Posts Tagged ‘shakubuku’

by James C. Stephens


Wednesday, May 04, 1977

Wildflower

Obstacles or sancho shima will arise when we are making headway in our practice. For our district we can say we are making strong headway. As of late we have confronted the demon of death and the demon of insanity. I’m sorry to say that my friend and colleague John DeGomez had a great tragedy befall him this past week. His sister whom I knew committed suicide by hanging herself. I deeply regret that she did and am grieved by this unfortunate circumstance, I send my daimoku to her. Her face is very clear to me. Damn!

The second demon was the X* incident. A girl that, nay a woman in her 30’s, who used to practice in the old Wilshire, caused a scene at the World Culture Center and threatened to slit a member’s throat. She had to be physically restrained. Saturday night she ended up at our discussion meeting. I welcomed her, naive of the fact she had this incident behind her, but nonetheless I sensed a strange feeling.

Tonight we had a district daimoku toso in which Steve Bell, Bruce Barnes and I arrived early in order to meet X* and uninvite her to our meetings. She did come and Mr. Bell put it in very humanistic and rational manner to X*, ‘Hi, sorry we have to uninvite you. Please understand why. We have to go on your recent performance at the headquarters and until you improve your track record I’ll have to ask you not to come to any meetings.’

The way he said it was a bit different and very merciful, but strict. He spoke to her in a mild rational way. I could not have done it. I of course had mixed feelings, but I definitely was against her coming to any meeting if there was any chance that a member might be hurt in the least.  Incidentally, she did leave and it seemed she understood and didn’t leave uptight.

My Young Men’s Division have recently gone through many changes. You know that Jeff Silver finally rolled up his Gohonzon. Now he will be only able to blame himself instead of the Gohonzon for his problems. I sincerely believe this is an important step in his human revolution. He will eventually come back, as soon as he grows up, realizes his shortcomings and realizes the value of the Gohonzon. He needs to learn by facing society along. I feel confident in this.

Two of my other Young Men’s Division are in need of finding meetings closer to their homes. Darrel Schreiner and Walter Johnson. I am in the process of trying to make this happen. Darrel’s practice is so-so, but Walter is doing well and wants a place where he can bus to and fro and become more involved. I’m excited for him. But I’ve got to get my rear in gear and find him a meeting place.

Tom Brittingham had a fling for about a week with some girl from India until some Arab Prince whisked her off to the middle East in his jet. The Gohonzon has an incredible way of protecting members. Amazing! Anyway he’s back struggling with school and practice. I’m not worried. He’s young and has a lot of guts. He’s a good kid, just a bit unsettled and confused. But it will work out.

Last night and afternoon I got my filing system in order. A major accomplishment. I feel 100% better with things in their proper place. Now I can begin many projects I have neglected because the lack of my organization.

Called Pat Flaherty this morning at work in Helena. He has now gotten into Christ, he says. Sent me a letter, but I never received it. Well, he has to practice Christianity to see for himself. He is wanting to know Buddhism’s relationship to Christianity. I can’t relate to him falling into this Christ trip, but then he said it was a good looking girl who gave her Christ experience. And again life is so mysterious the mind so marvelous. I am not in the least discouraged at my shakubukuing him. When he joins, watch out! The guy has so damn much potential.

Friday night Isabel and I are going to a play called Vanities. It’s a comedy. Should be a lot of fun.

 

Each day I will try to advance if only a step.

Yesterday I sent my Japanese friend a letter.

In this way without fanfare we will develop bonds that can never be broken by war, or evil demons or selfish politicians.

I’m trying to correspond more. I feel I am the link to the Gohonzon for a great many people, many friends.

Mission. A growing sense of this is blossoming in my life.

I’m trusting the Gohonzon more. Isabel is not a member, but of course I would like her to practice. I will take my relationship seriously but not filled with anxiety.

The desire grows within me to find my mate.

It’s becoming more exciting as my trust in the Gohonzon, grows. What every happens for my human revolution and growth.

Soon,

Seven years

Each day

seems, no brings

with it

the realization of what

Jiyu no Bosatsu

means to me.

A blade of grass

weak?

No, I don’t think so.

Look at it

she pushes up through

the seemingly impervious concrete.

What does she desire?

I believe to live, to breathe,

to search for its purpose.

Life.

I feel like the seedling

now sprouting its head through

the crust of earth

Seeing, breathing, seeking

Sun,

Seeking a master

for the first time

seriously.


“The days of man are like grass. He grows like a flower of the field.  When the wind blows over it, it is gone. Its place will remember it no more.” Psalm 103:15

Advertisements

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


 

Friday, November 28, 1975

Santana winds and fire

Thanksgiving yesterday brought with it the beginning of winter. The days before were balmy with Santana winds and fires of great destruction. Fires in the local mountains left many people homeless and burned the foliage off the mountains so badly needed during the rainy season for flood control. The newspapers despite the Thanksgiving season ring of war in the middle east, fires and other tragedies. Little hope is inspired in reading these modern newspapers. One can’t help but become depressed if he reads the daily news.

Thanksgiving this year I spent with my Father. We had an excellent, I mean superb meal. My dad is an excellent cook, so’s his girlfriend. My aunt Retha was there also. For a change we got along very well. I think I have changed a great deal in the past six months.

She is tracing our family tree on my Dad’s side. To my surprise and happiness I’m approximately 1/16 Chickasaw Indian. I always felt I had something to do with our native America. Also during the Civil War my ancestors fought on the side of the south as far as we know, in South Carolina. I am anxious to find out where we were in 1776. It was a very happy family reunion.

Before I left for dinner I called my old friend Pat Flaherty in Great Falls. I shakubukued him over the phone. He remarked that he was very impressed and would like to try the philosophy. He also agreed up the idea that Human Revolution was the most logical way to World Peace. I must write him soon. I sent him the World Tribune for December.

Work was extremely hard for me today. I must build up more confidence. My dress must improve. I must become a better worker.

My car has given me some problems and has been parked in front of our neighbor’s parking area. He complained, so I told him that I would move it. Tonight after going to the LA #1 Headquarters, I went to move it and the front window was broken all over and the aerial was broken off. I was very angry. I knocked on the guys door. He said he didn’t do it. I question that, but I hope he didn’t resort to such tactics. It’s very disheartening.

I took the bus to the meeting tonight. On the way I started shakubukuing one black guy named Larry. He decided to attend the meeting. A fellow name Howard overheard our talk and decided when I asked him, to come. Larry did not join, but was interested. Howard joined and paid for his Gohonzon. He seems to be sincerely interested in the practice of this philosophy. He’s a pharmacist.

by James C. Stephens


Friday, May 30, 1975

Well today is my fifth anniversary since I received my Gohonzon. What a day! The Human Revolution was definitely hot and heavy!

I made some resolutions pertaining to my practice in next five years. The next five years have to be my fortune building years with a consistent hard practice. I must study hard. I must graduate college and also become a professor in Buddhism. Definitely must somehow get close to all of my leaders and to General Director Mr. Williams. In my 6 year of practice my goal from August is 60 shakubuku. 5 a month for one year. I must really develop my life to show the power of the Gohonzon to Young Men’s Division and potential YMD in Los Angeles. In 1975-1976 I must become an outstanding member of the Liaison Division. I know inside that if I don’t fight really hard I don’t feel the courageous and victorious feeling I really desire. My Bodhisattva nature doesn’t come out as predominately is what I mean to say.

Saturday, May 31, 1975

Today GMW came to the warehouse. What a great benefit. First we cheered and and rushed around him and his guest then proceeded to do a vigorous! Gongyo! After Gongyo he talked about his tour to Panama. After that we went back to work. Then Mr. Williams came by each project and showed a special guest, the author, the warehouse. He was very impressed. The first stop was our hut then the movie hut. They breezed through- afterwards Rejicho dawned an apron and worked on several projects.

herbie-hancock

At one particular project he worked at with Herbie Hancock and my member Scott Ferguson showed Rejicho what was happening since Herbie didn’t know. That made my evening complete. Then to top it off he came by our hut again and came up to me shook my hand and asked me what I was making. I explained what the bamboo panel was for. He then saw that I forgot one nail hole. He nailed it all down and when he tried to pick it up he discovered it was nailed to the floor. We all laughed together and as soon as he finished we clapped for him. What a far out man!

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


November 2, 1974

Today I made a strong resolution to the Gohonzon. I have realized what Shibucho said not to chase your fortune. Well, I chanted to the Gohonzon about my relationship and the Gohonzon has really shown me deeply like a parent the route to my true happiness. It was a very valuable experience to my practice while it lasted. It nevertheless hurt me deeply to cut it off but considering what transpired it’s definitely the right direction. I want to build my fortune so that someday I can marry and have a happy relationship based on the Gohonzon.

The Gohonzon is my parent, without it I would have totally flipped out. But now I’m happier in a much deeper sense than ever before.

Thank you Gohonzon! It hurt deeply the way it happened but that the only way I could have learned what I needed to learn.

After the discussion meeting tonight, Shibucho and I had coffee at Corky’s. I expressed my frustration at several things in my life. He told me about following. We talked about school. I told him how I was frustrated about not going. He told me don’t worry–your future is in NSA. It’s stupid to go to school unless you feel the calling to.

I talked about setting my goals too high. He told me there is an art to this. Why chant for a specific # of YMD. Chant 1 million daimoku for a district. It will definitely put you through a lot of change to realize such a district.

On the whole I feel a great surge of hope in my future as a human being. If I can just encourage others to be happy and continue their practice then I will enjoy my life.

Shakubuku is my happiness.

I must establish a circle of friends in society to expand this.

