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 Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence

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gensho



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PostSubject: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:25 pm

Please allow me to introduce myself as a previous disciple of Kennett Roshi:
First an unedited bio:
I met Kennett Roshi in Toronto in May 1970. Roshi was in town to give a couple of talks at the University of Toronto and lead a weekend retreat and a sesshin at the end of the month. I went to the first lecture and was very interested in a her presentation of Zen practice. After the first talk there was an informal tea and questions, I noticed that all the intellectual questioners were shunted over to Mokurai to handle and that kept me paying attention. I attended the weekend retreat and then my first sesshin at month's end.

I was a student at the Univ. of Toronto, studying Phillosophy and Eastern Religion. I'd already had courses in Buddhist philosophy and Taoism. I'd been deeply struck by the work of Nagarjuna and in parallel the work of Godel. I'd become convinced that I wasn't going to get to the Truth via the Intellect, something else was needed, something else needed to be engaged within to do the work.

I was strongly drawn to the Buddha's Dharma as being free from a dependence on words, and I imagined that Zen was the modern, embodiment that would translate to the West and transmit to me. That first sesshin in May was a great success for me, I found it very hard and had a strong connection with Roshi in sanzen. I saw Roshi again in December 1970 when she returned to Toronto for another sesshin (between Christmas and New Years at Hart House farm - very cold, we lost power half way through). Another powerful experience for me, and I made plans with Roshi to come to Shasta in the spring. I'd previously decided not to return to university so I was just gathering enough funds for the trip.

I headed to Shasta in March, met Roshi (Daiji was driving?) in San Francisco and we drove north to Shasta. I'd been a vegetarian for years and a practitioner of yoga. I'd talked to Roshi about this background in sanzen. On the way up, we stopped at the Olive Pit for lunch, and I had my first taste of Kennett's dharma in action when she insisted that I eat a hamburger and let go of my attachment of being vegetarian.

My plan had been to stay for six months, and I ended up staying for six years. Within six weeks I ordained, in a ceremony with Kotei, Bino, Hyakurei and myself. About a year later I became Roshi's jiisha, and practiced along side Roshi until the fall of 1976 when I resigned. In 1972, received Dharma Transmission with Kennett Roshi and the next year Roshi have me a paper saying I was her Dharma Heir. In remembering the following years of training, the sangha learning to work together - digging septic tanks, crafting journals, creating gardens, building up the temple that was a great gift that does continue to today.

The summer of 76 was a time of deep change and I went through it at Roshi's side in Berkeley and at Shasta, there's lots to write about that, and I'll summarize my recollections now.

Roshi was very ill in 1976 and was told by an internal medicine specialist that she could have only six weeks to live - he was concerned about her diabetes and her heart. The news was hard on Roshi and on all of us, we were staying at the Berkeley Priory and over the next months many seeds sproughted that were to set the direction of the Abbey for years to come. Jin Shin Do came to us via a dream that Barbara Blackwell had of Roshi being not well, Bob Frager brought Barbara to met Roshi and she began to treat her. Barbara taught me and then Daizui and we treated Roshi under Barbara's direction.

Jin Shin Do turned out to be a very powerful technique.At the start only Roshi received treatment, but we soon saw that Roshi's health was improved and then began to treat each other. I would say that this entire group of monks who had repressed powerful emotions with years of meditation suddenly had those repressions in the body unlocked. To quote Roshi 'all hell broke loose'. Such a powerful release was not easily contained as it involved everyone.

In my memory the fateful day had Roshi, Daizui and myself together in Roshi's sitting room in early July. Roshi lamented that she had trained us so poorly and had done such a poor job as our teacher. As I listened I felt she was at the door of a sange - a deep repentance. We all had tears and trembled at the end of something big. Sadly for me, Daizui began insisting that Roshi could do no wrong and we were to blame for all issues with her teaching. Roshi changed to this point of view and became the 'master' who could do no wrong and we were the ignorant causes of all her suffering. We were her close disciples precisely because of the damage we had done to her in former lives and were now with her to atone for this. The stabbing pain under her right rib was were you plunged in the dagger and now you must make amends and beg forgiveness. The Jin Shin Do was reworked and systematized as a method to support this interpretation and this is the package of beliefs that returned with Roshi to the Abbey in Sept 1976.

