer to President Ikeda’s spirit. He talked of the new head of the NSIC and how he had been practicing 18 years and was so warm, genuine and sincere. They came to help us and learn, before they didn’t ask me anything, just toured on their own. Mr. Yutami (?), did much shakubuku through actual proof. GMW told me, Mr. Yutami’s experience of his wife’s cancer. No hope, doing activities, gongyo in the cancer ward, Mrs. becoming like a light to these people, chanting, sneaking in food, sneaking out to do Gongyo, guidance to operate, Doctor’s referral, her lips swelled when she doubted guidance, was she on the right track. Mrs. alone fought to do Gongyo 6 hours. He returned after after activities. She lived through the operation. Success, shakubuku excelled. Fought to do Gongyo 5-6 hours-will to live, battled cancer.

Mr. Williams said he was tired of criticism. NSA’s weak and her low energy, financial situation is actually better off. 

Talked of Peace Center-too small, would be laughed at. Too few people, not enough power. 1 person doing ten different activities, better to consolidate and do shakubuku. Disappointed re: letter to Youth Division. 

Youth movement conversation. Important to develop good healthy district discussion meetings. Shakubuku campaign.

We talked about Actualizations, EST briefly~value of their expressing a small part of Buddhism~good salesman, whereas we have whole philosophy or religion. Need to learn how to express in terms Americans can understand~very difficult task. 

Need of better communication in NSA. Talked about John Mitchell in Sacramento.

He (GMW) told me he sees the horizon, the bleak winter is over and to tell Jim and Russ this and hope they understand.

Will Rogers 1979 Stamp

The famous cowboy actor Will Rogers who said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” 

Gongyo and daimoku key. Problems were my karma, that’s why I was here early every day before anyone, chanting daimoku during the crisis.

He also talked of room for information center not being used. Territory meeting at LA#1 Headquarters.

Showed him my landscape drawings. Told me of UCLA garden~President Ikeda’s name on Founder’s wall.  

Encouraged me to keep up diary-good or bad times, like “rings of a tree.” 

I told him I would like to compile meetings we had with him.

 

~~~

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by James C. Stephens


Monday, February 26, 1979

Jamesinfrontoftemple

Russ Isobe (Brass Band), Jim Jay (District Leader), James Stephens, and Bruce Barnes (my best man) doing some type of activity at Myohoji Temple around the time of the New York Convention in 1976..

Last night Russ Dilando, Jim Jay, and Paul Diamond called me to enlist my support for their Monday morning speech at the staff’s weekly meeting. (North American Headquarters Staff Meeting in Santa Monica on 525 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica).

Immediately after Mr. Williams finished morning Gongyo,  Jim Jay went to the front and asked for people’s attention. He said he wanted to say a few words regarding Mr. Williams recent visit to Seattle. First he asked if any one minded him talking. They said nothing. I said, please speak. Everyone looked at me. No loyalty to Jim from anyone in the organization even though he worked there for three years. Mr. Williams asked if he could talk, no one said anything. I’m sure they fear for their jobs.

He (Jim Jay) talked of what happened when he asked Mr. Williams about his salary. He said he wasn’t going to tell him and would not and that it was none of his business. He (Jim Jay) said that he was on staff for three years.


Notes: The notes above are all I recorded at the time. Here’s what I remember about the event.  Jim Jay was my leader for a time in Sepulveda Chapter as was Russ Dilando. Paul Diamond was one of my members. Chico Olivera another member of Sepulveda Chapter was there as well.

File3382

Sue Bennett, Sue Nigh, Chico Olivera, Paul Diamond, Paul Wilkes, Purdy Tapola, Gary Shelton, Dave Creek, Larry,  (That’s all I remember–Sepulveda Chapter)

We were all Youth Division leaders and very zealous radical students who went after our practice with everything we had. Most of us attended California State University Northridge.  As for the event at the Headquarters, everyone there (probably 80 staff) knew us all very well. We were fixtures at the Headquarters, leaders in Brass Band, leaders in the Youth Division, all graduates of the NSA Study Academy,  pulled Toban duty at the North American Headquarters, Santa Monica Headquarters, Malibu Training Center,  Myohoji Temple, helped build the Malibu Center, the Santa Monica Headquarters, members of the Soka Group, Traffic Control Division, Stage Crew at various conventions. In other words, we were not just troublemakers, we were zealous for kosenrufu and concerned about the direction of the movement. We had invested our lives fully. Held meetings six to seven times a week, on Friday’s we had discussion meetings which started at 7:00 pm and if there were no guests, we’d go to the streets and do shakubuku til we found them, invite them to our meetings and had meetings sometimes until 1:00 am.

So, when everyone in the room started swearing (I won’t repeat the words), others were saying “let them speak.” Probably Gary Curtis who had been a part of the Berkeley Free Speech movement in the 60’s. Finally, Jim Jay got up and started asking where all of our money was going? We wanted accountability.  After Jim finished up his short message, we realized we had been stonewalled,  got the message, and left, and went our separate ways.

Brad Nixon

Brad Nixon, SGI Organization Department Chief (screen capture from his son’s film about his life- Bladfold).

About three hours later, I received a call from Brad Nixon, former Seattle Headquarters Chief, who  was now working at the North American Headquarters in Santa Monica as the head of the organization department, who was a friend and said to me, “Jim, you better lay low.”  I asked, “Why?” He responded, “When I was going out to lunch I heard two men behind me, ‘Let’s go get our 357 magnums and blow these guys away.'”  Needless to say, I laid low. I failed to mention that I lived just across the street about three doors down from the North American Headquarters in Santa Monica.  It didn’t lessen our zeal for reform, but only fueled it. I won’t mention their names here, but will say that years later, I did confront one of them and he said, “Yes, I did say that and was very angry. My wife always said that I needed to get my anger problem under control and at one point held that 357 magnum up to my head and said I’d better. I have ever sense.”

We all get angry over things that threaten us and I hold no malice toward either one of them. Glad they didn’t go through with their threats, but I was always a bit on edge whenever I’d go to the Headquarters or General meetings.

Just watched Brad Nixon’s son’s film about his father’s life. I am very troubled by his passing. Our path’s crossed when he came down to Los Angeles for that once last chance. His warning did save my life and the lives of my family. Tough film. Very well done.

Brad Nixon. Bladfold, A Film about Brad Nixon

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].

 

by James C. Stephens


Saturday, October 16, 1976

Matisse line drawing

At this time I look to the past. I look to the present. But as a youth I must look towards the future. I am in a time of struggle presently. In search of a companion. In search of a way I can create.

Oh stranger! Where are you? Where do you hide? I seek the way to happiness. Gohonzon what is in store for me? I continually find myself at a loss in the world of companionship. What is it you wish to show me? I have seen the women my life has attracted only make me unhappy. I find happiness in helping my members. I find happiness in being alone. Am I destined only to a life at present of a celibate, devoting my life to business and to helping my YMD develop? Please make this clear to me. I’m getting colder as time advances. You know if I had a women who loved me maybe I could rest more at ease. Or do you wish that I struggle by myself, not seeking happiness outside myself, but rather engaging in a solemn solitary campaign? If only I had a sign for the future. I feel much emptiness inside. Gohonzon I am confused and at times frustrated. Am I one of those freaks of society who don’t match with one? Honestly, I’m beginning to lose confidence in myself and in the Gohonzon.

I look at my father. So many women, but he’s not happy. Have I slandered the Gohonzon so badly? Something has to come about in the near future. Tonight I didn’t go to the discussion meeting. I don’t expect you to zap me with a benefit. I know it’s something inside of me. I’m no different than anyone else.

I don’t really know where I fit in the scheme of things. I don’t feel I have done anything special so I don’t deserve anything.

All I am at the moment is seven people’s link to the Gohonzon. Possibly many more. People I know in society. How do I develop so I can get people to join? No. How do I develop so I will chant daimoku more?

Flow of thought. I live but to create. Why do I practice? To be happy but not 🙂 happy, but to create value to sing out. Last night I went out with an old “girl” friend of mine. Once a year I see her. This disturbed me as I always have a bad time or a distorted feeling after I leave her, it is so strange why I see her is of interest to me. I feel bad inside sick last night I ached. asked for a good true companion one I can share with. Please this is something I want Gohonzon. Tears. I’m sick of looking around. People tell me don’t look around it will happen when you’re not looking. Why is this so much on my mind? From a weak Ichinen*. I’m in the lower worlds no doubt, lack of a rhythmical life, but why do I descend into this condition? Is it from not communicating with my leaders? What then causes this? Is it in the end a battle against oneself? I believe it is.

Without fighting oneself. How do I fight myself? I’m finding it very hard at present. Sleeping many hours not being on time not terribly bothering me, but terribly bothering me. Tonight, today I slept a lot stayed out late last night. Somehow have to change my rhythm. Maybe into a day rhythm.  Early to bed makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Ben Franklin maybe I should adopt his maxim. Its hard sometimes to relate to President Ikeda’s guidance, but many more times easy. My arms tired from writing so fast. Rest. Sports, playing clarinet, doing what I need to do to stretch my life. I feel unhealthy. I need new clothes. I need newness in my life. Now I feel like an old man. Shit I hate it. Boy do I hat it. Someday this has to change. Why can’t I get it into me to change soon. Last night I saw Paul, he married Choey. She’s from Mexico, he’s from Cuba. Tonight I met a girl from Argentina. Beautiful. Where do I want to go? I don’t know. Is this a stupid exercise just letting your pen flow with your brain, my arms falling asleep. My Gongyo’s during this phase have been pretty terrible, irregular. Low daimoku. no study hardly. I’m bored with practicing. I bored with listening to music but that is slowing losing its enjoyment. Maybe I’m dying. No hope. No future. Up and down no consistency. No one to talk to. Russ just onshitsu’s some of my leaders, I’ve even lost confidence in him. Jim Jay’s a nice guy. Shibucho call back in 10 minutes. Call back. Call back in 3 minutes. Call back later. Forget it. I don’t want it. I’m just about ready to titan. Just work. A room closed in on me. No phone. Haven’t paid rent. Had a good job Quit. Why? To enter a business with my Dad. Struggle. I can’t back out. If Gohonzon doesn’t work really let it END HERE. My dad is getting old must change fortune. Me lose hope easily. NSA club just like rest of society. Not Mr. Williams though. Too bad I don’t have the guts to get close to him. Probably never will. Lonely winter I’m entering. I hope dad is happy. I can’t die it would make him unhappy. Although I feel death many times.

Time is strange. We receive training in stranger ways. Tonight I went to a ski show. Saw some old acquaintances. Did not interest me in the slightest.  Saw people chasing illusions of happiness. Skiing many people’s identity. Sickens me. Maybe because I was so close to this. People like Jim Evans Business only. Not like a human being as far as I am concerned a sickening example of a dehumanized individual. Dorothy with her “escort” started talking to me. I interrupted and introduced myself to her escort. No courtesy, no human courtesy in society today. I hope I’m going in the right direction. Don’t people realize what’s going on in the Big World of ours? Revolution in the world! Red China now Mao is dead widespread chaos over who’s the new leader. Thailand’s bazooka’s, grenades, machine gunned armed soldiers gunning down students in university. Mappo. And yet here I am. What am I doing to change this? Raising YMD. No patience. Ski Show what a joke. Commercialism has taken a beautiful thing and truly ruined it. Why it was like a three ring circus.

I’m glad I’m getting involved in landscaping. Here is a field which can really make people feel refreshed…Environment is very important. That why I am so often depressed living in this place. If it wasn’t for Mr. Justus’ encouragement I think I would go bananas. Struggling pioneer. Hope from him.

by James C. Stephens


February 20, 1975

Tuesday I got up early did a couple of things. I read for awhile and finally decided to take a shower. All of a sudden I heard some knocking on the window. It was ________.

We were both nervous, but happy to see each other.

I really feel something that I feel I can define now. I love her as a human being, we have something really deep in common. She sees me as a Bodhisattva and knows I’m true to her and concerned about her life. I vow to my Gohonzon to see her enlightened in this lifetime and with 3 happy boys.

One million daimoku for _______ to go to the Hawaii Convention and for a strong practice.

Today, no in fact last night I went by Mr. Mitchells and told him I’d be unable to take the job just part-time. This morning Mr. Mitchell woke me and told me I was hired and that I’d be using his Datsun station wagon.

So now I have it. I think I’m going to wash it. Bye.

April 10, 1975-Wednesday 2:30AM

President Ikeda’s guidance.

“A swan seems to swim calmly, but under the water and invisible to us, it paddles unceasingly. For this reason, it can glide smoothly. The leaders may be compared to the webbed feet. Through their strenuous efforts behind the scenes, the whole organization can advance with reassurance.

The new leaders of the future should not be here types who deal with matters merely through their own abilities. A good leader is one who harmonizes all the people in a group,be it a company or home, so that they can put into use their full individuality and potential and work smoothly.”

swan-photo

April 11, 1975 2:35 AM

In about one month I will of had the Gohonzon five years. I can not tell you how happy I am at this moment to realize my fortune of meeting this practice.

This evening we did Brass Band gongyo with Mr. Bond. Each day I’m realizing so much more about my life. I just read over my diary about my experience with ___________.

Now I see it with a much deeper perspective. It brings tears to my eyes and it affects my heart, but in  a much different way than two weeks ago. Of course its natural to be horny and feel you’re God’s Gift to women, that’s a male’s nature. But now I feel a bit more hesitation about the sex end. Sure it goes through my mind, but now I think much more about others happiness and constantly remind myself of my unfortunate experience. Sure its hard sometimes to women off your mind, but now I’m thinking much more about the serious campaign we are engaged in now. The Blue Hawaii Pre-Bicentennial Convention. I’m nervous. I have made a new resolution for the past month or more to develop the YMD in our district. For awhile some new YMD were coming around. Now they have titaned strongly. They don’t hate NSA, they love it, but are just too lazy to practice this philosophy. Now before I would have been depressed, but instead I have resolved not to give up. I know that the Gohonzon’s benefit is there but I have but to struggle and develop through the obstacle to obtain the great benefit.

Even though the Shakubuku result does not show at the moment, I am confident that we will very definitely shoot up very soon.  I feel that the YMD movement is taking on new power. I have seen Jeff Silver take on new interest, even make some suggestions about the Shakubuku campaign. This is my benefit, knowing this is from trying to capture some of Soshibucho’s YMD spirit. Shibucho is letting me help with the YMD report. Also I’m back in Brass Band. Last week I had to lead a major portion of a drum section practice. Definite steps to increased human revolution. I have also assumed the responsibility through Shibucho of being the Chapter representative of the University Club. I got a raise at my job of $25.

Three days ago Scott and I started a 2 hour toso every night until May 15 or later. This is a great benefit to me because I need this daimoku fortune to develop myself.

I’m finally starting to think of the person I want to become. Soshibucho is a great encouragement. Another benefit is the Shakubuku Shockwave I was able to go on to Santa Barbara recently. Shoshibucho was there. I shakubukued a girl and she joined. Sunday night I got a huge benefit. I had sort of blown Sunday, but nevertheless I felt like going to Santa Monica to get recharged. I dropped off some cards from the UC at the JHQ. No one seemed to be around. I talked to Jim Jay in the phone box for awhile and as I was about to leave he said Homencho was in the office talking to some people. Why don’t you try to get in. So I did and ended up listening to guidance for about 2 hours on various subjects from the Hawaii Convention to YMD spirit. Well time to chant some daimoku.

by James C. Stephens


July 14, 1972

Jamesinfrontoftemple

Russ Isobe, Jim Jay my old district leader, me, and Bruce Barnes who was my best man. Photo taken in front of Myohoji Temple sometime in 1976. We were wearing NY Convention uniform.

Much definitely has changed in the last two weeks. On July 1, I really yelled at Jim Jay about our relationship. I didn’t really yell at all, but it was a serious discussion. I said I just could not take on-shitsuing him. It is like a feeling of slugging him some moment. He said he had the same feeling. Well, then I said we must change it. He said we must talk more about our problems as a district and I said that if we don’t open up how can we understand. He said well, once I open up you take it personally. I said that the way you open up, you have to change that too. It was definitely the first time we ever talked so frankly. It was a definite obstacle to our growth and our district’s growth.

The next morning I left for Mammoth to visit my mom and brother. It was really a fantastic vacation. I did so much, played pool, hiked, fished, paddled around in a canoe, got drunk, danced, met people and in general had a hell of a good time. My brother gave me a pair of Scott Competition poles, the best you can get. Of course I brought Ron a backpacking fry mess kit and Mom some See’s Candy. She really loved them.

Before I left to see them Dad got served the divorce papers. And after I got back dad seemed noticeably different. His fiance picked me up. She is really a wicked person. That night July 4, we had our Shimakura Chiyoko Show. It really had a deep impact on Ginger. I was deeply moved by Shimakura and by our Min-on movement! Ginger and her son Shawn and my dad were very impressed. Afterward we went out and had dinner.

I really chanted for the best to come out of my dad’s engagement to her, and it did. He broke it off. He really saw her true aspect. I’m definitely happy for him.

My new job is putting me through some human revolution. I’m working with some Italian Sicilians and boy I can really see how people are. Freddy, was a member or leader of a gang in New Jersey during his young days, but now he’s old and gray at 35 and very unhappy. Because I am young and have the Gohonzon he, I am sure, is really seeking something he is missing in his life. When we are alone he really opens up, but because he is still in animality when alot of other workers are with him, he reverts to a rough working class attitude. It is really ashame, because he has so much potential as a great human being and very warm at that.

I don’t especially enjoy washing toilets and carpets, and painting, and cleaning kitchens, but I am deeply realizing something about life specifically. I definitely must go back to school and pour my whole being into become the best political science student. I am sure I can do it. I dream of being a teacher.

Sogohonbucho gave us guidance and said, “When you call money by money it will not come. But the name of money is Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. It will definitely come. Just as Nichiren said, if you chant the daimoku, fortune will travel millions of miles to you.”

I believe in Sogohonbucho. His guidance is definitely what keeps me chanting. He is the best example with Pres. Ikeda. Now I have many personal obstacles, but am sure with a determined spirit and more daimoku I can reverse the situation.

A new obstacle happended, while my car was in the shop for the last two weeks. Someone stole my license plates and with a stolen credit card ran up a bill with Union Oil of $1200. This is not a small matter. I must chant much more to change my lack of fortune.

by James C. Stephens


Tuesday-May 23, 1972

Last night Jim Jay, Lee Pederson and I returned the key from the Min-on warehouse #1 and we saw a few people gathered around a person upstairs, so we just went up there and a lady said, “Excuse me,” but we just kept walking. For two hours Mr. Fukushima Youth Division Chief gave everyone personal guidance from Gongyo to marriage.

He said, “I’d rather you not be seen, but be like the axle on a car, it’s the dirtiest, darkest job, but it is the driving force of the car. You know the drive shaft can’t be seen. You be the same.

“In your twenties you should wear working clothes, later in your 40’s and 50’s you will have plenty of time to wear other dressy clothes…

He said, “It takes a different foundation to build a trailer house or a one story house. You can have a girlfriend or such and be happy for a year, maybe even three years, but we are building a foundation like the Empire State Building you know. We are building happiness for forty and fifty years and happiness for eternity. That’s why the 20’s are so important.”