Testimonial From Jawbone (a.k.a. Frank Quijada)

Subject: American Gongyo
Date: Tuesday, August 23, 2005 2:49 PM

Hi Bob,

I want to thank you for giving me a copy of the Pronunciation Guide for the Lotus Sutra (text and disc). Since I am a fairly new member, I have had trouble-saying gongyo. I don't have any knowledge of the Japanese language. Another problem I have is trying to say gongyo at a fast rate of speed. By using the text and the disc you provided me and practicing, I have been able to improve my gongyo pronunciation greatly. Some words and phases are easy to pronounce, but others without your material I would not have known how to pronounce. Having the different speeds is helping me to go faster in saying gongyo. The woman you had pronounce the words, does an excellent job and is very easy to understand and follow. I commend you on your efforts and feel that your guide is very beneficial to me and will be to other newer members.

Thank you,
Frank Quijada
Pahrump District Leader
Pahrump, Nevada

Testimonial From Jennifer Jackson

My name is Jennifer Jackson and I have been practicing Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism for six years. I introduced to this practice by my friend, Myoho Sister and former partner, Karen. I received Gojukai in December of 2001. When I began chanting, we were reciting Parts A,B, and C. I made a determination to learn to recite the sutra like my partner, who had been practicing for fifteen years at that time. This was definitely and arduous endeavor! We used to get up at 4:00 am and Gongyo would take between 1 ½ to 2 hours. I was so frustrated, stumbling over every word except Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. As a school psychologist specializing in treating autism, I have taken many, many classes and knew that “eventually” I would learn Gongyo. But I felt I taking a course in Japanese. I kept receiving encouragement from others who had struggled to learn and eventually did. I kept asking myself “wasn’t there a way to learn this through a multimodal approach based upon English principles--a phonetic approach that would make sense to me and allow me to pronounce the words correctly while reading Gongyo?” To my surprise, I received what I was chanting for. Bob Hasegawa introduced me to exactly that, American Gongyo. Suddenly my pronunciation was consistent with my partner’s and in some cases better.I was reciting Gongyo. What took 1 ½ to 2 hours previously, now took 30-45 minutes (old format), which allowed time for more Daimoku. Reading each line in English while seeing the Japanese, allowed me to eventually transfer from the American Gongyo to the Liturgy of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism Book.I have introduced others to this practice who, as result of learning Gongyo with American Gongyo first, have received their Gohonzon. They too are seeing the benefits, changing their karma and creating peace in their lives and others…Ultimately creating world peace one person at a time.

Jennifer Jackson
Centennial Chapter

Testimonial From Laurie J. Huff

My name is Laurie J. Huff. I received my Gohonzon May 2004. I have many health issues that prevent me from doing as many activities as I would have liked, such as slow Gongyo. Sometimes I am immobilized for up to a week at a time. The American Gongyo Book has helped me greatly in learning Gongyo pronunciation. My learning process has been greatly expedited and less daunting. The regular Gongyo book seemed to present an obstacle of learning a new language besides learning a new practice. It seemed to have saved my life when I was bedridden and couldn’t attend functions or chant with other people. All this happened before receiving the matching CD from Bob Hasegawa. Now I have all the tools needed to become totally proficient in Gongyo. I have been able to share this practice with my mother who is a shift worker and unable to attend many functions. We chant together using the American Gongyo Book in conjunction with the CD. I think the book and CD should be given to all new members. These tools eliminate the significant language barrier as an obstacle.

Warm regards,
Laurie J. Huff

Testimonial From Gary Janis

My name is Gary Janis and I have been a member of SGI since 1978 having received the Gohonzon in Chicago. Of course, learning to do Gongyo back then was indeed an arduous process. At that time, I would have been thrilled to have Bob’s American Gongyo CD and Learning Guide. I have listened to this very professionally produced tool several times, and I intend to provide this tool to every person I introduce to Nichiren Buddhism.In January 2005, I introduced a very close friend of mine, Jaeynka Postupack, who is the Web Master of Channel 8 News here in Las Vegas, to Nichiren Buddhism. For as long as I have known her, she has been extremely interested in philosophy and religion. Jaeynka very recently told me that she wants to receive the Gohonzon this October. She also told me that Bob’s American Gongyo CD and Learning Guide has helped her tremendously in becoming proficient in performing Gongyo. She said that it has taken much of the frustration away from learning the correct pronunciations of the words of this rather exotic liturgy. She also said that the CD and Learning Guide should be available on the SGI-USA web site. Now that’s a great thing out of the mouth of a Web Master!

Gary Janis

Testimonial From Sharon Stephens

Dear Bob,

I am writing to express my deep appreciation for the gongyo booklet and CD that you gave me. My gongyo has greatly improved. I have been chanting for 17 years with several major mistakes the primary one being pronouncing the o as short, and also using short vowel sounds. I now notice that there is only one short vowel sound and that is the e. I even pronounced Gohonzon incorrectly and now notice that many American members do. I had never listened, just listened to the Daimoku or the gongyo until I received your CD. It was an ear opener. An additional benefit is that if I don't want to chant alone, I can always chant with the CD.

Thank you so much
Sharon Stephens
in Las Vegas by way of Los Angeles