Troubles In The Temples: Chapter 5.1 - Why This Is Happening and What Can Stop It +
[Part one of two parts]
____ What We Heard At The Century's Turn __________________
"Look. I'm not about to tell you this book has a tragic ending. I already said in the very first line how it was my favorite in all the world. But there's a lot of bad stuff coming." ― William Goldman, The Princess Bride.
Late in 2000 Mrs. Kato of Tokyo Courageous Heart came to visit the United States and encourage us that Sensei really, really wanted us to do disassociations of Temple Members (Nichiren Shoshu Temple members.)
In June, 2002 Mrs. Hachiya of Tokyo Courageous Heart came to visit the United States and in the Soka Spirit Conference at the FNCC in that month, and she told us that Sensei was very, very worried about what would happen if the Temple (NST) was not defeated before he passed away. [I have taken this on as the single greatest mission of my life.]
Mrs. Hachiya also said that Sensei stated that disassociating a Temple member was worth 100 shakubuku. I also heard this twice from Linda Johnson, and another time from Patrick Kelleher, the Soka Spirit Zone leader for Southern California. As my fortune has always been rocky, short-lived and fragile, this motivated me highly as well: it's like a fire sale that ends permanently once the Temple is defeated. If you didn't know who were the Temple members in your community, you could simply chant to find them and you would absolutely find them.
Finally, Mrs. Hachiya told us that even though we had done well in disassociating many of the "rank and file" members of the temple, Sensei wanted us to "find and disassociate top temple members", to really break into the higher echelons of the Hokkeko. I firmly believed then and I still do now, that this is one of the two final keys to defeating the temple, the other being the placement of the leadership of the Courageous Heart efforts into the capable hands of the Youth Division. [I have taken these two on as the true method to defeat the Temple.]
As you follow this narrative, you might think I am complaining about the corruption of leaders in the SGI. This could be no farther from the truth, as you will find out in the end, due to what Plato calls in his "On Poetics", a writing about creating dramatic plays, which states that the most important element of drama is peripeteia, which is Greek for "reversal of fortune", like the intended victim bending over at the last moment to pick up a quarter by the balcony rail, causing his assailant to plummet over the precipice ... or like Nichiren Daishonin's meteor flash at Tatsunokuchi driving away his executioners in fear.
What you will find in the end of this, is that every single participant showed up and did what they had promised in beginningless time to do, and without that the Lotus Sutra predicting that the followers of the Buddha would face the same suffering and persecution that the Buddha faces, would be a lie. To confirm the truth of the Lotus Sutra, there must be persecution of those correctly pursuing Sensei's intent and following Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism correctly while they accomplish that (which is the one and only way to accomplish the impossible.)
Someone nearby must take on the role as persecutor to preserve the truth of the Lotus Sutra, or someone from the outside would have to burst the door down and bust heads. If the SGI becomes more perfect in its leaders, look out! Thank you imperfect leaders, if we didn't have you we'd have to invent you! From the bottom of my heart, I thank you!
____ What We Did In 2005 __________________________________
"Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action." - William Shakespeare, Hamlet Act 3, Scene 1.
In 2006 a group of us finally accomplished the feat of disassociating a top Temple member after a coordinated effort in one Western region, such that after much turmoil and suffering a top woman NST member who was responsible for bringing many dozens of new members from around the country into NST ... was finally declared disassociated by a top SGI Courageous Heart leader in Southern California. We'll call her "Eurydice".
During the difficult efforts leading up to that victory, several SGI members and leaders in the region, who were selling Reiki services inside the SGI (Tantric Buddhist "healing" mudras following the Yakushi Nyorai/Medicine Master Buddhist religion with their own Temples in Japan and Tozan tours), fanned the flames of turmoil against our efforts to simply follow Sensei's deep concern for the safety of the Kosen Rufu movement after his passing.
Those persons (but not their proxies) were ultimately exposed by their own schemes and were consequently corrected by Soka Spirit leaders, since the whole process of selling services inside the SGI by members and leaders had been admonished against the year before in a 2004 SGI-USA memo number ORG-031 stating "such commercial solicitations are not permitted" and that "name lists should not be used for promoting any business". That precious memo was delivered to us by the men's division region leader where all this went down, which will become ironic as this story unfolds.
Nevertheless, each and every one of us that were fighting together courageously for this top Temple member's disassociation in the face of ceaseless pressure to stop our efforts by these very same members and leaders, was personally targeted during the disassociation effort by these transgressors and their proxies, and then later each of us was hounded in turn and ostracized, as the effort to follow Sensei was turned against the Courageous Heart movement itself as a disruption of the peaceful harmony of the organization. That is how human revolution on a grand scale works when the Temple is challenged by SGI members: the organization transforms some deeply painful affliction in a permanent way. Member's personal demons start to dance, like vermin streaming out of the woodwork to be exterminated. This is a wonderful thing, because suffering for the sake of the Lotus Sutra is Nirvana. As Nichiren Daishonin himself discusses the Lotus Sutra peaceful practices of shakubuku (with some astonishing irony,) the prognosis of the physician has proved to be flawless in our case:
"Point One, concerning the 'Peaceful Practices' chapter - The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: Concerning the "peaceful" practices of the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law and the practices carried out by Nichiren and his followers now in the Latter Day of the Law, you should understand that, when one practices the Lotus Sutra under such circumstances, DIFFICULTIES WILL ARISE, AND THESE ARE TO BE LOOKED ON AS 'PEACEFUL' PRACTICES," Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings (transcribed by Nikko Shonin from the lectures on the Lotus Sutra by Nichiren Daishonin), p. 115.
After all these years, that recrimination and the identification as troublemaker has followed each of us and made life difficult. As Nichiren Daishonin notes in the Gosho, the devilish function is diligent and persistent. Also, as Sensei has said, the "function of dividing" seems to be overwhelmingly powerful in its ability to isolate us, one from another. This is also a wonderful thing, because suffering for the sake of the Lotus Sutra is Nirvana, and because each one of us would lay down our lives for Sensei, without pause.
____ How We Planned It In 2005 ____________________________
"If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail." – Winston Churchill
So, what was our method and how did we accomplish this?
From what I have heard, our method was first used in Washington, D.C., although we added a wrinkle or two. I was given the task of transporting a young woman's division Courageous Heart member to the airport to catch a plane to Washington, D.C. During that ride she told me how they had managed to disassociate almost every NST member in the D.C. region, simply by assigning a daimoku team of Courageous Heart members to chant for each NST member as much as they could, especially when they were being visited by their SGI contact, and that specific daimoku team was alerted via phone tree calling, texts and emails regarding imminent events and then following that up with progress reports on what happened during those interactions. Since this was just a few years after 9/11, and D.C. was a target of two of the planes (one of which was crashed in Pennsylvania due to the passengers' united efforts to retake the cockpit) I could understand the intensity of their motivation.
We incremented their method with NST member anonymity by assigning them anonymized pseudonyms and a brief anonymized description, so that signup sheets for daimoku teams and emails could be posted on the Soka Spirit bulletin board in the SGI Buddhist center, with directions to sign up for no more than three (to prevent dilution.) This supported the creation of distribution lists for activity alerts and progress reports. Both the alerts and reports could be anonymized as well, although we were not practicing that discipline in our efforts at the time so as to remain engaging in the narratives: there is a dynamic tension between the engaging quality of potentially identifying narrative detail and anonymity.
There are many possible variations of this, but they probably should all include a daimoku team solidly behind the Courageous Heart contact at the critical moment and chanting for the disassociation of a small number of NST members per team member, with a layer of anonymity for all NST members in any public postings, emails and texts (to avoid any potential violations of privacy and litigation thereof.)
____ How That Went ________________________________________
"Plans are worthless, but planning is everything. There is a very great distinction because when you are planning for an emergency you must start with this one thing: The very definition of 'emergency' is that it is unexpected, therefore it is not going to happen the way you are planning." - General Dwight Eisenhower
"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson
In late July, 2004 we held the first ever region-wide Soka Spirit convention. The attendees were split into multiple groups and the facilitators roved through those groups in rotating topics. I was with Keiro, our noble Japanese lady Soka Spirit region leader talking about Courageous Heart and disassociating temple members. She gave her Courageous Heart experience in Meguro District, Japan with Mr. Sasaki and the Shoshinkai priests in the 1970s, and I talked about the parallels between Courageous Heart work and the actions of Maudgalyayana and Shariputra in disassociating the 500 priests from Sensei's book The Living Buddha, Devadatta's Revolt chapter. All 3 of the sessions we rotated through went very well, to a packed house. People listened closely to Keiro, she is the most sincere of SGI leaders. In spite of her struggles with English, her true heart shines brightly on all occasions.
The other groups struggled a little more, and when we all came together at the end to hear our Zone Soka Spirit Leader Patrick Kelleher speak, there was an uproar (no doubt produced by her and my denunciations of the Nichiren Shoshu Priesthood.) One lady, a district leader spoke up and complained about all of the "priest-bashing" she had heard this day. "Stop bashing the priests!" she demanded. Clearly to her this was just an unfortunate disagreement that could be settled by compromise and dialog between the two sides, and that dialing down the rhetoric was the first step in that process.
Patrick Kelleher carefully explained that the priesthood itself had been plotting our excommunication for the longest time, due to their distortions of Buddhism, and that there simply could be no compromise with these distortions that the Founders (Nichiren, Nikko and Nichimoku) would certainly not tolerate. He also mentioned that President Ikeda considered this activity as crucial to Kosen Rufu. That surly response from the district leader was a sour note to end on, but it would not be the last we would hear from that tune.
Out of that Soka Spirit conference alone we got a handful of disassociations, as some SGI members who were drifting around NST got attention focused on their old friends and their difficulties, and as other people communicated through dialog and those communications were passed on to Keiro and Sunas, her closest supporter and stalwart friend, who was the most active women's division area leader for Soka Spirit. We were building a huge momentum towards something big that we couldn't perceive clearly.
I had always tried to maintain a high profile on my Soka Spirit activities, while trying to maintain a low profile on my Courageous Heart activities. I was blithely unaware that I would be at the white hot center of what was coming, as we moved into completely uncharted territory. Our strategy was starting to take shape:
1. We determined to try to get together to do a toso during the time that a Courageous Heart contact is visiting or even talking to their temple member. If that was not possible to arrange, then by a phone tree (you call a few callers with some notification, and then you divide up the rest to call) we would get people to chant separately: that was the Washington D.C. approach, because of the difficulty of getting together in one place in D.C.
2. We determined to get 10 or more SGI members signed up to chant daily for the disassociation of each individual temple member: that was another Washington the D.C approach. [Personally, I determined to get upwards of 100 chanting for the disassociation of our top temple member, Eurydice, and to keep them in the loop somehow on that effort.]
3. We determined to chant for 12 hours on the Saturday just before the monthly temple meeting on Sunday: that was the ex-college football player's approach.
4. We determined to try to chant during that Sunday temple meeting for 90 minutes: that was Keiro's approach.
I came back from a trip to NYC in December 2004 to attend New Year's Gongyo at the Buddhist Center, with a wonderful speech from Linda Johnson, filling in for Wendy Clark, who could not make it.
The "hands guy" (to be explained later) gave an experience and at the end he said that he owed all of his success in life to "Yoga, and the SGI", in that order. I wondered if anyone else noticed the order of that preference. I know it seems like a niggling point, but these things always begin with a tiny manifestation. The Yoga Sutras are described in the Gosho as a provisional Buddhist teaching preached by the Bodhisattva Maitreya, and it is a connecting teaching, I believe. All practices of the provisional Mahayana teachings became the enemy of the Lotus Sutra and its followers after the Lotus Sutra was preached, a little less than 3000 years ago, according to Nichiren Daishonin.
At the end, Linda Johnson's final words on Soka Spirit and Courageous Heart were inspiring; she really promoted bringing back temple members, and re-affirmed that Sensei had made it clear that disassociating just one temple member was like doing one hundred shakubuku. So, everyone heard that crucial message from her.
I can only describe my leader, Keiro, the Japanese lady Soka Spirit leader in that region as this: it was like she walked out of the pages of Gosho. So determined and so fearless, she had been dealing with the priesthood issues since the middle 1970s in Japan: facing their total arrogance and false superiority (and conversely, our inferiority as members of the SGI.)
Early on in our efforts, during a weekly Sunday Soka Spirit meeting the men's division region leader introduced a district leader and said that she had something to say, and that he wanted everyone just to be silent and not respond, but just to listen. He said this especially meant me, because with my knowledge of Buddhism and formidable ability to speak, it caused people to not speak up. Everyone was silent and respected his authority.
She explained that she and others were upset, because in the recent conference for district leaders and meeting for group leaders that we had spent altogether too much time attacking the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood. She said that we should, "Stop the priest bashing!"
Then, the men's division region leader took over and actually repeated what she said, "We have to stop all the priest bashing!" If I had died at that moment, I would have lived too long, to hear one of Sensei's senior leaders openly thwart his great desire to defeat the Temple and Nikkenism by disassociating the Temple members. I had a wish that I had never heard the term 'priest-bashing', and certainly not emerging from the mouth of an SGI leader.
I looked over at Keiro and Sunas, her stalwart Soka Spirit area leader friend, and they were weeping pitifully. If you heard Keiro's experience in Japan during the early 1970's with the Nichiren Shoshu priest who was a Shoshinkai member at the time and who openly attacked Gakkai members, and openly berated Mr. Sasaki, the Gakkai leader in front of everyone during the Oko lecture: I felt sure that she was reliving that experience. My heart turned to stone in that moment, because this was going to be a war and I was going to win it, no matter what, or who was on the other side. Line 'em up!
As we practiced together, and after finding out that I chant for several hours every day, Keiro told me about a lady SGI member, we'll call her "Orphea", who was a friend and Courageous Heart contact for the Temple member Eurydice who traveled around the country in almost every state, doing trade shows and meeting people and getting them to practice with NST.
Eurydice would talk about how she would lead meetings alongside Rev. Taishin Takano at Myohoji Temple in L.A. who appreciated that she was bringing in lots of people with upper middle class incomes. Her SGI friend was suffering greatly from this relationship and not chanting enough daimoku. After hearing the stories from the young women's division member from D.C. I knew what method should be employed. As we posted the daimoku lists for Temple members, some youth division and Soka Spirit members came in to sign up, and a couple of members signed on for Eurydice. But it was not a rush to take part, just a trickle.
As the get-togethers for Eurydice and Orphea proceeded, they met in different places around the area, and sometimes Eurydice would stay at Orphea's house. This was all the subject of alerts and emails written in my punchy pro style, trying to keep the followers of the saga engaged in the progress. That style was sometimes criticized for not being serious, and the temperature from friction began to heat up the region environment. People talked: who is this guy, why is he doing this? Keiro never flinched in her total support of our efforts, she was well aware of what was coming, although I had no idea yet. Keiro also sensed something about me that I was not completely aware of: that I had a vendetta and would not stop. That remains to be true.
On Tuesday, May 10, 2005, an emergency email was sent out to get people to chant, because a woman's division Courageous Heart leader from Southern California was going to make an impromptu attempt to disassociate Eurydice and her entourage in their resort location.
She boldly went there, but we didn't get on it fast enough with our daimoku to be any help, so she could not seem to find the place, got turned around, etc. It was a very frustrating experience for her, according to Orphea. As difficult as it was, it had incalculable value, because we learned from our mistakes in how poorly we supported her. We would try harder to be ready with daimoku blazing the next time.
For the next Courageous Heart visit, we decided to try and get more daimoku lined up (for the first time simultaneously supporting a disassociation in the region) through an email notification in advance and a phone tree focused on the moment when the undertaking was in progress.
Orphea's plan was that her husband was going to try and drive Eurydice and Orphea down to their resort abode so that they could all go out on Saturday night and see Dwight Yoakum in concert, and leave Orphea there on Sunday, and then later that week Eurydice would drive Orphea back so that they could do some things together at Orphea's place (and maybe attend some opportunistic SGI meetings). With some luck, we could control the initial part of that schedule, so that we could time their disassociation conversations to fall on a Sunday morning, in the middle of the strength of the Soka Spirit toso for which we normally had 30 to 50 people chanting at the Buddhist Center. That would be so fine!
Those two ladies adore Dwight Yoakam, they are both completely enthralled by his guitar-slinging style of honky-tonk music. I could feel the rising pulse of friction from every alert and report I emailed regarding them and their excited anticipation for the concert together. I mentioned that this positive cause of bringing them together might invigorate Dwight Yoakam's flagging career, since he had not had a hit in quite a while. That went down like a stone, but after this event his career did take a turn into character acting with good reviews in a dozen movies like the successful "Wedding Crashers" and many dozens of episodes in half a dozen television series. Turns out, he was both funny and scary in roles, a real actor.
On Saturday night before the critical toso, I talked to Orphea briefly: they had a great time up front close to Dwight Yoakum in his show, it was perfect. We were ready for Sunday morning.
On Sunday morning I talked to her again briefly and they started in after our daimoku got going. We chanted our hearts out, and since I didn't get any more calls from Orphea at the resort, and the normal toso time was nearing to a close, I had hopes things were progressing. I figured some of us would stay after, since she hadn't given us a call to tell us what was going on.
We chanted especially hard during the Soka Spirit Toso for this critical disassociation following the expressed desire from Sensei in 2002 to disassociate top Temple members. Looking around I noticed something odd, a men's division Soka Spirit leader was giving a women's division member who had a serious case of cancer some kind of massage without touching her with his hands in the back of the room. I thought: "Why is he doing that now and why here?" It just seemed out of place, for some reason I could not put my finger on.
After our normal time ended at 11AM, several of us were going out the door to go to help out at the Youth Division Picnic. At this point I received a frantic call from Orphea at the resort, begging us to start chanting hard. She said that things had been proceeding well, and that Eurydice was very open to attending an SGI meeting (and even to coming back to the SGI), and she was even talking about how she liked President Ikeda's speeches and writings ... and then her NST partner walked in and started talking about the "transmission from Nichiren to the High Priest" and all that rot.
So, I told her I would get whomever I could back in front of the Gohonzon, bearing down on it. Also, I mentioned that:
1. Nichiren left all of Buddhism in the care of Nikko, his appointed heir, on the last night of his life.
2. Nikko established the Fuji school with 26 Admonitions, stating that ignoring even one would make a priest not a follower of Nikko.
3. Nikken and all of Nichiren Shoshu violate nearly all of them, most obviously Admonition 25 which requires priests to be celibate (Nikken has a wife and family for public proof of his stubborn refusal to follow Nikko).
4. Hence, any transmission from Nichiren would not come through Nikko to Nikken, or any other obstinate false priest.
So, I grabbed everyone I could from the front, and tried to get everyone to sit down and chant more for Eurydice and Orphea. I noticed that the hands guy and the cancer lady were still involved in what they were doing, I said, "Hi, Orphea is begging for us to chant because everything is blowing up over there, can I get you guys to help?" The hands guy said, "After a while." and continued with their negotiation. Eventually, later, they came over. I decided that the whole thing was odd, and I needed to think about it and understand what had gone down.
She called back, and she said that the NST partner made the astonishing counter-argument that Nikko could be one of the screwed-up priests and that they were connected directly to Nichiren through High Priest Nikken. [An astounding admission of their mindset.]
So I gave her the argument that:
1. Nikko was the one and only top disciple to Nichiren Daishonin, and would eternally hold that position.
2. Nikko and and his disciple Nichimoku were undermined after Nichiren Daishonin's death, by the slander and treason of the Five Senior Priests at Minobu, who thought they could skip around Nikko to Nichiren, ignoring Nichiren's final admonition of his life in two transfer documents that Nikko was the Chief Priest of Nichiren's Buddhism at Kuon-ji (Minobu).
3. So, Nikko formed the Fuji School at Taisekiji, and set down his determination for Kosen Rufu in 26 Admonitions for his followers to sincerely engrave upon their hearts (Josei Toda's expressed intent for the youth division). [Even if they do not understand them fully.]
4. Therefore, those in the Fuji school founded by Nikko at Taisekiji, can only skip past Nikko to attempt to connect to Nichiren by going to Minobu Sect, where the followers of the Five Senior Priests believe they can ignore Nichiren and Nikko's final desires. [For them, Nichiren and Nikko must be truly dead.]
We hung up the phone and continued chanting hard. I simply had no idea how this would go.
Orphea called back again. She said that Eurydice said that she would be happy to go to a meeting back in Henderson, but only if Orphea would come to the Temple (Myohoji) with her. Orphea, in her eagerness to win, said OK. I said, wait a second, that she could not imagine the effects upon her life from the slander of going to Myohoji and hanging out with that Chief Priest Takano.
This was because of violating these admonitions of Nikko:
#6. Lay believers should be strictly prohibited from visiting [heretical] Temples and shrines. Moreover, priests should not visit slanderous Temples or shrines, which are inhabited by demons, even if only to have a look around. To do so would be a pitiful violation [of the Daishonin's Buddhism.] This is not my own personal view; it wholly derives from the sutras [of Shakyamuni] and the writings [of Nichiren Daishonin].
#21. You should not sit together with slanderers of the Law [at religious ceremonies] for fear of suffering the same punishment as they.
So I said that this was an uneven bargain, that if Eurydice would go to an SGI meeting near Orphea, the equivalent thing would be for Orphea to attend an NST meeting in that same locale.
And that Eurydice making Orphea go to Myohoji was like Orphea making Eurydice go to the SGI Headquarters in Santa Monica to see Danny Nagashima. So she had agreed to an incredibly lopsided bargain which was unfair.
We hung up the phone and continued chanting hard.
Orphea called back a half an hour later. She was in the car leaving the resort with her husband (so no further negotiations were possible at that point.)
She said that Eurydice had agreed to come to Santa Monica to the SGI Headquarters and have a meeting with Orphea, Edward Clark, and Danny Nagashima.
I was nonplussed, and things had proceeded well beyond my tenuous grasp of the situation.
In summary: Orphea and I agreed that:
1. Eurydice was ready to come back to the SGI, and we agreed that would mean she could likely bring her sizable group of followers, who are attached to her.
2. Her NST partner was the sticking point, but that a wonderful thing had happened in the resort: that her partner and Orphea's husband had formed a solid friendship, that they really liked each other and that this occurrence was crucial.
3. That Dwight Yoakum was coming nearby in the early summer and that in any case, Eurydice would be staying with Orphea and her husband then.
Before hanging up, I told Orphea that she and her husband were the most amazing Gakkai heroes, like characters that stepped out of a novel or a Greek Myth. I asked them to be very careful on the drive back, that rapture from a positive result was a serious danger.
On Wednesday, May 25, 2005 we had a Soka Spirit meeting, with an odd occurrence. Somewhere in the middle of a perfectly rational discussion about the Temple and the need to protect members against the Nikken distortions of Nichiren's Buddhism, an older Japanese men's division area leader burst out with "We have to stop all of the priest-bashing!"
I turned and looked at him as if he had three heads. I asked, "Oh did that message come down from central?" I was going to ask him which SGI Guideline this was and could I see it (, please?). But he answered that it was not from central and we moved on to the next topic. This was the second time I had heard this obscenity regarding the priests bent on our destruction and the end of Kosen Rufu, from an SGI leader and that was two times more than I ever wanted to hear it from SGI leaders. In spite of this, I let it go, because I felt like bigger things were about to pop, and you need to choose your targets carefully when you are already in the middle of a melee.
On Wednesday, June 8, 2005, I reported in email that instead of coming to Orphea's house, Eurydice had instead traveled in the other direction to the Temple at Myohoji. My distribution-list had grown bigger, including the Southern California Soka Spirit Zone Leader at that time. At this point, though, only a few were chanting for this activity, so there was always partial success. However, tiny acorns -> mighty oaks; first a trickle -> a river.
On Monday, June 13, 2005, I reported a little more on Myohoji's effects on Eurydice's partner, and that the focus was now on the coming Dwight Yoakam concert weekend, which was a BIG DEAL to these two women. Yoakum was struggling at the time, and so I offered the group a strange request, to chant for Dwight not to cancel out on his concert, for everything to go smoothly and these ladies should have a good time. I really felt that I was facilitating this program for Keiro and Sensei, and whatever point of focus was on the two girl's menu was not my concern: Yoakam or something else. I got a lot of strange comments and looks from this, though (and I truly could care less regarding social pressure when I am busy doing something Sensei has asked us to do).
Around the end of June, I got a little present, something unexpected. I was talking to the hands guy at the Buddhist Center, and he said he wanted to show me something that was in his car. As he opened his right rear door, a book fell out, entitled Reiki. I said, "What's that?" He said that was something that he did. It was a healing art. I said that I had never even heard that word before. I was paging through the book, and he was very nervous. The hands guy said, "I'm a Reiki Master. You're not going to take that away from me, too, are you?" I thought that what he had said was a truly remarkable thing to say. I said that I had no idea what Reiki was, and had never heard of it in my life. Inside I knew that within a day or two, I would know everything I needed to know about it. There was no question how this would turn out:
From "Encouragement to a Sick Person," WND, pp. 77-78:
... Moreover, every single person is guilty of slander of the
... Law, an offense exceeding even the ten evil acts or the
... five cardinal sins. Although few people slander the Lotus
... Sutra with actual words of abuse, there are none who accept
... it. Some appear to accept the sutra, but their faith in it
... is not as deep as their faith in the Nembutsu or other
... teachings. And even those with profound faith do not
... reproach the enemies of the Lotus Sutra. HOWEVER GREAT THE
... GOOD CAUSES ONE MAY MAKE, or even if one reads and copies
... the entirety of the Lotus Sutra a thousand or ten thousand
... times, or attains the way of perceiving three thousand
... realms in a single moment of life, IF ONE FAILS TO DENOUNCE
... THE ENEMIES OF THE LOTUS SUTRA, IT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO
... ATTAIN THE WAY.
After some searching on the web, I wrote an article on Reiki Tantric practices (mudras) and after more polishing that became this writeup, stored as a google doc in pdf format (it's safe):
First, I reported all of this to Keiro, she heard it all and her eyes opened wide. When I explained the hidden connection to the Medicine Master Buddha Temples and their tozan Reiki tours in Japan, she said, "Yes, absolutely horrible", and said that I need say no more, she was a Japanese women's division and knew what was going on. She had a haunted look, like she knew what was coming, which I did not, and thanked me for all my efforts as she always did straight to the bitter end. I never heard a single complaint from her in feedback on the brutal withering attacks she had to face during this time and the crescendo that was building later: her total unyielding support of this crucial disassociation was epic Gakkai heroism.
Secondly, I approached the Reiki master with the early version of my writeup on Reiki printed out. I handed it to him and said, "You ought to know about this." Now, I had lit the fuse.
Thirdly, I reported this to the men's division region leader (the no-priest-bashing-guy), who did not take it well and did not understand that slander of the Law undermines these kinds of efforts at all. He and the Reiki master later blew up into a public issue in the email, that which I had attempted to handle quietly. And probably this was the right thing to do, in retrospect.
My efforts to support this crucial disassociation never ceased through all this, since I considered all of this as a distraction, but as Nichiren Daishonin points out repeatedly, an absolutely necessary one. I knew all of this could blow up in my face, but in that case I had made all the right causes, never once trading one off against the other: the potential result of this crucial disassociation against the necessity of rebuking slander of the Law, especially when that slander is executed in such a focal context and right in front of the open butsudan at the Buddhist Center. And the honest fact is, after the first few times doing this difficult form of shakubuku, it gets easier to face up to someone's demons, in spite of the potential for a disastrous outcome.
I never flinched about that, I am totally confident of those points of slander and how they undermine Courageous Heart activities. I don't back down when I know I'm right. The fact that people are so stuck on these attachments that they become the issue, rather than securing an important Courageous Heart victory is another dead giveaway, although I'm sure my detractors see it in reverse. I knew that only one person in the world could prove me right: Eurydice, by becoming disassociated from the Nikken Sect: she was the true decider. I was counting on her to come through for me, she alone would confirm that my approach was correct. Little did I know how many others would intervene.
At a later time, the Reiki master came to me at the Center to try to explain that he didn't consider this practice to be Buddhist and to demonstrate the effect he started to raise his hands. I backed away abruptly, and said "Those are Tantric Buddhist mudras, nothing less, and you might as well be spinning a Tibetan prayer wheel."
While continuing to support the disassociation activities without pause, I waited calmly for the roof to cave in.
____ When The Storm Clouds Gathered ________________________
"Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy." - General Norman Schwarzkopf
On Sunday July 10, 2005, a meeting was assembled at the Buddhist Center for the first discussion of the Reiki issue. The participants were the first Reiki master, the young men's division region leader, the two Soka Spirit members: a former college football player and an ex-marine special ops guy, the older Japanese men's division leader (#2 no-priest-bashing-guy), the men's division region leader (#1 no-priest-bashing-guy) and myself. The region leaders presided over this meeting in a fair and balanced manner.
To set things up, I briefly explained the history. I mentioned the fact that I only brought this up to men's division region leader in private, because of the connection to the daimoku toso for the disassociation of Eurydice. I also mentioned that only days before, we had received a message from Sensei putting the current disassociations of temple members as a zone-level priority, that meant number one ahead of anything else.
The youth division region leader said (with the men's division region leader nodding vigorously, they were of one mind on this), "Everything Sensei asks us to do is the number one priority."
First, I was floored by the open and cynical ignoring of what Sensei admonishes us to do. I simply am determined to accomplish Sensei's most important goals, no matter what. I set that issue aside: it was clearly beyond the mind of the group to grasp this issue in the allowable time without blowing up the meeting. This was two generations of fundamental ignorance.
Secondly, the whole point of establishing priorities in a distributed communications context is that they are continually re-established anew: the priority regime is never static.
Hence, I simply reset the priority order when I am given a new number one by Sensei, and carry on with activities, but with a new highest priority. I set that confusion aside; it could not be explained in the allowable time. So, we carried on.
The young men's division leader launched in that he had done his own web research and that the founder of Reiki (Mikao Usui) was not creating something Buddhist, it was just an Asian healing art and appeared innocuous.
I told the part about the split between the Westernized and Traditional Reiki Gakkai, and that it was for covering up connections to Buddhism to hide that from the Christian organizations they were marketing their services to in an extreme distortion of Zuiho Bini (originally, acting in accordance with local custom so long as the fundamental principles of Buddhism are not violated). So there were a lot of web sites that hid the truth, but that I would eventually be able to come up with absolute proof of this connection. This was an impasse, of course: two competing theories with lots of evidence pointing both ways. At that time I was still unaware of the referral networks aspect and Reiki Tozan Tours to their temples in Japan.
The young men's division leader said that he would prefer to have me simply offer up the facts and to allow the readers to make their own conclusions. I thought, "What if I offer up the facts in a form with precisely two dots, and they only have to connect those?" However, I kept my mouth shut on that one.
The older Japanese men's division leader spoke up and said that he had been the person that led the first Reiki master into this Reiki thing. I looked at him in astonishment. The first Reiki master had sincerely come to him for guidance looking for some way to penetrate the barriers between himself and other people socially, and the older Japanese men's division leader suggested Reiki. I was flabbergasted, I thought, "How could you send someone into something like this without a cursory examination of the source?" However, there were things I did not yet know about this situation.
Grasping at straws to defeat this thing that I knew and could not yet prove was wrong, I brought up the ORG-031 SGI Guideline regarding financial transactions that expressly forbade marketing your services in the SGI. The first Reiki master said, "I was not selling that session to that lady [who was a Courageous Heart member with cancer] during the toso [for the disassociation of Eurydice], it was a free Reiki session."
I countered that free samples are not really free, they are an entrée to commercial product sales, and did he have further sessions with this lady? He said that he had one time at her home, also free. I said, "Free, so far."
I made my point directly to the men's division region leader, "This runs counter to ORG-031. It's definitely commercial services being transacted inside the Community Center, and by a senior leader." The older Japanese men's division leader nodded briskly. The men's division region leader looked trapped, but responded in a quarter-second, "Reiki out to the parking lot!" The first Reiki master was stunned and looked back at the men's division region leader in stricken disbelief at the perceived betrayal, "What?" The men's division region leader re-emphasized, "OUT IN THE PARKING LOT!"
Pushing it further (I always like to push the stake right through the heart and out the back), I said "Also, Reiki practice should not occur inside any Gakkai activity or meeting." No one responded to that, but they didn't need to, ORG-031 made this point clearly: it was not by location, but categorical.
I could see from the men's division region leader's expression that I would pay dearly later for forcing this decision. As they say in Zen, the nail that stands up gets hammered down, and the carpenter has a mighty big hammer. Of course, Zen is the invention of the heavenly devil, who is always the carpenter in these critical moments aiming squarely for our sore Gakkai heads. It's not personal.
Now, I completely understood the region leader's position in this and sympathized deeply, I am not without compassion for the people I am dealing with in these difficult circumstances. One of the tasks of leaders in the SGI is to keep the lid on the boiling pot of member's issues: to resolve disputes without favor according to the guidelines, and I was clearly making this impossible for him, and completely unrelenting in my methods. However, sympathy is low on the list of my playbook. Number one is making sure that Sensei procures the total and unmitigated defeat of the Temple before he passes away, and to the Japanese that means, as Truman puts it: "unconditional surrender," at least of the Head Temple at Taisekiji. Number one is also protecting the Law, the Gohonzon, Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra, the entity of the mystic Law, the members of the SGI, and the Kosen Rufu movement of the SGI, simultaneously, without trading one off against the other, no matter what, no matter who tries to undermine or defeat me, to win every battle and vanquish every foe in delivering to Sensei a total victory. Number one is also propagating the Law and doing shakubuku, not shoju during the Latter Day of the Law, without begrudging my life. And to always do this with a smile and a sunny outlook, with humor and grace if possible, or completely without when necessary.
Later, I asked some of the other Soka Spirit members and they said there were a few other leaders in the region, some selling Reiki services out of a local Reiki salon to the members of the SGI, to make some extra cash, or to support themselves as this leader was doing. I perceived that the incoming wave of attacks would be serious, but I lack the horse-sense to duck for cover.
Back in June 2002 at the FNCC for Soka Spirit, I had spotted Mrs. Hachiya, the Tokyo Courageous Heart veteran campaigner who had seen everything there is to see concerning people, seated at a table with her translator. So I sat down and started talking about my life, about how often that people, like some managers or co-workers at work, would first love me and then in spite of my efforts to be pleasant and never disparage anyone, and never take a case to HR no matter how verbally or physically ill-treated I was, how just in dealing with the realities of projects, co-workers and managers would end up hating me violently, although later when things worked out for the best on my projects, some would forgive me and come to appreciate me. Mrs. Hachiya listened carefully and then summed up my life in three words: "Negative life tendency. If you weren't practicing, you would be long dead." I accept her judgement. I like to think of myself as proof of the Lotus Sutra, since I feel that I am always the least worthy of any Bodhisattvas in any room. And I am most grateful for the lack of distinctions between the Buddha and her/his followers.
Quoted here from the Lotus Sutra - Chapter 2: Expedient Means, p. 70:
... Shariputra, you should know
... that at the start I took a vow,
... hoping to make all persons
... equal to me, WITHOUT ANY DISTINCTION BETWEEN US,
... and what I long ago hoped for
... has now been fulfilled.
And explained here from the Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings (transcribed by Nikko Shonin from the lectures on the Lotus Sutra by Nichiren Daishonin),
Chapter 2: Expedient Means, pp. 39-41:
... Point Six, regarding the passage "Shāriputra, you should
... know / that at the start I took a vow, / hoping to make all
... persons / equal to me, without any distinction between us,
... / and what I long ago hoped for / has now been fulfilled. /
... I have converted all living beings / and caused them all to
... enter the Buddha way."
... The commentary [volume four of Words and Phrases] says,
... "This points out the cause [for the attainment of
... Buddhahood] in order to encourage faith."
... The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings says: The
... "I" here refers to Shakyamuni Buddha, who in fact attained
... Buddhahood in the remote past. This Shakyamuni Buddha of
... the essential teaching is none other than we, living beings.
... The "me" in the phrase "equal to me" [that is, the Buddha]
... represents the last seven of the ten factors of life. The
... living beings of the nine worlds represent the first three
... of the ten factors. We living beings are the parent, and
... the Buddha is the child. Father and son constitute a single
... entity, a beginning and end that are ultimately equal. We
... living beings are described in the "Life Span" chapter of
... the Lotus Sutra as the Buddha eternally endowed with the
... three bodies.
... Nichiren and his followers, who today chant
... Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, are the ones meant here. And if we
... stop to think of it, we realize that the two vows taken by
... Shakyamuni, the universal or general vow and the individual
... or particular vow, were taken for the sake of living beings
... such as us. Therefore when Nichiren chants
... Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, vowing to make it possible for all the
... living beings in this country of Japan to attain
... Buddhahood, this is what is described in the sutra in the
... words "at the start I took a vow, / hoping to make all
... persons / equal to me." And when in the end he has guided
... and led all beings so that they become one with the Buddha
... himself, you should understand that this is what is
... referred to by the words "what I long ago hoped for / has
... now been fulfilled."
