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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

First topic message reminder :

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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Howard



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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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chisanmichaelhughes



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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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Howard



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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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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:46 am

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:


... 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? ...

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. ...

Thank you, Michael, I was reluctant to say something publicly but I'll give it a go. I'm not wearing my Admin hat at the moment, these are just my thoughts as a reader and forum member. I don't want to discourage anyone from posting about their experiences or feelings. I think we have enough of the right rules here to keep things in order and don't really need any more -- censorship of ideas is not my intent. Civil expression is another issue. "Gentlemen must keep their jackets on at all times" would be the happy, forum-fantasy world I would like to live in, but with the recurrent toileting references and some people dropping the f-bomb regularly , that will have to remain a fantasy.

I do feel uncomfortable when the conversation about Kennett seems to focus on details of her personal life, and physicality. I have got a lot from the examinations of her theories, teaching methods, influences from Christianity, the overall validity of what she did, that sort of thing; and the examples of her behavior to others which serves to highlight how she was, or was not, following the dharma. But sometimes the details go a little too far into her private life, in my opinion; I start to feel like a voyeur who is peeping into someone's window. I have at times felt sorry for the highly personal nature of some information being revealed about her daily life inside her home. It's true that some of those details are relevant to the discussion, and yet, do they add enough value to the body of knowledge, to counterbalance the invasion of privacy? I don't have an answer to that, I'm just expressing the question that comes up when I read some of it.

Please understand, this is just my opinion, and is not meant to chastise or discourage anyone from relating an experience. I value the diversity here and of course we won't always be on the same page about these things. The bottom line is, if something makes me squirm, I don't have to read it. It's the same for people who get upset when we talk about our positive memories and experiences of the OBC. If they don't like it they don't have to read it, and by no means is anyone compelled to argue with someone else, berate them and try to insist that we have one voice here. Absolutely, we do not. That's how it should be

Long speech, I'm ready for a nap.

L.
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jack



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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:49 am

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

I'm not optimistic, but then I don't have that inclination anyhow. If you look at history, you see a wealth of examples where the "lessons of history" have only led to other more egregious errors.

This is a digression of sorts, but cause/effect relationships are not always the way things happen. This is as true of presumed karmic relationships as it is of evolving phenomena like cultures which are best modeled with complexity, not predictable rules, not with expected outcomes. There is great wisdom, I think in Ajah Chah's summary of the dharma as "Nothing for certain. Nothing for sure." Uncertainty can be embraced as a part of existing reality, or it can be rejected in favor of rules/order which while emotionally satisfying lead, under conditions of complexity, to poor results.

Cultures, including religious ones, are emergent phenomena of interactions best modeled with complexity. In such phenomena, you influence everyone you are connected to, but you control nothing outside of your own behavior. No one does. What emerges is often not predictable in advance nor even expected. Behaviors are what exert influence. Conscious "beliefs" may/may not be significant influencers of behaviors.

The thing that people misunderstand in situations of complexity is that your behaviors change the landscape (environment) that is relevant to your next behavior. If you stick to the old rules when the landscape has changed (sometimes as a result of your own influence), you'll be frustrated again and again as you try to impose that solution on a changed world -- one that you yourself changed by your own action.

If you accept the model of complexity, then you are most concerned about behaviors -- both yours that influence/change the world, and those which emerge from both yours and others behavioral interactions. You look both for instability and emergent phenomena that can be reprehensibly different from what you intended.

This makes a case for those who, unlike me, want to continue to interact with the OBC. As long as there is connection -- even ad hoc or by surreptitious lurking -- there will be influence. Or if you think the thing is bad enough, you can seek to destroy it like the body attacks a virus. Perhaps the best approach would be to find some within the OBC who have open hearts and minds, who are willing to see mistakes and admit them, and are willing to move on toward creating a culture where psychological violence and physical neglect are not tolerated or condoned.. For influence to happen, only a few are needed. And only a few key behaviors would have to change to prevent harm -- in a real way, OBC beliefs are irrelevant if harm does not result.

This forum has already exerted an influence. Those "true believers" who are unable or unwilling to adapt and change are already beyond redemption. In terms of complexity, they are no longer have potential to contribute to better or even different emergent phenomena. When they realize they cannot control the world, and cannot live with their unease at only influencing it, they will either insulate or isolate themselves from the network -- and die, usually without further damage.

There are a couple of keys to individual influence. One is one's own behavior. The second is the stories one tells. Those stories are very important and can be very influential, because they help people relate emotionally, and experience vicariously the suffering of others. This forum has become a valuable means of expressing those stories. There are other keys to influence, including social and structural, but both of those require organization which is well beyond the reach of this particular media.


Last edited by jack on Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Henry

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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:20 pm

I hope people continue to find it comfortable to tell their stories here. Or at least comfortable enough that they will relate them.

As for peeking inside Rev. Kennett's house, I think to a certain extent that is unavoidable. The truth is that she ran Shasta and the OBC from the chair in her living room. What she said and did there had a profound effect on everyone. Mokuan's stories of things said in the privacy of her home have been extremely helpful and enlightening to me.

Also, when a person states they are an arahant, or others state that everything they did had the intent of good for others, or their followers state that the person is the Buddha who brought the teachings to American (I'm not sure if the latter is true; perhaps others could enlighten me as to how far the myth making did or didn't go), then I think it becomes fair game to delve into the details of their behavior that would shed light on the truth and falsity of claims made. This examination, by its very nature, can get uncomfortable. But when such loft claims are made, those considering devoting their lives to the institutions founded by that person, deserve information on which to make their decision.

The line where such examination goes overboard is different for each of us. That we can each express or opinion of where that line roughly is, or where we become uncomfortable is our perogative. People can hear what each has to say and make their own decision. As Lise said, no one has to read what they don't want to. I liked Howard's warning to Seikai sometime back that what he had to say might be offensive to him, for which Seikai expressed his thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:55 pm

Cor
Yes very good points I agree with you Henry as well as agree with the opposite!! I thought that was the perogative of the girls!!!! (Whoops and sorry Lise!!)
I was reminded on Friday last by some very nice customers, that our lives that crossed in the 60s we went to the same sort of places, The husband was telling how he went to the London School of Economics to study,I told him I was there too , as a one of the people that took it over, before an Anti Viet Nam war demonstration ,and general Anarchistic motivations!!
So coming from that, Mark's and my friend, running International times,hanging out at the Arts Lab,Round House, and any anti establihment place that I could, I like to feel people express them selves fully.
However Howards warning showed respect, and I think the F word with the girls here is not so cool here on the forum other than that it is a fine line,I guess I feel a bit for Lise that she must get squeezed by our expressions.
The seriousness of complaints does push the boundries of expression,and I hope people always feel free to express them selves here too.
As well as the fiver Lise I will send over a long stick that will reach just about the edge of Cornwall,that I so often sit on
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:17 pm

Lise wrote:




I do feel uncomfortable when the conversation about Kennett seems to focus on details of her personal life, and physicality. I have got a lot from the examinations of her theories, teaching methods, influences from Christianity, the overall validity of what she did, that sort of thing; and the examples of her behavior to others which serves to highlight how she was, or was not, following the dharma. But sometimes the details go a little too far into her private life, in my opinion; I start to feel like a voyeur who is peeping into someone's window.

"Gentlemen must keep their jackets on at all times"
L.

Regarding the doings in RMJK's house it's true that it also served as her office and much of what went on there can be considered public, but not everything. I feel it's important to remember that what she shared with the community cannot automatically be considered "public" because the community itself was a very private extended family. I think when we want to share stories about RMJK we should consider her privacy and measure it against our expectations for our own families. Restraint in the public arena in the name of decency shouldn't prevent us from helping ourselves and others. Hopefully no one will equate this with "self-censoring" which I don't intend.

"Jackets on at all times" - I love that sunny


Last edited by Isan on Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:56 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : afterthought)
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:54 pm

OK Lise but I want to say that I feel constipated by a potty free zone!

My thanks to Kozan again for pointing out the larger picture in time & place and how inseparable our stories may be from it.

Inertia is a word that pops up here over and over. Physically, emotionally & mentally, inertia is the force that resists change. A stationary heavy ball that is hard to get rolling or the heavy rolling ball that is hard to redirect or slow down.

I think that the delusional nature of my Ego finds inertia to be attractive for the consistency & predictability it provides.

In my experience, being aware is most noticeable to the degree that I can step free of inertia.

This brings me to ask what the inertia of the OBC connect would be?. What are it's costs?. If the force of the inertia should or should not be countered, softened, stepped free of or not? Can we actually be as effective is we don't? What does healing look like?

Cheers
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:34 pm

mokuan wrote:
I just looked at Haryo's personal website -- I guess that's what it is -- and tomorrow, Jan 15, he says he'll be addressing the local lay community.

mokuan

Mokuan, kindly post the link to this website - thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:30 pm

Isan wrote:

"Jackets on at all times" - I love that sunny


Then you might be very English at heart Cool . . . even if you were born in the Colonies . . .
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jack



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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:42 am

Henry wrote:

.Also, when a person states they are an arahant, or others state that everything they did had the intent of good for others, or their followers state that the person is the Buddha who brought the teachings to American (I'm not sure if the latter is true; perhaps others could enlighten me as to how far the myth making did or didn't go), then I think it becomes fair game to delve into the details of their behavior that would shed light on the truth and falsity of claims made. This examination, by its very nature, can get uncomfortable. But when such loft claims are made, those considering devoting their lives to the institutions founded by that person, deserve information on which to make their decision.
.

Good point. Much of what we learn in the first 8 years of our lives is through modeling. We are tape recorders sucking up raw information about how the world is, its rules, and how we should adapt to it. All the conceptual stuff contained in our parents lectures, concepts, etc. are only irrelevant flies buzzing at the fruit.

We tend to revert to this modeling behavior when we find ourselves in a new situation, an uncomfortable one, or one where we are an outsider trying to become an insider. It happens in business. It happens even in the relatively unrestricted context of a lay audience at a Priory. At a day-long retreat at a Priory, a plate loaded with food was dropped upside down as it was being passed. The monk scooped the food from the floor, put it back on the plate and served himself. Most others at the table started modeling that behavior - serving themselves floor food -- until the monk made it clear "There wasn't any thing Buddhist about his action. He just wasn't concerned about it. He didn't want people to eat floor food unless they were also as unconcerned about it as he was." Someone trying to be extra reverent holds one hand in gassho as they take out the trash. and it's noted by the monk with just slight approbation. Guess what. Holding one hand in gassho while taking out the trash becomes a "practice."

We humans are great mimics and modelers. The danger is that it is so natural we mostly don't do it with any awareness or wisdom.

Jiyu's faults, modeled and mimicked by sincere, solemn followers left a legacy of harm.

Howard's questions about the future of the forum are worth thinking about. To me, the stories and background have provided substantive rational evidence for what I had already concluded from lesser knowledge and experience. It is good for the mind to know that the heart/mind is trustworthy. I've learned the wisdom in the title of Thomas Wolfe's book, "You Can't Go Home Again." I have no inclination to seek acceptance, approval, or appreciation from the OBC. I've never really understood the dynamic of an abused spouse voluntarily re-attaching herself for another round of disappointment and abuse. If things don't work any more, they don't work. It seems like the very dharma itself not to wistfully, longingly cling to what was, but won't be again.

Forums are conversations, and at least for me, this one is drawing to a close. I don't see a useful inertia to carry it forward. It's unlikely, given the size of the OBC, there will be a steady stream of refugees for the forum to nourish back to health. And I've heard enough stories that it's now very doubtful that the next story will tell me something new that makes a difference.

The disadvantage of forums, particularly if the focus is narrow, is that they are as transient as the conversations they host. The second disadvantage is that much of the wisdom gets buried in ancient conversations rather than recent ones, providing a poor record to be searched. It takes considerable effort to digest wisdom in a form that is useful. A third attribute is that protracted conversations are pretty useless in taking any remedial action. It's seems clear that even those who suffered most aren't interested in any remedy if that required unpleasant confrontation -- even if that were necessary to effect change.

What I have found most heartening while I read and posted here is the joy and maturity expressed in people's lives as they put the OBC phase of their life behind them. There is more dharma in Chisen's joy of life, the double I's music played and shared, and Howard's day to day meditation of making a living, than in most robed dharma talks I've heard. (These are examples. I'm not excluding others here whom I also respect.)
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:45 am

good article Jack,
But I wonder if you have actually started to answer the koan of old Shakyamuni robe,
remember genshos article that his teacher tested Gensho's resolve,this can take a lot longer than a sesshin,it can take a life time,who cares.
But what is being tested?
How did an old man in Japan show me so much when we could nor even talk to each other,What is the underlying spirit shown here by so many, we will stand for what we believe in, laugh joke and fight too there is enormous spirit here, and I believe you and I are both more than happy to bow to it
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:56 am

Jack,
From the time I started on this site, I have view my participation as you described: a conversation. Often the most interesting conversations are allowed to meander where they will, as we have done here. Whether we have a lull in a purpose of the conversation or if it is drawing to a close, I will wait and see. But before you go, I just wanted to let you know that I've enjoyed and learned from you contributions here. Your background and experience is different from many here, and I've found the angle from which you approach things to be interesting and informative. I wish this was a local forum so that I would be able to meet you and others that I've enjoyed interacting with and learning from here. Any who, should you soon depart, thank you and pleasant journeys.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:22 pm

Henry,

Thanks for the kind words.

I'm pretty much outa' here at the end of today -- without a whimper, without a bang.

To all,

In the words of Buddhaspock , "Live long and prosper." \\//


Last edited by jack on Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:39 pm

Jack,

I'm going to miss your commentaries and insights.
Be well.

Affectionately,
mokuan
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:41 pm

So long Jack
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:39 pm

Hey Jack

I will miss your insights.

When I get smucked up the side of my head by truth I'll think you're still here.

Cheers

Howard
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:45 pm

Jack, if you need to go then arrivederci, but consider just checking in less frequently. You never know when sometime juicy is going to happen Very Happy

All the best...
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:33 pm

Goodby, Jack. Your commentaries have been teaching for me. I hope you'll drop by now and then. The forum may find a new lease on life in topics not yet explored!
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:55 pm

Jack, I second all of the above -- really hope you will drop in from time to time. Every discussion you touch is better for it.

L.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:01 am

Jack ~ all the best! sunny
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Laura

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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:42 pm

Hi Jack,

I just wanted to let you know how very much I have appreciated your participation here. My participation here is minimal; I only post when I feel strongly moved to do so, which is infrequently. And so I have never let you know just how much I tend to agree with the points of view you have expressed here. I've really valued your comments and will be sad to lose them. I wish you all the best as you continue your journey through life.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:57 am

Thanks for contributing here, Jack. Take care.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:45 am

Good morning, I have moved some posts in this thread to a new one, on the topic of Haryo's meeting since there was another update. To view those posts please see "Shasta lay sangha meeting of 16 Jan." under the category "OBC Experiences."
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:22 pm

There has been some recent controversy about the OBC connect banning those who repeatedly break the rules of this forum. Comparisons have been drawn between the behaviour of the OBC connect and the OBC.

I like Kozans questions about trying to affect the inertia of 6,000 years of adversarial attitude because it neatly avoids the quagmire of blame and polarization while pointing towards a much more intimate problem. We rally forth about the various levels of OBC idiocy from the safety of our OBC connect computer chaise lounges. The OBC is responsible for it's actions and we are the blameless holders of righteous indignation. The OBC acts while we safely judge from afar.

I think folks peeking in on this forum will just see two polarities in a rigadoon.
One polarity will be obvious by it's absence as the silent OBC monastery that offers a place to train and who chooses not to sully itself with precept breaking and doubt raising conversation. The other polarity is a widely spread out group of former OBCers who are spending a lot of time impotently keyboarding their discontent at the organization that is ignoring them.

I have to wonder if we are not also part of the same problem that we accuse the OBC of. Whether we are similar to or the polar opposite of the OBC seems irrelevant if we are both caught up in the same adversarial conditioning.

I've shouted out at Shasta in the hopes of responses when what I thought were reasonable questions were ignored. I think this has been both ineffective and misguided. I wonder if our conversation at the OBC connect were less adversarial, that anyone peeking in would see Shasta more easily for what it is, without all our own distracting soap operas getting in the way.

I still accuse Shasta for not walking the talk but now I'm also wondering about our own steps here in adversarial conditioning.

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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:14 pm

I like your slant on that Howard.

But one thing gets my heckles up; the date of c. 6k BP for the origin of "adversarial attitude" (actually, I will capitalise that: "Adversarial Attitude").

What prehistoric event at such a specific date caused Adversarial Attitude to arise? I'm guessing its a reference to the Talheim Death Pit? (7k BP). The commonly held view is that there was an increase in violence due to the arising of concretised ideas of ownership, status and mass leadership during the Neolithic. That would put the date of Adversarial Attitude to before 11.5k BP. And of course the date for the arising of those violence-inducing ideas is different in different places (c. 6k BP in drizzly Britain).

Anyway now there is growing evidence that there was violence even in the Garden of Eden, during the Mesolithic and Palaeolithic periods. The Mesolithic people were much more peaceful but they still battered each other's skulls quite horrifically from time to time and, on occasion, defleshed each other's corpses, either ritually or gastronomically. One could ask: are the people on my avatar hunters or murderers?

Anyway....6k BP where does the date come frooooom?????

Sorry to derail the thread.

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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:41 am

Thanks Howard for your thoughts and excellent points!

And very good question Glorfindal.

I have been working on an essay that attempts to pull a number of hypotheses, which I've posted sporadically about the forum, together in one more integrated whole. I hope to post it, or at least a synopsis, fairly soon.

But, for now, in response to your question Glorfindal--you are correct that the 6,000 year time frame is semi-arbitrary. More specifically, I am using the 6,000 year time frame not in reference to the origins of adversity or violent human behavior, but in reference to the origins of conquest and empire. Occasional human conflict in general, and over land use in particular, undoubtedly occured so long ago that assigning a date would be pure speculation (as you suggest). We can be much more precise however about the arising of empire. Empire is now commonly viewed as a dynamic that developed historically when groups of people, after depleting their own immediate resources, made the deliberate decision to wage war against their neighbors for the purpose of acquiring their resources.

Occasional human conflict over hurt feelings, or in defense of home turf, teaches the lesson that life contains the potential for threat and loss. My hypothesis is that war, engaged in for the specific purpose of enriching the few through the domination and exploitation of the many, is an entirely different ball game, and teaches a far different lesson.

The evidence provided by what we know about the pre-empire vernacular dwelling traditions worldwide, seems to indicate that for tens of thousands of years our ancestors lived with a high degree of cooperation with each other and with their ecosystems. They knew from daily experience that survival and success were achieved by understanding and acting in synergetic cooperation with the way ecosystems and existence itself actually work, in order to similarly achieve an optimum with a minimum, without waste.

I think that war, conquest, and empire arise from, and dramatically reinforce, the belief that survival and success require an adversarial struggle to dominate and exploit people, other species, and resources, for power and wealth.

My hypothesis is that this profound misunderstanding creates the very conditions of adversity and failure that seem to prove it true, resulting in a causal dynamic that becomes self-reinforcing and self-escalating. The more failure we create, the more vigorously we act on the misunderstanding that creates failure in the first place!

The external consequences are the creation of social, economic, and political institutions designed to maximize power and wealth for the few through the oppression, if not enslavement, of the many, and the consumption of ever more resource. I would propose that our current social-economic-ecological global crisis is a case in point.

The internal consequence, I believe, is an unconscious, collectively inherited misunderstanding of the nature of reality and the way that it works, which is learned through cultural conditioning and traumatic experience--and which turns the normal existential experience of change, threat, and loss into existential crisis.

In becoming alienated from other people, and from existence itself, we become alienated from the transcendent ground of Awareness itself. Inherited misunderstanding and existential trauma can lead, understandably, to an attachment to fear. It seems to me that it is existential crisis and attachment to fear that gives rise to the selfish self (as a traumatized version of the separate self)--and to existential suffering.

All of this seems significant to me in that, if true, it suggests that ego-based attachment to desire is not the root cause of suffering--but a symptom of the root cause of suffering. This in turn suggests that spiritual practice is, necessarily, a process of healing existential trauma--not primarily a process of overcoming the ego or extinguishing desire.

This also suggests to me why harsh teaching and training methods often backfire. While they may be intended to help with the letting go of attachment to ego-based desire, they are more likely to re-traumatize the original existential trauma--leading, in the end, to greater suffering.

It is for these reasons that while I think that OBC culture displays a discernable dynamic of institutional trauma, and that it can be traced to some of RMJK's teaching and behavior, I also do not believe that anyone is ultimately to blame.

It is also for these reasons that I believe that members of the OBC are capable of recognizing, healing, and transforming existential-institutional trauma.

The experiences of personal distress and trauma, shared on this Forum, are essential, I believe, for the recognition phase--and again, as lessons learned, for the transformation phase. It is the healing phase in particular that almost certainly requires gentle compassion. And, I would propose, that in the healing phase there is no 'us versus them'. There is only--'us'.

I hope that this makes sense, even though it is still only a partial summary!
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:26 pm

Hello Kozan
I have a question about your quote above of...

All of this seems significant to me in that, if true, it suggests that ego-based attachment to desire is not the root cause of suffering--but a symptom of the root cause of suffering. This in turn suggests that spiritual practice is, necessarily, a process of healing existential trauma--not primarily a process of overcoming the ego or extinguishing desire.

This also suggests to me why harsh teaching and training methods often backfire. While they may be intended to help with the letting go of attachment to ego-based desire, they are more likely to re-traumatize the original existential trauma--leading, in the end, to greater suffering.

It is for these reasons that while I think that OBC culture displays a discernable dynamic of institutional trauma, and that it can be traced to some of RMJK's teaching and behavior, I also do not believe that anyone is ultimately to blame.


It is also for these reasons that I believe that members of the OBC are capable of recognizing, healing, and transforming existential-institutional trauma.


I am not clear why you think that suffering from adversarial attitudes, the original existential trauma may make the OBC more capable of find healing than if their suffering is being caused by attachment to ego based desire. Is there a different method for addressing one cause of suffering over the other?

Neither harsh training methods nor blame should help with either cause.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:27 pm

Hey Kozan. Wow thats an awesome study you are doing. If ever I bothered to do my post grad then I'd almost certainly go down a similar path. I've always been interested in the way historical traumas ripple through generations. For example I wonder how the oppression of the Anglo Saxons by the Norman overlords has reverberated through the 40 or 50 generations to affect the modern English and Americans.

I wouldn't underestimate the huge changes that occurred to the human social and psychological paradigms at the Mesolithic/Neolithic transition. It was probably the biggest change [banned term] Sapiens ever went through and is widely perceived (due to adoption of concepts of status (power as you stated), ownership (wealth as you stated) and mass leadership (if you your leader isn't your granpa, but someone who doesn't know you, then he wouldn't care if you died defending his wealth)) as the setting of the scene for violence on a large scale. The imperial warfare that you cite is the culmination of a process that began at the beginning of the Neolithic.

So maybe part of spiritual practice should be to de-neolithicise ourselves? Lets go to the mountains and let all the "culture" come rattling out of our heads.

De-neolithicise is a very big and made up word so I'm going to stop now......



Anyway you may well have come across all that. If you ever put bits of your thesis up here I'd defo give it a read.


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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:31 pm

Hey Kozan
I meant to add this but my edit time ran out.

This in turn suggests that spiritual practice is, necessarily, a process of healing existential trauma--not primarily a process of overcoming the ego or extinguishing desire.

I think this comparison has an unfair spin to it..

The suggestion that spiritual practise is the overcoming of ego and the extinguishing of desire handicaps both your argument and that spiritual practise before it begins. You apply adversarial terms to the latter spiritual practise (the part in red) which in itself makes the comparing practise ego based and destined for un necessary inner conflict.

I think to suggest that there is the overcoming of ego in spiritual practise presents a common but unavoidably schizophrenic view of there being two combatants within this process. (the spiritual practitioner and the deluded identity to be overcome.) I would submit to you that real spiritual practise is more like being heavy and choosing to eat less or simply not putting so much fuel on a fire that is making you uncomfortable.

I think that to suggest that extinguishing desire is a spiritual practise also creates unavoidable conflict for who can measure themselves against such an absolute. The attempt of such a practise denies one the experience of the truth of that very moment of existence while leaving little room for the development of compassion or acceptance.

I would think that real spiritual practise should address ego and desire as directly as it does existential trauma.

If I've miss read your stated meaning then perhaps we are probably just saying the same thing. If not, could you clarify.

Thanks again
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:54 pm

Glorfindal, thanks. I hope to have a few more pieces up soon. I don't think that I'm nearly as well read on early Homosapien history as you are though. My approach (and purpose) has primarily been through the whole systems thinking lens of architecture grad school training (and my inquisitive generalist nature).

Howard, we are in full agreement here. (This is just a quick reply to your second post-question. I'll try to respond to your first post-question (after my previous post), with a longer reply in a bit.)

What I was trying to say is that properly understood, spiritual practice is NOT a process of attempting to overcome the ego or extinguish desire. I do however think that this is a common misunderstanding, a mis-diagnosis, that seems to appear all too easily not only in Buddhism, but in other religious traditions as well. I think that this misunderstanding is directly linked to what I propose is our collectively inherited root misunderstanding--that survival, success, and salvation require a struggle against.... And to the failure to recognize the presence of existential trauma at the root of ego-centered attachment.

I created the confusion in the sentence that you quoted:
This in turn suggests that spiritual practice is, necessarily, a process of healing existential trauma--not primarily a process of overcoming the ego or extinguishing desire.
when I failed to delete the word primarily after I re-wrote the sentence.

Thanks for catching it!!
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:59 pm

Kozan and Howard,

My thanks to you both for bringing up and clarifying a point that I realize I have been confused about. I have been specifically taught that the ego was the enemy and must be actively overcome, even if only in the effort made to surrender it. I got that both from my OBC teacher and from the Raja Yoga teachings I studied.

What I am getting from your discussion is that the process is a natural one that will take place (usually) gradually as a part of the spiritual growth and healing that comes with living a preceptual life, although I know there are times when we are blessed/faced with a choice.

Thanks, guys. That is perhaps one of the best parts of Buddhism in my mind, and heavily indoctrinated as I have been to think differently, I forgot it. You don't fight yourself.

I wonder, though, what exactly are you referring to when you speak of "existential trauma at the root of ego-centered attachment"? Would you speak a bit more about the "healing of the existential trauma" that you refer to please?

thanks, Polly
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:37 am

Hey Polly

I wonder, though, what exactly are you referring to when you speak of "existential trauma at the root of ego-centered attachment"? Would you speak a bit more about the "healing of the existential trauma" that you refer to please?

I don't know polly, You seem to have a pretty good intuitive feel for it.

This is really Kozans baby but until he returns to say" really? I never said that!", I'll do a plumbers prone fashion display of what I think he's presenting.


I believe Kozan is suggesting that ego centred attachment arises in response to the fear which we all adopt from the delusive belief that our way is only traversed through struggle.

Pheww I sure hope Kozan has a shorter explanation than that.

Put the opposite way.. Our greatest spiritual obstacle is the facing of humanities adversarial conditioning which manifests as the impulse to struggle with everything.

This is all pretty new to me but as a self confessed ego plumber, it has a simplistic beauty that is very appealing. It says that behind the presentation of Jiyu's slightly saddened love as the starting point of ego centred attachment is a historic human conditioning that precedes and initiates it. The facing of one's slightly saddened love will not in itself address the innate impulse to strive and struggle which powers a more primal sense of separation with everything.


It gives a more fundamental explanation of the need to really let go of our urge to change ourselves and others in spiritual practise. Only through letting go of our conditioned impulse to struggle within our own spiritual practise can we drop those deeper root causes of our attachments to really reconnect with our world. This is what kozan is calling the healing of existential trauma and is also the most interesting way I've seen of presenting spiritual balance for the OBC connect.

Cheers all

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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:33 am

polly wrote:
Would you speak a bit more about the "healing of the existential trauma" that you refer to please?

thanks, Polly

For me it is neatly summed up in these sections of the Sange verse:

"...from time immemorial...caused by greed, hate and delusion that have no beginning..."

But, as Howard said, I will defer to Kozan to supply the final word.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:05 pm

Polly, excellent questions. They do go straight to the heart of the matter I think!

Howard, very good articulation, and an excellent one sentence summary. I'm not sure that I could make it any shorter.

Isan, indeed; greed, hate, and delusion are certainly central to ego-centered attachment, and often to the conditions that precipitate existential trauma.

What I mean by existential trauma is any experience that brings us face to face with some aspect of being in existence in a way that is distressing--not only in a physical or emotional sense, but in a way that traumatizes our very sense of being, and our perception of the nature of existence itself.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), resulting from the experience of violent combat, is certainly an extreme example. However, existential trauma, especially for the very young, can result from experience that may not seem traumatic at all to adults--especially if they were similarly traumatized early in life. It seems to me that in a sense, most of us alive today have grown up within a collective state of at least low-level PTSD, resulting from 6,000 plus years of war, conquest, and empire.

Going into more detail, and suggesting how and why existential trauma may precipitate a shift from the separate self to the formation of the 'selfish' self, and the arising of attachment to greed, hatred, and delusion, requires a longer essay.

By recognizing that at the root of it all may be trauma and an inherited misunderstanding, it becomes easier to make the case that training should be about (inner) healing, as a basis for (outer) transformation of the conditions that create trauma in the first place. This requires a longer discussion as well.

However, just to give a summary-glimpse of my conclusion:

The nature of the healing involved is not different from meditation practice in general. From my experience, it requires, and begins with, the same process of recognition, acceptance, and letting go--which then provides the basis for being able (within awareness) to heal into the trauma itself--in order to heal the trauma back into Awareness itself.

The nature of the transformation involved is not different from living within the Precepts, although I think that there is a shift from an exclusive focus on oneself as an individual, to a recognition of the collective context in which we actually live. Again, in a general sense, I think that transformation involves choosing and designing a way and means of living that does not involve the domination or exploitation of other people, other species, or the planet. (My work as a designer has focused on this last component).

I've finished the rough draft of a longer description, which I hope to be able to post this Sunday.


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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:43 pm

In many ways this strikes me as being similar to some of the Christian usages of 'original sin', without the pejorative overtones of the word sin, for which there is a vast literature, if little scriptural foundation. The Orthodox branches of christianity favour the idea of 'mistake' which I prefer though the I also like the slight implication of some intent in the use of the term 'ignorance' in Buddhist scripture if you read it as ignor-ance.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:43 am

To Howard, Kozan, Isan and Mark,

Thank you all for your input on this. It's truly helpful though it will take some processing, lots of it. Am looking forward to Kozan's promised Sunday post.

I wanted to add, to be fair, that I think my OBC teacher did at times try to show me that this battling of the self was not the way. Other times that got lost, and the opposite teaching came up. And I tend to revert back to self conflict whenever there is an opening. Which is all the time. Arrow
Anyway, just wanted to clear the decks on that one. And thanks again.
polly
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:56 am

Howard wrote:
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,


I agree with this post completely.
It reflects exactly what I've seen on here, and why people will seem to find a conspicuous lack of OBC people here.

This forum has a reputation of being nothing more than a bash in the OBC forum.

Nobody wants to deal with that.

The very reality is that the OBC and Jiyu Kennett has helped tons of people and made some very good monks and laypeople.

Why would people want to come in here and discuss when it seems obvious that there's so much blaming and speaking against others?

For a monk, doing as little harm as possible would mean they don't want to encourage others to break the Precepts.

for a layperson too.

For me, I think it's good to come on here and provide some balance.
I'll say this:

for those of you who come on here, if you do consider yourself a Buddhist, even if you are no longer Soto,
where does Right Speech come into your posts?

Jiyu-Kennett may have made some mistakes, but there is plenty of karma being created or compounded right here on this forum.

In Gassho,

Sara H
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:45 am

Sara, excellent point. It is one that I, and others here, have been making as well. Specifically, that RM Jiyu passed on some deeply insighful teaching, which was not diminished by her human shortcomings.

I do not believe that speaking the truth about the introduction of RM Jiyu's fears and shortcomings into the culture of the OBC, under the guise of teaching, can possibly be construed as a breakage of the precepts.

I am deeply grateful to RM Jiyu, for her many years of guidance and teaching. And for precisely this reason, I would propose that it is the denial of her shortcomings--and their consequences--that constitutes a breakage of the Precepts.

Why is this? Because RM Jiyu's deepest insight was not 'hers'. It was not something she 'posessed' or could claim ownership of. And for precisely this reason, this insight was not diminished by her shortcomings.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:22 am

Kozan,

I agree with your comments 100% ! Indeed RM Jiyu`s deepest insight was not
something that she posessed...it was something the she re-discovered within
herself. Her only real function as a teacher was to help us re-discover it
within ourselves. Her `job` was ultimately make us free of all limitations.
Including free of her. We all have our own take on how well or otherwise she
succeeded in doing that. However, We all had a duty to free ourselves and
not expect her to do that for us. It was a work in progress and it seemed that
everybody was `learning on the job`. We were all new to it...including RMJ.
To me it seems pointless for her to blame her trainees , and for us to blame her.
The point is I feel, are we now more liberated..through the good and bad ?
We have surely learnt from our experiences ?
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:33 pm

Sara, well said!
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:01 pm

Kozan, I agree with part of what you said,

however there is a big difference between recognizing the humanity of a person,
-and blaming that person.

This forum tends to go towards the latter.

In Gassho,

Sara H
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:00 am

Sara, yes its true many of us on the forum 'sound off' about the OBC and JK. But for some of us this is a necessary shaking off of the dust of the OBC when we feel that it has previously enmeshed us in negativity and illusion. Those who were not enmeshed of course will wonder what all the fuss is about but for many of those who were it is a necessary phase to go through to break out of our bonds.
As for the precepts well they can just as much be a binding. I like to think that in our practice they start of as proscriptive then transform into being prescriptive and finally become descriptive. However it is all to easy to get locked into proscriptive and prescriptive stages and bandy them about as law. The true life is not bound by the precepts. This does not mean that you are free to break them with impunity because you a great enlightened teacher as some would have you believe. All they are doing is enmeshing themselves and their followers in delusion. No in the true life you are not bound by the precepts but slowly, often painfully slowly, they become descriptive of life and a talisman jogging us on when we stray.
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:38 am

Quote :
'sound off'
Yes.

And "Enhanced Interrogation" isn't torture.

You know, renaming your [admin delete].

Nor does it make you look wiser.

Nor does rationalizing your actions make them any less harmful.

The ends justify the means eh?

I'll leave you with this quote, from Dogen.
"it is impossible to escape from karmic consequence if we do evil on the assumption that, by not recognizing and act as evil, no bad karma can accrue to us."

In Gassho,

Sara H


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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:36 am

Sara wrote:
Quote :
'sound off'
Yes.

And "Enhanced Interrogation" isn't torture.

You know, renaming your [admin delete].

Nor does it make you look wiser.

Nor does rationalizing your actions make them any less harmful.

The ends justify the means eh?

I'll leave you with this quote, from Dogen.
"it is impossible to escape from karmic consequence if we do evil on the assumption that, by not recognizing and act as evil, no bad karma can accrue to us."

In Gassho,

Sara H

Sara, you've left me a bit confused. I don't know who or what you are referring to here. (I have no doubts about Dogen's insight).

With all best regards, and in gassho,
Kozan


Last edited by Lise on Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:22 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : removing offensive comment in quoted poster's material)
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:24 am

Sara, I've removed the offensive comment from your reply to Mark and have sent you a PM explaining why. Please follow the forum rules if you want to participate here.

Lise
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mokuan



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PostSubject: Re: Could the OBC connect use some balance?   Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:13 pm

Dear Sara,

I'm probably on the wrong thread, again -- sorry admins -- but welcome to the neigborhood! We're really not a bad lot. Like Mark said, most of us have come here to shake off dust, to learn, to understand our own experiences. And we do not all have the same experience of the OBC. Invidually, we are all only rubbing a part of the elephant; together, we are able to get a truer picture of the whole creature. I'm glad your experiences with the OBC were/are life supporting.

You were quite right in your statement that the Precepts are practiced at Shasta. They were required reading every day, and I remember JK saying that if you break one precept, you break them all. I remember her often picking one broken precept and weaving it through all the others. Made sense.

However, sometimes they need more definition. Like, what really is Right Speech? Is it "if you can't say anything nice, don't say it at all"? Hmmmm.

Your Dogen quote comports with what RMJK often used to say: Enlightened action leaves no wake. So what does it mean that so many former monks and lay people have found their way here to OBC Connect and say what we say?

Well, somewhere there was a wake.

In gassho,

mokuan
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