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 Perceptions & Misperceptions

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gnorwell



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PostSubject: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:09 am

Hi folks,

I'm George Norwell and I'm a lay minister living in the UK. I've been meaning to contribute for a while and reading Jewely's introduction and Jimyo's follow-up made me think it's time.

A little of my OBC background might be relevant. I've been associated with the OBC since 1987 and a lay minister for about 20 years. My wife Joyce and I "hosted" the Cardiff (South Wales) meditation group for about 15 years and we got to know many of the monks within the OBC pretty well as they visited the group and stayed with us.

I think there are perceptions and misperceptions about the OBC on this forum and similar perceptions and misperceptions about OBC Connect .

So to perceptions and misperceptions: one of the misperceptions that comes across on this forum is that the OBC is some kind of monolithic organisations. I think Isan tried to correct this misperception but I'm not sure how successful he was. At one time no doubt Shasta Abbey was the the centre of the "OBC-universe", but that hasn't been the case for many years and it had ceased to be so long before RM Jiyu died. From my experience of the OBC in the UK and from two visits around the N. American groups, there is a distinct cultural difference between USA, Europe and Canada.

My experience of the USA was that Shasta was very monk-dominated, but this decreased with geographical distance from Shasta. Interestingly Canada was quite different to the USA and much closer to the European version of the USA.

So what are these differences?

My experience of the OBC in the UK/Europe, i.e Throssel and its offshoots is one of inclusiveness. RM Daishin's approach and those of the monastic community has been and is one of "we train together".
My experience of Throssel and the monks and lay sangha has always been incredibly positive and I cannot thank them all enough for their kindness and compassion and the experience of training with them. There is an openness to discussion of any kind. Over the years I have had a few problems, but have always felt able to raise them and discuss them openly both with the monastic community and the lay community.

My visits to the USA, the last being in 1999, and hence a long time ago, suggested that at that time there was much less openness. As I said above, the Canadian experience paralleled what was going on in the UK. But as I said above my last visit was in 1999 and things have probably changed in the USA since then.

The discussions on this forum in the main seem to relate to what went on at Shasta some thirty to forty years ago. Again in my experience, whatever went on then did not transfer across the Atlantic, and so to tar the whole of the OBC with the same brush is somewhat misleading. People in the UK may disagree with me, if so let's hear about it.

Turning to this forum, my perception or misperception of it is that it is somewhat negative and that when anyone says anything good about the OBC it is often ignored or disparaged.

Some of you have commented on why so few within the OBC contribute to this forum. I think the reason is that they don't see any point, since it is so negative.

I get the feeling that some contributors to the forum would like the OBC to disappear of the face of the earth. My perception, based on contacts within the sangha, the journal, etc., is that the OBC is thriving and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.

There have been many changes since RM Jiyu died. I think that the fact that R Eko and more recently the community at NCBP have left point to the changes that have been instigated , first by RM Daizui and more recently by RM Haryo and senior monks of the Order.

I'd like to think that more people within the OBC will write about their positive experiences of the OBC, just for the sake of balance.

I think that's all I have to say for now
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gnorwell



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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:52 am

I've just been checking what I wrote and I see that I missed signing off.

I meant to wish you all well, but missed it.

So,

All best wishes to all of you,
Cheers,
George
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:56 am

gnorwell wrote:


There have been many changes since RM Jiyu died. I think that the fact that R Eko and more recently the community at NCBP have left point to the changes that have been instigated , first by RM Daizui and more recently by RM Haryo and senior monks of the Order.

I'd like to think that more people within the OBC will write about their positive experiences of the OBC, just for the sake of balance.

George,

Thanks for posting. I feel you make many good points, the main ones being that the OBC is no longer a monolithic organization and many of us old timers are often talking about things that happened 30-40 years ago. There have been significant changes over time - especially lately - and I must remind myself to live in the present and support their efforts. I would also like to see more people from the OBC posting - the American centers in particular - since that in itself would indicate growing openness and freedom of expression. However they must deal with the legacy of the past. Negativity persists because there is still denial. The unpleasant stories posted here are part of the OBC's history and an honest appreciation of the organization must include them.
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:26 pm

Hello George, welcome -- nice to have you here.

