Posts Tagged ‘shakubuku’

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.

by James C. Stephens


April 19, 1974

Spirit of Toban

Talk by Honbucho Mr. Hall

Protecting the Joju Gohonzon means protecting the Headquarters from crazy people. It’s President Ikeda’s building, Mr. William’s building. There are three things to remember as Yusohan:

  1. To protect the Dai Gohonzon.
  2. Protect President Ikeda or the President of the organization.
  3. Protect the members.

Prevention is a hell of alot better than putting out a fire. In your mind be alert. As assistant you should be at your seat when members are around, but not glued. You represent President Ikeda!

NSA constructs people. Toban is for your future development! Look at young men today in our society. Damn few developing men with vigor.

Toshiro Mifune is an example of someone who is courageous and has guts. One who exemplifies spirit of master and disciple. Human spirit strong like a lion and mountain. Fighting to grasp the same spirit.

General Director Williams has unshakable courage and words like swords. Shakubuku meeting is a war of words. Not to chop people. Our enemies are misunderstanding, confusion. Such a perfect battle to engage in today. Special training to become treasure of NSA. To understand spirit of Toban. Where else can you find a master that gives a damn. That stays up nights thinking how to train you.

Because of training you become a free person. Not training for NSA, but as a leader in society. We need leaders who give a shit about the people. Happy society will not happen until leaders stand up.

Victory-to win. No win, no mercy. Win so you can help another. Devote your life to what is good and what is right.

Mercy. Work for people, work for society according to the law of the universe.

 

by James C. Stephens


February 1, 1974

America today is going through one of its greatest trials I believe in its entire history. President Nixon, innocent or guilty, is being questioned as to his credibility. Did he or did he not have his fingers in the Watergate pie? Unfortunately it makes little difference whether he is guilty or not. The fact is that the corruption within our government is widespread as uncovered by the Watergate investigations. Our economy is being put to its heaviest test ever. Many economists forecast a depression greater than 1929. At the present time paper prices are skyrocketing a book like this one year ago cost me approximately a dollar, the price now is 1.98, almost double.

Gas prices have gone up from about 30 cents a gallon to 55 cents in less than two months. Sunday it is virtually impossible to find a gas station open because of the President’s dictum on Sunday travel. Because of the energy crisis homes have been requested to cut down their energy by 10 % or be penalized monetarily and if that doesn’t work by having your energy shut off!

Food prices are also ridiculous. Hamburger was 88 cents now its 1.03 for the lowest quality ground beef.

Because of the rising cost of living I have had to postpone my schooling. At the present time I’m looking for a full-time job. Within the last weeks it seems like my life has exploded apart in a million pieces. Everyday it almost impossible for me to get up, rarely do I get up before 10:30. When my mail comes, it is either a warrant for my arrest for some parking ticket or else it is some bill or unpaid loan. I am having a dreadful time getting my life moving. For the first time I am realizing that I’m responsible. Maybe I have been afraid to face the fact until now, but now I’m realizing that life is not a joke. My practice of Buddhism until this moment has been like just belonging to a club. Now I’m realizing that philosophy is a much more serious thing in life. I have taken my practice to the Gohonzon too lightly in the past. Now when I chant to the Gohonzon it is to survive these times.  The time are not so hard as starvation but actually one of a spiritual desert. I know that if I persevere I will overcome this momentary problem. I worry too much for a youth. However, I feel hesitant to do Shakubuku when I have so many problems and so little confidence in the Gohonzon in the past. I enjoyed getting up early in the morning and enjoying the good earth. I know now I that I can regain this prime spirit, but to use it in a new way to build a great life.

As President Toda said in the Human Revolution, “I Josei Toda will begin with nam-myoho-renge-kyo.”  I can only begin with the same Nam-myoho-rengekyo. I have nothing really except the Gohonzon. Everything I receive from now on is from the Gohonzon.

File1246The San Diego-Mexico Convention is nearing. I have a lot to change before Pres. Ikeda comes. In the past conventions, I have not really enjoyed myself. I really must change this. I should really enjoy my life and become a man of action.

All great men become great only by their daily actions. I should not feel frustrated, I have such a long life ahead. I must be patient.

Just a little progress everyday. First I must take care of my responsibilities as a hancho, which I have failed at terribly recently. But I’m learning. Secondly, I must take care of my financial responsibilities. Thirdly I’ve got to care of my health.

I’d really like to gain about 20 lbs of muscle by the convention; learn all the Gakkai songs by memory; have a new car, 2 new YMD and 2 YWD members practicing in the convention, have a house and my finances together and have my practice on a strong foundation. To just be able to enjoy my daily life.

by James C. Stephens


July 18, 1973

Two days before the Monthly Leader’s meeting with Mr. Williams (July 10), I was on my way to take Ken Dilando to his music lesson and me to work, when I was pulled over by our friends in blue, the LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department). As I was sitting in the car and chanting under my breath, I was reflecting on how I was really chanting to take care of my old parking tickets, well then our friends came up and me me away to the Black and White sedan and shortly afterward took Ken and handcuffed him too. We were treated nicely until of course we got to the jail, where we were booked, fingerprinted, not told of our rights, and let into the tank. Strange, the guy that fingerprinted me, I had go to school with at James Monroe. Well as soon as we were in the tank we began chanting. We chanted from cell to cell to the bus, from Van Nuys to the County Jail.

At the County Jail it was pure bureaucratic bull we had to go through. I had notified my boss I was in jail (my dad was on vacation in Montana). We had to strip, shower, get sprayed, get our bodies inspected, x-rayed, blood tested, wait, wait, wait, eat, which wasn’t bad food, and wait for a cell. While we were waiting, I did alot of shakubuku. I shakubukued quite a few black dudes, one who chanted with me for about ten minutes, and another dude chanted with me who was strung out on heroine. I shakubukued my cell mate who was in for grand theft auto and burglary. It was a strange trip, and to make it through took a lot of daimoku. My cellmates thought I was crazy when I came in because I was so friendly and smiling, that’s what I was told by them after I told them I was a Buddhist and shakubukued them. They then understood and said, ‘I see, it’s your philosophy to be friendly, right?’

So, I taught them the chant, because my boss Ric Benson had bailed me out, which was really groovy of him. He also picked me up from jail at 12:30 at night. Pretty groovy.

Well, tommorrow 7/19, I go to court and see what happens.

Also I start my second job as a bus boy at Alphy’s for 2.40/hr. at 11:00-7:00.

I must go on Tozon. I made these determinations:

  1. To really have a strong, confidant, and seeking mind for President Ikeda.
  2. To play for President Ikeda in our Brass Band.
  3. To become a good son to my father.
  4. To have one YMD by Sho-hondo to stand up!!
  5. To chant a minimum of one and half hours/day to Sho-Hondo Convention.
  6. To play and march with true Yusohan Gakkai Spirit!!
  7. To recite Kaimoku Sho every day.
  8. To read Time and Newsweek weekly; to read a book on U.S. History; to study Buddhism daily.