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 OBC Monks on OBC Connect

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vetaculoo



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PostSubject: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:33 pm

As a lay trainee and donor to a priory affiliated with the OBC, I would feel that my money would be wasted if monks were to spend time 'engaging' on this site (although occasionally sharing relevant information to balance a picture might sometimes be useful).

When I had a concern (about someone's negative experience within the OBC which was reported online), I found the contact details of the head of the order on the internet and called him. He phoned me back and we discussed my concerns. That is my direct personal experience and if I had any other concerns I would call him again. He was very willing to listen and addressed my worries without breaching any confidentiality.

The OBC does have a complaints procedure, it is possible to call the police and concerns can be easily shared on a website such as this; however, I really don't think monks 'engaging' on this website is a skilful use of our (lay trainees) resources.

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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:20 pm

vetaculoo wrote:


The OBC does have a complaints procedure, it is possible to call the police and concerns can be easily shared on a website such as this; however, I really don't think monks 'engaging' on this website is a skilful use of our (lay trainees) resources.


So you feel that contributing to the support of a priory entitles you to dictate how monks should use their time?
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:31 pm

vetaculoo wrote:
As a lay trainee and donor to a priory affiliated with the OBC, I would feel that my money would be wasted if monks were to spend time 'engaging' on this site (although occasionally sharing relevant information to balance a picture might sometimes be useful). ...

The thing is, the money isn't yours once it's given. Unless you've directed it to a specified purpose you wouldn't expect to have a say in how it is used, or the activities it supports, would you?

I think it's better for the OBC if monks do engage here. The culture I saw at Shasta would have rarely enabled a monk to see the bigger picture of their effect on laity. Some say the monks don't care so it doesn't matter, but I believe many of them do want to know how they and their life's work are perceived. What a shock this forum must have been. Lay people show up for retreats, festivals, work days . . . bowing and smiling, helping in the kitchen ... all the monks hear is "thank you for your great kindness, Reverend", "such wonderful talks!", etc. The only opinion you could openly express there was that "everything is wonderful". Who wouldn't think they're doing a fantastic job when that's all they hear? I saw almost no chance of useful feedback getting to the monks who were causing the most problems. I doubt many lay persons would have challenged them directly or reported their behavior via the complaint process in place back then. Perhaps the new reporting will make that easier and monks will get more feedback & oversight. I don't think it will happen quickly, though, and this forum could give them a great deal of help in the meantime --
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Henry

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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:53 pm

Is there one monk willing to provide vetaculoo with an alternate viewpoint?
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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:52 pm

I liked Lise's posting above.

I have puzzled for years at how most of the laity can speak with passion about negative issues amongst themselves but never dare to share this same info with the monks. It may be about image, not disturbing the teachers, fear of being rebuked, etc. but the result handicaps the monks effectiveness at doing their jobs.

Many of the monks that I've known would have been receptive and appreciative to hear about what their disciples really felt but are instead fed a steady diet of lay pablum. Regardless of whether this is from lay cowardice or monk f- wittery, the result is the same. Blindness for both sides.

I think monks touching onto this forum get a more realistic taste of what lies just below the surface all around them.

I think that is good for everyone.
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Jimyo

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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:04 am

Another point of view - playing devil's advocate again - is that if you don't complain, and don't tell anyone what's happening, how can you expect them to know? I used to do market research interviewing. I remember a survey commissioned by the Water Board, when respondents answering the questions "officially" would say how wonderful everything was; then when it was finished, they'd tell me about all the problems they had. I got to the point where I got annoyed and told them that the Water Board had commissioned this to find out if there were any issues, and that if they said in the survey that there weren't, and things didn't change, then they only had themselves to blame.

But of course now we have the internet, and you don't have to be brave and tell people things face to face to let issues be known.....
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vetaculoo



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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:35 pm

"So you feel that contributing to the support of a priory entitles you to dictate how monks should use their time?"

Well as far as I understand, temples etc. affiliated with the OBC in the UK are all registered charities, so I would assume that, at least to some extent, how monks officially spend their time is 'dictated' by that very charitable status.

There will be different views on this matter, and of course I would not presume to dictate what anyone should do in their free time, but I am entitled to share my view and yes, I think donors are to some extent 'share holders' so we do have more of a say than 'non-share holders'.
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:12 pm

Jimyo wrote:


... But of course now we have the internet, and you don't have to be brave and tell people things face to face to let issues be known.....

Fair comment in some ways, unfair in others. You're right, if someone doesn't know what is wrong, they cannot be expected to know about it and respond. The problem is, a huge part of the wrongness is/was the OBC culture of repression / no opinions allowed / who is it that can be hurt. I was present when people were denigrated for "clinging to ego and the self" because they were upset about something and trying to talk about it. The message I heard was to "let go of everything" because "all things arise and pass away" and the monks did not qualify or condition those statements. There was no exception saying "but if you see us behaving badly, please tell someone". Rev. Meian says that now and she is to be credited for it, but no one said it in all the years leading up to Eko's flying the coop. When I stopped going, it was more than a year before I understood why. I could not have expressed it properly to anyone during the time I attended there. And it is unfortunate, but I don't know how I could have gotten round that. During the last year I was involved, I already knew monks gossiped about lay people. I didn't want to be "marked" and discussed among them as someone who was so poor in spirit and deluded as to complain. Now, I know better, and it will not be an issue again. I have no plans to become involved with monks or spiritual "teachers", but if I did, I would not hesitate to call them out on harmful behavior. If you can't be direct with someone, there is no value in pursuing an exchange because it will be based on falseness and pretense. What would be the point?

One other thing I should say about "bravery". I have messages in my forum inbox from lay people who spoke up about different things at different points in time. Both persons who wrote to me said they were told "not to set foot on Shasta Abbey property for 90 days" as a result of the conversation(s) they had with one or more monks. It always catches my attention when people relate stories by PM, independently, and use the exact same phrases as someone else when describing what a monk said to them. To me this is a form of verification that I couldn't hope to achieve on my own, although I try to validate things when I can. Based on these messages, I am sure that some lay people have suffered consequences for speaking up. So before we tweak others too hard about their lack of bravery, it might be worth considering what it could cost them. For people deeply entrenched in the Abbey culture and dependent on the sangha social network, being cut off like that would be catastrophic.

It does seem to me that only when people are finished with the OBC, can they dare to speak out. It really should not be that way.
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:11 pm

Vetaculoo
Perhaps you are only stirring the pot but...

I hope that it is the usability of a truth or suggestion that stands on its own value rather than the ruminating over the perceived importance of the truths author.

Lise
It does sound like the last 12 year of Abbey life became more locked down after I stopped attending. I guess that language makes it sound like a prison. I have also heard some horrific stories from friends who have left since then that directly verify what you are saying.

What I was talking about when I mentioned bravery or cowardice in talking to a Buddhist teacher is somewhat different. I'm talking about listening to students and their teachers over space of many years and hearing wildly different accounts of their relationship with each other.

The complaints from the lay side toward the teachers often involved years of festering emotions that might of dissipated with a simple airing to the aggrieved party. When a lay student tells me about their grievances against their teachers I used to ask what was the teachers response to their complaint. Year after year the answer is always the same. I couldn't, wouldn't or shouldn't talk to them about it.

Hearing about the relationship from the teachers side usually involved some cognisance of a bit of tension but everything is fine.

The teachers that I have known would of liked to hear what the issues were and would of thought that it was their job to listen to the complaint. Being human, who knows how well they might of responded to the complaints but they were never given the chance. Once again it all just ended up looking like a dis-functional family where what is unsaid overpowers the chances of the needed communication. This often occurred in situations where the students still thought of their teachers as generally caring and compassionate.

If this kind of mess up occurs in the most benign of circumstances, then god knows how much worse it could be within the pressure cooker of a cloistered community, which is what I think you were talking about.

