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 RM Jiyu, Sexuality and Psychosis

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nubian



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Join date : 2010-11-15

PostSubject: RM Jiyu, Sexuality and Psychosis   Mon Nov 15, 2010 3:55 pm

I attended Shasta in the "early years" ('72-'75) and made the mistake of falling in love with another monk. Although RM Jiyu married us in the Kanzeon Shrine, we were banished to Canada shortly after the marriage. The move triggered a complete psychotic break for me - 14 months of hell, which included two hospitalizations.

In retrospect, I don't "blame" RM Jiyu for my psychotic break - I seem to have a genetic predisposition toward psychosis under great pressure.

I do believe, however, that Jiyu's behavior during those years was the result of her own inner conflict as a gay woman who never came out.

In any case, I am still grateful for my experience.
mkbayne@alum.mit.edu
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Lise
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Join date : 2009-11-08
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PostSubject: Re: RM Jiyu, Sexuality and Psychosis   Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:51 pm

Hello Nubian, and welcome. Thank you for telling us a bit about yourself and your history with the OBC.

There's been a good deal of discussion here around issues of sexuality, celibacy, Rev. Kennett's decision to disallow married monks . . . if you haven't seen it yet you might check out this thread:

http://obcconnect.forumotion.net/in-theory-and-practice-f8/thoughts-on-celibacy-assorted-posts-t23.htm

I don't think the issue of sexual orientation has been raised yet here as a possible factor shaping Rev. Kennett's philosophies or decision-making. It's probably not possible to take up the topic without a great deal of speculation, which likely cannot be confirmed or refuted with much reliability, therefore I'm not sure how much of a contribution would be made to the overall body of knowledge. I don't mean to sound as if I want to cut off discussion because of the topic; being gay, or the suggestion that someone might be, is not a pejorative to me. It may be relevant to someone's mindset or biases in favour of or opposition to certain things, or it may not, but I don't see how anyone other than the individual in question would know. It would just be speculation for the rest of us.

Lise
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: RM Jiyu, Sexuality and Psychosis   Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:04 pm

nubian wrote:
I attended Shasta in the "early years" ('72-'75) and made the mistake of falling in love with another monk. Although RM Jiyu married us in the Kanzeon Shrine, we were banished to Canada shortly after the marriage. The move triggered a complete psychotic break for me - 14 months of hell, which included two hospitalizations.

I do believe, however, that Jiyu's behavior during those years was the result of her own inner conflict as a gay woman who never came out.

Hello nubian. Welcome to OBC Connect. There are many former monks here who trained at Shasta Abbey during the same time period. I do remember meeting you and your wife briefly at Shasta Abbey right before you left. I'm sorry hear you had such a bad time afterward. I remember RMJK had a policy of asking newly married couples to leave the Abbey for a time. The reason given was to allow the couple a period during which they could focus on each other instead of participating in monastic training. That sounds positive, but I know from experience that things were not always what they seemed. Obviously since you felt banished it wasn't positive for you. Why do you characterize your falling in love with another monk as a mistake?

Regarding the possibility that RMJK was gay (and conflicted about it), I have to say I never saw any indication of that specifically. What was it about her behavior makes you think this?
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nubian



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PostSubject: Re: RM Jiyu, Sexuality and Psychosis   Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:08 pm

What was it about her behavior makes you think this?

It was her rigid and over-brutish treatment of female trainees -- including some severe dressing-downs in public forums -- that makes me think she was over compensating for her own sexuality, or loss thereof.

Isan, I'm not a clinical psychologist, just someone who lived for years with a gay sister. Regardless of her sexuality - as I stated in my original letter - I'm very grateful for my years of training with RM Jiyu.

Peace
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Mia



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Join date : 2010-08-31

PostSubject: Re: RM Jiyu, Sexuality and Psychosis   Wed Nov 17, 2010 4:35 pm

nubian wrote:
rigid and over-brutish treatment of female trainees
I saw evidence of gender discrimination (both male and female) by a very small handful of masters, and am concerned that there appeared to be little awareness of it. Having said that, most monks I knew struck me as very well balanced.

There is a war of gender politics going on out here, and monks are not always inoculated against something as basic as an attractive young man or woman charming their way through the ranks. Other times they might think they are aware of it, but are in fact over-reacting against it. If someone senior is making this mistake, how is he/she going to learn about it?
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jack



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Join date : 2010-06-29

PostSubject: Re: RM Jiyu, Sexuality and Psychosis   Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:00 pm

I never noticed anything explicit in the OBC that I couldn't attribute to the normal difficulty one would have if one were trying to behave in a celibate manner, even when it was contrary to one's nature. That's a thread somewhere else on this forum.

Before I associated myself with the OBC, I did try to find some non-OBC information about Jiyu and the OBC on the internet. Most of it was benign, but one lady did state that Jiyu was a female misogynist, but there was no elaboration to give the allegation substance.

I did run across, in Chinese Buddhism and in some Japanese Buddhism, the doctrinal contention that only males could become fully enlightened, and that any females who somehow became enlightened were mystically transgendered so that they were (at least spiritually) males at the time of enlightenment. I found it odd they were so desperate to maintain some doctrinal point, they were willing to twist reality, if needed, to maintain it.

Buddhism as a whole, despite the Buddha's inclusion of women in the sangha, has had a very pronounced bias toward male (and sometimes male only) sanghas, with women either being functionally ignored or placed in very diminutive roles. This happened across Tibetan, Chinese, Theravadin, and Zen traditions. I'm not too sure about others. This is slowly being changed, but culturally embedded elements of religion change slowly. The tendency of religions is to follow and rationalize the culture rather than changing it.
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Anne

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PostSubject: Re: RM Jiyu, Sexuality and Psychosis   Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:18 am

Unless something has been lost in the translation to Chinese or Japanese (etc), "full enlightenment" does not mean only self-enlightenment but includes mastery of the mundane superknowledges (wonderworking and psychic skills) and other-enlightenment (super-whizzo skills at enlightening others) and "founding a dispensation". This latter mysterious phrase means being like Shakyamuni Buddha and starting the ball rolling.

Traditionally-speaking samyaksambuddhas, like Shakyamuni, are born in the Jambudvipa (equivalent of India) of their world, as sons of brahmins or kings, in times when women are treated generally as inferiors. All sorts of leadership roles were deemed out of the league of women in such an era: if people think of you as basically inferior, it may be hard to found that dispensation. I think one Mahayana scripture spoke of a (perhaps imagined) world-society in which women were "at the top" (yes, I know this is not an improvement) and this one had a female buddha.

I think it was Ananda who asked the Buddha if women can become arhats (Master Jiyu's third kensho) and he said "yes". Unless you really want that job of founding a dispensation, you probably have no worries, whatever your place of birth, status, gender or personal disposition toward living "the homeless life": self-enlightenment and all those superskills will probably set you up a treat. This may be very un-Mahayana of me but I wonder how many of us really want that job... But I am VERY glad somebody did it!

As for those of us who honestly do not feel enamoured of that role, I am sure there is a lot of other good we can do.
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