Posts Tagged ‘Scott Ferguson’

by James C. Stephens


Tuesday, March 22, 1977

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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by James C. Stephens


February 6, 1977

Lots of things have been happening in my daily life recently. I’ve been concentrating on studying more and have been trying to keep up on current affairs.

Apple Computer 1977 Steve Jobs and Wozniak

Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in 1977 working on the Apple II Computer.

Last Friday night I called my long term friend Pat Flaherty. It was the first time we talked to each other for about 8 years. Much changes in 8 years that’s for sure. He and I talked about the whereabouts of old friends, state of religion in society and what had been happening in each of our lives. I did shakubuku on him and he asked many questions. He admitted being very inspired by the World Tribune or should I say he said enlightened. The close of our conversation to me was most emotional. He said, “Jim, I really feel that it is not coincidence that we have kept this relation for so long. I believe there is going to be a great war. A spiritual war. I sympathize very much with the Nichiren Shoshu movement. Also there is going to be a financial war (he joked) between you and the telephone company, so we’d better cut the phone conversation short. I’ll send you a letter soon.”

I am going to send him some NSA Quarterly’s this week.

My correspondence is shaping up. Wrote many letters this week.

Scott Ferguson opening up. Tom, Scott and I had dinner last night. At first the conversation was very stiff, then everything lightened up. We are all becoming closer.

Tonight, I went over to Pat and Charlotte’s. We watched the McCarthy trials movie, did Gongyo. They made me dinner. Pat is only 19, but she is mature in many ways. Still she is young. I like her, but I’m being careful. Love is so deceiving to me. It can also so easily destroy good relationships.

Meeting with Mr. Izumi this week. He served under all three Presidents (Makiguchi, Toda, and Ikeda). Such confidence he has.

Business is picking up. This week is going to be really busy, so I must get some rest.

by James C. Stephens


December 27, 1976  1:20 AM

This afternoon I saw an art exhibit on “The World of Franklin and Jefferson.”  It moved me.

Historigram of Franklin and JeffersonLately, I have felt a strong desire to develop my life. It has been difficult to write on this since I have been quite unable to put my finger on it. I realize I am none to brilliant a human being. My members are more well read to a degree. I am struggling to develop my own potential as a leader and foremost as a human being. I was not raised in the arts when I was young. Literature was not foremost, nor was music. I was raised in a small town of 2,500 people on a lake. Very sports-minded, I always seemed to be. A desire to be a professional baseball player. I devoted so much energy to this endeavor. Physically I had much going against me. I was short and fat, yes I was fat at one time. Consequently, I was not at all a fast runner. But I persistently applied myself to the game and became a good ball player. I played golf too. Skied during the winter. I’m sure when others were reading on their time off I was most likely playing socceer, basketball, sledding or football. Now my thirst to develop is coming to the fore. Why? It is not in my ability to answer this question totally. But possibly out of a desire to discover my mission, maybe to help other human beings. So often I have discovered myself short in encouraging people. When I first started practicing the only people I could relate to were on a skiing level. But as I continued to practice, my scope of experience broadened. I scraped in so many ways to survive. I jumped around in school I had no idea what education even meant. But through living in so many different situations my thirst for knowledge is coming from me as natural as an artesian well.

One area I lack is in the Ichinen for study to sink into my life. But I feel that I now see this gap and will be able to change it through faith in the Gohonzon.  Our study group is coming together. Our first meeting is in January 1977. Our group is composed of Scott Ferguson, Bruce Barnes, Tom Brittingham, Cheryl Bell, tow of Scott’s acquaintances, and myself. It should be an interesting experiment.

Our business is not fairing the way it should. I must devote more energy to it.

Now is the time for a foundation! I must compose a plan of attacking my present problems and deficits. Step by step I must advance.

Spending habits are very poor-must change this.

World of Franklin and Jefferson

Got or should say giving Dad a gift of book I picked up at Art Museum on Jefferson and Franklin. Hope he enjoys it.

Must find study material for next YMD meeting with Rejicho! Jan., 77!

Washington interesting me greatly. Is there a relationship between us? He is my 9th cousin as far as my family tree goes. Is he a window to my past? To my future?

Get notebooks for your study campaign. Record book for study book group. I think it is necessary to separate my diary on this subject or is it?


by James C. Stephens


Sunday, December 13, 1976 12:40 a.m.

Many obstacles trying to stop my advance. I must somehow develop the spirit of a lion. Day by day towards the 21st Century.

Saturday night, I had a guest. Her name is Carma. She was greatly encouraged by meeting. Gave her a ride home. Had coffee. Controlled my Sancho Goma. Very difficult.

Oh, I don’t believe I told you. Scott and I started a Book society. Once a month we will read a book and discuss it. Each member of the society will in turn select a book for his month. Our group consists of Bruce Barnes, Scott Ferguson, two non-members which I have not yet met, and myself. First Book is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

Yoni Netanayahu killed in Raid on Entebbe

Saw a movie on the July 4th incident in Uganda of a terrorist hijacking of a plane with 200 people, 100 which were Jews. What a ghastly problem! It sickens me greatly. Fortunately the Israelis held a surprise attack which was successful in only 3 hostages were lost and 1 soldier. The terrorists were all gunned down. We were not so lucky at Munich. All the hostages lost their lives. Unfortunately terrorism is gaining a foothold in many movements, e.g., IRA.

 

by James C. Stephens


Sunday, August 29, 1976

Well, yesterday marked the end of my relationship with a girl named Irma. I can’t really talk about it at the moment since this would only make me emotionally sick. I did love her, so I thought. I know myself so little.

Made a decision–no more Brass Band even if I didn’t graduate. It’s over for me there.

Scott Ferguson and I went to a concert Tuesday night at the Hollywood Bowl. Saw and heard Aaron Copeland. Great man. We met him and got his autograph. What a trip. I gave him a note saying “Thank you for your “Ode to the Common Man.”  It has inspired a young man through depression and gave me hope towards a new world. Thank you, Jim.”

He took off his glasses and read it and reached his hand to mine. His eyes were so warm and I felt he was touched. He said, “Thank you.”  Then he signed his name on my program by his biography. He changed the mood and jokingly said, “I hope everything they wrote about me is true. I haven’t read it yet.”

I wished him a long life and we left. I always wanted to meet him.

Afterwards we stopped by one of Fergie’s old stomping grounds. The Silent Movie Theater on Fairfax. We met the proprietors who let us view the last 20 minutes of a Rudolph Valentino film. It was great.

by James C. Stephens


Tuesday, September 9, 1975

I really see this after my time at the convention. I didn’t freak out, but I couldn’t take going back to what I had. The district chief I had, was not what I needed to develop my life. Nonetheless, I told myself not to complain about it. Strangely I could not bring myself to attend discussion meetings or even promote a World Tribune. I was it seemed caught in between. Then the change my old chikabucho said to be a the Headquarters at 10 for new leaders appointments. He said I must go. I though I was being appointed. Inside I said, well if I’m appointed I’ll have to stay. I realized when I wasn’t appointed what a conceited attitude I had.  So many people are working hard for Kosenrufu and here I am expecting an appointment.

Well, I returned home and plotted my trip to Montana, or should I say, escape. I say it would have been the suicide of my practice. Inside I realized that the value I wanted to create was here not somewhere else, but my life was so weak I could only turn to what I thought would make me happy. It took only a call from my new Chickabucho Eric Bruck and I decided to stay for “100 days.”

My new determination started to bear fruit. At a leaders meeting on Tuesday we started a three han system. In my han I have Linda Cook, Scott Ferguson, Jeff Silver, Grant Sorge, Dr. Gary Stevens, Utana, and Deborah Syril.

Last week I moved to Santa Monica. I live at our Chiku. I got a car for $150 and today I got a job right across the street at a Ski Shop called Summit Sports full time.Jean Claude Killy

________________________________________________________________________________________

When I was in High School, I was part of a southern California Ski Race Team from Kratka Ridge. Our coaches, Robin Morning was part of the US Olympic Race Team and Pia Riva McIssacs, three time Italian Olympic Gold medalist in the Women’s downhill. One summer when we were training at Mammoth Mountain, we were able to see our hero Jean Claude Killy on a practice downhill run. Working at Summit Sports was a lot of fun. Met Adam West who played Batman and gave a ride home to Peter, from Peter, Paul and Mary after his car broke down.

by James C. Stephens


Wednesday, June 4, 1975

Cut some more pealee grass today out in the country. Got Scott to come along by telling Dale he needed to get out of the warehouse. Had a good time, especially the dip in the ocean afterwards, pants and all. Worked til 1:00 AM.

Thursday, June 5, 1975

Went to bamboo forest at 9:00 this morning to get 3,000 more feet to finish off the rest of our projects. The ranger rode in our van. I guess re’s really a heavy guy being personally responsible for us to move the island to Waikiki. He told us all about plants and their history on our way to the bamboo forest. He us about the volcanoes and how they flow into the area and create deep holes on the big Island. He cautioned us not to wander into the grass. This once was a volcanic area and the lava burned out trees and their root system and this left big holes in the ground. People disappear every year into these death traps. Wow!

After we got back, right before dinner I was told I and about 7 other guys were going to zadankai meetings. All right!

Well, I ate and headed back to the hotel. My roommate (Scott Avery) and I proceeded to get into a yell out. Woo! Mr. Murie said a lot of tension was in the air. He said some thing that really hurt, but strangely I really picked something out from it which is really true about my nature. He said, “Can’t you be just one of the guys?” That is what I’ve been chanting about for several months. I believe this will change for the better.

I found myself giving guidance. Again my arrogant nature. This MUST CHANGE! And WILL!

At the discussion meeting tonight of Cam Chapter I really felt this was a new beginning of my practice. I had a very different attitude at this meeting. This time rather than criticizing the meeting inside, I really was digging what NSA was all about. People. Scott and I really dug the meeting and the people. Of course it was such a trip all these different people chanting.

Afterwards we had coffee with Mr. Tamara and his daughter and a YMD leader. It was such a refreshing experience for my practice. I got my first Hawaiian ley at this meeting.