OBC Connect

A site for those with an interest in the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, past or present, and related subjects.
 
HomeHome  CalendarCalendar  GalleryGallery  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  Log in  

Share | 
 

 The Story of the Three Dimes

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : 1, 2  Next
AuthorMessage
Jcbaran

avatar

Posts : 1614
Join date : 2010-11-13
Age : 66
Location : New York, NY

PostSubject: The Story of the Three Dimes   Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:37 am

In the spring of 1977, I was making plans to leave Shasta. It had been in the works for sometime. Officially, I was going on an “angya,”a classic Zen practice of visiting other Zen temples and teachers, going on a personal pilgrimage and retreats.

Actually, I did not really ask Kennett’s permission. I told her honestly that after much personal mediation and reflection that it was time for me to do tak ea break and do an extended angya. She acquiesced,but she was obviously not happy, but the way I positioned my leave-taking made it problematic for her to say no.

Just to set the table, I was one of the original group of disciples from 1969-70. I had experienced kensho, received transmission in 1971, completed the 5-year teacher’s training, and Kennett had officially named me a “roshi.” And, by the way, I had never made any vows or promise that I would never leave.

I had served as guestmaster for many years and taught most of the lay people that came to Shasta. And for a year, while Kennett was going through her personal turmoil(more on that in later posts), I actually served as the President of Shasta Abbey. So I was one of the senior dharma heirs at that time.

From the day I said I was leaving, Kennett continuously tried to get me to change my mind, delay my departure, put off the trip. She would constantly say negative things about me and my decision; try to make me feel guilty. As many us experienced, there was no easy exit from Shasta. And when people did manage to leave, they were all invariably demonized – over and over again.

My dharma brothers – Daiji, Gensho, Keitetsu had all left and been subsequently vilified. There was absolutely no room for people to find their own a different path. Leave-takers became part of the mythology of the fallen ones and the stories of their “betrayals” were repeated over and over again. So I knew that when I finally did leave, I would also be similarly re-cast from being a leading “dharma heir” into some version of a defective villain. So be it.

I bought a big used Dodge van for my travels and had it converted to be used for sleeping and camping. My plan was to travel the country, visit other Zen centers and Buddhist teachers,participate in different types of retreats and generally get out from under Kennett’s influence – which is precisely what I did.

A week before my departure, Kennett invited me to tea to give me a “going away present.” Over the years, she had given me gifts – a purple silk kesa and some raksus and other things like that. So I went to see her.

She started by once again trying to talk me out of leaving, but I stood my ground and said this was the time and I was departing on schedule. She then presented me with an envelope which contained three small folded pieces of paper and said that inside each one was a dime. .“Dimes?” I asked somewhat confused. The gift was dimes?

She handed me the first little package on which she had written the word, JAIL. Kennett said, “Here is the first dime. After you leave the Abbey, when you get arrested, use this dime to call me from jail and I will come and bail you out.” Remember, in those days, telephone calls were ten cents.

To be clear, Kennett wasn’t kidding. This wasn’t a joke. I thought to myself – this is getting really weird, even creepy.

Then she gave me the second package on which was written, LOONEY BIN. “After you leave Shasta, when you fall apart and end up in a mental institution, use this dime to call me and I will come to get you.”

A mental institution? This was so bizarre. I couldn’t wait to find out the promise of the third dime.

The third package said BROKE. Kennett said, “When you totally run out of money and have nothing, use this last dime to call me and we will come and rescue you.”

(Some context – I came from an upper middle class Jewish Los Angeles family. I attended Reed College and the University of California, and had no past history of crime or insanity.)

What an astonishing going away “gift.”

The story of three dimes that Kennett shared with me that afternoon reflected her distorted and paranoid view / story about the “outside world” which later I realized was wholly based on the consequences of her loveless childhood and lonely life in England. To her, the world was a place of danger, hostility, insanity, cruelty, and failure -- where only terrible things happened. At least, that’s how she saw it.

Secondly, she created this isolated culture at Shasta where she taught that it was only through HER protection and continuous control that anyone was safe. She was the savior and no matter how long we trained with her, we couldn’t survive without her management.

Her underlying message: You leave me and you will go crazy. Without me, you have no personal power or integrity or sanity. You certainly can’t control your own life or behavior. Without me, you will fall. Without me, you will lose the Buddha’s Way. Without me, you are doomed.

YIKES!!!! This was all total, unmitigated nonsense!!!

Instead of giving me even the simplest of good wishes for whatever journey I felt I needed to take, she predicted darkness, nightmare and chaos. Even though she had trained me for nearly seven years and said I was a “roshi,” the minute I left the monastery where she couldn’t control me 24 hours a day, her assumption was that I would lose it and immediately start robbing banks, molesting children, go mad, and end up wandering homeless on the streets of some dark evil city.

And then, she and only she would save me.

Clearly, she didn’t think her training was very effective.

Sitting in her cottage, as I was holding the three dimes, I sat there nodding in silence. One thing everyone learned at Shasta was NEVER to share your feelings or ever say anything that challenged Kennett. NEVER. Anything less than total adoration was met with rage, retaliation and banishment. Honest response was unacceptable. As some of you who are posting on this site know, I am not exaggerating.

I sat there quite tongue-tied and also I felt very sad for her. The “master”was giving me this “gift,” and by definition, all such gifts are blessings, so the only acceptable reaction from a disciple was total gratitude. Just bow deeply – that’s what Dogen taught. But this master was certainly not teaching “the truth.” She was teaching fear and dependency. But I did need to say something, so I gave a short no-hearted version of thanks, but it was completely false. I wasn’t grateful for this so-called gift.

To me the three dimes was not a blessing, but a kind of wacko,ridiculous curse. This was her koan, not mine. And if there was any koan for me to answer, the response was to walk away.

And I wasn’t buying this absurd story Kennett was weaving. She wasn’t selling water by the river – she was selling mud. No thanks.

My real reaction frankly was: GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE.

My honest reaction would have to be to say, Keep your [banned term] dimes. What a mean and heartless thing to give me. What are you thinking? Why can’t you respect my decision to continue my Zen training in my own way?

For the two previous years, my inner guidance / intuition was screaming at me to leave. Shasta was turning devotees into dependent children, not spiritual adults. Kennett was becoming increasing abusive, possessive,isolated, and had lost any possibility of self-reflection. Daizui had become her main enabler. Shasta had become a humiliation factory where Kennett’s shadow was running amok. This was a loveless place where compassion was merely some un-lived concept. She recreated her dysfunctional family.
And her three dime gift was a reflection of her state ofmind.

This gift had nothing to do with me, but was a classic example of psychological projection. In her mind, we were all damaged children and without her constant correction and total control, we would end up in San Quentin or the looney bin. And leaving her was the ultimate sin. What did any of this have to do with Zen?

And who was the damaged child? You tell me.

It didn’t start this way. For the first 3-4 years, Kennett’s teaching was grounded in basic Soto Zen teachings and meditation. She could be tough, but mostly it was not excessive. But in the last few years, things had taken a serious downward turn. Shasta had become a toxic spiritual kindergarten.

