OBC Connect

A site for those with an interest in the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, past or present, and related subjects.
 
HomeHome  CalendarCalendar  GalleryGallery  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  Log in  

Share | 
 

 My telephone conversation with RM Meian

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : 1, 2  Next
AuthorMessage
Laura

avatar

Posts : 124
Join date : 2010-07-30
Location : Portland, OR

PostSubject: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:14 pm

I promised all of you that I would let you know when I spoke with RM Meian and what came out of our conversation. I’m sorry that it has taken me so long to do this, but frankly I was avoiding the conversation. RM Meian did contact me in late December and invite me to speak with her. I found one reason after another to put that off, and can only thank Mokuan for encouraging me to finally proceed with that phone call.

I avoided the conversation for a pretty simple reason. I didn’t see the point. I did not believe that anything positive would be accomplished, because I had spent years at the Abbey trying to speak with RM Meian about some of the more critical and obvious difficulties, all to no avail. I didn’t see why things would be any different now. I am very happy to tell you that I was completely wrong about that.

I spoke with RM Meian this morning. I was pleasantly surprised to find that RM Meian does appear to me to truly recognize the serious nature of the problems with the former abbot. She also recognizes that her support of him on those issues was a big mistake. She both acknowledged that and apologized to me for it, quite sincerely, several times during our conversation. She explained that her support of him was not an effort to deceive anyone, but was based simply on her own faith and trust in him, a trust that has been shattered by his subsequent behavior. I believe her completely, and always felt that her behavior was based on a rather blind and naïve faith, rather than on any effort to deceive or manipulate anyone.

We discussed some specific issues in detail, and I can honestly say that it was a very frank and candid conversation on both of our parts. I told her the extent to which I felt devalued and dismissed by everyone in the community to whom I turned to refuge when confounded by Eko’s controlling and non-preceptual behavior. She was able to really hear me this time. She and I agreed that much of the problem stems the absolute power that is placed in the hands of the abbot under the current system at Shasta Abbey. She is struggling with how to change that in a way that preserves the spiritual viability of the master/disciple relationship while at the same time safeguarding the monastery from potential abuses of power, such as the abuses they have recently experienced. She said that, in all honesty, even if she had recognized the problems and tried to stop the former abbot previously, given the system of power at the Abbey, she does not believe she could have done anything about it, even as vice-abbess. She is working with the Shasta community and with the OBC to find viable ways to make those changes. We talked about the importance of an ethics committee or board that would be empowered to both investigate allegations and constrain those who violated the ethics policy of the OBC. I told her how much I would have appreciated having some vehicle of that nature in place while I was there, for I would most certainly have gone to it for help in resolving my own issues.

She agreed that being willing to actually listen to people and take their difficulties and complaints seriously is an essential first step in this process of reform in which they are engaged. I explained to her how divided my heart had become because I was being asked to distrust my own senses and perceptions in order to believe that the abbot was trustworthy, when his actions and behavior continually proved that he was not. Again, she really heard me this time, and apologized quite sincerely. In the end, we agreed that you cannot change the past, but I feel quite confident from what RM Meian said and the way in which she said it that she and Shasta Abbey are working very hard to shape the future to be something quite different.

I don’t think you can ask much more of people who have harmed you than for them to acknowledge what the problems actually were, to recognize their participation in the problem, to apologize for it, and then work to change their behavior in the future. RM Meian did all of these things in our conversation and I am completely satisfied with her response and with her sincerity. Only the future will tell how successful those efforts will be. And this will all take a significant amount of hard work and time to accomplish. I hope that our patience will allow them the time they need to work through this.

On another note, RM Meian reassured me that I was welcome to visit at the Abbey if I so choose and that I would be received there, not as an enemy, but as a friend. I found this rather shocking and almost unbelievable given the Abbey’s extended history of shunning but, again, her sincerity was obvious to me. I asked if I might write to some of my former monastic friends there, and she gave me carte blanche to do so. I have not done so in the past for fear that their even receiving a letter from me would get them in trouble, but now that I have the Abbess’s permission, I feel a letter-writing spate coming on. yes

She and I talked for about 45 minutes and I’ve tried to cover most of what we discussed here. I’m sure I have left out many things that are important to some of you and that I never asked her some of the questions you would have liked to have answered. Please feel free to grill me about this on the forums or via private message. And I would encourage you to contact RM Meian if you have any personal issues you would like to address. She is far more open to this sort of inquiry than I imagined or expected.


Last edited by Laura on Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
cmpnwtr

avatar

Posts : 418
Join date : 2010-08-16

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:06 pm

Hi, Laura,
I don't want to "grill" you, but I do congratulate you in confronting your own fears and discouragement to speak the truth of your experience and find a way to meet Meian as one human to another, in an I-Thou communication. I'm glad it happened and hope you find healing in it.
Blessings,
Bill
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:20 am

yes good for you Laura and Rev Mein,communicating is the right way to resolve a lot of these issues.
Back to top Go down
Lise
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1412
Join date : 2009-11-08
Age : 43

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:47 am

Laura, I'm glad too that you were able to do this and that you feel progress came of it.

I know that your concerns focused on Eko and so it's to be expected that your conversation would be about him and issues related to abbatical power. But I still wonder if RM Meian thinks he was the only problem with the OBC and that everything is in the past now.

Within the last couple of months she still seemed to be following the denial pattern, with no indication of following up on a potential problem I had brought to her attention. "I haven't heard about it" is what she said.

I think she may find it easier to apologise for problems in the past than to acknowledge what may be going on in the present and state a course of action for investigating it.

This does sound like a very negative post and I'm sorry for that. I am happy you felt it was a good discussion.

best,
Lise
Back to top Go down
http://obcconnect.forumotion.net
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:22 pm

A fair point Lise, it is difficult where to start ,as Rev Mein says you can not change the past,of course one can not,and one can forgive and let go off. However the past is where a lot of the issues stem from. If the past was spiritually good these problems would not have arisen.
We have covered so many issues here over the last few months,it is a bit difficult to keep up with them. One can not pretend for instance that the sexual behaviour was not going on neither the bullying and discrediting
My point is I do not believe that true zen is taught and therefore passed on through the types of behaviour lived by these teachers , in other words I do not think one can be spiritually right when morally wrong.
Having said that talking and resolving issues is at least a good start, the way forward again is through zazen and sange,otherwise the foundations are built on very dodgy untruthful ground.
I wish Laura success
Back to top Go down
Kyogen

avatar

Posts : 141
Join date : 2010-07-23
Location : Portland, OR

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:18 pm

Very good for you, Laura. I've had my own e-mail conversation with Meian recently. I was not very hopeful at first when she said that what was between Gyokuko and me on one hand and RM Jiyu on the other was not something they could change or apologize for. Instead we could heal and go forward. Eko said almost exactly the same thing when we met a year ago, and completely refused to discuss old events.

I got back to Meian to say that I didn't expect an apology, but I did want to be able to speak frankly and openly about what happened, including the opportunity to address distortions in the history. I believe the way we hold and interpret the past has a profound effect on the way we meet the present. She was open to this, and finally said, without any qualifiers, that we are welcome to come and visit at the Abbey. That's a pretty big change.

I, for one, am certain that the problems with Eko and North Cascades have their roots in the culture around RM Jiyu herself. Because of that, if the US OBC wants to get their house in order that will have to be addressed at some point. While we are seeing an opening, I have the strong impression that there is a powerful taboo against looking at this. The suggestion that there was some sort of affidavit, petition, or oath about RM Jiyu's status after her death supports that. Well, there is some motion toward openness and perhaps the possibility of healing. Let's hope for that.

With palms joined,

Kyogen
Back to top Go down
http://www.dharma-rain.org
mstrathern
Admin
avatar

Posts : 602
Join date : 2010-11-14
Age : 74
Location : Bedfordshire, UK

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:29 pm

Laura thanks for sharing that with us. And the discussions between you and RM Meian seem to have been productive and a step forward from the OBC's apparent postion of denial. Let's hope that it continues in such a positive manner.
Back to top Go down
cmpnwtr

avatar

Posts : 418
Join date : 2010-08-16

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:57 pm

@ Kyogen
********

Well stated. Developmental maturity, whether psychological or spiritual, can't happen without the ability to separate from an infantile, unquestioning view of the parent, in order to establish a responsible autonomy that allows a person to go forward in life and learn not only from the mistakes of the parent and break out of the bubble of the family of origin but also from one's own mistakes and new experience, while integrating the base and foundation of learning that happened there. We all must do that, in our biological families and our spiritual family networks. And that is a requirement of any conscious organism that is able to sustain life, to be an open system that is living and growing.

I'm wondering if the OBC doesn't appreciate the extent of its vulnerability and exposure when it is visited with some of the fruits and consequences of the culture you allude to, and the methodology and practices, such as have taken place at North Cascades.

True conversion, true sange' can't happen without an authentic sorrow and ownership of mistakes made and harm committed from the past. The present leadership was also party to those mistakes,and supported the culture that birthed them, so it's an act of denial and avoidance to just take the position that it was all in the past and so is no longer a problem. A good part of that culture was promoting a concept of spiritual maturity as inordinate, irresponsible, and unquestioning loyalty to the "Master." That said, I am glad that the welcome mat is officially rolled out.

Blessings,
Bill
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:10 pm

I was going to write pretty much the same as you Bill.
I think I am looking at the heal and go forward bit,and weighing it up against the cant change nor apoloogize bit#I think you said it well with supported the culture that birthed the mistakes
I wish any sort of healing well,after all the activities of the past effected the lives of many people
Back to top Go down
Ilo



Posts : 18
Join date : 2011-02-11
Location : Portland, Oregon

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:23 pm

For me this site, is of broken love, broken hearts, betrayed trust; dire injuries received. It is about anger toward others, but also perhaps toward oneself for having erred in choice or perservered beyond wisdom's cautions trapped by a belief system that made of such perserverence a spiritual virtue and the exercise of one's own innate wisdom, a failing. There was so much talk of listening to the "still small voice", but wasn't it that same voice that was cautioning departure?

What I see in this site and in Laura's and Kyogen's outreach to Rev Meian, is an opening of the windows and letting the "invincible summer"'s light in. So often we walk around thinking we are carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders, when really it the world itself walking around, carrying the weight of us.....
Back to top Go down
Howard

avatar

Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-06-27
Age : 62
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:00 pm

Hey laura
Thanks for the update.

If Shasta had the intent & ability to deal with the wider range of complaints that have been listed on the OBC connect, then the results of that intent & ability would be apparent. Similarly, if one's intent and ability manifests as the avoidance of those complaints so that one can maintain a comfortable status quo, then those results will also be just as visible.


This is not rocket science. This is what we all learned in kindergarten. If there is a difference between the action and the words, trust the truth of the action every time.


Laura feels that her issues have been fairly dealt with by Rev Meian but it seems that even though Rev. Meian knew about the issues, it was up to Laura to make the contact to have the issue acknowledged. Shasta's policy of only dealing with issues from within it's own safety zone says they are still living in defence mode. We all know how ineffective sange would be coming from that attitude so little seems to be really changing.

Kudos to Rev. Meian for helping Laura but to me it still looks like the action of a turtle that's not yet ready to poke it's head out to look at a questioning world. The offered welcome mat seems too conditional to be called anything but a mat for trying to keep the dirt out of the house.

This post isn't about being right or wrong but about how we judge what is real and what is not.
Back to top Go down
http://hrmitchell54@yahoo.com
Laura

avatar

Posts : 124
Join date : 2010-07-30
Location : Portland, OR

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:32 pm

Hey Howard,

Although this does not completely detract from the points you are making, I would like to reiterate that it was RM Meian who contacted me and invited me to speak with her. I'm the one who put it off.

Just wanted to clarify that. Smile
Back to top Go down
Howard

avatar

Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-06-27
Age : 62
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:33 am

Hello Laura

Well yes perhaps it doesn't completely detract from my other points in my last post but it does mean that Rev. Meians communication to you should be applauded for what it is at face value.

With that in mind I'd like to offer my sincere public apologies to Rev. Meian for incorrectly inferring that it was Laura that had to initiate those communications when it really happened from Rev. Meian's initiative.
My bad.

Cheers
Back to top Go down
http://hrmitchell54@yahoo.com
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:52 am

I would like to feel that Rev Mein extends her communications to many other people too,it may very well heal some wounds. We are Buddhists after all,and should find ways through . Caring conversation goes a long way
Back to top Go down
Laura

avatar

Posts : 124
Join date : 2010-07-30
Location : Portland, OR

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:04 pm

Hi Kyogen,

Somehow I overlooked your post until now. I am so delighted to hear that you are welcome to come and visit at the Abbey! That is a HUGE change and one that is long overdue.

I hope that your reception there will be a pleasant one. I agree that the subject of RM Jiyu and her behavior has been quite taboo and will still be difficult for many of the OBC monks to address. Still, the fact that you've been extended an invitation to visit shows that there is a whole lot more openness at Shasta than ever before, so I am hopeful that progress will be made.

Thanks for sharing your good news. I think it is an extremely important piece of information and there should be general rejoicing all around. I am certainly encouraged by it.
Back to top Go down
mokuan



Posts : 265
Join date : 2010-08-29
Location : West Linn, Oregon

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:26 pm

Yes. Kudos to Meian.

What may seem like small steps to us are monumental for Shasta.

Laura, Kyogen and Gyokuko, Yea!!!


Last edited by mokuan on Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:36 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling, of course.)
Back to top Go down
Kyogen

avatar

Posts : 141
Join date : 2010-07-23
Location : Portland, OR

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:01 pm

Thanks all, for the comments on a very real opening toward Gyokuko and me by Meian and Shasta. While the shift is monumental on one hand, our actually going there is still only just a possibility.

What is important for me is the ability for us to actually talk to each other. As a start I've agreed to write up our experience from our perspective, and Meian has agreed to read it and to share it with other senior monks there. What I want is the beginning of a conversation. With regard to that she said:
Quote :
As you say, we will quite likely end up "agreeing to disagree" rather than coming to some conclusion. If so, I hope we can do so amicably, and that there may be "peace between our houses."
In my account of our experience there will be ample mention of the issues around RMJ. That will open the can of worms. While I don't expect complete resolution of our differences, I hope that some honest reflection on these matters will ensue. If it does, then perhaps a visit to Shasta would be possible. Because I won't shy away from this issue, I'm not holding my breath on a pleasant visit at Shasta. But who knows? I'll keep an open mind and hope for the best.

With palms joined,

Kyogen
Back to top Go down
http://www.dharma-rain.org
ddolmar

avatar

Posts : 190
Join date : 2010-08-26
Location : Redding, CA

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:29 am

Congratulations to you, Laura and Meian. Open dialogue for the win! cheers

Kyogen--I hope that the bonds of trusting and respectful communication between you and Gyokuko and SA grow strong and healthy once again.

Best regards to all.
--Dan
Back to top Go down
Kyogen

avatar

Posts : 141
Join date : 2010-07-23
Location : Portland, OR

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:16 pm

Thanks Dan. I don't expect it will happen without some very difficult and uncomfortable moments. I've learned that there is no way around such things. They have to be tackled head-on, but with mindfulness and care. I hope they are willing to go into the difficult places.

With palms joined,

Kyogen
Back to top Go down
http://www.dharma-rain.org
polly

avatar

Posts : 143
Join date : 2011-01-30
Age : 64
Location : Pacific Northwest

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:32 pm

Dear Kyogen,
I have a question and hope it doesn't sound disrespectful as it is not meant to be. I'm curious because it applies to a lot of us in a way. Well, me at least.

What would be the hoped for outcome of reconciliation with Shasta? Is there a point to it other than everybody being nice and coming to some sort of peace? Is it possible to come to peace? I hear you and others, like Laura, and myself as well, working toward some sort of "closure"? maybe? (I hate that word, it's only a guess anyway.) Is it closure or is it a desire to be acknowledged, for the hurt to be acknowledged? And will that help?

I ask because I tried for a while to do this for myself, make what happened to me come into focus. I was willing to be wrong, I just wanted it to make sense. But it never did. As one of the kind and wise people on this forum told me, you can't make sense out of craziness. (Words to that effect.) No one from OBC ever actually acknowledged my hurt, except maybe Seikai, and then only after I had point blank asked for it. Said : this is what I want to hear.

It is possible, I think, that there are times when it is more useful to just walk away, leave it all behind. And I'm not saying "Why can't you just get over it?!" I really don't mean to imply that at all, I think that is completely unhelpful. Still, I wonder about my own motives when I pushed and pushed for some kind of helpful response from OBC and was told things like how to circumvent your master's more difficult behaviors instead. I just ended up feeling crazier about the whole thing than ever and it was only when I sort of washed my hands of it, told RM Haryo I didn't want any further contact, that I began to see some daylight.

But I may be missing something and I'm happy to be taught and I would be interested in what you and anybody else has to say on the subject.
Thanks,
Polly
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:06 pm

I think we are on the same wave length again Polly.

For me I hope that those that can be friends become friends,those that want to reconnect reconnect. Those that have issues that can be resolved,have them resolved.

Personally,I left the order, I had a written permission ( not that I felt I needed it to) practice with anyone I chose to. I still have my transmission silks and some good memories of good practice.I am quite happy to be friends with everyone here. However I did leave,I did not believe that Kennett Roshis experiences of being Bodhodarma and having all the visions were a spiritual experience that had any worth to me at all. The basis of her teaching from that point was way off for me.

I do not want to be part of a religious order that shuns and bullies,and the pratice of visions and previous live still is held up as being important, and I disagree with this practice within Soto Zen. I was very fond of Kennettt Roshi,but treasured the way of zazen higher.

My whole point and contribution here on this forum really is complete. The OBC is not for me
I am very happy to have reconnected with the traditional Soto sect in Japan,and I believe that that will help me in my endeavours to practice zazen,in my very dusty life.
Back to top Go down
cmpnwtr

avatar

Posts : 418
Join date : 2010-08-16

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:15 pm

The common denominator presumably of participants on this form is some prior history or interest in the OBC. Many, because of their history, have a need to sort out whatever confusion, trauma, or other injury they might have sustained as a result of their connection. If there is a need for healing, often it can be helpful in a state of empowerment to connect with the perpetrator either individually or institutionally to address and validate the reality of the injury and to receive an acknowledgment of responsibility, validation of the fact that the injury occurred, and to receive an apology, or some act of sorrow, and possibly commitment to make amends. Such a process can help the practitioner claim the valid and helpful teaching that might have been received, while divesting themselves and releasing from the invalid, unhelpful, teaching or injurious experiences, and making a healthy detachment from the persons or institution involved. I have had something of that happen to date where the OBC is involved.

I must also say, on one occasion in recent years I had a monk and present day leader of an OBC priory, out of the blue, contact me by letter apologizing for an incident that occurred while I was on retreat at Shasta. The incident was decades old. But it was freeing to receive the apology, and I accepted it, while, in my response, restating and validating how offensive and injurious the monk's behavior was at the time. I found it a healing experience and it lead to greater detachment, not reconnection.

It took me many decades to heal from the injuries of sexual abuse and the associated PTSD I received while training in a Benedictine monastic seminary. When I was able in a state of empowerment to confront the abuser and the abbot of that monastery, to have them acknowledge the injury and their responsibility, to receive their commitment to make amends and take corrective action, it was very freeing and healing, and allowed me to detach fully from that entire wave of history in my life, and enabled me to claim the authenticity of the goodness and growth I had experienced through that same period of history. Spiritual wounds are the worst kind and anything that can be done to liberate a person from them, even grow and be stronger through them,is well worth the effort.

That said, it is much easier to talk about it all with any degree of confidence, on this side of the healing, and in this stage of life, than when I was younger.

Blessings,
Bill
Back to top Go down
Kyogen

avatar

Posts : 141
Join date : 2010-07-23
Location : Portland, OR

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:18 pm

Hello Polly and Michael,

The full answer to your question is a bit complicated, and it will be a part of the story I’m working on for Meian to read. The short version is that when we became independent and went our own way, it was very liberating. I was done with Shasta, but I still acknowledge the dharma I received from RMJ. After she died, I felt that my resolution with her could be done on my own, and to a very large extent it was and is.

Things did not stay that way, however. Gyokuko and I, and I particularly, have been active in groups like the AZTA and SZBA. Being on our own made it more important to develop these connections with others. The OBC has not involved itself with the AZTA, in which I was a very central player for many years, handing the invitation list, then heading the membership committee, and keeping the meeting notes. My deep involvement may be why they never got involved at all.

That changed with the Soto Zen Buddhist Association, or SZBA. Eko, Meian and Daishin Yalon were all involved with that group. They missed the last conference due to their conclave, so I’m not sure who all will be involved now that Eko has disrobed. For a number of years it worked out OK. There were polite but tense interactions between us, and while odd, it was basically fine. It was difficult for me to hear Eko spout off about things I knew to be old fictions, and it was also very apparent to me that he was not presenting a genuine face. But that’s how it is in any large group. Some people are not going to be easy to be around.

A couple years ago, however, I was making a presentation to the conference on how we work with precepts, a practice that is based on teaching RMJ gave us years ago. I knew I had to walk a delicate line, acknowledging the teaching I received from Jiyu Kennett on the precepts, but being honest about her shortcomings on this very teaching. Eko, Meian and Daishin were in the audience. A very weird thing happened. I suddenly was unable to speak. A friend stepped in and took over for a bit, and when I recovered I picked it up again. But I could not make my main points. Later, I realized that for me the unresolved shadow of Jiyu Kennett’s life blocked out everything else. I knew I had to talk with someone from the OBC about all of this stuff. The obvious one was Eko Little. That is why I approached him. That led to his coming up here a year ago, just before he resigned. As I have said elsewhere on this list, I really got nowhere with him.

The bottom line here is that I can’t really walk away from the OBC. As a Soto Zen priest, they are a part of the world I live in. All the people in this particular world that I care about and who care about me wonder what the heck the story between us and them is. For me, this story has to come out. It’s really no longer a choice for me. I could simply post my story for all to see, but that’s not how I want to do it. I would much rather work on this with them first, to the best my ability. I know that I don’t see it all clearly either, so some processing between us is essential for me. If it could be worked out (which is a highly unlikely miracle), that would be great. What I expect from a truly open discussion is that we will both gain a better perspective on what happened, but also about the people we are now. My story is from a long time ago, so that matters to me. It will change how I present this to others.

There is more that I could say about this, but I think this goes to the heart of your question. Does it clear things up?

With palms joined,

Kyogen
Back to top Go down
http://www.dharma-rain.org
Kyogen

avatar

Posts : 141
Join date : 2010-07-23
Location : Portland, OR

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:31 pm

PS to my last post: While on one level this is about me and my history with the OBC, on another it is about the dharma. I don't expect an apology from anyone in the OBC. Even if that were to happen, the dharma issue remains. What happened, what went wrong, and how it is understood is important. This is about being authentic within the world of Soto Zen. If the OBC wants to take their place in that world, it has to become authentic and accountable. Right now it is not.

K
Back to top Go down
http://www.dharma-rain.org
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:32 pm

Bill you are a lovely guy and it makes me very sad and very angry to hear your stories of abuse.
I doubt we will ever meet but you have with me, and many if not all here a friend for life.

Take care of yourself
Back to top Go down
cmpnwtr

avatar

Posts : 418
Join date : 2010-08-16

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:41 pm

@ Chisan

Thanks for the good thought. Your presence here is equally lovely and truly a healing gift to persons here. The years of your zazen practice come through in great elegance and compassion.
Back to top Go down
cmpnwtr

avatar

Posts : 418
Join date : 2010-08-16

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:10 pm

In my post earlier, I alluded to an injurious experience I had courtesy of a monk of Shasta Abbey, now in Rev. Master status. Who apologized by letter a few years back.

I am not wanting to embarrass this particular monk, who has been contrite, and seemingly quite sincere about making amends. So I won't mention his name. For the sake of others here and to get a sense of the dynamics I will speak further to the injury. There's nothing really very esoteric about it, but it does speak to the nature of authoritarian cruelty and the hubris that is inherent in it.

Many years ago, I can't remember the exact year, I was in my late 20's. (I'm 62 now.) I went to Shasta for a weekend retreat The very first evening of the retreat I was awakened roughly by a monk supervising the zendo, where several guests were sleeping on the floor. It must have been around midnight. And without any preparation he threw me out of the zendo into the cold night, without a place to sleep, saying my snoring was disturbing the peace of the zendo. Well, that was a bit traumatizing, and being awakened abruptly from a deep sleep, disoriented and confused, under the best of circumstances by a stranger is never a picnic. I was panicked initially to say the least. As it turned out, I did have a pickup in the parking lot, so I was able to find shelter for the night and get a little fitful sleep. In the morning I was enraged, but also just "macho" enough that I didn't want to leave or acknowledge how [banned term] off I was, but somehow wanting to prove "I could take it." Some monk took action to find me a private place to sleep so I did complete the retreat. However, that experience and the insult to my own dignity, and any sense of trust in the monks of that place took a pretty good battering. Over time i tried to compartmentalize the experience but at some level I knew it was another example of the incompetence, the hubris and arrogance of institutional zealotry of the highest order, and the utter disrespect that hierarchy engenders in institutional religion.

And just to be fair, it isn't any different in any other religion. But in monastic structures it takes place under a veil of secrecy where no one is held accountable and they are all protected by a veneer of holiness and sanctity, while asking us to open our wallets and continue to support them, because just maybe some of that sanctity will rub off on us.

To give another example of this hubris of institutional religion, in another context, I went through a row just yesterday with an Episcopal bishop who sits on the board of corporate structure that owns "Good Samaritan" hospital. He sits on the board,and has been sitting on his hands and saying nothing while this hospital, hiding under the veneer of "Good Samaritan" refers patients with debt to the most predatory and vicious collection agency in Portland. They did this to my sister-in-law while she was fighting cancer, sick and financially destitute, trying to work and pay on her bill, harassing her, even while she was trying to negotiate a reasonable monthly payment. They ran her right into bankruptcy, all under the name of "Good Samaritan." Well, I called out the bishop in very direct and undiplomatic terms on his utter negligence to advocate for people like her. He didn't like it. But I said, "If religion can't stand with the most ill and the most destitute, when they most need it, what good is it?" I give him a little credit, he softened considerably in the course of the day. And I did manage to get him to call the CEO and begin a process of review of their most brutal and egregious policies. It was like moving a mountain, but there are times when some righteous anger is entirely appropriate.
Back to top Go down
breljo

avatar

Posts : 217
Join date : 2010-12-03

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:54 pm

Yes, indeed, there is actually so much genuine and compassionate teaching displayed, right here on this site, from former teachers, practitioners, past and present and by many others just voicing their "opinions" in ways that I would not be able to express better , even if I tried. That in itsself is very healing,and supportive.

Back to top Go down
Howard

avatar

Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-06-27
Age : 62
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:03 pm

Hey polly
Still, I wonder about my own motives when I pushed and pushed for some kind of helpful response from OBC and was told things like how to circumvent your master's more difficult behaviors instead. I just ended up feeling crazier about the whole thing than ever and it was only when I sort of washed my hands of it, told RM Haryo I didn't want any further contact, that I began to see some daylight.


I think that's a great question to ask ourselves

I see some transcendence in seeking healing for both the OBC and those they have touched. This is an organization that we have been involved with, supported, received spiritual gifts from but also one that brought much suffering to ourselves and others. To have supported the OBC is to have contributed to part of the resulting suffering. You could just walk away from it but our past aid of the OBC in its maintenance still leaves us somewhat responsibility for much of it's delusive lumbering and the suffering that it's caused.

A reason not to do it has to do with thinking that the resulting interaction will be uncomfortable, ineffective, the picking at old scabs to no avail, facing those who may still hold some power over you, re entering an arena of painful memories or just upsetting the apple cart of your life that you have since moved on with.

All these reasons share one thing in common and that is what will we get out of them. If we enter this process for what it can do for us then the attending egos will usually respond adversarily and then everybody loses out. Our very approach will just make us part of the problem.

If one can find a way of approaching this process as a wider field of general healing than the self then there is less appetite for blame, accusations, recriminations, defensiveness, vulnerability, fear and other tasty ego treats. I think the answer is let go of what we want or don't want and to just to approach it as healing for it's own sake.

A reason to do it is because ;
If you can do it, why wouldn't you help those who don't have the strength to do it themselves?
If you look closely enough, isn't it really a mess that we are all responsible for?
Knowing what we do, have we really got anything better to do?
Klingon..Todays is a good day to die.. OK maybe that last one is a bit harsh.

Cheers
Back to top Go down
http://hrmitchell54@yahoo.com
Ilo



Posts : 18
Join date : 2011-02-11
Location : Portland, Oregon

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:38 pm

what a wonderful thread.

Kyogen said, "A very weird thing happened. I suddenly was unable to speak. A friend stepped in and took over for a bit, and when I recovered I picked it up again. But I could not make my main points. Later..."

that is wonderful also isn't there something great that ties our tongues like that?

Kyogen's silence, Bill's forceful eloquence...

Lineage for me is like the wind blowing through the trees: I hear it in all the conversations here. So many wonderful straight trees singing in the wind. The lineage carried on and I ask myself, where is it really, that great wind?

Apologies to everybody for speaking like this; but this is the way I am blown tonight; Have compassion for someone still trying to learn how to sit zazen....! Smile
Back to top Go down
Kozan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 670
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 67
Location : Sonoma County CA

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:46 pm

Polly--I think that you, Chisan, Bill, and Kyogen have already covered many of the important points that your question raises--so I will just touch on another related issue that I see inherent in your question.

In an interior sense, a teacher, as RMJK was for me, can become a 'gateway', within awareness, to the transcendent ground of Awareness itself. This is, of course, the student's own gateway within their own awareness. The teacher only provides the direction and the confidence as an initial boost. Nevertheless, the teacher, the teaching, specific practices, the sangha, and even the organization, can acquire a deep association, or identity, with one's own gateway. Even just sitting down to receive meditation instruction for the first time can initiate this process.

The purpose of teaching and practice should be to allow the return of the gateway to the student as soon as possible, as will occur naturally in the course of training with the deepening of spiritual maturity. Unfortunately, as a number of people have previously pointed out, RMJK did not encourage this transition. I believe she was fearful that if free of dependency, a disciple might turn against her. By acting on her fear, she created the conditions that produced the outcomes that she feared the most.

The crux of the dilema, I think, is that simply rejecting a teacher or an institution may not restore access to one's own gateway, if it is done in a way that fosters or maintains duality. Any residual animosity, judgement, or blame that remains within awareness tends to keep the gate closed, and the gateway hidden.

On the other hand, trying to avoid conflict or duality by not saying anything, by not acknowledging a mistake--or worse yet, by intentionally not recognizing the mistake--creates far greater duality.

The way through the dilema in order to reclaim one's own gateway and spiritual practice, is (in my experience) to utilize critical discernment, without falling into the duality that turns the clear unvarnished recognition of shortcomings and mistakes into judgement, blame, or condemnation. In other words, the same attitude that is most useful when we uncover and recognize our own shortcomings or mistakes.

This critical non-dualistic discernment also makes it possible to recognize any useful teaching that might have been present even though its method of delivery was harmful. The combination of good teaching and bad delivery can produce enormous confusion, not to mention trauma. Making and acknowledging the distinction can help turn confusion into clarity. The fact that it is possible to make the distinction between valid teaching and harmful methods of delivery does not excuse the delivery!

Again, the underlying principle here is that within Awareness itself, there is no 'me versus you' or 'us versus them'. When we turn the recognition of important distinctions into judgement and blame we create duality. As it says in the scripture, Zazen Rules, "When the opposites arise the Buddha Mind is lost."

I think that these issues affect not only those of us who have left the OBC, but those of us who remain active members of the OBC as well. We are, quite literally, all in this together.

PS: Kyogen, this is why I feel certain that you, Gyokuko, and the OBC will reconcile with full acknowledgement of the harm done.

PPS: Polly, I am still working on that essay--but your question here goes so directly to the heart of the matter that I just had to take some time off to join the discussion!
Back to top Go down
Kozan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 670
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 67
Location : Sonoma County CA

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:49 pm

Howard, you posted your response while I was still writing mine. Well said!!

Ilo, I agree!
Back to top Go down
Diana



Posts : 206
Join date : 2010-06-11
Location : New Mexico

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:55 pm

Wow Kyogen. I don't even know what to say. Thank you for sharing. Geez.

I think you have basically just eluded to what we all feel here. It's like coming from a dysfunctional family; there is always something seeking out peace and resolution. It's it's own force, a natural force like gravity. I guess it will just always be that way until it is resolved, or until we die.

I have a lot to think about right now....

Peace,
Diana
Back to top Go down
Laura

avatar

Posts : 124
Join date : 2010-07-30
Location : Portland, OR

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:54 am

Polly,

Isn't it interesting that I felt exactly the same way that you did. I had walked away from the OBC and didn't see any point whatsoever in speaking with them about the past. And I thought my heart was pretty much at peace with the whole situation because, by and large, it was, to a far greater degree than it had ever been before.

But I discovered a couple of things. One thing I discovered was how liberating it was to be able to talk freely about some of my own experiences on this website. Even though I didn't feel any particular "need" to talk about them, I didn't realize the amount of internal pressure that years of secrecy had generated. When I was able to finally speak the truth to someone, anyone, it was like a valve being released on a pressure cooker. The relief was palpable, and it was relief from a pressure I hadn't even realized I was carrying around with me simply because I had been carrying it for so long that it felt normal.

It was a bit like that when I talked to Rev. Meian and she acknowledged that she had been mistaken and apologized to me. I never felt that I needed an apology; I certainly never expected one. In all honesty, I called her in the hope that my doing so might be of some help to others. I was quite surprised to discover that once her apology was made, I noticed that I had built an invisible wall within my heart to protect me from the pain of my experience at Shasta Abbey. Her apologies dissolved that barrier. I hadn't even realized that the barrier was there, it was only through it's crumbling that I learned of its existence. And it was a huge relief to experience that unfettering of my heart.

Back to top Go down
Nicky



Posts : 124
Join date : 2010-08-30
Age : 74
Location : norfolk uk

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:28 am

Polly , thank you for asking that question ,
( i was feeling the same - only with more impatience and not even wanting to contribute .)
Now i've taken a leap of understanding !
Kozan
your words hit my heart - of course ,of course , YES , i felt as i read it - that duality -
What i actually ' DO' is another matter , but thank you , and all of you , very much .
Back to top Go down
http://www.Nickyloutit.co.uk
Nicky



Posts : 124
Join date : 2010-08-30
Age : 74
Location : norfolk uk

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:08 am

PS i want to add to what i actually 'DO' It's about reconsidering talking to my xteacher/master , something that i felt to be pointless and painful, as she remains very much a disciple of Jiyu and is involved in all that I'm totally disillusioned with . i dread her stock religious answers and my anger , so , so , well back to Kozans words ..............
Back to top Go down
http://www.Nickyloutit.co.uk
Kyogen

avatar

Posts : 141
Join date : 2010-07-23
Location : Portland, OR

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:33 pm

Hello Kozan,

Very eloquently put. I agree with your gateway metaphor and have used a similar one myself.

Kozan wrote:
PS: Kyogen, this is why I feel certain that you, Gyokuko, and the OBC will reconcile with full acknowledgement of the harm done.
While I think it is possible for us to reconcile with some individuals within the OBC, I am not as optimistic about that with the OBC as a whole. That is because I suspect the organization is invested in a particular view of who RMJ was, and what her actions meant. In my experience of Eko, and in what I see in Koshin, they base (or in Eko's case "based") their own legitimacy as priests and teachers on this. I suspect this is true of others in the order. If so, it would difficult for anyone, even the head of the order, to challenge this status quo. But, strange things happen in this world. I would love to be surprised. It will be enough for me to make my/our side of the story more widely available so that, eventually, it is unavoidable for those in the OBC. My purpose is not to get even or cause harm, but to make it possible to relate to them in an authentic way. Maybe it can help them wake up and bring authenticity back into the OBC.

With palms joined,

Kyogen
Back to top Go down
http://www.dharma-rain.org
cmpnwtr

avatar

Posts : 418
Join date : 2010-08-16

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:25 pm

Kyogen's comment here is well founded. I find great inspiration in the paradigm that Kozan offers us, and perhaps it is an integration that he has found for himself that has brought healing. And it is also a mistake to deny our own personal discernment about what is the path to greater well-being and freedom forward in favor of an ideal of reconciliation that is not reality based for us. Engaging in any process should give care to the vulnerabilities of our own humanity and the primacy of what is life-giving and growthful in our personal sacred journey of interior communion.
Back to top Go down
polly

avatar

Posts : 143
Join date : 2011-01-30
Age : 64
Location : Pacific Northwest

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:58 pm

I would like to check in here long enough to let you all know that I have read and re-read what has been written in response to my question and I feel pretty gob-smacked by the magnificence of what has been offered. I take a long time to process things like this and I cannot pull one contribution out above another to discuss for they all contained valuable answers.

But I can say that I am unspeakably grateful for being able to be a part of this, and thank you all.
Polly
Back to top Go down
Howard

avatar

Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-06-27
Age : 62
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:07 pm

Hello Bill
it is also a mistake to deny our own personal discernment about what is the path to greater well-being and freedom forward in favor of an ideal of reconciliation that is not reality based for us. Engaging in any process should give care to the vulnerabilities of our own humanity and the primacy of what is life-giving and growthful in our personal sacred journey of interior communion.

I can hear the years of personal & professional experience behind this statement.

I am assuming that you are fearful that people who have been damaged by the OBC, will be potentially hurt by their attempt to reconnect again. Let me suggest an alternative track.

I have not seen any ideals that don't end up being too tricky to live with. There are probably as many definitions of what reconciliation with the OBC might look like as there are witnesses to this site. I'm not sure that even the concept of reconciliation is helpful here for all the complications & pressures that it exerts on all parties.

The view from my zafu shows that we all
have a wall between ourselves and others. This wall defines us. The various forms of training help show the delusive nature of this wall. My job requires little else than doing that which does not support this wall. Everything that allows the wall to stand creates suffering. To not support this wall is my definition of a reconciliation that is not hindered by identity, expectation or even the need for a one on one exchange and yet helps everyone.

37 years of slogging and I'm still stuck in the same class of Zazen.

Cheers
Back to top Go down
http://hrmitchell54@yahoo.com
cmpnwtr

avatar

Posts : 418
Join date : 2010-08-16

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:53 pm

@ Howard "I am assuming that you are fearful that people who
have been damaged by the OBC, will be potentially hurt by their attempt
to reconnect again. Let me suggest an alternative track."


***********************

Yes, that is what I'm saying. And I find no fault with your alternative track. I just know that especially persons intentionally on a spiritual track are inclined to try to live up to their religious ideals rather than pay attention to authentic needs for psychological safety and well-being, to their great detriment. And the kind of anti-human culture that sprang out of Shasta doesn't help in that, where people are simply ripped to shreds in the name of driving them into enlightenment.

Imposing a vision of living out of an Absolute non-separateness can turn into an ideal that is damaging and wrong, especially when the interactional reality that so many people are trying to free themselves from is a toxic one. Healthy boundaries, and an experience of interior safety, are what they need,well, what all of us need on the psychological and spiritual level. Living in the Relative is where we are, and the compassionate and skillful direction, more often than not, is to leave the toxic patterns in the dust and detach from them as best you can. I've spent too many years companioning people in therapy who are moving towards freedom and detachment, separating themselves from poison, so they can have a healthful life. I've done the reconnection, reconciliation thing, and it's a very difficult dance that is fraught with psychological dangers and spiritual confusion if not done well and with great advocacy.
Back to top Go down
ddolmar

avatar

Posts : 190
Join date : 2010-08-26
Location : Redding, CA

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:46 pm

"The past is never dead. It's not even past."

(William Faulkner, in Requiem for a Nun).

**************************

"We may be through with the past, but the past isn't through with us."

(Magnolia, a 1999 film)

**************************

Hi Bill--I have heard a particular kind of story several times, wherein someone locates and attempts dialogue with a person who hurt them very deeply. The return is typically several years after the harm done, and the victim has largely moved on. But they go back to try to make better sense of what happened, and what they find is that the other person is completely unrepentant and seems very capable and willing to cause further harm. (I'm not suggesting that this is the case with SA or the OBC by any means, this is just a beat in this persistent story). Here's the part that I wonder about: the story usually ends with the former victim saying some like: "Well, it was good for me to try", or "At least now I know for sure that I wasn't the one at fault".

Is that consistent with your therapeutic experience, or do people typically just get freshly wounded by attempting such closure?

*******************************
A related observation: religious beliefs are frequently the bedrock of our moral foundations. The deeper a person's faith, the more dependent they can become upon certain axioms remaining "true". This is, imo, the reason that morally normal people can do hideous things under the influence of a mistaken religious belief. Few would ever mutilate the genitalia of their children for the fun of it. But suggest that circumcision is an evil practice and causes needless suffering to a completely defenseless infant, say this to a deeply religious Jewish person (no matter how genuinely nice and decent they are), and you're just about guaranteed to create a rift between you.

There are beliefs about RM Jiyu's motives and spiritual advancement at play here that are parallel in the narrow sense that, judging from the stories on this forum, they are part of the bedrock of some OBC members' spirituality. This is particularly true for those who knew her and were her disciples. Trying to get your fingernails beneath these beliefs is very likely to really smart for the true believer in her sanctity. For this reason, I think that attempting it should be approached with the utmost care and compassion, and as Kyogen appears to have done, one should be very clear (within oneself) exactly what one is trying to accomplish.

At least that is what I think I see. Maybe this is just a very trite point, but even if you have been terribly wounded by someone at OBC, it's worth noting that you might be able to hurt them back. You may decide that it's utterly necessary, but you are also still completely free in this moment and the next to have compassion for their humanity, whatever your own hurt.

Not trying to out-spiritual anyone... :-P
Back to top Go down
cmpnwtr

avatar

Posts : 418
Join date : 2010-08-16

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:47 am

@ dolmar

Your observations are very astute.

On the first point.... Yes... if there has been trauma, or abuse, something more than a simple fractured relationship, then it usually takes some years of internal healing and strengthening for an individual to decide and to be ready to confront and communicate directly with the persons who inflicted that experience. The outcome of that depends on the readiness and receptivity of both sides. But it is a risky proposition in that it can turn out well, or not well, with some resolution and forgiveness, or reinjury and further damage. That's why I advocate for the perspective that there is no "love and light" blanket resolution here. And persons need to carefully discern their own readiness and motivations, what they are seeking, and so on..... They are the guardian of their own heart.

On the second point....regarding deeply held beliefs.. indeed, it is the fanatical zealotry based on such beliefs of the Master or the Creed that over-ride our own empathy and ethical judgment to the point we can do horrendous things. The combination of the military culture of Zen and the demand for unquestioning loyalty by JK contributed to this culture and the consequent behaviors at Shasta. I once heard a prominent (now RM status at a priory) actually make the statement that when babies cry too much they should be ignored because it's just their karma that is trying to disrupt the practice of the parent practitioner. "Let them cry their heads off!" Geeze.....

With regard to the third point.. the desire for vengeance and retribution is a universal temptation.. I have felt and imaged fantasies of strangulation of my abusers. (not the OBC monks). But all of us have the temptation to somehow regain our personal power over the one who exercised power over us in an abusive way by inflicting pain on them in a way that they inflicted pain on us. And part of that fantasy is that the perpetrator would then experience how much we suffered and then truly be sorry. And having worked in therapy with abuse survivors, addressing the rage in a helpful way so that it doesn't get acted out destructively is important. This is one reason why it is not good to prematurely meet with someone who may have been a party to an abusive experience, because any residual rage is likely to be reactivated.

When you are free, is that decision point, when out of utter compassion and exquisite and tender love for yourself, you let go of the desire to seek revenge or to hold any thought of desiring harm or retribution. The survivor forgives primarily out of love and compassion for one's own person, to release from all that constrains and holds one back from entering anew into relationships of love and intimacy. Contact is only helpful if it catalyzes and frees that process, if it helps a person get unstuck.

Admittedly in the moment I looked into the face of the monk/priest who had so seriously abused and damaged the 16 year old boy, that I had been decades earlier, in that moment I saw how much more he had been damaged than I, what a pathetic and tortured human being that he was. And now close to death he had some awareness of not only how much he had wasted his own life, but how he had inflicted terrible suffering on others because of his secret addictions, while masquerading as a holy person, a totally inauthentic existence, a lie. i felt truly sorry for him. How terrible to be in that state, at that stage of life, or any stage of life! He had had months of residential therapy so he was in some state of readiness to receive the piercing and powerful confrontation I gave him, to reveal to him the facts of his sexual abuse, in its horrid detail in front of others, what it had done to that 16 year old boy, and to reveal how it had brought me to the brink of suicide at age 21, and yet as a consequence of that abuse I was drawn to go within for refuge, past the fraudulent claims of being the "mediator" of the Divine that the Roman Catholic Church makes, to find grace, wholeness, and the Presence that is presence within me.

And as messed up as Shasta Abbey was during my tenure with it, it had a huge part in the mystical healing and resolution of that koan for which I am forever grateful. I was the one that had learned to sit and let the treasure open naturally. And he was left with a wasted and broken life. So in that interview I was the one empowered. But it was a process of many years, decades, to come to that point, and present with me at the interview was a woman who was my advocate, a female priest and powerful spiritual director, skilled in the process of healing of sexual abuse by clergy. The abbot of the monastery where this took place, a man who at the time of the abuse had been in a class behind me, who sat next to the then elderly abuser, was also the recipient of my fury and my confrontation, acknowledging the responsibility of the monastic institution in allowing this crime to take place and covering it up, and he too, apologized to me. (Remember in the 1960s that young men seeking the priesthood or monastic life were encouraged to enter still in their teens, high school age.) All this, this moment, which was so filled with clarity, and was so luminous to me, was, in a strange and mysterious way, an entire movement of grace where things came full circle, and roles were turned upside down, as though a mighty stream had burst its barrier and was flowing freely.

Blessings and peace,
Bill
Back to top Go down
polly

avatar

Posts : 143
Join date : 2011-01-30
Age : 64
Location : Pacific Northwest

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:37 am

I'm glad that Bill made the point about the care that needs to be taken when attempting a reconciliation and that the beautiful rosebush you thought you were planting might produce mostly or only thorns.

Flip side, I know Kozan is right about the gate that stays closed when duality is allowed to remain the dominant theme. That has been my experience. My OBC traumas shut me down spiritually and on a very human level, I became smaller, angrier, harder, and less careful. But since trying to reconcile engendered responses like, "Well, you must have hurt your teacher first," and "Where there is hurt there is self," and all the rest of the well-meant but unhelpful exchanges along those lines, all those walls that Howard speaks of just got higher. I am so glad you discussed those walls, Howard, and how to work with them without expectation.

So I am envious, I guess, of the relief that Laura experienced, the purposeful exchange that Kyogen is working toward. But Bill's discussion of the ideals of reconciliation and how they can create harm is a relief for me as well. On my tax statement from OBC this year I got a note from my teacher, just one sentence, saying "I wish you well." That sounds kind of final to me. And maybe it's okay for it to be so, if I can, with care, keep the walls unbuttressed, and my grip on duality relaxed. "Lo, with the ideal comes the actual," and "When duality arises, the Buddha-mind is lost," were always two of my favorite phrases. I can only take it a step at a time, and remember Bill's encouragement to be patient.

Post script:

This post was written while Bill's post above was put in place, which reinforced my thinking. It also allowed me a re-read of Dan's post when he speaks of the perspective of "At least I know for sure I wasn't the one at fault." That would be a lingering regret for me. Because I never felt as though I got genuine interchange, I do not know, and may not know, where I may have been at fault. Because I do not want to repeat that mistake, and I do not want to say that from a position of "I will never trust again." But who knows, stuff unfolds all the time. And I still love that teacher. Always will.
Back to top Go down
Isan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 917
Join date : 2010-07-27
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:53 am

polly wrote:

Because I never felt as though I got genuine interchange, I do not know, and may not know, where I may have been at fault. Because I do not want to repeat that mistake, and I do not want to say that from a position of "I will never trust again." But who knows, stuff unfolds all the time. And I still love that teacher. Always will.

One thing I've come to feel certain about is the universe will provide whatever opportunities I need to learn going forward. If there was something missed in a previous relationship then it will appear again in another form and I will pick up where I left off. That's what time is for.
Back to top Go down
Maya



Posts : 6
Join date : 2010-11-15

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:31 pm

Laura wrote:


It was a bit like that when I talked to Rev. Meian and she acknowledged that she had been mistaken and apologized to me. I never felt that I needed an apology; I certainly never expected one. In all honesty, I called her in the hope that my doing so might be of some help to others. I was quite surprised to discover that once her apology was made, I noticed that I had built an invisible wall within my heart to protect me from the pain of my experience at Shasta Abbey. Her apologies dissolved that barrier. I hadn't even realized that the barrier was there, it was only through it's crumbling that I learned of its existence. And it was a huge relief to experience that unfettering of my heart.


Laura,

Thank you for this teaching.

with bows,
maya
Back to top Go down
Ilo



Posts : 18
Join date : 2011-02-11
Location : Portland, Oregon

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:49 pm

Laura wrote:

I hadn't even realized that the barrier was there, it was only through it's crumbling that I learned of its existence. And it was a huge relief to experience that unfettering of my heart.

Bill wrote:

All this, this moment, which was so filled with clarity, and was so luminous to me, was, in a strange and mysterious way, an entire movement of grace where things came full circle, and roles were turned upside down, as though a mighty stream had burst its barrier and was flowing freely.

If I don't read anything else for six months, those words above have the power to sustain me.

We walk around thinking we carry the weight of the world, when really it is the world all along that has been carrying us.
Back to top Go down
Howard

avatar

Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-06-27
Age : 62
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:38 pm

Isan
One thing I've come to feel certain about is the universe will provide whatever opportunities I need to learn going forward. If there was something missed in a previous relationship then it will appear again in another form and I will pick up where I left off. That's what time is for.



What a beautiful rendering of fluidity
Back to top Go down
http://hrmitchell54@yahoo.com
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:15 am

Good comments Kozan,but I have been smiling about you these last few days as I knocked down a part of a wall at my mums place , by driving into the end of it! The wall is about 60cm high so I shuttered it up and poured some fast setting concrete into it,as I did not have any metal rods,but as I do have a furniture factory I used chrome hanging rail offcuts instead !

Now why was I smiling? I kept remembering our conversation about ferral cement,I had never heard of it before,but you were designing a zendo with a ferral cement roof,I thought at the time if any one could change the universe it would be you,,,wall is fine , no one has noticed
Back to top Go down
ddolmar

avatar

Posts : 190
Join date : 2010-08-26
Location : Redding, CA

PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:39 pm

Ferral cement: I get the image of a (iron-rich?) cinder block lurking in the underbrush, in the moonlight, trying to be stealthy...

Perhaps, if you build a zendo out of such blocks, one of them will pounce!
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: My telephone conversation with RM Meian   

Back to top Go down
 
My telephone conversation with RM Meian
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 2Go to page : 1, 2  Next
 Similar topics
-
» In a telephone conversation with Allawi ... Erdogan warns Iraq sliding into civil war due to political crisis
» My telephone conversation with RM Meian
» A Public Conversation
» A Conversation with God
» a telephone call from Heaven

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
OBC Connect :: OBC Connect :: Discussions with the OBC-
Jump to: