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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

First topic message reminder :

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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chisanmichaelhughes



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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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chisanmichaelhughes



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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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Isan
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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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Jcbaran



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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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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:58 am

I completely agree
It is quite horrible,as I was attracted to Buddhism because I wanted a world full of compassion, and loving kindness
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Anne

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:18 am

Quote :
How many copies were sold Anne ?
I've no idea.
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Anne

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:29 am

Oops, folks! Mea culpa ~

Quote :
Commentary to Plate 41 of the first edition, “Nothing Matters”, has...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.
Thinking I should quote the commentary/postword in its entirety, so that context was not lost in further discussion, I checked both versions for differences. The quote-within-the-quote above is absent from the second edition; everything else appears the same but checking with another pair of eyes would be useful. (Ah, sigh, this is why I should not go into journalism hmm but there may not be much difference...) I cannot say if the "missing" bit appears elsewhere in the second edition.

Here is the commentary, up to and including the altered paragraph, as it appeared in the first edition, the blue text indicating what is absent from the postword of the second edition:

Quote :
It does not matter if anyone who reads this book believes what I have written. I have simply written down an account of my own training during the past year and the way in which I shall conduct it for myself in the future. It is not my problem that I am good for others; if they wish to follow my way then they are free to do so; if they wish to go their own way they are free to do so. Shakyamuni Buddha told his disciples, "Do not believe anything I have said because you have heard it from me; when you have proved it true for yourselves then you can believe it absolutely." This is a teaching that I put into practice years ago, refusing to teach anything I had read in any book on Buddhism, or any Scripture, until I personally knew with my whole being that it was true for me. Only by doing so could I live at peace with myself.

It is not the Lord's problem that He is good for beings as I found out in the darkness when faced with the abyss. The Lord is the Lord and we are free to return to Him or turn away from Him; either way it is not His problem.

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. Trainees come and go, they train themselves or they do not according to their personal bent; if they are truly my disciples they try to follow my teaching; if they are not they go their own way. Either way it is not my problem nor is it the Lord's...

Chisan ~ to answer your question on Bodhidharma, she did not specifically mention this. She did write, "...Down the centuries I have been a monk so many times; fifteen times Christian, fourteen Buddhist, sometimes male, sometimes female..." (The figure may not be 100% inclusive.) She also wrote a little on a few of them but nothing potentially identifiable as Bodhidharma.
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Diana



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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:35 pm

Anne,
It's been a while since I picked HTGLB up. Reading the above passage prompted me to check it out. I also perused "The Book of Life" a bit this morning. All I can say is that everything I read made me feel sick. Now that I am removed from all the OBC stuff, I can see how harmful and dangerous all of Jiyu's stuff was/is. OMG, just read all of the "Lord" this and "God" that, etc... I never really looked at how messed up the whole thing was. I'm just really flabbergasted right now.

Everything we have been talking about on this forum is a direct response to her dangerous and ridiculous teachings. We keep talking about the damage they do, and then we back paddle, saying "Oh well, we did learn something from the expereince..." or "Gee, don't you all think we are being a little too harsh on Jiyu..." or "Let's not vilify her, afterall we did learn something, right?" I'm just really sick of all this right now. Even I caved and actually gave someone advice that going to an "introductory retreat" might be okay. What was I thinking? Luckily he doesn't sound like he will take my stupid advice. We have our own "group think" thing going on here in the forum, you know? I don't want to have to deal with that. And we gang up on each other! It's ridiculous! There was a major passive-aggressive thing going on where people started getting on Josh's case. We did this to Amailia too, you know, and she left. Good for her. Not only can we not trust the OBC or any religious organizations, we can't even trust the fellow forum members.

If anyone wants to know about the OBC and the kind of Buddhism they teach, just read HTGLB and the Book of Life and that should be enough right there to make a decision. Talk about cult propaganda, occult, mysticism, and psychopathology...It's no wonder they don't print these books anymore. The disturbing thing is the monks study these books and believe these teachings, and practice these teachings. This is what got Amailia into trouble- Koshin was simply acting as he was taught and what he believed. These teachings are cruel and dangerous. There is no love or compassion.

I don't have time to even begin to dissect Jiyu's writings, but I think it must be done. So thanks to all of you who are taking the time to copy and post and hash it out. I don't have the time or energy and I don't have the stomach for it either.

I feel contaminated after reading this stuff this morning. I can't even believe Jiyu or the OBC calls this stuff "Buddhism." There is nothing Buddhist about it. It's an abomination.

Yuck-o. Off to take a shower, get a cup of coffee, and hit the restart button...
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:47 pm

Good for you Diana,I think the words make me feel sick too, it is how I felt and still feel about it. Anne thanks for finding out and trying to find out ( and sending be the balloons last time)
I am sure there will be some good explanations, but for me it is why I left,it is cold heartless and lacks for me spiritual direction
Who wants a world with no love or compassion
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jack



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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:08 pm

Diana wrote:
Not only can we not trust the OBC or any religious organizations, we can't even trust the fellow forum members.

