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 Mark (Daiji) Strathern

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mstrathern
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PostSubject: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:04 pm

First topic message reminder :

I have recently found this forum and found it interesting, if somewhat depressing reading. I was an early English member who followed Jiyu Kennet back to the US after her first visit to England as a teacher. I was ordained in Oakland in the first US ordination ceremony along with about half a dozen others that included Kozan, Josh Baran (Jitsudo) amongst others, some who I can see are members of the forum. We then all helped to set up Shasta Abbey. I returned to the UK when my visa could no longer be renewes tasked by Jiyu Kennet to see if it would be possible to set up a UK centre. I found Throssel Hole Farm and purchased it with my own money. And then I'm a little unclear as to precise time tables at this point so if someone with a better memory knows better please correct me. I then returned to Shasta and returned sometime later to Throssel Hole as Prior where I remained for about 3 years until I returned to Shasta in '76(?) what I found happening there disillusioned me with the training at Shasta and having explained my reasons to Kennet, I disrobed and left. On returning to England I explained my decision to those at Throssel, and to Mike (Chisan/Hofuku) Hughes' group in London, and a little later after some thought sold Throssel to the community.

Since then I have got married, had two boys and ended up as a Senior Research Fellow in Complex Systems Science at Cranfield University.

This is very much the bare bones, I will flesh them out in later posts.
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:26 pm

mstrathern wrote:
Howard said of Isan
Howard wrote:
Your posting was a clear representation of past lives, their arising memories and how to approach them. This was also Jiyu's approach and teaching on past lives.

That is not how it was presented to me at the time. At the time Jiyu and the inner circle who were going through these experiences expressed them to me as real. Indeed the reason for saying that I was lying seems to have been that I said that they were not real but as they were real experiences I was lying. This may have been the doctrine in later years but it does not seem to be in HTGLB. Jiyu's story of the white tigress is told in the most personal terms, not allegorical ones. The Mahayana is full of allegory it is one of its great beauties. Look at all the great non-historic bodhisattvas like Kanzeon. They are wonderful allegorical personifications of idealised attributes. I would have been uncomfortable with allegorical experiences but that is not what was purported to be happening.

I feel the need to say again that I'm not defending RMJK or the behavior of anyone else. Being called a liar is a profound insult and I can understand how that made you feel. I was not privy to anything that was said to you and I did not see the letter that was sent to the English congregation until you shared it a few months ago. I believe you were treated with the same disdain and disrespect that was visited upon anyone who dared to say RMJK was wrong. The fact that you spoke with her openly about your feelings and left honorably did not spare you.

Regarding past life experiences being "real", they certainly feel real when you're experiencing them, but that's different then believing you are a different person or a white tigress, etc. As I've said before I believe RMJK was a frustrated thespian. She had a tendency to exaggerate and when it came to past life experiences she sometimes turned them into theater. I considered that imprudent, but not crazy. Over time I did not see anyone at Shasta Abbey literally believing themselves to be someone from another lifetime. Everybody pretty much remained the same boring people they had been before the experiences started.
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:36 pm

I don't know why I can't figure out how to do the quote thing, it would make this so much easier. But I wanted to comment on something Anne said in her last post above about one's past lives and whether or not they "belonged" to an individual. She said " I think Buddhist terminology has sometimes bent over backwards in order to deter clinging to a conceptualized "me" as an actual entity..."

I was so glad to read that for it reflects my feelings. What Isan describes, "...no linear progression from life to life..." makes the Theory of Dependent Origination nonsensical, and I have always found that theory to be profoundly logical.

Of course, I may be missing something that makes the whole thing work seamlessly so am happy for input.
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:49 pm

Hello Polly,

Quote :
I don't know why I can't figure out how to do the quote thing, it would make this so much easier. But I wanted to comment on something Anne said in her last post above about one's past lives and whether or not they "belonged" to an individual. She said " I think Buddhist terminology has sometimes bent over backwards in order to deter clinging to a conceptualized "me" as an actual entity..."
Here's a quick tutorial on the "quote thing." I assume you can copy and paste by highlighting and using <control c> and <control p> or equivalent. You put the text you want to quote where you want it, then highlight it again. The text effect icons above the text entry window includes one that looks like two little cartoon "speech balloons." Click on that, and codes for creating the quote box are inserted around the text. You can see what it will look like by clicking on the "Preview" button. Bold, Italic and Underlining work the same way.

I hope that helps.

Kyogen
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polly



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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:56 pm

Oh Kyogen, it would help if I knew how to cut and paste. I'll practice (somewhere else), get that part down and then progress to the forum. Or not. I have an ambivalent relationship with my actually perfectly nice computer.
But thanks.
P.S. When I first started posting I used all-caps because I couldn't figure out the italics thing. I was horrified when I later learned that all-caps means shouting.
I'm not this slow in all areas. I was actually a pretty good nurse. But computers...not so much.
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:02 pm

polly wrote:
I wanted to comment on something Anne said in her last post above about one's past lives and whether or not they "belonged" to an individual. She said " I think Buddhist terminology has sometimes bent over backwards in order to deter clinging to a conceptualized "me" as an actual entity..."

I was so glad to read that for it reflects my feelings. What Isan describes, "...no linear progression from life to life..." makes the Theory of Dependent Origination nonsensical, and I have always found that theory to be profoundly logical.

It is hard to express this material with language. When I say no linear progression, I don't mean random or without meaning. What's your sense of it?
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:30 pm

Isan Thanks for writing the above reply to me. I have no argument or issue with you. you have clearly stated the circumstances and your views. The issue for me is not really the interpretation of the Jesus incident. We are all intitled to our own belief and view.
My issue really was I felt that Mark was seriously wronged , by Kennett Roshi's denial and subsequent cover up by jiyu trying to control the message.
The cover up was full of discrediting Mark. Mark is a friend of mine a senior monk for me, I have always felt appaled by his treatment,and whilst he does not need me to fight his corner,I am afraid that is the type of person I am.
In some ways your posting has ended the issue for me,a clear view a personal witness,with no possible agenda has really vindicated Mark.
It is a great shame that this did not come from kennett herself, or indeed from a member of Shasta. It is indeed a pity that the English Sanga was built on foundations of a controlled message of the truth.It is indeed a pity that freedom of speech by Buddhists was not welcome from Kennett.
I believe that really in Buddhism less is more. I liked Kennett Roshi,when she had no home in the beginning she was at her best,something disappeared the more powerful she became.
It is the same as my friend Than Shwe my best friend at school,when we had nothing,now he has a country( by the throat) he is dispicable.The force he uses to maintain power is literally terrable, but all power issues are.
Buddhism remains for me the gentle way to self realisation,with great regret all the issues that we have recently discussed shows it has lost itself, simply by sitting zazen,it will find itself,and hopefully these huge empires will crumble to dust
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:13 pm

Hi Mark,

So nice to see your face.

Even though it has been a million years more or less, I find I think of you every now and again.

I'm glad it looks as if your life has gone well.

I can happily report the same...

Regards,

James

(at the time Etsujo, but I've collected new names since...)
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:02 am

Hi James

Glad life has treated you well. I have a copy of 'Zen Master Who?', a good read, an excellent overview of the introduction of Zen to the USA and a balanced view of the early Zen Mission years of the OBC.

Here is a photo from a million years ago (ordination, 5th July 1970, Oakland)



before things went askew. Ah, great hope, open heart and beginers mind - wonderful!

Warm regards Mark
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:23 am

James, welcome back to the Forum!

Mark, thanks for posting this photo.

Most of our names I remember well. One, I think I remember. And one I can't remember at all (although I think that if I heard it, it would resonate).

Perhaps you, James, or Josh could fill in. (Or perhaps Mokurai could, since he is here, on the forum, as a registered member, although not posting yet).

Back row: ??(I don't remember)...Mark (Daiji)...Mokurai...far right--Lea Ford

Middle row: James (Etsujo)...Josh (Jitsudo)...Lance Meridith??

Front row: Myozen...RMJK...myself

As you say Mark--a wonderful time indeed.
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:19 am

Not sure but was top left Aubrey Thornton?
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:54 am

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:
Not sure but was top left Aubrey Thornton?

From left to right, back to front:

Aubrey, Daiji, Mokurai
Etsujo, Jitsudo, Koshin
Myozen, RMJK, Kozan
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:19 pm

Thanks for confirming Aubrey
By this tsrange coinceidence thingy I have been trying to look him up on Google.
I knew Aubrey well a cool guy.
After the second retreat in UK that kennett Roshi held I got to know him well.
Aubrey was on the retreat,with Mark, Mike lesser, an Italian princess, her boy friend with a lotus and gold teeth, I think tibetan Bill (Kembo) crazy American girl who hit the walls ina zazen period, and others. Mark spent a lot of time in the kitchen eating bread with Mokurai!
The house was a beautiful house in Surrey owned by the parents of Emile Boin a laquer artist,that was a loyal friend of Mark. The house ( very expensive, was lent to a western Buddhist group, A few of us stayed on,after Mark flew to America to become a monk.
Aubrey was a very cool guy who would sit and drink yasmin tea and read books. Also staying was a guy who had lost his mind to the ravages of LSD,This particular guy Steven would drive everyone nuts with his constant pseudo zen talk, and his near constant hand movement to keep the spirits away. No one could handle Steven,apart from Aubrey, who would carry on sipping and drinking,while Steven would sit next to him rattling on and on.
I left after a yearish, and in moved a japanese monk called zengo Miroku or the Buddha Meitraya, The less said about him the better.
Aubrey made to America to be a monk, and was one of the first to leave,claiming it was all fake.
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:42 pm

Chisan, yes, certainly could be Aubry.

Isan, middle row far right certainly looks a lot like Koshin, and also like Jisho. The photograph was taken (as Mark points out) on July 5th 1970, the day on which all six of us were ordained. Although Jisho had met RMJK at this point, he and Koshin were ordained some time later, after we had made the move to Shasta.

Lance's last name was definitely not Meridith. My memory now wants to say Lance Merritt. My only hesitation here is that we were living just up from Lake Merritt at the time, in the house in the photo. And Lance was attending classes at Merritt College.
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:15 pm

Oooh, just saw Isan's post to me above. I missed that somehow, but anyway, I think we are covering it with "MP's". For the record, I pretty much hold the Hindu point of view with regards to reincarnation. But it's so very complex, multi-layered and it doesn't hold still for me. (What does?)
SO thrilled to see the photo above and get all the names put together with faces and be able to see what Mark looked like in his youth Very Happy .
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:30 pm

Polly I am sorry I saw this red line and touched it and I think I have given you a negative vote,if any one can please change my vote and give polly a positive vote as I can not go back. I am afraid machines and me do not go well together
Please VOTE POLLY
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:32 pm

Wow, what a trip to see that early ordination photo. It's nice to remember that we were all young once. It isn't just a dream. Right side, middle row does look a little like Jisho, but not quite. Top row left looks a little like Gensho when he had a full beard, but that's not possible. James, I would not have picked you out in that photo. I can see it once it's pointed out. Perhaps the beard makes the difference.

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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:06 pm

younger... and THINNER.
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:40 pm

No worries, Chisan, you are just like me regarding computers. You cannot guess the number of banned terms that issue forth from the room my computer lives in when I get together with it. Then I have to pat it down and say nice things to make up. Relationships can be so difficult...
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:59 pm

Yes I am very limited with this skill, We have today 6 kids on computers here today,the youngest ten, and she has to show me anything new like putting the photo on the forum.
They type so quick and are their knowledge seems immense.
I have one lad at the moment next to me with headphones and a mike attached,speaking to someone in London about their on line game
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:14 pm

by the way, I will be seeing Peter Norton next week. We will both be attending the annual TED conference in Long Beach, near LA. We both go ever year.... quite the gathering....
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:22 pm

Not heard of TED conference so I checked it out seems a positive conference
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:02 pm

Josh give Peter all our regards, and tell him the seeds of the 'Monks from Hell Reunion' are still sprouting.
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:05 pm

mstrathern wrote:
Josh give Peter all our regards, and tell him the seeds of the 'Monks from Hell Reunion' are still sprouting.

Regarding that reunion, here we are:

http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=1&u=16212896

I'll post a list of names if needed.

Edit - Names have been requested...

From left to right starting with the front row:

Gyokuko Carlson, Stephan Burckhardt's daughter, Gensho, friend of Josh, Josh (Jitsudo) Baran

Back row: Stephan (Chishun) Burckhardt, Jeanne Burckhardt, Amber (Komei) Larson, Victor Isan Sacco, Tim (Sansho) Runyan, Joann Runyan, Peter (Keitetsu) Norton, James (Etsujo) Ford, Brooke Farbricant, Dess (Hyakurei) Wheeler, Kyogen Carlson.


Last edited by Isan on Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:34 pm

Isan,

Names would be great.

Who is next to you? And is that Chishun's little girl next to Gyokuko?

mokuan
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:00 am

A joy to see everyone in this photo!!
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:01 am

When I mentioned Aubrey Thornton,there was other people on that retreat including Bob Springer,Bob followed mark over to Shasta,became a monk,and married Barbara or Kotei.
I believe after Bob left he became an inventer and was quite successful, I also believe that he died quite young. I remember Bob as a pioneering type,who sat with Sochu Roshi near the Round house in London.
Also from the Round House (hippy) days abd Sochu days was a geoffrey Croysdale. Mark might remember him,an incredibly camp man,he went to Japan for 5 years became a monk,and was the most theatrical,camp zen monk in the history of Zen Buddhism.
On his return to the UK,he wanted to be at a place where he could meditate a lot,unable to find the right place,he went to Sri Lanka re ordained as a monk there to live out his days meditating. He stayed with us in London,great character and very funny
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:59 am

Chisan, I am continually amazed by your wealth of information, knowledge, and insight!

I remember Bob Springer (ordained name, Bino) vividly. And of course, Kotei as well. Bino was a fountain of invention. And a skilled builder and plumber.
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:35 am

Bino I had forgotten that.
I remember his great flair, he told me in 1970 that he complained to Sochu suzuki roshi that he worked in a fried chicken take away,and it seemed againstthe precepts,Sochu told him that he was only complaining as he had to work hard,Rights or wrongs Bob felt the answer hit home! I remember a showed me hoe to use and adze I think that is what it is called,sort of a curved chisel, on a handle for chopping off small bits of timber,vey skillful, he had chopped the back of his bedroom door for practice,and his landlord was not best pleased.
Years later after Mark had left Shasta ,I wbet to see Sochu to tell him what was going on,and that Mark ( who used to sit with him and Bob had moved on) we had a long chat I asked him for the address of a teacher in Japan, and he said
' Whole universe the address '
which was a good answer for me
Bob had a daughter with Kotei. I liked Bob he sadly died too young
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:14 am

When did Bino die? I remember him coming to visit Shasta in either the 80's or 90's.
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:31 am

I am not sure Sophia Mark told me some time ago.
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:00 pm

mokuan wrote:
Isan,

Names would be great.

Who is next to you? And is that Chishun's little girl next to Gyokuko?

mokuan

Names added to original post :-) Yes the little girl is Chishun and Jeanne's daughter, who is of course a young adult now. For the record Brooke Fabricant was also a monk, however I'm not remembering his ordination name. Perhaps someone else remembers?
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:28 pm

I look at that photo and think I could never have been that young, or thin...

Thank you Mark!

On the subject of photos I recall a formal picture of the sangha being taken at Shasta Abbey in the first year. Anyone have a copy of that?
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:41 pm

Brooke's name, if I remember correctly, was Daian.


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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:17 pm

Chishun's and Jeanne's daughter is Kathleen Burckhardt, and she started college here in Portland at Lewis and Clark University last fall. We had lunch with her a few weeks ago. She has become a lovely and self possessed young woman.

Also, a correction: someone identified the woman between Gensho and Jitsudo as a friend of Jitsudo's. That is Deanna, Brooke Farbicant's wife. His ordination name was Daian rather than Dian. He is a contributing member of Dharma Rain although he lives near Palo Alto and works at Stanford.

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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:59 pm

Kyogen wrote:
Chishun's and Jeanne's daughter is Kathleen Burckhardt, and she started college here in Portland at Lewis and Clark University last fall. We had lunch with her a few weeks ago. She has become a lovely and self possessed young woman.

Also, a correction: someone identified the woman between Gensho and Jitsudo as a friend of Jitsudo's. That is Deanna, Brooke Farbicant's wife. His ordination name was Daian rather than Dian. He is a contributing member of Dharma Rain although he lives near Palo Alto and works at Stanford.

Kyogen

Kyogen,

Thanks for the clarification RE Brook's wife Deanna. I remember her now.
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:15 pm

Mike, Sophia I first met Bob (Bino) Sprenger outside of Buddhism through a mutual friend, Jenny Kane, we both had an interest in Buddhism. I had sat with Sochu Suzuki when he made his first visit to the UK (1968), I think this was before I first met Bob. I was then sitting with Sangharakshita and the FWBO. When Sochu returned Bob and I went back to sitting with him at the London Buddhist Society and in Archway where he was staying. The chicken story as Bob told me, I think that there were a number of versions, was that he had gone to Sochu, for whom he was acting as occasional unofficial anja, and explained in the pigeon english that was all that Sochu could thenunderstand. Bob: 'I not like, chop chickens, bad karma'. Sochu: 'Chickens not talk, you just lazy', having told me this Bob gave a wry grin and said 'Mmm... think he's probably right'. When Jiyu came over to England in 1970 we sat with her. All these groups were tied by their contacts through Emile Boin who had an oriental shop and laquerware workshop, the basement of which was tiny a meditation hall which was used by all those groups. Sarum House where Jiyu had her second UK seshin had been used for seshin by Sochu, which I had attended, and was part of the FWBO.
Bob (Bino) followed me to Shasta. He met Barbara (Kotei) there and later they got married. He and Barbara left amicably I think before the blow up in '76. After that he did a number jobs in construction and then setup a company, Mountaingate (?), with Barbara as president and himself as chief engineer, she was always the business woman and he was the engineer inventor. The company made engineering test equipment for the electronics and related industries. He developed cancer and after a prolonged struggle died about 1988, I saw him last when he was on a farewell visit to England during a relapse shortly before his death, He was the same as ever, cheerful and a fund of amusing stories at his own expense. Barbara now runs a number of companies and is active in Bay Area politics, and I believe has connections with Spirit Rock Meditation Center.

Mike a correction, Sarum House had not been owned by Emile's parents, his father was a sous-chef in London and retired back to near St Malo, France. It had been his wife Sara's parents who owned it and named it after her. Sara Boin-Webb, as she became after her first husband Emile Boin's death (1977) when she married Russell Webb editor of Buddhist Studies Review, was a major figure in her own right. She was a linguist and had met the great Belgium Catholic Buddhist scholar and translator, Etienne Lamotte, and with his permission translated his scholarly and exhaustive translation of the Vimalakirtinirdesa sutra and then went on with his help to translate his masterly History of Indian Buddhism, Surangamasamadhi sutra and finally the encyclopedic five volumes (and still unfinished at his death) of Nagarajuna's Mahaprajñaparamita-sastra, English publication due soon I'm told. She also translated a number of works by other French writers/translators and many articles. She died in 2008. Both Emile and Sara were very modest people, but both made very significant contributions to the spread of the Dharma in England.
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:28 pm

Great story and wonderful information, Mark. What a wonderful web of interconnection.

Kyogen
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:26 am

Yes they were great,I remember up I think above the shop they had a tiny flat and in one tiny room behind a screen was the smallest zendo in the world. It had a raised tan with tathami mat japanese gong.
Also without revealing names the letter kennett Roshi wrote to the lay sanga about you and to lesser extent Bill Picard and me came through their connection
I remember the other basement where FWBO met was it called sakura I think it was near Drury Lane
The early days of FWBO was interesting, I have not met anyone from FWBO since those days.Another couple that made an early contribution to early Buddhism were Anne and Richard Bancroft.
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:29 am

A quick mention too for my friend Michael Taylor, who was on the first sesshin with Kennett Roshi and drove her around and attended all sesshins.
I sent him a first draft of the book Bill told me to write.
Michael is a secular Carmelite based on Teresa of Avila, and St John of the Cross.
He was a bit shocked at the way things had developed,however he gave me great encouragement with the book. He edited it and made positive suggestions,parts to expand that I would not have thought about.
He mentioned the saying that if you put a Jewish theologian into a room with a Christian theologian,and a Muslim theologian they would soon be arguing. However if you put a Jewish mystic into a room with a Christian mystic, and a Muslim mystic, they would soon be in peaceful accord.
Michael is 74 or 75 now
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:31 am

:-) Hi again, Mark, fellow traveller!

I hope all is going well with you.

For some time I have been wanting to ask you further about what you meant by your words of 26 Nov 2010 (yes, I am rather slow!): “Throssel was trying to be a Zen training monastery, it was supposed to be hard.” (You were distinguishing between hard times and bad treatment.)

Were you referring to deliberately constructed discomfort/hardship…or just to natural difficulties that present themselves in communal living and organisation (especially when non-affluent) and in the internal ‘toughness’ of training?

If referring to deliberately constructed discomfort/hardship, had this been formally presented by RMJ as part of policy, or was it something you inferred from her or elsewhere, or…?

Please be assured that I am not trying to entrap you! I am just curious. (-:
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:26 am

:-) PS I should have added: if deliberately constructed, could you give me some examples? Ta, Mark
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:36 am

Hi Anne - please feel free to ask anything you want, I won't necessarily be able to answer everything; memory can be fugitive. I meant hard in the sense of austere, not in the sense of sentenced to 'hard labour', though at the edges they shade into each other. I thought of Zen monasticism as disciplined and austere not penitential as Trappists were before Vatican II; barbed wire bracelets, self-flagelation, etc. However all discipline is necessarily arbitrary at times, what time we got up, what time meals were, what we wore, what jobs we each did, etc, etc. But by and large this was necessary arbitrariness. I'm sure on occasions I must have strayed over the boundaries one way or another; it's very difficult not to when your in charge and something irritates you. However I don't believe that in my dealings with others in the monastery there was any intention of anything systematic or personal. The only deliberate hardship that spring to mind was my choice to not allow socks to be worn in the zendo in winter till my toes were numb during morning service! But I don't think that this is the kind of thing you meant. We were poor and living in austere place (especially in winter!) under an austere practice, I don't think we needed any major further hardships deliberately visited on us.
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PostSubject: Re: Mark (Daiji) Strathern   Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:05 am

Are you in touch with Michael Taylor Mike? I had a short; but interesting relationship with him. I certainly wish him well.
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