... In the phrase "has now been fulfilled" (kon ja i manzoku),
... the character i means "already." What is the passage
... referring to when it says that "now it has already been
... fulfilled"? On the whole, the commentaries of T'ien-t'ai
... indicate that the "already" refers to the pronouncement on
... the "true aspect of all phenomena" made earlier by the
... Buddha. But from the point of view of the teachings of our
... school, you should understand that it refers to
... Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, and that this is what is being
... described in the words "now it has already been fulfilled."
... For this reason the passage "hoping to make all persons /
... equal to me, without any distinction between us" is one of
... great importance. "What I long ago hoped for" is the True
... Cause. And "to make all persons / equal to me, without any
... distinction between us" is the True Effect. The Shakyamuni
... Buddha of perfect enlightenment is our own flesh and blood.
... His practices and the resulting virtues are our bones and
... marrow, are they not?
... The commentary of T'ien-t'ai says, "This points out the
... cause [for the attainment of Buddhahood] in order to
... encourage faith." "Pointing out the cause" is none other
... than the True Effect. And now when Nichiren chants
... Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, he is enabling all living beings to
... attain Buddhahood in the ten thousand years of the Latter
... Day of the Law. Is it not right, therefore, to say, "What I
... long ago hoped for / has now been fulfilled"?
... "Already" refers to the daimoku, which was chanted for the
... first time on the twenty-eighth day of the fourth month of
... the fifth year of the Kenchō era (1253), and hence we may
... think of it as something that has taken place "already."
... There can be no question that through this act the truly
... excellent medicine of the Wonderful Law is being applied in
... order to cure the grave illness of darkness that afflicts
... all living beings. In the light of this act, Nichiren has
... "fulfilled" his vow. "Fulfilled" may also be taken to refer
... to the achieving of Buddhahood on the part of the living
... The passage in a commentary [volume one of On "Great
... Concentration and Insight"] says, "Perfect means perfect
... and interfused or perfect and full. Sudden means sudden and
... complete or sudden and satisfactory." You should think
... about this.
____ When The Clock Struck High Noon ______________________
"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."
– General Colin Powell
"A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood." - General George Patton
The big showdown came by surprise, predictably, but nevertheless unperceived by me due to tunnel vision. However, I was unusually prepared for it by some miracle, due to an immediately previous series of prior interactions and investigations. Also, I had my bookmarked copy of the Gosho volume one with me, which is my sword, and my armor of perseverance and forbearing, which is a metric ton of daimoku:
... armor of perseverance: (Jpn ninniku-no-yoroi):
... Also, armor of forbearance. A metaphor for the spiritual
... endurance with which one withstands insult or persecution.
... The armor of perseverance is also that which protects one
... against evils and hindrances. The "Encouraging Devotion"
... (thirteenth) chapter of the Lotus Sutra says: "In a muddied
... kalpa, in an evil age there will be many things to fear.
... Evil demons will take possession of others and through them
... curse, revile, and heap shame on us. But we, reverently
... trusting in the Buddha, will put on the armor of
... perseverance. In order to preach this sutra we will bear
... these difficult things."
This was a big Soka Spirit meeting with Southern California Zone Team MD leader, Bruce Kraut. As I was going in, a woman's division leader caught up to me and informed me that there was a meeting after the big meeting in a smaller meeting room, and that I should attend. I said, absolutely, I'll be there. Then she said something that in retrospect, should have made me worry. She said, "I'd like to be a fly on the wall in that meeting!" Later, I would learn from another Soka Spirit member that she was another one of the Gakkai Reiki masters.
Bruce Kraut started out in the standard way, by reminding everyone of the history:
1. When President Toda hooked the Soka Gakkai up with Nichiren Shoshu after the war, they were flat broke.
2. We had built all those Temples and restored Taisekiji with our money.
3. After forcing Sensei to resign, they had needed us again to save them from the Shoshinkai.
4. After getting enough money from us, they had excommunicated us, not the other way around.
5. Most importantly, their distortions of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism were an affront to the Daishonin that had to receive a response, etc.
Then Bruce Kraut added that standing up to arrogant authority was noble and individuals were like moles, taking their own initiative: they were exercising their own judgment without direction from leadership, because every situation was different. He also said [without referring to Sensei's recent memo of 7/4/2005: "Thank you for your Daimoku already underway. Let's continue to chant Daimoku to overcome this situation. All Zones should be participating in disassociation."] that President Ikeda wanted us to continue doing disassociations of Temple members.
The next questioner was the first Reiki master himself. He launched into me, without saying my name ... Soka Spirit guys who were self-appointed judge and jury of the practice of others ... Nazi oppression ... telling everyone else what to do. He was clearly very angry at the ORG-031 restriction of his activities, but as Howard Fineman of Newsweek has written, once you call someone a Nazi, you have already lost whatever argument you were having, and this was literally true in this case.
Bruce Kraut was very quick and short with his answer, and said something I had never heard before, but which is a fundamental Buddhist view I have embraced since. He said that when someone has a tirade like that with such unrestrained rage, they are "screaming in the mirror" and that what was going on in these cases had more to do with the person doing the screaming than whomever or whatever they were screaming about.
They cut the meeting short, and I assumed that was because something was happening afterwards. As we were leaving, the men's division region leader invited myself and two of my closest friends in Soka Spirit, the ex-marine corps special ops guy, and the ex-college football player into the small meeting room, to meet with visiting Soka Spirit Zone leader
The ex-marine said, "Here we go!" I adjusted my armor (Gosho) and grimaced.
The meeting consisted of the three of us local Soka Spirit members, a group of area leaders and the men's division region leader, the first Reiki master and Bruce Kraut. The seating order counter-clockwise around the table was the men's division region leader at the head, Bruce Kraut, the first Reiki master, the ex-marine, the men's division area leader and black belt karate master, the ex-college football player, a women's division area leader, the women's division Soka Spirit area leader Sunas standing in for Keiro, the young men's division region leader, another older men's division leader, a previously critical women's division leader, and myself sitting next to the men's division region leader at the head (to the best of my recollection).
The men's division region leader started out, with no appearance whatsoever of the fair and balanced, and even-handed presentation he had demonstrated in previous engagements.
He was basically condemning the Soka Spirit members for criticizing the practice of others, becoming like the Shoshinkai of the SGI (I had armed him for this earlier by pointing out to him that Soka Spirit must take precautions to avoid this fate), and for picking on people for their practice of Reiki, the martial arts and Zen.
There was no mention of his ban against the first Reiki master's practice inside the Buddhist Center, because of violating the ORG-031 guidelines regarding commercialization, or anything like that. It was simply a strong attack on the whistle-blower, who was me [except I really did not blow the whistle, I just whispered it privately to the men's division region leader and he blew the whistle]. There was also no mention of Sensei's message, still warm from coming over the wires, pleading with us to do the disassociations and with the Zones to support those disassociations.
Once again, fine. I would play by their rules and win anyway. So, I didn't mention those lapses in memory and support of our mission, or the recent policy enforcement towards the first Reiki master on the part of men's division region leader, which would be playing self-defense but allowing the mission of disassociation itself to be brought into question. The men's division region leader was indicating that I should defend myself, for my actions alone.
I started to open my Gosho to read the quote (given at the top) about failing to denounce slander preventing enlightenment, and Bruce Kraut indicated that I should not read from the Gosho, I should just dialog. I said, "OK, I know what's in there; it's just that I like to quote accurately." [I guessed that there was not going to be any Gosho-thumping today!]
I pointed out that the Daishonin made it abundantly clear that failing to correct slander of the Law guarantees that you cannot attain the way. He also pointed out in the Letter to Akimoto that the worst
slanders were the four dictums: Nembutsu leads to the hell of incessant sufferings, Zen is the invention of the heavenly devil, Shingon will ruin the nation and that Precepts are traitorous.
Of course, since that time the Tendai, Shinto, and the Nichiren Temples led by Nichiren Shoshu had become even worse, but that did not confer wholesomeness upon the four dictums. No amount of new evil can ever do that. That's a red herring.
I started out by recounting the disassociation-toso story relating the oddness with the first Reiki master and the sick lady at the back of the room, when things blew up. I described the Reiki book falling out of the first Reiki master's car, and the odd thing he said about not taking this away from him, too. I said that I had raised this issue to the men's division region leader in an effort to handle it on the down-low, and that the subsequent meeting that we just had and the email storm from that were what created the disruption: I had no desire for that, only to proceed with and be successful doing disassociations.
I pointed out that I had never heard of Reiki before this, and listed everything I had found out about Reiki since: Yakushi-kyo, the medicine masters, the tantric connections, the traditional and Westernized split between the two Reiki organizations, the extreme Zuiho Bini hiding the roots of the essentially Buddhist practice. I told the story about the area leader in Britain and the Santeria master he followed, who ended up wearing his Gohonzon around her neck, and that I didn't want things here to end up like that.
After I brought up the Reiki book falling out of the first Reiki master's car, to the right of me he spoke up and said, "You had no right to read that book."
I replied, "I didn't open the car door and make it fall out at my feet, you did that."
The first Reiki master said, "You're sneaking around and investigating me like the Gestapo, appointing yourself as judge and jury."
I said, "I only wanted to find out what Reiki is, because Reiki is hiding its true nature from public view. If something is a slander of the Law, people deserve to know the truth about it. People give Zaimu to support the SGI community center for Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism, not as a marketplace for slanderous practices."
The first Reiki master said, "You yourself have started a company with an SGI member for commercial purposes."
Sunas, the women's division Soka Spirit area leader and spoke up, "Wait a minute, you know it's not like a business!"
I said, "Sadly, you're right. It's a business plan up for the competition at a business school MBA program: there's no joint venture, no investment, no revenue of any kind. If it's successful and someone outside the SGI decides to back us with an investment, we'll be working for them as employees. I'm not scanning through the member's list looking for investors or customers!"
I didn't know what had prompted me to say that last sentence - it just leapt up out of my life as a defense, but the first Reiki master became very quiet, all-of-a-sudden, and Bruce Kraut had swiveled to the right and was looking at him very intently.
On my left, the previously critical women's division leader said, "There have been allegations of sexual harassment." I swiveled my head to the left somewhat and looked askance at her out of the corner of my eye, "What in the heck are you talking about?" I knew that I was in the clear; but I did not know about the ex-college football player and the ex-marine, so I didn't follow up on that, and I was immediately saved from that by the next question.
Across from me, the men's division area leader-black belt karate master asked forcefully, "What's this about the martial arts?" Now I knew why he had attended.
I said, "The only time that has come up, was when Orphea was getting the Gohonzon room at her home ready for an SGI group toso with Eurydice, recently. I advised her, so as to get rid of anything that might cause a fight, to remove her husband's nunchuks from the wall they were hanging on, and also any pictures of Sensei and Gakkai publications from the room. Now, I love Sensei, but I also know what it takes to win in these cases and I just wanted them to chant and not have an argument."
Not being deterred from his quarry, the karate master said, "But what about the connection you mentioned between the martial arts and Zen?"
I said, looking at the visiting Soka Spirit Zone leader, "I have never brought that up in a meeting, to avoid disrupting the SGI. The truth is out there, though and you can't avoid it. I will make two points and allow you to connect the dots, or not."
"Point One: Chuck Norris stated publicly and wrote in his book that 'All the martial arts are based on Zen.' Bruce Lee considered himself a Buddhist monk and his martial arts school as Buddhism. If you look even briefly in the martial arts historical web sites and books, they all point back to Buddhism and especially Zen, and the founder of Zen named Bodhidharma, or his aliases Ta Mo, Da Mo, or Daruma at the Shaolin monastery at Loyang in China. They don't hide it, they are extremely proud of their connection to Zen."
"Point Two: Nichiren Daishonin states categorically in the Letter to Akimoto that 'the Zen school is the invention of the heavenly Devil' and also in the Opening of the Eyes that Bodhidharma's followers had 'regretted what they had done when they were on their deathbed.' Now, I don't know about you, but that's enough for me to connect these two dots. But like I said, I have not brought that up in an SGI meeting, because no one has asked the question. Since you asked the question, I must answer honestly."
Across to my left, the other women's division leader asked, "But what if what you are saying disrupts unity?"
I said, "There are at least two kinds of unity. The one called Wagoso, literally means 'unity following the priest', which is clearly not what the SGI believes is good, which is why we have Soka Spirit. The one we like is Itai Doshin, which comes only from sincerely following the true teachings and practicing correctly. Itai Doshin is never really disrupted by facing the truth."
There was a sharp intake of breath from the previously critical women's division leader next to me, but she scowled and said nothing.
Across the room from us, the first Reiki master leapt up and said, "You're a Nazi! A Nazi!"
The men's division region leader grabbed the lead and turned to Bruce Kraut, the MD Zone Leader and asked, "So, what do you think?"
Bruce Kraut was very swift, he said, "I think there is a lot to think about. One thing that is clear, though, is that these three guys are fine examples of Soka Spirit members." Then he closed the meeting. It was late, and everyone just went home.
____ How Things Went After That ___________________________
"Tasks must be executed confidently and competently during the fog of battle." - U.S. Army Field Manual, Battle Focused Training, from "Combat Failure", Major William Moyer, School of Military Studies, Fort Leavenworth.
That next Sunday, the ex-college football player Soka Spirit member came up to me and mentioned that at some time in the past, that the first Reiki master had come up to him and had offered him a deal: if the ex-football player would steer SGI members desiring Reiki services to him, the first Reiki master would give him free Reiki services. I bit my tongue, because that would have been nice to know: I could have been more prosecutorial on the attack, and it would have been much easier to fight that fight, like fighting downhill instead of uphill. This was the first time that I learned about what is commonly known in Guerrilla Marketing as a "referral network," a parasite organization inside a host organization.
About a month later, the ex-marine Soka Spirit member told me that both of the leaders the women's division area leader (who wanted to be a "fly on the wall" at the meeting), and the women's division area leader (who attended that meeting and argued for inaction to preserve unity) were in fact, and had been for years, selling Reiki services inside the SGI, and that there were others in the region. I bit my tongue again. All of that was somewhat before ORG-031 (that mighty shield of the entity of the Mystic Law) was written, of course. Only the first Reiki master got snagged by that sudden and dramatic change in the gearing of the SGI machinery.
At a later meeting, the first Reiki master stood up and publicly apologized for not following the guidelines, but without mentioning his Reiki slanders blowing up the toso for the disassociation. Only we few got that point, so he receded from the battleground he had ignited and left it to his proxies to drive the stake through the heart of our efforts. After many months of attempts at Soka Spirit meetings with an array of visiting leaders to stop our efforts to disassociate Eurydice, we were still alive and kicking.
I thought about all the times that I wanted to keep the Reiki issue on the down-low and how each time it kept being shoved through a bullhorn and amplified to a hundred decibels. All those surprise meetings, for which I couldn't prepare.
I thought about how I was protected from the knowledge of how big the Reiki network was in the SGI and how bad it was, that might have caused someone as cold-heartedly calculating as myself to use a different and wider attack strategy other than the one that was chosen by the turn of events themselves.
I thought about how I was deprived of key knowledge at every step that would have allowed me to hone my prosecutorial attack to a profound level of arrogance, and how very fortunate that was: I can be overwhelmingly brutal when I am well-prepared.
My own small bodhisattva-with-sharpened-sword judgment was clearly insufficient to have engineered all of this. It was human revolution on a Region-wide, even a Zone-wide scale and the layers of the onion had been peeled back in a careful and deliberate manner, by who? Us? Who else? The Buddha is immanent and not transcendent. Every single participant's true self was coordinating in the choreography of this, even mine. It was an elaborate ballet/opera/symphony/drama.
Maybe this is actually what true unity looks like, not the mutually-suppressed harmony of a perfectly-raked Zen rock garden, but the improbable outcome of a complex and confusing narrative, like "Richard III" the play by Shakespeare, or "A Room with a View", the E. M Forster novel. Everybody played their part in the unfolding drama and the outcome hinging on several improbable turns of events. "A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!" - Richard III.
It was all, of course, not yet over and done with. The question was: did going through all of this disruption involving multiple levels of the SGI leadership destroy any chances of success in our efforts to disassociate Eurydice and her entourage and followers? There was no question that once we had fallen into the Reiki mess we could only exit that trouble by going through it as fast as possible, which is what we did: I would argue that the warp speed of this would take unity of a different order altogether than what one normally sees. The toso during the resort visit to Eurydice was May 23rd, the Reiki book falling out at my feet was June 14th, and the showdown meeting with the visiting Soka Spirit Zone leader was July 13th. That was a pretty speedy resolution (if it was actually resolved, we could not know this, yet).
Five days after that High Noon showdown, Eurydice attended an SGI daimoku toso chanting for a sick SGI member in the stripped down Gohonzon room at the house of Orphea. She required that it just be the two of them, which was fine with us, we deferred to her majesty.
There was a dry spell in the disassociation efforts for Eurydice in August and I attended an informal men's division get-together in the region at a member's home at the area level, we sat around a large table. The men's division region leader was there, but for a break I didn't get roasted this time (no visiting leaders.) Instead, during the chit-chat after the meeting, the men's division region leader came up and after a tiny amount of small talk, he said something truly incongruous, that someone had mentioned that I had the faith and capability of an Area leader, and maybe I should be one. I could tell that he was toying with me to see if I would jump at the bait. Even if it had made any sense whatsoever and was truly sincere, I had an all-consuming mission and I would see it through before taking on another. However, I could tell that it was not sincere, and I think that you really have to loathe someone thoroughly to do such a thing to them. I responded by saying absolutely nothing whatsoever.
On August 19th, a month afterwards, we heard that the sick SGI member that the informal Courageous Heart toso on July 18th was chanting for had passed away. I am deeply grateful to her for hanging in there long enough to make that activity happen at that specific time, three days after the showdown.
____ How the Tuscan Girl Saved the Day ____________________
"Employ your supernatural powers and watch me attain buddhahood. It will be even quicker than that!" - Dragon King's Daughter, Lotus Sutra, Chapter 12: Devadatta.
At this point I was having a hard time getting members to sign up to chant for Temple members (we had become a white-hot focal point of disruption.) There were more Temple members than Courageous Heart members signed up to chant for them. This was a launch failure, the rocket was sitting there on the launching pad, astronauts strapped in twiddling their thumbs.
As I stated previously, we would need to have a critical mass of at least 10 members chanting for each Temple member. In spite of my efforts, we had a fairly sparse signup chart on the bulletin board at the LVCC for nearly a year. I would go and pound my head on it several times a week, checking for new names, and only getting a couple of new signups a month. Nothing I did worked, but I kept pounding away, trying and not giving up. I was new in town and had neither the credibility, nor the engaging personality required to get people to flock in and get signed up. I was deadlocked, but I was chanting a lot of daimoku. Thus, the deadlock was ultimately broken, when the Tuscan girl from New Jersey appeared and wanted to demonstrate to me just how easily the list could be filled.
The Tuscan girl is a professional at cold calling and does it for a business. So she blazed away and filled the original list in one week, actually in just five days. Since there were initially 30 Temple members on the list that meant successfully convincing members more than 300 times to chant for a Temple member, with the restriction that you could only sign up to chant for four (I didn't want any dilution of effort). This got 12 different people chanting for Eurydice, and also for her immediate entourage: 12 for her NST partner, 10 for her NST wannabe partner, 10 for her sister and 10 for an older man from New York, a second NST wannabe partner. That meant 54 individual daimoku determinations to chant for Eurydice to be disassociated, since she was the queen bee.
On Tuesday, September 20, 2005, I reported in email on what the Tuscan girl had accomplished in filling the list and that now we had the critical mass necessary to really focus on these disassociations.
In the process of getting people to sign up to chant for Nichiren Shoshu Temple members, the Tuscan girl began to pick up new Temple members, because the SGI members responding to her calls had sponsors and old friends that went with the Temple after the split. This added more work, since they each needed at least ten people chanting for them. So, we went into a new extending and filling phase, whereby the list of Temple members more than doubled.
At this time the whole world was fixated upon what was happening in the football stadium for the New Orleans Saints, called the Louisiana Superdome: thousands of refugees from Katrina were trapped there and were not getting any help from their various local and national governments. It was a media circus 24 hours a day, and it made everyone feeling terribly frustrated and helpless, like there was nothing anyone could do to make things right. [Ring a bell?]
Just when your frustration with FEMA, Brownie and Bush was at its peak, the perky Tuscan girl calls you on the phone asking for your help for President Ikeda to chant for Temple members. Now here was something that people could do to make a change in the world. It was simply an offer you could not refuse.
Certainly this was a very silver lining to a very dark cloud, which made things easier for the Tuscan girl to blaze faster. I think it may have only changed her velocity, since she would have accomplished it in any case. However, it's impossible to know: it may have been the single component most essential for success (after daimoku and ichinen).
During this phase (from September 9th through October 5th), the Tuscan girl started out collecting new Temple members on an sparsely-filled list and getting people to sign up to chant for them, and subsequently grew her personal involvement in Courageous Heart to the point of hosting the first ever district toso for a top Temple member in that region on October 6, 2005.
All of that change in someone's mission: in one month, from a cold start, just like the Dragon Girl. Amazing!
Sometime in the fall, the ex-marine told me that the men's division region leader (no-priest-bashing-guy) and a group of leaders from other regions were acting together to rein in the Soka Spirit organization, to prevent it from becoming another Shoshinkai. I was the one, of course, that had told the men's division region leader about the Shoshinkai and Yamazaki, and how we needed to make sure that the Soka Spirit organization did not follow that path. I did not think that these draconian measures were productive or a measured response to that threat, however. It seemed like spanking a baby with an axe, or throwing the baby out with the bathwater, whichever analogy you prefer.
After the conference I visited my Dad suffering from dementia in the VA hospital. He had been a Christian, but I would chant with him now, saying we should pray for my dead Mom, pulling out my Omamori Gohonzon in my palm, and we would chant for a few minutes and he would wind down. With short pauses I would repeat the request and do that a few times. He had a new nurse, and she was Asian, and when I shakubukued her I found out she was a practicing Nembutsu believer and I think she was praying over my Dad. I told her about Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo and the Lotus Sutra, and how it was the Buddha's highest teaching and that she should only chant the daimoku and nothing else for my father, because that was what he did. The Buddha would not approve otherwise. I tried to get her hooked up with a district, but I was operating remotely, and she was resisting pretty fiercely, as is the way of the Nembutsu statue worshipers.
On Friday, September 30, 2005 I reported in email that Eurydice was coming up for a trip at the beginning of October for an indeterminate duration (due to her changing her mind continuously), because she had urgent business with the state DMV, and other potential trade show business.
____ How Keiro, the Noble Japanese Woman Soka Spirit ______
____ Region Leader Came To Be Openly Disparaged ___________
"Concerning the 'peaceful' practices of the Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law and the practices carried out by Nichiren and his followers now in the Latter Day of the Law, you should understand that, when one practices the Lotus Sutra under such circumstances, DIFFICULTIES WILL ARISE, and these are to be looked on as 'peaceful' practices," - Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings (transcribed by Nikko Shonin from the lectures on the Lotus Sutra by Nichiren Daishonin), p. 115.
On Saturday, October 1, 2005 I reported that Eurydice had arrived on Saturday, had gone to the DMV, but her car did not smog, so she needed something done which would take at least until Monday. This opened up her schedule: she was looking for a musician and someone to cut a record and we had that for her.
On Monday, October 3, 2005 I reported that Eurydice didn't attend KRG on Sunday, because she didn't bring clothes for it and she "knows enough people". She expressed the desire to receive an Omamori (it's hard to get them in NST, and they are more like a rolled up talisman, not really for chanting to), I suggested we try for an exchange with her Nikken Gohonzon. She also wanted to get a copy of the WND.
That same day, The men's division region leader sent an email and said he would see if such an exchange is possible.
On Tuesday, October 4, 2005, Eurydice found out that her dying sister was on our chanting list, and wanted to add some more text to our status field, which made her a Courageous Heart contributor, IMHO. At the same time, though, she expressed a desire to hook up with the local NST meeting their with their leader, with whom she had never gotten along with (I suggested to those reading the report that she should fail with this hookup). She expressed a desire for the Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, and I went over and met her and gave her my copy of volume 1. I mentioned that the look in her eyes was horrible to me: it was the look of total sincerity and confusion – being sincerely misled into propagating Nikkenism by Taishin Takano and the priests at Myohoji and Taisekiji.
On Thursday, October 6, 2005, Eurydice still could not get her car to smog properly and could not evacuate back to the resort town. Darn. How fortunate for us.
So, she got an invitation to the Tuscan girl's hastily arranged district toso, which was not too far away from Orphea's house.
On Friday, October 7, 2005 I reported that Eurydice attended the Tuscan girl's toso and we learned some lessons on avoiding contentious issues and being sensitive to what she wanted and giving it to her. Also, she really liked the tall good-looking young men's division member, my girl friend's son, who had a great desire for her disassociation.
I started to come up with a twelve-step program to keep disassociated Temple members from backsliding and that YMD member made a poignant observation: "... that the last five goals and milestones are like an addictive personality trying to shake a destructive habit. Maybe there should be a group along the line of the Lotus Group (AA for SGI) with a mixture of former Temple members and Courageous Heart contacts?"
Many letters of encouragement were received and forwarded that same day from the Southern California Soka Spirit Leaders, they are nothing less than an angel chorus.
At the same time, there was open disparagement of Keiro in meetings in meeting from local leaders.
In a hastily arranged Soka Spirit meeting on Sunday October 9th, 2005, the men's division region leader came in with a clutch of leaders and announced that there was going to be more oversight of Soka Spirit activities jointly with Soka Spirit Zone leader. The clear implication was that we were running wild and rampaging over the countryside.
The men's division region leader declared that he wanted no Soka Spirit activities to be initiated without oversight by the leaders. He went on to exhaustively list all the leaders in the room with the glaring exception of Keiro, who was sitting right there. I popped up and said, "You forgot her, she's the Region leader for Soka Spirit." He gave a nasty look and grunted, then carried on a couple of more sentences and closed the meeting. He had made his message clear in his public humiliation of Keiro.
If you want to get a sense of the poignancy of this, reflect on Keiro's youthful experience watching Mr. Sasaki being publicly humiliated by the Shoshinkai priest in the Meguro Ward of Tokyo (Josei Toda's home town.) I want to report to everyone that reads this that she stood up to that humiliation in that same spirit as Mr. Sasaki: she never flinched or grimaced and never even batted an eye, or dropped her shoulders. I'll have something more to say about her nearer the end.
I inferred, perhaps as an intentional oversight, that the men's division region leader meant Soka Spirit activities were being reined in and not the Courageous Heart work regarding Eurydice, her NST partner, and entourage ... that Orphea, the ex-marine, the Tuscan girl and I were pursuing. So, we just carried on as if that announcement had no impact on us. I was always reporting everything we did through the email to everyone anyway, so that's total oversight. We were completely in the open about everything and secret about nothing.
On Thursday, October 13, 2005 I reported on Eurydice's reaction to a booth setup by the SGI in a trade show she was also working on during her visit to Orphea, where "The Buddha in the Mirror" was being displayed next to a doors-open and empty butsudan (the box for holding the Gohonzon scroll in your home). With Orphea's help she called and complained to the area men's division leader and the men's division region leader. Afterwards when talking to me about it, she said she wanted to write President Ikeda about it. I gave her both the address and the fax number for Sensei in Tokyo. The ex-marine commented on the low probability of her finding that one public display by SGI members in all of trade show during that week. I sincerely thanked Eurydice for her Soka Spirit efforts.
On Saturday, October 15, 2005 I reported that after Eurydice returned to her resort community and was chanting to the NST partner's Nikken Gohonzon, things went downhill for her very rapidly. She didn't write Sensei, and wanted to get away from her NST partner. She wanted to visit Orphea again.
____ When Death Comes to Visit ___________________________
"You are not all going to die. Only two percent of you right here today would die in a major battle. Death must not be feared. Death, in time, comes to all men. Yes, every man is scared in his first battle. If he says he's not, he's a liar. Some men are cowards but they fight the same as the brave men or they get the hell slammed out of them watching men fight who are just as scared as they are. The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared." - General George Patton.
On Sunday, October 16, 2005 the men's division region leader gave me a message from an unnamed member who was offended by my "invasive" reporting of the personal details of Orphea and her husband, like their financial troubles.
On Sunday, October 16, 2005 I replied to the men's division region leader saying that Orphea always told me precisely what to say and I would simply report that. These kids were not just disposable operatives in a struggle, their obstacles were our obstacles, and people needed to hear what was going on to help with their determined daimoku. I suggested that if someone got queasy and wanted to opt out, they should just let me know and I would no longer include them in the distribution list.
On Friday, October 21, 2005 I reported on the deepening problems with Eurydice and her NST partner's relationship.
I visited my Dad again over this weekend (October 21-23) and we chanted happily together for my mother. His eyes were that impossibly deep indigo blue afterwards, that just seemed to have more color in that little spot than human tissue could conceivably reflect. It was like he was plugged into the wall or something.
Remember back that we discovered on July 10th, when the men's division region leader and the young men's division region leader could not change direction when Sensei gave them a new highest priority to follow: that message from Sensei putting the current disassociations of temple members as a zone-level priority, which meant number one ahead of anything else?
I quote that piece to refresh this point: What do leaders do, when they simply cannot follow direction? They do the "safe" thing: shakubuku, which in many places in the SGI really means shoju. In that way, when leaders are criticized for not following Sensei, people will say, "At least he always does shakubuku." In this manner, they can continually pass muster and just get by in a lazy way, without ever really following Sensei's direction.
Under the fog of a serious cold virus, I blazed away across the miles to visit my father again: there was time to get there for a quick trip and back again for the big Courageous Heart meeting. By the time I arrived near the VA hospital, I was not well and crashed out in the motel: I was finally weary of these back and forth mad dashes and running out of gas physically and mentally. Additionally, if I gave him my cold that might finish him off. I could not get out of bed the next morning, and I had to leave late that night to get back for the Courageous Heart meeting, which I had a dreadful feeling about: we were very near accomplishing my dream of disassociating Eurydice, but the resistance to our efforts was escalating non-linearly.
Later, I dragged myself out of bed and went to see my Dad. He was in sad shape: lying there with the sheet stretched over his head. He was such a fan of classic theater, I immediately recognized a tragic death scene like that of Caesar, but this was not a dramatic ploy: the white flag was really up and waving. He was, for the first time, completely speechless and unable to chant with me during the time I was with him. The Nembutsu nurse told me he had been slipping quickly and there was no way to know whether this was it, or if he would snap out of it. I made a difficult choice: I told him the same thing I had said to him a year before, I would be back here in a few days, but I would completely understand if he did not hang in there until my return. He looked at me with sunken and weary eyes, and my appearance mirrored his right back to him.
I hit the road hard like always after midnight that Friday night at a caffeine-blazing pace, chanting all the way. After crashing into bed at sunrise and dragging myself out late that Saturday afternoon to do some errands before the Sunday meeting, as I was driving down to the Buddhist Center. I received a phone call from the hospital: my father had passed away.
I immediately called my girlfriend, who had really liked my Dad and we talked about it, she had just lost her Dad earlier that year. We commiserated: we were both orphans, now.
After getting off the phone I remember that my heart was frozen solid and that I was totally focused, under control and determined that I was going to make this one count, no matter what happened. I was going to make sure that this time the injury was going to translate into getting some kind of justice relating to my biggest problem: Nikkenism and the continuing presence of that yakuza priesthood at Taisekiji.
On Sunday, November 20th, 2005, we were called to the Courageous Heart meeting at the Buddhist Center. After telling them that my father had died yesterday and receiving condolences, I told them that I had prepared something for Orphea to give to Eurydice beforehand, a single page regarding the statues of women which were used as columns in Greek architecture. I explained that the author Robert Heinlein had written a little passage about a modern statue of a caryatid by Rodin, except that she had fallen under the crushing weight of her stone (her duty).
Caryatids in Athens
Rodin imagined and sculpted a fallen caryatid who could not bear up to the ideal and was crushed under the weight of her load. Heinlein describes this:
... This poor little caryatid has fallen under the load.
... She's a good girl---look at her face. Serious,
... unhappy at her failure, not blaming anyone, not
... even the gods...and still trying to shoulder her
... load, after she's crumpled under it.
... But she's more than just good art denouncing bad
... art; she's a symbol for every woman who ever
... shouldered a load too heavy. But not alone
... women---this symbol means every man and
... woman who ever sweated out life in
... uncomplaining fortitude until they crumpled
... under their loads. It's courage...and victory.
... Victory in defeat, there is none higher. She didn't
... give up...she's still trying to lift that stone after it
... has crushed her...she's all the unsung heroes who
... couldn't make it but never quit.
Fallen Caryatid by Rodin
I said that I thought that image was emblematic of the pressures imposed on Orphea during the long disassociation of Eurydice. I gave it to her, and since I had made other copies I gave one to another older Japanese Courageous Heart contact and then offered one to the Keiro, if she might be interested in it.
Keiro latched onto it like a drowning person grabs and holds onto a flotation ring for dear life. I was completely surprised and astonished at her powerful and emotional embrace of it. I started to think, what is going on here? That confusion would evaporate quickly.
The women's division area leader from the High Noon showdown (another Reiki master) said that she was sorry if anyone was disturbed by it, but that a change was underway in the Soka Spirit organization and that the older Japanese men's division leader (#2 no-priest-bashing-guy who mentored the first Reiki master into Reiki) was the new Region leader for Soka Spirit. I was stunned. I thought that they would never have dared replace Keiro as Soka Spirit Region Leader, such a long-time leader of amazing courage and determination in this struggle with the priesthood going back decades, frankly, with such a person. The world was now thoroughly and completely upside-down again. I was surprised at the Soka Spirit Zone leadership. What were they thinking? I would perceive the truth of this later: it was playing out the only way it could have, to prove that we were true votaries of the Lotus Sutra and followers of Nichiren Daishonin with no distinctions between us, in spite of our humble appearance and public humiliation.
She continued, saying that everything in Soka Spirit was falling under the control of the region, the "line leadership", to ensure its success.
The older Japanese men's division leader said very clearly that all Soka Spirit activities were being pushed down into the districts. He said it three times in three different ways during the meeting, for emphasis.
Afterwards, Keiro walked out without talking to anyone, just as she had for almost half a year now.
In retrospect, I finally understood what all of this had meant all along. She could not allow herself to be perceived as conspiratorial, even though it took a large group effort to force her out.
However, even now she was clearly not going to ask us to stop our activities.
She never even showed the slightest hint that she was under pressure, or being forced out, because that might influence us. Completely aware of everything, but noble and inviolate: like the true entity she manifests.
But I was nowhere near as aware as she was: I literally had absolutely no idea that this was coming, and it would have been hard to accomplish what we did otherwise. She was a seamless umbrella for the river of crap coming down on her: what those isolated leader's meetings with these area and region leaders were like, I cannot imagine. I still feel sorry when I reflect upon it up to this day: what she went through so that we could continue without any concern for her, and our utter ignorance of her countless sufferings and sacrifices.
Here is what I feel deeply: About Keiro, my dearest and most beloved Soka Spirit Region Leader, and I say this as a categorical fact across my entire life: she is the single finest leader, either man or woman, I have ever had the pleasure of working closely with either inside or outside the SGI, and I have worked with top corporate people all over the world. When I say categorically, I mean that it is unqualified praise, and that the second best is not even close, she is a giant among leaders. I think of her in the same league as President Ikeda, Mr. Toda and Mr. Makiguchi, and women leaders like Mrs. Ikeda, Mrs. Hachiya and Mrs. Kato. She is a precious jewel of Kosen Rufu.
I have many times had corporate leaders actually knife me in the back, while I went off to slay their dragons, with the blood running down my leg leading to my corporate death (figuratively speaking). She absorbed all of those attacks from the leadership and never let a single one translate through, it was nothing but seamlessly perfect wall-to-wall support of our very vulnerable activity. The only time she asked me to do something in the middle of this, was to ask me to join a new district to reduce the level of complaint, which landed me in Orphea's group in her husband's district for Courageous Heart purposes, although I'm sure that didn't please anyone, just the opposite. This would turn out to be a most excellent protection of our Courageous Heart activity: by pushing it down into the district level like the older Japanese men's division leader had demanded 3 times on November 20th.
When Keiro walked out wordlessly that day, it was the last time I have seen her; I haven't talked or communicated with her in any way. The function of dividing is overpoweringly strong.
[End of part one of two parts]
At that time the World-Honored One, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying:
Since I attained Buddhahood
the number of kalpas that have passed
is an immeasurable hundreds, thousands, ten thousands,
millions, trillions, asamkhyas.