More to be said on this at a later time but for me this was not Buddha's Dharma nor Zen's free expression of enlghtened mind. I had my own errors of practise at the time, these included an affair with another monk. As the events at Shasta grew more tense and the fears more occult - driven on by the powerful releases from Jin Shin, my partner in the affair felt she confess to Roshi. I assured her that it would not end well and we'd do better letting it be in the past and doing repentance ourselves. But, like many she believed that Roshi could do no wrong and off she went to 'tell the truth'. Sadly, this only led to days of abusive confinement that was despicable and beyond acceptable by any mature adult. My partner finally walked out. Roshi told me that I was but an innocent dupe and had been trapped by Mara. Truly, I was a 'horny' young man who broke a vow, both my partner and I were responsible and both of us chose to have an affair. Anyway, the night the seniors met with Roshi to ban this person, the room was full of tears. I was deeply struck that all of us felt this was not right, that none of us could articulate our deepest feelings about our situation. We all had lost control of our lives and I knew that I was done.

I had come to Zen to learn to live from a deep place within myself, a place beyond words, beyond mere beliefs. I found that place inside at Shasta and at the end realized that Roshi wanted me to kill it and believe only her. I made many mistakes in training at Shasta and clearly having an illicit affair is not a good thing. However, we weren't asked to repent, nor were we asked if we wish to marry, we were told we were evil. Frankly, that's not what I look for or need in a teacher. I already known when I'm 'evil', I need a teacher to point a way that I can walk that will take me to a 'better place'.

The next day I borrowed money from Eko, spoke with Roshi telling her I was leaving, and left to spend a week at Berkeley. After that I flew East and never returned.

After leaving Shasta, I slowly found others who had left around the same time - Jitsudo, Keitetsu and later Kyogen and Gyokuko. Keitetsu's friendship led me to work in the computer field and that lasted off and on until today. Jitsudo has been a deep friend and brought me to many wonderful Tibetan teachers who showed me the deep, open heart of the Buddha Dharma. I was ready to make a commitment to be a student of Thrangu Rimpoche, but fate intervened when Kyogen told me (repeatedly) of a Rinzai Zen Roshi who was interested in meeting the second-generation trainees in the west. In Sept 1997, I went to sesshin with Shodo Harada Roshi, and the sparks flew. As I drew myself closer and closer to his teaching each sanzen, I imagined that I could not hide from him my experience leaving Shasta. In sanzen I recounted the entire experience, my affair, my disagreement, my leaving - all the dirty details. He looked at me long and close, he said 'it's all nen, just nen' [extraneous mind-moments]. And I knew then that I'd found a real master. I've been doing sesshin and sanzen with Harada Roshi since then. One April sesshin at his temple in Japan, I was so sore that I flashed back to the pains of that first sesshin with Kennett so many years ago and I laughed inside, imagining that I was no older since it still felt the same. That ageless 'place' sits within us all, unmoved.

A deep bow to all here, those I've trained with and those who may only know of my name.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:38 pm

gensho wrote:

A deep bow to all here, those I've trained with and those who may only know of my name.

Welcome Gensho. I'm glad to see you here and thanks for sharing your story. We all have somewhat different (sometimes very different) stories and it's very interesting to share them now that the cone of silence has been lifted.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:48 pm

Gensho, my thanks as well, and welcome. It's very good to have you here.

It's hard for me to comprehend the depth of knowledge and history unfolding for the forum now. So many things I wondered about, for years, are being answered.

My thanks to all of you who are giving this to us.

Lise
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:35 pm

My friend how lovely to hear from you again.
I would like you to know that when it all kicked off I asked for you straight away. I wanted to know if you were still there, I was told you had run off with the devil. I want you to know I fought for you, and would not believe what I was told
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:26 pm

Welcome Alan
Yes a dreadful period when you were both badly mistreated. I think of it now as some form of mass hysteria. I remeber thinking in 1978 when Jonestown broke that after Shasta I could understand how it could happen - it was a more extreme ve4rsion of the same phenomena.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:07 pm

Alan--Thanks for the completely fascinating story.

I echo Lise's thanks to all of you who were there in the early years. As a current friend and (very) infrequent visitor of Shasta Abbey, it's so great to hear these stories. It's like knowing the fourth dimension--time--about the place.

When I next go I will surely feel as you do when you visit a great battlefield or a great composer's former home: communing with what was all those years ago, the part still attenuating in the soil and in the words you hear.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:50 pm

Gensho, wonderful to see you here--welcome to the forum!