This isn't a post where I am laying blame anywhere but more of an expression of part of the process that didn't make a lot of sense to me. I think I'm still untangling my own part in it.

Synopsis - I have been amazed over the years at how personally secretive the laity has been with monks even in circumstances that looked safe.

A question that often comes up for me is..
If the practise of meditation is the process of opening up, how do you compartmentalize (close off) a teacher, monk or student and still call it meditation?
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:02 am

Howard, thanks for clarifying -- I understand what you're getting at it and, I think, Jimyo also. I agree that a teacher is seriously disadvantaged in the role if a student cannot or will not tell him/her what the problems are.

You're right, it is not about blame but about understanding what goes wrong in a process, that people can't say what needs to be said.
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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:12 am

Lise,
I think maybe there are ways of pointing out to a teacher that things are going wrong, which would have been taken notice of. I just remembered now...on my very first visit to Throssel, when the Chief Junior was treating me like [banned term], going for Sanzen and asking something like: "How do I deal with my feelings of resentment towards somebody who keeps treating me in a way I find very difficult to cope with." I can't remember the answer, but I think it was probably along the lines of "Meditate more deeply etc". However - AND THIS IS THE POINT I'M MAKING - the Chief Junior left me alone after that. I always suspected words were exchanged...... Skillful means on my part (when I'd never even heard the term), or classic British understatement and tact, or manipulation? Put whatever spin on it you like - but it worked!
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jack



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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:00 am

Lise wrote:
Howard, thanks for clarifying -- I understand what you're getting at it and, I think, Jimyo also. I agree that a teacher is seriously disadvantaged in the role if a student cannot or will not tell him/her what the problems are. <br />.

This problem exists in the real world too, primarily when there is a disparity of power between the parties involved. The situational/institutional power of the monks is deliberately cultivated within the OBC, with, it seems to me, the deliberate intention of shielding those in positions of authority from having to deal with the unpleasantness of criticism.

My real world experience includes being a manager in major company for a long time. It takes deliberate effort on the part of a manager to get good open honest feedback that is useful because 1) the manager's perceived ability to reward/punish is always present, and 2) the reception to honest feedback is very uncertain in the average corporation. Many managers quite resent being criticized or challenged.

Only on one occasion when I attended the Priory, did the monk ask for feedback about something important. I was honest. He didn't like what I said. I also provided feedback in other ways (I was not a very docile member). I asked lots of rational questions about how he came up with some of the things he taught. I found at that time he didn't know much about Buddhism beyond the OBC books.

The monk did actively try to maintain his situational power. He justified it by believing that in his role he was the "stand-in" for the Buddha, that he should speak with the authority and confidence of a Buddha, and that he should be given the deference of a Buddha. It annoyed him when others did not agree. This is nothing unique to the OBC. You find it deeply embedded in Catholic/Anglican Christianity.

Few like or enjoy criticism - monks, lay people, managers, employees -- we are pretty much alike about that. The key for me as a manager was to take measures to ensure I was not insulated from it -- to specifically probe and ask for it -- to provide conditions where honest, non-destructive criticism/discussion both ways was OK, and to specifically ask people for their feedback. If I didn't ask, I almost never heard what I needed/wanted to hear. But then, as an original premise, I wanted to hear things.
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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:55 am

Jack,

You make an excellent point and one that the OBC can learn from. As a therapist I work with power differentials all the time. Equally or more important to teaching those in a lower power position to assert themselves, is teaching those with more power how to elicit feedback and how to present themselves as non threatening when feedback is given. Without these skills (obtained naturally or taught) you tend to have families with very poor communicatiion. The same is true of organizations. If those on top do not know how to elicit truly honest communicatioin that challenges those with authority, that communication will not be forthcoming to a degree necessary to keep the organization healthy.
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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:33 pm

I agree with all of the above re: power imbalance and coping with it. Good points.

I'm thinking about Jimyo's comment on her first visit to Throssel. It's ironic that lay people on initial visits probably have the most power they are likely to ever have with a group, because they have nothing at stake. They can turn & walk out and suffer no loss. As time goes on though, we soak up the culture of no self, and become invested in wanting to be a good trainee, and we value the connection to monks whose favour we want to keep . . . But before all that gets started, it feels normal and perfectly all right to object to poor treatment. That is a normal response in the rest of life and it should not be abandoned in the name of religious training -
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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:43 pm

vetaculoo wrote:

There will be different views on this matter, and of course I would not presume to dictate what anyone should do in their free time, but I am entitled to share my view and yes, I think donors are to some extent 'share holders' so we do have more of a say than 'non-share holders'.

The distinction I would make that shareholders have purchased partial ownership of an asset placed for sale. You haven't bought anything through a donation; what the monks are doing is not done at your behest and they're not selling it to you. That's my view -
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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:48 pm

Lise, the point I was making is that I didn't complain - I asked what I could do about my own resentment. Yet I'm pretty sure it still got back to the Chief Junior, and the little [banned term], who had a definite napoleonic complex, was told to lay off. There are ways and ways of saying things....

Now my victim mentality, which attracted things like that from similar types for years and years, that's another issue.....
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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:09 pm

I do take your point; I was responding to another angle. I am curious, though, would you have felt able to deal with the little "banned term" yourself, directly, at any time? What if there was no third party to intervene for you (as often happens at a priory or other more isolated spot) who would carry the comments on your behalf and spare you a confrontation? What then?
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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:35 pm

Lise, probably not, at that point in time. We're talking over 35 years ago, and I think I was plain scared of him! Had it happened when I was older, with more confidence and maturity...I think I'd have asked to sit down for a chat with him, and approached it in the same manner, ie "I have a problem, it's MY problem, I'm finding it difficult to cope since you keep yelling at me (or whatever), what do you think I should do?" It might or might not have worked; it's a hypothetical situation. And would I have been that good at dealing with people if not for my years as a monk? I doubt it - but maybe I'd have been better! Who knows where other twists and turns of life would have taken me? But I think that type of approach is a good one. I've had similar problems in other walks of life, and if often works. It's non-confrontational and non-critical. But if it doesn't...then you put up with it or leave. Not everyone is nice, inside or outslde the monastery, and not every situation can be coped with.
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vetaculoo



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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:56 am

Lise wrote:
vetaculoo wrote:

There will be different views on this matter, and of course I would not presume to dictate what anyone should do in their free time, but I am entitled to share my view and yes, I think donors are to some extent 'share holders' so we do have more of a say than 'non-share holders'.

The distinction I would make that shareholders have purchased partial ownership of an asset placed for sale. You haven't bought anything through a donation; what the monks are doing is not done at your behest and they're not selling it to you. That's my view -

Yes, perhaps the word 'stakeholders' is more accurate than 'shareholders'?
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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:24 pm

I guess so, if that fits the way you view your connection. To me the word "stake" also implies a claim or personal interest of some kind that you want preserved or protected, or at least taken into consideration by the monks. Everybody's different, I know -- I've never felt I should have a say in how/when/why a religious centre does what it does. My attendance is voluntary and donations don't buy me any rights (they shouldn't, anyway). If I don't like what's going on, I don't expect them to change their ways for me. Given that most organised religious structures frown upon unsolicited opinions from laity, I don't even try to tell them what I think is wrong or why it doesn't work for me. That's why I don't feel like a "stakeholder" in religious groups. I don't invest any of myself, my spiritual identity or a future connection in wanting them to be "the one right thing" for me. Rather than stay involved and try to promote a claim or interest of my own that I feel is being thwarted, I just vote with my feet and move on.
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vetaculoo



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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:11 am

Views of the laity are indeed taken into consideration by the monks, there is respect on both sides. This is my experience, although it may not be that of others of course.

Those who dontate and contribute their time to various temples and priories of the order are stakeholders in so much as they have a shared interest.

Those who do not wish to contribute or donate to such temples etc. but wish to comment from outside are welcome to do so of course, but they are not 'stakeholders' or 'shareholders' (for want of better terms) in the same sense.

My original point is that I think it would be better for Monks to focus time on the laity rather than people who have 'moved on'; thus my view that it would be better for Monks not to bother wasting time with this site too much - this is not a command or order, but my expression of interest and personal view.
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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:24 am

vetaculoo wrote:


My original point is that I think it would be better for Monks to focus time on the laity rather than people who have 'moved on'; thus my view that it would be better for Monks not to bother wasting time with this site too much - this is not a command or order, but my expression of interest and personal view.

If monks were to participate here to try to help those who were once part of the community they would not be wasting their time.
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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:30 pm

Lise,
You made a whole bunch of excellent points in your posting of Nov.13. The following peaked my attention, and I thought I'd respond, even though it goes beyond the initial scope of discussion:
I was present when people were denigrated for
"clinging to ego and the self" because they were upset about something
and trying to talk about it.


The problem, in my not so humble view is, in the teaching - whether it is Shasta teaching or is more general.

WHO is this somebody who is "clinging to ego and the self"? I did not discover this question - it was pointed out to me, and it's the fundamental question.
That question is not raised, let alone answered. It should be raised and it can be answered. And it makes the whole difference.
You may say that it IS raised and answered. Then I stand corrected. What I so far encountered is, mostly, some anecdotes about kenshos; and lots of moralizing about the 'ego'.
We cannot eradicate the ego, we can only see it for what it is. If we identify with it (as we do, so long as we don't know who we are), we have no choice but to 'cling' to it.

What strikes me is the following: We are not supposed to mind what happens us - it's the 'ego' that makes us suffer. We are expected to know that we are not recepients of whatever happens to us, I suppose.
But our actions are viewed as solid, real. That is why we have 1,534 precepts to keep us in line. There is such confusion!

You, I, are not bhokta (the 'enjoyer' in Sanskrit) nor karta (the 'doer'). Another dictum, incapsulating the same, is na hanti, na hanyate - does not kill, nor is killed (the self). (I don't capitalize the self, in contrast to small 's' self; there is one self.)
I am not qualified to teach this stuff, because I am not good at it; not because it is esoteric somehow. No big tricks are needed - if somebody uses tricks, run the other way. Honestly.

As for the word 'ego', I'd ban it! I am kidding, the misconceptions would remain. Also the very loose usage of the word would remain. Just look at this: It is used in the sense of 'vanity' (the bloated ego, ha ha); 'pride'; 'selfishness'; AND then, the 'individual' or the 'individuality, the separate entity'. And, I find, these terms are interchanged. Sheer confusion.

Maybe you'll allow me to start a new thread on 'ego', and then you're free to ignore it. If I am causing trouble, tell me.
Love, always,
Ol'ga
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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:40 pm

Ol'ga, you are a delight and I am so glad you found this forum Please do start a thread on ego and any other topics you choose.

I hope to someday understand more about self and ego as I do think there's a lot I haven't grasped. For now it's enough that I saw the flaws in that particular piece of "teaching" and rejected it -- that we can't acknowledge or object to being hurt because "who is it that is hurt" and "where there is hurt, there is self". I wonder sometimes what would have happened to me if I had actually bought into that mindset and learned to suppress/ignore/deny the reality of harm being done right in front of me. Is this what forces some people into psychosis . . . I really wonder.

Others may be certain they are fundamentally unharm-able. I know for certain I am not.
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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:54 pm

Isan wrote:

If monks were to participate here to try to help those who were once part of the community they would not be wasting their time.

As a nurse I'd consider that helping discharged patients is not a 'waste of time', but this does not make it a good use of resources. Focus should be on current 'stakeholders' not those who have 'moved on'. Perhaps 'waste of time' puts the point too strongly.
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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:27 pm

Vetaculoo, do you think that monks who participate here, or at least read the forum, may better appreciate why some people disengage with the OBC?

Might this help them to keep more current stakeholders on board?
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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:07 pm

Hello Vetaculoo

My original point is that I think it would be better for Monks to focus time on the laity rather than people who have 'moved on'; thus my view that it would be better for Monks not to bother wasting time with this site too much - this is not a command or order, but my expression of interest and personal view.

Few arguments speak more clearly of an old OBC mentality of an inside / outside / worthy / unworthy / carrot & stick than this one.

Pity the monks who's compassion, love & wisdom is so limited as to find it squandered if applied outside of your approved boundaries.

If this idea is still prevalent inside of the OBC then I think you may actually be right that these Monks probably really need to focus on helping a Sangha with such view.
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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:35 am

ignoring is ignorance. if the OBC ignores this site, these reflections, that will only reinforce their blinders, their habitual error blindness, their stuckness. but that is their business.
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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:11 am

vetaculoo wrote:
As a nurse I'd consider that helping discharged patients is not a 'waste of time', but this does not make it a good use of resources. Focus should be on current 'stakeholders' not those who have 'moved on'. Perhaps 'waste of time' puts the point too strongly.

Part of the problem here is the scope of the question. Your practical analogy of a nurse helping patients implies the help is one sided, but this is about more than helping people who have left the OBC. It's about the OBC helping itself. It's one thing to help others out of compassion and it's another to realize you need their help as well. All of the former members of the OBC hold a part of the history and truth of the organization. The problems that exist in the OBC remain in place, at least in part, because the truth the former members bring to them is ignored.


Last edited by Isan on Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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mokuan



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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:19 am

Hi Vetaculoo,

When referring to monks, it's lower case "m" not upper case. To refer to "Monks" somehow -- at least in my mind -- denotes an elevated status. Although, my experience when living at Shasta was that we were encouraged, subtley, to keep the persona of elevated beings, it's just not true. Nobody's walking on water.

And as far as being a waste of time for the current monks to view this site, in my mind it would be beneficial to them as well as helping those who have left. They have acknowldeged that to preserve their communites and to be of true service to the laity, they need to rethink many things. And it's evident they want to do that. They've set up the interim board and Haryo, Meian, Seikai and others are talking with Isan, Kozan, Henry and others.

And surely as a nurse you would agree that if you saw a discharged patient ailing by the side of the road, you wouldn't refuse to help just because they're not admitted into the hopsital, would you?


mokuan
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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:01 pm

Dear vetaculoo,
I recently broke my right arm just below the shoulder but I've been working very hard to get the mobility and strength back. So I'm in perfectly good shape to give it to you straight from the shoulder.

Your wrote:
As a nurse I'd consider that helping discharged
patients is not a 'waste of time',
[...]

It needs to be said, first of all, that your simile is upside down. Let me give you one that corresponds to the facts.
It is possible to liken Shasta Abbey and its offshoots to a hospital - actually, a mental asylum, where the doctors are the sickest ones, and don't even know it. The inmates, who entered in varying states of health, are treated by these doctors; they get sick themselves. Some of them come to realise what is happening, and leave. I would even say, that for many of us the better term is 'escape'. After that they are on the mend.

Your simile betrays lack of understanding of these simple facts; it in fact betrays worse - your lack of respect for us, who have told our stories, rendering ourselves vulnerable, as these stories are very private and concern times in our lives when we went through much suffering, anguish, great emotional pain. We had been deeply commited to search for truth under the guidance of Jiyu Kennett, and later, her disciples. To have seen our ideals, invested in these people, crash as they did, was a source of great suffering. But we've pulled through, and became strong enough to be able to sift through that experience, keep what was good, and discard the rest.
The existing monks in the OBC are adults. They can invest their time (which is theirs, and not yours, vetaculoo) into reading these contributions, and responding if they so wish. They are human beings, which, in my books, is a tremendous thing. They can think - and they cannot forever ignore what is staring them in the face. They will take a different route from mine, no doubt - their unique route. I wish them luck.
I wish you luck, too, vetaculoo.
Ol'ga
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vetaculoo



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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:59 am

mokuan wrote:
When referring to monks, it's lower case "m" not upper case. To refer to "Monks" somehow -- at least in my mind -- denotes an elevated status. Although, my experience when living at Shasta was that we were encouraged, subtley, to keep the persona of elevated beings, it's just not true. Nobody's walking on water.

And as far as being a waste of time for the current monks to view this site, in my mind it would be beneficial to them as well as helping those who have left. They have acknowldeged that to preserve their communites and to be of true service to the laity, they need to rethink many things. And it's evident they want to do that. They've set up the interim board and Haryo, Meian, Seikai and others are talking with Isan, Kozan, Henry and others.

And surely as a nurse you would agree that if you saw a discharged patient ailing by the side of the road, you wouldn't refuse to help just because they're not admitted into the hopsital, would you?


mokuan

To be honest, if i were writing about Butchers I might also have used a capital letter - not meaning to elevate anyone beyond their human capacities but it is perhaps not gramatically correct, so I'll stand corrected.

I'll agree that the interim board is perhaps a good idea - I don't know the details, and I'm sure some important changes can be made, I just don't think getting (too) involved on internet forums is a good use of anyones time really, and if I'm making donations towards someone's (monkish) work, and they are spending significant time on internet forums I would question this - I think I have a right to do so. Perhaps this is an issue I should take to the interim board...

Those who have moved on but wish to help the 'sick' OBC, might also wish to contribute to the interim board, since this is the forum the OBC has created for this purpose as I understand it?

A Nurse can lose their job if they fail in their duty of care even if
not on duty at the time; however, you can call an ambulance for someone
if they need help, and need not personally carry them back to the same ward. Obviously there are many non-OBC sources of support for
people who have had a bad time and wish to move on, and it may make
more sense to use these if they are needed.
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vetaculoo



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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:28 am

Ol'ga,

"I recently broke my right arm just below the shoulder but I've been
working very hard to get the mobility and strength back. So I'm in
perfectly good shape to give it to you straight from the shoulder".

I'm just hoping your arms aren't long enough to reach from Canada to the UK!

Maybe monastic institions are indeed much like mental asylums - they seem similar in many ways; however, no-one is handcuffed, strapped to a bed and brought into a monastary by force. There is a choice, and where for some people it doesn't work, for others it does.

Thanks for your 'facts', but who is and is not 'mad' is a judgment call. Are all religious people crazy? personally I think so.

Also I think it is wise for mental health professionals to be consulted where genuine concerns exist, but don't know what the OBC policy is for dealing with concerns over mental health issues: perhaps this is something else for the interim board?

And where someone beleives that the OBC institution itself is inherently crazy, that must be difficult for them if they have been heavily involved, but we are indeed all adults with choices.

I've met many psychiatric patients who blame the mental health system for their problems - many are probably right; however, I don't think hospital managers spending hours on patient internet forums would be an effective use of time.
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glorfindel

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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:49 am

Ol'ga wrote:

corresponds to the facts.............these simple facts.....in fact betrays.......

your lack of respect for us, who have told our stories, rendering ourselves vulnerable, as these stories are very private and concern times in our lives when we went through much suffering, anguish, great emotional pain.
Ol'ga

Thats quite a few "facts"

I'm digging the hat btw.







Being a publicly available forum you have to accept that anyone can come and say anything (assuming they adhere to these rules: DA ROOLZ ), so its pointless being hurt by any conjectured lack of respect.

My above post may, of course, be contravening the last part of rule 6.


On topic: I see what the OP is getting at, but I think this website would certainly be worth a (critical) browse by monks of the OBC. All information is good information.


Last edited by Watson on Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:43 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : oops I was ninja'd by vetaculo regarding "facts" / helping poster conform to forum rules)
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polly

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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:33 am

Seems to me that if someone tells another that they have been badly hurt by something the other has done, there are a a couple of choices for a response. They can work together to try to heal the hurt or the accused can say, "sorry you're so nuts" in varying degrees of defensiveness, right down to "nuts to you." Religion is tailor-made to help justify wrong actions, if that is the direction the religion wants to take.

I have found that whenever I am the most defensive it is when I am the most unsure of my position. To write someone off without trying to help heal the wound I inflicted would mean that I absolutely cannot face the reality of what I have done. Of course, there are always those who will not hear an apology no matter how well-worded or how often it is repeated, but I do not think that is the case with OBC. They probably see it differently.

Vertaculoo, I wonder, if someone ran over you with their car, would you sue them or the car manufacturer? Assuming you survived.
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vetaculoo



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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:33 pm

polly wrote:
Vertaculoo, I wonder, if someone ran over you with their car, would you sue them or the car manufacturer? Assuming you survived.

Getting medical help would be my concern, but I'm guessing in some countries people have to sue in order to pay medical bills? I'm glad we have a National Health Service (NHS) here!

I'm not sure if I understand the question:
Is this an analogy for something?
Have monks been driving their cars over buddha wannabes whose faces don't fit in the OBC?
Or are you planning to track me down and plough your car into me for daring to question the benefits of monkish time on this internet forum?
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:03 pm

Hello all

Much of this discussion does seem like how many monks can sit on the head of a pin but just in case there are others who share Vetaculoo's views, I'll post again.

Vetaculoo, you and I must share an sense of the worth of this site or neither of us would be on it. Why would OBC monks not also share your view of it's worth?

You seems to be saying that your employees (the monks since your filling their bowls) should be performing according to their employers wishes. (your own since you are filling their bowls).

It seems ironic to me that I, as an OBC connect participant, feel a need to defend the monks and their teachings from someone who is reporting to be in their corner.

Maybe devotional practises (which I clearly don't understand) have allowances for your views but meditational practise clearly show the folly of supporting the self propelled polarities of an inside & outside or an us & them.

I think your arguments would receive a more appreciative audience in a corporate board room than from a spiritual forum but I also sincerely thank you for posting on what must feel like an adversarial site and for showing me once again why I came to the OBC connect.
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polly

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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:11 pm

No! No! Vertauloo. I do not want to track you down and run over you! I too am glad of your participation here. And we are both nurses so I appreciate your analogies.

My analogy was a poor one, worse than I thought when I tried to re-word it. Essentially that the perpetrator is responsible for fixing the problem, not some distantly connected institution. I was thinking of my OBC experience, when I found that like with any other broken heart, I looked to those who broke it to help fix it. They couldn't. Because they couldn't see or wouldn't take responsibility for any part of the breakage. They couldn't say "Wow there was a big misunderstanding or big mistake here, let's see if we can fix it." It was "Wow, you really misunderstood what happened here, it's part of your training." Clearly the same thing happened to a lot of people, hence the OBC Connect.

I think we are the OBC's business. As a Buddhist monastic organization I would think that we would be high on the list of business. We are connected, interrelated. The whole cannot be healthy until all of it is healed. Tall order I know, but what is religion for?
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vetaculoo



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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:41 pm

Hope moving on goes well for all those washing their hands of the OBC, and that the OBC sorts itself out where this is necessary.

I'm leaving the forum now. Thanks people.

In gassho/regards
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lesley

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PostSubject: Re: OBC Monks on OBC Connect   Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:30 pm

When you feel that you or yours have been hurt or wrongly advised by another, whether a member of OBC or other religious organisation, then it is reasonable to get in touch with that person and let them know.
I have done this myself quite recently with the result that I was given a heartfelt apology. Since then I feel the situation has been resolved from my viewpoint,a "knot" seems to have been removed and this is good.We are all human and liable to make mistakes and can apologise once we are made aware of the problem..with Gassho,Lesley
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