For Linda,

I couldnt’ respond to your text last night. But I want you to know you are not the only one.

Here’s a letter I wrote last week to 2 women in charge of our meetings. What do you think, was I actually writing this to myself?

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“Some reflections on last night’s meeting:

Why do you leave me out?

I have asked for many years.

Why do you not question authority in regards to why I am left out?

How can I trust people who have lied and betrayed me?

And how can I trust people when I know

that they will turn around and pass my words along to another leader and then another leader . . .

perpetuating the disrespectful behavior of talking about a person behind their back in an exclusive environment ?

You can point your finger and say “It’s your karma”

You can stand back and declare “You must change something deep within yourself . . . “

And you can behave in a controlling way — chanting “In unity” about whatever you have strategized is the best thing for this one and the best thing for that one . . . .

BUT

I pray that as leaders, we speak about and revive dialogue and passion about the stupendous power of the Gohonzon.

And I pray that we dissolve the hard power approach of “if our team/mob/clique/special group (whatever you want to call it), all chants together for the same thing — then we are the super power.

I pray that each person begins to strengthen their autonomy and is strong enough to bear up under extreme spiritual and psychological pressure that can come from WITHIN our organization.

I would ask you, please, do not assume that you know what another person needs or what they want.

Please let’s become members who simply pray for each person’s extraordinary flourishing in their own unique way and their ever-expanding appreciation of the stupendous power of the Gohonzon and the wonder of our mentor/disciple oneness in this SGI family.”

photo by Kay Yoshikawa

Linda, you’re an awesome, gorgeous, brilliant, and insightful woman of the SGI. We both have the fortune to have been close to David K. for most of our years of practice.

Right now, in this turbulent time, with President Ikeda at age 89, we know how to revive the state of Buddhahood in our lives.

And we also know that the darker functions are stronger than we’ve ever experienced.

I’m trying to keep the drama of the organization at bay, spend time at ‘the apreciation gym” and restore myself, remembering the reason I began chanting in the first place.

You’re not the only one who feels that “THEY” aren’t listening.

I want you to stay healthy.

I, too, know how much it hurts after 30, 35, 40 and more years practicing in this organization. Those of us with sensitive hearts and a touch of hyper-empathy syndrome, at certain points, have to go it alone . . .‘blue-fly-style’ clinging in wildness to that one horse.

Today is a full moon. A fulfillment of a wish moon. A 12th day moon over the capital. A pink moon in April.

Let’s live long and create value with our genius true selves. I recently heard someone say, “You are the answer to someone’s prayer.”

Be healthy, Linda. And, let’s refresh our declaration that in the final end the words will be . . . . . ‘and she never left!”

Brava, Linda!

Thank you for the future you. Thank you for the future me, too.

Painting by Gerard Santuoso