Posts Tagged ‘Jim Jay’

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].

 

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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.”

by James C. Stephens



Tuesday-May 9, 1972 

It is not an easy task being a true pioneer. It is a constant struggle against yourself, always pushing a step further, when you feel you can not go anymore. Life is constant struggle, but it is so beautiful, because with great struggle comes great growth.

President Ikeda states:

‘On the road to World Peace many problems may occur.
However, through Hendoku Iyaku we must continue our
boundless advance, never stopping for anything.’

………..

Tuesday-May 23, 1972

North America Joint Headquarters Building in Santa Monica, California.

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” (wanting to prevent our access), but we just kept walking. For two hours Mr. Fukushima Youth Division Chief (from Japan) 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. We are building happiness for forty and fifty years and happiness for eternity. That’s why the 20’s are so important.”


 

Hendoku Iyaku: Changing poison into medicine. Basically taking challenges and turning them into opportunities for growth.

by James C. Stephens


File1170In 1967, my family moved back to California during my sophomore summer at Hellgate High in Missoula. Yes, it was called Hellgate. Attending James Monroe was a big change. I immediately got involved in extra-curricular activities, Junior Achievement, joined the Debate team and also student council. I was the Treasurer and later the Parliamentarian. During my senior year, I won Outstanding Debater of the Year award.

Highlights. I remember that I enjoyed eating lunch with Rodney Dilger and James Glanville. They were down to earth, counter cultural hippies. I was the Montana kid who was on the ski team and fairly naive about the city. One day they had given me a ride home and were smoking something in the back seat of their old Corvair and I said, “Hey, that better not be marijuana! They joked, “Of course not, we’re just smoking tea leaves!”  Yeh, I believed them.

On another occasion my debate partner, David Goldberg who I had won a gold medal with at a debate tournament at Taft High had grown muttonchops and was told that he had to cut them to meet the dress code or be suspended. He wouldn’t comply. So Dilger, Glanville and I put together a little counter cultural magazine called *The Gadfly* patterned after what the Greeks called Socrates and passed our mimeographed rag out on campus. We gave it our best shot.

File1108 - Copy - CopyRemember the Winter of ’69? The storms unceasingly hit the country for thirty days and snowplows couldn’t keep up with ole man winter. In some parking lots at Mammoth Mountain, California entire parking lots looked like well spaced bamboo forests where poles marked  cars submerged under feet of snow. My brother Ron and I were on Kratka Ridge Ski Team, a southern California team coached by Robin Morning, formerly on the US Ski Team and Pia Riva McIssacs, three time Italian downhill Olympic gold medal winner.  The storms were great for the local ski areas.  I had invited a girl that I was interested in up to watch me at an Alpine race up at Kratka Ridge. While,  I was warming up, I decided to take a run by her and show her what I had. As I hit an icy mogul, I caught a tip, dug in the snow, and did an unintentional cartwheel, crashed, burned and ended up breaking my arm. She wasn’t impressed. I would of buried myself in a snowdrift if I could have found one.

After that, I spent a lot of time on the bench during PE healing and recall getting into some philosophical discussions with my classmate, Russ Dilando, who had been my locker partner and classmate in my Russian class. One day, he sat next to me and showed me *Seikyo Times* a Buddhist magazine with my picture next to Joe Landis who was a television director and the moderator of a televised debate I participated in. Russ told me that Joe was a Buddhist and that I was going to be a Buddhist too.

“No way!”I said, “That’s communism.”

Russ said, “No, it’s Buddhism.”  I really had no clue at the time what he was talking about, but he and two other classmates Jim Jay and Carol Dell were really into it. He was Shakubukuing me, the Buddhist equivalent of sharing his faith with me. It was but a seed that he had planted.

File1155

Student politics. I decided to run against Kathy Kelly and Steve Knowles for Student Body President. It was not a memorable campaign. What was memorable was that we were able to get Strawberry Alarm Clock to play at our weekly student assembly. “Incense and peppermint, color of time” still rings in my mind.

 

 

 

 

File1154The clock was ticking and Senior Prom was approaching. No date. Every guy I knew was afraid to ask Deborah H. who looked like Kathryn Hepburn to the Prom. One day, I was in the library and I said to myself, “I like her, why not?” So I went up to Debra and asked her if she would like to be my date to the Senior Prom. She said, “Yes.”  I was ecstatic. I enjoyed our Prom date. Those were the days you could walk on the Santa Monica Beach at night. It was a romantic evening. Yes, I was a perfect gentlemen. At least that’s what I remember…

 

 

 

 

 

File3025Although this picture was not taken in 1970 (let’s pretend it was), it takes me back to February 1970 when I worked for my Dad at his Mobil Station on the corner of Westwood & Santa Monica Blvd., in West Los Angeles just south of UCLA. Years later, my wife Elizabeth told me she used to get off the bus right by these gas pumps when she was returning home from University High School. She was in her senior year when I was pumping gas just prior to going to Cal State Northridge. We never met:(