After coffee with Shibucho I called Scott and drove to Northridge on a cold crisp night and had coffee with him. We had a mutually encouraging talk.

November 3, 1974

General Director Williams announced that President Ikeda said officially that we should raise three million dollars for a new headquarters.

Liturgy of Nichiren Shoshu Gongyo bookWilliams talked to us about the importance of Gongyo. Do it with rhythm of Chudo, the middle path, not too loud, not too soft, not too fast, not too slow.

Should not have sickness. Overcome with sincere Gongyo. Those who do weak Gongyo become sick. Don’t take a nap in front of Gohonzon. You may think you should go to bed early because you’re tired. But wrong idea. Better to do Gongyo sincerely, get in rhythm of the universe. 8 hours deep sound sleep from 2 hours. We try to excuse ourselves easily. Ask Gohonzon for medicine Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.. It is the best make-up. Best way to stay healthy. When really in trouble–chant 1 million daimoku and try your best.

Trouble make you chant. Why trouble visit me? All nite toso. I send daimoku to everyone of you. You should chant a lot. Not matter how strong the transmitter if receiver is weak. It doesn’t matter how strong the transmitter is. If you as a receiver are perfect you can feel strong. Meaningless if you do not put your thoughts into practice.

King Devil of the Sixth Heaven. The Devil within us such a nature. Try to make you sleep. “Why don’t you taitan?” But challenge yourself. You say, “children are noisy that’s why I don’t do Gongyo.” Devil trying to take fortune from you. If you chant strong daimoku, the Devil becomes your shotenzenjin (Buddhist god).

Sessen DojiSessen Doji never become enlightened. Tell me last work of enlightenment. Tell me I will give you anything. Devil said, I want human flesh and human blood. Okay, take my body and tell me the last half. Then he’s ready to jump to mouth of devil. He jumped and then he caught him. He was a Sho-tenzinjin. You are the real Buddha.

President Ikeda explained, no matter how much you suffer, you can definitely break through. Get it?  You reach for the unreachable star. Mountain=trouble. Good jet engine–don’t feel low level life–mountain boring. Get jet engine practice.

Hendoku Iyaku (changing poison into medicine) is possible with person chanting lots of daimoku. Hell waits for a person with no daimoku. Happy? Chant! Trouble? Chant! Chant until the last moment of your life! People postpone death with daimoku.

Nichiren Daishonin said he closed the gate to hell. Lotus sutra=Gohonzon. Shakyamuni said the Hokekyo is above all other sutras. Welcome to the ocean-oneness equal all over. Salt necessary everywhere.

U.S.A. has a sho-tenzinjin protecting her. Hachiman (open field) dai-Bosatsu.

by James C. Stephens


May 4, 1974

Gary CurtisTonight after the meeting, I went to Santa Monica to talk to Soshibucho Gary Curtis. I told of my problem of following and wanting to take the lead. He related his experience of his early practice, when he was a butaicho with no real tai, but expected to lead gongyo at a meeting which the Senior leaders didn’t show at, but instead a younger member jumped up and led gongyo. I did plenty of onshitsu he said. Now my competition with that same leader is totally reversed. It’s more like, you lead the new member’s meeting, no you, no you.

I told him of the people I had shakubukued and how I’m not taking care of them, but others are. He said, each person’s mission is different, be proud of what you can do. Do what you can do, you are you. I can’t wait to see you a fatter smiley Jim Stephens, then I believe your true nature will come out instead of the thin you.

For a member of four years, you give rotten experiences and are a lousy emcee. For chanting four years you should have some heavy spiritual revelations which you can relate to the guests.

“How can I give better experiences?”

Paul Newman Exodus“You aren’t blind, just look around and see what kind of experiences you enjoy! Nobody likes a predictable character like Steve McQueen. They like a person like Paul Newman that goes through all sorts of conditions. You’ve got to be a good actor. You’ve got to have a bigger vision of the future. In front of a lot of people you have got to be a good actor. No more you knows or likes. How can you relate to older people that way?

Example of Mr. Enaba, a happy person who raised capable leaders, not a grab ass person, but a man happy to see people grow above him. But he has incredible fortune. Wow, when I was appointed he was so happy, he didn’t think of himself, he knew his mission. He did not give us much guidance and when he led meetings he never spoke more than 7 minutes. But such simple people are the people President Ikeda loves. And he shows them too. He almost ignores the screamers, Sensei! Sensei! But he goes out of his way to meet the behind the scenes people. He knows them. You should try to become such a person.

Wow, we (our General Chapter) won Gojukai for 6 months and I never once rubbed it in on anyone. Right now we are going to drive deep foundations for our lives. But two months from now the other General Chapters will wonder what hit them when we totally wipe them out.

I want happy people, not fanatics. He told me I was not ready to raise people all the way.

I ask, “How can I get ready?”

Don’t worry, that’s all.