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 Differing views on looking back

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Henry

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PostSubject: Differing views on looking back   Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:52 pm

First topic message reminder :

[Admin note: this thread is an offshoot of the thread titled "Hello from Jay (former Rev. Alden)" in the Introductions category and was created in order to allow the tangential discussion to continue. Although the thread shows Henry as the "author", this is only a function of the forum software since his post was the first in sequence to be split.]

Hello Jay,

I was going to say how nice it was to see you here, but then your later comments made me feel that the sooner you could meet your objectives and leave, the happier you'd be. That kinda blunted that pleasure. I guess it makes sense though, that those who hold so idealized a view of Rev. Kennett understandably have little tolerance for dissecting the results of the oil slick aspect of her being. For many of us, that aspect of her being was devastating, just as the oil slick aspect of Eko's being was toxic to yours.

The very fact that you have "zero interest" in looking through the rubble of the OBC's history, demonstrates to me that you are still very much blinded by the institutional trauma (as Kozan put it) that is the legacy of the OBC and the oil slick aspect of Rev. Kennett's being. What Bodhisattva has zero interest in anything. I'm just a slob trying to make it from day to day and I can't think of anything in this whole universe I have zero interest in. From exactly what is there nothing to learn? And to consider that you spent almost 30 years in a place that culminated in the nightmare that is Eko and you have zero interest in looking how that culmination became a culmination? Your zero interest, Jay, looks very much like fear to me. The prime directive of the uncritical devotee is to protect the object of his devotion. All else must be obliterated from the devotee's existence. Zero interest in the monastic rubble serves that end, but I don't believe it serves your interest as growing, thinking, evolving being. Zero interest in the history that allowed so many seniors, who were your friends and spiritual siblings, to not only allow Eko his sociopathic way with Shasta's lay and monastic community, but actually support him (not seeing him as he was)--don't you think you need to look at exactly what purpose that zero interest is serving you?

Eko did not spring from nowhere. The very fact that so many seniors supported him and actually castigated those who brought up the negative aspects of his personality and his abuse of power shows that their minds--the way they perceive and were taught to think; the way they learned to be uncritical, except to criticize their own powers of discernment when it came to looking clearly at those in power--were molded and prepared well before Eko came on the scene.

That your own experience of Rev. Kennett was so wonderful was your good fortune. But that does not make the karmic effects of Rev. Kennett's oil slick any less harmful. And you, as one of her most staunch supporters, should be the most interested in what those effects are so that you can honor the depth of the the 3 kayas and learn to transmit them having done your best to seperate out the oil slick. If you don't look at the oil slick with a courageous heart, you, like Eko and the silent seniors that supported him, will only perpetuate delusion and misguided harmful means of teaching that need not be perpetuated.

What Eko did you, he did to me 25 years ago. And he did it in plain sight of Rev. Kennett, with her encouragement. (Read my introductory post on the Introduction Thread under Kaizan). Eko did not hide the sociopathic aspect of his personality; it was in plain site of anyone willing to take off the blinders conveniently put on by Rev. Kennett's raising him to the abbot-to-be position. You just kept them on for less time than the present monks of the OBC because you became the target of his pathology. As I've written here before, Eko was named abbot precisely because of how authoritarian he was. Compassion and spiritual insight were not his forte. Never were. But he sure knew how to keep people in line. He gave Rev. Kennett total, blind, unthinking obedience and castigated those who did not; what did she think he'd require of others when he became abbot.

A bodhisattva has no time for fear, denial, or blinders. A mote of dust contains the entire universe. You don't have the luxury of having zero interest in anything, much less looking through the rubble that will give clues to how the beauty Rev. Kennett's teachings became perverted and twisted not only by Eko, but by the unresolved aspects of her own karma, which were what led to Eko being put in that position in the first place.
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Henry



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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:34 am

My administr--adar has started to buzz alarmingly. Before Lise comes down and bans all of us to our rooms until we learn our lesson, I would like to make the following announcement:

As the bigger man, I concede this argument to Howard.

So Lise, if this argument continues, I want you to know it is not at my instigation.
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john



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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:16 am

The guy in Germany. Rev Fuden.

The kindest tendermost person one could wish to meet.

Although once whilst I was partisipating in a retreat, he did scold us for not asking questions. I did have questions but probabley of the kind-why did Jesus walk on the water type questions which would have earned a thrashing when I was at school.A lot of teachers at my secondary school were traumatised I think by the action in the last war, they were quick to thrash. I carried a lot of that with me when I was around what I deemed to be authority.It took years to shed some of that.



I was more interested in seeing the human vunerable human side of the monks, what made them tick. The ones I met seemed very confident, and I did wonder if that was a product of enlightenment or that they were just that way, maybe being natural teachers or something.

I do wonder if combined human belief/conciousness is capable of creating something that manifests as something solid on which one can depend some what. I seem to swing between yes and no. Or in other words do holy manifestations exist and can they be manipulated to help . And if one goes against them will the wrath of heaven open up.Or is relgion just self regulating superstition to help keep man busy whilst he learns to live in his own silence.

Sorry gone of track a bit, thinking back what would have helped me particulary would have been to hear - I just dont know all the answers,- other than Dogan says. I find what isnt said much more confusing than what is said sometimes, because it leaves so much more room for conjecture or wrong views to develope.

Hope I havent interupted the jousting.

John.
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Stan Giko



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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:38 am

John.

I don`t think so John.

I think they`re busy setting-up their web cams at the moment.

Cheers, Stan.
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chisanmichaelhughes



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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:39 am

I heard someone ask a Jewish Rabbi about meditation.

The said when he thought of Buddhists he thought of silence and stillness, Catholic monks seemed to represent quiet contemplation. Nuns had beatiful singing. But with Jews it was all noise and chatter. 'Was there no stillness and peace in Judaism.

'There is ' replied the Rabbi 'But we don't talk about it'
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Howard



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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:09 pm

Hey John

I do wonder if combined human belief/conciousness is capable of creating something that manifests as something solid on which one can depend some what. I seem to swing between yes and no. Or in other words do holy manifestations exist and can they be manipulated to help . And if one goes against them will the wrath of heaven open up.Or is relgion just self regulating superstition to help keep man busy whilst he learns to live in his own silence.


That's a huge subject in itself and might be worthy of you starting a separate thread on it.

I think its the foundation for spiritual adulthood or at least requires the moving out of ones parents basement stage in spiritual development. I'm not even sure if it needs a solid answer so long as one can keep holding it up in the light of day.

Sorry gone of track a bit, thinking back what would have helped me particularly would have been to hear - I just don't know all the answers,- other than Dogan says. I find what isnt said much more confusing than what is said sometimes, because it leaves so much more room for conjecture or wrong views to develope.

I've found that the "Dogen said" opening often marks the line in monk and layman speech that says "the speakers own experience is not real or worthy enough to stand on it's own. This often saddened me as these were often people with many many years of practise. What usually interested me was that very moment of their spiritual exploratory experience rather than more parroting of the dusty dharma pages. Anyway.. enough of my big ... opinions.

Work calls.

Cheers
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Henry

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:41 am

Olga,
Just wanted to give some thoughts on anatta or no self. To me anatta is rather simple. You're sitting around, just another bozo on the bus of life, and for reasons people have been arguing about for centuries, you find that you and universe are undifferentiated. Consciousness (as good a word as any I suppose) envelops the clouds, houses, trees, and the dog poop some slob failed to pick up (that would be me); your thoughts float about the sky; and your emotions sail about on the ocean. Nothing is outside, nothing inside; all is within endless consciousness (that word again). Ego or self is a collection of phenomena that is no more you or not you than the clouds, houses, trees and poop. This state of affairs is inherently freeing and joyful. While unfolding, elements of ego--thoughts, emotions, perceptions, opinions--may all be present, but they are not crystalized so as to form a what is me and what is not me persepctive or experience--emotions, thoughts and opinions experienced as a distinct separate entity. This unfolding is seen as a reality far more deep and fundamental than the normal conflicted and worrisome state of affairs we experience.


As the normal everyday perspective returns, people tend to think: wow, that was neat! I felt pretty good (notice how you're already a separate entity again); the ultimate Aussie no worries experience. So the brain goes about how to get back there. Well, I didn't experience my own thoughts and emotions and opinions and perspectives as a separate entity, a crystalized separate EGO, then the way back must be to control, obliterate, or judge the ego into submission. So all sorts of rules and judgments about the ego are made. You create monasteries where self is (supposedly) minimized; Dogen has a black list of half baked masters; sects look smugly upon one another, knowing their way is the quickest, best, newest, or most improved.


Frankly, I have no idea which is the best way. But I do think that it is not "no self; anatta" that is the problem, but rather the arguments about how to get there. I'm sure some people need a very strict and disciplined approach, whereas will need a much freer, more fluid one. Perhaps your argument with anatta is more about what people say about it and say you need to do to get there than with anatta itself.
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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:30 pm

Hi Henry,
In most things I entirely agree with you. Everything is consciousness, you're consciousness. Your ego, an odd conglomerate of history, hopes and hurts, etc, is also consciousness. Where I disagree - not with you, I think - but with the methodology of Buddhism as I experienced it is that there the ego was so real that it had to be beaten! It's not real, in the sense that it constantly shifts, changes, and doesn't have any clear boundaries. I never heard Roshi (Jiyu) talk about you being consciousness, the great 'thing' which is not one of many things. That needs to be shown, and then seen over and over. Then everyday life does change. There you can see always that 'all is one', and that one is in and through the 'all is different'. The one doesn't come and go, and that is you.
At some point Kozan wrote about this. I thought, great! so Buddhists have it. And then he said that all this is a hypothesis. How is it a hypothessis? It's a fact that can be seen.
Gotta run.
Ol'ga
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:27 pm

Hello Ol'ga

Where I disagree - not with you, I think - but with the methodology of Buddhism as I experienced it is that there the ego was so real that it had to be beaten! It's not real, in the sense that it constantly shifts, changes, and doesn't have any clear boundaries.

I'm not sure I understand your reasoning for why Jiyu's Buddhism thought that the ego had to be beaten?

You seem to be saying that Shastites thought the ego needed to beaten because it was seen as real. (with boundaries).

Any diligent practitioner in the art of ego dieting will eventually see everything as a potential ego snack. The innovative fluidity by which the Ego can acquire new food demonstrates that it does not have any clear boundary's but so what? What does have clear boundaries?

I think people see the ego as something to be beaten as part of a deeper habitual adversarial tendency ( which is also part of the ego) rather than whether it's limited by boundaries or not. One's difficulty in addressing an uber dexterous force like the Ego is unavoidable not because of unseen boundary issues but because until one steps away from an imagined battle between the ego and the no self, one is still feeding that ego through that very struggle.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:05 am

Howard, Ol'ga, and Henry,

It's way too late on a Saturday night for me to be able to respond specifically or carefully to your various points! Therefore, I will cut to what seems to me to be the essence of the discussion.

It is my perception that both Ol'ga and I are in complete agreement in this matter. I would describe the issue as being the mis-interpretation, commonly found in Buddhist teaching, that the way to the experience of no-self requires an adversarial struggle against the self.

Again, in my perception, I think that both of you, Howard and Henry, are saying the same thing. The very concept that an adversarial struggle against the ego is a necessary or even useful aspect of spiritual practice is itself a concept born of ego.

It seems to me that Ol'ga is right on the mark for continuing to focus on this issue. I think that it is a fundamental misunderstanding that lies at the crux of many of the issues that we talk about on this forum. Equating the path to no-self with an adversarial struggle against the self, is the ultimate set-up for preventing the necessary healing of trauma that (IMO) turns the separate self into a "selfish" self in the first place. This then tends to lead to the repression of unhealed, unacceptable aspects of the self. Once we have effectively excluded those aspects of our self that do not fit our religious self-image, our psyche then "projects" our shadow onto the "other".

I think that RMJK recognized aspects of her own denied personhood in Ol'ga, and set out to persecute them, just as she had done for herself--thinking that doing so had something to do with spiritual teaching and practice!

It seems to me that this misunderstanding, and the resulting causal dynamic, led to the creation of RMJK's personal shadow--and through its denial and projection--the creation of the collective OBC shadow.

I think that the most important first step in the recognition, healing, and transformation of the OBC shadow-dynamic may be to do precisely what (IMO) Ol'ga, Howard, and Henry are saying--recognize that spiritual practice (and the experience of no-self) not only has nothing to do with any effort to subdue or repress the self, but is seriously compromised by trying to do so.

(Diets, however, can be useful!)

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Carol

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:50 am

John said: "Or is religion just self regulating superstition to help keep man busy whilst he learns to live in his own silence."

I don't know if religion is superstition, but I wonder if religion is the mind talking to itself, creating illusions about the way we wish things were or beating ourselves up (like John's early school teachers did to him) over things that our "bad" selfish ego has done wrong. You're right about learning to live in our own silence.

Kozan's last post says that "Equating the path to no-self with an adversarial struggle against the self, is the ultimate set-up for preventing the necessary healing of trauma that (IMO) turns the separate self into a "selfish" self in the first place. This then tends to lead to the repression of unhealed, unacceptable aspects of the self. Once we have effectively excluded those aspects of our self that do not fit our religious self-image, our psyche then "projects" our shadow onto the "other"."

Wow. This struck me as quite profound. Not so long ago, Josh recommended a book by Robert Masters called Spiritual Bypassing. His idea is that we get hung up on what religion teaches us are acceptable feelings and what sort of "self" is acceptable and "good." The result is that we never encounter who we really are and thus are unable to focus on the parts of ourselves that need healing. It's a good book and I recommend it also.
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