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 Could the OBC connect use some balance?

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Howard

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PostSubject: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:28 am

In the absence of an OBC defence, I offer my not very attractive rump with a bulls eye for viewing..

Some of this forum is starting to look like it's shooting Jiyu in a barrel.

I understand why much of the criticism of the OBC centres on R. Jiyu as it's originator. I also understand why the continued deification of Jiyu by her disciples motivates many of her detractors to continue pointing out her faults.

My question centres on how to bring about constructive change against the inertia that fights to keep everything the way it was, without us sinking to the level of those we are criticizing.

I don't think anyone would look very good under the microscope we are holding over Jiyu. The tenaciousness by which are continuing to focus on all her idiosyncrasy's is beginning to seem a bit pornographic to me.

Everyone has their own motivation for being here. Some may have made it a career, or part of their job, or an up coming book, or part of a thesis, or looking to warn away others, seeking revenge for ill treatment, looking for what may have been lost and on and on. I know that I would not look very good under the lights being shone right now on Jiyu.
I wonder who would?

Can the OBC connect manifest the compassion, love, respect, sympathy, tenderness, balance, benevolence, equanimity and wisdom that we are accusing the OBC of not manifesting?

Would it look and feel differently from what we are doing now?

In exposed repose,

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jack



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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:06 pm

Howard,

I think this microscopic look is a phase of understanding.

I've seen it in cases where children were trying to understand parents who harmed them. One phase is a de-mystification of what happened to them, an acceptance of the trauma -- and sometimes that it was intentionally inflicted. The parents, rather than being protector saints are transmorgrified into monsters with pustules, warts, and deformities. Eventually for most, the picture balances out, and they are seen as people again -- flawed, even harmful people, but people nonetheless. That takes time. Those who never make the final transition are left dealing with monsters the rest of their life. What people continue to write is, I think,. their attempt to come to terms with their own de-mystification, their own following of that particular siren song.


I think the de-mystification of Jiyu is a generally healthy record. Recognizing the sometimes [banned term], malformed behavior for what it is takes the "guru" shine off the image so that Jiyu or Eko can be seen as "just another human being," whose insights/rants etc. are not holy truth that cannot be comprehended, but only a mixture of some diamonds in ***" (self deleted) that can be intelligently sifted through with care if one wants to make the effort, and has enough wisdom to distinguish between the two.

It is also valuable to generalize the de-mystification with Buddhism and with gurus. For example, shedding a Jiyu fixation only to lurch into a guru relationship with Trungpa would have had only changed the drug of choice, not the addiction itself.

For me, the Jiyu stories have finished my fascination with or interest in the OBC. I am not considering any more a wholesome Jiyu message mangled by her disciples, but only that in many cases the very flawed, unwholesome behaviors of her disciples are the direct result of hers.

To express it in with utterly trite words, "There's no point in beating a dead horse." Jiyu is dead. It is only the mystically enchanted harm she left in other minds that lives on.

I think that moving on will happen here. Most of what I read are new people coming to an understanding of their own by fitting individual pieces of their puzzle into a picture as a whole. That will take time, but over time the dead horse will be seen as truly dead.
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:14 pm

Both Howard and Jack have good points. People are in different stages of sorting out their experiences. It's normal for a time to take a very negative view of things and to eventually swing back to a more balanced view. That was certainly true for me. After almost 30 years my view is more forgiving than some here, so when I read posts that are very negative I remind myself that it wasn't so long ago I felt the same. There is a noticeable difference though between those who are really trying to have a conversation and those who are not. The willingness to share feelings and help each other with the sorting process is what I've found attractive and useful about this forum. I've lost interest in those who don't want a dialogue, but instead are engaging in a smear campaign. They are not doing anyone a favor by presenting RMJK in a negative light that completely invalidates her. Jack said it well that those who never make the final transition are left dealing with monsters the rest of their lives. If you destroy everything that was positive and redeeming about RMJK all you will leave yourself is a monster.

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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:28 pm

I agree with the above.

I have felt uncomfortable with some of the disclosures about Kennett, but it seems unavoidable. Eventually this will run its course and find equilibrium as Isan & Jack suggest.

I wish religions generally, not just the OBC, could see the risks of elevating their founders to near-divine figures. The myth is bound to crumble, as mere humans can't live up to that. They shouldn't have to.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:46 pm

"I wish religions generally, not just the OBC, could see the risks of elevating their founders to near-divine figures. The myth is bound to crumble, as mere humans can't live up to that. They shouldn't have to."--Lise

That's exactly right, imo. People become disciples of charismatic clerics expecting a numinous, transcendent being and they get a human being instead. Doesn't matter which religion. It happens in science education, too, where certain talented professors are treated with godlike respect, and they learn to treat the suffering of their students with indifference.

To pin the blame entirely on the master is to ignore the flawed dynamic that gets set up. The expectation of the students is frequently that the master will be perfect in every way. What are the chances that the next guru who is given total control over your life, no matter how good they are, will do any better when the relationship itself is so unbalanced?

Maybe you should let the guru have the last word most of the time if you're going to train with them. A Zen master (if s/he's not an outright fraud) has studied and trained for a long time after all, and authority should mean something or we'll end up losing a lot of knowledge between generations.

But no one should be above being questioned. RM Eko used to say frequently that "There is no such thing as enlightenment," and while he may have meant something subtle about the need for "always going on," I think it's simply true on its face. The point of the journey is not to arrive.
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Henry

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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:10 pm

While I agree with Isan, I think I know what Josh is trying to do, as he seems to be the most vehement bulldozer showing all the flaws of Rev. Kennett. I think that while many of us have achieved a certain balance after many years, we also may have softened the focus on what we actually experienced. That is a double edge sword. On the one hand, there's no sense in lliving with anger and resentment, and this softening of focus can help with that. On the other it may take the edge off the actual suffering and degree of dysfunction we experienced.

When I read of the details that have been recounted here, it fully reminds me of how bad it got at Shasta. That sort of authoritarian environment where one truly couldn't dissent and even talking to close friends of one's opinions and concerns was considered causing disharmony in the sangha, which of course was a sentence to hell, is something I couldn't dream of returning to.

These details, while they are distasteful and cause me to be uncomfortable (it is terribly unfair to shoot someone in a barrel as Howard pointed out), they do hammer home how absurd it was for all of us to allow Rev. Kennett to have the amount of power she did over the community as a whole and over each of us individually.

Also, when placed in the context of so many other teachers, the "leave takers" in whom Josh has seen the full effect these dysfunctional communities have had on them when they are most raw, vulnerable, and confused, it becomes easier to see the absurdities we put up with out of fear, cowardice, and confusion.

I couldn't dream of putting up with what I had put up with, and though I feel I had found balance and perspective after many years, the stories, with all their uncomfortable details, have helped further validate and confirm the conclusions I had come to of how bizarre, confused, unfair and harmful the whole structure and environment of Shasta was--right down to the pictures of the Christmas trees that were taken so they could be exactly the same each year, and the harsh, even humiliating treatment given those who misplaced a bulb.

Sometimes details provide a powerful picture that abstract concepts never can. Especially for people newly considering that their experience in the OBC was truly odd and perhaps even wrong, these details can provide affirmation that their perceptions are not so off as monks in the OBC might have told them.

But I also have similar concerns to Isan and Howard. When is enough enough? I don't really know, and in the end, in a free forum such as this one, that is for each person to decide for themselves. I continue to find the material Josh is providing to be educational, though I disagree with his method of presenting evidence that may be the result of faulty or partial memory and then using that "evidence" to further a theory or perspective he has. That is why I try to corroborate or open my memories to challenge, as I would like my theories to at least be built on as factual foundation as I can. Still I find his contribution invaluable. Idealizing gurus and Rev. Kennett continues unabated. Even Meian stated in a recent talk that "everything" Rev. Kennett did was for the benefit of others. As long as that sort of harmful idolizing continues--which draws the vulnerable into the trap of subserviance and self doubt (or worse, absolute misguided certainty)--there will be the impulse, and perhaps need, to remove such teachers from their pedastals, however they can.


Last edited by Henry on Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:16 pm

I see your point, Howard. But idiosyncrasies and cruel actions with impunity is a different kettle of tofu. In fact, there is no impunity; we are it. We are the consequences of her actions. I do think, however, that instead of generalizations of RMJK's behavior, clear examples must be given. "I saw this happen...or this happened to me." I know if I make a statement, I need to be able to back it up with clear examples, otherwise what I say could be seen only as abusive, insolent, and without merit.

Although, I believe there are still stories to be told, I think to be an effective voice for change, hammering JK at
every turn will hinder rather than help, and possibly negate any
ability for OBC to see the real harm that was done. After all, twice a month, I believe, there is a rather lengthy
ceremony venerating Jiyu Kennett. It's pretty tough to be bombarded -- if they choose to read here -- with negativity about someone you've built your life around. At some point, you just shut down, unless you're confronted with actual examples, then you've got to deal with it.

I do think Shasta is making a good-faith effort to look at itself. I know in Meian's recent talks she emphasizes loving kindness and being kind. If one wakes up every morning thinking to be kind today, that can go a long way. And at Meian's induction ceremony, Haryo, in his congratulations, said something to the effect that he looks forward to training with her for many years to come...many happy years. The word "happy" was stressed. It got quite a laugh out of everyone. Of course, they were referencing e. little, and maybe that's as far as they can get for now. After all, he was one of them and not in line for sainthood.

In a way, it will make no difference to me. The Buddhism they teach no longer resonates with me. What is making a difference is hearing others and being allowed to speak on this forum. Sometimes I may not be too eloquent and many times wishy washy, but like I've said previously, I'm trying to understand the strange dichotomy of my experience.

Thank you all.
~mokuan
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mstrathern
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:13 pm

Howard of course you are right, also in an earlier post Nicky painted a vivid picture: 'I have this terrible image of a sort of rag doll jiyu being endlessly shaken, and i don't want anything to do with it . It was myself i wanted to carefully look at , and this site is perhaps inappropriate for that - ' The reason for this forum is surely to allow ex-members, and even present members, of the OBC and its predecessor, the ZMS, to come to terms with the organisations history, actions and leaders, and in the case of those who have left with the trauma of their leaving and the hurt done to them. In the absence of any help in this from the OBC matters will inevitably go a bit over the top on occasion but we are putting together as best we can a picture of the OBC as it was and is and of Jiyu its founder. If you read the forum postings you will find many good things said about both the OBC and Jiyu, However perhaps inevitably the good is eclipsed by the shock of the bad. The reasons why I think were well stated by Jack. But we are trying to piece together what in our view went wrong, and that is necessarily coming out in dribs and drabs each revelation leading on to the next. When that process of revealing what happened, both good and bad, has run its course striking a more balanced view will be easier, then the nature of the forum debate will hopefully develop so we can, as Nicky said, 'carefully look' at ourselves. But we must always be vigilant for 'What is perplexing further is that even though you have returned to the original position feeling awakened and enlightened, you may easily go astray again.' (Suigan Yogo Roshi, Jiyu's, mentor under Chisan Koho Zenji, and her first transmission master in Japan, from a talk when he was Abbot of Sojiji in 1987) And this I fear is what happened and went unchecked to some within the OBC.
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:43 pm

Yes all good points, the huge weight of recent comments ,I feel was started by Ekos,resignation it brought things up to the surface. I woke up in the night when it was going on feeling something was unwell at Shatsa and got in touch wih Mark and Josh.
I have to say that my time pressure is gretting a bit immense.
As I told you ( I think ) when Bill Picard was dieing we spoke about building a zendo on the cliffs. Bill said sit in it when you have nothing to else to do.
I have come a bit nearer realising this peculiar dream when I was offered a lot of money to sell a shop I own to a fast food chain.I was actually asked to name my price.With a bit of jostling and planning,I might be able to follow my dream.

The clock is ticking and with it the usual set of problems and issues come out of the woodwork which takes enormous attention and time,of which I do not have any spare,my imput here will unfortunately decrease.

It is funny I have not thought of Shasta for 30 years,it was a big influence in my life at the time.My biggest influence has been having 5children and 1 grandchild, 3 children I have brought uo on my own!

My other biggest influence was meeting and being given a new name and robe from Ikko Roshi in Japan, I do not want to break my connection with Japan,even though Ikko Roshi is dead and I sit on my own I do still sit with him and his legacy too.

It is not a farewell speech, I have formed close bonds and attachments to friends and people here, we have fought and laughed like brothers and sisters and that is what I will always remember. My karma for now ,builds up I feel I have to keep my full wits about me as the next peice of my life unfolds.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:48 am

Could the OBC connect use some balance? - Yes of course.

Could the OBC use some balance? - Yes of course.

But I'll add two further comments. First the OBC came before the OBC connect, much of the imbalances here are a direct result of and response to the imbalances there - they have only themselves to blame. (Sorry Howard if that was your rump I felt against my toe) Second this forum is entirely open, we can within reason say want we want, agree with each other, disagree with each other, squabble, help each other, give advice, give warnings, etc., etc., etc., we can't say much of that about the OBC where the party line has holds sway.

To my mind this cacophony of mainly warm heartedness towards each other, and even quite often towards the OBC, represents the best of outcomes for us and a true sangha of those prepared to help others over their difficulties and back, if they choose, to the gateless gate.
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Henry

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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:24 am

I wrote a couple of posts on Personalities and Shadows that probably fit better here. Anyway they're ther for those interested on reading and or commenting on them.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:45 pm

The patterns and dangers related on this site from RMJK all those years ago, which I know nothing about through personal experience, feel alarmingly close to my own experiences at Throssel. While it's important to remember RMJK was very human too, it's been very helpful to see where some of the roots to the issues at Throssel might lie and how dangerous it can be not to ask some of these questions in the first place.

I can't help thinking that the new seeds are as much a part of the cause as the old plant on which they grow...
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:06 am

I think this has been quite a thought provoking topic,well it has for me, i have felt a bit of antoganism for Josh I may be wrong.I certainly put my hand up and say I have been a critic of Jiyu and Shasta.
I think we have all changed and grown in 30 years,vast experiences,bringing up families,running businesses. Despite the fact that we have let it go over time, there has clearly been a few regrets,mainly,I would not roll over now,I would say more ,challenge more than I did.
We were all very young, and so responsible too. I remember Mark running Throssel and me running a place in London that the difficulties we met with some of the problems people had,and asked for help with,one needs alot of experience,which we did not have, to help, and not get swamped out by unexpected circumstances.
I am not sure I have been prepared for any of the things I have encountered during my life. I am quite fortunate that I have had and needed to have a large ability to accept not such good things,and also the ability to be able to laugh quite quickly in the face of hardship.

The point is the experience I have gained has made me different,and I would certainly have said far more when I left Shasta I would have been far more challenging. I think we all would. Josh has gained great experience from meeting a lot of people with guru problems,and he feels the need to say everything he wants too,and perhaps wishes he had said years ago,he has blasted it out too,I must save up some pennies and fly over to New York for a quick breakfast( I would only survive 2 courses) with him

i think this forum is really good,for getting things out in the open,and hopefully help resolve and give some closure. I have to put my hand up and say I personally do not want to have a communication with Shasta,but I am sure others do and it will be helpful.There is a saying somewhere I have heard once you have been bitten by a snake you tend not to trust a piece of rope. I love that. I still have my transmission silks and I also have a new robe from Ikko roshi I am not going to deny anything or any part of my experience,there was good then maybe now too,but there is a lot of good all over the place as well.
I have met so many people who have also learnt a lot from their lives so many with good outlooks and principles that won't be bought. I have learnt to see the Buddha in a lot of normal everyday people,and every day circumstances.
Also I must say how much I have enjoyed reading my old friend Marks comments( or at least the ones I can understand) you know,here is someone with great knowledge and understanding,who had the guts to stand up to Jiyu and would not forsake his belief. Now that is someone that would have been a good guide and figure head for the OBC,simply because he would not have tolerated any individual nonsense, nor bullying, that we have read about here.
I own and run a furniture making business,we sell more and more on the internet,and my daughter is due to arrive at work in in five minutes,I do not want her to catch me writing this,while I am supposed to be working. Some things never change eh
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:59 am

Well my daughter did not catch me out and tell me off, she told me I was going to be a granddad how great is that.
So I will change the last sentence to ' some things do change'
good one eh
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:36 am

That's marvelous! Congratulations Michael, and to your daughter also

That news is so much nicer than a telling-off!
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:48 am

Thanks Lise
I feel very happy,almost like it is one of mine, I hope it is a boy I have a few good stories to tell him,my grand daughter called Zennor (Good Cornish name)
scares far too easily
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john

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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:37 am

My congratulations to you all as well. They are so lucky to have a grandad and father
who can see into his own heart and the hearts of others. As someone once said to me
Enjoy what there is to enjoy - Be happy.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:40 am

That is so kind John
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:16 am

Congratulations Chisan! cheers

I'm delighted to hear about your new grandchild. My daughter is expecting another baby too. A little girl who will be born in April. That will be grandchild number 3 for me.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:26 am

Thanks Laura
3 that beats me
you're not having me on are you? you don't look old enough to be a grandma
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:51 pm

Congratulations Mike and Lisa may your grand children bring you great joy and you bring them lots of grand parently wisdom.

Mike, thanks for the kind words, but I had my problems running Throssel back then, as I'm sure you did down in London. We were just ordinary trainees like those we were in charge of, just as fallible as them and hopefully with the humility to admit it sometimes.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:13 pm

Thanks Mark
I must ask you though at what point do we not remain ordinary trainees?
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:47 pm

HaHa!
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Carol

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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:18 pm

Congratulations, Michael!! Now you will have a good excuse for not working because you'll be holding your lovely new grandchild!
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:36 pm

Hello Mark
Congratulations Mike and Lisa may your grand children bring you great joy.

You messin wid my reality?

Is lisa a typo, a miss spelling of Lise (I'll let her defend herself) , a short form of Laura , the actual name of Mike's wife, or, or..are you saying that Mike & Lise are an item? There you have it, the OBC connect finally exposed as just another Dharma Dating site.

Congrats Mike on those new grand blossoms, Lisa too.


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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:53 pm

Sorry a senior moment, thanks Howard, should have been Laura, (or maybe I'm psychic, any comment mike lisa) so:

Laura to repeat, congratulations and may they bring you triple blessings and great joy, and you bring them great wisdom.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:30 pm

Thank you to everyone! Mark, I'm not sure I'll be passing along much wisdom. I usually spend most of my time just playing with my grandkids and giving them big hugs. And Chisan, you obviously haven't noticed the gray hair I'm sporting, lol.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:32 pm

Love - sounds like wisdom to me.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:07 am

We have been caught out Lise and me,It is a great relationship
When I come home late she thinks it is still early,and when she shouts it is too far away for me to hear . She knows about my womanising ways, but feels reassured, that when I finally catch them I can no longer remember why I chased them in the first place
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:53 pm

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:
We have been caught out Lise and me,It is a great relationship
When I come home late she thinks it is still early,and when she shouts it is too far away for me to hear . She knows about my womanising ways, but feels reassured, that when I finally catch them I can no longer remember why I chased them in the first place


As if any one woman could tame the Terror of Cornwall . . . better to let the hordes of females have at him

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jack



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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:57 pm

Let me add belated congrats to you, Chisen and Laura.

Children/grandchildren are a delightful reminder of exuberant joy that is also part of life.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:02 pm

Thanks Howard, Carol

( Lise I will send over a crisp fiver for keeping the reputation going)
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:47 am

I've had second thoughts on whether to post this or not but since it keeps circling my brain, for better or worse, I think it's spilling time.

I have had concerns that our one sided venting would make the OBC connect look like the polar opposite of the OBC. While readers would be warned about the OBC's myopic and manipulative behaviours, our believability might also be compromised by our one sided presentation. The way it has been so far might of been giving our ya ya's a comforting release but I think it has also diluted the credibility of this forum for many of those peeking in from the outside. If our worries about the OBC extend further than our own life stories then I think there is no other time than now to deal with the whole story. Somewhere between the OBC connect and the OBC lies the hope for some healing for all of us.(whether we are interested in talking to them or not.)

Entering the OBC connect is a bit like listening to one side of the angry history of a couples divorce. Sure you can say that it's one sided because the other side won't participate but I think the OBC connect would be more effectively convincing to a much wider audience if we introduced the OBC's missing defence. The OBC has their counter points, views, reasoning's, excuses and explanations which they are choosing not to included on this forum.

You could say that is their business but it's absence is also the OBC connect's loss.

I think our complaints might offer a more balanced story if we would include more of the OBC's side of the equation.

We already point out much of the originating sources of craziness but what keeps it going? We point out how extreme the disconnect was between the what was taught and what was done, but how do it's followers survive each day on such a hypocritical diet. If you can see that a master's teaching contains both crazy and sane content, why would you choose to carry for years beyond her death, the crazy parts. If in following a Masters example you break the precepts, what does that say about the validity of the linage? If perceptual breakage becomes the cost of maintaining a monks position in a monastery, is there really a monk in any of those participating robes?. If you need to bury your head in the sand to do your job, how can you teach others to find freedom? If protecting your job becomes your identity, what is the point of a spiritual life?

OK, OK Maybe it needs a little work!

My other thought was..

The responses to this thread have contained a lot of give and take. Then it morphed into people talking about themselves and what was going on in their lives in this very instant. This simple twist gave it a personable grace that seemed so much closer to another type of balance. People with obvious spiritual depth, living large in the present, pointing out the OBC trials & tribulations and how they got from there to here.
I liked it.

Cheers

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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:53 am

Yes good points Howard
But my question to you is
How do you help others to find freedom?
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:49 am

Hello Mike
How do you help others to find freedom?

Sometimes it's by letting go of all that you carry,

or it's letting go that there is someone to teach such a thing,

or it's by knowing there is no one to be freed.

Keeping my own head out of the sand is a personal favourite!

Cheers


Last edited by Howard on Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:58 am

Then what you letting go off then
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:19 am

Hello Mike
Sorry, I edited my post before I saw your following question.
These questions of freedom often stumble with the concept of "You".
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:35 am

Sorry I could not write straight back, I have had to rush to work,we are in early as we can not cope at the moment,I made a big speech about working hard together,coming in early and taking responsibility. ( a lot of my lads are ex convicts and wasters)
They are all here, I am half an hour late,and as you can see hard at it already
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:46 am

Howard wrote:

"I think our complaints might offer a more balanced story if we would include more of the OBC's side of the equation.

We already point out much of the originating sources of craziness but what keeps it going?"



Ahh Howard--I think that you have just identified the crux of the matter! (Dang, you are good at that!!)

I think that what keeps it going is the causal dynamic of institutional trauma that precipitated it to begin with (discussed in more detail by you, myself, and many others, on other threads). I think that we free ourselves from it initially by dis-identifying ourselves from all forms of harsh, abusive, and manipulative teaching.

But the causal dynamic itself is, I think, ultimately the same cycle of misunderstanding, trauma, domination, and exploitation that we have all been conditioned by. It underlies our current global crisis itself. The root issue is not limited to the OBC. It pervades our daily lives.

In my opinion, this causal dynamic of trauma and exploitation springs from our unconscious, collectively inherited misunderstanding that, "it's a dog-eat-dog world" --and that our survival therefore requires that we sometimes engage in an adversarial struggle against other people, or nature itself, for success--or against ourselves for enlightenment! I believe that this is a profound misunderstanding of the nature of existence, which, when acted upon, creates inevitable social, economic, political, and ecological failure--and existential crisis.

Within this larger context, and as a result of RMJK's history and the history of the OBC, it seems likely that even the most senior members are just as traumatized, and just as exploited--in the deepest sense--as everyone else. This existential trauma, compounded by OBC institutional trauma, is so deep, and so pervasive, that it even appears to precipitate physical illness for many senior monks.

(As always, to suggest that everyone is traumatized by this dynamic does not diminish or excuse the extreme harm that some have experienced at the hands of the OBC! Recognition, acknowledgement, and apology are likely requirements for full healing and transformation--at least for the OBC itself.)

It seems to me Howard that the balance you are suggesting might hinge on the simple recognition that, ultimately, we are all in this together!

It may be that our individual, collective, and planetary healing--if not survival--depend on it.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:35 am

kozan ,

i was wondering about Howards posting , and was wondering uneasily anyway about all all that , and your answer is ....yes , the answer , so thank you for working that out for me - it leaves me feeling clear ,but daunted .

I'm off out again with my dog in our - dog likes walk world , so do i . No struggle there ,
Thank you ,Nicky.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:41 am

Howard wrote:

I have had concerns that our one sided venting would make the OBC connect look like the polar opposite of the OBC. While readers would be warned about the OBC's myopic and manipulative behaviors, our believability might also be compromised by our one sided presentation. The way it has been so far might of been giving our ya ya's a comforting release but I think it has also diluted the credibility of this forum for many of those peeking in from the outside. If our worries about the OBC extend further than our own life stories then I think there is no other time than now to deal with the whole story. Somewhere between the OBC connect and the OBC lies the hope for some healing for all of us.(whether we are interested in talking to them or not.)

Entering the OBC connect is a bit like listening to one side of the angry history of a couples divorce. Sure you can say that it's one sided because the other side won't participate but I think the OBC connect would be more effectively convincing to a much wider audience if we introduced the OBC's missing defense. The OBC has their counter points, views, reasoning's, excuses and explanations which they are choosing not to included on this forum.

Howard, thanks for expressing this so well. The absence of the OBC leaves us talking to ourselves and eventually that loses value. Since they won't come here I've been thinking about how to bring the conversation to them. I wrote RM Meian last month and I've also gotten together with Seikai. It seems to me the first step is to cross the divide - we can't know what's possible until we do. I would encourage others to think outside the box about ways to foster communication. Of course if that doesn't feel right at present then don't do it, but keep it in mind. At some point each of us will have extracted all the benefit that can be had from analysis of the past and then you have to ask what's next?
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:29 pm

Isan wrote:
At some point each of us will have extracted all the benefit that can be had from analysis of the past and then you have to ask what's next?

Interesting point. If we were Christian we'd form the NOBC or ROBC, the New Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, or the Reformed Order of Buddhist Contemplatives with our own charismatic leader to create Order out of chaos. But I seriously doubt both the wisdom and likelihood of doing that. In fact, I think much of the OBC mischief stems from inventing its own brand/label of Buddhism, partly for marketing reasons, partly out of the egocentricity of its founder.

Like you and others have recognized, there's not much incentive for the OBC to change. It's not like they have spiritual insight that would drive them to do so, nor do they appear to be under financial duress. So, until something puts them into difficulty, or they run happenstance into a new charismatic guru that takes advantage of their guru predilection, they will doggedly muddle along, justifying the rationality and efficacy of the comfortable old beliefs..

Somewhere in time they will royally [banned term] up and be sued to their financial ruin, or they will wither to the point of extinction by virtue of their strange, unbeneficial beliefs. Maybe something in the Shasta water supply keeps fringe groups going. Consider the other fringe Christian groups which have flocked at Shasta awaiting direction from heaven. So the Shasta cleansing fountain might keep them going longer than expected.

In the above, I'm being sardonic, but only a bit. I just don't see the dynamics that bring about reform. Only a small patch of soiled Eko icing has been removed from the cake, and that is easily patched over with the same confectionery marzipan that's been used for years to cover such holes. I see no fundamental cognitive dissonance that will rend the soul and open it up.

I surely have no quarrel with those who feel moved to try reconciliation and reform. But I can't join the effort nor carry a banner. The house needs fixin', the taxes need doin', and the mind needs imeditatin'.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:06 pm

yes I agree with you Jack,did you know it was called the reformed Soto Zen Sect at one time? I never quite got that, why reform it? and what was being reformed, one can say taking out the Japanese parts,but be careful, it is not so easy.The best way to change is with the Japanese influence and gradually , not easy to do,either way one must have contact with the roots at this level.
Remember, there is a great responsibility the moment someone asks for guidance,the people that ask come first,ones personal views come second.
Clearly there is need for contact ,and also some feel it is enough for us simply to at last voice our views,it may help avoid another Amalia, Henry Sophia or any one else,If that is the case then what we have said is worth while too
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:23 pm

yes I agree with you Jack,did you know it was called the reformed Soto Zen Sect at one time? I never quite got that, why reform it? and what was being reformed, one can say taking out the Japanese parts,but be careful, it is not so easy.The best way to change is with the Japanese influence and gradually , not easy to do,either way one must have contact with the roots at this level.
Remember, there is a great responsibility the moment someone asks for guidance,the people that ask come first,ones personal views come second.
Clearly there is need for contact ,and also some feel it is enough for us simply to at last voice our views,it may help avoid another Amalia, Henry Sophia or any one else,If that is the case then what we have said is worth while too
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:24 pm

Now that is duality
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:04 pm

Hello Mike
The Zen mission society, the reformed soto zen Sect, and on & on. A long time ago some of the folks on this site and those still doing senior duties at the OBC used to call Shasta
"The order of the everchanging name".

There seemed to be more room for not taking oneself so seriously. Making mistakes and saying so came more easily to my recollection. Having to be right was less important than trying to wake up.

I wonder if the separation between the obc connecters & OBC is simply the next obstacle to deal with on the path to becoming awake? I don't want to end up repeating their mistakes for the love of an obstacle. I'd like to keep putting one foot ahead of the next without finding myself on an endless loop, which might be comfortable for its consistency but isn't that what OBC is already doing.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:48 pm

Interesting point Howard may be it comes down to making contact if one wants,and if one has been invoved and cut off or been cut off,maybe one has to make peace with oneself if the involvement caused an up heaval.
It is complex or we are complex,I left Shasta as it was right for me to,I do not particularly want a contact,but happy to resolve any issues I may have,if Indeed I have any within myself,the situation becomes more complex,as I have promised support to Carol and Amalia, so they equally come into my equation,and I would support any one who has been bullied too.
So by talking and talking and supporting we may be being more positive than we think. I wonder if what you are saying is we have let rip especially at Kennett,but where do we go.Do we disappear ? do we make contact or what?
We have to be positive,with our lives and direction,I see here a sanga of equal people,we have actually learnt equality,and from what I see spiritual direction from the lessons we unintentionally learnt by seeing what was and is going on at Shasta.Is this not the Buddha teaching us even in hardship. This is what should be developed in my opinion not neccesary together ,but individually , there is too much richness here, it needs to develop
and grow,with every criticism there is a positive direction too,and it would be hypocritical not to walk that path
I dont think we can or Lise can censor too much,but I bet Lise has had to think a bit on some of the personal things we have said,and I am sure she would,prefer a truce on certain more personal areas,and perhaps Lise could talk calmly about that too.
My over riding feeling is we are all friends with different opinions ( of course mine are the right ones),I actuallly think people have grown here have felt more confident to speak and done well. and some of us have to still speak ( come on Carol)
But Howard and Isan you were right to talk of the road ahead which will be different for everyone lets be guilded by our hearts
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:28 pm

Hello Mike
Ok.. another smelly mess, endlessly circling, with no toilet handle in sight.


The OBC connect/ the separation/ the OBC.

The only meditative understanding I trust is what is left standing after I get out of it's way. Dealing with any separation to anything is to penetrate an underlying spiritual reality that we have, are and will never be separated from anything.

Dealing with a separation primarily means letting go of an attachment to the delusion that we can really be separate from anything.. Dealing with this separation doesn't necessarily mean a one on one sense gate exchange, but it does mean allowing the separating walls to fall.

I too feel no need for personal contact with or want anything from the OBC beyond knowing that sympathy, tenderness, empathy, compassion, love and wisdom do not function with separation. These graces of enlightenment can't really be applied anywhere that doesn't include everywhere. They can't be welded selectively. Mine, yours, theirs, ours. Just more foundations of suffering.

So Mike, this doesn't mean supporting one being at the cost of another..The OBC are not messed up in a way that doesn't also exist in us. They are not enlightened in a way that doesn't smell just as bad on us.

If there is a where do I go from here, it's probably clockwise, down and in good company.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:58 am

Nicky wrote:

kozan ,

i was wondering about Howards posting , and was wondering uneasily anyway about all all that , and your answer is ....yes , the answer , so thank you for working that out for me - it leaves me feeling clear ,but daunted .

I'm off out again with my dog in our - dog likes walk world , so do i . No struggle there ,
Thank you ,Nicky.


Thanks Nicky! I'm glad that my thoughts seem to have resonated with you, and may have been helpful.

I think that the ubiquitous phrase, "it's a dog-eat-dog world", is not only a misunderstanding--it is a wrongful insult to dogs (and wolves) everywhere!! The only angry dogs I've seen are those whose anger stems from human abuse.

I sympathize with your daunted feeling! If my hypothesis has validity, I think that it raises the question--how can we overcome the inertia of 6,000 years of collective misunderstanding, war, conquest, empire, and exploitation? It hardly seems possible!

The comfort I take is that if our global crisis is caused by a collectively inherited misunderstanding of the potential for genuine success, inherent in the way that existence actually works, it has a potential cure. Whereas, if our global crisis results from an inherently perverse human nature, an inherently malevolent universe, or tenacious human attachment to greed, hatred, and delusion, it almost certainly has no cure!

At any rate, this is the reason (together with meditation itself) that I am wildly optimistic. I am not only optimistic about the potential for healing and transforming global crisis--but the potential for healing and transforming OBC institutional trauma--which may be more managable against the larger backdrop of global crisis! (Or perhaps vice versa!! ;-)

I think that my optimism comes down to a conviction that making previously invisible causal relationships visible--can make previously impossible change possible!

(It also comes down to my work as a designer, in the development of dwelling, community, and economic process design that appears able to provide a universally affordable means of self-reliant food-water-energy-waste recycling life-support, and home-based livelihood, for anyone, almost anywhere. I think that equitable, sustainable, life-support success for all is central to the healing of global existential crisis. The details however, are clearly beyond the scope of this comment!)

My optimism is without expectation. I think it would be ludicrous to expect any particular outcome from the effort to heal and transform global crisis--or institutionalized OBC trauma. It's simply that the pursuit of the seemingly impossible is way more fun than the alternative!
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:37 am

Kozan ,

yes , good ,i agree about dogs - its a horrible expression , thanks for remedying that !

And as for being ' WILDLY OPTiMISTIC ' i loved the surprise of reading that - i'm intrigued, galvanized , by the possibility , i think i too night try saying that- not that you,are merely trying - i appreciated your explanation.The trouble is i do have expectations , possibly even ludicrous ones , but perhaps i too can bring some fun into it .From daunted to wildly optimistic

looking at it written down opti mistic looks like a mystic who can see .
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