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 a former novice speaks up

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amalia



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PostSubject: a former novice speaks up   Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:19 am

Thank you, Lise, for getting the forum going. I think we can all see now how right you were about the importance of an open, transparent forum.
I have been following the forum for some time now and have noticed that there does continue to be some speculation about what occurred at the North Cascades Buddhist Priory during the summer of 2006.
It has been exactly 4 years since all of that happened. With the encouragement of some other former members I have finally decided to break my silence. I have published an entire account of my recruitment and early involvement in the OBC, my time as a postulant and novice under Koshin, as well as a full account of what exactly happened that summer.
This story is here:

A young woman's experience at the North Cascades Buddhist Priory
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jack



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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:57 am

A very disturbing view of what it's like inside the OBC fold. It's in the same mold as Karen Armstrong's experience as a Catholic nun in The Circular Staircase. The account reads like the saga of abused children who become abusers. The authoritarian smugness, lack of compassion and insight, ignorance, failure to distinguish between physical and spiritual phenomena, cruelty in the name of some religious purpose, etc. -- all things that a normal person would clearly see. It also shows the how cruelly distorting any rigid doctrinal religious view can become -- even if the doctrine is Buddhist.

Like the writer, I too have noticed that a disproportionately high percentage of the OBC monks seem to suffer from either physical and psychic maladies.

I'm thankful for the writer's account. I'm glad the OBC phase of my Buddhist training (as a lay person) is behind me.
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Lise
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PostSubject: welcome!   Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:41 am

Amalia, it's very good to have you here. When I saw your name on the member list, I felt like someone we'd been waiting for had just arrived on the doorstep Smile

I'm glad that any discussions about your NCBP experience will be visible to you and subject to any clarification needed. I understand the sensitivity of this and will do what I can to support the right atmosphere for conversation about it.

Once more, welcome --

Best regards,
L.
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:48 am

I meant to add, I've read the information available through your link and am still trying to process it, to be able to comment. I will need to look at it several times. I was aware of some aspects already, through our prior contact, but not the level of detail or overall severity of the situation.

More later -

L.
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Diana



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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:48 pm

I can't even get this out because of the tears welling up in my eyes.

Thank you for sharing your story.

I don't even know what else to say!

Your courage and strength is such an inspiration.

Thank you, a million times over.

~Diana
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Kyogen

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PostSubject: An apology   Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:48 pm

Dear Amalia,

Reading the website account of your experiences at North Cascades Buddhist Priory was painful and difficult. Although I have been shunned, essentially, by the OBC, I would like to apologize to you on behalf of my Dharma brothers and sisters and the lineage we share. We remain connected, even if they deny it, and even if I often wish it were not so.

You mentioned that many of the people who should have been helping you were out of their depth. I would add that I think they were also swimming in the wrong waters, which makes it all the worse. The Buddha once described the various practices he taught as like medicine in that they had to be correctly prescribed. The wrong ones are toxic when misused. It seems to me that the OBC has become fixed on a very narrow path, with very few practice tools, and when things go wrong they just keep prescribing more of the same medicine. That creates a toxic feedback loop that just gets worse and worse. I’m so very sorry you were caught in this.

At the same time, I feel real sympathy for the monks who did this to you. They had no permission to do otherwise. I think the problem goes back to the delusion of having found the “one true Dharma.” It seems that OBC monks are required to pledge allegiance to this point of view. At some point humility and “don’t know mind” got lost in the OBC culture. I think a tendency in that direction was there from the beginning, but it was not always so rigid. Roshi Kennett had a tendency to be doctrinal, but not in the absolutist way of later years.

I am very glad to hear that you have found your way in life. One thing I learned from the mistakes I observed is that the most important thing a priest can do is to help and encourage people to find the path that works for them, no matter what it may be. Actually, Jiyu Kennett used to say something to that effect in the early years, and she even demonstrated it from time to time. Sigh. I have to say that once you got close to her, however, that was not how she operated, and that side of her seems to have become dominant in the OBC culture.

Again, my sincere apologies to you. May you be well and happy.