If anyone wants to know about the OBC and the kind of Buddhism they teach, just read HTGLB and the Book of Life and that should be enough right there to make a decision. Talk about cult propaganda, occult, mysticism, and psychopathology..

Different people have had different experiences. A friend of mine decided to become an OBC monk after a very messed up relationship with local Prior. I don't get it, but to her it was worth divorce, moving across the ocean, and living as a foreigner to do so. How to help? Does she need help? The best I could see to do was to remain a friend. The last I heard a few months ago, she believed she had found the way to happiness and truth. We are very different people. It seems ultimately respectful to let her experience her own choices and their results, without judging her or precluding re-connection at some point.

Josh did this forum a service by greatly extending the breadth of understanding of Jiyu and her mental derangement (probably temporary) and personality which unfortunately have never been wisely separated from other things she taught. Though at some point, I think the thing is dead, I do not fault his honesty, and I applaud his effort to share things he probably didn't want to think about again.

The difficulty for many is I think similar to my experience to some extent. I am grateful for having found Buddhism, and it seems quite disingenuous to then completely condemn the OBC as the means by which I found it -- .without good reason. I now see them clearly as only ordinary people with all the variety of defects us human beings have. The monk I started training with had many quirks, most of which were innocuous; only a few which led significantly in the wrong direction. I think it a bit petty to heap on criticism of innocuous ones as a means of emphasizing the wrongness of important ones. Some happy ones at the Priory seem to have found what they want.

I have better understood the significance of the few serious misdirections since I left the Priory. One of the significant things I found was that much of OBC Buddhism was poorly grounded in Buddhist teaching.

Overall it's probably a bit like a lot of parent/child relationships. Many children are grateful for the food, clothing, shelter, schooling, etc. that allowed them to survive and grow into adults, despite having unhappy or even wounded childhoods., That sort of ambiguity is a part of life. I haven't found any hard rules about the right balance to be struck.

At the risk of being misunderstood, I have observed that most who post here did find their way to reasonable peace and happiness -- despite the considerable obstacles and potential traps set in their way. Wounded perhaps, but most seem to have found their way to something better, and have transformed much of their trauma into wisdom, their lives into wholesomeness rather than continuing dysfunction. I am very glad that seems to have been the general record rather than continuing impairment and degeneration.


Last edited by jack on Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:36 pm

Jack first thanks for saying nice things about the grand dad bit

And thanks for writing the above

I have not got a problem with what you wrote. I think it is possibly slightly different in one area. That is Quite a few of us would not have written here or even known about this forum,if it had not been the controversy concerning Eko. We live our own lives I see Mark Daiji when he comes to Cornwall, I saw alot of Bill Picard.I wrote to a friend of all of ours who still goes to one of the Abbeys he is not very well,and nothing will come between,our friendship of 40 years.
What became apparant from reading on the forum, was the Eko regime seemed to continue the darkness of Jiju Kennett roshi. The funny practices and attitudes were still going on.

Now without saying or meaning I am great,I know more....These practices do not happen in Japan Soto temples. I have been and seen.I have practiced at a very traditional temple,with a very strict approach.. But and it is a BIG but it was full of spiritual direction,compassion and loving kindness.

There was not this bullying and visions,you cant stop thoughts that go into your head but it is how you deal with them how you live your life that makes you a spiritual person.
On my raksu I have a beautiful caligraphy signed by Ikko Roshi an eminent religious man that does not give me authority, it gives me responsibility,a responsibility to simply be a Buddhist to be influenced by the Buddha Dharma, and Sanga,In that regard I have failed to live up to my best a lot of times. I feel I have a right and my friends here to say the transmission line here has gone a bit astray. It happens, it happens to all of us, But in this case people have been needlessly hurt and maybe quite seriously hurt. And in this post written by my old friend Gensho he tells the story of a Sange that did not happen.
The degree of criticism written about Jiyu Kennett is debatable, but for all of us especially me the way forward is to do this sange
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gensho



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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:41 pm

Quote :

There was not this bullying and visions,you cant stop thoughts that go
into your head but it is how you deal with them how you live your life
that makes you a spiritual person.
Well said Chisan.
Visions are incidental to meditation practice and bullying wherever encountered is antithetic to practice. One teacher said you're eyes need to be as ashes; in other words free from desire. If you want to make another do something you are not ready to teach. A teacher points the way, we must walk it.

Walking away from Kennett was a natural next step in my training. Not an easy step for many practical reasons, but an easy step in the process of taking refuge within myself. I was 'in the room' throughout the events in Berkeley in the summer of 76 and for most of events in the fall of 76 at Shasta. The materials and teachings that resulted were not then and still are not Buddha Dharma (buddhism); all those visions needed to be walked through and dropped aside; not clung to and preached as enlightenment.

