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 Questions about North Cascades

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mokuan



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PostSubject: Questions about North Cascades   Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:13 pm

[Admin note: The following posts were split from the thread titled Rev Kinzan under Keeping In Touch, in order to keep that thread on topic. Let's try to keep the topics separated going forward. Although the system shows Mokuan as the “author”, this thread was created by an admin for topic administration reasons.]


Hi Jim,

I just sent an e-mail to an old friend and former OBC monk who may know Kinzan's wherabouts. I would love to know where she is, too.

I do know that Kinzan went back to school and obtained her Ph.D., and she may be teaching. If I hear anything, I'll let you know.

******

Like Isan, I'm curious about the split between Koshin and the OBC. Isn't it the usual practice when events of this magnitutde happen there is a statement made by both parties invloved clarifying their particular points of view? To me that would seem to be important information for anyone involved with the OBC or North Cascades or anyone interested in becoming involved.

I've checked on North Cascades' website and there's no statement whatsoever. Do you ever get the sense that Koshin wants to keep his community shrouded in secrecy? And if that's the case, do you know why? And do you personally think that's healthy?

Just curious.
Thanks,
mokuan
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Serend



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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:59 pm

Mokuan, thanks so very much for the lead on Kinzan/Linda Learman. I'll try to track her down and send her my thanks for being an important role model in my early days of practice.

I don't know what is "usual" in matters like this (my experience is very limited here). "Shrouded in secrecy" has an ominous ring to it, which is at odds with my experience of RM Koshin's behavior and teaching. Yes, the temple does keep a low profile, which is consistent with his objective of providing a very quiet refuge for contemplative Buddhist practice, and a venue for extended retreats for monks and lay people who want to deepen their training.

Conflicts and difficulties that arise as a result of monastic training are difficult to assess for those of us outside the relationship between master and disciple. I know that Amalia's postulancy/novice training was difficult for all concerned, and I have no need to judge it in any way. I appreciate that RMK respects the privacy of those involved.

With bows,
Jim
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Serend



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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:45 am

Isan, I don't know very much about the circumstances surrounding Amalia's departure from NCBP. If she has talked about it here, then you know more about the difficulties she experienced than I do. I'll ask you to contact RM Koshin if you want to know more about that.

With bows,
Jim
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Isan
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PostSubject: Questions about North Cascades   Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:23 am

Serend wrote:
Isan, I don't know very much about the circumstances surrounding Amalia's departure from NCBP. If she has talked about it here, then you know more about the difficulties she experienced than I do. I'll ask you to contact RM Koshin if you want to know more about that.

With bows,
Jim

Jim, that's fair enough - if you don't know then you can't comment.
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Carol

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:41 pm

I have been quiet for a while but have been following the conversation. Now that the topic has turned to NCBP, I have to speak up again!
Amalia has removed the website in which she related in excruciating detail what happened to her at NCBP. On that same site, I wrote my observations about the ordeal she experienced there and generally what has gone on at NCBP over the last few years. There are links to this site here on OBC Connect, but all of that website has been removed from the internet, which was Amalia's decision.
At this point, I am respecting her wish to drop the public conversation. That does not diminish the fact that her departure was the result of serious neglect and mismanagement by senior monks at NCBP. She suffered quite shocking physical and mental harm during her last months as a novice. It is noteworthy that the three senior monks who first resigned from the OBC, including Koshin, were the ones directly involved in her perilous situation.
"Difficult" is not an accurate word for what happened to Amalia or its lasting effects on her life. She experienced abuse and cruelty that far exceeded what might be called "difficulties."
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:25 pm

I would agree with you there Carol
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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:39 pm

Carol,
What was done to Amalia makes my blood boil. I would never describe it as "mistakes", or just a lack of psychological training on the part of seniors. There was unmistakable evil at work there. I normally don't use the word 'evil', but I simply can't find any other that would capture the enormity=viciousness of it. Understating what happened is a form of a lie, a pernicious and outrageous lie.

Please convey to Amalia my very best wishes. I hope fervently that she will continue to heal. We all bear scars from our experience with OBC, but I doubt anyone's compare with those of Amalia.
Love to Amalia & Mom,
Ol'ga


Last edited by Ol'ga on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:06 pm

Yep I would agree with you there Ol'ga
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cmpnwtr

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:23 pm

@Carol

Thank you, Carol, for reminding us of the experiences that Amalia suffered. As survivor of clergy abuse in a monastic setting I can appreciate that in the process of healing there is a time when there is a need to tell the story of the suffering of that experience and a time to not discuss it publicly. Best wishes and kind thoughts to you and Amalia.
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Carol

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:59 pm

Thanks to all of you for your support. I appreciate this forum for the wisdom and compassion the contributors bring to difficult subjects. Many of us are disappointed because we once had such hope and faith in the OBC and its teachings (and some on this forum still do). But as that hope and faith gradually dropped away, it's been wonderful for me to find others walking cheerfully along new paths.
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:02 pm

I've got a couple of days to mainline some computer juice before returning to my more ascetic holiday ways but it looks like its been interesting here.

I only need to look within to see my potential to do just about any amount of harm given enough supporting circumstances.

In the North Cascades, as in Shasta, I think the supporting circumstances that allows harm to blossom is the Sangha that chooses not to face what "is".

Just about everyone on this forum has lived for varying lengths of time choosing not to really see what "was" before finally deciding to leave the OBC. We all had a variety of self serving justifications for why it took the time it took for us to wake up.

I sometimes hear pride from those who say they left as soon as they saw that things had gone awry but the cause of these troubles have actually been part and parcel of the OBC for a very long time. What made us tolerate it before we decided we couldn't?

I expect it's the same thing for those of the active Sangha whose training is dependant on hitting the snooze button when ever another annoying moral alarm goes off. It's easily understandable why Koshin, Jiyu or Michael receive the lions share of criticism for harming others as representing the pointy end of the spear but the spears only power comes from all the compliant Sangha hands that are allowing it to be wielded.

I guess this is just a bit of a concern about another "them & us" view because the last time I sourced the cause of the trouble with the OBC , mostly what I saw was myself being conveniently sleepy.

How does one present a credible position that will allow for the questioning of the spiritual completion that someone feels for a teacher or an organization?

Cheers
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Diana



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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:05 pm

Hi Carol...
Totally thinking about you and Amalia! Can't believe this guys story- as if everything was hunky-dory and then all of the sudden "I don't know what happened, Koshin left and didn't tell us anything...." Makes my blood boil too! What ignorance.
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Nicky



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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:20 am

I see i responded on the wrong thread,' introductions' i think - what was i doing there ? jumped in a bit quick as i too was upset , a bit weird this on line communication.

However i, want to add my love and support to you Carol , and Amelia .
And again Diana i agree, and agree .
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Lamten



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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:51 pm

Although I have read most of the posts in it, I’m planning to intervene only very briefly in this forum.

Sorry not to introduce myself (not very polite…) but if I start, it’s going to take way too long as English isn’t my first language (though I teach it) and it’s just too time-consuming.

Enough it is too say that I’m quite familiar with the OBC (but out of it now)

I’m reacting to Diana’s post as no one else is doing it.

I’m aware that this forum forbids “Profanity, obscenities, swear words and other coarse language” (to quote the rules) but I have been struck quite a few times by the disparaging attitude of some of the members of this forum towards those with whom they don’t agree (usually the OBC defenders…).

I have a few questions for them:

1) Does disagreement, which can be completely
valid, allows us to remorselessly disparage someone? My crusade is holy, sorry I mean my anger …, so I can say whatever goes on in my mind!!!
(“What ignorance” “Can't believe this guy’s story” “Makes my blood boil too!”)

2) Is compassion (for Amelia in this case) an excuse to let go of any restraints and express one’s outrage freely?
Is it what the Christians call “Righteous anger”?…

3) Does it mean that to be out of the OBC is to be out of any training and that vigilance to one’s mental states and speech is irrelevant, almost weird?

And a question (the answer is given…) to the administrators of this forum:

If such attitudes are allowed, is it really surprising not to have any OBC people in the forum (which is its main weakness)?

By the way, I’ve really found Diana’s remark
relevant in the post about “Jim”: It’s very surprising that Jim seems to be aware of nothing (about very important issues) while he’s evidently a close lay disciple of RM Koshin. It shows a great lack of transparency and a very strong hierarchical power structure which asks unflinching and unquestioning obedience of the trainees. It’s a place where I wouldn’t want to train…

For a second intervention, it’s a bit of a blunt one, but as we put it in French, “Who chastises well, loves well”… So I’m sure you have deduced I really love this forum…

Best wishes to you all
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:26 pm

Diana is always very open and completely speaks her mind, Yes I think Diana is expressing righteous indignation. I support Diana in always speaking as she sees it
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Lamten



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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:33 pm

Michael: Speaking one's mind is nice (figure of speech...) but it doesn't have much to do with training... It's just a very common way of venting one's anger.
Our zazen (I know you are very fond of zazen so I adjust myself... personally I prefer awareness/all-acceptance) should be expressed in our day-to-day life, in body, speech and mind.
If the vision is clear, its expression will be as well.
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:54 pm

hi Lamten, and welcome -- and you don't have to introduce yourself in order to be on the forum, it's great when people just jump in.

Wearing my admin hat, I'll jump in with a few thoughts and then jump out --

This forum doesn't expect anybody to be Buddhist, have a Buddhist background or observe any type of standard training/restraint/preceptual awareness or adherence, etc. The purpose of the forum is not to promote Buddhism. So admins don't watch for that or require it; it's a non-issue.

We can't, and would not try, to control attitudes of those who post. That makes it hard on those in the minority, I agree, but they can speak here too and they should. We do expect civil behaviour and have tried to carve out reasonable rules around that.

I hope this clarifies, and I don't mean to derail this v. interesting conversation with further admin-speak. cheers, L



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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:12 pm

Thank you for the well thought out post...

Lamten wrote:
1) Does disagreement, which can be completely
valid, allows us to remorselessly disparage someone? My crusade is holy, sorry I mean my anger …, so I can say whatever goes on in my mind!!!
(“What ignorance” “Can't believe this guy’s story” “Makes my blood boil too!”)

Personally I don't think it does, but I share the frustration of other forum members who regardless of how they express their grievances are met with silence. I believe this is what drives people to sometimes give way to anger.

Lamten wrote:
2) Is compassion (for Amelia in this case) an excuse to let go of any restraints and express one’s outrage freely?
Is it what the Christians call “Righteous anger”?…

I don't see it as a justification for letting go of restraint, but again I understand it.

Lamten wrote:
3) Does it mean that to be out of the OBC is to be out of any training and that vigilance to one’s mental states and speech is irrelevant, almost weird?

Former members of the OBC don't constitute a unified group. There is a wide range of belief and practice amongst them. Although not everyone practices what you might consider "right speech" at every moment I believe that over all there is a great deal of considered thought expressed here.

Lamten wrote:
And a question (the answer is given…) to the administrators of this forum:

If such attitudes are allowed, is it really surprising not to have any OBC people in the forum (which is its main weakness)?

As an "admin" I would say that it's important for us not to exercise unnecessary control of the conversation. Most former members of the OBC experienced a taboo against speaking their true thoughts when they disagreed with the program as laid out by the teachers. Part of what makes this forum valuable is people are allowed, often for the first time since leaving the OBC, to express the thoughts and feelings they felt forced to hold back about the way they and others were treated. Thus you have a great many stories that are uncomplimentary toward the OBC and are sometimes expressed in language that you might consider too coarse. The important question though is does it help people get over their injuries and move on. I believe that for many people the answer is yes.

Regarding OBC participation in the forum, it is important to note that there have been discussions with senior OBC leadership to see if a context could be created in which they would feel sufficiently comfortable to participate. They have made it clear that they are not interested.
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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:10 pm

Howard wrote:
I only need to look within to see my potential to do just about any
amount of harm given enough supporting circumstances.

In the
North Cascades, as in Shasta, I think the supporting circumstances that
allows harm to blossom is the Sangha that chooses not to face what "is".

Hi Stranger,
I think 'facing what "is"' is not necessarily so simple. One needs to evaluate, 'diagnose' what one sees, process it. Often the situation is murky. I would say it was so at Shasta, in the context of a monk's training. We generally went there and took the jump into the unknown with utter sincerity, dedication, innocence. We were then not well equiped to see the flaws, that an outsider could possibly readily see.
I think Isan put it well.
Obedience was presented as part of the
practice. People were told to put their doubts and objections on the "back
burner". When you come to a spiritual practice that's reasonable since
you're trying something new and you're trusting the teachers. Saying that
people should have maintained the ability to discriminate and criticize is to
suggest that they should have in fact rejected the practice. (Sekai topic, Dec.
10)

I rather doubt we failed to face what 'was' because we were too comfortable in our sleepiness. The process was painful and very confusing. What I am left with is my congratulations to everyone who flew over the cuckoo's nest. As to the 'them' and 'us' attitude - I would debate that it is 'us' who left, that suffer from it. If at all, the shoe is on the other foot.
I can't imagine how you can send us your messages from the kayak!
Take care.
Ol'ga
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:29 pm

Lamten wrote:
If such attitudes are allowed, is it really surprising not to have any
OBC people in the forum (which is its main weakness)?

Mon cher Lamten,
Why would you consider not having (active) OBC people on the forum a 'weakness'? First of all, we do have some...
The forum is at times 'uncomfortable' for many of us. We are not clones of each other, have widely ranging views, some are Buddhist, some not (I no longer consider myself one). I can see that active OBC monks would not find it a relaxing experience to participate on the forum - or even a useful one. But we are not here to accommodate anyone - not even each other, those who do participate.
I, personally, do not feel that we provide a complete picture of what OBC was, or is. Even if more OBC active members did participate, the picture would still not be complete - that doesn't happen in this world. But that is not our intention, anyway. We are here to sort ourselves out, to hear each other's story, give each other support - when we are so moved. We generally find it very helpful.
Enfin, I would like to know why you should feel called upon to chastise us?
Ol'ga
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Lamten



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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:57 pm

Isan and Lise: thanks for your thoughtful replies.

You are quite right Isan, a police of speech wouldn't be very appropriate…

You say "The important question though is does it help people get over their injuries and move on. I believe that for many people the answer is yes".
If it's true, that's very good.
I just feel that it isn’t very satisfactory from a trainee viewpoint. See (1)

Isan, “Although not everyone practices what you might consider "right speech" at every moment I believe that over all there is a great deal of considered thought expressed here.”
Yes, I do appreciate it and I’m very grateful for the quality of many of the posts.

Ma chère Olga: “Why would you consider not having (active) OBC people on the forum a 'weakness'? First of all, we do have some...”

It’s a weakness because it gives a very biased view of the OBC, not that I really care about it personally, as I don’t think of myself as a Buddhist anymore but as a trainee in the Advaita Vedanta (comme toi…) tradition mixed with some psychology, not the hard line Advaita (I won’t go into details, too long a story).

It’s just that when the only people who participate in the forum have (very) negative opinions about the OBC, which isn’t a sect (though I wonder a bit about NCBP), the picture you give of it is bound to be inaccurate. I can’t help finding that it’s a shame: I don’t think that the OBC is only constituted of bloodthirsty monks… It gives too black and white a picture, and Reality is rarely just black or white, as we all know.

By the way (Lise), I don’t really see “venting one’s anger” as a preceptual breakage (or even worse as a sin…) but more as a lack of mindfulness and all-acceptance, of being at odds with reality. My mistake is that I forgot that some people don’t really have the view point of training, and that’s fair enough. I had that expectation (to have expectation is to be disillusioned and disappointed all the time…) because some members of this forum are former monks who have a clue (one should hope…) about mindfulness, and such an expectation needs to be dropped in an open forum.

Olga “Enfin, I would like to know why you should feel called upon to chastise us?” Just like Joan of Arc, I heard God talking to me into doing it…
(1) More seriously, it was more like a (straightforward and direct) discussion trainee to trainee, a bit like the ones I had with my senior, to remind those concerned (we all forget) that venting one’s emotions is just venting one’s emotions, it doesn’t, per se, have much to do with truth or reality, and just creates suffering (and prevent the suffering which is already there to be fully dealt with). But again, my remark was legitimate only if one held training as important…

[Olga, you dear friend Shankara (…), said that the world is unreal, but if you feel upset, is it not a proof that you do feel that the world is real?…]

I’m reminded of someone (…) saying 2500 years ago “Never by hatred is hatred conquered, but by readiness to love (to fully accept what is) alone. This is eternal law.”

“Zbohom” Olga

Au revoir à tous

P.S: Don’t take offence but I won’t reply anymore (again not very polite…) but it's just too time-consuming, and I already spend too much time on the web…
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Jcbaran

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:16 am

I just want to highlight this phrase from Lanten's post:

If such attitudes are allowed, is it really surprising not to have any OBC people in the forum (which is its main weakness)?

"If such attitudes are allowed"....... that''s the phrase.

If such attitudes are allowed -- it is good to let that concept just sit there for a moment.

talk about a creepy phrase.......

Well, the OBC culture only allowed / allows a very narrow range of "attitudes" - blind faith and devotion..... and some people say OBC was / is not a "sect" or a cult. Very cultic.

So, we are guilty here of "allowing" people to speak their minds, share their feelings and insights, no longer repress their intellect and their rational inquiry - which the Buddha NEVER said should be abandoned.

Nothing is on the back burner - there is no such thing.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:22 am

By the way, in terms of speaking critically about others - teachings, teachers, other "sects" -- probably the most over the top critical guy in Zen history was...... get ready for the big reveal here --- the founder of Japanese Soto Zen, --- Dogen.

Dogen, at times in his career, was incredibly critical, even vicious towards other teachers, lineages, sects, schools. In fact, versions of the Shobogenzo were posthumously edited to take out most / all of his attacks on other teachers and traditions. Nothing we have said on this forum comes close to the kind of critical / negative language Dogen used to describe his competitors. The only other teacher that rivals Dogen in this regard was Hakuin.

If you want to know more about this, just read many of the more recent histories of Soto Zen, Japanese Buddhism and books about Dogen.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:28 am

Oh Goddess bless ya, Josh for

probably the most over the top critical guy in Zen history was...... get
ready for the big reveal here --- the founder of Japanese Soto Zen,
---
Dogen. drunken
and
The only other teacher that rivals Dogen in this regard was Hakuin.
How refreshing, how liberating, ha ha, OOO hehehihihe!!

Ol'ga
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Lamten



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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:35 pm

I said that I would stop participating in this forum (again not out of
lack of interest) but I just don't like leaving unfinished business on
the table. (I simply pray that it won't be too long...)

So Josh, I'll respond to your posts tomorrow morning 6/8 am NY time. I can't be more precise...
Meanwhile, I would appreciate that you read carefully my posts, as a homework if you like..., in the name of Truth (which you seem to cherish, and which I cherish as much), integrity, and also maybe, out of kindness, for someone who painstakingly wrote these two posts in a second language for him.

Fast reading and fast writing are really nice skills (I wish I had them!!) but at times, it's not a bad idea to slow down in order to really understand what someone means from fear of otherwise falling into ready-made opinions and old ruts. It's a bit as if one of these very fast cowboys in the good old days movies (...) were to shoot at someone without even looking if it's a friend or foe, just out of sheer reflex.

A demain
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:08 pm

Oh Lamten,

We shoot the OBC's sacred cows so that ours on this forum have more room to graze.

I wish you'd quit saying you want to stop posting. I vote you stay. Do I get a vote?

Polly
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:27 pm

Polly, my vote is that you do get a vote Smile Lamten, I too hope you'll stay.


Last edited by Lise on Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:48 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I meant to say Polly instead of Ol'ga)
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Lamten



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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:21 am

Thanks very much Lise and Polly for your kind
votes, I feel like a politician now… (I’m not sure it’s truly a promotion…)

Josh
In this dialogue we are having, I feel like the one who is having the most advantaged position: I have read nearly (that’s an achievement in itself…) all of your posts (even the very longish ones…), often find them relevant and valuable, even though I’ve always felt that you have quite a biased viewpoint which taints them a bit (I’ll come back on that), that your posts (despite their undeniable value) reminds me at times of the Panzers which crossed the plains of Europe… they were powerful, did lots of damage but you couldn’t say they were racing cars, able to move around obstacles in an instant… (if you don’t like the analogy because of your Jewish background, please take the one which suits you better).
Basically, I know where you come from and you don’t know anything about me.

So, to even things out a bit, I would like to say something very briefly about me: I used to go to an OBC temple between 2000 and 2002 as a lay trainee and was close to the priest in charge.
When he was away from that temple, I stayed and trained with him several times (over a couple of months) and when he left the OBC but stayed a monk in a different tradition, I joined him last year, this time as a monk for a few months.
Seeing this life wasn’t for me, I left to commit myself to a movement in France belonging to the Hindu non-dualist tradition with a Tantric outlook (i.e., that everything should be used in one’s training, nothing to do with Tantric sex…) and which emphasizes
the importance of psychology in training and the use of the intellect.
[Please, take into consideration that I won’t discuss the departure from the OBC of my former teacher, mentor and friend. It belongs to him]

Please take my words for what they are (except when I’m having fun…), when I say something, I mean it, I’m not a politician, I don’t work in communication (sorry…) or publicity, and integrity is fundamental for me (more than precepts, but it’s a different discussion all together…): I AM NOT a defender of the OBC.

I take it that you are a disciple of Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche and that you follow a spiritual path?

If I’m asking you this, it’s because I want to make sure we are on the same wavelength, and that I would like this conversation to take place from the point of view of training. Basically, I’m engaging here in a discussion trainee to trainee. I’m not interested otherwise, for I’m not an intellectual seeking to make a point (I couldn’t care less anyway)

Let’s get down to brass tasks…

As a preliminary, I would like to emphasize that this post isn’t a reaction to Diana’s post (I have already done it and have clarified what needed to be clarified so I won’t go over that again) but to the way you defend it, endorse it and use it as a springboard for your defence of free speech (your version of it) and freedom of thinking (also your version of it).

I don’t know how you do things in the US (…) but in France, you don’t welcome a stranger, who is being civil, (Jim in this case) with harsh, lashing words, even if after a while you don’t agree with that person. You may tell him/her that you don’t agree but it usually remains civil.

In my neighbourhood, I’m surrounded (literally) with right-wing people who, I’m pretty sure, will vote for Nicolas Sarkozy (our current president) at the presidential election next year. Nicolas Sarkozy is not my favourite candidate, to say the least… and yet, I am on good terms with all my neighbours. I don’t have any merit, these are nice people and most people (who aren’t spiritual practitioners) will do the same.

In a forum, it should be the same, except that on the web, like when driving one’s car (I know…), it’s easy to forget one’s manners, probably because one feels protected in our little box or in front of our screen surfing the virtual waves of the vast world (I’m getting poetic here…).

As practitioners (and you are one, aren’t you?), I feel one should have an impeccable attitude and a high level of mindfulness towards our emotions and mental states. In short, one should be quite demanding toward ourselves. Otherwise, isn’t our claim to be spiritual practitioners (of whatever denominations) a delusion, a mirage, maybe a self serving lie? What is the worth of our spiritual practice if we indulge in our lack of mindfulness and even claim that it’s right to do so, as you seem to do?
Do you think Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche would go along with your stance? Allow me to have some serious doubt about it.

My expression “If such attitudes are allowed” was awkward and I willingly admit it _but you just had to read my second post where I explained myself, to see that I wasn’t a dangerous cult advocator…
Yet, you chose to take a sentence out of context, to make a case. Frankly, between us, I was struck by it and my first response was “How dishonest it is!”
It reminded me of these dictatorial regimes distorting reality constantly (say, Khadafi parading on nearly empty streets, yet he’s taken in such a way that the streets appear crammed).

“So, we are guilty here of "allowing" people to speak their minds, share their feelings and insights, no longer repress their intellect and their rational inquiry - which the Buddha NEVER said should be abandoned.”
You know Josh, I have nothing against your freedom of speech and you can feel anything about everything, and to paraphrase Charlton Heston holding his rifle in front of his NRA audience, I don’t want “to take them for your cold dead hands”…

So, please, don’t crush or deny your feelings… but I don’t think that Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche teaches that one should act upon them, but rather that one should not be carried away by them and indulge them.
In the Mahamudra tradition, it is asked of the trainee to endeavour to see through these thoughts and feelings to realize fully their insubstantial nature (shunyata), isn’t it?

To sum up: Having a critical mind, open to anything, OUI, by all means, but a mind clouded by its emotions and judgements, NON.
(I’m not saying in anyway that I never have a mind clouded by emotions and judgements, they are present most of the time…, I’m saying that I don’t want to indulge in them or justify them)

Is the OBC a sect?
No, it isn’t as far as I know. My direct experience in an English OBC monastery comes back to 9 years ago but I still have some echoes about it from my senior.
They are some issues raised in this forum, which I find valid, but it doesn’t make the OBC a sect. Otherwise, most of the religious organisation throughout the world would fall in this category.
That’s really an issue where you are biased, I find. You have been away from the OBC for literally decades, nearly four!! (”Time flies like an arrow, quickly the body passes, in a moment life is gone. Oh sincere trainee, do no waste time with this and that”…), and your judgement is always trenchant, without the thread of a doubt.
Why this certainty?

Dogen and Hakuin:
It’s not really clear if you agree with Dogen and Hakuin’s attitudes? (I’m being literal here)
Personally when I read a while ago “the Wild Ivy”, Hakuin’s spiritual autobiography, I couldn’t finish it because I was so appalled by his very harsh language and dismissive attitude. As for Dogen, I came across a few things in the same area, not stuffs as strong, but I’ve heard about it (it’s not first-hand reading). But I believe you on that though.
Zen has been tinged by the Japanese militaristic culture (so painfully obvious in “Zen at war”) so much so that I personally wonder if Zen is truly a Buddhist school (Metta practice, a prominent meditative technique of the Buddha, isn’t used either).

To make myself forgiven…, I’m offering to you a new thread entitled “Is Zen truly a Buddhist school?” I look forward to reading your posts on it…

Please read my post carefully (this time…). I welcome any of your remarks or clarifications as long as they are done in good faith and with integrity.

A bientôt
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:54 pm

Yesterday I listened to one of Koshin's Dharma talks on HTGLB - the one on Kensho and death.
What strikes me is, that this is NOT teaching. Is is indocrination. At the end of it one can learn to spout the same.
We don't know what happens after death. We can take any testimony on it only on faith. What's more, it doesn't help us NOW at all.
I would go further. Describing someone's kensho - particularly framing it in a rigid structure of stages - is worse than useless. It is common knowledge that people's kenshos vary in shapes, sizes and flavours. Putting it in the framework of stages is so obviously bogus. (You know, it's like Kubler-Ross on death and dying - the stages of denial and stuff - there it may be of some help sometimes.)
My main point of this post is, though, that teaching is a process through which we see for ourselves. Otherwise we are just learning a bunch of formulas, which we can parrot afterwards. Oh God, how pointless.
Ol'ga


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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:24 pm

I agree Ol'ga i find it a peculiar yet understandable topic to give talks about. I have seen a lot of different emphasis from as many teachers. saying anything creates as many many thoughts and concepts,that at some stage one drops anyway, to say nothing may not offer any enticement to meditate. I think a good teacher sits and natuarally shows the way,they would know when to be tough and when to appear kind. Can we indeed measure and bring down to our own level that which is divine. I think a good teacher helps us not limit ourselves. Pass a koan here is another one, and then another to check the understanding of the first,these old ways help deepen understanding,and keep one away from conceptualizing it, and as you say creating a framework.I think sometimes limited understanding without a helping hand to deepen understanding, is more problematical, than no understanding. As you say we have to see for ourselves
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:14 am

Ol!ga we are one somewhere. I listened to the very same talk a few days ago, and felt it was setting up standards, which goes against true Zen practice.I know you are not Buddhist anymore, Who can say what the next moment will be let alone trying to transmit that to someone else to lean on.
I find that I am constantly building and subconciously formulating concepts, only to have the rug pulled from under me all the time.
Where does one stand in all this mess of coming together and dispersing, nothings reliable everythings moving changing, internal external.Its quite good to rest in someone else!s view for a little while though, for me that is, brings some comfort to a tortured heart.
But moving on, never had a kensho dont believe in them, stuff of fairy tales from the orient.
Do agree that we need to see for ourselves.
And as Chisan says, having a helping hand is vital to see more clearly. Someone to give one a push or jolt in the right direction. Allways gratefull for a wake up.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:24 pm

Lanten --

I feel i need to respond to your posting, sorry it has taken me so long. have this kidney stone which had a mind of its own last week along with trying to juggle many clients.

First, it is true, sometimes i do skim and read quickly and jump into much too fast, my apologies.

I am clearly biased. But I am not sure i have met anyone in my life that is not biased in one way or another. Clearly, i have strong opinions about my time at Shasta and Kennett and i have shared them freely on this board - for the first time - and nowhere else. This website, as you know, is the only place that any criticism whatsoever has been raised about what went on at Shasta.

For me, this forum is the place for the boil to be lanced.

So many people came through their experience at Shasta and with Kennett very confused, feeling abused, traumatized. I am not exaggerating any of this. Some people even had complete breakdowns, some took years to recover from their experiences.

And a crucial part - is talking about what happened for them - no matter how many years ago. To me this, this forum is for that -- and people here may or may not be practitioners of any sort, may not be on the same page as we say in America, everyone is going to have a different take on what happened, different stories to tell. No rules are being followed on how to do this. No demands that anyone has to be especially careful, so we will all share in our own way.

I fully admit i posted a great deal and certainly could say things more carefully or in a more nuanced manner. But also, many of my comments or streams of comments are self-contained on particular topics -- and people are totally free to read them or ignore them or challenge them. For example, my analysis of Kennett's personality using the Enneagram as the lens - some folks here appreciated this, others did not, others ignored these posts.

I wanted to get these reflections "on the record." First off, almost no one had examined Kennett's personality and behavior in any depth at all anywhere. Perhaps the only exploration was in one academic book published in the UK that costs like $150. Most people didn't even know how to think about who Kennett was and how she acted And many former members were deeply troubled, perplexed, even mystified by Kennett's behavior, especially around the lotus period. What happened? How did this happen? Perhaps you don't know this, but the general buzz about Kennett in the American zen world is that "she went crazy" or some version of that.

Now you say that Shasta / OBC is not a cult. There is no simple way to define "cult" but i can say that when I left, the organization was a severely repressive authoritarian organization that was as cultic as they come. It certainly may have changed somewhat over time, but there were many aspects of the organization - that i experienced -- that were not so different than the more extreme religious organizations that I have ever seen or studied. Clearly, your experience was different. Good.

Now, if we wanted to create a much more thorough and more balanced account of what happened at Shasta, someone would need to write a book. This happened with the Zen Center of San Francisco, which is probably the largest and most influential Zen group in America. When Baker Roshi was ousted for having an affair with a student and the Zen Center went through a total meltdown, a book was written that took a very in-depth look at the organization, Suzuki Roshi's legacy, Baker, the scandal, and the authoritarian culture that he created, and what happened -- the book is called SHOES OUTSIDE THE DOOR: Desire, Devotion, and Excess at San Francisco Zen Center by Michael Downing. The book is almost 400 pages and Downing took years to write the book and interviewed probably hundreds of people. I seriously doubt if the book is without bias - but everyone speaks their mind, opens up, in an attempt to understand, share feelings, heal, get beyond what happened, etc.

And there have been many books written by former members of various spiritual groups / cults - Rajneesh, Muktananda, Sri Chinmoy, Hare Krishnas, Andrew Cohen, Sai Baba, Scientology, Trungpa, and so on - but all former members - with biases, "axes to grind" - but to me, all valid view points.

Maybe someone should write a book about Shasta and Kennett, but not something i will do, but i will post my thoughts here. And yes, they are biased, i have a strong point of view.

In terms of what would Mingyur Rinpoche think about this - he is a lama that i work with and helped over the years. I wasn't sure how i wanted to respond to this. Here is what I will say. The Tibetans are probably the last people you would ask about dealing with interpersonal issues - they are completely unskilled in this area - and they also come from a culture where you were taught to NEVER ever criticize a lama, rinpoche - no matter what - and they are terrible at dealing with organizational issues, disputes, scandals, problems, sexual abuse. In their culture, all of that is ignored, repressed, or handled in secrecy. Certainly from a mahamudra / dzogchen point of view, they would always talk about seeing into the true nature of reality and dissolve any thoughts, feelings, etc. They would probably advise chanting 100,000 Vajrasattva purification mantras. But I felt no need to ask Rinpoche's permission to post on this forum or share my experiences. In any case, he just went into a three year private retreat.

But in terms of this website and forum, my practice is sharing my stories and feelings not perfectly, but honestly and with some gusto and perhaps i have said too much or overdone some points of view. But, i feel this is all important to say and is part of helping people understand.

Now in terms of Dogen and Hakuin, a few points. In the current Shimano crisis, those people who spoke out about his 40 years of behavior were criticized for "attacking the father in the the father's house." Probably some Japanese proverb. So when people on this board started sharing criticisms of Kennett, Shasta, other "masters" - the buzz or criticism from the current crop of "masters" was that to criticize them is to break the precepts, you should remain silent, this is just your koan or stuff.

So one point is that criticism of other teachers, teachings are not foreign to zen at all -- in fact, some of the greatest "patriarchs" did just that. Dogen, Hakuin and others were actually vitriolic in their attacks on other teachers and traditions and teachings. So with the ideal comes the actual. I am not saying we should be vicious, but am pointing out that open criticism is not foreign to Zen.

But regardless, the Asian tradition is to mostly remain silent, do as you are told by your parents, your teachers, your religious superiors, your boss. but I am not following that and I don't consider that Buddhism in any case.

In the early Buddhist sangha, if you felt that a monk had broken the rules - this especially applied to sexual advances for example, during the assembly, you simply stood up and spoke your truth in front of everyone. At least, that's how i understood it.

This forum is a place to speak out and share and i think that is valuable. and the great thing is that when it is no longer valuable, you simply don't come back to this forum. If they are threads and topics that you feel are inappropriate or off point, you can totally ignore them.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:06 pm

Thanks for your post, Josh. There is so much that I agree with- mostly with your point of view in general regarding the OBC stuff. Wish I had more time to comment. Thanks so much for your participation here!

Cheers,
Diana
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:50 am

Josh
First of all, I hope your kidney stone doesn't give you too much pain.

I had some problems with my internet connection (now over hopefully...) so I couldn't answer you this weekend.
I do it as soon as I can this week depending on my professional commitments.
Best wishes
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:53 am

Josh

Thanks for your long answer. Mine will be shorter for many things that you say in your post I agree with.

I value critical thinking as much as you do, it’s indeed crucial to always keep an open mind, ready to question anything, to not take even our dearest beliefs for granted.

Your attempt (among others) to uncover what happened in the 70’s and to critically examine it through the lenses of psychology (like with the Enneagram system, even if at times it’s a bit far fetched…) is, I find, worthy, certainly useful both for the current members of the OBC and those who left as well the ones who are thinking of joining them. The post you wrote a few days ago in the thread “A Jitsudo story” is a case in point.

The thing I’m uncomfortable with is when you hold views about the current OBC which are very clear cut without the shred of a
doubt.

When I read you at times, I have the feeling that the OBC is an awful cult which will crush anyone who joins them as if you
knew what was going on now both in the lay and the monk communities, in Europe and in America.
When I read you, I can’t help thinking that you wish only one thing: that the OBC disappear from the surface of this Earth, that it would a relief for humankind.
And when I read you, I wonder if for you any OBC monk is a reincarnation of Jiyu Kennett ready to brainwash anyone they come across for, I quote you, “the worm is in the fruit”, and her shadow is hovering over the whole organisation.

Am I exaggerating that much?
Don’t you find it’s a bit black and white and seriously lack of nuances?...

I want to make it clear: I have no doubts whatsoever that Jiyu Kennett hurt many people under the name of Zen and many had a hard time recovering her abuses.
I don’t doubt as well that she has reincarnated into some tulkus (please note my efforts to take into account your Tibetan background…), fully or partially, who have done some harm too.
What I doubt is that all OBC monks are strict copies of her, that the organisation is a cult where people, lay people and monks are brainwashed, can’t leave the organisation, ruin themselves into giving all their money away (you never said that but it’s one telltale
sign of a cult), can’t see their family (monks in Europe, I don’t know for the USA?, can go and see their family a couple of weeks every year), etc., etc.

I find your stance would much more convincing if you qualified your views.
Say: “Jiyu Kennett was a Zen master who had some unresolved issues which hurt many of her monk disciples (the people being hurt talked about in this forum were mainly monks by the way, not lay trainees) and some of her disciples seems to carry with them her shadow. You, who belong to the OBC should be watchful of anything occurring in this area to prevent more suffering to happen” (or something along these lines)

The OBC people would probably be more willing to hear what you have to tell them (which is indeed of value).

How do you want them to be convinced by what you say when you (who were an OBC monk before some of them were even born…) hammer enthusiastically (…) at their organisation and call it a cult? If you were in their position, would you?

George said, a few weeks ago, in one of his posts, that probably many OBC people don’t post in this forum because “many of the problems described don't match their own experience and they find it difficult to comment”: i;e; they can’t relate to them, they don’t really the link with their interactions and experiences with the current OBC. (I’m not saying that what the experiences described/talked about in this forum are useless, they are helpful, I’m just no sure that one biased and forceful opinion after another is very skilful, relevant and efficient though (or effective? Please tell me which one is which, for the sake of my English…)

One thing which comes to mind: most (if any?) lay trainees don’t know a thing about what’s going on behind the scenes in monasteries _at least they didn’t 10 years ago and for I know (the actual lay OBC members could actually comment on that) I don’t think it has changed much.
So most of what is being been talked about on OBC connect is very far from their experiences and those who would benefit the most are the postulants and novices (but I don’t think they have unlimited access to the internet…).

Donc (…) to finish: What does the communication expert that you are (…) think of that?: Can the bulldozer strategy work well in the end to engage a fruitful dialogue and convey what one wants to convey in an acceptable manner (for the adverse party)?

Best wishes to you Josh

(don’t skim my post please…)
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:17 am

mokuan wrote:
[Admin note: The following posts were split from the thread titled Rev Kinzan under Keeping In Touch, in order to keep that thread on topic. Let's try to keep the topics separated going forward. Although the system shows Mokuan as the “author”, this thread was created by an admin for topic administration reasons.]


Hi Jim,

I just sent an e-mail to an old friend and former OBC monk who may know Kinzan's wherabouts. I would love to know where she is, too.

I do know that Kinzan went back to school and obtained her Ph.D., and she may be teaching. If I hear anything, I'll let you know.

******

Like Isan, I'm curious about the split between Koshin and the OBC. Isn't it the usual practice when events of this magnitutde happen there is a statement made by both parties invloved clarifying their particular points of view? To me that would seem to be important information for anyone involved with the OBC or North Cascades or anyone interested in becoming involved.

I've checked on North Cascades' website and there's no statement whatsoever. Do you ever get the sense that Koshin wants to keep his community shrouded in secrecy? And if that's the case, do you know why? And do you personally think that's healthy?

Just curious.
Thanks,
mokuan

Let me just shed some light on this subject.

I talked to Rev. Master Haryo about this a while ago.

Basically, the back story to this whole leaving thing, is that the NCBP had been isolating itself for some time before they left.

Like 11 years.

It was very hard for the Order to get communication about anything at from them, and for a long time.
And questions would often go unanswered or get vague answers.

They basically had been drifting out of the Order for a long time, this just made it official.

In a sense, it saved the Order the trouble of kicking them out.

A lot of people have had some experiences on here with Koshin and the NCBP.

Let me make it clear that the OBC itself was having those same frustrating experiences with the NCBP as well.

In Gasshō,

Sara H
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:31 am

Sara, thank you for this information!

It coincides with my own direct observation of Koshin and the NCBP (from about 1987 to 1991) as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:45 am

Kozan wrote:
Sara, thank you for this information!

It coincides with my own direct observation of Koshin and the NCBP (from about 1987 to 1991) as well.
You are welcome.

They (the OBC) were basically in a position of limbo with them for a long time.

The NCBP hadn't dont any clear violation of the rules or any that was so severe it would warrant having action taken.

However, there was no communication either,

So they basically had no information really to act on one way or another.

The frustrating thing for the Order, was the same thing other people have voiced here, trying to get a straight answer about things from the NCBP.

It wouldn't happen, and then more time would pass, etc.

This went on for several years, like I said, about 11.

So they basically might have had a weird feeling in their gut, but what could they do about it?

They had no information.

And then if something did come up, such as in Amalia's case, well, in the sense of fairness, and due process they have to give people the fair chance to defend themselves against a charge.

Something of that nature was a new instance for them to deal with as an Order, they had never really had to deal with something quite like that before.

The NCBP didn't want to talk about it, and Amalia if I understand it didn't want to talk more about it either, as she was too freaked out I guess.

So where did that leave the Order?

With no information other than Amalia's accusation and the NCBP's no-comment.

I think Rev. Haryo actually felt a little hurt, because he felt that Amalia didn't understand that even if he may have believed her that something serious happened, as a Head of the Order, he still had to give people a fair chance to confront the charges brought against them.

He cares a lot. Rev. Haryo is a good guy.

In Gassho,

Sara H
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:59 am

Sara wrote:
He cares a lot. Rev. Haryo is a good guy.

Sara H

My perception as well.

I consider Haryo--and many other dharma brothers and sisters--to be good friends!
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:16 am

At the same time, I think that we have to come back to the basic question: what is the underlying causal dynamic that permits this level of dysfunction to occur, in the first place?

And, I think that we cannot realistically expect an incisive answer to this question, unless we can bring compassion to bear on the issues involved.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:35 am

Kozan wrote:
At the same time, I think that we have to come back to the basic question: what is the underlying causal dynamic that permits this level of dysfunction to occur, in the first place?

And, I think that we cannot realistically expect an incisive answer to this question, unless we can bring compassion to bear on the issues involved.

That would be human nature friend.

To err, as the old saying goes is human.

This is what it is to live and train with other human beings.

They are not perfect. We do cause harm.

We try as Buddhist's to do as little as possible of it.

Sometimes we succeed, at that.

Sometimes, we get off-center, and even someone who has been training a very long time gets out of whack?

What can the rest of us do? Besides trying to help them get back on center and clean up the mess?

We continue our training for our own sakes.

With the ideal, comes the actual.

Human beings are not ideal.

That suffering exists, with humans is a concept that goes back to Shakyamuni Buddha's time.

It's not the OBC's fault that somebody gets off-center.

My training is my responsibility.

As an organization, they do the best they can, and live and learn like everyone else.

They learned from this, and made changes accordingly.

Isn't that what we all do?

You know, communication problems are one of the most incredibly common issues in any relationship.
My Spouse and I count ourselves as lucky that that we have wonderful communication.

Not every relationship has good communication. and it takes both parties being willing to make it work and wanting to communicate.

When one party doesn't want to, well... Sooner or later the relationship ends.

That's kindof normal, actually.

In Gassho,

Sara H
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:47 am

Well said, Sara!

I tend to think that if the OBC, and Koshin, were able to articulate (and mean) what you have just written, healing would be well underway!
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:15 am

Kozan wrote:
Well said, Sara!

I tend to think that if the OBC, and Koshin, were able to articulate (and mean) what you have just written, healing would be well underway!
Well thank you.
Koshin's not part of the OBC any more.

Regarding the OBC:
The OBC has said things to that effect and meant them.

Articulation is a gift of mine, and I have to accept that it isn't for everyone.

The feel that I get when I talk to people is that they are at a loss of words as what to say to you here.

look at what they've done, with the FTI, Rev Master Meian's talk, public statements, coming on here, making themselves more accessible, transparent, etc, etc.

They've put their actions where their heart is. And made a real, honest effort. More than that actually.

Meet them halfway a little.

We have the ability to heal ourselves.

In Gassho,

Sara H
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:59 pm

[Admin note:  moving Carol's post about NCBP to the thread that has relevant info in answer to her question.]


Carol wrote:


Subject: Re: Offering Correction to a Teacher - is this "good to do"?   Today at 11:12

Does anyone know why Koshin and North Cascades Priory left the OBC? I have always thought that RM Haryo and the OBC wanted more accountability from Koshin than he was willing to allow. If so, this is a positive sign for the OBC. However, I don't know why NCP departed. Anyone have information on this?



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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:15 pm

It is interesting reading some of the commentary here from over two years ago.

Many of the regulars on OBCC (including myself) have shifted in our ways of thinking about the OBC experience. This shows the great benefit of OBCC. I am particularly struck by Josh's comment from several years ago that writing here has been like lancing a boil. A lot of water has gone over the dam on these pages . . . . (I guess you call them "pages"!)

Also I'm interested in Josh's suggestion that someone needs to write a history of the OBC. It would make for interesting reading. Who will do that?
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:33 pm

Someone who can spell Carol so that rules me out
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:26 pm

Maybe the history could be co-written - a collaborative effort?  People could contribute material to a lead writer who's good at organising and creating a cohesive structure. Would it be like an collection of essays, or perhaps a fact-walk as they call it, a more objective review of the who/what/when/where history.

Ayiiiee, it makes my head hurt a bit to think about it. Not a bad idea though -
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:03 pm

Lise, I think you are right, a collaboration in some form would be necessary.

Carol, you wrote:

"Does anyone know why Koshin and North Cascades Priory left the OBC? I have always thought that RM Haryo and the OBC wanted more accountability from Koshin than he was willing to allow. If so, this is a positive sign for the OBC. However, I don't know why NCP departed. Anyone have information on this?"

Carol, I think that the issue of accountability is indeed the catalyst that precipitated Koshin's departure.

My current understanding, based on conversations with both current and former members of the OBC, is that Koshin began to show signs of leaving the OBC while RM Daizui was head of the Order (and that this consumed no small part of his time and energy during the last years of his life). RM Haryo simply inherited the issue.

Koshin, in my perception, has evolved a need for hyper-control, even exceeding what I observed in RM Jiyu during my time in the Order.

Koshin apparently also believes that his depth of understanding exceeds that of most, if not all, other monks in the Order.

There seems to be an emergent master-disciple pattern here.

Although a number of monks left the OBC along with Koshin, it appears that there are still a number of current members of the Order who feel (based on their belief in Koshin's depth of understanding) that he should be the head of the Order.

Accordingly, there is some quiet speculation that Koshin might possibly be planning a come-back.

I find all of this disturbing, to say the least. As RM Jiyu used to say, "it boggles the mind".
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:57 pm

It's hard for me to picture a Koshin comeback. When I went to a retreat at NCP several years ago (before this forum was around) my perception was very much in line the with the posts on here from a year or two ago. I felt like I was in the novel "Heart of Darkness" when I went there.  It was difficult to find, not welcoming, they were very suspicious of my arrival etc. R.M. Koshin kept to himself, did not say hello, and seems to hit on the same note over and over again in his lectures. There's also a huge emphasis on past life healing or "cleansing" if you will there. The place is kept very, very still and quiet. Comparitively, the abbey feels like a party school, but ironically, in a good way--less possessed and eerie.  
Koshin seemed very content with his cave in the woods, so to speak. There was a lot of talk of buying more land for around half a million dollars. I was completely bewildered as to where the money comes from. There was only a handful of members at the retreat, and one seemed to be losing her [banned term] while I was there--crying and in a lot of distress. I think there is just way too much emphasis on drudging up your suffering there. A Koshen comeback would make for a very, very somber Abbey. It also seems like it would be too close to civilization for him.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about North Cascades   Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:11 am

June, the prospect of a Koshin come-back makes me shudder.

Your description of your experience at NCBP, and my own, resonates strongly.

If Koshin were to somehow become the head of the Order, he would not have to live at Shasta Abbey.

Koshin (again, in my understanding) has managed to buy a significant amount of residential property around his original parcel.
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