With palms joined,

Kyogen
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amalia



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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:22 am

Thank you all for the support. I felt like I was taking a big plunge into cold water by publishing my story. For all this time I have still felt so much fear and shame about what happened, and above all I have felt ashamed that I got duped into what KS told me in the first place.

Now I wonder why I waited so long and what I was so afraid of. It is great to feel all of you out there with your kind words and sympathy. Thank you!

@Kyogen Your words mean much to me, even though we have never met (though we could have crossed paths in the summer of 1983 at the Abbey, when I came to visit my cousin Rev. A at the age of 10.)
Swimming in the wrong waters....a beautiful way to put it. Presumably I was, too, but it is for me an amazing thing how simple it was to return into the world and move into a whole new life. I never looked back, and now I am somewhere so different: a mother, a wife, an entrepreneur. Living in a home all full of love, decorated with special, personal things, in a city full of art, dance, music and friendship, all possibilities open, always new surprises. With hair on my head and beautiful clothes and even a few extra pounds... how fast life can change. When I read my journal from that summer it is hard for me to believe that that was even me. What strange, bizarre waters I was swimming in back then. How grateful I am that I made it out of that hell there, how dark and dismal it was, with all those sad, depressing people. It was like death there- and not just because I was so close to it. I am so glad I had a second chance.

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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:15 am

Good for you, Amalia. You do sound healthy and happy.

Kyogen
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:37 pm

Hi Amalia -- I've been wanting to come back and finish some thoughts I've been trying to process, in regard to your experience. Laura's joining the forum has been the nudge I needed and I wanted to tell you why.

Dating back to our pre-forum contact, I have struggled a bit with how fully I have accepted your description of what happened at NCBP. This is an indicator of how my mind works -- it's not at all an indictment of your truthfulness or ability to remember events accurately. I had no doubt that harm occurred, that it was extremely traumatic to you and that several people failed to do what they should. But I wasn't clear on the extent to which the OBC's environment/culture/behaviors were a primary cause, or was it some condition related to your own health that may have been the primary driver -- I couldn't reach a conclusion without more information.

I feel like I have that now, having read Laura's post. It wasn't that I didn't believe you before, but I had to reserve a complete opinion until my logical mind was satisfied by some type of concurring statement from a source who would know, such as another former insider. I no longer have any reservations.

I hope you'll forgive me if my slow-to-appear support has caused you any distress here on this forum or elsewhere. I'm thankful to you, and to Laura, and to everyone who comes forward.

Lise



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Kyogen

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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:09 pm

Hello Amalia and Lise,

Something that took me some time to understand, but is critical to a healthy practice environment, is that no matter what a student or sangha member is going through, a priest has to take proper care of that person. If they don’t understand it, then find someone that does. I’m not referring to you here, Amalia, but even if someone’s problems are entirely psychosomatic, if they don’t respond well to the environment of monastic practice, a priest needs to recognize that and get that person to an environment that will help. Kindness, or compassion if you wish, and wisdom depend upon each other, and cannot exist separately. The worst thing a priest can do is blame someone for not responding to the only cure they know.

In some of the stories I have heard from people leaving the OBC, priests have sometimes shamed people mercilessly before throwing them out. What is the point of that? The shaming is extra and serves no helpful purpose. There is a deep insecurity being expressed in the need punish those that don’t fit, or who don’t respond “properly” and as expected to the one medicine offered. Much of the arrogance and rigidity people have mentioned here is covering that insecurity. I feel a mix of anger and compassion for people trying their best to be teachers when the foundation is as shaky as that.

With palms joined,

Kyogen
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Kyogen

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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:18 pm

I would like to amend what I said here. I don't think the practice and teaching foundation was all that lacking, at least in years past. While I don't know what the training at Shasta or other OBC training centers is like these days, there was a fairly good foundation offered when I was there many years ago. We had classes on psychological issues, and we were encouraged to consult with Daizui, who was a clinical psychologist, if we had any questions. There may have been some others we could talk to as well. It would have been better if we had been encouraged to consult with experts outside the OBC too, of course. For whatever reason, however, the order became more rigid, a shift which has complicated causes, not just insecurity and a shaky foundation. Please excuse my getting on a hobby horse.

