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 | 
 

 Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more

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

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Thu May 12, 2011 8:01 am

[Admin note: this thread was split from "Assessment by FaithTrust" under the "OBC Experiences" category. Michael's name appears as the "author" since his post is the first one split, but this is a function of the forum software.]


I think the question is ' Was Mike Little wrong or incorrect in his spirituality or was he the product of spirituality that had gone wrong or was incorrect. For me when a vision of being Jesus Christ, or St John of the Cross or Bodhidarma, is sold as a kensho experience, something has drastically changed and decayed very early and quickly the end result is really what Josh says . It is a new religion, in this case known as the reformed Soto sect,aka the OBC, or the beliefs and views of Jiyu kennett. A long way from what we were shown in the beginning. The bullying shunning and control are all systematic of wrong way Zen. So for me good that Shasta has gone to faith trust, I think the process may well put the blame on Mike Little , I do not personally feel that is all fair.
My mum has moved in now her Alzheimer's has deteriorated,and she can not live on her own,we have built in roof spaces to provide room for everyone else. We have a delightful young girl also moved in who,when she is not dying her hair red, she self harms, and talks of killing herself.
Even on the cliffs of Cornwall, I can't escape the gentle teachings of the Buddha
Back to top Go down
cmpnwtr

avatar

Posts : 418
Join date : 2010-08-16

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Thu May 12, 2011 12:04 pm

@ Chisan

Sorry to hear about your mother. I put my mother in an Alzheimer's facility about a year ago. Strangely she has never been more at peace. She lives in the present moment mostly and doesn't ruminate or hold grudges like she has before. She has good and loving people who care for her. I hope your mother will have a peaceful passage from this life.

Regarding Shasta and the OBC- I have to say one thing. Regardless of how badly the whole thing ran amuck, the teaching that I held on to was to have faith in my practice. And I had enough discipline and grounding in it, that when I lost faith in the human beings who ran the organization and pretended to be more than they were, my practice was my safety and my refuge and it has never failed me. For that much I can thank JK and others.
Back to top Go down
john

avatar

Posts : 80
Join date : 2010-11-21
Location : uk

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Thu May 12, 2011 12:34 pm

I cant escape the gentle teachings of the Buddha.

Sorry to hear of your Mum Chisan.
People often wish to know how to give compassion to the world,
wait long enough and it will come knocking.

My old mum had been seriosly ill for quite some time and the last month of her
life I slept along side her every night in a chair, seeing to her every need.
Hard, but such a privilage to do. Self gets out of the way, and there is just doing.
She died Easter Sunday.Her funeral was three days ago.

Your young friend.
When the call is there the heart opens and we just do what we do, how can we not.
As I have said before Chisan you have a big heart.

Wishing your Dear Mum Peace.
Back to top Go down
breljo

avatar

Posts : 217
Join date : 2010-12-03

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Thu May 12, 2011 7:15 pm

My condolences to John and also best wishes to Chisan. The love and caring that is being expressed in your lives and many of those that post on this forum is evidence that you have understood what true compassion is really all about and I sincerely thank you very much for showing me that.

With bows

Brigitte
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Sat May 14, 2011 5:30 am

A quicky to says thanks for emails and messages about my mum and the young girl. I very much appreciate them.
Bill John and Breljo Robert Nicky what you say about your mums and the sensiivity you write with,reminds me that when I was young and looking into Zen Buddhism for a path towards something better within myself,I can tell by what we have all said that we we are all moved by our own compassion, and also the way we trust the strenght of our own practice.
Just a quicky Thanks
Back to top Go down
Ol'ga

avatar

Posts : 258
Join date : 2011-03-22
Age : 71
Location : Toronto

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Wed May 18, 2011 12:35 am

[Admin note: I'm moving Isan's post into sequence that was left out of the split. Sorry for any confusion.]

Subject: Re: Assessment by FaithTrust Wed 11 May 2011 - 12:25

Isan wrote:

Olga wrote:


I can start only from where I am, at any moment. Anything else is a fantasy. Trusting A PRIORI someone else's wisdom and honesty, overriding one's own, is not a sign of spiritual adulthood. It is, in the end, a behavior of a shirker of responsibility for one's own life.

Luv, Ol'ga
Olga,

Isan wrote:


I agree that trusting a teacher's wisdom "a priori" (without observing and confirming from personal experience) is a mistake. I don't believe that was generally the case for the first generation of students. I had a sufficiently personal relationship with RMJK to be able to make a determination that there was something there worth trusting. It was possible for me to deal with her eccentricity for a long time as a result. That was a very challenging process and in the end it became too difficult, but it was always one on one for me. When you sweep all the grand teachings aside what you're left with is a relationship with another person. You can learn about yourself in a relationship both because of and in spite of it being difficult. You can see it for what it is, and stay in it without glorifying it until it is finished for you.

It was another kettle of fish (as RMJK liked to say) for the generations of students that came afterward. As the community grew and RMJK delegated the teaching of newer students to others she became more remote. Those students did not have a one on one relationship with RMJK for years (maybe never in the latter years) and they had to base their belief in her efficacy as a teacher on the fact that the more senior students supported her. It was a priori for them. I think this increasing distance contributed to (what Josh might call) the "master myth" that came to surround her.


_________________
blessings,
Isan

Olga's original post begins here:

I missed some posts over the last week - responses from Mark and Isan to mine. It may be by now stale, but I'll try to clarify what I meant.

Mark
I think you were responding to my perhaps rather categorical statement
'Trusting A PRIORI someone else's wisdom and honesty, overriding one's
own, is not a sign of spiritual adulthood. It is, in the end, a
behaviour of a shirker of responsibility for one's own life.'
I find this communication via the Forum quite frustrating. I know, I know, we are all grateful we've got it. But there are pitfalls - all possibilities for misunderstandings...And we are all understandably very sensitive in the area under discussion. So, Mark, bear with me.
I don't think we disagree about how we initially gave our hearts to the teaching and the teacher, ureservedly. In that high-handed pronouncement of mine (above), I was, first, reacting to the usage of the term 'spiritual adult' which I find judgemental as many others that Roshi used. (I have my psychological baggage, and preachiness makes me bristle and growl.)
We choose our teachers on the basis of our own knowledge, understanding, etc. Ultimately we are responsible for our lives. There is no escaping that. So we should be aware of what we're doing, awake, not asleep.
This is not to say that I judge anyone including the person I once was, for jumping into the commitment naively, idealistically.
Still, now that I am getting old and wise (???!!!), or perhaps just sceptical, I don't view idealism as so much of a virtue. And so I would still maintain that following anyone, UNQUESTIONINGLY, is not a good idea. Yes, one must at some point, to some degree, suspend one's scepticism, one's previous knowledge, to learn anything new, particularly if that something new is the Truth which answers the biggest question, and fixes the fundamental problem. It is probably the main thing that I did learn from my experience with Roshi - do not trust too much! Am I maimed by that experience, or did I learn something valuable? I am inclined to say the latter. At any rate, there it is, and I accept my mind as it has been shaped and start from there.
You write eloquently about
No there will always be imperfections and abuse of one kind or another
whether inter-personal, hierarchical or bureaucratic we just have to
muddle through making difficult compromises as we go.

I would agree wholeheartedly that there will always be imperfections. Abuse? I don't think I agree with that. In my marriage of 23 years, there has been relative peace because we understand that we're both imperfect. But abuse, no.
And there was abuse in Shasta. 'Here born, we clutch at things, and then compound delusion by following ideals'. Roshi did not just behave capriciously, irrationally. Those were not just idiosyncracies. There was intent in her actions towards us: to teach us. And I believe, strongly (as I tend to, ha ha, but I do keep examining my beliefs, mind!), that that kind of teaching is misguided. Trying to push one to 'renounce, shake off' the ego...Oh boy, I'll stop right here. I keep inserting this topic into most of my posts (because I view it as the crux of the Shasta problem), and maybe it's not the way to go. Maybe I should really start a thread on it one of these days, and then you can all ignore it.
It's late and I am not quite coherent, so good night world. And good night, Mark, my sparring partner.
Ol'ga
[/quote]
Back to top Go down
Ol'ga

avatar

Posts : 258
Join date : 2011-03-22
Age : 71
Location : Toronto

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Wed May 18, 2011 1:10 am

Isan wrote
Regarding Jesus and Bodhidharma I will repeat
what I've said before, ie it has been blown way out of proportion.
There has been no interest in having a serious discussion about past
life phenomena, etc. Referring to it has just become a way of sneering
at RMJK
and the events surrounding HTGLB.


My old friend Isan,
I am not able to comment on this competently right now - it's very late. I had missed some posts in this thread (including one where you responded to my post), and will try to come back to them tomorrow.
I would only like to say that I am far from comfortable with our airing our linen in public as we do, particularly Roshi's - and she's not here to defend herself. It doesn't matter that she is dead, and 'can't be hurt' by this. We still have responsibility to her name. So I would be much happier if this were not an open forum. I know this has been discussed before, and is not likely to change.
I am also aware that you were much closer to Roshi than I was. Still, I loved her once; and I still feel for her. She had her own 'cross'. It's difficult that one has all these conflicting feelings, love and pity, even certain tenderness (I do), and anger; and they correspond to different facets of what happened.
But I do recognise that you were very close to her, and so you may feel a lot of pain reading all this stuff on the Forum.
We are all rubbing only part of the elephant. There are always so many aspects to any situation, any person. Our discussions here meander all over the place. It seems that the emphasis is on the negative, maybe disproportionately so. Who can weigh the pluses and minuses? Who can see the whole person? The entire person, the breathing, feeling person with hopes and dreams and fears and sense of lack, and sorrow and hurt, and beauty and richness, and love, oh boy
Oh, life!
Much love,
Ol'ga
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Wed May 18, 2011 1:38 am

Well some very good points from everyone.
The Jesus episode can not be swept away as it was an important part ( It is quite a statement i was jesus in a previous life) of the development.
At that time All her dharma heirs left. I was not a Dharma heir however I ran a significant center in London,albeit way before I was ready to, I left too Bill Picard who was a Dharma heir and I instantly left. Kennett choose not to reveal parts of her visions as it would have a negative effect on the organization/
So this was a very important moment.
Josh Alan Mark and myself have not been carrying it around,we only became re interested with the Eko incident and him being asked to leave,or relieved of office. Again a very significant time for OBC.
I can not say too much about Eko or Mike Little as I have asked questions to understand the situation,I have been given a very good picture,but it was all confidential.
Mike though was really the next in line, he was chosen to lead . Kennett used to say judge me by her followers which is fair comment. Mike is representative of Kennett. I am interested in Diana's take of the harm he did. Now I am the first to hold my hand up and say I have made many mistakes in my life, and have not an exemplary life, but I am not running Shasta,and that is the issue of the moment,as faith trust is involved.
My point was " If your first step is false you immediately stumble" I again have stumbled in my life, but if kennett and That whole period was a stumble, one is on shaky ground I would not like Mike to be a scapegoat However reading Diana's post,there must be a painful examination. And I agree with Bill saying lets see, however we are writing about it so I am free to throw my thoughts in.
Now interestingly Mark bumped into someone,it may have been Eko and asked why it was denied the vision of being Jesus,and was told something like becasue it was not a vision but fact so being a vision was denied I am meeting Mark for dinner tonight,so I can clarify his exact words as they are important too, in how this whole episode was viewed
The basis of the teaching after 1980 is found in Mike Little,and that does not seem too bright to me.

Finally Dan thanks for your kind words, I have had quite a few wallops in my life, at times it has not been pretty,I am lucky, I have a drop dead gorgeous girlfriend,who also has been through it too,when one has been through it and one sits zazen too,I think it is natural to go the extra step,and be there for someone else. The gentle teaching of the Buddha is life is suffering and this is the way through,the young girl and my mum are doing fine.
Back to top Go down
Isan
Admin
avatar

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

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Wed May 18, 2011 11:20 am

Regarding past life experiences and HTGLB generally I did not say this was unimportant; I said too much emphasis has been placed on it and that there hasn't been the willingness to have a serious discussion about it. To discuss the matter of past life memories and visions seriously one would have to consider the possibility that such experiences are real and relevant. That, potentially, would imply that HTGLB was real and relevant, and a number of people here are heavily invested in denying that.

My personal belief is the legitimacy of visions in spiritual practice is a completely personal matter and relevance can only be determined by the individual in question. One way in which RMJK created serious problems was sharing her experiences indiscriminately. The content of her practice was really no one else' business. Her need to make her practice public and demand validation from everyone in the organization while apparently not seeing how she exposed herself and the organization to ridicule is an indication of the extent of her insecurity.

The much greater problem, which I consider the core problem, was her need to control. The demand for unconditional loyalty and obedience, and the taboo against speaking out when we felt that something was wrong lie at the heart of the matter. RMJK had established this paradigm before HTGLB. The direction had been set and if the "visions" had not happened the course would not have been different. In fact the visions were used to further justify the direction RMJK was already taking the community - Shasta Abbey would have wound up where it is now regardless.

The distinctions I'm making are important because the conversation with the OBC about these matters must happen in the present. No one can go back and effectively assess the events that transpired in the late 70's. There will never be consensus about HTGLB. What can be discussed instead are the power and authority structures that lead to abuse and still exist today.
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Wed May 18, 2011 11:48 am

Yes good points Isan,
Real and relevant
Are you saying that Eko was Jesus, I think this is very important
Back to top Go down
Isan
Admin
avatar

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

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Wed May 18, 2011 3:21 pm

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:
Yes good points Isan,
Real and relevant
Are you saying that Eko was Jesus, I think this is very important

Michael,

I was present when Eko experienced those memories and the answer is NO, I did not believe he was Jesus and neither did anyone else including him as far as I could tell. There is a big difference between experiencing memories and identifying with them. It may seem like hair splitting if you haven't experienced it personally, but it's not - it's obvious and results in very different outcomes.

Perhaps a more relevant question is does anyone currently in the OBC believe Eko was Jesus or Jiyu was Bodhidharma. There is nothing on any OBC website which makes a statement to that effect. It would easy enough to write RM Meian (or any other OBC leader) a letter and ask her for her view.
Back to top Go down
Howard

avatar

Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-06-27
Age : 63
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Wed May 18, 2011 5:13 pm

Hey Chisan

Wonder if you would clarify some assumptions I have.

I assume that you don't believe that Eko was Jesus, that anyone else thought he was or that this teaching is likely to be heard anywhere outside of the OBC connect?

I am assuming that the reason you often bring up this particular story of past Jiyu sanctioned foolishness has little to do with whether you believe his relationship to Jesus was real or not but instead use it because it's the easiest way to convince the Sangha to question her other teachings as well.

Your inference to Isan that this story is the proof of a rotten teaching foundation supports the reasoning that any delusion invalidates all the teaching that follows it.

Doesn't that same argument invalidate all of our own practises as well.

Hey ddolmar

I wasn't singling out anyone in particular about agendas but was bringing it up more as something interesting to watch for. Nothing separates me from understanding others like the inertia of a conflicting agendas as well as I'm not sure I've ever spotted one of my own agendas not saying "Shotgun" whenever my ego drove up.

Cheers all.
Back to top Go down
http://hrmitchell54@yahoo.com
Ol'ga

avatar

Posts : 258
Join date : 2011-03-22
Age : 71
Location : Toronto

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Wed May 18, 2011 5:24 pm

Isan wrote:

The much greater problem, which I consider the core problem, was
her need to control. The demand for unconditional loyalty and
obedience, and the taboo against speaking out when we felt that
something was wrong lie at the heart of the matter. RMJK had
established this paradigm before HTGLB. The direction had been set and
if the "visions" had not happened the course would not have been
different. In fact the visions were used to further justify the
direction RMJK was already taking the community - Shasta Abbey would
have wound up where it is now regardless.


Dan wrote:

[...]on the other hand monastic Zen Buddhism is intrinsically authoritarian in its structure. (Spiritual adults...in Zen monasteries where you typically need permission from Reverend Master Mommy or Reverend Master Daddy to do anything? Really? Am I being trite or stupid by calling attention to this apparent disconnect?)

Friends, such important points from the two of you! This is what I've been harping on from the time I began to post here.

I would like to add, that the control was in the name of teaching. Methinks that much too much emphasis is placed on the trainee's behaviour, or better, their putative, perceived behaviour. That is then causatively connected to putative level of their understanding. This, in my experience, happened all the time, and IMV, it has nothing to do with genuine teaching. No teacher, however perceptive or enlightened, can know with sufficient certainty what is in the trainee's heart, on the basis of their performance in the kitchen or toolshed.

I believe that Roshi's need for control probably stemmed from her insecurity. But more than that, she probably truly believed that she was doing the best for the trainee, and I can't blame her for that. I haven't been in Buddhism for the last forty years, and I trained, very very seriously, only with Roshi. But I had read tonnes of stuff on Zen, before I entered the monastery. What I read "set me up" for accepting any kind of bizarre and nasty treatment of me by Roshi or her myrmidons, and I naturally assumed that it was all "for my own good", that, in fact, this kind of treatment will lead me to enlightenment. I don't think at all that Roshi consciously used and abused my preconceived ideas I got from books - she probably believed the same!
And it's all nonsence. From my teaching experience (tutoring maths and English), the student will learn exactly nothing when terrified. We learn when we are open, and to be open we need to feel unthreatened, free, relaxed. That's when we can learn, and we do. Again IMV, this is true particularly when we are studying and discovering what "all this is about" - the truth.

And one more point re Isan's excellent post. I am very grateful for it, as I feel vindicated in my decision to leave way back when, which occured before the visions started. The problems were there already, and once I stopped covering my eyes and ears, they were in plain view, and I could not ignored them.
Ol'ga
Back to top Go down
Jcbaran

avatar

Posts : 1614
Join date : 2010-11-13
Age : 67
Location : New York, NY

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Wed May 18, 2011 5:47 pm

Jesus and Mary cult followers buy up land around Kingaroy

David Murray
From: The Courier-Mail
May 15, 2011 12:00AM

A COUPLE who claim they are Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene have set up base in Queensland's Bible Belt and are drawing in disciples from across the country.

The pair, real names Alan John Miller and Mary Suzanne Luck, operate from rural Wilkesdale, near Kingaroy, where they claim to have been joined by 30-40 followers.

"My name is Jesus and I'm serious," Mr Miller says in a video recording from a workshop. Cult watchers and the Anglican and Catholic churches are concerned the pair, who ask followers to donate to sustain them, could draw in the vulnerable.

Mr Miller bought a 16ha property at Wilkesdale in 2007 and his Divine Truth followers have since been buying nearby blocks to be close to the charismatic leader, 47, and Ms Luck, 32.

Locals and real estate agents confirmed the group had sparked an unlikely property boom, with estimates they have bought up to 30 blocks and with new properties in high demand.

Followers joined forces in 2009 to buy a $400,000, 240ha property where they hold weekly meetings and plan to build a centre for international visitors.

In an apparent coincidence, land clearing has created a giant cross on neighbouring properties. Locals insisted it was not carved deliberately.

Police are said to have been called to investigate screams, only to discover members taking part in a healing exercise where they shout to help process "past soul damage".

Concerned relatives and friends have contacted the Cult Awareness and Information Centre to warn of Divine Truth followers selling homes to move to Wilkesdale.

The centre's spokeswoman, Helen Pomery, said: "The moment someone becomes God or God's voice on Earth it gives them another level of authority to enforce submission to them."

Anglican Archbishop Phillip Aspinall and the Catholic church urged people to be cautious when exploring new movements.

"This is especially true for people who are seeking meaning in their lives and as a result may be vulnerable," Dr Aspinall said.

Mr Miller was born in Loxton, South Australia, and has two children from a previous marriage, which he says ended after he "began to remember details" of his past life.

Tailoring his appearance to look like Jesus, he yesterday held a workshop in Albury, NSW, where he stood by his claims.

In one recording he says: "There's probably a million people who say they're Jesus and most of them are in asylums. But one of us has to be.

"How do I know I am? Because I remember everything about my life."
Back to top Go down
Isan
Admin
avatar

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

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Wed May 18, 2011 6:01 pm

Jcbaran wrote:
Jesus and Mary cult followers buy up land around Kingaroy

David Murray
From: The Courier-Mail
May 15, 2011 12:00AM

"How do I know I am? Because I remember everything about my life."

That's an interesting story, but what does it have to do with this discussion?
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Wed May 18, 2011 6:17 pm

What a bizarre story Josh,almost unbelievable.

Isan I do not quite understand you you say Eko experienced these eperiences but the answer was no you do not think he was jesus.

Are you saying that he eperienced being jesus in a previous life, but at the same time he was not actually jesus in the previous life.Mark's view of this is he did definitely think he was Jesus in a previous life.


Howard yes some good questions, personally yes when these experiences were happening at Shasta en mass, i stopped believing kenntt Roshi was a good teacher, and it would be fair to assume I would have had huge doubts about what she taught. the truth of the matter is I did leave , and left it behind, and did not think about it again.

It depends on your view that whole period was very delusional for me,very off center, Josh's post is talking about someones madness, I have enough problems of my own without taking on those

Back to top Go down
ddolmar

avatar

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

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Wed May 18, 2011 7:01 pm

Dear Josh--Thanks for that. Sometimes fighting against cults must seem like playing whack-a-mole.


I'm the messiah!

No, I'm the messiah, over here!

No, me!
Back to top Go down
Jcbaran

avatar

Posts : 1614
Join date : 2010-11-13
Age : 67
Location : New York, NY

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Wed May 18, 2011 7:22 pm

Quoting from the article above:

"How do I know I am (Jesus)? Because I can remember everything about my life."

This guy in Australia asserts it is true because he has "memories." He believes his thoughts and fantasies about who he thinks he was and now is. Just another version of the self story we all tell ourselves, but dressed up in religious garb. He believes these thoughts and images to be "reality." Well, if he remembers something, it must be true. Right?

During the Lotus period, Kennett descended into serious self-doubt and confusion, and then compensated by going into self-glorification and grandiosity and asserted she was - in the past - these various saints.

Bodhidharma -- evidence says clearly that this person never existed in real life - made up personage that was created to help promote the Chan school hundreds of years after Buddhism came to China. So Kennett asserts she was a fictional character. Jesus - this fellow portrayed in the gospels never existed - not as written - maybe there was some person that these myths was based on - then again, there is no historical evidence that he ever lived - so his story in the gospels could have been created out of whole cloth or various pieces of cloth. What "memories" are these? You might as well remember you were Zeus or Poseidon.

"Biography is fiction. Autobiography is hopelessly inventive." Dr. Michael Gazzaniga - The Mind's Past.

What I saw with Kennett was guided fantasy, forced psychodrama, contrived "experiences" and "memories" that could easily be induced in any person or small groups of people, especially in disciples who were blindly loyal children. It is a simple matter to guide people to imagine anything at all- whether they were Marie Antoinette or Donald Duck or an eagle soaring or Jesus. You can guide people to imagine themselves in hell or heaven or on Mars. And for some people, these inner experiences became far more intense and interesting and "real" than ordinary daily life. There are all kinds of new age therapists and psychics that lead patients and small groups into past life regression and altered states through hyperventilation, hypnotism, breath meditation, and guided imagery. Lots of people take ayahuasca and peyote and have altered state experiences. And there have been many experiments that show that you can create completely false memories in people, especially in children - and it doesn't take much time or expertise, just some strong and repeated suggestions.

Visions. Images. Memories. None of it amounts to a hill of beans. Not for Kennett and not for me. Yes, my opinion is that they are all irrelevant, beside the point. Yes, I think even "authentic" spiritual experiences are beside the point - let alone contrived, inauthentic ones.

Jumping back to my experiences with Sorting it Out and counseling people who had left other spiritual groups - there were MANY examples of groups and gurus that were quite similar to what happened at Shasta - Gurus lost in their own self-aggrandizement, past life stories, strange group psychodrama events where people would go into all kinds of altered state trances and collective experiences. Da Free John declared he was the emperor of India who built the Taj Mahal and that many of the women who came to be his disciples were his wives in their past lives - a common tale by the way. Guess what effect that story had on those women? Around Rajneesh, there were many induced group mystical experiences where people would swoon into altered / energetic states. There gurus said they were the Buddha in a past life or they were Maitreya Buddha in this one - and there was one guy who said he was Maitreya and went nuts after taking too much LSD.

This so-called "Zen Master" named Rama had a whole long nutty resume of his past lives as various great gurus of the past. He taught meditation where his many hundreds of disciple would stare at him and they would see him transform into various gurus and gods - and he would lead his students into these altered states in the desert - where they would all see various visions and he would point to stars and galaxies in the night sky and he would say he was moving them with his mind and hands and indeed they saw the galaxies move. Guess what? It didn't really happen. Galaxies and stars millions of light years from earth were not actually being moved around by this megalomaniac in the Mohave Desert. Now, what we do know is that many of his gullible devotees saw the stars move. What this proves is that our minds can be manipulated, tricked, deluded - by ourselves and others. We can see things that are not there. We can not see things that are there. We can get lost in imagination, hopeful thinking, religious mania, group delusion and even hallucination. We can see gods and hear voices and believe all kinds of impossible things before breakfast. We can be overwhelmed by intense feelings and "energy" and experience all kinds of altered states - and we think -- well, it is so strong, so powerful, so special, it must be REAL. It must be GOD. It must be good. It must be true. I am special. We are special. These are signs. I am protected, connected, divine.

Rama later committed suicide, by drowning himself in the river with his dogs. Killing yourself and murdering your dogs -- i think we can agree that this is not exactly enlightened behavior? Who are we to judge? Well, I judge. Rama's teaching / behavior was not beneficial or worthwhile. And when i counseled his former disciples, all this exotic mystical stuff left them feeling abused, confused, more enchanted, less awake, essentially mind raped. I saw hundreds of people from many groups who were mind raped.

Kennett's lotus stuff was in the same category as to what happened to many gurus and organizations and there are no doubt hundreds / thousands of other stories like this. There is nothing special or beneficial about grandiosity and religious mania. She lost her way, and i do agree with what some have said on this site, that what made it far more damaging was that she demanded that everyone follow her and join her in this descent.
Back to top Go down
Ol'ga

avatar

Posts : 258
Join date : 2011-03-22
Age : 71
Location : Toronto

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Wed May 18, 2011 7:31 pm

Howard wrote:
I'm not sure I've ever spotted one of my own agendas not saying
"Shotgun" whenever my ego drove up.


Howard, my fellow Canuck,
Who shoots down the ego? Who are you? Who is the ego?

I think we're off topic, and Lise will shoot us down!
Ol'ga
Back to top Go down
Jcbaran

avatar

Posts : 1614
Join date : 2010-11-13
Age : 67
Location : New York, NY

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Wed May 18, 2011 7:57 pm

One more point, I think Isan is totally right in his conclusion about what is important now, going forward for this organization. It is much more about authority and power and blind obedience. It probably doesn't matter much about Eko and Jesus and Jiyu and her hallucinations.

But one issue - this LORD OF THE HOUSE theology. That does matter going forward. This Church of Kennett / Anglican Zen / monotheism that came directly out of her lotus period - isn't that alive and well? Are they still talking to the Lord of the House and asking his advice?
Back to top Go down
Howard

avatar

Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-06-27
Age : 63
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Wed May 18, 2011 8:12 pm

Hey Ol'ga


Speaking of off topic, I think that cute buddy of yours in the photo is saying come on in, the waters fine.

The term "shotgun" is usually shouted out to claim the front seat (imagine kids saying "dibs" for who gets to sit up front in the car). No shooting is needed.

Ego's definition is always moving around but at this moment I'd say that
Ego is just another word for that inertia of adversarial attitude that fosters the illusion of a seperate self. Most days I'd probably just shorten that to a burp but texting is sooo restrictive. Any word that you'd prefer is fine but the description usually means little unless the word "you or Me" gets dropped.

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

avatar

Posts : 80
Join date : 2010-11-21
Location : uk

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Wed May 18, 2011 8:15 pm

Olga.
Not wishing to unleash a torrent of complexity which maybe difficult for me to grasp. But have I got zen all wrong. In my view meditation is about letting go, which happens through physical or psychological pressure, external and internal, and as things fall away studying / becoming aware of what lies beneath as an on going process opens up. And is not comparable to the learning of maths and english. Internal life has its own stresses which can be increased by external pressure even though that maybe someone elses delusional teaching, it will still stack up and create the envirement of letting go.Not that I have ever been sure of what I have let go of.

Pleasure has never forced me into a corner and made me let go,but the pain and suffering of life have and still do.I am not advocating cruel or delusional teaching as good, because very obviously it does do great harm. But all we ever learn from pleasure is more of it please.I do agree kindness and warmth in a group sitting enviroment is essential, to keep us hacking away, but not sure what we learn from it. Maybe trust. Yes trust.
Back to top Go down
Ol'ga

avatar

Posts : 258
Join date : 2011-03-22
Age : 71
Location : Toronto

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Wed May 18, 2011 10:16 pm

John wrote:
But have I got zen all wrong.

No, John, I don't think you got Zen wrong. It's just that I am not a Zen Buddhist, you see.
It's true that discovering this 'stuff' is not necessarily like learning maths but there are similarities. What I was saying, though, is that being relaxed, unguarded, is essential for discovering who we are.

Still, I think I am trying to start a discussion which is outside of Zen - it questions Zen. And that may not be fair. It's only that I can't quite hold myself back because I see a lot of suffering here, quite wasteful, unnecessary. I don't think the treatment we got at the hands of Roshi (e.g. treatment of Josh when he was very ill - nobody knew what was wrong but it looked bad - in 1974, before any of the Jesus/Boddh. stuff took place) is that unusual. If you allow people being treated in unaccountable harsh ways in the name of pushing them towards enlightenment, there are then no constraints, no safeguards. The whole methodology seems completely suspect to me.
Luv,
Ol'ga
Back to top Go down
ddolmar

avatar

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

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Wed May 18, 2011 11:54 pm

Hi John--I would smarmily suggest that learning only from pain and suffering may not be the middle path.

The stuff that hurts may be the inducement that people usually require to get training, already.

But--and I'm the last person who should attempt to out-Zen anyone here (really)--one thing you can definitely learn from pleasure is that it's great and then it's gone. That cheesecake was tasty, but now I've finished my slice and there isn't time or money or waistline enough for another. The brain's happy reward molecules (fat! sugar! mmmmm!) have completed their cascade, and now I have to find a way to abide until the next time.

And this is pleasure's mirror image: pain sucks, and then it's gone. (Insert painful experience here)

If your teacher is trying to illustrate the transience of pain, or your apparent difficulty in dealing with small amounts of it so that you can watch your own mind more closely while it occurs, then that sounds like teaching.