The departure of the two of you stands out, for me, as being amongst the saddest. I think that Mark's term for the time: "as some form of mass hysteria", accurately expresses a significant aspect of events, as I know only too well.


Last edited by Kozan on Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:04 pm

Hi Gensho,
I came to Shasta in the summer of '76, so we passed each other only briefly. The story you wrote is meaningful to me. Many of us felt that something was wrong, and each story elucidates a part of what that was. It is troubling to here of Daizui's role in some of the stories of the earlier monks. He was a dear friend who provided me with much support over many years. Over time he must have evolved from the view that Rev. Kennett could do no wrong, to a more realistic view. Nonetheless, he remained fiercely loyal to her. Life and people can be complicated, and no matter who is discussed on this forum, the whole person can never be captured. Still, recounting our stories here can help people get a fuller picture who would otherwise see only what the present monks of the OBC see or allow themselves to speak of openly. Welcome to this site. I look forward to your input.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:20 pm

Gensho,
Roshi, or Rev. Master Jiyu as she was later referred to, spoke of you every so often, so it is delightful to actually see that you are alive and well, and found a path in Buddhism that worked for you. I'm the only active monk of the OBC who tends to post anything on this web forum--not the easist job in the world given that the tone of it tends towards the unfavorable, not without reason in a lot of cases. But in any case, it's great to hear your voice.

Blessings, Rev. Seikai
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:00 pm

:-) Hello Gensho

If you’re still looking in, I would be very grateful for your input on the following...

You mentioned that:
Quote :
...In my memory the fateful day had Roshi, Daizui and myself together in Roshi's sitting room in early July. Roshi lamented that she had trained us so poorly and had done such a poor job as our teacher. As I listened I felt she was at the door of a sange - a deep repentance. We all had tears and trembled at the end of something big. Sadly for me, Daizui began insisting that Roshi could do no wrong and we were to blame for all issues with her teaching. Roshi changed to this point of view and became the 'master' who could do no wrong and we were the ignorant causes of all her suffering. We were her close disciples precisely because of the damage we had done to her in former lives and were now with her to atone for this. The stabbing pain under her right rib was were you plunged in the dagger and now you must make amends and beg forgiveness…
I am trying to see where this might fit, timewise, with events described in How to Grow a Lotus Blossom.

In the first edition, Daizui wrote in the Foreword :
Quote :
…During her first week in Oakland Kennett Roshi contacted a friend who was a doctor and he suggested that she see a practitioner of an esoteric Oriental healing art. Unfortunately this man immediately pronounced to Kennett Roshi that her teaching and way of life were wrong, were the cause of her illness and that the only cure was to cease everything and put herself entirely in his hands. Faced first with the prospect of imminent death, second with no heir to carry on the teaching and third with the possibility that everything had been wrong, she decided to meditate as deeply and continuously as possible, to examine every moment of her life and to find out absolutely, no matter what the cost to her health and life, if all she had learned from her master, all she had done and all she had passed on to her disciples was false.
...From this moment Kennett Roshi meditated with all her remaining strength. For four months she almost never left her little room in Oakland…
Though Daizui wrote that the first twelve plates of the book “tell the story of what happened to Kennett Roshi in her meditation during those months” (i.e up to “The Growing Mandala”), I infer from the main text that she actually returned to Shasta Abbey after the events depicted in the ninth plate (“Vast Emptiness”, which included several past life memories but not yet that of the white tiger). Roshi also wrote that the first six plates (i.e up to “Heaven Is the Most Dangerous of All Places) covered a period of twelve days; whereas plates seven (“The Voice of the Eternal Lord”) to nine cover two months. You mentioned that she returned to the Abbey in September, so the first plate would seem to kick off in June or July.

Do you know if “the fateful day” (in early July) was before, after, or that of Daizui’s transmission? (This latter occurred during the first two days of the process represented in the HGLB plates.)

When “Roshi lamented that she had trained us so poorly and had done such a poor job as our teacher”, do you recall if this seemed to have been sparked by the remarks of the above-mentioned “practitioner of an esoteric Oriental healing art [who] immediately pronounced to Kennett Roshi that her teaching and way of life were wrong”?

In the second edition of HGLB (1993) Roshi included a quite graphic description of “going through the hells that I have created for myself as a result of the evil karma I have created during this lifetime”, during a sange around days nine and ten (“Entry to the Abyss”). I wonder if the previous eight (or so) days might tally with your memory of feeling that “she was at the door of a sange - a deep repentance”?

According to my understanding of Roshi’s explanation, the narrative of the chapter “Heaven Is the Most Dangerous of All Places” would have related to events occurring around the eleventh and twelfth days of the period covered by the plates in HGLB, which would have been in late June or early July. She wrote:
Quote :
…Directly ahead of me is the great, iron pillar, penetrating the universe. From a great distance a bright light flashes, hitting the pillar. This is the road to heaven. I have said no to the abyss, cleansed my heart of its past wrong-doing; I can go into this bright, beautiful light. It flashes on the pillar and descends; each flash is a life as it flies by into heaven. Let me go quickly into this beautiful heaven; let me be there quickly. The flashes grow faster and faster, faster and faster. I am drawn more and more into it; I want to enter it; I want to be there; I want to make an end. I am standing up now. During the past days I have cleansed my spirit. I have searched every part of my heart, torn it to pieces, looked at it and rooted out every evil act. During this time I was given the chance to see my past, every day of every year as if in a great mirror, and to deal with what I had done. Daizui has made many ‘phone calls and written many letters. The slate is clean. He will take care of that which it is not possible to do at once. I have forgiven all who need to be forgiven as indeed I hope they forgive me…So now heaven is my reward; here is the flashing light and soon I will be one of those flashes going into the depth of the great pillar which is the pillar of the universe.
...But what is this I see? This is the same as hell; this is the same as the abyss. The light does not enter the pillar; it goes off into blackness; it flashes, goes out and disappears. I might as well go into the abyss. These are opposites, the abyss and this flashing light…I want no part of them. This is a more dangerous place than the abyss; the flashes seem to radiate truth and beauty but are nothing other than the most dangerous of all opposites. I do not wish to flash into darkness; I do not wish to die for this, indeed, will be real death…Never come too close to heaven lest you be fascinated by it. I halt my steps; the pillar remains silent. The flashing grows slower; the pillar moves aside. Daizui was terrified by the smile on my face. Before me stretches a great, vast blackness…
(At some point during the next two months, before returning to the Abbey, Roshi began an earnest study of the Precepts that resulted in preparing a commentary on them.)
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:54 am

I wonder after the intense study of the precepts, she thought that intercepting the personal letter I wrote to Josh,and having someone else reply,in a derogetory way,was keeping the precepts, or not keeping the precepts.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Dec 22, 2010 6:07 am

:-) Hi Chisan

Do you know if personal mail to Shasta monks was customarily intercepted by the Abbess? It seems extraordinary (as in "astonishing")...
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Dec 22, 2010 6:32 am

I do not know Anne, perhaps one of the monks from Shasta could advise,I would hope I was the only one
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:22 am

No, you were not the only one. I had at least one letter intercepted.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:39 am

Mark, was this before your 1976 visit to Shasta?
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:55 am

Yes
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Anne

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:04 am

Gosh! Do you know the whys and wherefores of this? Were there occasional "raids" to keep everyone on their toes?!? Cor blimey and oo er...
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:00 pm

Do you think after ernest study of the precepts that
this was keepin them?
or breaking them?
or is it one rule for them?
and one rule for us?
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Anne

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Dec 22, 2010 3:26 pm

Quote :
Do you think after ernest study of the precepts that
this was keepin them?
or breaking them?
:-) I would have to speak to the person concerned to find out their motives.

As to whether it's based on good understanding and likely to have a good outcome - and whether I'd stand for it! - that's another matter. Personally, I cannot think of any reason I'd be happy with someone intercepting my mail (actually, they're welcome to all the junk that arrives at this address, but to continue in serious vein...)

I am willing to be surprised by someone setting forth a persuasive argument to me for this: who knows, I might go to bed gobsmacked tonight ~ "Who'da thunk it?..." ~ maybe I'd even pay them! But my breath will be neither baited nor bated this evening... (-:
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Dec 22, 2010 3:56 pm

Well Anne I wonder what the motives could be
do you think they would be
pure
or unpure
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:42 pm

I honestly can't say. But even if pure, I do not have to go along with the decision. Someone else's pure motives do not render mine impure.

One may have good motives but still misconstrue and misassess, put ones foot in it and louse up. It makes me quite nostalgic to think about it (present day mistakes are less easy to see...)
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:19 am

Always difficult to define say yes or no, it happened to me so i suppose I am entitled to a view. and that is who cares, whatever ,how pathetic, and get a life. But not neccesarily in that order!
This difficulty to to call though, came to light for me yesterday.
A friend visited me, an unusual friend, he is a very big bloke ,long grey hair, and always wears a bandana, looks like an old hippy.
Looks are deceptive, as he was a marine,and fought in the special services, dropping from high altitude,hiding out for a month and leaving without a trace, no physical wake. I seem to know a few of these guys,one guarded Salmon Rushdie down here.
Well My friend had a big problem 2 years ago,and asked me to help him, I did, as it happened we did not win our battle. Any way he visited me yesterday,and gave me a Christmas card, and said have a beer,as he was going,I opened up the card and there was a cheque for £1000 , I chased after him and stopped his car,and gave him the cheque back,asking what it was for, he insisted I took it, and he said that I helped him when he was at rock bottom. And I spent alot of time helping. The point is here was a warrior, who had done some questionable things, showing great kindness, warmth and tenderness. And in this strange world, here I am on this forum, whilst hearing some funny things,and having a good feel of comraderie, hearing some quite awful stories, full of bullying, deceit, and coldness,and by contrast,seeing these related to a religion, that the basis is of loving kindness.
Funny world eh, so maybe you were wise not to take my bait, of pure or unpure,precept or not. Happy Christmas. xxx
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:17 am

:-) All the best, Chisan. You do have my sympathies. (-:

(By the way, these :-) (-: faces are just to reassure people that I'm writing in a friendly way, but their absence doesn't mean that I'm frowning or unfriendly. I thought I'd better explain, just in case!)
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:32 am

:-) Postscript to Gensho ~

I included:
Quote :
(At some point during the next two months, before returning to the Abbey, Roshi began an earnest study of the Precepts that resulted in preparing a commentary on them.)
in my above post to you as it might help to place the preceding events in time (whatever you think of the outcome of that study!) If I understand the account in HGLB, the study occupied sixteen days: it may have been accompanied by external signs, e.g Roshi might have talked about it or you might have seen her writing the drafts of what later became her commentary to the Precepts. It did not seem to have followed immediately the "many 'phone calls" and letter-writing by Daizui: I get the impression it began a few days after that but it might have been longer. (-:
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:00 am

Thanks again Anne,
my point is,regardless of how much time she spent on the precepts, she was still beastly to a lot of people, and that beastliness, seems to have been passed on , there is coldness in the air , pride,and selfishness. these aspects were not, and are not for me.
now pop a balloon and have a good Christmas xxx ( cant do the smiley face)
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:12 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:16 pm

Ha ha (-:
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gensho



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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:57 pm

I didn't realize there were more notes on this thread.

To pick up Anne's question on HGLB regarding the sequence of events. I have to say that I believe the accounts quoted from the book to be 'sanitized' and adjusted to meet the needs of the new theology of a 'Lotus Blossom' that arose by the end of 76 and into 77.

I don't have a copy of HGLB to refer to so I can't comment on events as they relate to the plates in the book. Daizui was not transmitted on 'fateful day' I referred to.

Anne, I'd need a copy of the book and a better sense of what you are researching to go further.
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Anne

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:04 am

:-) Thanks, Gensho

I guess HGLB is not top of your To buy list at the moment!... (-:
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:52 pm

It might be hard to find that book now. I just hopped onto Shasta Abbey's website to see if it was available for download, as many of their books now are, but I see it is not even listed as one of their publications at all.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:12 pm

I wonder if they do copies of the stain glass windows , that is where the future is, get the Chinese to mass produce them sell them at the retreats retire early in Acapulco
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:21 am

There are several used copies of the first edition on the Amazon UK site. If you feel up to it, Gensho, I would be happy to send one over, for you to dispose of as you feel appropriate after ~ but let me know a.s.a.p, in case they become collectors' items overnight (a new copy of the first edition is up at £230!) I would need a mailing address, though.

I'm being serious (but not frownie serious).
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Karen



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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:58 pm

Abebooks.com also has a number of copies available in the US. Prices currently range from $5.40 to $270.
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gensho



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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:29 pm

In the interests of digging into the past, I've ordered a copy of HGLB. I'll have in late Feb. when I'm at Tahoma (near Seattle) for sesshin.

Waiting saves tons on postage and I've a full plate for now.
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Anne

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:47 am

The second edition (1993; brown cover) doesn't have Daizui's foreword which, to my mind, is quite important for understanding the personal historical context of the book (illness, etc): I can supply details if this is missing from your copy. On the other hand, the second edition fleshes out some areas, and includes further plates to this end.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:23 pm

Anne,

I don't have either book with me. What is the difference between the editions of HTGLB, specifically? Did the original forward mention the kensho was preceded by a critical illness and the second one omit that?

Thanks so much,
mokuan
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:42 pm

mokuan wrote:
Anne,

I don't have either book with me. What is the difference between the editions of HTGLB, specifically? Did the original forward mention the kensho was preceded by a critical illness and the second one omit that?

mokuan

My copy of the first edition (May 1977) has a forward by Daizui MacPhillamy, which describes conditions leading up to the beginning of the Lotus Blossom experiences. Specifically it explains that RMJK was very ill in 1975 and believed she might be dying, went to stay at the Oakland temple, etc. It provides context and I think would be important for anyone reading the book not already familiar with the circumstances. I've never seen the second edition, but apparently Anne has it and Daizui's forward is not included.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:05 pm

Thanks, Isan.
Do you know why or can you hazard an educated guess as to the reason the forward was deleted from the second volume?
~mokuan
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:11 pm

mokuan wrote:
Thanks, Isan.
Do you know why or can you hazard an educated guess as to the reason the forward was deleted from the second volume?
~mokuan

Sorry, I have no clue. I'd love to see the second edition though and then might be able to venture a guess. Maybe Anne can comment...
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ddolmar

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:11 pm

I'm not Anne, obviously, but I wonder if folks would tentatively agree with this reasoning:

The second edition was published in 1993, so three years or so before RM Jiyu died. Therefore RM Jiyu most likely had a hand in how it was presented the second time around.

Furthering the speculation, maybe she conscientiously wanted to update a book purporting to be a dying Buddhist Master's journey. Or maybe (insert more nefarious, scheming reason here)...
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:20 pm

Isan, I have the second edition and no doubt we could find a way for you to see the forward. Interestingly, the book ends with a commentary where RMJK speaks of not being able to discuss the deeper truths of the last vision with monks due to "certain incidents" that had taken place five years earlier. She goes on to say that she now saw it was "safe" to mention the vision and publish it with some other previously unseen visions with the "removal of any apologia and justificational material" that HTGLB originally contained....
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:59 pm

Robert wrote:
Isan, I have the second edition and no doubt we could find a way for you to see the forward. Interestingly, the book ends with a commentary where RMJK speaks of not being able to discuss the deeper truths of the last vision with monks due to "certain incidents" that had taken place five years earlier. She goes on to say that she now saw it was "safe" to mention the vision and publish it with some other previously unseen visions with the "removal of any apologia and justificational material" that HTGLB originally contained....

That's very interesting. I'd definitely like to read RMJK's commentary and the other new material. Someone has offered to loan me their 2nd edition copy. Let me find out how soon that can happen.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:23 pm

I believe also that the second edition dropped the appendix where Jiyu aswered questions about her experiences.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:31 am

There's certainly no appendix in this copy of the second edition....
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:35 am

My sincere apologies for delay in reply ~ I hadn’t noticed the build-up of entries after my last! Thank you, Isan and everyone, for stepping in. By now, all questions may have been answered, but I will just add the following on major differences I have noted:

1st edition
As Isan wrote, this has a foreword by Daizui McPhillamy, which:
Quote :
...describes conditions leading up to the beginning of the Lotus Blossom experiences. Specifically it explains that RMJK was very ill in 1975 and believed she might be dying, went to stay at the Oakland temple, etc. It provides context and I think would be important for anyone reading the book not already familiar with the circumstances.
This edition has 43 plates accompanying 36 journal commentaries.

Appendices form almost a third of the book, and include:
1) “The Flow of the Breath during Meditation” (includes, among other things, a useful diagram of the plates/commentaries in relation to the Four Noble Truths);
2) Quotation from Martin Buber’s The Legend of the Baal-Shem, on “The Life of the Hasidim”;
3) Quotation from the Taoist scripture Hui Ming Ching;
4) Questions and answers.

There is also a glossary.

2nd edition
Daizui’s foreword is absent. The new foreword is the piece on kenshos that followed his in the first edition (minus its former reference to other religious traditions); but I’ve not the compared the two versions word for word.

In addition to a new unfold-out drawing before the foreword (my compliments to the artist), the second edition has 64 plates accompanying the same previous number (36) of journal commentaries; but some commentaries now include more details.

In the second edition, after commentary on “The First Column ~ Eternal Meditation” (Plate 54 in the second edition, Plate 34 in the first), are two plates with accompanying commentary on “The Formless Plane” that has been moved from its position of being the last paragraph of “Vast Emptiness” in the first edition, and expanded. Commentary to Plate 41 of the first edition, “Nothing Matters”, has also moved and is now the first of two postwords (the second being Daizui’s, which also appears in the first edition); the plate is absent. This latter commentary/postword includes the following (which may be what others began quoting too tritely):
Quote :
…It is not my problem if others get hurt by my teaching for there is no way in which I can really hurt them: “no doer is there who does the deed, nor is there one that bears the fruit.” All hurt is illusion and in ratio to the size of the egocentric self; while in duality there are pain and pleasure, good and evil; when body and mind are harmonised they both vanish…
Of course, this should be taken in the context in which it was first given.

The appendices and glossary of the first edition are absent. Rather, there is a new section called Book Two, which again forms about one third of the whole book, and includes plates of:
Quote :
“some of the visions experienced by Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett since the original publication of this book, plus her commentaries on their significance as seen up to the time of this printing…Some [of these visions] give teachings of potential help to her disciples as well as to herself, some give warnings of what may occur if existing tendencies are allowed to go on unchanged, others seem to provide an additional source of inner strength to enable her to weather the trials of everyday life, yet others are of use to her in handling the ongoing residues of her own karma, and some are, to this day, of uncertain meaning…”
The book ends with annotations, which do not appear in the first edition.

If parts of my above explanation appear as clear as mud (quips aside about lotus blossoms being rooted in this) my further apologies.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:51 am

How many copies were sold Anne ?
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:08 pm

I like the bit it is not my problem if others get hurt

Does she mention that she had a precious life experience as Bodhidarma?

Is that dualistic ?
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:17 pm

Anne wrote:
My sincere apologies for delay in reply ~ I hadn’t noticed the build-up of entries after my last! Thank you, Isan and everyone, for stepping in.

Quote :
…It is not my problem if others get hurt by my teaching for there is no way in which I can really hurt them: “no doer is there who does the deed, nor is there one that bears the fruit.” All hurt is illusion and in ratio to the size of the egocentric self; while in duality there are pain and pleasure, good and evil; when body and mind are harmonised they both vanish…

Thanks for laying out the HTGLB 2nd Edition changes in detail. I hope to have a copy to compare with the 1st Edition soon. Regarding the above quote from RMJK about the illusion of hurt, I feel this is perhaps the essential dilemma that divides the OBC from it's former members. It has been talked about previously in other threads, but I may start a dedicated thread in OBC Experiences with the hope of finding the middle-way through it.


Last edited by Isan on Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:18 pm

That may well be useful Isan

I like the story of Hakuin I believe,who when walking through Kyoto heard a lot of crying coming from a house where someone had just died.

He went in sat down and started crying

After awhile one of the berieved,saw him and said are you not Hakuin the Zen Master I thought you were beyond life and death.

Hakuin said it is because I am beyond life and death I can sit here and cry
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:52 am

I just noticed this discussion and the quote:

"…It is not my problem if others get hurt by my teaching for there is no way in which I can really
hurt them: “no doer is there who does the deed, nor is there one that
bears the fruit.” All hurt is illusion and in ratio to the size of the
egocentric self; while in duality there are pain and pleasure, good and
evil; when body and mind are harmonised they both vanish…"

Back to some of my earlier reflections on Kennett's personality issues and shadows, this statement is a classic reflection of her Enneagram type Eight. When she says that it is not her problem if people are hurt by her "teachings," you can also substitute the terms -- action, behavior or words. Not her problem.

In my opinion, this attitude is not an expression of some higher consciousness or great wisdom, but an expression of Kennett's core psychological fixation. Other people DO NOT MATTER to the unevolved Eight typology. Other people are just dolls, toys, and their feelings, reactions are irrelevant. The the Eight boss, other people are just extensions of themselves. That's why Kennett can rage when the cat toys were inadvertently unwrapped.

I said elsewhere o this site that I have seen this exact attitude in Hollywood moguls and producers, CEO's of large companies, other gurus, and politicians. So if you are "hurt," not my problem. Your hurt is just an expression of your flaws.
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