I've wondered, more than once, what we need and don't seem to have on the forum, to support greater participation by current OBC layfolks. Maybe it's time for a thread on that topic -

L.
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gnorwell



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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:36 pm

Hi Lise,

Certainly worth trying. I'm trying to encourage other OBC sangha members to contribute. The problem seem to be that many of the problems described don't match their own experience and they find it difficult to comment.

I'll keep trying.

Kind Regards,
George
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gnorwell



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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:33 pm

Hi Isan,

I think I understand where you are coming from with respect to past history. I don't know what the answer is. I've been with the OBC for twenty odd years and if it wasn't for this forum I wouldn't have known about any problems. On one level they have little significance for me since they have never impinged on my OBC association and I don't see them doing so in the future. Having said that I would like to see some kind of reconciliation between what are to me dharma family. Whether it can ever be achieved is another matter. Have there been any more contact between the Interim Board and yourself, Bill and Henry?

All best wishes,
George
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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:57 pm

George wrote:

I think there are perceptions and misperceptions about the OBC on this
forum and similar perceptions and misperceptions about OBC Connect .


I would find it very interesting to read what perceptions and misperceptions about OBC Connect there are on this forum.
Thanks.

Ol'ga
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:26 pm

I've wondered why the current OBC members of our forum won't comment even on the book review threads, or the Lounge topics, or one of Josh's thought-provoking theoretical threads, or other relatively "safe" discussions. I can see a number of conversations they could be joining, where they don't have to comment on particular people or someone's behaviour, yet they stay silent.

I have an idea that we won't see greater participation from most of them until they're no longer embarrassed or ashamed to be associated with the forum. I am fairly sure that's what keeps a majority from posting; they don't want their OBC teachers or sangha friends to see their names here, or perhaps recognise their writing style if they aren't posting under their real names. Not everyone feels this way of course, but based on the PMs I receive, I know this applies to a fair number. I guess it's understandable, but it's unfortunate.

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gnorwell



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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:07 pm

Hi Lise,

You write that:

"I have an idea that we won't see greater participation from most of them until they're no longer embarrassed or ashamed to be associated with the forum. I am fairly sure that's what keeps a majority from posting; they don't want their OBC teachers or sangha friends to see their names here, or perhaps recognise their writing style if they aren't posting under their real names."

If true, this is very sad. We are not teenagers who might worry about what friends and associates we might have.

I hope more will comment and I'll keep trying to encourage it,

Best wishes,
George
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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:02 am

Hi, George,
You wrote:

I think there are perceptions and misperceptions about the OBC on this forum and
similar perceptions and misperceptions about OBC Connect .


I was wondering what you meant by the second part of this sentence, now printed in bold. I guess it was not clear I was asking you in my previous post.
Ol'ga

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gnorwell



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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:19 am

Hi Ol'ga,

I don't know where the extra bold print came from.

As to misperceptions about the forum, I know people who see the forum as purely negative and to some extent destructive. I think there is some truth in that. However I'm much more interested in the kind of good-hearted attempts at communication and understanding that also appear here.

Kind regards,
George
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Jimyo

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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:06 am

Lise,

I most suspect current OBC members don't come on here because they see no good reason to. I can't think of a single reason why they should. They have a lot of other things to do. I wouldn't if I was still a monk - and I'm talking of ordinary monks, not abbots or anyone running the OBC. What would I do? Comment on problems with individuals I didn't know? Comment on experiences with individuals that were completely different to my experiences? Agree or disagree - why? What could I hope to either gain or offer?

As for theoretical discussions, they may not find those something they are interested in. I certainly don't; they bore me. And discussion on books etc - well, some of us do that in real life instead, particularly if we have Buddhist contacts.

So, I hate to say it after all your hard work and when I know your heart is in this place, but for many people it's just really a waste of time. Sorry!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:45 am

I suppose I consider myself an OBC er
Comming here has helped me see that spiritual elevation is all in the head
and of the current circumstances of ones life ie, living in a monastrey, on retreat etc.
Something comes to mind is the former Abbot of Shasta, what does all the theatre
that he was involved in for so many years mean now.If tenderness and love for others
is not developing, something is lacking, or not being felt or seen.
I do feel in this form of Zen there is no room for anything else that may work
and help one develop further , which is oppressive controling and hindering.
A bit like being pushed down a funnel of, this is the way we do it.
I would love to see more intergration of other traditions being invited and involved
after all truth is universal, and anything that will help is of great value.
I feel myself developing an aversion to controling relgion, I take what is usefull
but keep my distance. I dont wish to get involved in criticisism of the OBC because it has been valulable, and it has never hurt me.Also posting on this forum I believe does help a lot of others with maybe some of their own issues. So yes, not a waste of time.
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Jimyo

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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:55 am

"So yes, not a waste of time."

Certainly not for everyone. I was trying to explain that it could be for many...ok, for some. There seems to be a bit of a thing along the lines of, "Let's all be one big happy family and discuss everything on OBC Connect". And I suspect many people's response would be, "Why?" Plus some posts here are so long I feel it might take less time to read War & Peace...which I've been meaning to do since long before OBC Connect existed. So, yes, great place for anyone who wants to be here, for whatever reason. But not for everyone.
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:56 am

Jimyo wrote:
So, I hate to say it after all your hard work and when I know your heart is in this place, but for many people it's just really a waste of time. Sorry!!!!!

Jimyo, my heart is in my son, and in raising him, and in taking care of my husband. The forum came to be because it was obviously needed by a number of people. You must get something from it or you wouldn't be here.

I don't see the forum as my magnum opus, and the only hard work I've had is to keep the front room clean so folks can sit down in it.

I appreciate George and John being here, and those who I know would like to post but haven't yet. It's okay, either way yes
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Jimyo

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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:03 am

Lise wrote:
Jimyo, my heart is in my son, and in raising him, and in taking care of my husband. The forum came to be because it was obviously needed by a number of people. You must get something from it or you wouldn't be here.

That's OK then. Didn't want to appear to run down something thatwas important to you, that's all!

Me...I came here in the hope of meeting old friends, and pretty much stay here for the same reason. And the cat chat was fun!
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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:07 am

Lise I am dashing and rushing and falling over my self, for what it is worth i like your priorities and I think you do a wonderful job of running the wesite
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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:18 am

John I am rushing and dashing and and hanging on to the edge of the cliff.
But here you are speaking with great integrity, without issues and and side shows, we should all learn to be like you.

i can not speak of other peoples theatre however , after my own theatre of being in a hot house with Ikko roshi, wear your robes like this, sit like this , sleep with your head on a zafu, tidy yourself up, clean the temple, ring the bell,All I can say is I actually dont compare or look for relevancy , but I can tell you that what is very clear to me, is that i do not, and have not lived a pure life,and my practice is still at the beginning not at the end
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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:41 am

ahem, just adjusting the halo.

Thank you Chisan for your kind words.
If thats playing happy families Jimyo, then good. Never came from one though.
It was probably key in my wish for resolution. Learning to love has been my resolve.
For me this whole process has that at its core.But not something ever spoken of much
because it gets to tied in with sexual love (is that allowed) and romantic love.
The venom/spite still rises in me, but I do feel I am better placed to allow it to be what it is,
passing, and yes some times very painfully passing, and eventual disolving into love.What else is there. And its good to talk sometimes on here when one feels moved to do so, for the simple reason of human communication, one mind to another.Even if it is as Howards wife put it, his imaginary people, or something like.

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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:17 am

John , i too like how you say things ,it moves me , wakes me up a bit , so the halo can glow , why not for a little ......

And too, yes Michael , i was glad to see your 2 postings , though i'll keep well away from that cliff of yours - i prefer mud.

George we've been together on retreats , and i disagree with almost everything you say, but in a way that helps as you are so clearly on your own path , and im off not sure where but away .
( i dont mean off and away literally , just , 'just '? internally !)
I started to write to you George , why and what , and began to burn with sadness and exasperation , but i think its all been said , and i dont feel like battling , and anyway it isnt a battle its just us finding our ways . I dont think though you'll find this balance you want , i mean religion is such a vital extraordinary THING ,and there seems bound to be big indecipherable tangles .
love to you all Nicky .
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:43 am

Jimyo wrote:
I most suspect current OBC members don't come on here because they see no good reason to. I can't think of a single reason why they should. They have a lot of other things to do. I wouldn't if I was still a monk - and I'm talking of ordinary monks, not abbots or anyone running the OBC. What would I do? Comment on problems with individuals I didn't know? Comment on experiences with individuals that were completely different to my experiences? Agree or disagree - why? What could I hope to either gain or offer?

Really Jimyo, are you not remembering what it was like when we were monks in the OBC? Anyone who disagreed with the party line and who dared to articulate it was persona non grata in the extreme. Those people were forced to leave the monastery, and we avoided all contact with them for fear of censure and the possibility that we would be infected by doubt. Fear is still one of the reasons people don't participate here.

Seikai is perhaps the best example of a current OBC member who found a reason to be here; on one hand he defended what he feels is good about OBC practice and on the other he was willing to admit what is wrong with the culture and needs to be changed. Obviously new monks would not be able to comment on history they don't know, but there are quite a few older monks in positions of leadership who were present in the early years and know exactly what is being talked about.

Regarding newer members of the OBC, I think it's short sighted of them to not want to know the history. The belief that "it's not my experience so it doesn't matter" is a way of closing one's eyes not just to the past but also the present. You frame your OBC experience as something in the past which you have come to terms with and is finished, but if you were considering joining another group would you not want to find out as much as possible about it? All groups present themselves in the best possible light, but human nature implies there are also darker elements. If I was considering joining a religious group now I would want to know the very worst that anyone had to say about them so I could have as complete a picture as possible instead of walking in wearing rose tinted glasses.


Last edited by Isan on Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:23 pm

Isan has said most of what I wanted to say in response to Jimyo's recent post. I think that this forum is a great resource for those considering membership in any spiritual group, not only an OBC organization.

As Isan said, "All groups present themselves in the best possible light," and that is precisely why potential students of the Buddhadharma need to educate themselves as best we can. We need to learn as much as we can by reading books, questioning the leaders of these goups, and by observing, not only the behavior of the teachers, but that of the other students of these teachers as well.

As many of us know from painful experience, beginning students are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse by religious goups. This forum provides, in my view, an important function in providing hitherto unpublished first-hand accounts of the history of the founding of this group. The hope here, I believe, is that open, honest disclosure leads to healing and reconciliation.
Machic
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gnorwell



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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:10 pm

Hi Nicky,

I've been practising zazen for nearly 40 years and have worked my way through what seemed at the time some pretty indecipherable tangles that now are a bit less tangled and fortunately I have now found a nice place of balance; how long it'll stay that way who knows.

I have been helped since 1987 by some very fine people at Throssel and in the lay sangha whom I trust and consider to be good friends and know I can turn to for help when needed.

I hope that doesn't sound too smug and self-satisfied, it's not meant to, it's just how things have worked out. Having said that it's taken a lot of hard work and still more stubbornness just hanging in there sometimes.

I am really sorry that your OBC experience has been so painful. Please feel free to write by pm if you see some merit in it.

You write about religion being a vital extraordinary THING. I'm not really into religion as such. When I first began meditating I was just looking for a way to deal with the mental confusion I had then. I hasd no intention at that time in getting involved with a monastery at all. I read somewhere that in medieval times in England you could learn to add and subtract, but if you wanted to learn to multiply and divide you had to go to France. I took a similar attitude with my meditation. It seemed to me having tried several different approaches to meditation, back in the seventies, some that might be described as secular and some religious, that the only ones doing it properly were Buddhists, so that's where I woulhave to look. Having tried several Buddhist traditions, the one that worked best for me was Soto Zen. Eventually I found my way to Throssel in 1979 and here we are 32 years later. But to reiterate, I'm not religious in the way I think you mean. If anything I'm basically an engineer-physicist who has found a mental-hygeine type of practice that works for me. I remember telling this to RM Daizui once, and he said fine whatever works. I think you put your finger on it when you mentioned balance. I tend to see my mental system in engineering terms as a complex "engineering" system that get outs of balance, and the meditation practice helps get me back in balance. If anything, when it comes to religion I'm a neo-Darwinist of the Richard Dawkins ilk, though not quite as intense as he is (I hope),though I'm a big fan of the "God Delusion". My next-door neighbour and friend is the local vicar and we have some fun discussions from time to time. So that's the path I'm off on if you want to look at it in terms of a path. Personally I don't. I'm not really into paths or"journeys".

Anyway, I've rambled on enough.

Take good care of yourself.

George



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john

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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:47 pm


Thanks Nicky for giving my halo a little polish. Anything that helps, thats me.
Its very hard when in pain, someones telling you how wonderfull the senery is.
Me, can do without it.
Much love, John.

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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:51 pm

You know some of the kindest people I have known have had a lot of pain in their lives. Not everyone has an easy ride through life, and of course Buddhism does not offer the easy way out or through. It does though offer a way to see things a little clearer and a particulay approach or way.Zen in particular seems to hold out hope that actually a difficult time can actually be fruitful for the spritual person. It just does not seem like it at the time.An hour ago a black friend of mine from 35 years ago made contact, the magic of the internet. We were involved in incredible social deprivation in Deptford, and in our own way did a lot.We worked at a youth centre that was 'somewhere else', it actually was bombed by white extreemists, and was very dangerous place to be,we raised £350,000 in 7days to rebuild, thanks mostly to our Christian friends,I saw so much, so much pain, so much of human beings doing what they did not really want to to survive, but I also saw great people in terrible depths,Somehow I was always surrounded by Caribbean laughter.A lovely koan. Summer comes winter comes how do you avoid them, Bill Picard used to reply, Hot Buddha cold buddha,when it's hot it's hot and in winter it's cold
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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:24 pm

Just catching up a bit -- Michael, thank you for the kind words, and Jimyo, I'm glad that you're here too.

So much in this thread to think about, and all kinds of tangents to explore. I'm going to start one . . .
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Jimyo

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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:00 am

Isan wrote:

Really Jimyo, are you not remembering what it was like when we were monks in the OBC? Anyone who disagreed with the party line and who dared to articulate it was persona non grata in the extreme. Those people were forced to leave the monastery, and we avoided all contact with them for fear of censure and the possibility that we would be infected by doubt. Fear is still one of the reasons people don't participate here.

It wasn't like that for me, Isan. Unless it was something really important to me, I didn't care what was the party line. I remember a couple of times when it WAS really important to me. I couldn't keep quiet in that situation; never have been able to. The first time I was jumped on a bit, but I didn't care. The second time was more important, and I made it clear I was prepared to leave over it if necessary, as what I was being asked to do went against zen practice. Eko bowed to me, and I never heard another word about it. Maybe it depends on how you do things. Maybe Rev Master Jiyu had a soft spot for the British monks. Maybe...who knows? I've no idea. All I know is, I entirely disagree with your analysis of how things were. Despite a few hard times, I have happy memories of Shasta. I didn't really want to leave. Throssel for me was a different story though.

As for people not coming on here out of fear, if they really wanted to, they'd find a way. A false name, someone else's PC, a different writing style. It's easy. No, that just doesn't seem credible to me. Verging on paranoia, almost.

If I was going to a new monastery or other centre now, I'd read all I could, it's true, but I'd take it with a pinch of salt. So many incidents can have different spins put on them. I wouldn't believe anything I read on here, and I didn't go along with rose-tinted glasses back then. Are you sure you're not mixing up the confidence of youth versus the cynicism of...err, being a bit older, with the influence of the computer age?

Let me tell you a little story. My cousin and I both love foreign holidays. She reads reviews on Trip Advisor, does loads of research, checks out everything in advance. I find somewhere that looks good, cross my fingers, and go. She almost never enjoys herself. She can't understand why it never lives up to her expectations. I, on the other hand, go with no expectations, hoping it'll be exciting and different, and that I'll learn something. And I always have a great time.

Deduce what you want from that, but don't you see that the individual's interpretation of events is perhaps more important than the events themselves.
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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:28 am

Jimyo wrote:
If I was going to a new monastery or other centre now, I'd read all I could, it's true, but I'd take it with a pinch of salt. So many incidents can have different spins put on them. I wouldn't believe anything I read on here, and I didn't go along with rose-tinted glasses back then. Are you sure you're not mixing up the confidence of youth versus the cynicism of...err, being a bit older, with the influence of the computer age?

Yes, we have different perceptions of the way it was at Shasta Abbey - that's true for everyone - but the matter of shunning is not an isolated belief. There are many examples of it that can documented. And why would you not believe anything you read here?

Jimyo wrote:
I, on the other hand, go with no expectations, hoping it'll be exciting and different, and that I'll learn something. And I always have a great time.

Deduce what you want from that, but don't you see that the individual's interpretation of events is perhaps more important than the events themselves.

I agree with you that how we interpret our experiences is very important. When I examine my own experience at Shasta Abbey I can see that the way I think about it says as much about me as anyone else, but is personal interpretation the only thing that matters? Should the responsibility lie solely on the individual to get over a negative perception or is it valid to look at the way centers/communities are structured and apply standards of behavior to them as well? For instance there are laws against harassment in the workplace. Do you believe the matter of harassment is only a misperception in the minds of individuals, or is it a good thing that organizations can also be held accountable?
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Machik



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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:00 pm

This is an interesting discussion Isan and Jimyo. I neither believe, nor do I not believe, the experiences I've read about here. I also understand that we are the co-creators of our experience and that ultimately we are responsible for it.

However, when we turn to spiritual teachers for guidance, we are entrusting our innermost selves to that guidance. When we become members of a spiritual group we can experience either support and loving encouragement to become the best that we can be, or destructive put-downs, erosion of self-esteem, efforts to control our behavior and the rest. We are seeking help from these teachers and organizations and they are ultimately accountable. That is beyond doubt in my opinion.

Just like individuals, organizations can be either helpful or harmful to an individual. We are wise to check them out via forums such as this, reading as much as possible, and interviewing the students and leaders of these groups. But in the end we just need to trust our guts and see what happens and if it isn't working move on.
machic
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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:33 pm

Jimyo, you wrote:

don't you see that the individual's interpretation of events is perhaps more important than the events themselves.

Somehow you don't seem to be able to apply this wisdom to your experience at Throssel. You write:

Throssel for me was a different story though.

Is it possible, that what helped you at Shasta was the powerful stamp of approval Roshi gave you? I would think that validation by one's teacher is hugely encouraging, strengthening, inspiring.
Not long after that you left Shasta. Perhaps you were not cut down, humiliated, by the Boss herself, you know? Do give the benefit of the doubt to those who may have been.
Ol'ga


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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:34 pm

Machic,
Magnificent comments. Too bad I have only one + in my quiver.
Ol'ga
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Machik



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PostSubject: Re: Perceptions & Misperceptions   Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:58 pm

Ol'ga,

I just found this website guruphiliac which lead me to this quote which pertains to this discussion I think.

"No amount of bliss can offset exploitation of even one human being. Many persons would show up on discussion venues for Muktananda and Gurumayi and insist 'But I benefitted. I was not harmed I felt blissful, I dont care what else happened. And often the person ended by saying 'God bless this great path"

If all one cares about is their personal bliss and they dont feel at all concerned by reports that their fellow seekers are incurring harm, then this callous indifference to other people's well being means, that the bliss recipient has incurred harm.
Its no different from drug addicts who care only for their bliss and leave grief, chaos and impoverishment on their families and friends, because only the bliss of staying high matters to the active addict. "

I actually do believe the stories people have shared here. And I do care and am concerned for all of you seekers.

Machic
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