With palms joined,

Kyogen
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Diana



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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:24 am

"It would have been better if we had been encouraged to consult with experts outside the OBC too, of course."

I think this is the ideal, Kyogen. The therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists I have met that are affiliated with the OBC are clueless. I saw two of them during my time there. It was harmful and a complete waste of time. As far as I'm concerned, they are biased and incompetent. The relationship they have with the OBC makes it unethical to treat any members or ex-members.

You also bring up another issue, Kyogen, one I've been thinking about this last week and that is, the effect of Daizui's death on the OBC and Shasta Abbey. Things changed both subtley and dramatically after he died. I'm not sure what else I'll do with that, but it's something I'm thinking about. The departure of his lay disciples was a huge loss to Shasta Abbey. Those friends I had who were Daizui's disciples disappeared. I felt that loss.

~Diana
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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:12 pm

Hello Diana,

This perspective on Daizui's death and the change at the Abbey interests me greatly. Daizui was a close friend of mine when I was at the Abbey, and he stayed in touch with Gyokuko and me for a time after we resigned from the OBC. I always thought he had a pretty level head, and I hoped he would help normalize things in the long run. Can you recall who his Lay Disciples were? Also, there was a Lay Ministry program at the Abbey years ago, but it didn't involve discipleship with a particular person. When did the discipleship option appear, and what did it involve?

With palms joined,

Kyogen
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Diana



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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:50 pm

I finally found the thread that I needed to reply to! Phew.

To Kyogen~
Shoot. I have such a hard time typing out people's names. This is a searchable forum and every name we type can create a searchable link that links people here. I have a hard time with this part of the forum. Anyway...

Daizui had many lay disciples, from what I understand. The ones I knew best and who seemed to be the most loved and respected at the Abbey were David and Cate. After Daizui passed, most of the key lay disciples and lay ministers left. I know that Daizui took on a major role with the lay ministers, although I don't recall if he had a special title for doing so. One thing he offered was his hermitage. He opened it up to lay ministers and lay disciples. Everyone I talked to loved it there. I was never allowed to go. Especially after I fell in love with Daizui's disciple! I guess they didn't trust me anywhere near the place, lol! This whole thing set up some weird power struggles and jealousy with the congregation members. I didn't know Daizui. The only part of him I saw was when he and Eko had to step in and "discipline" me and the monk I fell in love with. It wasn't pretty, it was very ugly and sad actually and I was devastated and lost for a long time afterwards. (btw, after the monk had successfully let go of me, he was made a roshi. I guess he passed the test)

After I became RM Eko's disciple in 1998, there seemed to be an influx of other disciples coming in. Especially women! The lay ministery seemed to be really taking off then too. My guess is, at it's height, Eko probably had almost a dozen lay disciples. Other monks started taking on disciples as well, but only one or two at a time. I know when I became a disciple Eko had at least three others. I didn't know of any other disciples except I do know that David and Cate had been Daizui's disciples for a long time. There were a couple of lay ministers who wore brown kesas; I always assumed those were Daizui's disciples, but I could be wrong. There were at least five lay people with brown kesas.

Lay discipleship was confusing. It didn't really involve anything except more access to the master (for tea, sanzen, etc...). I had a lot going on in the begginning, so I had a lot of contact. It did seem that there was more pressure for disciples to be monks. I felt pressured, but then I was basically nuts and just wanted the safety of the closed community so I wouldn't freak out in public! I was in the throws of a big old kensho when I took on Eko as a master, so I was half crazy when I did it! I remember asking for help constantly. I would say "what am I supposed to do now?" I was in the middle of college. I couldn't function. Eko was the only hope I had. Looking back, it was all such a disaster. I needed REAL help. Of course my relationship with him was completely mixed- the most intense, spiritual, and special relationship I had ever had, and also the most confusing and dysfunctional one. Sound familiar? Lol! I always imagined that's how Jiyu's disciples must have felt.

After my falling out with Eko I noticed that so many people had started to leave- long time congregation members, lay ministers, monks... It was so noticeable, but no one said anything about anything. Eko changed during the time I knew him. The last time I saw him, I was very concerned. He was totally blowing it. He was acting like a total, well I can't say or Lise will get on my case! But he was rude and mean and I thought, delusional. What was he doing that would cause so many to leave? I hope to find out someday. I'm still obviously working all this out. Does that part ever stop?

I hope this helps. It helped me to get it out! Thanks for that.

Peace,
Diana
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Kyogen

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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:18 pm

Hello Diana,

My, it sounds like things were really pretty churned up there for a while, both for you personally and with others at the Abbey.

I mentioned somewhere else on this forum that there were waves of difficulty about ten years apart, and it looks to me as if another wave started a few years ago. Gyokuko and I have been shut our of communication, so we have no way of knowing what goes on there. I'd be interested in knowing if this perception is accurate, and if so, what people believe is at the root of it. Anyone out there have an opinion on this?

As for working all this out, Diana, I think talking with each other helps a lot. Perhaps it could even prod the powers that be in the OBC to be a bit more transparent.

With palms joined,

Kyogen
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amalia



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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:19 am

The development in this forum in the past week is just astonishing. Something is really happening here and I am sure that the many folks still inside the OBC are feeling it as much as the rest of us. There has been so much secrecy surrounding the OBC since the very start and here it all is, just starting to come out and open up after so much time. I was so wrapped up in my own story that it was hard for me to imagine what has been going on outside of the NCBP. This means so much to me to hear from you all, also to everyone who has contacted me privately.
Hard to believe that last winter I was telling Lise that a public forum was the wrong way to go... I was sure wrong about that one!
It is like some kind of infectious wound that has been all black and compounded with bacteria and rot, finally opened up and brought into the light to heal. I think the very act of speaking up on all of this is a powerful way to free ourselves from it. A kind of cleansing, if I might use an OBC term... We were all witnesses to and participants in the system at the OBC. And part of that experience was the mind control that Diana has so correctly described. This is the control that keeps the members who are reading this even now from posting and telling their stories, although I would hope that reading ours might help counteract it and serve as an example.
And I am sure that this forum has not even begun to scratch the surface of everything that has gone down in the last 40 years... it would be great if many of you silent readers would speak up, too.


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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:33 am

Hi Kyogen,

Perhaps my post regarding Eko's desire to take the Theravadin Bhikkhu ordination and the OBC's opposition to this will be of interest to you. It's interesting that he had actually already made arrangements to do this before it occured to him that maybe he should check with the Order first. He had to cancel his appointment for that ordination. I believe this was the beginning of his break with the OBC and that his timing in his initial resignation was, at least in part, due to a desire to avoid being present at the OBC conclave that is due to arrive at Shasta Abbey this fall.

That post is over on the now very long thread of my introductory post. It might be getting to be time to take some of those posts and put them onto another thread. Lise, any thoughts about how best to do that?

~ Laura
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:49 am

Hi Laura -- to move posts into a new thread, you might try the following. [If anyone has a quicker way, please share, thx.]

Have two Internet browser windows open to OBC Connect and be sure you're logged in;

In the first window, click on the category heading under which you want to start a new topic;

Click on the button labeled "New Topic" in the upper-left corner of the screen;

Give the topic a title;

Do not close that browser; leave it open.

In the other browser window, navigate to the thread whose posts you want to copy;

Inside each post, to the upper right you'll see buttons labeled "quote" and "multi-quote". Hitting either will open up a dialogue box from which you can copy and paste material to be moved over. Experiment with each button to see how they work (it's easier than me explaining it Smile )

Highlight the material to be moved, & copy using Ctrl C or by right-click of the mouse and select "copy";

Go back into the first browser window which you've left open to your New Topic, then paste the copied material into the open text field;

Hit "preview" below the text box to see how things look;

Continue the copy/paste process between browser windows until you're done, hit "preview" again to check;

Update with new comments if you want, "preview" again, then hit "send" when complete. If it's not what you wanted, use the "Edit" button within the post to work on it, or delete and start over if that's easier.

Laura, if any of this doesn't work, please let me know. If it is correct I'll move the instructions out of this thread and put them in a sticky for future reference. cheers, L
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Anne

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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:42 am

Hello Amalia

In your account, you mentioned meeting a lay minister who was also a doctor and psychiatrist, and that he was very concerned for you. Has he since been told fully of your ordeal? If not, and you know how to contact him, do you think it might be worthwhile?

If mainstream psychiatry in the USA is like that in the UK, it suffers from (to use its own terminology) the psychosis of illusoryself-view. Also, its materialist paradigm does not allow for such phenomena as earthbound spirits, clairvoyance, clairaudience, past life memory, etc. So in cases where these latter actually are part of the patient’s experience (www.spiritrelease.com/cases/index.htm), they are dismissed as hallucination and the patient is subjected to inappropriate measures. Thus, for some people, this kind of intervention is pretty disastrous. On the other hand, as you have experienced, doctors who are Buddhist practitioners may not realise that further intervention on their part, or following up the case, may be necessary to prevent other disaster but may trust that reporting their concerns to someone further up the hierarchy will ensure appropriate action.

As much as all concerned might wish otherwise, those we look to (priests, doctors, etc) for “diagnosis” of our condition and for prescribing suitable “treatment” may make serious mistakes. If Buddhist doctors were to become more aware that priestly errors of this nature occur, just as in their own profession, this might be to everyone’s advantage, improving both prevention and correction. Perhaps access to your account and similar, and to websites such as this, would be helpful in alerting these doctor-practitioners, some of whom may already have concerns in this direction. Similar troubles may arise in other Buddhist organisations. If doctor-practitioners could discuss occurrences as associates, they might be able to collaborate to address the matter with teachers of Buddhism, making more headway than an individual doctor.
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amalia



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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:19 am

Anne, I just don't know. He was down at the Abbey with my mother some time later and told her how worried he had been. Apparently he spoke to Haryo about his concern as well. When he saw me I was basically unable to speak or react and was in a wheelchair. So we didn't speak then, I don' t know if he realizes that his (medical) opinion - seen from a distance and without a formal examination - mght have some bearing on the OBC acknowledging what happened to me. They seemed to feel that I was not ever physically ill and without some kind of proof they will not accept that it happened. I for my part no longer trust them enough to give them a medical release, so there you are. His opinion might tip the scale, but I can't ask him to do anything he isn't comfortable doing.
I have found that the psychiatrist whose care I have been in since then was able to respond in a helpful way to what I described happening. She didn't have any judgements about that and in fact helped me to see that C.G.Jung has a framework in which one can understand phenomena like past lives without having to answer the question "was it really a past life?". I have learned that that is just not that important.
This may surprise some readers, but I just try to keep an open mind about it all. There are many different ways to look at what I experienced, some are helpful for me on my journey, some less so.
Thanks for writing and for your considerate thoughts on the matter.
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amalia



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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:05 am

I am finished with this forum. To the few friends I have made here: thank you! I hope we keep in touch.
It has been an interesting time.
For those who wish to contact me please use the contact page at my own OBC website.
I won't respond to PM messages from this site anymore.

I will be setting up a resource page there for former members of the OBC, with links to the various online/offline resources. Also there is a blog in the works and a the old private forum at http://obcdialog.2.forumer.com is now public and can be used by anyone who wants to speak up in a free speech environment.

I don't believe it makes much sense for former members to sit on both sides of the fence. Your're either in or you're out. So I'm out.

cheers,
Amalia
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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:40 am

sup?

btw u wuz nice 2 have a80u7.

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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:50 am

Amalia,
Sorry to see you go. You’re kind of like the bulldozer of this site: whenever you pass there is often a gem amidst the rubble you leave behind. I’ll miss you being here.
Kaizan
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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:50 pm

Amalia
You are sometimes a loose cannon, a scary wild thing, unpredictible and the spiritual sniper on the roof. A guy has a hard time finding a comfortable place to snooze on this site with you prowling around with that sharp stick of yours.. Some will find that to be more peacefull. I think your posts represent a part of all us that is restrained but is better from being seen in the light of day. A forum full of Amalia's would be chaos. A forum without you would be our loss. If you do go and check back sometimes you might find that this forum has descended into one collegial sleep in the middle of the highway. I'm not sure that you would like what I've written here but I guess my 2 cents worth is to ask you stay for the good that you do.
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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:32 pm

Amalia,

To echo everyone else--your departure would be our loss.
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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:55 pm

Well, I certainly don't think you are a "loose canon" or anything like that. Boy, people really don't get it here.

I'll be joining you on the other side in just a few moments....

If anyone wants any more words or advice from me, they will have tolerate more of Amalia, because I support her 100% and I'll be joining her on her site.

This certainly is not goodbye and I am not "walking away." It is time to graduate to a whole other level here. Truth will out. There's no stopping it.

Peace,
Diana
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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:02 am

I was thinking tonight, how ironic to be back in the same place, but with positions reversed. It was just a year ago that I dropped off Amalia's original OBC forum, having found it not to be a climate/culture in which I was comfortable. In my last post I said something like, "rather than try to move your forum in the direction I'd like it to go, it's best if I start something more aligned with my tastes, preferences, etc." It made sense to me then, as it does now, that people want different things from a forum experience and one size rarely fits all. Luckily there is room for all of us, any of us, to start the kind of conversation we hope to find and then put our energies toward building it.

I would like to offer my full support of Amalia's efforts with the new forum and I wish her the very best.

Lise


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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:59 pm

Farewell, Amalia. I have read your story with great interest, and with sympathy. I hope our paths will cross again.

Failing that I hope that I will not forget you, and expect that I won't.

Take care "Rev. Bulldozer", great teacher.

--Dan Sad
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:33 pm

Amalia,i had not read your account until now,I have trouble keeping up with the daily ones, but Nicky suggested reading it,so I did.
Was it supposed to test my anger levels?because it did.
Was it supposed strenghten my belief that Kennett passed on a funny teaching based on illusion and delusion?because it did that too.
What about my desire to practice true zazen,fortunately these guys would never diminish that.
Well it's Christmas time Amelia,of course we pay respect to someone, that was a gentle teacher.
i think I may also do a few walks on the cliffs,close by where I live,let the wind blow a few cobwebs away.
For now you take care
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Carol

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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:42 pm

Some of you know that Amalia is my daughter. I left the OBC for a variety of reasons (more to come on this), but the precipitating event was the horrible treatment my daughter received at North Cascades Buddhist Priory. You can read my part of the story under the heading "A Lay Minister Remembers" at http://northcascadesbuddhism.org/A-Lay-Minister-Remembers.php.
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:50 pm

Carol wrote:
Some of you know that Amalia is my daughter. I left the OBC for a variety of reasons (more to come on this), but the precipitating event was the horrible treatment my daughter received at North Cascades Buddhist Priory.

Wow, I didn't know that. Thanks for posting the link to your story. By the way, the link in your message is broken by the period at the end. Here is the working link:

http://northcascadesbuddhism.org/A-Lay-Minister-Remembers.php
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mokuan



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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:00 pm

Thanks Isan for posting the correct ink.

Carol,
When I first read Amalia's story, I just assumed she had no family who cared for her or was willing to help her.
Knowing now that she had a loving mother, I don't know why you weren't at least given a heads-up that she was ill. I remember when one RMJK's jisha's had pneumonia, she called his mother herself.
I would also like to hear more of your experiences at NCBP, if you feel like posting.

Thank you,
~mokuan
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:56 pm

Hi Carol
I have seen quite a bit of abuse,different types, all very difficult, some very difficult to comprehend. Abuse to children is a very difficult area, especially sexual abuse.I think when abuse happens to your own child the circumstances,alter and sort of make it even more difficult to comprehend.As emotions come into play and it is difficult to see things clealy,when that is not always easy at the best of times.
I think the forum has highlighted a lot of abuse, my friend Henry was abused by the lack of care he received,the lack of compassion, it must be quite puzzling for him,being in a Buddhist setting,when we believe in equality and loving kindness.
Now we are talking together about your daughter,your feelings about the whole scenario, I want to talk it through, I would like to try to understand a few more things,that I might have misunderstood. It is very raw for you and there must be pain trying to work out your emotions,
I feel there are 3 parts to the story
1 Amalias ordination, you were not happy about that, I think as parents, our children do tend to surprise us sometimes and go a different way to our choice,But having made the decision, at thevearly point in the story I think as parents we accept it perhaps with reservations

2 Then things change,and it appears that Amalia is treated in a subserviant way,like a lower class or second rate person 'Because she is training' whatever that means. Amalia looses a lot of weight and clearly has related problems of which I am not too clear

3 Amalia does not receive proper care and things get worse

I have lots of questions . The timing of weight loss can you be more specific when did it start what was the trigger point how long after ordination. What part of the practice caused her to feel the way she did.How long after the weight loss set in did you find out about it.

Now these are highly personel questions, and I do not mind if you choose not to answer them. We are parents we are all friends,and you know I am concerned for you
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Carol

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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:16 pm

Thank you to Michael and Isan and Mokuan and others who have send their concern about Amalia. She prefers to discuss her experience on the website at http://northcascadesbuddhism.org/A-Lay-Minister-Remembers.php. (Thanks to Isan for getting the address of the website right!)
The short answer to Michael's question is that when I saw her at her ordination in March she was perfectly healthy. I believe the weight loss began several months after that, but I don't know. No one contacted me to let me know that she was ill.
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Robert
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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:08 pm

Carol,
I find the fact no one bothered to contact you to let you know your daughter was ill totally unacceptable and in total breach of everthing Buddhism is supposed to encompass. What somehow compounds the issue is that you were, if I understood correctly, a lay minister yourself and presumably in relatively close contact with the OBC at the time.

It seems there are two distinct issues around the breach of care and trust here; those surrounding Amalia and those surrounding you. You were both let down horribly and comprehensively.

Dare I ask if the OBC has made any contact recently to at least discuss the issues with you, and even to apologise for handling it all so very badly?
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:55 pm

Robert, I don't mean to answer for Carol, but I think I remember either she or Amalia saying that the OBC wanted to work with Amalia directly, to avoid breaching confidentiality about the facts of her situation. But I suppose if Amalia gave the ok for Carol to be involved, there should be no obstacle to that, from the OBC's viewpoint?

Maybe someone will comment who understands how this process works --
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Robert
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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:48 pm

Sorry, I thought that had broken down whenl the medical records were requested or some spurious request was made. I'd be happy to be wrong!
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:35 pm

That sounds familiar, I bet you're right.

It would be interesting to know if this was on the agenda at last September's Conclave, and if so, what Rev. Koshin's views were, in terms of explaining what happened.

I think in a situation like this, Amalia should be allowed to bring a counselor, friend or other advocate or resource to the proceedings. Why would this not be allowed?
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mokuan



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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:49 am

According to the list posted by the OBC, Koshin was not among the monks who attended the conclave.

There is another conclave to be held this coming fall.
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glorfindel

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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:37 am

Carol wrote:
She prefers to discuss her experience on the website at http://northcascadesbuddhism.org/A-Lay-Minister-Remembers.php. (Thanks to Isan for getting the address of the website right!)

Anyone know why Amalia's site is down? I used to go there occasionally to read her awesome satirical writings. They were little gemstones of genius.


EDIT: It was her old blog that i was referring to, not the site that the above link once led to.
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:02 pm

glorfindel wrote:


Anyone know why Amalia's site is down? I used to go there occasionally to read her awesome satirical writings. They were little gemstones of genius.

EDIT: It was her old blog that i was referring to, not the site that the above link once led to.

My understanding is she has decided to take it down. Perhaps Carol can confirm...?
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Carol

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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:44 am

This answer is 3 months out of date! Yes, Amalia decided to take her site down so her story is no longer available.
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PostSubject: Re: a former novice speaks up   Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:52 am

Thanks for the answer Carol Smile
Her writing is really brilliant and funny. (just to clarify: I'm talking about her humorous blog here, not her very sad account of ncbp)
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