If on the other hand, your teacher is trying to convince you to train harder by making you miserable, then maybe he is not understanding that you have already had enough of the push-pull that you have come looking for instruction. By that time, it seems to me you've probably already realized the first and second noble truths, at some level, on your own: "I've had it with feeling awful. There ought to be a better way to handle stuff." Why does he need to convince you further? Why not focus on Noble Truths three and four?

My two cents, unsolicited. Hammer away, folks!

Meanwhile things will change, yet again, breath after breath. (Oh I can't even have that breath back again? Darn it!)
Back to top Go down
Ol'ga

avatar

Posts : 258
Join date : 2011-03-22
Age : 71
Location : Toronto

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Wed May 18, 2011 11:59 pm

Hi Howard,
I wrote you a brilliant reply but as I was editing it my computer crashed. And then they say that there are no supernatural forces! (Just kidding).
So I'll write something else and hope that the forces'll let me slip it through.
My questions (who are you etc) were meant to throw you the gauntlet. Does the word 'I' have to be dropped? Does the separate you=Howard, have to be gone? What will remain?

Mind you, I am not a Buddhist. I am trying to find out what my practicing Buddhist friends take to be true.
This really requires a new thread...and I am strangely reluctant to start it. I guess I fear rejection; I have my own baggage, and some situations tend to bring back memories which I'd rather let 'sleep'.
My avatar is a picture I found on the Internet years ago. It was entitled "Bearly out of water". It depects my true me! And I was getting too hot in that hat, so I switched.
Luv, Ol'ga


Last edited by Ol'ga on Thu May 19, 2011 12:17 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Ol'ga

avatar

Posts : 258
Join date : 2011-03-22
Age : 71
Location : Toronto

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Thu May 19, 2011 12:14 am

Hi Dan,
I won't quote your whole post - it was great. And funny, God bless you. (Being funny earns many merit points, since it brings so much happiness, a whole bunch of mini-kenshos!)
To come to a monastery, shave one's head, give up all the fun the outside world provides already means that one has had enough suffering, and earnestly started looking for help.
As I understand it, further pushing (and very disorienting pushing, hurting without any explanation or resolution) seems to have been employed to drive one to an impasse so that kensho would happen. And I question that. It may produce various kinds of experiences; and being driven to one's limits is often useful - one discovers one's hidden strengths. But I would dare to claim that it doesn't reveal one's true nature. That is why I doubt the whole teaching methodology of Zen.
Ol'ga
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Thu May 19, 2011 1:10 am

Yes Josh a very clear account of how groups can be manipulated and fooled,for someone elses benefit


Back to top Go down
Howard

avatar

Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-06-27
Age : 63
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Thu May 19, 2011 4:16 am

Hi Ol'ga
It's getting too late for me to be very clear and your avatar seems to be thinking that I'd be much more useful in her stomach than prancing about on the shore. Wow, maybe she is the perfect vehicle for getting to the other shore but who would have to drop who when arriving. The truth is in the droppings.

More seriously...
The illusion is that there is something to be dropped. Word plays just pander to holding on to that illusion. The path, or zafu pays little attention to empire building.
Experiencing a larger commonality is enough for me.
Maybe zen lets this lazy mind be just that with stories of no-mind.
and
I hope that your fear of rejection, the baggage and the snoring memories can find a easy spot to rest on this forum. That would be a teaching worthy of sharing.

cheers again.
Back to top Go down
http://hrmitchell54@yahoo.com
john

avatar

Posts : 80
Join date : 2010-11-21
Location : uk

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Thu May 19, 2011 4:56 am

Dan said
if on the other hand your teacher is trying to convince you to train harder by making you miserable.

I have never experienced that, and feel for those that have. I certainly wouldnt want my misery compounded.

I get gently pointed back to this moment, and to know there is something steady within, and to trust that we can handle all that life unfolds,the unfolding of which we have little control.

And Olga,I agree handing over our autominmy to someone we believe knows better or something more than us can leave us open and dangerously vunerable and open to exploitation, thanks to this forum I am accutly aware of that, thank you guys. But I firmly believe zazen/meditation/ awareness practice, opens the human heart and brings out the goodness in us all, enlightenment to oneside, whatever that is. john
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Thu May 19, 2011 9:25 am

Nice one John I believe that too.
Back to top Go down
Ol'ga

avatar

Posts : 258
Join date : 2011-03-22
Age : 71
Location : Toronto

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Thu May 19, 2011 3:06 pm

Hi Howard,
You use the word 'illusion' (as in illusion of separate self). I think a more accurate word would be error. I'm not being picky.
When I was studying Zen I was very bothered by a question that no one seemed to be able to answer. The 'awaken one' (buddha means that, of course) was portrayed as someone beyond dualism. Then my question was, does he remember what was before, is he aware of the contrast of before and after? Awakening belongs to the world of dualism, obviously. Then how did he leave dualism behind, if dualism is an illusion.
The simile of waking is very tricky, and should not be taken too literally. Before waking there had been a dream (and deep sleep), which took its material from previous waking. So here the simile doesn't work.
But it also doesn't work in another sense. A dream is indeed an illusion of sorts - it's one's private creation.
Duality is not. Duality is not an illusion. It is only erroneous to think that that is all there is.
One's separateness is also not an illusion. My body is to a definite degree separate from the world (not entirely, as there is constant exchange of various substances, etc), and so is my mind. There is a certain separation between you and me - that's why we talk - and communicate on this forum for example. Duality can't hurt you, nor can samsara. Even thinking that duality is the ultimate fact cannot hurt you in fact. But the error may cause you suffering.
It is, however, very helpful to know what is what, to know directly the one that is the weft and warp of all there is, including you. And because it is indivisible, you are it. It is a big thing to come to know. And, lucky for us, to know ourselves is identical to knowing the one.

To just respond to one point in your today's post to Geoffrey. Experiences fade. Knowledge doesn't. Being a monk may bring beautiful, profound experiences. Knowledge comes from teaching.
Luv,
Ol'ga
P.S. Your comments on the Bear were hilarious. They are keepers for sure.


Last edited by Ol'ga on Thu May 19, 2011 3:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Ol'ga

avatar

Posts : 258
Join date : 2011-03-22
Age : 71
Location : Toronto

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Thu May 19, 2011 3:27 pm

John and Mike,
I do not put down zazen, never. Being quiet with oneself is of great value, and some form of meditation is essential for life, for enjoying life, for discovery, and for what is called 'spiritual practice'. (I don't call it that because I do not contrast spiritual and mundane. It's all life and it's beautiful!)
But I believe that one needs to be taught. Sometimes, rarely, one may pick up knowledge from a little remark. It is also possible that the import of it may come to you later (as laughing at a joke you heard, the next morning in the shower). But I believe that zazen by itself, without teaching, does not deliver the goods (freedom, knowledge). How did Buddha get it then under the Boddhi tree? Well, we don't know what teaching he came into contact with in India, overrun with seekers. So it's impossible to know.
In Zen one often hears how truth is beyond mind. Well, if Zen really says that, then Zen is wrong.
I once mentioned that Zen suffers from too much mystery and mysticism. Mark suggested that it is because of the koans. Koans are, of course, overused by some Zen Buddhists, as some fancy fashionable pronouncements. But I was taught by Roshi that koan arises in everyday life, and that is true and beautiful. So I have no quarrel with koans. The mystery that does cause problems, IMV, is the 'spiritual' experience, kensho, whatever; Zen being beyond mind; and some terminology, which I won't go into, as I am not that well versed in it after all those years.

Sorry to be so long-winded. I principally wanted to say that I understand that it would be very wrong of me to trample on anything that may be sacred to you or anyone. If I do that, I am deeply sorry. It causes very nasty pain; and I don't presume to be a surgeon who causes pain 'for higher good'.

So peace, yes?
Much love,
Ol'ga
Back to top Go down
bellclaire



Posts : 32
Join date : 2011-05-07

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Thu May 19, 2011 5:52 pm

Hi Everyone
I'm responding to Olga's post although I don't think I'm entirely on the topic of this thread.
I'll try to bring it around to it.

There have been many times when I've been taught simply while sitting in zazen; sometimes when I get myself and everything else out of the way and I just sit, I will come to an understanding about something I had been trying to figure out for ages. One eg. of this is one time I came to a realization that God, the Buddha mind, The Eternal, The Great Spirit, whatever you call it in your inner language, is everywhere: in the air we breath, under our feet when we walk, in the rocks and ocean waves, in the animals and in human beings too. I'm sure anyone who has practised zazen for a period of time gets various insights while they are sitting. This is a joyous insight. Not all are feel good insights, some show me where I'm making mistakes and where change is needed.

Of course I don't realize insights every moment of every day! No, I have to maintain my spiritual
insights like a garden, regular weeding, feeding, watering and sun. Or if you prefer like keeping a house clean, always needing to sweep again the next day. I know it's the same for others.

I often end up with a tangled garden and a very dusty, and even dirty, (God Forbid! ) house.
Sometimes it looks so hopeless that I temporarily give up and inhabit a dirty house, a fragmented, blurry spiritual life. I always become weary of living this way and I begin to clean up again. This more or less describes the last couple decades of my life. ( I'm a lay Buddhist)

I have no shortage of insights which can happen when I'm walking my dog with a meditative state of mind, silent, perceptive, peaceful. The difficult part is applying these insights to daily life. Buddhism has shown me how to do this and I'm grateful to our local Priory, priest, lay ministers, and lay Buddhists, the Sangha in the past for helping me so profoundly!

Now that my Priory moved away to Lytton B.C., I feel as if my experience of the Sangha here has been broken. This raises questions in me. What is the Sangha? What part does emotion play in our perception of what is the Sangha? I have had three major surgeries over the past 3 yrs. and I have not felt connected to my old Priory Sangha at all. Actually, I feel as if I could drop dead and none would much care, excluding maybe 2 people who left the Priory before the Priory moved to Lytton. I sound like I'm complaining. Well, I guess I am. I think I have not understood properly what the Sangha is. With all this disruption and scandelous behavior at Shasta Abbey, by individual priests and the monks who helped perpetuate delusions, my sense of a Sangha is futher damaged. I don't say "I take refuse in the Sangha" anymore because my sense of the Sangha is now so abstract that I can't hold it in my mind at all!

I'm even questioning whether I should call myself a Buddhist. I don't want to place divisions btwn. myself and other people who are not Buddhists, who are not any religion or have another religion. On the hospital form I last had to fill out before surgery, it asked "Religion" and I put in the word, "Various". Sometimes I deeply feel John Lennon's song, "Imagine".

On this forum I will call myself Buddhist but I want to be honest about it and let you know there are holes in my Buddhism, specifically the Sangha is missing. Still I go about in tattered
thoughts and do my best to remain positive, to not despair but walk on even when it's dark and I can't see a thing, I walk in faith that there is light, life ahead.

Not to worry about me; it's not always so dark in my life. On the contrary there are lots of days when the light pours in and I'm grateful and even happy! I think this post belongs under this subject matter because for me, Shasta Abbey trained the monk who taught me so it is they who I took to be the Sangha for me. With all that's happened, including the move of my local priory and the events in my own life, the Sangha seems for me to be dissolved.

It would be wonderful if S.A. would undergo a true sweeping up, a cleaning, getting rid of cob-webs
and debris from the past and re-emerge as an energized organization devoted to seeking the truth which sets us free and teaches us our true nature.

Thank you to all who post here. Bows, Claire
Back to top Go down
Ol'ga

avatar

Posts : 258
Join date : 2011-03-22
Age : 71
Location : Toronto

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Thu May 19, 2011 6:35 pm

Thank you, Claire, for your post.
Yes, I agree we get insights in zazen. We get them when hiking in the mountains, and other places and situations. They are precious. They do change us, at least for a while - can be a long while. But, in my experience, at least, they fade. And somehow they don't tell me where I am in all that. I heard my teacher say that a sense of oneness is very common in many traditions...but, commonly, we quietly leave ourselves out of it.
I can't know if everyone needs a teacher; and, as I said, we don't know if anyone came to an understanding all on their own, since we live surrounded by other people, nurtured by a lot of wisdom around us, all over the place.
In my case, thick-headed as I am, I definitely need a teacher who unlocks the question of who I am. It works for me, and even though I had all kinds of inkling about it before, and intuitively sensed a lot of it before, his teaching was essential for me. It is certainly because I did have some insights about oneness before, that his teaching 'hit the spot'. But I don't think that my insights were unusual at all. Most people sense the oneness on various occasions...and later find themselves wanting again.

I would also like to say, that whatever tangled thoughts there are in my head, they are still 'part' of the whole, that oneness, because nothing is away from it. Having a moderately tidy mind is good, having a peaceful mind is good. But tidy and peaceful mind is not necessarily a knowing mind.

The big question for me (and, most likely others, in the final analysis), is who am I. And 'answer' to that I would not have discovered on my own, I don't think. To see it clearly, as the palm of my hand (so the saying goes), is a blessing. It takes a while for all that to sink in, and meditation is great for that (not necessarily on a zafu, though). To me, however, the teaching is primary, throughout.

Luv,
Ol'ga
Back to top Go down
ddolmar

avatar

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

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Thu May 19, 2011 6:36 pm

Well said, John, and point taken. Glad that your teachers have been better than the low (hypothetical) example that I gave. My scant experience with SA's teachers have been positive as well.

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

Ol'ga I like your question about the Buddha's memories of his life prior to awakening. It's fun to combine Buddhist teachings that don't seem to join up well. "Master, how do you decide what is skillful means without using discriminative thought?"

Maybe if others are interested in playing along, we could break off that topic, "Contradictions in Buddhism," as a new thread.

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

Bellclaire, FWIW, I think the identity of "Buddhist" diminishes the universality of mindfulness, and in the end it's one more thing that needlessly separates us from the rest of humanity. I like a lot of Sam Harris's viewpoint on this topic, here: http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/killing-the-buddha/. (Folks should be warned: Sam really has it in for Abrahamic religions.)
Back to top Go down
Howard

avatar

Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-06-27
Age : 63
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Thu May 19, 2011 6:44 pm

Hey Ol'ga
Experiences fade, knowledge doesn't.

Just shows you've never looked in my head.
OK,I can see that doing push ups with one's brain might make one want to believe that knowledge doesn't fade but.....

Now where was I, oh yes, I think the "Assessment by FaithTrust" thread has been unfairly buried and this would be a perfect time to start your new "Bear nibbles" thread.
Back to top Go down
http://hrmitchell54@yahoo.com
john

avatar

Posts : 80
Join date : 2010-11-21
Location : uk

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Thu May 19, 2011 7:43 pm

Hi Olga ,
If you are apologizing for your opinion , no need.
To me words are just words, if they are helpful then good if not then never mind, I get over it.
I am half way through reading Les Miserables,a story of injustace, suffering, cruelty, pain, insight, transformation and love for others.There is teaching in it for me that is helpful, and it is a good read if you can be paitent with the digression .My own teacher has taught me more, not by anything that she has said so much, but by my observing her example.Teaching is all around us when we have the eyes to see,
why not use everything and everybody to deepen our understanding.
I must say I havent arrived at who I am yet, hope its not like waiting for a bus.
Its late sorry.must go to bed.

What do you mean the teaching is primary. What teaching.
Back to top Go down
Howard

avatar

Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-06-27
Age : 63
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Thu May 19, 2011 10:04 pm

Hey Claire

Words of a Buddhist heretic.

The Sangha can be those that respect the Dharma. The Dharma can be whatever illuminates your path. The Buddha can be...You.

Those refuges only require a wide mind and heart.

Expectations of having them be something more than is just another word for suffering.

Cheers all

PS Perhaps if we wish to respect the posting designation of this FaithTrust thread we could ask lise or Isan to move the posts that don't apply to it to their own thread.
Back to top Go down
http://hrmitchell54@yahoo.com
breljo

avatar

Posts : 217
Join date : 2010-12-03

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Thu May 19, 2011 10:45 pm

As usual, Howard, well said, the Three Refuges have a much broader, wider application, not confined to Buddhism alone, they intermingle, interweave, interact, they are universal, always have been, always will be. I don't think that's heretic.
Back to top Go down
Ol'ga

avatar

Posts : 258
Join date : 2011-03-22
Age : 71
Location : Toronto

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Fri May 20, 2011 12:05 am

Yes, Howard, this thread has been ripe for splitting for a good while. If you trace it back, you can see that it is still a true thread, though. It naturally evolved. It seems to have got rather interesting, though, at least to me. It is not so much that the original topic got burried - it has its heading. What could get burried, however, is the subsequent discussion.
I think Lise & co. know when to split.
O.
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Fri May 20, 2011 1:05 am

Olga I do not go with
One needs to be taught
and John I do go with
What teaching
and Bell claire it may be quite a good thing that your priory has moved away,not from the basis that there was something wrong with it but it sounds like it has made you ask some relevant and perinent questions.....I hope you find the answers
Back to top Go down
Ol'ga

avatar

Posts : 258
Join date : 2011-03-22
Age : 71
Location : Toronto

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Fri May 20, 2011 1:08 am

John wrote:
What do you mean the teaching is primary. What teaching

My original quote John responded to was:
To me, however, the teaching is primary, throughout.

I do feel I am an interlopper here sometimes. I am not quite sure if my giving my comments, my views if you will, on this forum, is quite right. My background is different, even though I was once a Zen Buddhist monk, very dedicated, ordained and transmitted by Kennett Roshi, but I took a different tack after I left Shasta.
Why I am writing here, and rather forcefully, is, because I have a strong feeling that people, myself included, were hurt in Shasta, not only because Roshi went kind of gaga, but because there is a certain endemic problem in Zen teaching methodology. So, perhaps, I can say this one more thing, and if it is deemed necessary by you, friends, forever (or for a while, ha ha!) hold my peace.
So this one more thing is the following. In Zen there is a rich lore of people's enlightenment experiences. Good part of literature, that drew many of us to Buddhism, are stories of people getting enlightened. They are generally in a rather anecdotal form. In my experience, these stories were worse than useless. They were misleading. Please understand that I am describing my own experience. The fact that I believe that this is possibly common, is not necessarily wrong. I may be right, you see.
Because of this rich diet of Zen stories I came to expect an enlightenment experience, while having a certain preconceived ideas about it. It is pretty hard to avoid something like this happening. Roshi herself stressed kenshos very much. We talked about it elsewhere. But human mind is a bit of a black box - things happen when they do, and they happen in the way they want to. (In my experience virtually nothing ever pans out as I expected it.) That's all you can say about its (mind's) workings. When learning something new, one needs to have a fresh mind. Can you see how hearing about others' experiences hampers one?
The other way that the stories were misleading is, that they made me believe that enlightenment happens in a flash...and then you're enlightened, end of story. And also, that such an experience is possibly just around the corner...could happen any time...you could miss it in a blink of an eye...

Now, finally to your question, John. In my background, the truth is seen, and it really IS seen, quite unquessionably, as the teacher unfolds it. (I won't define the 'truth', but can attempt to do it elsewhere; or maybe not. At any rate, it is that which gave me freedom, to the degree that I grasped and assimilated it). There are different "adepts" at seeing the truth. Some are slow, like me. There are some, who really see it quickly, and assimilate it quickly. It's rare, though. (They are called uttama adhikari in Sanskrit). It takes a long time to let the new understanding percolate, so to speak, through one's mind, through one's attitudes, through one's psychology, history, one's life, all that, in a word, mature. I call that meditation, whether it is on a zafu or not. Why I say that the teaching is primary is, because I - and all the others that I know in the tradition I study in, saw the truth through the teaching, through words skillfully wielded by the teacher who knows what he's talking about. (I know he knows because I see the result of his teaching in my own head.)

I am not into comparative religion. This is not an academic study for me, as, I'm sure, it is not for you, John, or most, by far most, contributors on this forum. We are serious. I respect your seriousness, your sincerity, your quest. So I must repeat, that if I disturb you, or anyone, with my forceful writings, I am sorry. I really do not wish to disturb anyone.

Luv,
Ol'ga
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Fri May 20, 2011 2:15 am

Interesting your comments on kensho and Shatsta and kennett roshi. I had dinner with Mark a couple of evenings ago,at our beach bar.having a couple of beers,talking about the website here, and how things were ,with this great thing of hindsight we could all have done things very differently, said different things and reacted differently.i think whislt there are good aspects of religious communities,there is alot to be learnt from taking breaks from them,and seeing what other people say.
Chance meetings, having a cold beer by the beach, discussing ones practice and watching the sun, can sometimes be more helpful than struggling in a darkened room trying to experience kensho. And by the way I did not recognise you without your hat on
Back to top Go down
Howard

avatar

Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-06-27
Age : 63
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Fri May 20, 2011 3:38 am

Hello Ol'ga

I wonder what happens if I poke a water bear with a short stick.

About your interloping and different views. Thank you!

Without interlopers inbreeding abounds. The OBC connect would start to look like the other organization that you left 37 YEARS AGO . I appreciate your posts even though you seem to be trying to validate the choices you made in changing paths by questioning those who have chosen to stay. Your efforts to help those who have been needlessly hurt is tempered by an approach which is more than forceful. It comes with the evangelical zeal of a reformed Buddhist who has found another path and teacher that represents the truth, the light and the way for you.

I don't think this has anything to do with Buddhism which is just fine. People that find themselves through a tea ceremony should express this truth through the vehicle that brought them that understanding. The same applies to devotional practise, meditation, master/disciple relationships, dharma study, and on & on.

Those Zen stories on enlightenment represented an immaturity that matched our own a long time ago. Most of that has rightfully fallen to the wayside in the intervening years as those young zen teachers across North America have matured with us. People selling their own zen book remain the exception to no ones surprise. Worst than useless, perhaps, but it's been yesterdays news for a long time.

In Shasta's defence(now why am I here again?) the teachings I received about religious experiences were very specific about leaving it alone, allowing it it's own birth/life & death, not to feed it, not to try and hold onto it, not to identify with it, in other words I think they gave every practical teaching under the sun about it. They just as strongly taught that the practise itself brought one closely enough into harmony with a potential religious experience to be nearly indistinguishable from it.

That people entered into practise to acquire a Kensho was simply a reflection of that students greed that they choose over the prevailing teachings at Shasta.

If Jiyu did hang out the kensho carrot it was a long time ago and must of been just for the monks. If you want to help the needlessly hurt, I doubt that attempted conversions to your school will be anymore effective at doing that than foolish kensho sales was for Zen in its North American infancy.

I believe that the real tranmission of dialogue is the intent, with the content just tagging along for the ride.

But with that all said, if you held your peace, it would definitely be our loss.

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

avatar

Posts : 80
Join date : 2010-11-21
Location : uk

PostSubject: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen . . . and more   Fri May 20, 2011 6:31 am

I also think its good to have interlopers as it helps with our complacency.

I am currently visiting a unitarian church which is fun, plenty of hyms,and members are allowed to get up to the lecturn and give there own take on existence / goodness as they see it, no repression. People just trying to find there way with the freedom of relgious views. What I learn from it is, it makes me realise everybody needs to find there own truth or way, and as you point to Olga, in a relaxed and unthreatning enviroment.

If and when the time comes and the shoes get to tight and just dont fit any more, just walk on without any, and feel the sand between our toes, or maybe the sharp pebbles, who knows. But always going on.Once this inquiry into our existence / nature/ making sense of things, is started it can never be truly be put down, just rambling now. much love, john
Back to top Go down
Howard

avatar

Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-06-27
Age : 63
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Fri May 20, 2011 1:07 pm

Hey Ol'ga..... More bear kibbles
You use the word 'illusion' (as in illusion of separate self). I think a more accurate word would be error.

The substance and manifestation of my ego is often experienced as a distortion of my senses of the truth. This fits my definition of illusion. The degree that this is shared by everyone I meet makes the distortion feel normal and so discerning that distortion requires some objectivity between what is taken for granted as truth and the truth that can stand on it's own, free of our investments & manipulations.

Meditation has been my vehicle for doing this.

Choosing the word error over illusion is not wrong but it does bring judgement into an equation that is hindered by our own identification to it. When experiencing life as a simple binary experience of billions of yes/no questions, the distortion of ones senses of the truth is aggravated by identity investments. One can choose at each question to stop and note the error or you can let go of the identity so that each question is little more than the answer flying by. Zen for me is being the path which today is an unhindered flow of possibilities flying by. One of those possibilities as I write is probably dipping it's toe in a water bear's pool.

PS -Ol'ga, you once wrote about catching some flak from hubby about your late night "puter" time. In my home it's "When are you going to be finished playing with your imaginary friends".

PPS Hi Lise
Thanks for the new digs. These feel so much more...Haight Ashbury without that FaithTrust (Man) poping in & out..

Cheers


Last edited by Howard on Fri May 20, 2011 3:13 pm; edited 4 times in total
Back to top Go down
http://hrmitchell54@yahoo.com
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Fri May 20, 2011 2:35 pm

I certainly seem to have 2 minds at the moment as i reply here to what Dan said last ( I think)
ithink at the various stages of people leaving Shasta,that quite reasonably we left for different reasons.there was a point that it did not gel,or seem quite right,or simply felt very wrong.
For me it was with Eko being Jesus in a past life, For me it was a point I had no wish to continue,mark has too speak for him self but i would say it was by and large the same. I do not think that it would be strictly fair to say that these were the only issues,there were other less pronounced aspects which were tolerable, but when the cookie crumbledthey seemed to reinforce the belief that for me it was over,I wanted to sit zazen and did ,but did not want the side shows.

Josh mention he felt the issue oflord of the house was an important aspect going forward. this for me was a non starter, I was not into it,I was surprised that it became a part of the practice. Is it still being practiced? I last heard that the visions were, in North Cascades I believe, and there were now doing joint visions, maybe they were way back too for me it is all weird stuff
Back to top Go down
Ol'ga

avatar

Posts : 258
Join date : 2011-03-22
Age : 71
Location : Toronto

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Fri May 20, 2011 3:54 pm

Hi Howard,
Quote:
I wonder what happens if I poke a water bear with a short stick.

Well, the Bear, with some dismay in her eyes, went to sit in a field full of daisies, but now she's pricking her ears, and even though she doesn't eat human flesh and so you're safe, she is ready to fight back.
You said,
Your efforts to help those who have been needlessly hurt is tempered by
an approach which is more than forceful. It comes with
the evangelical zeal of a reformed Buddhist who has found another path
and teacher that represents the truth, the light and the way for you.

Well, that cuts deep. I went over some of my posts. I don't want this to sound as some apology. Maybe it's a defence.
I discovered this forum googling Gensho, my old friend. I found a bunch of my other friends (Kozan, Josh, Mark, Isan, Kyozan), and made some new ones. I don't have any Vedantin community here. I'm perhaps somewhat lonely and thirsty for a debate on some topics central to me.
Unlike most, or possibly all, contributors on this forum, I question some basic tenets of Buddhism, as I know it (possibly erroneously), and particularly, I question usefulness of some Zen teaching methods, again as I know them.
I am not into trying to convert anyone. That's what evangelists do. I did discover certain 'insights', or a certain view of the world and our existence in it, and found them helpful. I bring them into discussions here. It is possible that others are not interested in them. If so, then that's a pity because this kind of debate could be fruitful. Still, I think there is some room for my non-Buddhist contributions.
That I make my points forcefully, is a fact. You say my approach is more than forceful. Well, that's a pity you find it so. I don't like wishy-washiness, what can I do. Still, many of us have strong feelings here. In Shasta and elsewhere, we went through something that was not trivial, you see. My posts are not simply justifications for my leaving. I don't seem to have that hang-up much. If I find my view to be wrong, I easily switch. I have seen enough death around me to know, in my bones, that life is short, and clinging to some views because I can't abide being proven wrong is such a waste of life - wonderful life.
I wrote in my previous post that I do not wish to hurt anyone. We all have our beliefs, and we have to respect that. Having one's beliefs attacked can be painful, or at least uncomfortable. So I try not to do that. I am aware that my posts may challenge some people's beliefs. I think that that is OK, until I am told to back off.
About kensho. I don't think it's a kind of vieux jeu in present-day Zen. But even if it were, should I be muzzled because I was in Shasta those umpteen years ago? Aren't we discussing Kennett Roshi and her legacy here? Look what Isan, who knows a lot, wrote:


The
core of RMJK's teaching was intentionally wounding the self in order to
move the student to the place of no-self.
(

Subject: Re: After the Conclave: First Steps
Fri
Oct 22, 2010 9:43 am
)
There has been some substantial discussion here about kenshos. Some people mention they've had them. They mean a lot in Zen.
I like debating. I might even be showing off a bit, too. Et alors, and so? Aren't you? I like my mind, and enjoy seeing other minds at work.
Finally, I am not sure if I am here trying to save others from similar suffering I went through. We all have our lives to live. It would be presumptuous for me to try to shelter others here. I know I am rubbing only part of the elephant. But we share this world, common language, and basically common life experience. It's nice to talk to one another.
Ol'ga
Back to top Go down
Ol'ga

avatar

Posts : 258
Join date : 2011-03-22
Age : 71
Location : Toronto

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Fri May 20, 2011 4:02 pm

John,
Thank you so very much for your post of Today at 5:31 am. It gave comfort to my wrinkled heart.
Unfortunately I have to run now. Life is not a bowl of cherries as the Bard said, he he.
Much love,
Ol'ga
Back to top Go down
Lise
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1416
Join date : 2009-11-08
Age : 43

PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   Fri May 20, 2011 7:49 pm

Howard wrote:
PPS Hi Lise
Thanks for the new digs. These feel so much more...Haight Ashbury without that FaithTrust (Man) poping in & out..

"Poping", is that sort of like "pontificating" funny I like it (and no, I'm not going to fix your spelling for the bazillionth time, so don't ask)

Haight Ashbury? Suspect I'm with Eric Cartman on that hippie stuff.

Ok, seriously. This is a great thread, I've followed most of it (some of it is over my head) and been generally in agreement except for the item about needing to be taught -- I don't think so, for me anyway, if this means "needing to be taught by one who claims to teach". I'd rather cut out the middleman (or woman) and think/see/experience whatever-it-is all by myself. Hermit crab, scuttling up and down the beach, dodging some waves, floating on others. Don't need no other crabs for that Razz
Back to top Go down
http://obcconnect.forumotion.net
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more   

Back to top Go down
 
Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 2Go to page : 1, 2  Next
 Similar topics
-
» Teachers, visions, past lives, Zen methods . . . and more
» Familier Spirits And Past Lives
» Do you know of your past lives?
» Past Life Memories
» Healing Past Life Wounds

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
OBC Connect :: OBC Connect :: In Theory and Practice-
Jump to: