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 My suggestion

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Jcbaran

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PostSubject: My suggestion   Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:44 pm

Here is my suggestion:

All the senior monks should start taking sabbaticals -- take off one or two of three months off. They should be financially supported and they should visit other spiritual communities, centers and teachers. Go on week-long retreats at other centers, take teachings from all sorts of other spiritual teachers, as well as take some time off.

Go visit other Zen communities, Tibetan centers and Vipassana centers or take some random classes. Go to Garrison Institute or Kripalu or Omega or Esalen. Go here Adyashanti or Byron Katie or Sharon Salzberg. Go to some conferences on social action and spirituality.

Expand your experience and mind.

Shasta and its culture have relatively isolated and inwardly focused. Hence the cultic nature of the organization. So they want to change. This would be a very good and healthy way to shift the culture.

Have the courage to shake things up a bit, get out of your rigid comfort zone, and see what happens.

Frankly, I don't think a month break is long enough. Too short. Probably 10 weeks is the shortest time.

That's my advice.
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: My suggestion   Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:41 pm

Good idea. Getting out among other centres would be great exposure to other concepts and ways of doing things. Sabbaticals would be unlike the current monastic conferences, I think, in that monks wouldn't be under public scrutiny as "representatives of the Order" or required to interact with others in specific ways. They would just be independent participants or visitors, choosing events (or periods of downtime) that appeal to what they need as individuals.

This is also very different from the idea of the annual rest and renewal periods. I have heard some monks say those breaks aren't necessarily restorative, esp. if they go see family or friends who have certain expectations for the time spent together.

I wonder how often seniors experience real burn-out, and what the options are for addressing that. I know, they "sit with it", but is there something else --
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mokuan



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PostSubject: Re: My suggestion   Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:37 pm

I'm not sure they could handle Adyashanti!!!
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Jcbaran

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PostSubject: Re: My suggestion   Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:57 pm

you never know who can handle what.....
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R A Foley



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PostSubject: Re: My suggestion   Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:01 am

I feel that the Interim Board will not make much difference to what the OBC is trying to do
because the view of the board is too restricted. In other words
the monastic Sangha selects the monks on the board and also the lay ministers. Lay trainee's are not represented by the Lay Ministers.
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: My suggestion   Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:39 am

R A Foley wrote:
I feel that the Interim Board will not make much difference to what the OBC is trying to do
because the view of the board is too restricted. In other words
the monastic Sangha selects the monks on the board and also the lay ministers. Lay trainee's are not represented by the Lay Ministers.

Good question, RA. I've wondered about this too. Does anyone know, did they consider letting "regular" laity participate?
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Mia



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PostSubject: Re: My suggestion   Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:16 am

Lise wrote:
R A Foley wrote:
I feel that the Interim Board will not make much difference to what the OBC is trying to do
because the view of the board is too restricted. In other words
the monastic Sangha selects the monks on the board and also the lay ministers. Lay trainee's are not represented by the Lay Ministers.

Good question, RA. I've wondered about this too. Does anyone know, did they consider letting "regular" laity participate?
Not that I'm aware of (as 'regular laity'), but then of course I wasn't there.
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mokuan



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PostSubject: Re: My suggestion   Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:29 pm

Although I'm inclined to agree with R A Foley, here is a new post from the Abbess of Shasta Abbey that does offer a glimmer of hope. However, I wonder why it was not posted here as well as on their website.
Posted 12/18/10
Regarding Your Concerns
From Rev. Master Meian, Abbess, Shasta Abbey
December 2010


At the Induction Ceremony in November, I said:

The gates of Shasta Abbey stand open wide.
Whilst I remain within this place
This gate shall never be closed to any living thing.


Our gates are open, and in that spirit I
hope that the lines of communication between you and all of us here at
the Abbey remain open and clear.


We welcome all you have to say, and would
like to provide a means for you to convey questions, concerns large or
small, or any feedback on the ways we carry out the Buddhist Teaching
transmitted to us by Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett.


Please feel free to write to us or email
us, or to speak to myself or one of the senior monks here at the Abbey.
In addition, there will be a locked Suggestion Box available in the
Guesthouse which will be checked regularly by the Guestmaster. Your
communication will be addressed in a timely way, with respect and in
confidence.


We hope that in offering these opportunities for more direct communication, we may strengthen harmony in the fourfold Sangha.

I'm wondering who "all of you" encompasses here. It's also not real clear on the Interim Board website where they say "anyone" can address the Board, but "anyone" has to be a member of the OBC. The language is unclear -- at least to me.

All the same, it's a nice gesture.
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mokuan



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PostSubject: Re: My suggestion   Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:57 pm

Uh oh, I feel an addendum coming on. Yep, here it is:

In restating that the gates to Shasta are open to everyone, does that really include everyone, or are these just pretty words and flowery sentiments?

Flat out: Are the Carlson's welcome?
To me this is pretty close to the bottom line. I can't speak for them, nor do I know if they would even want to visit. But if they're not welcome, then I think Rev. Meian should amend her statement, which is perfectly acceptable. She might want to say "most are welcome," or "many are welcome" something like that.

And, for that matter, they also might want to check with their attorney to see if in making a public statement that all are welcome and then refuse certain groups or persons could be seen as discrimination.

I don't know the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure regarding churches, but since the OBC is concerned about litigation, it might be something to look at.
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Machik



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PostSubject: Re: My suggestion   Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:19 pm

I concur with mokuan. If the Carlson's and their students as well as Komei and other monks who have been abused aren't welcome at Shasta Abbey, this isn't a place of Buddhist practice, nor does it even come close to resembling one.

In addition, I believe that the OBC should be concerned about liability issues because, although I am not an attorney, I believe real psychological harm has been done to many of those speaking out on this forum. I believe real damages exist and that these individuals, at the very least, are owed an apology.

It's true that many of us in the 70's were naive and didn't know how what the true qualities of a Master of Buddhism were, and we all made mistakes. However, we were sincerely seeking the true teachings and liberation. Many on this forum devoted many of their prime years to this organization, and if I were them, I wouldn't want anything more to do with this organization. I'd be searching for a true teacher, one who could lead me on the true path toward liberation. However, I would still appreciate an official letter of apology for the mistakes that were so obviously made. This forum is the exact place where these apologies should be made, in my opinion. It's free of the power and control issues that were institutionalized at the Abbey and in this organization.
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: My suggestion   Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:31 pm

mokuan wrote:

Flat out: Are the Carlson's welcome?
To me this is pretty close to the bottom line. I can't speak for them, nor do I know if they would even want to visit. But if they're not welcome, then I think Rev. Meian should amend her statement, which is perfectly acceptable. She might want to say "most are welcome," or "many are welcome" something like that.

For what it's worth I shared some communication with Rev Meian during which she affirmed the "open gate" policy and invited me to visit. Regarding the Carlson's I guess we can't know for sure until someone asks the question (preferably them). It would be significant if they could visit since they were literally not allowed to "set foot on Abbey property" (or so the story goes). I believe the much more important issue is the fact that the Dharma Rain Sangha was split off from the OBC. I believe that really needs to be addressed as part of a larger reconciliation, but I don't know what Kyogen and Gyokuko want at this point.

Regarding the Ethics Committee (is this the same as the Interim Board?) Rev Meian said:

"if you or any other former monk has advice, we will listen
"

I do believe this actually applies to everyone not just former monks. It was stated this way because it was addressed to me.

I agree that it would have been helpful if Rev Meian's words were posted here on OBC Connect. I suggested to Rev Meian that having someone officially represent the OBC in the forum would be very helpful, but she didn't speak to that specifically. Hopefully it will come.
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mokuan



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PostSubject: Re: My suggestion   Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:30 pm

In the Introduction Section under Temple Ban on 11-13-10 Gyokuko wrote:

"Hi Anne,
So far as I know, the change of abbots has not meant any change in policy regarding Kyogen and myself, or any of our students. When Kyogen contacted Haryo (head of the Order), after Eko's announcement of resignation, he said he didn't see any reason to change the policy."

For the last few days I've been trying to figure out how to articulate this gut feeling that I have, and I apologise in advance as I try -- in what will most likely be inartful expression -- to get my thoughts down.

Here's what I remember: A few of us were having morning coffee with RMJK in her den. This was a daily ritual and I always enjoyed it. It was a relaxing time before the day began and many interesting things were discussed. One morning the subject of the Carlsons came up. I remember being a little shocked at what I was hearing. Not wanting to be impertinent, I waited until after coffee to ask Daizui what that was all about. He was always candid with me.

Daizui and I were in her kitchen, and from what I remember he said that in order for Shasta to be recognized by the Chinese Malysian monks and receive financial support, all monks had to be celibate and vegetarian. Thus the edict for married monks to divorce. Of course, I don't remember verbatim what was said, but from that conversation I took away that this was the reason all married monks had to divorce: money and recognition, fame and gain. I wished I'd asked if RMJK had a dispensation to eat meat.

And as I said before, this was an immediate stumbling block for me. And it's not about eating meat. As best I can put it, it's about sacrificing your disciples for fame and gain. And the question arose in me: Were we all expendible if we got in her way of something she wanted? At that time the Abbey was full, something like 55 monks in residence. I was heartsick that our devotion to her, our training was not enough glory for her. How can you trust someone if you feel like your only value was that of a pawn?

And now, as of mid-November, we see from Gyokuko's post this policy and the excommunication of married monks is still perfectly reasonable. Fame and gain. It is my understanding the Carlsons are not welcome at all on Abbey grounds because they refused to divorce. Is this the teaching of RMJK's they want to perserve?

Why didn't she say: You know what Chinese guys, I'd love to have your money, I'd love to be recognised by you, but I will not sacrifice my monks for it. Sorry.


I did have a PM from Seikai, he was not in residence at the time and can't shed any light on it. If I have this wrong, if my memory is incorrect or my understanding is without merit, please tell me. Please set the record straight.

Sincerely,
mokuan
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mstrathern
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PostSubject: Re: My suggestion   Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:18 pm

Jiyu always craved recognition, especially fromthose she those she purported to disdain - the Anglican church, the London Buddhist Society, Sojiji, etc. Even so it should have been possible to sort something out with the Carlsons (very decent people as I remeber). The Catholic Church has manged to take married Anglican clergy under some circumstances. But no, for Jiyu they are sacrificed and flung onto the bonfire of her vanities.
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: My suggestion   Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:15 am

I seemed to have missed this business with the Carlsons, and the Malayans.
I did not know Kennett had to have financilal support from the Malaysians. Were the Americans avoiding Shasta?
Fancy abondoning your mates,sorry that is not on in any culture,there are codes of behaviour.
A young lad I know had a broken bottle put in his face, this was last week, he was rushed up to hospital and stitched up. he was Ok my main concern was he did not get himself into trouble going after the offender. As it happens the offender was a mate who had drunk too much.
I suggested police involvement, but the victim, would not under any circumstances,grass his mate. So he went to see his mate, told him he did not want the friendship,and he was not welcome within the group unless he voluntarily went to alcohol recovery programme.
That to me is pretty good street wisdom, kennett selling out to the Malaysans is the pits.
I know a japanese monk, who I met at the temple in Japan, he stayed in the background at San Fransico Zen centre after Shunru suzuki died. they i believe asked Eheiji for support. well this monk, was sent here and there, he did three spells at Eiheji,and was with the Abbott when he died,these people ,these monks followed a dedicated formal, traditional practice, he is still connected to main stream Soto zen in Japan, always will be,and runs a couple of temples in Australia, he is married now couple of kids,you do not hear of him, as he is quiet and and helps people with their zazen, takes it into prison, the practice would be the same, quiet , on going o, always present, Good for him too.
There is something quite weak here and puzzleing, about this financial support, as I said I have only just picked it up.
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Anne

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PostSubject: Re: My suggestion   Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:56 am

:-) Questions, not rhetoric:
Was Jiyu perhaps concerned for everybody's future if the support did not come through? Did she perhaps think times ahead might be too perilous for the organisation (any of it) to survive without it? Does anyone know or have any information on this? (-:
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: My suggestion   Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:17 am

good question Anne,I would like to know the answer to that to
Also though, everyone does mean everyone, not the chosen few.
I do not believe one can can have an all embracing experience,and then have a limited view that excludes people afterwards
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