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 The Cosmic Buddha said what?????

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Jcbaran

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PostSubject: The Cosmic Buddha said what?????   Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:48 pm

First topic message reminder :

So i am going to start a new topic / discussion.

About the "Cosmic Buddha" - how Kennett talked about this idea/entity, how she began to have dialogues with this Cosmic Buddha, asking advice frequently, and how this idea, among other aspects of how she taught, pushed Shasta towards an approach that became an amalgam of her own brand of Christianity / monotheism / Soto Zen / and a little bit of the occult.

more of this later
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Henry



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PostSubject: Re: The Cosmic Buddha said what?????   Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:47 am

It's funny to say that that since this enlightened person 500 years ago broke others' bones and he was enlightened, so a present dY person can do the same a be enlightened also. Why don't we doubt the veracity of the former's enlightenment or the tale that he was abusive? In what field outside of religion are people so prone to such ways of thinking? Or more accurately, not thinking.
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chisanmichaelhughes



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PostSubject: Re: The Cosmic Buddha said what?????   Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:38 pm

Henry what is you take on Compassion in religion?
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Iain



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PostSubject: Re: The Cosmic Buddha said what?????   Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:21 pm

mstrathern wrote:
Iain you make the common academic/scientific mistake when you say 'with whatever objectivity they can muster '.

To clarify what I meant here Mark because I do think that it is important in the context of dialogue.

My personal experience is that once you start to seriously explore and employ any epistemological structures to deepen intellectual understanding 'objectivity' becomes an ever more elusive concept. I'd hoped that I had hinted at this when I wrote that "I'm not sure that I know what an 'objective' history ever actually looks like" earlier in the paragraph. History can be endlessly re-written by anyone based on exactly the same documented evidence. One of my students in Japan is currently coming up with a whole new theory about the relevance of logistics to the Duke of Marlborough's 1704 Campaign.


I'm simply thinking of something more practical when I write this in the context of evidence on OBC Connect. "I remember RMJK in 1977 as being incapable of delegating the task of purchasing a pillow case [and my opinion was that I didn't think much of her for it]" is what I mean by objective evidence. "RMJK had little knowledge of Buddhism" is not objective evidence (unless she was formally examined in the subject and achieved a low score I guess). It is an unsubstantiated personal opinion.

With Bows

Iain
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mokuan



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PostSubject: Re: The Cosmic Buddha said what?????   Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:08 pm

Hi Iain,

I'm certainly not one to determine RMJK's understanding. Maybe she wasn't a very good teacher in the sense of being able to get a message across. It's a skill, one that I do not possess myself, and I think it's one you learn.

But I do know when I asked her my question regarding the ability to recognize delusion in myself, she punted me to Daizui, who said I'll get back to you. He never did.

Another thing regarding teaching, she asked me if I would like to talk about a fairly injurious event that had happened to me a couple years prior. I said, Yes, thank you. I'd would like to get your take on it. She never mentioned it again, and I was in her house every day, all day. For me, it would have been perfectly fine if she just said, I don't know; stuff happens. I don't feel hurt by either of those situations, but you would kinda, sorta think a teacher might have some idea regarding either question.

I've had some wonderful answers to my delusion question on this forum, and Joseph Goldstein (IMS) didn't hesitate to answer either of them -- and quite well, I might add.

Iain, you seem certain of the things you know. I have to ask for yours and everyone else's forbearance here. At the moment, I'm feeling like I'm standing atop a rickety fence trying to get somewhere without falling. The "somewhere" is understanding. The falling is anger on one side and I'm not sure exactly what's on the other side, but there's some sympathy mixed in I know that for sure. So if at times I seem a little wishy-washy, I apologize. It's because I'm up and down on top of that fence!

warm regards,
mokuan
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mstrathern
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PostSubject: Re: The Cosmic Buddha said what?????   Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:59 pm

Iain I take your point but I both agree and disagree (ah! my cake and eating it again) If in the final analysis all data is subjective then there can be no knowable objective truth. But since Zen is supposed to be:

A special transmission outside the scriptures,
Not founded upon words and letters;
By pointing directly to [one's] mind
It lets one see into [one's own true] nature and [thus] attain Buddhahood

"RMJK had little knowledge of Buddhism" seems a bit irrelevant. However it is still evidence even if it is personal opinion. It is the opinion of someone who was in close contact with her for a number of years and therefore has at least some exertise. It may not carry the weight of the more objective view obtained by an examination but it still carries some weight as evidence and would be allowable as such in a court of law. I have read, for instance, Sangharashita's 'A Survey of Buddhism' but this does not make me an expert however it does allow me to come to the opinion that he is even without a formal examination.
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jack



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PostSubject: Re: The Cosmic Buddha said what?????   Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:54 pm

I didn't know Jiyu, but through her disciples who became teachers. Coming from a real world, non-OBC envrionment, I simply was not favorably impressed.

There seemed no general cognizance of much Buddhism at all other than what Jiyu had drilled in their heads. The teaching became rote after a while -- a way too familiar set of stock OBC stories and phrase strung together - a bit like children's Sunday School.
.
I did read outside of Jiyu's writing. both in the Zen tradition and other traditions and found a wealth of material. The OBC teaching is a tiny, select subset of Buddhism. We were discouraged from reading anything but Jiyu's material; they were assumed to be vast and inexhaustible resources. And unfortunately, the monastic environment had provided teachers with little useful real world experience that could be related to the teaching.

Despite the endpoint limitation, the teaching was sufficient for a couple of years before it ran out of a place to go or lead.

I think the OBC would claim that Buddhist teaching in general only appeals to the discursive mind they are trying to kill. But it's interesting in the the Pail Canon the Buddha "discursed" a lot. He told lots of stories, used reasoning and chains of thought freely, used lots of analogies, etc. as he adapted the teaching to different audiences. The Buddha never had a problem with people using their minds - the full range of their minds. There was time for meditation and time for reasoning. Time for the jhanas and time for contemplating in meditation the truth of some particular point of the dharma.
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Jcbaran

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PostSubject: Re: The Cosmic Buddha said what?????   Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:43 pm

having attended extensive teachings of many Tibetan lamas who have deeply studied Buddhism, it is obvious that Kennett's understanding of basic Buddhism and Mahayana was frankly meager. And in those breakdown years of 1975-77, it was pure confusion that she was teaching. And no certificates or titles changes what i saw and experienced.

That's my opinion, not objective fact. And who I am to say this? Well, who else? It is up to me to determine such things FOR ME and I did. Frequent fits of uncontrollable rage, jealousy, paranoia, occasional periods of intense irrational fear, emotional abuse -- gosh, unless I am missing something, none of this indicates wisdom, compassion or peace.

In any case, by the time I left, whatever it was she was teaching, I was not interested in it. I was not buying it. Call it whatever you want, but no thanks. And I am so grateful i had the guts to get out.
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Jcbaran

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PostSubject: Re: The Cosmic Buddha said what?????   Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:00 am

i didn't know that Keizan beat people so severely. Hmmm. Well, when did this idea / story arise that says you can beat people into some enlightened state?

The Buddha certainly did not teach anything like that. Did this become popular in China? Or maybe it was only in Japan where this became acceptable or even admirable? Maybe in Japan during that period, corporal punishment, physical brutality was common. Maybe fathers beat their disobedient children or their unruly wives. Maybe teachers beat their students? Maybe everyone beat their dog and cats? So maybe this kind of behavior was a cultural? And aren't we glad we evolved - that we can stop doing that to each other, that women and children have rights.

And then again, we can tell the story that Keizan beating his disciples until they were crippled was a sign of his great enlightenment. That's one story. Another story was that he was a product of his time and place and everyone did that - or at least the male ruling class. Another story - he was in fact, like Kennett, had unresolved inner shadows that came out as a form of sadism. that his behavior in this regard was harmful and an expression of endarkenment, not enlightenment. Who can know?

But we don't have to be locked into the dogmatic ONE TRUE story that all these "masters" were fully enlightened and all their actions were divine. Let's just let that one go.
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Henry

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PostSubject: Re: The Cosmic Buddha said what?????   Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:35 am

Iain,
When Josh expresses his opinion as strongly as Rev. Kennett he's being distastefully dogmatic.When she did the same most around her took it as truth. But the essential point is not who's right. When Josh expresses his opinion it can be taken or left. When Rev. Kennett expressed hers, if one dissented publicly on an issue that was important to her, there were consequences to pay. But we are equally to blame. We allowed it to happen through lack of courage.
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mstrathern
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PostSubject: Re: The Cosmic Buddha said what?????   Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:46 am

Henry I quite agree. The essential difference is what is posted here is not dogmatic teaching, that was a main style at Shasta. Here there are views expressed maybe even a little teaching but whilst anyone can post almost anything here, anyone can reject almost anything posted her, the exception being the forum rules which are hardly restrictive.

It is probably part of the reason why the OBC does not post here or encourage members to post here. Another reason is probably legal they are scared silly of accepting fault. As I understand it they, both as an organisation and as individuals, had a duty of care towards members. It would look to me, and I am not an expert, that at least at face value the treatment meted out to both you and Amelia would be actionable and the cost of remedial care might be quite considerable. Consider the concerns they may have that something like this board could lead to a class action!
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: The Cosmic Buddha said what?????   Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:53 am

Jcbaran wrote:


That's my opinion, not objective fact. And who I am to say this? Well, who else? It is up to me to determine such things FOR ME and I did. Frequent fits of uncontrollable rage, jealousy, paranoia, occasional periods of intense irrational fear, emotional abuse -- gosh, unless I am missing something, none of this indicates wisdom, compassion or peace.

In any case, by the time I left, whatever it was she was teaching, I was not interested in it. I was not buying it. Call it whatever you want, but no thanks. And I am so grateful i had the guts to get out.

Josh, you have every right and need to express yourself, and in fact have said the above in varying ways in numerous posts. What would help you feel better about all of it?
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