The visions were not and are not the same as the higher jhanas. The visions are marked with dualism, they are stuck in self and other and are not a way of liberation from self and other. To teach these confusions as a path to enlightenment is perpetuating delusion.

The Buddha Dharma simply points directly at ourselves, we need only 'withdrawn within and reflect upon ourselves'. Use the teachings to clarify what we find within. After some time the Treasure House opens naturally and we enjoy it fully.
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Jcbaran

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:03 pm

Back to that long quote from the lotus book. I also felt this wave of mental nausea. Yikes, such grandiosity and confusion with a strong shot of self-delusion.

People are free to come and go or believe her or not. Really? Was that even vaguely true at Shasta, with Kennett?

I will give her the benefit of the doubt and conclude that these thoughts are pure self-delusion rather than deliberate deceit.

She was pathologically attached to her disciples as well as to being worshiped and adored and followed absolutely. She made it incredibly difficult for people to leave and demonized those who did. In the context of her habitual behavior, her words are beyond absurd.

and regarding the "visions," as I said elsewhere, to me they were obvious contrived visualizations that she dragged us all into - because she couldn't be alone ever, even in her confusion.

"the Lord is the Lord" ....... what does any of this have to do with Dharma???? Haven't read this stuff in decades and all i can think is that I thank my lucky stars that I got out of there......... such harmful nonsense.....
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:12 am

To use a English Cristiany (oh dear) saying we are singing from the same songsheet, and Gensho you speak my mind
I must tell you a quick story
My relationshio with Ikko Roshi was unique to say the least! It was fairly dynamic relationship,It was a merge of 2 totally different people,he brought wisdom and I brought humor,the temple at times rocked!
Anyway he was strict,we followed Bendowa training which even for an old hippy was very very helpful in zazen practice. But there was no direct verbal communication( because of language we had an interpreter when absolutely necessary)
When I was back in the UK I was asked to do a funeral service for a Japanese girl who had committed suicide,,because she felt she had dishonoured her family. It was sad.
I wrote to Ikko Roshi as I was very worried what to do,as the family and friends were coming over. I was worried as I did not want to do the wrong thing he was so so precise,and in this instance I was representing him.
I wrote over and asked what to do as he never taught me what to do, as our relationship was always practice.
He wrote back and said It does not matter what you do , but do it with great love

That meant so much to me as he the master of Bendowa in Japan,could step aside and point the real way beyond teaching.
I did the ceremony. I did a chant in Japanese, and spoke to the mother as best as I could from my heart. they loved the ceremony and felt it was a traditional Japanese funeral service,even though I had just made it up.
After the service the dead girls best friend wanted to talk with me, in English.
She thanked me and told me that she was so pleased it was me that did the service,that I was Ikko Roshis desciple, because she had seen me in his temple in Japan which was a remarkable coincidence. As it was far away from anywhere
Again not a story of how great I am, a highlight of why I choose Buddhism, I felt when I was a boy it would help me find my heart.
Without love and Compassion there is no Buddhism
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Anne

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:48 am

Concerning “Lord” (or “Lord of the House”), the glossary of the HGLB first edition explains use of this term as follows:
Quote :
Buddha in each being, Buddha Nature, Cosmic Buddha. Who is not explicable in terms of existence or non-existence or self or other.
Now to do a dictionary thing from the same glossary...

Buddha”:
Quote :
Literally “awakened”; one who is fully enlightened, having fulfilled the bodhisattva training; especially Shakyamuni Buddha.
Buddha Nature”: no entry

Cosmic Buddha”:
Quote :
The Buddha who appears in every place and time and in all beings; also called by various other names such as Vairocana Buddha, Amitabha Buddha, Dharmakaya, Buddha Nature, Lord of the House. It can be revealed by genuine training, but it cannot be explained as existing or not existing, or in any other dualistic way.
Concerning:
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.
From one aspect, HGLB is a journal, and the departure of monks at that time features elsewhere in it, written in a way that expresses both concern and compassion for them. In the passage quoted above, it may be that she had in mind particularly those who left in disagreement during the “Lotus Blossom” period: in other words she may have had in mind specific people as she construed them, in their responses to specific matters, at a specific time and in a specific context, rather than a more general idea about hurt. What she had particularly in mind by the word “teaching” also may have been quite specific.

Rather than being indifferent about effects of her teaching on people, I think there was recognition that she did not have control over how others responded to what she considered beneficial “teaching”, just as no one on this website has control of how others view them or their words, or how others may respond. (But consequences of inappropriate actions, unreported in HGLB, that might cause others dismay (albeit not as their goal), may have been overlooked in making assessment.)
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:39 am

I think I understand you and thanks for that Anne

It again seems to come down perception and how one sees things,how one understands things, and also how one explains things.

I left at that time as I did not feel it was true Buddhist teaching,I can not speak for the others,but I assume they did too. So there was a disagreement she was right.

What I find puzzling is that we all left and dropped it whist kennett had a good time discrediting us, that does not show compassion. Also the the book or journal, does ,eave out quite a few damaging points,that is who exactly the previous lives were.
I have already asked Carol on this forum if she would have got involved if she knew Kennett was Bodhidharna, and Eko was Jesus,she replied she would not have. The simple truth in the journal would have prevented serious suffering to people if they knew all the facts. Other teacher who knew of these experiences were certainly vocal privately , I think the truth of the previous lives was kept out of the book or jounal, was it would have been quite [banned term]
.
The bit about It is not my problem,may have been meant in a different way, etc etc ,but it was printed, and it does not sound too friendly, or loving to me,so I was out

Are you a journalist Anne? You research very well,even though I can not quite understand it
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:37 am

Diana,

Everything we have been talking about on this forum is a direct response to her dangerous and ridiculous teachings. We keep talking about the damage they do, and then we back paddle, saying "Oh well, we did learn something from the expereince..." or "Gee, don't you all think we are being a little too harsh on Jiyu..." or "Let's not vilify her, afterall we did learn something, right?" I'm just really sick of all this right now. Even I caved and actually gave someone advice that going to an "introductory retreat" might be okay. What was I thinking? Luckily he doesn't sound like he will take my stupid advice. We have our own "group think" thing going on here in the forum, you know? I don't want to have to deal with that. And we gang up on each other! It's ridiculous! There was a major passive-aggressive thing going on where people started getting on Josh's case. We did this to Amailia too, you know, and she left. Good for her. Not only can we not trust the OBC or any religious organizations, we can't even trust the fellow forum members.

and also:

OMG, just read all of the "Lord" this and "God" that, etc... I never really looked at how messed up the whole thing was. I'm just really flabbergasted right now.



I disagree with much of what you wrote here.First I'd like to say a little about myself. I am the only person I personally know that had no religious upbringing whatsoever. My father hated religion and my mother seemed indifferent to it (until much later in life). The whole framing of Buddhism with in the Lord this, Lord that thing was something that was always difficult for me to stomach. Rev. Kennett always framed this some people perceive truth internally and other externally (if I remember correctly the Japanese terms were jeriki and teriki), but in the end neither is really true, because there is neither internal nor external in the end. Though the external Lord thing is very uncomfortable for me, I could make my own translations to help me realize that the truth we all discussed was not so different whether we used internal or external language. In the end we all agreed the Buddha is neither within nor without nor in between. Egoless awareness is what it is. I didn't feel any pressure to hop on the Lord, Eternal, whatever bandwagon. HGLB, whether or not you believe it is a narrative of a genuine religious experience, does have a lot of basic Buddhist teaching in it. I personally did not know how to take the book and didn't spend a lot of time on it. Other books inspired me far more. But I don't feel my reading it sent me off the rails either.

Also, my experience very clearly includes that I learned a great deal while at Shasta. Could I have learned as much or more elsewhere? My guess is yes, but I was where I was, and to say I learned nothing from Shasta and Rev. Kennett would be a lie. From my present state of mind, that I stayed as long as did is utterly amazing, even a little frightening to me. But we each have our karma to work out in our own way. I did stay, and aspects of he environment and teachings there were very helpful. I had many profound meditative experiences, some that seemed very unusual. Rev. Kennett's advice was always to let each thing appear and not be held on to. That continual process over years helped me live my life neither pushing away or holding on. We all falter in lilving in this way, and Rev. Kennett was no exception. To my mind, she had her demons. But to deny everything she had to offer because of even the serious mistakes she made, I believe is a disservice to both her, me, and others that gained something rich and real from their experiences at Shasta.

There is a great danger of meeting wrong with wrong, zealotry with zealotry. One of the great mistakes I saw at Shasta was the belief of many that they knew what was right and wrong for others. They knew it as a certainty that needed no input from the people they judged. Their interpretation of a person's experience was the correct one, and input from that person was not really needed. They knew. They were certain. They understood what was valid about the person's experience and what was not valid. This is not a mistake I want to make in either my private or professional life, though the urge to do so can often be very strong.

I also think it is a mistake that if we challenge each other on this forum to interpret that as turning on each other. That we to this indicates the very opposite of group think. If we didn't, we would just be boosting each other up, discouraging any self examination and devolving this conversation into an everything we say and think is right everything about the OBC is wrong, us against them mentality. No one on this forum, myself included should be above being challenged, nor should any of our ideas and assumptions. That's what makes this an interesting and worthwhile endeavor to me.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:27 pm

Jcbaran wrote:
Back to that long quote from the lotus book. I also felt this wave of mental nausea. Yikes, such grandiosity and confusion with a strong shot of self-delusion.

"the Lord is the Lord" ....... what does any of this have to do with Dharma???? Haven't read this stuff in decades and all i can think is that I thank my lucky stars that I got out of there......... such harmful nonsense.....

It has been talked about many times that RMJK introduced Christian forms and verbiage into the practice in the process of translating it out of Japanese. Clearly the result is quite different than other American Buddhist groups. That's a matter of style which each person has the right to make a choice about, but it doesn't inherently invalidate RMJK's practice or the content of HGLB. The fact that you experience "mental nausea" in response to HGLB suggests you are not in the best position to evaluate it. The material has to be viewed more dispassionately to assess its value as "teaching".

I believe RMJK got a great deal out of the HGLB experiences. The fact that she wasn't able to change some of her behaviors in the short run doesn't mean the experiences were invalid. Insight always comes first and is relatively easy compared to changing behavior. I personally got a great deal out of that period. I don't believe though that everything she said was right - you know, "lamps unto ourselves"...
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:46 pm

I got a lot out of the period too, I got great strength from following what I felt was right, I felt at all times I had no option but to follow my heart. I did and that was away from Kennett and Shasta
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:18 pm

Hey Henry
I've liked your approach that the OBC connect was just being just a meandering Sangha conversation even though my inner zealot still hums it's braveheart routine.

It's understandable that people who have felt manipulated by an OBC Schiller would be sensitive to anything that resembled the same sales methodology. Allowing no room for doubt was a very limiting song that OBC sang. Finding yourself on the wrong side of an expressed doubt at Shasta meant that it was just a matter of time before some type of response arrived to show you the exit.

Like the Japanese expression that says that the "nail that stands up, gets hammered back down." Many experienced the collective intent of the Sangha grouping in a united front to enforce actions based more on control than the liberation that was supposedly espoused.

So Henry.. Any practical musings for dealing with the spiritual difficulties of " The once bitten by a snake routine?....with the OBC connect....and coils of rope laying everywhere?
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:37 pm

Isan wrote:

It has been talked about many times that RMJK introduced Christian forms and verbiage into the practice in the process of translating it out of Japanese. Clearly the result is quite different than other American Buddhist groups.

In addition much of the problem with HGLB has to do with context, meaning the fact that it occurred in a "Zen Buddhist" community. Zen Buddhist literature makes a point of minimalizing, if not completely dismissing, visionary experiences and members predicate their beliefs and expectations thereon. There are other spiritual practices such as Shamanic Journeying (see Michael Harner, Way of the Shaman) where intense visionary experiences are the norm, and if someone's experience contains religious symbolism no one is concerned about how accurately it represents established religious sects. What people are concerned about is what the experience means as a valid expression of the individual's psyche. People from the Shaman circles would look at all the brouhaha surrounding HGLB with incredulity.

I believe RMJK's main problem regarding HGLB was the need for others to validate her. If she had not in effect required everyone to believe her experiences, but instead had left people alone to figure it out for themselves the outcome could have been different. Her inability to give people that latitude though predated HGLB and was one of her basic weaknesses.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:44 pm

I see I got a word banned above,and I am not sure what I said.
I meant to say
I think the truth of the previous lives was kept out of the book or journal,as it would have been quite detrimental

If I did use a swear word I certainly did not mean to or offend.

My spelling and words do not always come out as I intend,All the males in my family have a bit of word blindness, I certainly did not mean to swear,It sort of invalidates what I was trying to say

So I hope to have sort of set the record straight and apologies if a said a banned word
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:22 pm

People have recently been complaining that OBC Connect is getting too personal about Jiyu Kenett and disrespectful. I disagree.

I feel deeply indebted to those of you who have written about life with her in the early days and your critiques of How to Grow a Lotus Blossom. Dispelling the OBC’s powerful influence (in my life anyway) requires an equally heavy counterweight of intelligent criticism even if it means treating the memory of RMJK disrespectfully and making her a target of criticism.

Yesterday I followed the links that someone posted on this forum and ended up at the dharma talks on the North Cascades website. For anyone who thinks How to Grow a Lotus Blossom is just a peculiar bit of history, listen to the recent dharma talks at www.northcascadesbuddhistpriory.org.

The North Cascades website carries a continuing series now up to 15 dharma talks that Koshin is giving on How to Grow a Lotus Blossom. Her kensho of 1976-1977, he says, was a great enlightenment experience like the Buddha's and a perfect expression of the perfection of Zen. The visions in HGLB were "direct apprehension of truth." He says she personally oversaw the drawings of the visions (most of which he says were done by Rev. Mokugen) to make sure they were exactly right.

(The website also carries a talk Koshin gave in September 2010 called “Training with the Internet” wherein he likens visiting "certain websites" to going to houses in a dangerous ghetto where people spread confusion and resentment and hatred and delusion and defamation of character. Hmmm . . . I wonder what website he could have had in mind?)

Several of you remember Koshin as a friend and supporter of reform in the mid-1980s. But you may not know the end of that story, which he told us many times. He left Shasta in a fit of anger at RMJK and drove back to Washington state planning to leave. But on the way, he stopped at a rest stop and had a deep spiritual experience (kensho, I guess) that drew him back to Shasta. Ever since that day, he has been completely devoted to RMJK and her memory. In one of the talks on the website, he says that everything important in his life dates back to her great kensho period. This is consistent with his many talks stressing the need for absolute obedience from disciple to master, in his case RMJK, even if the master seemed to be wrong.

So RMJK’s visions as recorded in HGLB live today. It’s not just some bizarre story propounded long ago.

For me, this is difficult because I still can’t understand how I naively accepted teaching like this for so many years. I guess I just put it all on the “back burner.” But having learned so much from the stories on this forum about the strange days during the mid-1970s and 1980s and knowing how badly Amalia and Henry and others were treated, I wonder if RMJK’s legacy is not just wrong, but dangerous.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:42 pm

Yes Carol
I think the big question is what is meant by the word kensho,is it a Cathartic experience, that is personally experienced that helps push one to greater nelief in something or other. But either way it does not matter, what matters is who you are now, what are you,experiences happen and invariably one returns to the old situation.
You have helped me remember Bill Picards big experience ona retreat in at Tathata Centre in 1970. He said it was like a train journey one travels in a train,and when looking out the window the embankments move so quick that it is difficult to see where one is. The experience that he had enabled him to see both the start and end of the journey. Then it was back in the train again,however one had experience a much bigger picture,at such a time really zen practice starts.
I think it is irrelevant in some ways, what is important is what you said wrong or dangerous.
I am not going to say kennett had or had not a kensho , but I will say a lot of people have been hurt, a lot of people( all her Dharma heirs left at that time) a l t of people disagreed, with kennett

Now I can not speak for others , there is always something to be learnt from every situation,
I was talking to my mum yesterday, she has alzeimers,and dementia, but she told me clear as anything a story about being given some soup,whilst in an air raid shelter,in the second world war. She learnt, that war was a revolting thing.
So you can learn all sorts of things.
Quite simply you nor did Amalia knew the extent of previous lives,you did not know Eko was Jesus,and Kennett was Bodhdarma, if you did you would have chosen I belive to learn something else at some other place. In this case it can be deemed dangerous
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:39 pm

Hi Carol,

The link you mention leads to a site which has temporarily been disabled. I'm not a technical type of person so maybe I'm just being cynical, but I wonder how much of an accident that is given you've drawn attention to the talks there on this site. If it is just a web hitch and not a deliberate act to shut it down then I'd be happy to hear that....
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:39 pm

Carol wrote:
People have recently been complaining that OBC Connect is getting too personal about Jiyu Kenett and disrespectful. I disagree.

I feel deeply indebted to those of you who have written about life with her in the early days and your critiques of How to Grow a Lotus Blossom. Dispelling the OBC’s powerful influence (in my life anyway) requires an equally heavy counterweight of intelligent criticism even if it means treating the memory of RMJK disrespectfully and making her a target of criticism.


Carol, I believe I understand how you feel. The truth should be told to the extent necessary for each person. I don't see that as somehow incompatible with showing RMJK the respect we would show anyone. Respect doesn't require withholding criticism. It is for each person to figure out how to tell the truth in a respectful manner, and I wouldn't presume to tell anyone how to go about that, but I do believe it's valuable to care and to try.

Regarding what you've posted about Koshin I can only quote that old adage "there's no zealot like a convert". He appears to be carrying forward what I consider the least desirable aspects of RMJK's teaching - the authoritarian, controlling, despotic aspects. What is so sad for me is I feel that the lotus blossom experiences were the universe showing RMJK a different way, and it is a great shame that HGLB has come to represent the worst of her legacy instead of the best.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:42 pm

Robert wrote:
Hi Carol,

The link you mention leads to a site which has temporarily been disabled. I'm not a technical type of person so maybe I'm just being cynical, but I wonder how much of an accident that is given you've drawn attention to the talks there on this site. If it is just a web hitch and not a deliberate act to shut it down then I'd be happy to hear that....

The problem is the period at the end of the link. Here it is in working form:

http://www.northcascadesbuddhistpriory.org/
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:00 pm

Thanks Isan, I'm glad I was mistaken.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:21 pm

i would like to add a couple of usfull for me at least, little pointers.
All oxes do have tails no matter how whispy,
And the lovley saying....When I reach the source of the yellow river it is un pure
However, there is always a however, spititual experiences are always of now,because however it is viewed it is all there is,everything else is projection. deep experiences of unity are of no where other than here. At such times when masks are taken off such an experience attracts people, it does not deter them,wooden figure sing and stone maidens dance, life attracts and life recognises life
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:43 am

Chisan, I am not a journalist. Writing my last post, I first thought of the times when (as a fictionalised example of type) according to one newspaper, Mr X was 42 and according to another he was 57; or that I heard a BBC summary of someone’s speech, and then heard the actual speech, and wondered just what the BeeB was playing at, as the summary seemed an utter (and typically worse) misrepresentation. Then I thought, even despite my intentions, I managed to misrepresent what was in the second edition of HGLB ~ and I am sure I had checked for that specific passage but maybe I had just read the first edition’s twice! So whatever doubts I might have about the motives and tendencies of some journalists, even being well-intentioned will not prevent these kinds of errors: and with it someone’s reputation, or some other serious matter, will be in the drink. When I discovered my mistake, I felt it pretty urgent to correct; but journalists have to trot things out at speed on a daily basis. And where does it lead, I wonder??!!.. confused

On banned terms, a while back I had to make “kneejerk” into one word instead of hyphenated, and it was not "knee" that was banned… The only reason it didn't come out looking like I had gorn vulgar was that I checked with the preview-button first!

Can you say a little more of what troubles you about the Bodhidharma and Jesus past-life business? If RMJ or Eko had mentioned past lives as a civil-servant or highway robber, would that have bothered you less? (One of Sogyal Rinpoche’s late teachers, Dudjom Rinpoche, has been said to have been Śariptura in a past life… bom )
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:22 am

Yes good question Anne.
The first answer is I do not believe that they were.Jesus and Bodhidhaarma in a previous life.

Other mutterings,would include
Why was it not common knowledge,why was it hidden.

Also when mark first left,I talked at length to him about all the visions and past lives,there was a great degree of auto suggestion as to what was going to happen,ie who was going to be which person from the jesus and desciple scenario,so it was contrived.I believe that people were asked questions at key momenys,like what is the most important thing,one girl apparently replied to be married with children,this did not go down well.

But actually the aspect that I really did not buy was the spirituality of it .It was not for me at all. It was based on duality which is fine but not for me. Too much importance was placed on what in zazen we let go off remain unattached to.

Further down the line with time and years,I actually think Shatsa has not evolved in a good way. If this period was all it was cracked up to be, I do not think we would so soon, have had the decay into authoritarianism,bullying and Eko being dismissed of his office,

Amalia's experience and Henry 's and everyone else,does not seemed to have been dealt with with any compassion,insight or intelligence.

in normal circumstances, Amalia would have been asked if she needed help,and an inquiry would have been held, to get to the bottom of it, so for me what started off with promise,has hindered reather than helped the people seeking refuge
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:40 am

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:

Also when mark first left,I talked at length to him about all the visions and past lives,there was a great degree of auto suggestion as to what was going to happen,ie who was going to be which person from the jesus and desciple scenario,so it was contrived.

Further down the line with time and years,I actually think Shatsa has not evolved in a good way. If this period was all it was cracked up to be, I do not think we would so soon, have had the decay into authoritarianism,bullying and Eko being dismissed of his office,


I agree with most of what you have to say, certainly about the poor outcome in many respects. Keep in mind though, that with regard to specifics you were not there. There's an important difference between first hand experience and hearsay, no matter how reliable the hearsay may be.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:25 am

Well of course you are right I was not there. I would be interested if Mark ,gensho or Josh who were there refute what I say.
But I was not there, again though Isan, I did write to Jiyu herself personally and Josh,and the response made me feel something was not right,as it was so defensive,and I was not allowed to ask questions, I was told to follow and believe.
The reactions I got made be feel Mark was right in his appraisal. For example I intuitivly knew Mark had left before I knew, my enquiries that I made came back with 'he was scared'. I made enquiries about Gensho, and was told he had 'run off with the devil', I made enqiries with Keitetsu,and was told he said he always followed something inside himself,and that was telling him to go,so I was running out of people to enquire with. I wrote to Josh, and someone else wrote back ,telling me off. So when the book came out it confirmed there were visions,and to be honest nobody has come out and said Eko was not Jesus,Were all the desciples of Jesus seen in previous lives at Shasta, I do not know hopefully some one will say.
Again I do believe Isan,that visions and preious lives experiences are not a particular problem, it is the attachment to them that becomes a problem, Jiyu wrote a book on hers, but did leave out the bits that would raise universal eyebrows.
Now I am not sure but I believe you wrote an article on the ascent of Mt Carmel,a Christian experience not unlike zazen, it is an experience of having everything when one leaves everything behind,in zazen speech, let go of self
and one is enlightened by all things.
If you like, it is view ,personel experience, personal direction, plain talk where one is going.My direction is not the way of the lotus blossom experience, it might well have been a valid experience for Jiyu,,It was not right for me,in stronger terms,the practice,is not akin to zazen practice,and can bring about problems, and confusion, in thinking one is dropping egotistical ways,when in fact one is tricking oneself into having,religious egotistical ways.
This type of trickery came out with the Abboship of Eko, when there were issues especially with some of the girls, and what he preached seemed very different from what he did. This actually brought a few of us to the table, as we realised , that the practice was causing problems for other people


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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:29 am

Isan wrote:
I agree with most of what you have to say, certainly about the poor outcome in many respects. Keep in mind though, that with regard to specifics you were not there. There's an important difference between first hand experience and hearsay, no matter how reliable the hearsay may be.

I can only say that my memories of what Mike and I talked about when I left agree with Mike's recollections.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:56 am

You have to excuse me as I have to dash off for a couple of hours,just when it is getting interesting
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:11 pm

Carol,
I agree with you competely, and I thank you for the info on North Cascades. I hope to check out the link when I have time.

Isan,
Though I agree with you on principal about being respectful, in some phases of a person coming to grips with what happened to them at the OBC, it might be quite natural for them to express themselves in ways that are not very respectful. Lise can have the pleasant duties of keeping that within the limits of the rules here.

It is also important to consider how respectfully some people were treated by the OBC. Was Amalia's treatment respectful, or mine, or Sophia's, or on and on? Was Rev. Kennett's outbursts towards others respectful? While I am not advocated an eye for an eye, I think we would want to make room for people to express their anger if that is the place they are in at this moment. If they can't do it here, where can they do it with people who can grasp as fully as we can what they are going through?

Howard,
If you are talking about the coiled rope being the present OBC (rather than finding another group one can fit into) I would say that for me it is very unlikely that I would be that involved that the rope/snake could do me harm. If I did get involved (hypothetically) I hope I've reached a place in my life that I would not allow myself to be controlled as I previously did. It is a source of utter amazement to me that allowed myself to be so silenced by the heirarchy there. I guess I hoped there was something so worthwhile to be gained that I could compromise myself in that way, though I didn't think of it in those terms then. I hope, and to a certain extent believe, that I have come to the point in life that while I want to remain very open minded and willing to examine my own thinking, values, everything, that I would know when a line of compromise has been crossed that should not be crossed. But we never really know exactly what we'll do in a hypothetical circumstance, do we? There is always a new way to be fooled, which, on the positive side, is that there is always something new to learn.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:53 pm

mstrathern wrote:


I can only say that my memories of what Mike and I talked about when I left agree with Mike's recollections.

I have no problem with that, but it doesn't speak to my point. If we're trying to be rigorous about the accuracy of our recollections then it's important to note the difference between what we experienced and what others told us, no matter how trustworthy and credible we believe them to be.

What I see going on much of the time is people comparing what they've already concluded about past events to see to what extent they agree, not a serious reexamination of those events to see if there's something new to learn.
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:40 pm

Henry I agree with your view on anger,I think this is your experience as family therapist,it is better to get it out tahn keep it in. I also agree with the respect too.My murky background, is pailnt it on the walls if you have something to say. hasten to add I do not do that now, in case the easily led are in!

Isan I did not quite understand the post sorry could you rephrase it slightly thanks
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:40 pm

Hey Henry
The "once bitten by a snake, one becomes cautious even of a rope" analogy came from your post where you disagreed with Diana"s posting where she expressed frustration at the OBC connect folks ganging up on others.

While everyone has probably moved on from there and even though I liked your response, I sympathized with why Diana would have found it difficult.

The OBC experience of a Sangha closing ranks against a member who spoke up against a common belief, would be the snake biting. The experience of the OBC connect participants collectively arguing against what you hold dear, could look like the same thing (The coil of rope).

The snake and rope story is commonly used as the justification for caution and how not to make the same mistake twice. I sometimes hear it as the justification for maintaining a level of self protection that both limits the spiritual experience and caters to one's fear of vulnerability. I guess my question was about how to be vulnerable again to what has formally hurt you, without becoming a doormat.

Work calls / no more time for question tweaking.

Cheers
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Henry

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:58 pm

Howard,
I knew I should have asked you what you meant by the question. I'm not sure what I can say. It seems that some people on the forum want this to be just a support group for people who were hurt by the OBC. While I strongly advocate for this to be part of what happens here and think that support is invaluable, I also believe that is too limiting, given the wide variety of agendas of those who do and have participated here. I have seen the pro OBC contributors get insulted when the OBC is criticized and I've seen the anti OBC contributors get insulted when nice things are said about the OBC. My own view is that people and organizations are beyond complicated and to fit either in a neat little well defined box that allows no ambiguity is something my mind does not do very well. I'd hate to see Diana leave this site with ill feelings, but it seems that the only ones left here are the armidillos in the middle of the road. Does anyone see a car coming?
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Kyogen

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PostSubject: Re: Introduction - Jakuan Gensho - Alan Florence   Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:36 pm

Hello Gensho, my old friend. It's great to see you here. I've been absent, and so much has been added to this forum during that time that I've been hesitant to dive back in. I guess I'll have to skip much of the new material and just start fresh.

I like your take on the Abbey years. I agree with you that there was a lot of great energy in the early years, and I, like you, received some good teaching. Jiyu Kennett opened the door to the Dharma for me, even though there were many flaws.

Kyogen
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