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 Additional info on Michael Little

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Lise
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PostSubject: Additional info on Michael Little   Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:51 pm

First topic message reminder :

Hello everyone. After discussion in the admin bullpen, the decision was made to raise this topic on the forum. The intent is not to pour kerosene on the embers of an old discussion simply for entertainment. If there are forum members & viewers out there who had this happen to them, they should know they are not the only ones.

In June of this year at a sangha meeting at Shasta Abbey, Meian disclosed further information about Michael Little's inappropriate behaviour with women. (I was not at the meeting.) I'm told she said that, during phone calls with some female disciples, the former Abbott would engage in self-stimulation resulting in sexual climax. How often this occurred, or with how many disciples, I don't know, but my understanding is that this was not an uncommon occurrence. How long this behaviour went on, I also do not know. If anyone has additional details, feel free to post them in this thread.

It's unfortunate that this information was made available only to those who were able to personally attend a meeting at the Abbey. Conceivably, many more could have been affected by Little's behaviour, and how would they know they weren't the only ones? If they cannot attend meetings in Mt. Shasta or aren't comfortable doing so, they are effectively cut off from receiving information to which they're entitled. I hope those in charge at the Abbey will reconsider their approach to rectifying harm, and find better, more inclusive ways to publicise information that should be available to all and not just a few.

If anyone needs help in regard to this issue and wishes to discuss it privately, you're welcome to send me a PM.

best,
Lise
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:46 am

I agree with Isan there should be a fuller statement from Rev Mein.

I base my view on the fact that there are many people,innocent lay people especially in America who knew Eko, I know someone who met him at Tassahara.
I do not think moving forward that this episode of very inappropriate behaviour can be swept under the carpet.

It is never a good thing to find out 5 years later that one was not told the truth,I feel it is better to bring it out in the open talk about it digest it and then let it go.

It is clearly a very sensitive issue,I think this is because we know that no matter how it is viewed, this type of behavior is not the behavior expected from the leader of a celibate religious order,and it brings to question what is the sincerity and depth of the teaching
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:29 am

:-) Hi All...and good morning/evening early birds and night owls ~

:-) Jimyo
Kid's post was pretty global about all preceding contributors, and you did say you agreed with every word! I know what it's like to have specifics in mind that may not come out clearly in ones words...it can be a pain to have to think how to fine tune. ...All water under the bridge. All the best to you, old friend. (-:

:-) Lise
I may be missing something in the master-disciple relationship, but to suggest that a woman who gladly participates (I'm not talking here about an abbot trying to talk another person around or coerce) in a romantic/sexual relationship with an abbot is, ipso facto, victim of a person in power imposing his will on a subordinate, seems to me to be infantilising that woman, imputing that she has no power or capacity to take responsibility for her choices. This is a subtle matter to discuss, one easy to misconvey; but unless people take or own their spiritual responsibility, they are inadvertently going to be chucking their power away. One may have done this unwittingly, like a child blindly copying his/her parent. When one realises what one has done, one may first try to blame the parent...I remember doing this with my dad (not about a sexual matter) when I was about ten. I insulted him about his middle-age spread for about a fortnight afterwards as a way of getting back at him! When he expressed hurt at this, I went to my room and thought again; and realised what I wrote above about throwing my own power away: it was time for me to own it. My copycat-behaviour did not particularly harm me: it was insulting about others (not present at the time). I felt aghast at how blindly I had followed, but I had done it: this is not a matter of blaming, just owning ones power.

I have rabbited long on this Lise but, finally, like glorfindel, I was not focusing on the aspect of OBC rules or the double-standard. Let me know if there's more that concerns you on this (but I have to go shopping today...grocieries!) (-:
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:09 am

We are predictable creatures who pass through predictable states of development. Organizations and perceptions do much the same. There is an especially clear progression seen in charges of sexual mis-behavior, and most especially when a person in a position of trust chooses a student or otherwise vulnerable person as his (or her) prey. So it is with the latest revelations of Michael Little's behavior. Initially there was, and is, disgust and revulsion, as we have seen on this forum, almost like the initial Denial described by Kubler-Ross. There was even speculation that Little was being "set up."

Now the forum discussion has moved to the next predictable stage--blaming the victim. Offering statements such as "It might have been mutual," "These women could have just hanged up the phone," and "How bad could something like that be?" are dismissive of the experience of the victim, and in fact shift the blame toward the victim, a frequent scenerio in cases of sexual wrongdoing. Let me quickly add that I do not attack the motives of someone offering these statements, but I do suggest that they do not demonstrate a full recognition of the traditional ways in which women are, first, victimized, and then, second, made responsible for their own victimization. Their statements simply unquestioningly adopt a common societal outlook. A person in a position of dependency has been violated, whether by sexual or any other means. It is not the victim's fault.

Forum discussion is now moving into a third predictable stage: the rush to reconciliation--"Let's just put this all behind us. He's gone now, anyway. We should focus on doing our own training." Remember stages, again--no one can develop directly from crawling to running. Full and true reconcilliation is simply not possible until every victim who wants to be heard has been heard. Some victims may choose to talk to a therapist, some may want acknowledgment from OBC priests and leaders, some may even want to speak directly to the forum. But no one can be left out. All who want to be heard, now or later, must be heard. Anything short of full acknowledgment and sympathetic listening cuts off the oppportunity for healing. This road is difficult and painful for all involved, but it must be followed.

And now let me offer yet another stage, not yet mentioned: who knew of Little's transgressions? When did they know? What was their response? In cases such as this, the organization is universally at fault. Perhaps there was no avenue for reporting and complaint. Perhaps the avenue provided was ineffective. Perhaps the investigators themselves were in denial--overcome by Delusion. Bringing this part of the story into full light is also required for healing and reconciliation.

For me, Little's failures were simply the failures of a single person. The real question for me is the as yet unexplained role played by Shasta Abbey and the OBC.
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:38 am

I agree George.
I would like to hear Dianas views on this,and have a refreshed psot from her in the light of the current disclosures
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:17 am

:-) Hello George ~

You seem very clear that Michael Little chose (if I may part-quote/paraphrase you) students as his prey in the phone incidents, but I do not yet have this clarity from the information I have read (perhaps I have forgotten or overlooked something). I am not arguing with the information presented, I just don’t feel it is sufficient for me to be clear on this. Do you have specific information on this, or is it simply that you feel confident guessing it? Even if you are guessing, you may be correct about the situation.

I would say that assuming the particular from the general may or may not be accurate. Perhaps necessary data will be forthcoming. (-:
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:29 am

George wrote:

Now the forum discussion has moved to the next predictable stage--blaming the victim.

There is a world of difference between trying to establish whether someone is a victim, and blaming them for something that may have happened. I'm all for not jumping to specific conclusions without the necessary evidence.

One of the reasons why rape cases are notoriously difficult is not because of an innate antagonism toward women but because it can be difficult to unravel the consensual/non consensual issues. Very sad and traumatic for authentic victims (the true story "Lucky" by Alice Sebold gives a very upfront account of how much of a struggle it can be), but very necessary to avoid miscarriages of justice.
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:20 am

I agree rape cases are very difficult to judge because of the issues you mention. there are good judgements and not good ones.

i think that a majority of rape victims actualy do not go to court as they can not face the ordeal.

I helped set up a youth centre taht was a focal point or flash point for one of the riots last night, one of their spokes persons was on the telly talking about it, I was more involved with womans issues when I was there,helped set up a womans centre as well but am out of touch largely now. My belief is that there is a friendlier system for women now than there was. a lot of the problem was and I believe still is that victims know their attacker, and are even family members,

These issues I do not believe are central to the post, which focuses on Eko whilst he held the important office as Abbot acted in a way that he should not have done, It was detrimental to at the very least himself, the growth of Buddhism in the west, the efforts being made to bring Shasta Abbey on a firmer footing in the eyes of themselves and others,and we will wait and see if any harm was caused to the lady or ladies in question
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:00 am

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:
Eko whilst he held the important office as Abbot acted in a way that he should not have done, It was detrimental to at the very least himself, the growth of Buddhism in the west, the efforts being made to bring Shasta Abbey on a firmer footing in the eyes of themselves and others,and we will wait and see if any harm was caused to the lady or ladies in question


100% agree with that.

Also I'm a bit in awe of all the amazing things you've done in your life chisanmichaelhughes.
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:10 am

One day we can sit by my fire and I will tell you some stories,only hope I can remember them
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:11 am

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:
One day we can sit by my fire and I will tell you some stories,only hope I can remember them

It could take a while. I'd better bring a sleeping bag
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:21 am

Ha ha very good
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:19 pm

In re-reading this thread (and some good reminders via PM) I would like to restate briefly that the information discussed here is alleged. M. Little did admit to the existence of the romantic relationship for which he left Shasta Abbey, but as far as I know he has not admitted to the behaviour re: phone calls. As several readers have pointed out, we should keep this distinction in mind as a matter of fairness, and not assume the allegations are true until some type of definitive process confirms them as facts.
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:49 pm

Lise thank you,
How accurate are you that Rev Mein said what she said at the meeting?
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:08 pm

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:
Lise thank you,
How accurate are you that Rev Meian said what she said at the meeting?

If I may jump in, I spoke with Rev Seikai about it. He said that although he didn't have personal knowledge he can confirm it's true to the extent that he was privy to the statements of those who claim to have been on the receiving end of Eko's behavior. So, what we have is still hearsay, but at least there is more than one person I consider reputable saying essentially the same thing.
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:17 pm

Thank you Isan,
Is this confidential?
You say privy to statements, does this imply there was more than one statement, hence more than one person.
Can you tell me how Rev Seikai felt about it all, Were he and the Abbey shocked ?
Are they issuing a statement.
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:35 pm

hi Michael, just catching up, I am confident that I received accurate information about what was said at the meeting. I've heard from three persons whose independent accounts all line up as to the relevant points. It's good to clarify this - thanks for asking - L.
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:43 pm

Thank you Lise
I did not doubt that for a minute
I must away to sleep I am never sure what the time is there, I have an early start don't know if is before your lunch, afternoon tea, or supper
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:56 pm

Afternoon tea, I'd like that, it's almost 1500 here. Wouldn't a nice veggie-sausage roll hit the spot Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:43 am

:-) Hi Isan!

You wrote:
Rev Seikai...was privy to the statements of those who claim to have been on the receiving end of Eko's behavior. So, what we have is still hearsay, but at least there is more than one person I consider reputable saying essentially the same thing.
I infer from the term "on the receiving end" that the claimants describe being put upon by Eko's behaviour, rather than being willing participants. Do you know if this was Seikai's clear impression?
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:49 am

Anne wrote:
:-) Hi Isan!

I infer from the term "on the receiving end" that the claimants describe being put upon by Eko's behaviour, rather than being willing participants. Do you know if this was Seikai's clear impression?

Hello Anne,

Seikai also said that he felt Eko had done considerable harm to the spiritual lives of the women in question. From the lengthy discussion he and I had I have no doubt that the women were not willing participants.
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:01 am

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:
Thank you Isan,
Is this confidential?
You say privy to statements, does this imply there was more than one statement, hence more than one person.
Can you tell me how Rev Seikai felt about it all, Were he and the Abbey shocked ?
Are they issuing a statement.

Not sure what you mean here by "confidential". Yes more than one person was involved. I would describe Seikai as being very, very sad about what happened with Eko and it's impact on Shasta Abbey, and that's more than a year after Eko's resignation. I believe it would be accurate to say that the community was stunned and they are still in the early stages of recovery. Remember that the FaithTrust Institute was called in to look at all this, and I've heard their report is imminent.
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:58 pm

:-) Isan, many thanks for clearing up my question, and for conveying Seikai's grave and saddening concerns.

Did Seikai mention if Eko explained his reason for his behaviour to any of the women?
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:01 pm

Anne wrote:
Did Seikai mention if Eko explained his reason for his behaviour to any of the women?

Seikai didn't speak to this, and I didn't think to ask.
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:52 pm

Yes thanks for answering the questions Isan.
Did Seikai,say how long this type of behaviour had been going on?
Is Sekai,s view that Eko was a good Abbot and then suddenly he went astray, or is there now a feeling of mistrust about his leadership?
Is the Abbey still going to sell his tapes of lectures?

I assume that there must be a sense of unease with people that he has ordained and possibly transmitted, especially amongst women
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:55 am

I think there is a need to express great sympathy for all the people that have been effected by this news of Eko. I assume because of the lack of comments here that there is a degree of shock.

One of the problems is that no one has been through this before so there is little or no experience to draw on.

In this case it is very confusing as Shasta always took a particular position on sex and discipline. Remember married couples were asked to divorce and Kyogen who refused was kicked out,the Malayan Sanga joined up I believe the basis was strict following of precepts

If we are honest as people who meditate, we have gotten lost in our meditations many times, we have lazily drifted off, and ended thinking about all sorts of things. What does one do come back to ones zazen.

In japan there are 3 basis of practice, zazen, devotional aspect such as bowing, and bendowa, or teaching and practice through temple rules and living,Coming back to temple living is always quite easy a bell goes and one cleans up. of course it has to also be done in the zen way of mindfulness

Sympathy and compassion are 2 cornerstones of Buddhist practice, and at confused times,we should feel for ourselves and others,it is not a time to feel negative about ones previous endeavors . It is however a time to return to simple zazen certainly a time to put down thoughts and issues of what one possibly even thinks, or thought one's practice and meditation should be.

I am sure there is a great need for talking things through, as it is not everyday that the leader of a religious group is exposed in this way, but for those that sit don't be put off. Zazen is always simple, sit still, let ones mind be, don't do this and don't do that, just sit purely here and now, this is the real way through to simply being here and now
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:43 am

Whether Eko/Michael Little actually did what he said, or whether for reasons unknown he simply wanted his listeners to believe he did what he said, when I think of possible ramifications for the women involved, stating my sympathy seems lame, incapable of reversing "considerable harm" befallen in their spiritual lives...

But if any reader is among those thus affected, I truly hope you find/will find your way through the suffering to peace of heart and mind, and that you have/will have the benign support of others... My sincere and ongoing best wishes to you.
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:44 am

Anne what you so tenderly said, offers so much. Love solidarity, sympathy and compassion. These I believe offers a lot , and show that the finger when needed points to our own hearts
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:03 pm

Lise-"A student/disciple is not in a position to consent to this kind of
activity, due to the power imbalance between them and the "teacher". It
doesn't matter whether a student is willing or not; the teacher owes a
much higher duty of care to avoid harm that can arise from that power
imbalance and the exploitation of the less-powerful person -- even if
the victim allows it. This is why teachers are fired for relationships
with students even if the latter are of legal age, doctors & lawyers
lose their licenses, and pastors are forced to resign. "- Lise

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

In some of the posting this excellent point by Lise has not been received as it should. While facts are still incomplete, some are apparently known, enough to make this known and invite others to come forward. Clergy abuse often persists because of secrecy and because the pain of betrayal, shame, and guilt often inhibits survivors from coming forward. I have been in a position as psychotherapist and spiritual director to know the very exacting code of ethics and laws that cover this behavior. I also have been a survivor all my adult life, living with, and attempting to heal from the damage inflicted by a member of the clergy when I was an adolescent placed in that person's care. Power differentials are key to understanding abuse. Surivors themselves frequently do not appreciate that, are frequently filled with shame, guilt and lowered self esteem, and blame themselves for the abuse and the damage that follows. Survivors often commit suicide.

Persons who place themselves in authority and are recognized in that position, especially if that authority is of a spiritual/religious/psychotherapeutic nature and involves intimate and privileged communication and confidentiality, have a special responsibility. Communities have a special responsibility to hold such authority figures accountable and to protect those who were invited to give their trust to such persons. Trying to understand this from legalistic models or other analogies that come from politics or elsewhere are simply inappropriate lack understanding of the dynamics of these relationships, and do not contribute to greater understanding.
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:49 pm

Good points Bill, I have to admit that I do not have a great depth of understanding of people who have been sexually abused.
I feel that sometimes there are 3 types of people who have been abused, the first type I never see, as they do not talk about it and there is no apparent sign of a problem, sometimes if one is invited into their world, they may certainly always to my surprise and tell some or all of their story. Other people I have met have sort of gotten through it,accepted it and then battled through the emotional difficulties.
I have though met a few people who have catastropic lives, everything never quite works, a trail is left wherever they go,they seem to always abuse someone else,and whilst perhaps are able to be open, actually can not resolve the pain, they simply can not climb off the train

I think when a religious person, is involved as you say there are different ramifications, as ones basic trust and whole belief have been violated. I think people that have suffered sexual abuse and have found a way through have so much to offer other people. In this particular instance the alleged behavior of an Abbot, I think many people would feel betrayed by having put a lot of special faith and trust in him.

One of my plans in a few months time when I get my hands on the proceeds of a shop sale, is to run a wide ranging help website, from Bereavement ,social issues ,and rape guidance. One of my girlfriends was sexually abused by her Dad and she would I think have a tremendous amount of help to give, sometimes just by being there, she seems very keen to help

I think that what you say about authoritive figure is very relevant as I think a lot of sexual abuse comes from authoritive figures The horrible aspect for them that sex and power run side by side
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:59 pm

Dear Anne,


Stating your sympathy is NEVER, EVER lame especially in situations like this. I remember times when I've been devasted by events, and the kindest, warmest words that were said to me were as simple as I'm sorry this has happened.

Your expression of sympathy shows you care and that's a good thing.


Yours,
mokuan
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:06 pm

@Chisan

Sex abuse from anyone is often the most damaging form of abuse, because it is such an intimate violation of our personhood. Our spirituality is about intimacy with Life. A violation of our capacity for intimacy results, not only from other people, but also from our own heart, and the Heart of the world. I would say also that especially in the case of an abuser in religion/spiritual authority it is most devastating because it often leads to a distrust of our own heart, our own spiritual center because the spiritual authority, for those who have not yet found the inner authority of the heart or spiritual center, stands in for it, the "finger pointing to the moon," as it were.

As initiates we project so much on to spiritual teachers/clergy etc. I was schooled in the Roman Catholic tradition where the priest stand in for Christ, for the Divine, and is considered the doorway sacramentally to the Indwelling/Alldwelliing Divine. In the case of the Zen priest, he/she can stand in for our own Buddha nature, if we haven't yet claimed authority yet within for ourselves. In my own case, I turned away utterly from meditative/spiritual practice for a number of years. following my experience, away from an inner life which had been life sustaining in getting through a difficult childhood and family experience. In my early twenties I went into clinical depression and despair with suicidal thinking as a result of this spiritual loss of center. In the crisis that ensued I rediscovered my center and that was the beginning of my serious practice, but it was a dangerous passage that might have gone the other way, and has, for many.

In a paradoxical way it led me to a resolve that through meditation I would only trust my own inner center, and never again give any human spiritual authority that kind of trust again. (This served me well when I had my departure from the OBC, and in my work with spiritual directees. I only worked with serious meditators and my teaching was always about trusting their meditation practice and following a grounded and healthy ethical system.) And I was determined to have a serious practice that would give me that degree of personal spiritual autonomy and maturity.

But some just don't make that passage, and end up with destroyed lives along the way, and, as I stated, the data shows there are many who simply take their own life. Later in life I was able to find psychological healing through therapy, and being a therapist myself was able to trust that. I also came to a juncture where as an adult I confronted the monk/abuser, who was still living, and the abbot of the monastery/seminary where the abuse occurred and insist on certain demands as a condition of not pursuing litigation. I insisted that every alumnus of the seminary be contacted by mail asking those tho come forward who may have been abused like me. I asked for my therapy costs to be paid. I asked for a system of independent advocacy and counseling to be set up for every abuse survivor. The abuser had to receive a full residential evaluation and treatment, and acknowledge in my presence the extent of his wrongdoing,and I received as well as an apology from the abbot.

All this was done. Of course I had the leverage of litigation to exact these things. But the outcome was healing for me and certainly good for the monastery/seminary in question to be held accountable. They have had to face serious litigation and financial loss from other former students who were not as forgiving or willing to pursue the path that I did. The monastery even had to sell some of its property to make amends. But none of this would have happened if there were into public disclosure and accountability, and the court system to force these things to happen. I am also deeply indebted to a spiritual advisor, a skilled woman, who was my advocate in this process.

Rather than turning my life and trust over to any spiritual authority I have concluded that the most helpful thing in life and growth is to have mature spiritual friends, who give their utmost respect and love, and who share what they can of their own experience with practice, and who give encouragement, as any good friend does.
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:16 pm

cmpnwtr wrote:
are simply inappropriate lack understanding of the dynamics of these relationships, and do not contribute to greater understanding.

cool story bro
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:46 pm

From the information I presently have available (and maybe the people here who are jumping to conclusions have more info than me) I do not know that M Little wasn't involved in mutually happy (at the time) relationships.

I can imagine a potential interaction:

"I love you"I
"I love you too"
"dammit I'm an abbot"
"that sucks Sad"
"I can stop being an Abbot"
"would you do that?"
"Its complicated"
etc

OR

For all we know (from the data available) he could have been actively pursued and seduced. I've seen that happen to a monk in another tradition (It was my friend that was trying to seduce him. He was very tempted).

There are any number of possible fantasy scenarios and >>>without further information<<< i don't think we should be demonizing this guy.

Jealous ex's are capable of throwing lots of muck at a person. NOT that I think that the conjectured victims are jealous ex's.......but they might be. Again: no information.

Concerning abuse of trust: my brother met his wife when she was his nurse in hospital. She could have lost her job for pursuing that love (if anyone had cared to make a big deal about it). Out of that abuse of trust came some beautiful, wondrous children. They are radiant little geniuses.

All situations (this is just my belief) have to be analysed on their own merits.

I'm aware some people here have suffered, as children, at the hands of others. That doesn't mean we have to think everyone that falls in love in inappropriate circumstances is like a paedophile. Is it a case of people filling the void of information with their own agendas?I

That isn't to say that Eko wasn't a [admin delete]. He very well may have been. But >>>from the info that I have seen<<< I cannot give that fantasy scenario any more credence than other potential fantasy scenarios (some of which I have outlined above). Not YET anyway.








Last edited by Lise on Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:04 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Rules violation / name-calling)
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:53 pm

Glorfindel--Exactly. Ditto on your last post.



(Not sure what Bill said to earn the "cool story bro" in your previous...isn't that usually a sarcastic response?)
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:00 pm

ddolmar wrote:
Glorfindel--Exactly. Ditto on your last post.



(Not sure what Bill said to earn the "cool story bro" in your previous...isn't that usually a sarcastic response?)

Yea. I don't think the people questioning the evidence fitted his description (that I quoted) of them at all.
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mokuan



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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:15 pm

"For all we know (from the data available) he could have been actively pursued and seduced. I've seen that happen to a monk in another tradition (It was my friend that was trying to seduce him. He was very tempted)."

We used to have a term --actually still do for that matter-- for those very handsome priests up in the pulpit. We referred to them as Father Whattawaste and then sigh -- actually still do for that matter!
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:07 am

Thanks for your reply Bill.
You appear to have an abundance of integrity and honesty, in my experience with sexual abuse integrity and honesty are the first things that disappear.
I believe this is so for both victim and perpetrator . The victim denies very often that all or part of an abuse has taken place. The prisons here, are full of innocent people who did not do their crime.

A sad story from my small village is the Dad who is now 82 in his younger days would drink for England, and would usually become very violent. If there was no one around with whom he could engage in serious violence, he would go home at closing time attack his wife, and then his 3 children in a very serious physically violent way.

The result amongst the 3 now men, is rather sad to see, The youngest at 45 is a alcoholic, who tend to be violent when he can stand up. The eldest is incredibly violent especially if any alcohol is involved, and the middle brother, seemed to be amazingly straight and never caused trouble ( I have to throw in some honesty here , and say I know them well and am friendly with them all ) The straight middle brother a few years ago was convicted of non
consentual sex with 2 minors . He was banged up in Dartmoor confined with sexual offenders for his own safety.Through out his trial and sentence and afterlife, he has protested innocence, and some friends stood by him and their basis of believing that he could not have done it, was as we all know him, rather than any factual evidence.

The whole of the sad story which does show that abuse carries on and is often perpetrated by the abuser. however there is a constant absence of truth and integrity. In recent years there is more attempts by the violent brother to come to terms with his behavior, as he has gradually found some self worth, through his surfing activities and competitions.

I think that from a victims position, self worth is plucked from them so often and it is very difficult to find the desire to look and face the darkness of their violation. From time to time people pop up who speak as you do Bill with great eloquence and understanding,of the path that they have taken to come through, and of course can help others through the same confused maze. You are lucky Bill being a spiritual person that you have been able to draw on your inner strength and undestroyed integrity and honesty. I am sure that you helped many people

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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:58 am

glorfindel wrote:
From the information I presently have available (and maybe the people here who are jumping to conclusions have more info than me) I do not know that M Little wasn't involved in mutually happy (at the time) relationships.

You're correct Glorfindel that we don't know anything for certain - this has been affirmed more than once - but no one here needs to make the case. That is the responsibility of the leadership of Shasta Abbey. They are the source of the allegations. I suggest that anyone who wants more certain information contact RM Meian directly. I am hoping that the Abbey will eventually make a public statement, which I think would be to their benefit now that the story is public. From what I've heard I believe they have handled the situation quite responsibly, and they should distance themselves publicly from Eko's (alleged) behavior. (Admin delete)


Last edited by Lise on Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:49 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : removed text due to privacy issue)
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:27 am

This distancing themselves from Eko does not quite do it for me.

I suppose it depends on ones point of view,I had serious doubts about Eko 35 years ago yet he became the Abbott,I think as long as the truth is told it gives all new people and old a true picture of what has happened inside the OBC. At that point it it is nothing to do with me I left what was the reformed Soto Zen Sect 35 years ago. To her credit Rev mein does seem to be open and honest in revealing what she has revealed,this has to be the way forward as the days of not quite being open and honest, seem to have gone.

At the time when I first met Kennett Roshi in 1970 I would never have believed that there would be this level of criticism and argument about her organisation. I find it very sad that second generation down from Koho Zenji the Abbott or ex Abbott of Shasta has been removed from office under the cloud of even further allegations.

Our practice remains remarkably simple all we do is sit, everything else is extra

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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:52 pm

Our practice remains remarkably simple all we do is sit.
Totaly agree Chisan.

Listening to talks given by Rev Meian, she does show the virtues of love and humility. The opposite of arogant clever wisdom. She must be dieing inside.
I do hope they set up some sort of monitoring system where seniors especially Abbotts have to account for there decisions and behaviour, maybe three strikes and your out of office or something like. I have never been comfortable with absolute power even in the name of its for your own good and always thought it questionable.

The whole situation is so very sad, does make me wonder if this is the lot or will more vialations
come later on.This would have derailed me during my earlier years, but now.... certainly takes the special out of training.We can rest within our own hearts, and go on with the process of sitting arising and investigation of our habitual emotional/thoughts and actions, with the deep wish to transform it all. And honour The Buddha.

John.
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:37 pm

Thanks for your reply John, I have not seen you post any comments recently and had the feeling that you like me was a bit shocked by the recent disclosures.

For me one of the most important aspects of Buddhism is the Sanga. The Sanga does not neccessarily agree, but it agrees to work things out. Basically i feel that when one does not just sit one has something to work out.

The Sanga and heirarchy has been rather important to me, it was one reason I went to Japan,It was important for them too (the Japanese monks) Part of our tradition is respecting the fact that there are people above us, and that we are answerable in some way, if our standards fall short in a temple one is pulled up. One advantage of this type of system , if that is what it is, is that there is help always available,and it should be sought.

I do not know now if Shasta Abbey is a part of Soto Zen or Sojiji. I read here I believe that one of the ladies said Eko could tell that the Abbott of Sojiji had not had a kensho,simply by looking at him,it really is a very belittling statement,that almost bypasses a seniors spiritual worth, under the present circumstances and allegations, it sounds rather lame, Daiji told me in 1976 that when someone queried the previous life experiences and asked what Koho Zenji would have thought, the reply was well he would not understand. These comments crop up in my mind at the moment.

I agree with you there has to be a monitoring system again I very clearly remember Maezumi Roshi telling me that he would expect a certain ammount of criticism , perhaps from new people , or people struggling with some aspect of teaching, but he would definitely take note if a senior disiciple was critical. Without justifying Maezumi roshi's behavior he was at least usually the first to reveal his wrong doings.

We are a Sanga John, you and I may well have different views, different values, or we may have the same, either way I feel we are friends and respect each other. That for me is an essential foundation of Zen Buddhism
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john

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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:13 pm

Ditto, Chisan.

Shocked into silence I think.

Yes sitting with no doing. When I dont control anything, its just sitting.

Thank you.
Buddha bows to Buddha.






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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:46 am

Michael , John ,
Yes shocked into silence - and despair at it all -
Thank you both of you for getting to our hearts
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:53 am

Nice to hear from you Nicky.
I am not surprised at all at the way you feel.

It is worth bearing in mind that the spiritual path for you was a path you chose. It is in my experience never too easy to define what a spiritual path is,perhaps not what we thought it was in the first place.

Personally i feel it does have something to do with how we live our life and the decisions that we make.From what you have told me you felt the need to be in touch with something deeper and sought a spiritual life, at varying stages you have said hang on that is not the direction for me. and altered course. Sometimes that takes bravery and trust in something other than what one is being told, these are admirable qualities.


2 examples that stick in my mind.

When Daiji left Shasta in 76 he told me that for him being a senior monk, meant that he would always prefer the truth. I respect that still today, regardless of outcome, regardless loss of position and face, Daiji will still stand up for what he believes in.

When discussing Zen in the west with Ikko roshi he told me he felt it was sometimes very difficult to say what is good or bad zen. That is without even defining zen at all in the first place. Within his temple he tried to practice the highest standard of living Buddhism that he could.

Again personally zen for me , today, is defined as what one does when one blows out the candle out on the alter,Is ones practice unified with ones life, or is one confined to a shell by stupid opinions and daydreams.

The very fact that we feel as we do about the present allegations means again we have an opportunity to define and pratice our spiritual life. I often crave for the simplicity of life in Zuoiji temple,but that is temple living,having that spirit in our normal daily lives is not so easy. I always feel Nicky, that you are doing a good job at defining and practicing your spirituality, for that you have my great respect
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:09 am

Isan wrote:


You're correct Glorfindel that we don't know anything for certain -

In that case I feel that the original post in this thread is a bit preemptive. If we had a more concrete understanding of the situation I think the original post would serve a very useful purpose (the purpose stated by Lise). But without that understanding it comes across to me a bit like the "smut" that appears in the first few pages of a few small British Newspapers. It could be causing quite a few people unnecessary sorrow.

A quick perusal of this thread will show that people have jumped to conclusions.
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:49 pm

Glorfindel, I beg to differ,
I think dont Rev Meian talking of the seriously perverse behaviour of a senior monk and probably long time friend, can be compared to the smut inuendos and jumping to conclusions of the gutter press. Even so that still has its impact, unless or untill one knows otherwise even lies about someone are shocking and very tragic if its a smear campain and I do hope this latest revelation has no foundation.

I feel that Buddhism, or ones personal commitment to do this work is far bigger than the excomunication of one individual.

For me, the question is where does this leave one in relation to the search for meaning and understanding in ones life and not be knocked of course. Our persuit of truth is greatly aided by other like minded people and very importantly we draw from them, and as Chisan says Sangha is important. I think its a time for Sangha closeness and support for all in which is clearly a very difficult time.

John
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:09 pm

john wrote:
very tragic if its a smear campain

This
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:11 pm

My understanding is that the information discussed at the 11 June meeting was known within the OBC community for some time prior. I'm told it was shared further with laity because some female contacts of the former Abbot had begun to hear from him again, and the Abbey felt people should be aware of others' reports re: the calls. This is a supportable reason for raising the issue, both in the June meeting and on the forum.

John, ChisanMichael, I agree it would be good to know what kind of monitoring system will be in place going forward; maybe the FTI Assessment will speak to it.

L.

p.s. Your posts above have a steadying effect on me. I appreciate it.

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Anne

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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:03 am

:-) Does anyone know if Eko/Michael Little knows of references to himself on OBCC? If not, I wonder if it would be better if he did...?

Some posters might doubt from the outset that Eko could be trusted not to mislead deliberately... And I guess that Eko might conclude in advance that posting would be pointless, envisaging that an angry swarm would descend upon him and pooh-pooh his every word of explanation or contradiction... But even if no one could expect clarity to emerge, perhaps Eko should have the opportunity to check on what's here; of course, in reading it, he might wish he had never found out...

I'm not a Facebook member but there is one Eko Little and umpteen Michael Little's on it (I saw photos of some but didn't recognise him in any).

My head is in a thick fog from lack of sleep...my apologies all around for any rough edges in the above... (-:
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:38 am

Anne, my thought is that he is most likely aware of the forum. Given that he can easily see what's discussed here if he chooses to, it's not necessary to seek him out through FB to make this point. He's not obliged to respond to queries from forum members and I want to be clear that "the forum" is not directing anyone to track him down; I'm told this could be seen as cyber-stalking and harassment.

Obviously if he ever wished to make a statement here we would support that.

L.
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:27 pm

A bit of a sorrowful thread to come back to. Not much to add as much as bow.

Sorrowful for Mr Little to have the details of his koan so publicly splashed about. I presume that the karmic wave now dogging Michaels heels has never felt so thunderously close.

Sorrowful for his disciples to hear how far their master/ abbot's descent had gone at Shasta. What wouldn't a disciple question of that master/disciple relationship at this point?

Sorrowful for those phone recipients and the general Shasta Sangha who have been subjected to such conflicting teachings.



Blessings for Mr Little, blessings for his former disciples and blessings for the Shasta Sangha at large.
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:30 pm

And blessings to the rest of us who (let us pray) do not have the most embarrassing things about us or our meanest acts turned into general public knowledge.



Sorry Howard, not like your text was improvable...
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:20 pm

HOWARD.

"Blessings for Mr.Little, Blessings for his former disciples and Blessings for the
Shasta Sangha at large."

Words from the heart. Thank you. May we all be blessed.

Stan.
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:47 am

Howard, Stan and D.Dolmar, thank you. The Sandokai came to mind, "within all light is darkness, yet explained it cannot be by darkness that one sided is alone."..Right along the light lives that darkness of our human nature and who knows by what strange occurance,
sequence of events, darkness gains the upper hand in ones life in one form or another from which even an Abbot has no immunity.

Bows to all the Sangha

Brigitte
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PostSubject: Re: Additional info on Michael Little   Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:00 am


I cant join in in all this blessing/Koan stuff , and find these last few postings disturbing , and dont want to be part of it , but am holding on to something that goes on here .
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