Posts Tagged ‘NSA’

by James C. Stephens


March 05, 1980

Last night I started a six week course on “Sexual Self Expression” on Tuesday nights at 7:30 with Actualizations. Our workshop conductor is a man named David Crump. (He trained at Esalen in California under Carl Rogers, a world renown expert on Group Dynamics). One of our homework assignments is to keep a journal–daily of our dealings around a sexual focus. So I might not be spending much time here for the next six weeks, but things will be recorded. I think I will record it in another journal I have. It will just be of this workshop experience. I will ask the workshop conductor if this is okay.*

David A. Crump later developed the Essential Experience.

[JCS 2019 Note: *Not many years later, I sat in on a Psychology class at UCLA to take notes for a sick friend and was deeply impressed by the Professor’s take on the psychological dangers and relational damage due to Pornography. The class radically changed my view of pornography. In the Sexual Self Expression class we were instructed to build a book of sexual images, basically our own personal Playboy, which I did. After the class at UCLA, I made the decision to discard and destroy the notebook and clean up my own mind. It was softcore only, but it was interfering with my own marriage and imagination. I have never regretted my decision to do so nor the results of a discipline of fidelity and the resulting fruits of that practice].

Lots of work these days along with a good deal of stress and frustration. However, I’m trying to work through all these factors and learn my lessons. Wrote a short letter to Daisaku Ikeda and sent it, expressing my feelings re: my role in NSA as I see it.

As usual I’m pushed to the line for my work. Must get to work on Garcia’s plan. (I was training to become a landscape architect and worked on designing gardens for clients).

March 06, 1980

Didn’t tell you-went through two difficult days at divorce court where two fellow members Bob Rafkin and Joanne Harris decided to part.

[Bob passed away awhile ago. Joanne has gone on to be quite a famous hair stylist in Hollywood. Years ago she was one of the members of the Sweetie Seven a performing group in Nichiren Shoshu. Here’s one of her recent YouTube video series from her hair saloon. Hope she is doing well. Say hi if you see her!]

By the way, Dad presented my plan to the Garcia’s today for $12,000-$15,000 and they loved the plan. Now I’ve lot’s of work to do on the working drawings, irrigation, plant plan, staking plan, drainage, contour grading–I’m learning so much by doing–unbelievable amount of work. It’s quite absorbing and I am having fun. Finally. It’s so great to have completed a plan and to have been able to have it presented. Next I’ve got to learn #1. How to budget my time for deadlines–now I know there’s a lot of work to be done in designing the landscape for a home.

#2. To have the whole plan done at least two days in advance–with all prices, all plans in order to relax the day before and to #3. Be in shape for a presentation. #4. Pricing and sales are real weak for me!

One thing David Crump said to me in the workshop on Tuesday was (and it was very perceptive of him) –Stick to it, don’t give up–>see it through.

I thought about that often last night and morning. I would finish the presentation plan no matter what. I knew I could, but it would take discipline; which I’m trying to develop.

I had never seen Chaplin speak.

Before I sat down to continue my work last night I watched some movies on “ON TV.” The first movie was a Chaplin film-much to my surprise, I had never seen Chaplin speak. It was so damned funny. I didn’t know it was Chaplin until after the film (The King of New York City). I was really taken over by him. It must have paralleled his own life, as his son was in the movie also. He did deliver some real eloquent punch lines about the American system and it was really sad, but true. It revolved around the Communist issue, which involved Chaplin quite deeply. He left America I believe because of it. I will research this. A very warm, funny man.

I could not help but be inspired by Truman’s guts, courage, honesty and conviction.

The next movie was “Give ‘Em Hell, Harry”–a story, a play about Harry S. Truman played by James Whitmore. Well done–damned inspiring. I could not help but be inspired by Truman’s guts, courage, honesty and conviction. A man of integrity. I wanted to run out and get into the political arena right then. I realize now it is rather the guts and other traits I aspire to enhance in my own life. If politics ever becomes my destiny–I give my life in service to the people. This is the only raison d’etre for politics. Great play. I highly recommend it. I must study history more. What makes such a man. I’m inspired.

Yesterday–got a call from Paris regarding an apartment we looked at in Santa Monica. Two bedrooms-dining room, big living room-French windows, Spanish style. Really nice. It will take some work. We have an interview Friday or Monday. It’s on 6th Street diagonally across from the World Culture Center. Close to Liz’s work and close for us to W.C.C. Bank. Well, whatever’s in the stars for us–that will be fine.

Got a call from school–Bonnie from Landscape Extension called regarding Neil’s class–I gave her my analysis of class. Too much in too short a time. Glad I could give input, by the way-a day before the department meeting. She was very receptive for which I was appreciative. She told me she would talk to Pat Allen regarding my input.

Next, Dad called me and reported to me he ran into a gentlemen he had been trying to contact for weeks to work for him. Best worker he ever had. We had just had a heated discussion the day prior regarding employees and his name had come up. Thanks universe for putting them together the next day. What a fortunate occurrence. Dad happened to go into a Montgomery Wards and ran into the guy. Very fortunate occurrence considering the size of this city… Dad also talked to his friend Pierre regarding his landscape crew and working together. They agreed to do some business. This will probably promote more design business for me.

Garcia had called me early Tuesday morning also and said the Hospital might need some design work. Mad appointment Thursday. What a day. Not only that, then Ann Hagihara called regarding the Youth Development Movement in Beverly Hills. She at first felt me out regarding my feelings and I reassured her that although Andrea was the figurehead at the time, I personally had already accepted total responsibility for the program in Beverly Hills. Right now I’m just not trying to make waves, with the powers that be, but instead just floating among them and scoping out the situation. I assured her that I got the same feeling as her on Andrea. She told me that Andrea really was not interested in the youth program at this time and was probably feeling guilt and pressure since she was formerly in charge of the Young Women’s Division. Whatever. I’m sure everything will work out for the best for everyone. I hope she is interested, if not we can work with the too.

After Liz got home we went out to MacDonald’s and had dinner and talked in the van about all the things going on. Something’s changing.

I’m chanting more and doing some music meditation. Getting a bit more in contact with myself. The Sexual Journal is helping me explore myself more for which I am thankful.

General ideas for Youth Development Program.

Summerhill-Freedom–Not teaching–Facilitating–Freedom–Patience–Coordinating–Finding people talented in area of youth anywhere-members or not–youth programs–non dogmatic–True Buddhism–True Freedom–Non authoritarian–non coercive–Room for youth–Library–Communication Newsletter national, local–workshops (summer courses) with real growth–not like past in NSA–Together! Planned M. Crenshaw (Actualizations leaders)–if youth needs something, let’s provide for growth–Parental cooperation–Community Service Program–Community Service Center–Sunday Daimoku Tosos–Preparation before meetings–Responsibility–Everyone–Youth Government–not benevolent Dictatorship–Youth free run of place.

Awe and respect for life.


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by James C. Stephens 


February 12, 1980

In two days I’ll be taking the Graduate Review Workshop put on by Actualizations. Lately I’ve been coming up against some major blocks and major goals and I’d like to share these with you.

#1 For example I’ve gotten into a rut of always thinking something is wrong or has to be wrong. I’ve caught myself developing extremely negative thought patterns, mostly analytical and don’t give myself room to play. That brings me to my goal. I want to learn how to play.

#2. I want to learn how to relax and be less critical of myself and others and not be afraid or uptight about making mistakes.

Also I freak when I am up against the unknown at times. And life is always the unknown. Of course things are not the way I think always. Otherwise I would not be able to recognize that there is something, some feeling worth striving for. For I have at times felt this feeling of excellence.

Oh and don’t let me forget arrogance. I like Stewart Emery’s confidence w/power yet it is humbleness at the same time. This is a quality I’d like to develop more of.

Another quality I’ve yet to fully develop which I saw at a Creative Arts workshop I attended in NSA was being with a person or being with the moment. I’m well on the road however, I feel.

Speaking of that particular workshop, I have a few comments and suggestions, feelings. By and large it was great first step. It took a lot of effort and was for the most part successful. I think I picked up some interesting perspective as far as my own growth is concerned. One: I’m concerned for NSA and yet at times it’s not a very supportive environment for me to be involved in. Two: A lot of people are highly charged with dogmatic viewpoints and have a hard time releasing these and seeing an elevated view of Nichiren’s Buddhism. Not that I have. I am just feeling that I have reached a bit higher elevation on the mountain. I see some who are really in darkness, some who are a bit higher and arrogantly look down on others, others basking in the new found sun, and others realizing we are on the same journey and must help others on the path we are blazing. If some desire to take another route up the mountain we must support them also. I tend to be critical still. I need to climb higher, become less critical, less fearful, and more playful. I am at a point where I avoided certain people of the past purposely since they were never flexible enough to allow themselves to see me differently. I didn’t want to appear snobbish. I just am trying to build my own momentum in my life and presently didn’t want to focus on those ‘black holes’ so to speak.

Al Albergate approached me regarding my interest in the Youth Division. We will be talking soon regarding this. This is the second person who has talked to me rather than me pursuing the issue. I feel that the youth movement is definitely the future of NSA and I will dedicate myself to opening up in this area and doing whatever I can for the growth of NSA.

by James C. Stephens


Thursday, December 20, 1979

Imagineer Press November clouds over Santa Monica Bay

November Rain Storm over Santa Monica Bay – Immaginare Press

A cold front moved in today. Snow clouds off the ocean. Cool winds blowing through tall eucalyptus, silhouetted against a dramatic sky. Oh! what an exhilarating feeling I get. That sunset, one agrees to one day capture deep within one’s soul.

Change~that’s life. Things don’t remain the same. Ill feelings, they pass. Sometimes they hang on, only if they become an issue within your own mind. Let go and I discover life’s drama opening new vistas to be explored.

Yesterday, a new determination in my life arose. Youth, the torchbearers of this age. I am a youth. The finger of destiny points at me. The age, the decade of the eighties is now upon us. The United States has lost much of its integrity and courage. I am part of this flow of history. What can I contribute? The prime of my youth, 28-40. I will become a standard bearer for Buddhism in this age. Action. As I previously determined starting January 1, 1980 I will consistently chant 2 hours a day for one year. I will use the General’s strategy-The Lotus Sutra. From daimoku will come everything. That is my only strategy. Step by step.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

As with my business I need not be anxious. One step at a time. Tonight, Neil Weikel called me up and said he needed my projects tonight. At that point which was 7 o’clock I had two projects to go. An orthographic projection-which I finished by 8:15. (I commend myself, it looked rather well for a rush job) and a profile on a contour and a french curve terrace and pool, which I finished by 9:45. Liz and I dropped it off at Neils over on Ashland and had a rather nice talk with Neil. He’s an extremely interesting and personable fellow. His apartment serves as his office and home. Piano, ~ Brahms, Copeland, Saint Saens, Mussorgsky. We talked music~he used to sing classical up in Seattle. Passed through Montana in 1953 with a bunch of friends. Must be in his 40’s. Doesn’t show it at all. I feel compassion for him as a friend. His house decor showed definitely dedicated to his field of Landscape Architecture. I was a bit judgmental, but not in a negative sense. He at first, I feel was uncomfortable about his environment, but he as an individual far outshines it in his tremendous sense of compassion, genuineness and warm sociability. I enjoyed our short conversation. He seemed to warm up as we talked and showed us some of his music he had collected, and told us of his Russian musical score. He and Liz and I talked about memory~he told us about a sub-durum blood clot he had on his brain as a result of a childhood injury at the age of 5. He had no memory previous to 5. But remembers everything since. I talked of my experience with being gassed at the old NSA building on the beach.

Of course we both admitted frankly that we couldn’t use those events as excuses. We got a slight laugh out of that.

Good practice at fast drafting. I feel proud of myself even though it was not “A” work. Anyway, I fell much relieved and proud of the fact that I COMPLETED two courses. Completion is the name of the game for me. After all the past fiascoes I have been through.

Well, I must get a little “shot eye” since I have to be up at 5:30 to drive Liz to meet her ride to Downey at 6:30. Earl White give her a ride for the next 5 days. She has a trunking school for her switching job at the phone company.

We go through our off and on’s in our relationship. Last night when I was being affectionate, she said well we’d better get to sleep. Right in an awkward way and moment. Sometimes we feel separate, sometimes not. Anyway, it is temporary. Right. Relationships do take work. There is something not quite right, however I can’t put my finger on it.

It may be my new determination has put some strain on our relationship. Possibly she resents me being too “faithy.” This will just have to work out. I do have the tendency to be that way and it is a definite problem in that one becomes too dogmatic, religious, missionary type. It’s a definite drag! Sometimes I feel separate from Liz. It’s not a good feeling, but of course at other times I feel extremely close and loving.

She has become a union steward. I’m glad of this. I am happy to see her develop other interests besides work. She does read quite a bit and is becoming much more attractive and interesting. I hate to sound like a judge here. But I am such a critical son of a bitch at times. This is a bad trait in a sense, but I am dedicated to the pursuit of excellence and feel I would be robbing my partner if I did not support the beauty she does indeed possess. She has been baking cookies~ and is very good at it. I’m proud, but not always in love with Liz and myself too. That’s the true battle.

Notes: Idea for changing name of Gadfly to “Phoenix.”

by James C. Stephens


Tuesday, November 27, 1979

Frustration would have been yesterday’s caption on my diary if I had written it. No doubt about it. Yet this morning I again am in contact with that tremendous world of conviction, confidence and freshness. How silly I am at time, or how willy nilly life is. I’ve been swayed by at least a couple of the eight winds. Yet I feel like a young sapling able to learn a lesson from the wind.

It is not the beautiful curtains, yard, paintings on the wall that makes a person happy. Yesterday I felt closed in by my environment, desirous of escaping. This morning again I feel boundless, free as the wind, as fresh as the sun in the new day. As I look up the sun greeted me with memories of Nichiren. The sky is dark and overcast yet the sun manages to burn through. It is never defeated, but burns even more brightly against the gloomy skies. I too am determined to become a beacon for all.

A great man is not held back by his own preconceptions, but can change and alter his course when he recognizes a better path.

I love my parents. I love my father. Yet he does not know what he desires to do. I must be firm. To become wealthy is not to pursue wealth. Rather it is a spiritual state. On Sado Nichiren declared even in the midst of suffering that he was the happiest man or the richest man in Japan.

Starting the first of the year I will start my business. However it will not be a conventional start. First, I desire to earn money for the propagation of Buddhism. It has been my excuse in the past not to give gokuyo because I didn’t know where it went as far as NSA. This was understandable. What is regrettable is my failure to see that the temple is a direct link to Nichiren Daishonin and that I have failed to lend my support. I (we) will begin as soon as possible.

I feel no real negativity towards NSA as I did in the past, however at present I feel NST is more open and understandable to myself. The layman’s organization is in a period of flux.

I am convinced 1980 is going to be challenging beyond my expectations. I am also determined to see my effort bear fruit this year (1980).

Tuesday, December 4, 1979

Record High for this date of 91 degrees.

Jean Claude KillyRon called tonight from Bend. He and Pam are doing fine. Ron is pretty busy with coordinating his race program at Bachelor. He sounds quite happy. I’m so glad things are going better for him. He said he’s the best skier on the mountain. He’s already beat the new Frenchman in a series of races. (The Frenchman was on the French “B” team). Ron and I talked about his attitude towards his racers. He said many will never move on to competitive careers so it is a program helping kids build their character. He however does have some pretty hot material. A couple of his guys are at the National Camp at Gunnison, Colorado this week. Ron also said there is so much ski politics up there, but for the most part he stays out of them. He is now also the Rossignol On the Hill Rep.

(Liz) Sweets got her hair cut today. At first it was hard to get used to, but now I like it. Basically, all I have been up to the last several days are drafting projects. (When people ask why my printing is so neat, I tell them mechanical drafting and hours and hours of practice and the excellent teaching of Neil Weikel).

Liz has been having some stomach type problems. Hasn’t had her period recently. Pregnant? Who knows?

Sweets and I went to Bodhi Tree Bookstore Friday night. Picked up a few good finds. Sacred Books of the East, Vol. XXXV and XXVI: Questions of King Milinda; Korzebsky: Science and Sanity; Watts, Psychotherapy East and West, Wisdom of Insecurity and last but not least the Kama sutra.

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“X” called Monday night. Talked about movement. Idea of a support group~West Coast Movement with about 250-350 supporters. Network-Gadfly important. Let’s get started.

Talked to Scott Ferguson-receptive of the idea. Ken Tapola-definite yes. Out of Navy now working at Dunlop as a machinist.

Worried about “X.” I’m afraid he’s not tackling his own personal life and goals. This could be dangerous for him and his family. I sincerely hope he is not just avoiding his own reality. I’m just concerned as a friend.

Thought about Walter Moeck tonight. He used to be the Brass Band conductor. Mike Lisagor gave him a terrible time. I will never forgive him for that. Must write Walter a letter! (Walter Moeck was the summer conductor of the Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra and was my clarinet teacher. He was strict, but kind. May he rest in peace).

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Monday, December 17, 1979

Hi Diary! How are you this fine day! I hope you’re well rested and happy.

Last week I took Liz to the Doctor. Gary said she wasn’t pregnant as of yet, but gave her a week and said to bring in an urine specimen and they’d run another test. Since the day of the test she hasn’t been feeling nauseated. I’m happy for that is a lousy feeling.

Saturday night we had a Christmas party and you know all the preparation that takes. Liz made over 100 invites and I framed pictures, helped clean the house, etc., etc., etc.

Liz bakes lots of cookies (They were excellent by the way and made a superb spaghetti. There was lot of food and a whole ton of people.

People starting arriving around 4:00. First, Adrianna, Liz’s sister. She’s such a big help! She helped out tremendously. Next around 5:30, X. He started out drunk and as the night wore grew intolerable for many of the guests. He is quite an unusual character. Harmless, but with a build of 6’5″ and with a laugh so loud you’d better put up shoring around your house before he comes over. In any case the party was an interesting and festive experience nonetheless. I’ll get this out now. We had been working on an idea together as far as what can be done to help support the organization. He has been pushing to form a support group of 200-350 people who can offer suggestions to the Executive planning board from an organized power group. I had my reservations. #1. I have and still question X’s true intent at this point. I do not get the true feeling he is committed to this serious goal. I feel, and this is my intuitive feeling, that he is using the organization as an escape from his own reality. His situation at home is not conducive to running a reform movement. His wife is not well, finances are in really bad shape, they have children, beautiful at that, and he has several misconceptions about the faith. His Gongyo is very poor, health poor and drinking a severe problem. Now this is not all. His business dealings with people has left several people in highly critical situations. His construction business left one family without a kitchen, etc. and near a divorce after spending $15,000. He is a man of talk, not action. It is the last party we can afford him to attend. It is not however the end of our friendship. He needs support and what I can offer, I will. Besides him; Liz and I feel very much love towards his wife who is a tremendous women of the highest caliber. She is under much stress at present and her health is poor. I wish her all the best.

Bob Rafkin stopped by before work and dropped off a pie which was really nice of him. We talked briefly. His career is doing better once again. His divorce proceedings will occur in February.

Others who made it: Darlene Benson, Steve and Ronalee Haggard, Chris Scott, sure was good to see him, he was hobbling on a cane, having trouble with the knee he hurt in Rugby. He wanted to know what was happening with the literary group. I told him everyone but me sort of petered out. He’s still interested, so we’ll start again soon. He said his house could also facilitate such a meeting.

Vincent Wong, Michael Roquemore (we had a good chat and he had a fine talk with Linda Valles, his former roommate for many years); Michael also expressed an interest in Judy. I forgot to mention Steve H remarked on my Alan Watts books and his own interest in Zen Buddhism. I found this to be exciting. Steve and Ronalee and Liz and I get along well together and have a good relationship. Steve and I played racquetball week before last. It was my first time and I did quite well. Last week I spent many hours drafting away. I worked through one night and didn’t get to sleep until 9:30 AM.

Who else came? Lets’s see, there was Jeff Silver, Linda Dekowski-very nice gal who is a friend of Jeff’s, Devorah Sorrell, Pat Kremer, Guy Boudoin, Katie Newman-we talked business-she’s a wonderful woman. Bruce Barnes and Maggie DeLux-they’re engaged to be married, Ric and Bethany Coleman, Les Steinberg and his mother Lillian, Kelly, Shawna, Judy Gold and Glen-we had a great talk and it was so nice to see her. Glen is really jealous, so we really had no time to talk. Beth Minton and her boyfriend Michael came by, Karen Okata and her friend, Kate and her brother Randy Schindler; Ford Watson brought over a whole lot of food, very generous of him, Dion Dow and Nancy, Steve Seigal, Allan, Ron Kolman, Bobbie and Joey Gluskin, Alice and Sully, Jane Murad, Brent Wilson, Jason and Mary Jane Kovatch, Ed Nakata, Michael Hayes, Linda and Victor Valles and friend Sal, Thomas and Zadith Fresquez, Russ Isobe, John DeGomez, and Donald Hodges.

I stayed up til 3:30 talking with Jeff, Linda, Katie, Pat, Allen and Steve Seigal. Then from 3:30 to 6:30 cleaned up the house to surprise Sweets who’d retired to bed. We slept most of the day and enjoyed every moment of it.

Sunday evening we went out to a Moroccan Restaurant called Dharma Greg. It was a gathering with Les and Jeanette and her friends, Ric and Bethany, Elaine Geeler and her lawyer friend. Food was nowhere as good as at the Moon of Tunise and the atmosphere was less than comfortable-I suppose it was also the company. We did not enjoy ourselves quite frankly.

I’ve been listening to some really funny W.C. Fields cuts and also to some famous bloopers, they’re great!

Anyway, Goodnight.

 

by James C. Stephens


Wednesday, July 4, 1979

Liz and I slept in this morning and enjoyed each other’s company. I needed it a lot. For the past two weeks we have been going bananas. I started training school for General Telephone about two weeks ago and we start class at seven each morning. So currently we are getting up early to chant, make a lunch and breakfast.

Sunday, we attended Kosenrufu Gongyo at the First Headquarters on Lincoln at 10:00. Gongyo was really invigorating, what Gary McCarty had to say was not. It seemed to pull my energy level down, maybe it was just my experience (that’s true enough) however I was not alone I found out later. Afterwards we had a Chapter Open Forum which was quite moving and cut through through the garbage. It accomplished quite a lot in the field of communication.

At 5:00 pm we had our first Literary Group meeting of 1979. It was attended by Liz, Michelle, Scott Ferguson, Chris Scott, and Bruce Barnes. The book was T.H. White’s Once and Future King.

July 9, 1979

I am the master of my own destiny.

Truthfully, I am not enjoying customer rep. training school. It is a real drain on the energy. Liz said it was the pits so I’ll see how the regular job is. One thing I know and that is I must financially progress as well as be happy with my job. Being excited about my job is very important to me. I need to be creative, as well as productive.

Friday night I went to the first team meeting. There I decided against doing the team.* My intuition says no. For the first two hours of the meeting I gave myself permission to find reasons to take the team. I was open and decided not to participate in this particular growth experience. Not to list reasons, but I feel I have not got the time to participate in such an activity. I did this in Phase I of NSA activities and although it was a valuable experience I do not wish to repeat it just to repeat it. It’s alright for people who have not had the experience. (Will continue later).

*Actualization’s Communication Team was an additional experience where one was part of a recruiting team for future workshops. One had to repeat over and over, until one was comfortable to ask for $650 for a four day Actualization’s workshop. Many other activities were involved as you were being brought into the Actualization’s inner environment.

August 1979 (no exact date)

Don’t forget Michael Roquemore, Liz and I put on a tremendous film night in Santa Monica where we screened “Ikiru” (“to live!) directed by Akira Kurosawa. The event was an Actualizations’ Review. This was during the reign of some girl after Michael Crenshaw left.

Strange how you forget names you don’t really feel impressed by. Oh it was Kim something. Unfortunately Actualizations lost one very great man, Michael Crenshaw. What a great loveable fellow.

I gave him a call in San Francisco. Left a message that we give him our love. He returned call to us. Unexpressable beauty in that human being.

The preview was held in a beautiful hall in Lincoln Park. Very successful event. We came away feeling damn wonderful.

 

by James C. Stephens


February 11, 1979

Got back from dinner with Mom and Sully. They took Liz and I out for our anniversary. Had a tasty dinner.

Right now I’m reading an extremely interesting article on cults and a deprogrammer named Patrick. I really feel our present campaign in NSA towards openness and getting a firmer philosophical base is justifiable.

Jonestown massacre

Jonestown Mass Suicide of 918 individuals on Nov. 18, 1978 . If you ever wonder where the term “drinking the kool-aid” came from you’re looking at it. They drank cyanide laced kool-aid. This shook up Nichiren Shoshu which downshifted its activities and initiated “Phase Two.”

 

I would like and will ask some of the following questions in the coming days.

Josei Toda, “The organization is more important than my own life.”–This is a dangerous concept. It should be explained much more thoroughly.

If your house was burning should you save the Gohonzon or your kids? A girl once answered, “The Gohonzon.” I believe this is not Buddhism and extremely dangerous thinking and should be cleared up.

As RSG, we have often been told to protect the Gohonzon with our life. If the Headquarters and Gohonzon burned, we should burn with it. I think this is not Buddhist. I should like to question this and change this. It is a dangerous concept. Human life is more important than a piece of paper, no matter how you look at it.

Mrs. William’s children were in a serious car accident, but she helped President Ikeda in his movement first. It was called sancho shima* (four devils and four obstacles) that such a thing happened. And the kids turned out okay. I disagree. If my kids were in a serious crisis and the hospital needed my signature immediately I would go. I wonder what this experience is trying to prove?

Material benefits? Gosho?

Enlightenment in this lifetime? Gosho?

Kosenrufu in 2 years? Like world ending in seven in Christian religion?

Buddhist gods?

Chanting in faith alone? In Gosho without practice and study there can be no Buddhism. Every cult has signed letters from Presidents. This doesn’t make it legitimate. Question of our own signed books.

Organizations immunity from checks and balances. This is important for NSA to be totally open. And if anything is wrong, admit it and change it.

Word-leaders and leadership in sect.


Ted Patrick father of deprogramminghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Patrick

Retrospective: Nichiren Shoshu at the time was feeling societal pressure as a result of the Jonestown massacre and purposely slowed down the level of activity so as to maintain a lower profile in society and called it “Phase Two.”  At that time, a number of younger Buddhist radicals began to question the organization in an attempt to reform  and contexualize Nichiren Shoshu Academy (aka Soka Gakkai International) in what came to be known as “The Open Forum” movement.

Jonestown Massacre:

Wikipedia: “The Peoples Temple Agricultural Project, better known by its informal name “Jonestown“, was a remote settlement established by the Peoples Temple, an American cult under the leadership of reverend Jim Jones, in north Guyana. It became internationally notorious when, on November 18, 1978, a total of 918[1][2] people died in the settlement, at the nearby airstrip in Port Kaituma, and at a Temple-run building in Georgetown, Guyana’s capital city. The name of the settlement became synonymous with the incidents at those locations.

909 individuals died in Jonestown,[1] all but two from apparent cyanide poisoning, in an event termed “revolutionary suicide” by Jones and some members on an audio tape of the event and in prior discussions. The poisonings in Jonestown followed the murder of five others by Temple members at Port Kaituma, including United States Congressman Leo Ryan, an act that Jones ordered. Four other Temple members committed murder-suicide in Georgetown at Jones’ command.”

Background Check on Pelosi, Feinstein and Jim Jones

Unburied Truth About Jim Jones

 

 

by James C. Stephens


February 7, 1979

[JCS: The following are rough notes from a meeting with Soka Gakkai Vice President Hojo.  It is worth including in its rough form because of some of the unique perspectives offered regarding the contextualization of the American practice of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism in relationship to its practice in Japan. The notes are as taken. At times I bracketed ideas with a <People who practice outside NSA> for example. If you have not been following the JYBR blog, then you will have missed earlier definitions of the many insider language terms utilized in this talk which have built upon one another. Sorry for the inconvenience. A number of the questions posed were never answered in their entirety.]

Mr. Williams-First floor World Culture Center for members.

Mr. Morita, Vice Headquarters Chief; Hosoi; Yahiro; Nagata.

What does it mean “everyone return to the time of Nichiren Daishonin?”

  1. Relationship between Nichiren Shoshu and the Soka Gakkai.
  2. Basic principle in achieving Kosenrufu.

Nichiren Daishonin. 700 years teaching has been handed down correctly.

Will study in accordance with Japanese Dai Byaku Renge.

Some areas of the Soka Gakkai too far into. So they had meeting with Head Temple.

Two points.  1) Kechimyaku of Hotai--relationship between Nichiren Daishonin and Nittatsu Shonin. 2) Relationship between High Priest and Nichiren Daishonin.

General: 2 ways. (Carefully use).

The way of organization–not correct to say Ikeda–Williams Shitei–only master is Nichiren Daishonin. Person who has carried on this is none other than Nittatsu Shonin (the High Priest).

Relationship with President Ikeda is only through respect and everyday practice.

Matter of faith (Nov 7)–I will send earliest possible time. Study professor to help you better understand the teaching.

We have two wonderful priests to develop relatioship with. To clarify this relationship to maintain unity.

Talk of basics of practicing in Soka Gakkai. Faith, practice and study.

Q: Are we members of Soka Gakkai or Nichiren Shoshu?

Shoho Jisso Sho-Shin Gyo Gaku.

(Definition: Shoho jisso-the ultimate truth; Shin Gyo Gaku-faith, practice, study).

In the past–you had conventions and you put great effort into them. Showed tremendous result, but wasn’t Shin Gyo Gaku. Two and a half years ago new start in the organization.

Before said we had objective (in regard to conventions) and they were necessary. Now we have realized this was not necessarily so. We push towards Shin Gyo Gaku.

Q: What of World Culture Festival?

We have a goal. One by one to help each other in practice. We have Dai Gohonzon. As we polish one person, we polish ourselves. Slow progress, but we can bring forth humanism…

Third point: Principle of achieving Koserufu. Last year President Ikeda mentioned the following: No matter what ideology a nation may have, ours is the Universal teaching embracing the culture of each individual country.

As mentioned daimoku is never changing principal. it is still daimoku anywhere it is. Therefore in order to understand the principles, let’s study the Gosho.

Q: What Gosho?

This never changing principle that was mentioned. How is it to be understood in different countries? Leaders in each nation will value the Law based on the customs of each nation.

I’d like to say, you live in this wonderful country United States. Japan does it, its way. You do not have to import it. Today, you are sitting on the floor. Tradition in the U.S. is to sit in chairs. Next time I come, I hope all can sit in chairs.

In Japan, man-woman sit on opposite sides. In America I hope you can sit as man and wife.

Local  custom. Chanting and Gosho has nothing to do with custom. Nichiren Daishonin wrote Gosho in Japanese because he was born in Japan. Nichiren Daishonin said all people who believe in what he taught should propagate.

Two more points. One, World Peace Culture Festival slated to be held in August 1979. As mentioned before, looking at situation, like to cancel convention at this time, although it is unofficial.

Two, Translation of Gosho. Printing now. Will be got out as soon as possible.

New Spark.  1) Our activity is to study Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism; 2) Polish each individual’s faith; 3) People have dropped out. Teaching is for everyone. Mission to get people to begin again. No sacrifice. Said we did it, but correct way do Hendoku Iyaku.

Mission is kosenrufu. Together in unity. Hope all can grow. Q on silent prayers.

What Kosenrufu means?

700 years ago Nichiren Daishonin born in Japan. In the Gosho, Nichiren Daishonin said, “I Nichiren, said in chanting daimoku the objective is to save one person at a time and in doing this is kosenrufu itself.

As we help others we help ourselves.

Must understand because we don’t have convention still are doing kosenrufu. Practice today you are achieving kosenrufu. You must come to realize this. There are 220 million people in this country. We are very small still trying to achieve kosenrufu. We come to realize our mission towards humanity. Matter of silent prayer.

Practicing within organization or without. Is there a difference? What does organization mean? Our organization is not to intimidate anyone. You have your own freedom. NSA-Soka Gakkai–our objective is study and learn about Nichiren Daishonin–polish each other.

Here we polish our faith and point out what we need to realize. Through polishing we come to realize our potential and can take what we learn into society.

Silent prayers.

<People who practice outside NSA, relationship between Soka Gakkai and NSA.>

Role of women of NSA in the future.

Since coming to the U.S. I must look into this matter much more.

Change of system here–needs study.

Josei Toda Portrait

President Josei Toda, the Second President of the Soka Gakkai.

4 Division system in Japan–time of second President Toda. Toda put great effort into youth division. Chapter Chief sometimes in 40’s. Youth Division in their 20’s. Took 40 year old gave same position.

<Maybe good principal–installation wrong in United States.>

Put great emphasis in youth so they could grow into people who could be of great worth in the future in society. Toda took Chapter Chief in the their 40’s and younger 20’s at the same table in combination to discuss.

Eternal machine–so ideal would always be alive.

 

 

Meeting with Mr. Hojo after meeting.

4th prayer, 5th prayer.

Dai Gohonzon —>handed down copy Gohonzon so everyone can have Gohonzon. Only one person can have Gohonzon. To all of us we receive Gohonzon. And to receive Gohonzon—there we can attain enlightenment or absolute happiness. Kechimyaku from 2 points.

General--Sobetsu, Shin Gyo Gaku. We are connected to Gohonzon so we can achieve kechimyaku of faith.

If ichinen is incorrect I was worrying, I would hurt my members. No! No! –no error in chanting to Gohonzon. Even if ichinen is wobbly. Encourage to chant. You chant you will straighten out. Kechimyaku–don’t overuse it.

I am lost–mumyo. Satorio–enlightenment. Hosho in Buddhism–to be.

Example he used was like a mirror. Used a book.

A mirror is a mirror because it has a back. This is mumyo. The lost part of you. Because you can see your lost part you can see your enlightenment. Without mumyo you could never become enlightened. Same with Bonno soku Bodai. Without earthly desires we could never become enlightened. Mumyo varies–different kinds of being lost.

How do I battle Gumpon no mumyo? [the darkness inherent in human life-according to Nichiren the final and most difficult obstacle to overcome to reach enlightenment.] Each day get up and face the situation and chant daimoku to the Gohonzon. It is so simple.

…..

Right after the meeting with Mr. Hojo I rushed to the elevator. I was told to go by the Soka Group and I stood fast. As Mr. Hojo came to the elevator I asked him if I could ask him a couple of questions. After the translator told him, he said sure. So I and a girl named Reza met him on the third floor. Up there we were able to ask him for some answers. (those are contained on previous two pages). Afterwards he asked us to meet him again and asked our names. He gave us each a present. It was a scarf with President Ikeda’s calligraphy. It said Kaido, I believe which translates as health.

Afterwards I went downstairs and talked with Bonnie Barcy for awhile about the present state of the Open Forum. We discussed various subjects.

Next as I was leaving, Gary Curtis and I had a real frank discussion. I have not recorded earlier incident in my diary which would of tremendous import in regards to this meeting. It was nonetheless a breakthrough. He was really happy I talked to Hojo and wondered if the meeting earlier was really of much import. I said to a degree yes.

Well, I should leave now and pick up my wife from work. Will continue later.


Gohonzon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gohonzon

https://www.sgi-usa.org/study-resources/core-concepts/the-gohonzon/diagram-of-the-gohonzon/