Years later, I would see similar situations in other spiritual groups – where “perfect” masters infantilized their followers. Rather than encouraging their students to grow into fully awakened adults, Kennett’s path took people back to a state of childish dependence. And yes, indeed, there is a kind of false and limited liberation you can experience by giving up your will and adulthood, but it is shallow, short-lived and has nothing to do with the Buddha’s way. This state creates more “endarkenment”than genuine enlightenment.

As I left Kennett’s house, I shoved the dimes into the pocket of my robes and thought, “Thank goodness I am on my way.” Yes, my way. Following my intuition, my inner Dharma, my path – which lead me to Shasta when I was 19 and was now leading me out the door. I was not depending on Kennett’s guidance, but on my own inner guidance. Giving that up was not an option. It was never an option.

I put the envelope with the dimes somewhere in the back of the van as I pulled out of the gates of Shasta. As I traveled the country, I forgot about the dimes and their message. I saw my family in Los Angeles. I visited various Zen teachers and stayed at different centers. I was in Arizona teaching meditation and counseled and gave the refuges and precepts to a woman dying of cancer. I mediated a crisis at the Lama Foundation. I taught meditation in many prisons in Texas. I attended teachings with Kalu Rinpoche, a senior Tibetan Lama, and eventually ended up settling down in Atlanta for a year.

During the middle of my trip, when I was staying in Austin,I was cleaning my van and found the dime envelope under some books. I unwrapped the three little packages and held the 30 cents in my hand. What should I do with this? I thought of giving it to a one of the homeless people panhandling near where I was staying, but that didn’t see right. The dimes were sort of tainted and I didn’t want to share that “energy” with someone else. What would be appropriate? Then I made my decision and went out and treated myself to a rocky road ice cream cone.
Oh, by the way, I never did end up in the looney bin or rob any 7-Elevens. Instead, I continue to do the best I can in realizing and practicing the Dharma / compassion of the present moment (not always easy) and I find my life an unfolding wonder.

Sorry, Kennett, to disappoint, but I didn’t live out your nightmares for my life. But thanks so much for the ice cream cone.
Back to top Go down
Lise
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1412
Join date : 2009-11-08
Age : 43

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:51 am

Josh, it's hard to even comprehend this -- thank you for telling the story. I have some questions but will think on them a little longer.

L.
Back to top Go down
http://obcconnect.forumotion.net
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:22 am

Well done Josh
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:45 am

josh,you and Alan were in close proximity to Kennett for a lot of years.
Did you see her meditate very much?
There is just sitting in front of the tele. That is not what I mean
I hardly ever saw her sit, one of the main aspects of Soto Zen is zazen
Can you answer please
Back to top Go down
Jcbaran

avatar

Posts : 1614
Join date : 2010-11-13
Age : 66
Location : New York, NY

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:30 am

In the seven years I was with Kennett, I never saw her meditate more than 10 minutes. Never. Not in the Zendo. Not privately in her room or cottage. She was not a meditator, pure and simple. She did not meditate. More on that later.
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:53 am

Yes thank you josh
The three dimes is a sharp contrast of course to the three treasures.
In japan the three pillars are often referred to.In the last century not so long ago
Sawaki roshi emphasied individual sitting
Kishizawa rorhi emhasised prostrations and teachings
Hashimoto roshi emphasiised monastic life or bendowa

It is very sad that what started so well and promising , at Shasta,with very sincere people turned the way it did. I thin you are right to mention the control because when people left it was difficult to decipher through, what was good and what was not. It was easy to feel isolated and unconnected,this of course makes one feel ones meditation is insignificant.
As we know this is not the case,ones effort and meditation is not dependant on anyone or anything.
I asked a Japanese roshi for the address of a temple, and he said

'Whole universe the address'
I liked that
Back to top Go down
Laura

avatar

Posts : 124
Join date : 2010-07-30
Location : Portland, OR

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:45 am

What a powerful story! It has really helped me to hear some of the history about RMJK, because it explains so much of why Eko was the way he was. It helps me make some sense of the things that happened to me during my training with him.

It also explains something he said once. One of RMJK's disciples left the Abbey some years ago to take care of their aging father. This former monk was killled in a bicycle accident some years later, and we did a memorial service for him at the Abbey. Afterwards, Eko told me that RMJK had "warned the monk not to leave". Eko did not say so outright, but the implication was that the monk was killed as karmic consequence of his leaving the Abbey and abandoning RMJK.
Back to top Go down
jack



Posts : 165
Join date : 2010-06-29

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:20 am

Josh,

Interesting story, well told.

What I find somewhat amazing is the insistence of the OBC that Jiyu's behavior was that of an enlightened Buddha. I found the echos of her erratic behavior at the Priory I attended. The monk sometimes overvalued erratic behavior -- as if that were a marker of an original mind being spontaneous. He liked to quote Jiyu as teaching that "Consistency was the hobgoblin of little minds." He stopped quoting that when I pointed out that what he was quoting was a malformed plagiarism of Emerson, namely:

Quote :
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesman and philosophers and divines.

Again, useful story told in a way I'll remember it.


Last edited by jack on Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:55 am

I think we should talk about the lotus blossom that grew out of her head, and some of these previous lives
Back to top Go down
Isan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 917
Join date : 2010-07-27
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:12 pm

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:
I think we should talk about the lotus blossom that grew out of her head, and some of these previous lives

What specifically would you like to say about it?
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:08 pm

That it is not zen practice
Back to top Go down
Isan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 917
Join date : 2010-07-27
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:35 pm

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:
That it is not zen practice

There is a thread in the OBC Experiences section called "How to Grow A Lotus Blossom" where the content of RMJK's book is discussed. I would encourage you to comment there. More generally I think it's debatable whether or not RMJK's Lotus Blossom experiences are "zen practice". I remember that was your reason (at least in part) for separating from RMJK in the 70's. There were plenty of reasons for separating from RMJK and Shasta Abbey other than calling the practice into question. I don't have time for a lengthy post at the moment, but will be happy to revisit this as I think it's a good topic to hash out. In a nutshell I believe when you sit on a zafu the commitment has to be unconditional. You don't and can't know what will happen when you start meditating - it is inherently a journey into the unknown. If something happens that's not in the rulebook what do you do?
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:17 pm

Isan Are you saying i cant I say what i want,if I leave because I think the practice is wrong? I can say what I like surely.Of course when we sit we are commited or we would not sit, |i have never analised it, don't suppose I ever will. When something happens that is not in the rule book what do you do, if you do not like it you leave or do something about it. I have never seen this rulebook when I sit so can't really answer sorry
Back to top Go down
Isan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 917
Join date : 2010-07-27
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:35 am

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:
Isan Are you saying i cant I say what i want,if I leave because I think the practice is wrong? I can say what I like surely.Of course when we sit we are commited or we would not sit, |i have never analised it, don't suppose I ever will. When something happens that is not in the rule book what do you do, if you do not like it you leave or do something about it. I have never seen this rulebook when I sit so can't really answer sorry

Of course you can say what you want. That's what the forum is about (well, within reason - Lise has the final say). Regarding my rulebook comment, what I mean is if something happens in your meditation - for instance the arising of past life memories - then what do you do? Many of us at Shasta Abbey in the 70's - 80's found ourselves having what traditionally might not be considered Zen experiences, but we had them nonetheless, and we had to figure out how to deal with them. I understand that you and others at the time felt it wasn't Zen practice and decided to distance yourself from RMJK as a result. It was your right to make that choice, but the teachings regarding past lives go right back to the Buddha under the bodhi tree, so I don't think it would be fair to say it wasn't "Buddhist".
Back to top Go down
mstrathern
Admin
avatar

Posts : 602
Join date : 2010-11-14
Age : 74
Location : Bedfordshire, UK

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:39 am

Buddhism does indeed have teachings about past lives but it is an extremely subtle one as traditionally the position is in contra distinction to the Hindu belief in rebirth where the soul or persona travels from life to life.

But this is not relevant in this case. This was not an isolated incident of someone having an experience of a previous life during meditation - that is easy to deal with you let it go, like any other thought or state that happens in meditation. The Theravada maxim 'Neti, neti ' (not this, not this) applies. This was the systematic adoption of a practice in order to produce the experience of previous lives, and what lives! In the inner clique around Jiyu suddenly everyone was experiencing their former lives. I am very sorry to say that it seemed like a hysterical phenomena feeding on itself rather than an incidental part of particular persons training that needed to be 'gone beyond, gone altogether beyond'.


Last edited by mstrathern on Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:44 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : correct spelling)
Back to top Go down
Isan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 917
Join date : 2010-07-27
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:32 pm

mstrathern wrote:
Buddhism does indeed have teachings about past lives but it is an extremely subtle one as traditionally the position is in contra distinction to the Hindu belief in rebirth where the soul or persona travels from life to life.

But this is not relevant in this case. This was not an isolated incident of someone having an experience of a previous life during meditation - that is easy to deal with you let it go, like any other thought or state that happens in meditation. The Theravada maxim 'Neti, neti ' (not this, not this) applies. This was the systematic adoption of a practice in order to produce the experience of previous lives, and what lives! In the inner clique around Jiyu suddenly everyone was experiencing their former lives. I am very sorry to say that it seemed like a hysterical phenomena feeding on itself rather than an incidental part of particular persons training that needed to be 'gone beyond, gone altogether beyond'.


Mark, thanks for the thoughts. With regard to the Buddha remembering past lives while sitting under the Bodhi tree, it seems to me to be one those things that can more easily be accepted as having happened in the past to someone else Vs something happening in the present to someone you know (or yourself!). I agree that the difference between the Hindu and Buddhist interpretations is important. There’s a significant practical difference between experiencing (what appear to be) past life memories as phenomenon to learn from and then let go of Vs thinking they’re your past lives. Identifying with the phenomena can produce all kinds of problems - perhaps the most common silliness is people thinking they were someone famous or notorious in the past, and that somehow makes them more important or interesting in the present. Fortunately for the most part people at Shasta did not experience memories of having been celebrities in the past (yes I know there were a few exceptions, but people got over it).

There’s no doubt that Jin Shin was the catalyst for all kinds of phenomena. I’ve experimented with other types of “energy work” since leaving the Abbey and they all tend to encourage the release of memories and feelings in a way that zazen does not. I would agree that in the summer of 76 things were a little out of control, though I wouldn’t describe the climate as hysterical. It was more that RMJK had given permission for monks to explore, and as people had experiences it increased the sense of permission for others to do the same. RMJK did eventually see the need to calm things down and get the focus back on traditional training. She restricted the practice of Jin Shin to the “day off” (if memory serves) and in general admonished people to get back to work, which had the necessary quieting effect. In retrospect I can see that the introduction of Jin Shin could have been handled better. Not everyone benefited from Jin Shin – I feel some were confused and turned in a wrong direction by it – but that is a risk for the practice of zazen as well. Engaging in hind sight has only limited value. Over all I feel Jin Shin benefited me and quite a few others I had close contact with. More importantly I believe RMJK's unwillingness to treat her students as adults, choosing instead to create a culture of fear and repression was far more damaging than anything caused by practicing Jin Shin. That was what motivated me to leave in the end.


I believe it was appropriate for you and others to choose not to participate in the doings at Shasta in 1976. Clearly what was happening for a while was not traditional Zen practice and not what we initially signed up for. I just don’t feel that we were deviating from the essentials of Buddhist teaching, and that in a more perfect world we could have agreed to disagree.
Back to top Go down
Lise
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1412
Join date : 2009-11-08
Age : 43

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:41 pm

Note to all, I did a post earlier today, not seeing that my uncle (Watson) was already logged in. He's deleted it. I hope it didn't cause too much confusion. He kindly shares his computer when I visit, so if you see a bit of oddness over the next week it's my fault for not looking before I type. (Sorry Uncle. )

I won't try to re-do my comments except for this. Viewing the world as a hostile and cruel place to be afraid of is so sad to me, and such a waste, esp. when a person appears to have had the gifts and strengths Kennett had. Sadder still to try to plant the fear in others.

Josh, glad you got through it and went on your way.

L.
Back to top Go down
http://obcconnect.forumotion.net
Jcbaran

avatar

Posts : 1614
Join date : 2010-11-13
Age : 66
Location : New York, NY

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:06 pm

As I posted elsewhere, I see the Lotus blossom experiences as contrived and artificial. They were absolutely not spontaneous experiences of past lives, but guided and ego directed fantasies or visualizations. Who I am to judge? I was the middle of it and it was clear to he how forced and fake the whole process was. And I saw this kind of situation repeated in many other wacko cults - years later.

Kennett deciding she was St. John of the Cross and Bodhdharma was not some real experience of a past life.... and then Eko was Jesus and one day i crossed her slightly and I was declared to be an evil pope...... this is all goofiness.

The ego can create all sorts of visions that glorify itself. This is the ego's doll house. But in the Kennett's lotus period -- each and every "vision" I saw was a contrived, consciously-driven exercise. And more than that, the whole process became more and more strained, harmful, grandiose, confused -- and Zen flew out the window.

Just to be clear - some people can experience many different kinds of spontaneous experiences -- that are actually "authentic" - but even the most authentic "experiences" must be abandoned, given up - otherwise they just become more baggage, more stuff to identify with. The Tibetans are very clear about how all experiences, fantasies, visions, of any sort are to be ignored, relinquished, and the focus is only on the true nature of mind which is emptiness / wisdom.
Back to top Go down
Jcbaran

avatar

Posts : 1614
Join date : 2010-11-13
Age : 66
Location : New York, NY

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:08 pm

By the way, I don't think Jin Shin Jyutsu per se was the problem. Jin Shin is just a type of light acupressure / energy healing system which in itself is fine. Kennett was helped a little by a Jin Shin therapist while she was sick, but then she started to incorporate this into Shasta life --and then into her lotus blossom digression. So she distorted and abused the therapy, so it did get confusing to many people.
Back to top Go down
Daishin Morgan



Posts : 3
Join date : 2010-08-07

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:43 am

I was at Throssel when Mark Strathern left in 1976, he had ordained me in 1974. I went to Shasta from Throssel in 1977 and stayed there until 1982 before returning to help run Throssel. While I was at Shasta I had many conversations with Rev. Master Jiyu about her experiences. She was not claiming to be Jesus, John of the Cross or Bodhidharma and neither was anybody else. Yes, there was a lot about past lives at the start of my time there and that is something that more training and digestion has since modified considerably. I was also around when Josh Baran’s departure was discussed. I cannot vouch for what went on between him and Rev. Master Jiyu but I can say how she spoke of him after he left. She was very saddened by his departure and upset that he understood the three dimes in the way he does. As she expressed it to me, her intention was to say "please keep in touch" in a light hearted way; it was not at all to predict dire consequences in the way he has taken it. I can understand how, in the midst of the complex emotions of leaving, he might have seen it otherwise. But then he does seem quite bitter in his condemnation. Rev. Master Jiyu recognised the three dimes had been a mistake in the light of how it was taken and did not do it that way again.

And to Mark Strathern, I do mention you these days when talking to people about how we got started here, you were a big influence and I know a lot of the people who were around in those days remain very grateful for what you brought to this place, me included. Your departure was a difficult time. This place is very different now, we have been through a lot, and I hope we have learned more about how to do this. Our roots are with Rev Master Jiyu and what we do is pretty much Soto Zen with a distinct western flavour. We have moved on from the 1970's. Please come and see.

There is a pattern in how some of the key participants on this site see Rev. Master. She was fine, maybe a bit tough, during the times when they were learning the fundamentals and while they received the affirmations that she was not slow to offer. She however always made the point that training does not end there. When she shook their trees and asked them to let go of their positions or whatever they still held on to - asking them to go on deeper into the letting go and then that seems to have been the moment she became a demon for them. I don’t argue that her methods were always right, nor do I claim she did not make mistakes in how she sometimes saw things, but on the fundamental level she could spot someone holding on to their ego at a hundred paces, I speak from much personal experience. At those times she would not back off and you could twist and turn on the hook all you wanted but she would not budge an inch. That could seem very unreasonable, and ever more so if you lost the point of what this is all really about. She had the courage to be a good teacher and like all good teachers she did not succeed in helping everyone, it depends as much on the disciple. This is a very demanding business.

I believe the heart of training is expressed in making good with whatever comes. Rev. Master taught me that. I could have blamed her and left but chose not to. I stayed because she had a quality that to me could not be denied. There was something that drew all of us to her in the first place that was beyond mere charisma. She was rooted in something deep. You can say I am caught in group-think and all of that. Read my book if you think so. It has its own voice. There were things that Rev.Master did that we don’t do now. She and all of us learned much over the years and that learning continues. She came from a difficult background and made something of herself. I knew her personally from 1977 until her death in 1996. I was either at Shasta or in touch most weeks by phone from Throssel. The picture some would paint of her on these pages is not the person I knew. She was deeply compassionate to me and I am proud to call her my master. When I became Abbot here in 1982 she gave me room to do things as I believed they were needed. I asked her about the fact that I did not always teach in the same way. She asked me if I taught the Four Noble Truths or not? I said I did my best and she said, "then there is no problem." We did not always agree and I occasionally had my fights with her, but we worked it out. She challenged me in all sorts of ways but that was what I asked of her when I said I wished to be her disciple. She made her mistakes and so have I. The ability to forgive and to see beyond the mistakes into the real intention of the heart is a necessary part of all human relationships. She has now been dead for over fourteen years, isn’t it time to let be and move on?
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:09 am

I did not believe that Eko was Jesus or Kennet Bodidarma either, It was denied until now, I was given a choice, believe or go, I went
Back to top Go down
Henry

avatar

Posts : 398
Join date : 2010-08-28
Location : Palm Beach Gardens, FL

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:13 am

Daishin,
I am very appreciative that you are here and I imagine Seikai is even more so. I would like to see more of your view here and stated as passionately as you have done. I hope you will continue to speak out. The only sentence you wrote which I take issue with is your last and speaks to the heart of why I am here on this site. As long as you feel "isn't it time to move on?" you will not get why many people are here. Nor will your get that the mistakes Rev. Kennett made have had a very different effect you than they have had on many others. The way you come off is that your reaction is the spiritually mature one and some of ours is the childish one. I could not disagree more heartily. Read my experiences and read Amalia's and Laura's and others. Do you want to pretend that these things are not serious problems? That they sprung out of nowhere? Your approach, as I suspect is the point of view of many in the OBC, is "come on now guys, isn't it time to grow up?" This is the dismissive attitude that has existed from the beginning. It was always time to let go of Rev. Kennett's mistakes. It was always time to grow up. It was always time admit that too big a deal is being made of things. It was always time to be silent. It was always time to repress your genuine concern that certain things were handled in a repressive, misguided way and had very harmful effects. I just disagree. The fact is that these things were never allowed to be spoken of and the result is that the mistakes made by Rev. Kennett have been passed on. Read the stories on this site. Open up your heart to the pain all this has caused. As much as I respect your point of view, I don't think you understand where many of us are coming from and why we continue to be concerned with what happens at the OBC. Read my more recent posts (from Nov 20) on the After the Conclave thread and read Laura's. Your dismissive attitude will not help cure these ills that still persist at the OBC. You can not blame it all on Eko. You can't just dismiss it all away as these concerns have always been dismissed away. I believe there is much common ground, but I won't be dismissed as though I were a whining child.

Your last sentence embodies what concerns me about the OBC. This is what Meian and Haryo tried to do to Laura when she came to them about Eko's mistakes. This is your koan, they said. We are spiritually mature and you are making a big deal about nothing. Amalia's psychosis was a big deal about nothing. My illness was a big deal about nothing. As you believe we have something to learn. I believe you do also. Emotional intelligence, compassion (not just the tough love kind--there are other kinds) are not developed through dismissiveness. Not every one is you. Others had different experiences, that perhaps, just perhaps, were as valid as yours.

After you read the referred to posts on the After the Conclave thread (mine, Laura's and also Seikai's--from Nov 20)--if you're willing-- I'd be very interested in your response to my comments above. They'd probably be more appropriate posted on the After the Conclave thread rather than here, but whatever works for you.

Respectfully,
Kaizan

PS My impression of the Three Dimes story at the time was the same as yours, though I can't say that Josh's interpretation has no truth to it. I just don't know. But I do remember Rev. Kennett relating her intentioin as you wrote it.
Back to top Go down
Lise
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1412
Join date : 2009-11-08
Age : 43

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:20 am

Daishin Morgan wrote:
And to Mark Strathern, I do mention you these days when talking to people about how we got started here, you were a big influence and I know a lot of the people who were around in those days remain very grateful for what you brought to this place, me included. ..."

Rev. Daishin, if there is literature published by Throssel Hole that includes Mark's role (and others who were instrumental), I hope Shasta Abbey could receive a copy for their guest library. I could not find any materials there that provide a complete and accurate history of the founding.

About the three dimes, I have trouble seeing the gesture as lighthearted or envisioning the mindset that could do so. "Jail", "looney bin" and "broke" would have hit me as they did Josh -- as mean and heartless.

I could not have followed Jiyu Kennett. I respect the position of those who did and don't regret it, but for me -- it never would have happened.
Back to top Go down
http://obcconnect.forumotion.net
Jcbaran

avatar

Posts : 1614
Join date : 2010-11-13
Age : 66
Location : New York, NY

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:54 pm

I am not sure where to begin. I will probably just post a few thoughts at a time.

Kennett's lotus period and all the past life stuff -- I didn't make any of this up or exaggerate anything. In fact, it was many times more bizarre - but happily I forgot most of the details and did not keep any diary.

I did NOT make up that at one point everyone in the Abbey became part of her fantasies about Jesus and Mary and Judas. And absolutely she claimed to have been St. John of the Cross and Bodhidharma. Later, even she realized how wacko the whole visualizations had become and she and Daizui changed or edited the story. All good mythology needs editors. And, yes, by the time I left, the drama had calmed down.

I shared the three dimes story because it was a good example of Kennett's mindset. Believe me, she wasn't joking. She wasn't lighthearted. She wasn't just saying, "keep in touch." There were so many other examples of her demonizing people who left, predicting bad things would happen, making leave-taking so painful and dramatic. There is no surprise here.

It is certainly possible that she thought she was doing something clever when she gave me the dimes - or she might have decided it was some kind of zen compassionate act. That doesn't make it any less distorted and outright mean. She was lost in her own grandiose fantasy so anything is possible.

In Kennett's mind, she could never, ever do anything "wrong" - so of course, she cast the story as -- Josh has misunderstood. That's the grand story. of not only Shasta, but many small cultic organizations. Teacher = perfect and always in the right / light. Followers = confused, ignorant, wrong, feelings not only don't matter, it's just their koan, their impediments. That's why I left. This is a very harmful story.

By the way, it was just her and me in the room, as far as I remember. So whatever any account you heard of this -- it must have come from her.

Maybe, just maybe, my account is mostly accurate. Maybe, just maybe, I did not misunderstand, but essentially received the communication. Maybe, just maybe, my personal response was to say, "enough's enough. I am gone." Maybe, that was a reasonable answer to this natural arising koan.
Back to top Go down
glorfindel

avatar

Posts : 226
Join date : 2010-07-12

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:09 pm

Being partial to a bit of poetry (early Yeats in particular) I find this story utterly beautiful. Wasn't the chick just saying that if you got into trouble she'd help you out?

I agree though that it may have been portraying an overly scary image of the world. But I imagine that to people in a monastic setting the world might seem a little scary. I have friends who come out of mere 10 day vipassana retreats pretty freaked out by the world.

You were kind of implying that Kennet was consciously trying to scare you into staying. But perhaps she herself found the world a little scary? Heck, it can be a bit scary. When my little girl grows up and goes off into the world I will feel so many emotions: hope and joy but also worry and I would have a broken heart too.


EDIT: btw I totally agree that if you decided "enough is enough" then it was. "The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?" (Confucius)
Back to top Go down
jack



Posts : 165
Join date : 2010-06-29

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:21 am

Jcbaran wrote:


By the way, it was just her and me in the room, as far as I remember. So whatever any account you heard of this -- it must have come from her.

Maybe, just maybe, my account is mostly accurate. Maybe, just maybe, I did not misunderstand, but essentially received the communication. Maybe, just maybe, my personal response was to say, "enough's enough. I am gone." Maybe, that was a reasonable answer to this natural arising koan.

For what it's worth, your version of the story is much more credible to me than the revisionist version of it she told later. I've been on this earth a long time observing people's behavior, and have long observed the tendency of many humans to "revise" their memory rather than facing their faults as failures as they actually occurred.. Hurt inflicted and then later revised as "humor" or "misunderstanding" when it looks putrid in the glare of reflection is a very common tactic of dodging the pain of one's own flaws.. One clear sign of authentic recognition of harm is apology to those harmed, and acknowledgment of the deed as done, rather than as revised..

The preponderance of the evidence lies with you based simply on human behavior; the history of the OBC in fabricating something saintly out of egregious misbehavior adds heavy weight to that presumption..

I am appalled that a religion which is predicated on facing things "as they actually are" could be twisted into corporate delusion that will not face simple observable facts, but must twist them to conform to their preconceived notions about Jiyu's sainthood.
Back to top Go down
Iain

avatar

Posts : 43
Join date : 2010-09-03
Location : Japan

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:59 am

jack wrote:
the tendency of many humans to "revise" their memory rather than facing their faults as failures as they actually occurred.

Wise words for us all to remember Jack.

in gassho
Back to top Go down
http://www.narutovocalensemble.com
glorfindel

avatar

Posts : 226
Join date : 2010-07-12

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:29 pm

Iain wrote:
jack wrote:
the tendency of many humans to "revise" their memory rather than facing their faults as failures as they actually occurred.

Wise words for us all to remember Jack.

in gassho

+1

Agreed.

It would take wisdom another step to apply the principle propounded by Jack to both sides of the equation: To the person (Kennet) who retrospectively had a viewpoint on her own intentions (as documented by Kaizan and Daishin), and to the person (jcbaran) who retrospectively has a viewpoint on someone elses intentions.
Back to top Go down
Lise
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1412
Join date : 2009-11-08
Age : 43

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:42 pm

glorfindel wrote:
... It would take wisdom another step to apply the principle propounded by Jack to both sides of the equation: To the person (Kennet) who retrospectively had a viewpoint on her own intentions (as documented by Kaizan and Daishin), and to the person (jcbaran) who retrospectively has a viewpoint on someone elses intentions.

Retrospective viewpoint, yes, based on a front-row view of how Kennett spoke and looked at the time, which no one else has. And his impressions apparently haven't changed over time.

It's interesting to me that we can much more easily accept the validity of other posters' perspectives on their own personal episodes with Eko, Koshin, others, but not when it comes to Jiyu ... hmmm.

I sent a copy of this thread to a lawyer friend just for fun. All she sent back was: "Bad facts, can't dress 'em up. Daishin is whose witness, again?"
Back to top Go down
http://obcconnect.forumotion.net
Iain

avatar

Posts : 43
Join date : 2010-09-03
Location : Japan

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:54 pm

Lise wrote:


I sent a copy of this thread to a lawyer friend just for fun.

An interesting way to have fun Lise! I play with the cats myself!

Did your lawyer friend mention 'hearsay' evidence? I read a lot of it here.
Back to top Go down
http://www.narutovocalensemble.com
glorfindel

avatar

Posts : 226
Join date : 2010-07-12

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:24 pm

Lise wrote:
glorfindel wrote:
... It would take wisdom another step to apply the principle propounded by Jack to both sides of the equation: To the person (Kennet) who retrospectively had a viewpoint on her own intentions (as documented by Kaizan and Daishin), and to the person (jcbaran) who retrospectively has a viewpoint on someone elses intentions.

Retrospective viewpoint, yes, based on a front-row view of how Kennett spoke and looked at the time, which no one else has. And his impressions apparently haven't changed over time.

It's interesting to me that we can much more easily accept the validity of other posters' perspectives on their own personal episodes with Eko, Koshin, others, but not when it comes to Jiyu ... hmmm.

I sent a copy of this thread to a lawyer friend just for fun. All she sent back was: "Bad facts, can't dress 'em up. Daishin is whose witness, again?"

Bear in mind that my post was specifically about the application of Jack's principle to all aspects of the situation.

Do you think Kennet didn't have a front row seat to the event in question?

Since Kennet is dead we rely on others such as Kaizan to report what she said about the event. But ultimately there are two viewpoints based on what two people have said about the event:

1 Kennet stated that her intentions were benevolent.
2 jcbaran states that Kennet's intentions were malevolent (perhaps too strong a word).

Who is right? Anyones guess.

My personal view? There was probably a cocktail of emotions going on. There usually is.

Also I don't personally place Kennet above Eko, koshin, amalia or yourself. At the mo I keep seeing my little baby girl in everyone. So it makes me feel a kind of love and sadness if people go into bad ways. Also its a bit hilarious because I have almost nothing to do with the OBC at all really but here I am blabbering away on this forum.


A Lawyer? I think we need to send it to the psychology department.


lol!


Last edited by glorfindel on Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:33 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added a bit)
Back to top Go down
ddolmar

avatar

Posts : 190
Join date : 2010-08-26
Location : Redding, CA

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:43 pm

Right on, Glorfindel.

This thread seems to have touched off more sore feelings than many others. I don't mean to suggest that anyone is wrong to feel what they feel. But I do wonder whether we're at an unresolvable impasse between those who sympathize more with jcbaran's recollection on the one hand, and others who are sympathetic to RM Daishin's telling of Jiyu's side on the other?

Reflecting on Kaizan's challenge to, or request of, RM Daishin--"the past isn't ever dead, it's not even past"*--could be more fruitful than debating which version of the Three Dimes is most likely.

2 cents
--Dan, another interloper
*quoting William Faulkner
(and thankful to all here)
Back to top Go down
Lise
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1412
Join date : 2009-11-08
Age : 43

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:04 pm

@ Iain, my friend just sent a message saying "tell him there are exceptions to the Hearsay Rule, which is where you begin to understand how it works". I don't, so I'm not gonna touch that one. And I don't mean to derail this thread by provoking the legal beagles into barking, although that would be great to read in another thread. Possibly. Sleep

@ Glorfindel, I agree with much of what you say, except that I will always give more weight to a first-hand account rather than second-hand. That's my own bias.

@ Dan, agree with you too, except I don't see this as an impasse or a situation that requires us to decide who's right. I couldn't figure out why Josh wasn't given at least the benefit of the doubt about his own opinion of his experience. "Maybe you were just mistaken" isn't what we usually see in response to stories here and I don't see where it fits.

What gets lost in all this wrangling, too, is that what Kennett did was really not nice even if she meant to be funny and thought it was a great joke. Who says goodbye to a friend in that way?

Thanks for listening, all. I think I've got it out of my system finally. Carry on.


Last edited by Lise on Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:32 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
http://obcconnect.forumotion.net
Jcbaran

avatar

Posts : 1614
Join date : 2010-11-13
Age : 66
Location : New York, NY

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:07 pm

First, I am glad I shared the three dimes story and people on this board will have their own reactions. I was not traumatized by three coins.

So Daishin says, that Kennett "has now been dead for over fourteen years, isn’t it time to let be and move on?"

First, from my experience the advice to "let it go" or "move on" is totally useless advice. Especially coming from a current member of this organization. And what I discovered when I started reading some of the accounts on this board, her death didn't change things much. Emotional brutality / bullying appears to have continued until a few months ago at Shasta and who knows how they will treat their followers in the future.

Before there is forgiveness, there should be understanding. What the hell happened to this organization? What happened to Kennett? How did this group become so harmful and cultic? If you don't learn from the past, as they say, guess what -- you continue and continue and continue. Didn't i hear the new Shasta abbess admit there were lots of mistakes? Didn't she say she wanted to hear from people, even outside the abbey. Well, LISTEN!!!!!!

For me, I needed to figure out what happened to me and to this Zen organization and that's why I started the group Sorting It Out and talked to many people. I posted something about that elsewhere on this site and will add more later. I wanted to know what is real, what is Dharma, what is useful and what is harmful.

Things can and do go terribly off the rails. It happens all the time. It happens to leaders, organizations, and even nations. It happened to Shasta and many people felt harmed, abused and felt that Kennett betrayed them and the Dharma. This cannot be denied that many people felt that way. And from my point of view, every single person is precious and their experience should now be acknowledged.

Did this all happen in the past? Not so sure about that. It seems that Kennett's shadow is still alive and well. So not sure how much any of this is "in the past."

This board is now the first place where people who feel they were wronged can now share their feelings -- and the reverend masters can't stop them, can't control the situation, can't just dismiss all these feelings. This must be very strange for them. Suddenly, people can say what they think and they can't be sent to the goat house for three months for daring to have an independent thought.

And for someone who feels traumatized, these experiences are never in the past (even if they took place, years and decades ago) -- and there is a real need to share what they feel happened.

Just really hear them.

Yes, Daishin i do think you are living in group-think. If you want to break group think, really listen to all these "nay sayers," hear people's feelings - no matter what they are -- and find a way NOT to dismiss them as bitter, angry, irrelevant. Not say -- they all misunderstood. They all didn't get it. They are all holding on to the past. Get over IT. Let IT go.

Yes, if you think Kennett was this glowing compassionate almost perfect being (I love how you guys say something like "yes she had some flaws" -- but really don't mean it - like maybe she farted a few times a month or could have been a bit more skillful at managing people, but otherwise promote the myth that everything she did was an expression of compassionate enlightenment.....), that's group think. No different than the Pope is the Vicar of Christ and is infallible or that the abusive father is doing everything for the good of the family.

I left Shasta over 30 years ago. It took me about five years to work through most of my feelings. And i moved on. Never looked back and never had a moment of doubt about the wisdom of my decision to end of my relationship to Kennett and the house that she built.

Honestly, barely thought or talked about Shasta, Kennett and all the rest for decades. I saw Shasta as hundreds, thousands of nightmares ago -- not that I have nightmares. About once a year, I had a weird Shasta-themed dream - usually ending with me leaving in some way.

I am only sharing some of these old stories and insights now since this board exists and I feel my experience might be of use to some people. And I have an allergic reaction to myth making and to institutional deceit and gurus who play the game of pretending to be perfect or more enlightened than they really are.

Diashin says that he stayed because Kennett "had a quality that to me could not be denied." I do not deny she had some good qualities - that got more and more covered over in time. But the reason that I did not stay was because she had severe emotional problems that could not be denied. That she was causing harm and abusing her followers -- that could not be denied. That she had no idea what she was doing -- that could not be denied.

Daishin says, "here was something that drew all of us to her in the first place that was beyond mere charisma. She was rooted in something deep." Yes, of course, she did have qualities that drew me to her. I think we are all rooted in something deep. But by 1975, Kennett's shadow was running amok and the community she had created was so unacceptable - to me -- that it could not be denied.
Back to top Go down
Isan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 917
Join date : 2010-07-27
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:24 pm

Lise wrote:

@ Glorfindel, I agree with much of what you say, except that I will always give more weight to a first-hand account rather than second-hand. That's my own bias.

@ Dan, agree with you too, except I don't see this as an impasse or a situation that requires us to decide who's right. I couldn't figure out why Josh wasn't given at least the benefit of the doubt about his own opinion of his experience. "Maybe you were just mistaken" isn't what we usually see in response to stories here and I don't see where it fits.

What gets lost in all this wrangling, too, is that what Kennett did was really not nice even if she meant to be funny and thought it was a great joke. Who says goodbye to a friend in that way?

I've been thinking about the "three dimes", trying to remember what I knew of the event when it happened. I was a fairly young monk at that time and not that close to RMJK yet. I don't believe I ever heard the story told fully until reading it here, however I did hear RMJK make comments about Josh's travels which were clearly meant as ridicule. She seemed aware that he was visiting other teachers and perhaps her comments were an expression of feelings of rejection? It is clear that she was dismissive and disrespectful of his choice, and she shared that freely with the community. Josh had joined the ranks of the fallen (my phrase) - one more monk in what was to become a long line over the years. The short answer is I believe Josh heard it correctly. She meant to humiliate him.
Back to top Go down
Jcbaran

avatar

Posts : 1614
Join date : 2010-11-13
Age : 66
Location : New York, NY

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:18 am

How sad for her. That's my first thought when I read your post. That she had to be so mean, cruel and negative. For no good reason. Where was the love? Where was any respect? Didn't she teach "follow your heart?"

Before I left Shasta, I spent a lot of time meditating on my choice to leave and what was going on. It was quite an intense process -- and frankly, i am very grateful in one sense to Kennett. By being so disrespectful, inconsiderate and all the rest, she forced me to totally go to my own intuition, my internal resources to know what was true for me, what was best. Quite incredible really. It was like doing a double sesshin. The energy was amazing. Thanks, Jjyu. Much of the essence of this process will remain private, but i will say this.

One night I did a compassion meditation where I specifically focused on Kennett. It was not just that i sent her metta / loving kindness, I wanted to understand why she was behaving as she was, so I focused completely on her. This was a type of what i would call an empathy samadhi.

It felt like I entered into her and lost myself -- like i was merging with her body and mind. Some of you might think this was a just guided visualization or perhaps it was something deeper - but what others may think about this is irrelevant, but i wanted to share this with you.

And in that merging into her, I felt this deep loneliness -- that was the main emotion. Loneliness. And under this loneliness, there this sadness, this longing, this isolation -- i started to cry for her. It felt so loveless. And I also felt this confusion at what to do, like she was trapped in her role, in her life. And there was this sense of hardness, being stuck or frozen, being unable to find a way out or an exit.

And then i felt this deep compassion for her. And i knew that she was doing the best that she knew how to do. She didn't know how to connect, to change course. She was doing the best she knew how to do.

I sent her all the love and compassion I could muster.

When I came out of this meditation, I did not change my course of action. Leaving was the only sane option for me. Sanity Now. I could not remain and support her actions and behavior. To remain would have been literally spiritual suicide. That karma was completely, absolutely unacceptable.

Every fiber in my being said: GO NOW.

What Kennett said or felt was completely and absolutely irrelevant. She could be sad or angry or rejected, that was her koan, that was her story. She could [banned term] me or praise me. Not my problem.

I was following my Dharma and that was that.
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:16 am

yes Josh For me it was not the direction I wanted to go in. I suppose I did take offence when I heard that Eko was Jesus, I do not practice Christianity, but I was brought up on stories , lovely stories of Jesus,and I think they effected me, in a positive way,I had run retreats with Catholics,and at Catholic institutions, I fely a bit that I would betray tham if I stayed.But actually I looked into my heart, and felt that to allow this sort of activity showed a lack of wisdom,it was so not Zen practice. getting caught up or atached to this sort of phenomena. But Shatsa was sort of Christiany in a funny way, dog collars and crhistian monastic terms.In christian terms, this was not the ascent of Mount Carmel, this was something something something even on the mount something something something,There was not a dropping away, there may have been talk of dropping away. There was a rumbling on,as you say until recently, people here have had problems with Eko, I am not surprised, but he was chosen for his position by others.One of my bench marks, is 'If your first step is false you immediately stumble,I felt it then with the Shatsa organisation I was involved with, and chose to follow my heart which is what I should have done. And of course I have felt this saying many times in many circumstances in my life, To give a balanced view,if your first step is true it will lead to truth
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:24 am

How weird Mark and I got up early and wrote similar things on to different posts at the same time.i will not be writing more on the letter as I feel it has helped me get something off my chest, and I got my point across
Back to top Go down
Robert
Admin
avatar

Posts : 100
Join date : 2010-08-27
Age : 43
Location : Durham

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:35 pm

As an outsider looking in, it seems the facts speak eloquently for themselves. If you give a gift and it has a message, for example "please keep in touch", and it comes to your attention that that messgae has not been received as intended but has actually caused the recipient hurt, anguish and isolation, would it not be common practice to contact the recipient immediately as a matter of priority to clarify what you meant and to ensure the cycle of misunderstanding and suffering ended then and there? Would it not also be common courtesy as a human being to apologise for the hurt caused? The fact that neither of these actions occurred, despite the misunderstanding being known about sadly says everything we need to know about the intention behind the action.

It does seem somewhat surprising that the only response from a current monk has been to lay all the misunderstanding and hurt at Josh's door and ignore any part the original action and subsequent non-action from RMJK, himself and others there at the time have played in perpetuating the problem.

Perhaps Daishin is right and this many years later, it is time to move on. Maybe a good way to initiate that would be for members of the OBC to hear what is being said, taking responsibility for their part and apologising for the misunderstanding. I for one will not be holding my breath on that one though.
Back to top Go down
Jcbaran

avatar

Posts : 1614
Join date : 2010-11-13
Age : 66
Location : New York, NY

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:56 pm

I have moved on - and it was a useful story to share here on this board. I might share some additional stories.

"Please keep in touch" - what total nonsense. Absurd. Calling salt sweet does not make it sugar.

I am not holding my breath. It was between me and Kennett and she is long gone. She wasn't someone to say "I'm sorry." And they can't really apologize for her. And what is really not authentic is some version of, "We are so sorry you misunderstood."

The OBC response is completely predictable. No surprise. Since Kennett can't do any wrong, what else could they possibly say?

Now, if they really started listening to what people are saying here, that would be healthy for them.
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Sat Dec 04, 2010 3:43 pm

It is easy for A to say to B drop it when A is feeling easy about what B is saying or doing. This actually is a subtle form of mind control or manipulation.It is the same as spotting egos from 100 yards so what I have an ego ,that means I have an ego what is the problem. What is happening here is a group of people who had no voice and were discredited, suddenly finding we have a voice. I have moved on moved on a long time ago. However I have brought a few skelletons out of the cupboard. A week or so ago on my 'letter' article I mention Jesus, now we are all doing it.That is painful, perhaps, because the OBC is basing itself on we have not done anything wrong and moving towards Sainthood, I mean they are quite powerful words, and what do we find in the cupboard Jesus and Bodhidarma, I am not surprised they say drop it
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Sat Dec 04, 2010 3:51 pm

sorry should have said uneasy about what B is saying
Back to top Go down
Robert
Admin
avatar

Posts : 100
Join date : 2010-08-27
Age : 43
Location : Durham

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:15 pm

Perhaps I should just clarify that I was not wishing to imply that Josh or chisanmichaelhughes have not moved on. Actually it's quite the contrary to what I intended. While those who have left have moved on, it seems that many of the order's past errors in dealing with people humanely when they leave are still being perpetuated today. I'm not surprised they'd suggest we drop it, this must all make for very uncomfortable reading for them and feel somewhat close to home - still.
Back to top Go down
glorfindel

avatar

Posts : 226
Join date : 2010-07-12

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:35 pm

Maybe the coins were supposed to be tossed? Heads good. Tails bad.

One thing is certain: If I came out of a relationship 3 dimes in profit I'd be counting my blessings. When I parted company with the 4th chick back it was minus my favourite book and with all the music on my laptop deleted. eek
Back to top Go down
Lise
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1412
Join date : 2009-11-08
Age : 43

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:04 pm

Robert, just my thought, I didn't take your comment about moving on to be in regard to anyone specifically -- it read like a general followup to Daishin's comment.

Josh said that Kennett was not one to say sorry . . . I wish she had been able to. How differently this might have turned out.
Back to top Go down
http://obcconnect.forumotion.net
Sara H



Posts : 23
Join date : 2012-11-17

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Wed May 01, 2013 2:01 pm

I think I should say something here,
I think my own experience may be of value in this context.

It's funny that it never occurs to Josh, the that the whole point of that teaching might have been that since she knew he was leaving, she used his "rebellious streak" to show him what three possible negative outcomes of his life could be, and so helped caution him to be extra vigilant against them, and tried to fuel that vigilance with his rebelliousness against her. (Whatever works). Indeed, he seems quite proud that he proved her wrong, and it's possible that that was the whole idea.

People who are ex monks or even just people with some spiritual experience certainly have ended up in some pretty bad situations.

I had my first kensho when I was 18, but since that time, since for a long time I didn't have any spiritual guidance or anybody I could talk to about it, or help me with my training, I ended up in jail twice, as well as homeless three times. Years later now, my life and training is stable, but I went through hell for a while getting there. I learned very much from a school of hard knocks, combined with a very good, wise, and patient teacher, when I finally found someone to teach me.

That's no joke. I had essentially stopped training for a while after my kensho, because I didn't know how, or how to develop it. It wasn't until later that I was able to establish a practice, and be able to talk to spiritual teachers on a regular basis, and even then, it wasn't until I found someone who could really teach me that my life began stabilizing.

For whatever reason, it's a real enough phenomenon, that it's worth cautioning people about, even if in really scary or dramatic terms, out of compassion for them and to try to prevent it.

It might be, because all those three things are essentially, "hitting bottom" in our society. Which, when on the one hand if you were doing some really good training before, there is always the tendency (because people tend to oscillate back and forth between opposites and extremes) that someone might get off-track or get off-center and sortof flip to the other extreme and "crash." This happened to me.

The worst that could happen in such a scenario by her cautioning him about such things, was that he could have had things happen, in which case, she let him know that if they did happen, she was willing to be there for him, and help him out. If such things had actually occurred he'd be pretty grateful that he had a friend who was there for him.

And that at best, if he didn't, then his rebellion and determination to "prove her wrong" could only help keep him out of trouble, by fueling a caution and determination against those things.

Either way, considering it may have been her last chance to try and teach him something, it seems like it may have been good to say, to try and help him be a success, in whatever way that was good for him to do.
Back to top Go down
Isan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 917
Join date : 2010-07-27
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Wed May 01, 2013 4:21 pm

Sara H wrote:
It's funny that it never occurs to Josh, the that the whole point of that teaching might have been that since she knew he was leaving, she used his "rebellious streak" to show him what three possible negative outcomes of his life could be, and so helped caution him to be extra vigilant against them, and tried to fuel that vigilance with his rebelliousness against her. (Whatever works). Indeed, he seems quite proud that he proved her wrong, and it's possible that that was the whole idea.

Josh may want to answer you specifically, but here's what I think. This is a great example of how something which initially appears negative can be re-framed into the positive. I feel that it can be helpful to be open to different interpretations of one's life experience. The problem is almost anything can be turned around this way. On what basis do you choose one viewpoint over another? If a teacher demonstrates that they have the student's best interests at heart and establishes enough trust over time then the student may be able to learn from episodes of "black is white" crazy wisdom. On the other hand if trust is eroded over time by constant manipulation then crazy wisdom teaching is just abuse. The essential criteria by which to judge the validity of teaching is to determine whether the student is learning or just being harmed. A teacher who cannot make that assessment and be guided by it is not safe to be around.
Back to top Go down
Sara H



Posts : 23
Join date : 2012-11-17

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Wed May 01, 2013 4:59 pm

I don't think that's "crazy wisdom."

I think it's trying to do the least amount of harm possible in a difficult situation.

Trungpa stripping people naked and getting drunk was "crazy" and probably not wisdom.

Giving someone some loose change as a lesson on making them mindful about going splat in society seems a little more on the side of wise than "crazy."

And, this is basic Zen. "Because delusions in the trainees minds were topsy-turvy," the sages true did use all means so varied, even though to say that black was white."

People who participate in Zen are consenting individuals. That line I just quoted is stated so much on an everyday basis in temples, to disregard any idea of lack of "informed consent."

If this practice isn't suited for everybody, that's fine, but it doesn't have to be perfect, nor do people teaching it have to be, or get it right every time.

People are allowed to make mistakes. Maybe that teaching wasn't as profound to him, or come across as intended. It doesn't mean it wasn't good to try.

We're human beings, not the Eternal, human beings make mistakes.

As the old saying goes; "to err, is human."

Zen masters are not gods.
Back to top Go down
Isan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 917
Join date : 2010-07-27
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Wed May 01, 2013 7:41 pm

Sara H wrote:
Giving someone some loose change as a lesson on making them mindful about going splat in society seems a little more on the side of wise than "crazy."

Any opinion you or I have about Josh's experience is based on a view from the outside. What he experienced is something we're not really privy to, and how he understands it going forward is his process and responsibility. It's not just a question of respect, but of acknowledging that we really don't know. Everything you've said about Josh's experience is really a reflection of your own, not his.
Back to top Go down
Sara H



Posts : 23
Join date : 2012-11-17

PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   Wed May 01, 2013 8:33 pm

She knew him better than any other teacher could know a disciple, looking at those things, if it were me, I might have done the exact same thing as she did, if he were my disciple.

The point is not a matter of who's right and who's wrong. That's beside the point.

The point was that she was trying one last time, to send him in a good direction, as best she possibly could.

The fact that she gave him something physical to hold on to, reminds him of those three things, but also deepens his hate for her in the process. But that doesn't diminish the help that she tried to give him. Even at her very last, she was trying to help him.
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: The Story of the Three Dimes   

Back to top Go down
 
The Story of the Three Dimes
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 2Go to page : 1, 2  Next
 Similar topics
-
» The Story of the Three Dimes
» A rather personal story and correction dream God gave me
» Afraid of the third story
» My 2 Story, Bear on roof dream
» The Forte Story

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
OBC Connect :: OBC Connect :: OBC Experiences-
Jump to: