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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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Ol'ga



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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:15 pm

Hi,
I don't want to write much now, but would very much like to thank you, Isan, for your excellent post (of Today at 12:36 pm).
Also, Bill R., if you don't mind going there, would you tell us a bit more about the meeting when Roshi castigated Isan, Daizui (Daizui?!) and others which you mentioned in your post on this thread? When did it happen? Do you know how Daizui was then admitted back into her grace? I find your writing about this, Bill, helpful. I don't know if you, Isan, wish to revisit it.
I would like to thank you, Henry, for your thoughts.
Ol'ga
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Howard



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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:30 pm

Hey Chisan

cant work out who is the most senior..in other words is there any one in the lineage above Rev Mein or do they connect to Sojiji or any where. Bluntly are they answerable to anyone..Please dont say the cosmic Buddha

I don't think anybody needs to worry about who is Rev Meians senior. One would hope that after her length of time in the saddle that she'd ask and consider the advice of the riders beside her. If there was a rider in front, whose to say they'd be any better than what history has already demonstrated. One could just as easily ask if she'd be able to instigate any changes if the majority of the other seniors didn't agree with it. I think practically speaking what you are seeing at the top at Shasta today is collegial management practises for any significant decisions.
The admonishment to take the advise of your senior (ordination date) is just a monastic control that saves a lot of superfluous ego debate with juniors when it works or becomes a method of censure and manipulation when it doesn't. A spiritual pozi scheme that can help or hinder depending on how well it's participants sublimate their ego's.

Who are any of us really answerable to, but karma.

Oh yes dear! coming! Sorry Chisan..karma calls.
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deweyboy



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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:44 pm

OK, just to remind people, Deweyboy is my cat and my name is John from San Francisco. You have seen me in and out of here for a few years. I was a member of Berkeley and went to Shasta many times. I also was a Jesuit novice for two years, living in silence along the Hudson River so I know the trauma of leaving a monastery.Jay was the only person that I would consider my Buddhist Teacher. He was enormously kind to me and up until the other day,I longed to know what happened to him.

After he went back to Shasta from Berkeley, he seemed so sad and beaten down. He told me that Eko wouldn't let him practice his art. I loved Berkeley because of Jay and was suspect of Shasta because of some of the nasty monks that I encountered there.

I'm not sure where I am going with this. I wish I could call Eko and tell him to share

some of that wealth that he has with Jay.
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Howard



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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:12 am

Hey Stan

the irresistible force meets the immovable object`.

You calling me irresistible or is that just the beer talking?

Do all OBCCers question everything ?
We are all obliged at the OBCC to put those "?"at the end of every second thought.


Actually trying to categorise the OBCC membership on anything is up there with herding cats and pretty much a guarantee of putting at least one nose out of joint every time. I can get away with it by speaking repetitively enough of it that most members have granted me special simple status, think I'm joking or just sigh & move on to the next posting.

Somewhere you had indicated that you felt like a minority share holder here so I just wanted to say that I think almost everyone here has expressed some version of that same thing at different times. For me, it's been those type of uncomfortable feelings that often motivated me to face personal issues that I might not have otherwise explored. Henrys uncalled for slights are a constant practise opportunity.

One of the most interesting changes that I've noticed here is that disparately thinking members have become more accommodating to each others views over time. There is more of a realization that everyone else here is also just trying to make sense of it all. I smile when I find myself wondering what it would be like to have us all physically meet in the same living room.

Oh I can just feel the nervousness rippling through the forum as I write.

Anyway the offered brew & easy chair is appreciated.



PS to Henry. Making your font smaller doesn't make anything else look bigger.
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chisanmichaelhughes



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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:48 am

Good post Dewey boy..I prefer John I like your sentiments

Howard Thanks for your reply It not quite the answer for me let me try a different question

I know nothing about Shasta any more Are they cut off from the Soto Zen sect?
Do they have a connection with other Buddhist groups?
Or are the stand alone?
The feeling I have is that they have ostracized them selves and been ostracized by others ?

The next question with the talk of kenshos,at Shasta, and claims and titles of kensho was there any verification from any other teacher, outside the inner circle,older and experienced teachers like Bob Aitkin? I know people who sat with Walter Nowick went and carried on with Bob, as did some people that left Shasta
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cmpnwtr

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:01 am

Ol'ga wrote:
Hi,

Also, Bill R., if you don't mind going there, would you tell us a bit more about the meeting when Roshi castigated Isan, Daizui (Daizui?!) and others which you mentioned in your post on this thread? When did it happen? Do you know how Daizui was then admitted back into her grace?
Ol'ga

Olga, I made reference to this meeting once or twice before, with the focus more on JK than EL. I believe this meeting happened in '86 or early '87, my memory is fuzzy about the precise timing. It was at this meeting that JK made the allegation that there was some kind of a covert group of senior monks who were opposing her. These vilified monks included Isan, Daizui, Koshin, Hogetsu, Kyogen, and Gyokuko and others. She presented this much beyond a mere disagreement about direction of the OBC and SA, but much more as a kind of betrayal in which the intent was to overthrow her authority and take control of SA. The "conspirators" were portrayed in a hateful and traitorous light. I found this to be terribly disturbing and conflicting, particularly where Daizui was concerned, as he was a good friend, a former colleague, and a spiritual mentor to me. But I also knew the others and found the characterization of them as paranoid, disrespectful, and an attempt to discredit and humiliate them before the rest of the sangha. It was communicated that these monks, who were leaders in the monastic community, were given a choice to capitulate, renounce their views, or be cast out of the community and to be denied any standing in their priesthood.

The context of the meeting was to present to lay ministers from Oregon the choice that confronted us, to renounce their membership and participation in the Oregon Zen Priory, led by Kyogen and Gyokuko or to be cast out of the OBC. Perhaps what was most disturbing of all was that she admitted that she had presented the married monks, including Kyogen and Gyokuko, and all the others, the choice to get a divorce or be cast out of the priesthood and out of the order. EL's role in this was simply to stand at her side and smile and approve. For me it was a devastating and disillusioning moment, because an aspect of JK's character was unmasked and as a therapist I saw a rather ugly pathology being manifested. It was the beginning of my journey out of the OBC. This action was being being done to the married monks in order to satisfy the requirements of the Chinese sangha to have a celibate unmarried lineage of priesthood. This recognition by the Chinese sangha was for JK clearly a triumphant moment for herself as a woman teacher. She punctuated her announcement of it by saying "the whole world is watching."

Eventually Daizui found a way to make his peace through capitulation, renouncing his former views and ascended to the position of director of the order. We maintained intermittent contact until the time came when I left the OBC as lay minister and began attending what is now the Dharma Rain Zen Center in Portland. He then indicated in a letter that he was no longer able to communicate with me (because of their policy of shunning). Painful as it was, it was a maturing time for me, when I could claim the reality of the practice that had grown in me, and the fruits of it throughout my life. And that was not diminished by the flaws of the OBC hierarchy or these painful actions. In his letter Daizui apologized for his rejection of contact with me, implying that he had no actual control over it, and that in a "better day" we might be able to resume our friendship. That day never happened.
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:51 am

Hey Chisan

Howard Thanks for your reply It not quite the answer for me let me try a different question

(1)I know nothing about Shasta any more Are they cut off from the Soto Zen sect?
(2)Do they have a connection with other Buddhist groups?
Or are the stand alone?
(3)The feeling I have is that they have ostracized them selves and been ostracized by others ?
(4)The next question with the talk of kenshos,at Shasta, and claims and titles of kensho was there any verification from any other teacher, outside the inner circle,older and experienced teachers like Bob Aitkin,I know people who sat with Walter Nowick went and carried on with Bob, as did some people that left Shasta




(1)I believe they are as cut off as they want to be.

(2)They are now fraternizing more with other Buddhist groups than they have in the past but that doesn't mean that they are not standing alone as well.

(3)The Buddhist groups, communities and organizations all seem to have their gossip, agendas and history.
It's not much different than the way individuals can treat each other in a real small town. In some of the bigger Buddhist meets, Shasta generally seems more ostracized than more community oriented Buddhist groups but less than some of the more mystical Buddhist guru worshipping churches.

There are probably others on this forum who can give you more info about this than me, but unfortunately they are also OBC supporters who are likely to think that you only wish this info to further slam Jiyu's church.

(4) I'm staying with the final word on Kensho Smensho. I don't want to feed it's specialness?.

I don't care if one is accredited with kensho 1 through 4, by anyone or not, one walks the walk or one doesn't.

A being who transcends ego's folly's with kensho 1-4 and later regresses into attachment again is just an attached being.

A being without kenshoing 1-4 ,who brings a practise into accord with enlightened action, is a kensho.

I can hear Anne gritting her teeth from here.

I know that there are various attributes that various states of Kensho are said to accrue but I've seen, heard and experienced too many exceptions to such rules and therefore consider them inprecise generalities in a very fluid world.

If they are run up a flag pole as an advertisement for an individual or organizations credentials then that kenshoed individual should leave for a better place to practise.

As a state of grace for seconds or years they mostly show that there is no one to possess them. If spiritual anonymity is the real practise of such grace, what or who is there to accredit?

But..Kensho Smensho says it best.



As usual the following has been altered to hide the identities of the guilty parties and in no way represents the views of this station or any of it participants.



Cheers
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:16 am

Thanks Howard

Does not quite answer my questions

I get the feeling there are no definite clear answers to things like

If anyone is ordained there is it registered anywhere like Soto shu in LA

I am curious too that it was mentioned third kensho etc. Where does the terminology came from,I am curious simply because there has been alot of issues since Jk said she had the third kensho and the peculiar goings on at that time,Eko being Jesus etc. If seen by people outside the group it is seen entirely differently, tahn if one was embroiled in it.it is usual practice I believe if one make a claim of achievment to have it discussed or verified by a respected elder.

Here we are years down the road and there is still criticism of Shasta the way it is run,and it seems this time by an outside party, but we are not being told too much,as it may not be our business

I believe I am lucky ,or have had some good fortune somewhere in my life,I had a very personal relationship with an old man in Japan that meant something to me ,the word kensho does not did not come into that.

I feel that for quite a few people the Shasta experience was harmful, despite the claims of this and that it was not for me I think the forum has helped people verbalise their issues and feel that they are not alone. I am not interested in knocking the church of kennett as you say,only seeking clarity that that is what it is
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:21 am

Bill I have just read you post,how disturbing this is,It simply is not my way at all. It does not seem to have benefited anyway, look where the practice led Eko.

Buddhism should be the friendly way
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Henry

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:15 am

Diana

you wrote:

I swear, I felt like screaming at everyone the last time I was at the Abbey: "the emperor has no clothes!" I was stupified that no one was doing anything about Eko. It made me doubt myself. It made me think that maybe I was a crazy, young, naive, stupid, girl

I used those words almost verbatim when I was at Shasta. Change Eko to Rev. Kennett, young to middle aged, and girl to boy and we're there. I still feel like screaming when someone comes on this site and replicates some dysfunctional Shasta dynamic and presents it as some great spiritual virtue. HEEEEEELLLLLLLLPPPPPPPP!!!!!

You also wrote:

The fact that we are here is good! We are working out our stuff. We can learn from this. We really should at least try and have some compassion for ourselves here. I know some of us have really been harmed or we wouldn't be so passionate about what we say here! That actually is a sure sign that we still have things to work out- the fact that things get under our skin and we blow up, or rant, or whatever.

I don't necessarily believe that because we rant, things get under our skin, or are passionate about something that that is a sure sign we still have things to work out (any more, that is, that we all have things to work out). Being passionate, or angry are natural human reactions to ourselves or others being harmed. Ranting, getting annoyed, or something getting under our skin, are natural reactions to the stupidity we often see in ourselves or our fellow human beings. FOR GOD SAKES: THE EMPORER HAS NO CLOTHES!!!!!!!! So don't be too quick to judge your reactions. Use discernent, be open to feedback from others you respect and trust, and you'll know the difference normal everyday anger and annoyance and serious issues needing attention.

And Howard: What are you talking about. Small font? What small font? The only thing I can think of is that you're seeing the font as small because it looks small next to something much bigger. PS It's not yours
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cmpnwtr

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:33 am

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:
Bill I have just read you post,how disturbing this is,It simply is not my way at all. It does not seem to have benefited anyway, look where the practice led Eko.
Buddhism should be the friendly way

Michael, what I learned is that it is not my way either. It seems in my own journey that I have often grown through harm and by learning what is not my way or any way. I am truly grateful that as a young man I stumbled on a disciplined practice and made it my own, and I am grateful I could let go of the nonessential and the destructive. As I was writing and recalling again, my thought was, 'what did all of that have to do with anything?' At this stage of life, or any stage, what can I do but sit and breathe and sink in to what is real. Yes, the Buddhist path, or any true path, should be the friendly path.
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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:38 am

Ol`ga.

Hi Ol`ga,

It looks like we`ll be able to agree about agreeing and disagreeing after all.
I try not to mince my words as you say. I liked the thankfully you added on.
You sure don`t mince your words Ol`ga....that`s o.k with me too.

All this agreeing...I don`t know what`s going on today !

You didn`t take my message to Jay out of context. I tried to sneek that one
in a little subtly. I do think ` il prend le pipi` a little bit. So no can of worms
Ol`ga, glad to say.

I hope you have a good one today .

Stan.
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:58 am

Very good reply Bill

I think I have learnt as much from 'not this way',as I have from 'this way'

Easy to get lost in both



[and I am grateful I could let go of the nonessential and the destructive]



A bit like temple practice, the the leader goes astray,everyone is effected,If the practice true from the top it filters down.



Ilike what you say



[ I am truly grateful that as a young man I stumbled on a disciplined practice and made it my own,]



In my experience it is quite easy to sit in the right way with others in a zen Temple,as there becomes a deep zendo samardi.

The test is what one does on ones own, where it is equally easy to drift off
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cmpnwtr

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:51 am

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:

In my experience it is quite easy to sit in the right way with others in a zen Temple,as there becomes a deep zendo samardi.

The test is what one does on ones own, where it is equally easy to drift off

Certainly having the group support in the beginning is helpful. I have been gifted with several different experiences of group support and mentoring over the years. But the critical factor was cultivating the daily practice, and deepening it over time. At present I am a hermit in my practice, but I have 40 years of daily practice as a base.
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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:48 pm

Ah great and lucky you Bill
And what is the difference in practice between a hermit and a monk in society?
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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:14 pm

@ Michael "And what is the difference between a hermit and a monk in society?"

Michael, I'm not sure how that terminology is used by others. For me the "hermit" term defines the solitary nature of my spiritual practice, and most ways my pattern of social interaction or lack of it. A monk in my use of the term is someone who is recognized by a tradition for their commitment to a path of intensive spiritual practice, either in community or as a solitary. Certainly a monk can be a hermit.
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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:10 pm

@Michael

Addendum: Perhaps to respond more fully to your query about my reaction to the destructive events at SA and my affiliation, by the time these events had happened, I already had a 17 year history of daily home based practice, and a wife who shared and supported the practice, interspersed with periodic retreats/sesshins at SA and the Eugene Priory. In addition, being a survivor of abuse from religious authorities, my attitude already about practice was that I trusted my sitting, I trusted what I found in my sitting, I didn't trust religion or religious authority at all. In addition I had already lost one of my two children to cancer, so I didn't trust much of anything external, and for me Dogen's dictum "No external refuge" applied equally to religion and religious authorities. So when things blew up at SA, it was hurtful, it was very sad and I grieved, but my faith in my practice was unshaken. When Eko demanded I turn in my raksu, I had no problem with it. It was an act of liberation to "turn in my badge" and cut down the flagpole.

I have to say I have come not trust any "isms" at all, or any form of sectarianism at all, and I have learned and found support from both Buddhist and Christian meditation teachers and sanghas, and probably would find similar support from practitioners in other traditions, a support I have less need of at this stage of life. My spiritual map is the "perennial wisdom" that encompasses and transcends all the mystic wisdom traditions of the world, and my faith is in true nature within me and the heart of the universe in whatever way it is conceptualized, whether its expressed personally or cosmically. I know that the way is filled with challenge to the end, and humanity is frail, but I'm glad I made it this far and have an inner refuge and truth that nothing or no one, and no event can take from me.
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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:42 pm

That is really nice, truely wonderful to hear you say all that.It shows that what ever happens, our spirits can be strong,take away our temple and we will sit where we are. Ban wearing robes and we won't wear them. Our practice is unbreakable. I do not think people here are bitter, it takes more than a fall out with a teacher to stop our belief,even when we are shattered and confidence is low,when one has touched the delicacy of pure zazen, one always knows the right way, walking it is the difficult part, staying true to ones inner belief as you have when the world turns upside down,and one is surrounded by mental concerns and difficulties,and all one can do is sense ones inner core,it is enough for direction and goodness to come through.
I think quietly we have all learnt alot perhaps not what we expected to meet here when somethings we thought were important seem to have been trampled to dust
As usual I respect what you say and the journey you have made. And what is the difference between a hermit and a monk?
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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:13 pm

Hi Henry,

Thanks for such a considered and very full reply. I am actually rather touched
by the trouble you have gone to in making yourself very clear.

I have reread your current post to me a couple of times and cannot find a
single point I would take issue with. If you had written in a similar vein earlier,
I guess I would have kept my big mouth shut.

I do understand that you meant everything you said and you explained that
you spoke in keeping with your nature. In fact you`ve bent over backwards
to be a real pussycat...that was truly kind of you.


However, I`ve been thinking about it and I now agree with you. It`s not your
nature to be meek and restrained...it really isn`t you ! I see it.

So, In future, would you speak to me in a slightly more harsh manner and a
touch less considerately so I`ll know it`s the real you ?
Thank you very much. Much obliged to you.


I have just read Bill`s posting and having reheard your take again of the OBC
times, I just find the whole thing bizarre. I really can`t get my head round it.
Obviously it was your guys` experience and you`ve all got the results to deal
with. I was obviously very fortunate in that my experiences were positive.
Maybe if I`d stuck around longer...who knows ?

To me, just recently, it has made a big difference to read about actual
specific incidents as just recounted by Bill. Usually what comes over is very
general anti OBC ranting. That`s how it seems at least. It`s specific details
that bring the whole thing to life and I have a clearer idea of how it must be
for you guys. You monks and lay people who were together in Shasta and
who had these shared experiences, know amongst yourselves exactly what
you are refering back to. You don`t need to elaborate and explain as it is a
common experience for you.

However, for those of us who did not share that experience, it is difficult to
see and understand unless you describe some of the things that happened.
Probably not a pleasant prospect to rake over.

You say that the problems are endemic to shasta/OBC and basically the monks
are going about their lives with closed eyes and minds. I have no way of
knowing if that is so, or how many.



What I do know is that there are many monks and trainees who quietly go
about their training with a trusting heart and are not touched by the problems
that have their origin in the past. This is not because they are brainwashed
but those problems are simply not in their experience. Some of these people
were not even born when Jiyu was around.
I for one cannot imagine dragging one of these trainees off their zafu and say
` Don`t you know you`re wasting your time ? Don`t you realize what Jiyu did
thirty years ago or more ? ! and so on....

There are a lot of sincere people I wouldn`t give up on. It`s not their fault ,
what happened in the past. I think perhaps if there was some sort of
compilation or history of specific greivances, outsiders and OBCers would be
better informed. Less likely to view the OBCC as a flaming vehicle for OBCCers.
It might just lead to a little more common understanding...I don`t know.

I tend to view the OBC rather like a country. It will always have a history.
sometimes good and sometimes terrible but things evolve and life goes on. It
would be a shame to throw the baby out with the bath water. The new people
in particular deserve their chance.

My sister often says to me..." stop trying to fix things !". It`s a failing of mine.
I think I can hear Ol`ga muttering something about that.....
My wife says, " Haven`t you fixed that yet ?" so I`m not going to be on a
winner anytime soon.

So thanks again Henry for your reply to me...I appreciate it. I don`t know
about you, but it takes me ages to do one of these posts sometimes. I don`t
need a reply , I`m cool.

Just one little thing, I`m not sure if Howard is more `bull headed and
insensitive` than you any more. Apparently he`s just had a bodhisattva
come visit. probably a long drawn out affair. took money off him too.

All the best, Stan.
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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:50 pm

Stan:
My sister often says to me..." stop trying to fix things !". It`s a
failing of mine.
I think I can hear Ol`ga muttering something about
that.....


Mmmmm, actually no, not at all.
You have yourself a good day, too.
O.
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cmpnwtr

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:07 pm

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:
It shows that what ever happens, our spirits can be strong,take away our temple and we will sit where we are. Ban wearing robes and we won't wear them. Our practice is unbreakable.... all one can do is sense ones inner core,it is enough for direction and goodness to come through.
I think quietly we have all learnt alot perhaps not what we expected to meet here when somethings we thought were important seem to have been trampled to dust
As usual I respect what you say and the journey you have made. And what is the difference between a hermit and a monk?

@Michael Thanks for the kind and validating words. Indeed our spirits are strong, if we allow them to be so. The temple is within, and we can find our refuge there every moment.

Regarding the difference between a hermit and a monk, I don't know exactly. Perhaps there is no difference. In my own use of nomenclature the hermit life is defined by its solitary nature combined with intensity of practice. The word monk, monachus in the West, comes from the root word of "monos" to be single, undivided, unified. In that sense any serious contemplative practitioner can be a monk whether solitary or not. I do not call myself a monk, out of respect for traditions where "monk" has a particular meaning. But we all know that there are monks by their uniform and monks by the depth and commitment of their practice.
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:12 pm

Thank you Ol`ga,

You`re sweet. Stan.
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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:17 pm

Hey Howard,

" the irresistible force" thing.......yeah, the beer got me tongue tied. I think I
meant to say irascible ..or something.

I hear what you`re saying about the "minority shareholder" thing. It`s more
that I thought I may have bought the wrong shares in the first place.
" the uncomfortable feelings that motivate" always seem to come up anyway.
Just as well I suppose.

That was a bit of a naughty thought about us all meeting in the same living
room ! I think I can match that with.....who would have the guts to be the
first one to leave ? I think you corrupt me.

I`m assuming that you meant that Henry`s " uncalled for slights are a
constant training opportunity" was directed at you ?
Did I tell you about this string thing he`s got........?

Anyway, I thought he was a really nice man. I told him how fine and
upstanding you were. Especially after the bodhisattva guy called.

Anyroadup as they say in sheffield,.... computer off, she says.

Cheers for now. Stan.
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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:29 pm

Yes, Stan, sugar and spice...

Why would wanting to fix things be a failing?

As for your question about stories such as Bill gave us - very valuable, all the more so that it comes from Bill.
I don't have anything comparable - was there a relatively short time, really. But, if I may, I'd like to talk about the teaching of 'Where there is hurt, there is self'. I think it's harmful, and so much NOT useful. If the problem is 'ego' (whatever hides behind that label....generally ordinary human fears and insecurities, and hopes and ambitions), then to neutralize it (mortify it?) ain't such an easy thing. (I argue that that's not at all what it is about.) And so the master 'helps' one along in getting rid of that pesky, maybe even wicked ego. In the service of that goal, anything goes, Stan - anything. This is where the abuse has its root. Anyone who subscribes to this - specially if s/he is particularly zealous about it, will do great harm.

This 'philosophy' turns the sweetest ladies into nasty warriors of virtue. Just observe them tormenting young devoted novices.

My story is not very dramatic; but I remember well how utterly crushed I was, particularly during those first few months of my 'noviciate' (we were called junior monks then). Of course, it could be argued that I brought into the mixture my own insecurities, immaturity...Yes, I did. I happen to be human. But you don't grow up faster by being beaten. I would say the opposite happens. Then you learn to live a life of tricks, insidious deception - to survive and thrive, become one of the chosen, rise up the ranks; or, if you are lucky, you leave. That way, perhaps, you do grow up, and start anew.

I remember once on our travels in Malta I saw a grandfather beating a small child, a boy. The boy was crying and the grandfather was hitting him on his tiny hands, screaming, clearly asking him to stop crying. The more he hit the child, the more the child cried...and the more the child cried, the more viciously he was hitting it.

We are all children somewhere in our psyche. The child pops up when the right trigger evokes it. And the child looks, to me, so much like that maligned 'ego'; or the other way around: the ego has a child's face. Don't hit it. All you may accomplish is teach it to scheme and dissimulate. It will eventually give the same nasty treatment to others.

This is what I've seen at work in Shasta, and the stories on this forum brought it into sharper focus. It's a sad waste of human opportunity - to grow, to have fun, to learn.

A lot was said here about Jiyu's 'shadow', pathology. I don't debate it. But I believe that she was given the environment, where these traits could cause so much harm. I think monasteries by their nature are tricky. They don't have the correcting mechanisms that life normally provides (to a degree). But when that environment is coupled with the 'teaching' methodology/philosophy of destroying the ego, with a nebulous mystical kensho as a 'carrot', and a justification - all unverifiable - then you have a recipe for arbitrariness and abuse.

This is my view, Stan. You did not experience this. I don't know why. Perhaps you were somehow on the leeside, you didn't provoke the furies. I did, to some degree, enough to acquire scars; others did much more. I left when I realized (sufficiently clearly) that this kind of 'training' is not true; that it is misguided and based on falsehood.

All the best, Stan. You're OK, too, even though you're made of puppy-dog tails.

Ol'ga


Last edited by Ol'ga on Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:31 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Henry

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:37 pm

Bill, (Stan you can read this too for more details)
Your recent post about the "traitors" speaks volumes upon volumes. Daizui continued to be saddened by his need to capitulate. He continuned to be disturbed by methods that Rev. Kennett employed. He continued to feel resigned to having to speak about these things and have others speak to him in a private, perhaps one could say secretive manner. I spoke to him of these concerns in my latter years at Shasta and we became very close. It is horribly sad that he spoke to you as if he had no choice in the matter of no longer being able to contact you. He made his choice to be loyal to Rev. Kennett and the cost of that was that so much of who he was,so much of what he believed, so much of what has proven to be correct by the way things have culminated in the OBC and all the stories told on this site, had to expressed only behind closed doors. What we speak of so openly on OBCC could not be spoken publicly at Shasta. Even Daizui had to be very careful, perhaps even secretive. He very much knew who Eko was and was greatly concerned about a person of Eko's temperment and proclivities becoming abbot. But he never said so publicly. He could not say so publicly. This is not conjecture. Daizui was my friend and we spoke often and at length. Pro OBCers defending how things were and are should know how terribly concerned Daizui was about so much of what we OBCC sprititually immature cry babies and precept breakers are concerned about. He kept quiet about all this (at what cost?) because he loved Rev. Kennett and was fiercely loyal to her. He made his decision to do as she asked and be loyal, not as to what true loyalty is (in my opinion) but according to how Rev Kennett defined loyalty. Support her and never publicly challenge her or go against her wishes. Daizui had strong beliefs that did not always coincide with Rev. Kennett's, but he seemed to always go along with what she wanted. I'm not sure how our discussions fit in with that. Did he talk to her about them generally, specifically, not at all. I know she knew we talked. Shoulda asked but didn't. I'm sure Daizui giving up his friendship with you was painful for him on many levels. That he had to do that points so clearly to what many of us have been saying on OBCC. Daizui was a grown man, a spiritually mature individual. He should not have had to have made that choice, but he did. Daizui believed in Rev. Kennett's spiritual depth, but he also knew that the unresolved karma aspect of her being should not have to be ignored. He knew the harm that could and did come from it. But his choice was that the good from being loyal to her so that the spiritual depth could be transmitted outweighed the harm from her unresolved karma.

Daizui's beliefs and concerns that lead to him to being branded a "traitor" along with so many of the other seniors, to my knowledge, never went away. He wanted things to change from the bottom of his heart. He abhored the techniques of humilation, shunning, silencing, on and on. He abhorred it all. But many of his efforts to make things change were unacceptable to Rev. Kennett. His concerns about how things were done that in his heart he believed needed to be changed were not allowed to be expressed. In the end he had to make his choice--in or out; with me or against me--the same old tools of intimidation. The same old tools to shut down dissent. He chose to be in. He chose to be loyal. I don't think he ever regretted that choice, but I wholeheartedly believe he regretted having to make it. Daizui was inherently a shades of gray person, not a black and white one. That, anyway, is as accurate an understanding of Daizui's dilemma with all this as I can portray. It is my fervent hope I have not misrepresented him in any way. As he is no longer with us, I can only do my very best to accurately portray the content and meaning of our conversations.

I was very fond of Daizui, and I thought of him as a true friend. When Rev. Kennett threw me out of the monastery and priesthood (see the Introductions>Kaizan thread) he sadly said there was nothing else he could do for me. He tried his best, but could no longer influence anyone on the subject of Kaizan. I could hear the sadness and resignation in his voice. I knew he did the best he could to keep me from being thrown out. Thank goodness he failed. (I recently wrote that I chose to leave because I didn't trust Rev. Kennett. This does not contradict being thrown out because shortly after being thrown out I was asked directly by Rev. Kennett to return. No apologies. No explanations. Just all is good. Love to have you back. No problems. I didn't believe it. I gave some other more innocuous reason for declining the offer. When I spoke to Daizui later on, he cautioned me not to return any time soon. I had enemies at Shasta. No reasons given why I was held in such low regard. I guess it was because I was ill, had reservations about methods employed, and knew Eko for who he was. A crime in itself. Laura and Diana I'm sure could comment on the downside of suspecting Eko of anything.) I believe Daizui was often torn between his loyalty to Rev. Kennett and feeling the need to mitigate the effects of Rev. Kennett's and Shasta Abbey's ways on his fellow monks. His loyalty to Rev. Kennett, I believe, came at great cost to him.

Yes, Bill. Your post speaks volumes on the aspects of Shasta, the OBC, and Rev. Kennett that no one in the OBC wants to talk about. No one present there will acknowledge. And no one present there will deign to lower themselves to this den of precept breakers to sort through the rubble in order to assimilate, digest, and understand the scope of this whole complex, mixed bag that is the history of the OBC and the legacy that is Rev. Kennett's. As Jay so uncaringly and self deludingly stated--summing up how all the horror stories told on OBCC were able to continue over decades--"I have zero interest in sorting through the rubble of monastic history." In the OBC, past lives are worthy to be sifted through thoroughly in order to understand how actions beget unintended negative consequences; however, to look honestly and with an open mind at how a teacher and an organization one has devoted one's life to has negatively affected a significant group of people who are banging on your door trying to get you to understand that things that were done to them had terrible effects--that is something worthy of zero interest. Truly the OBC is the ultimate cocoon.

Olga -- I hope to make some comments on the positive aspects of no self. Actually no self is incredibly positive; people just manage to bungle it. No surprise there.

Stan -- thanks for your recent post. Will also try to make time to respond. By the way, my personality, like everyone elses, has many aspects and sides. Each comes out in its own time. I try not to have favorites.
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Henry

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:49 pm

Stan--one comment,

How does the training of sincere monks jibe with all these stories told? It is the same all over. Scandals in churches of every stripe where the obvious is not seen, and transgressions are disavowed or minimized. All this is done by the sincere in order to allow them to train in peace. They look so good; in many ways they are so good. But each one of us has to decide if they will look at and take responsibility for not letting the dark side sit dormant; not pretend that that darkness has less ill effects than it really does. The peace you see comes at a price. The stories on this site are that price. That which is true is greater than that which is holy. Where have we heard that. Yet truth can be a darkness we don't want to see. It can be a stain on what we see as holy. Will we call it out for what it is or will we bask in the peace of holiness. Almost everyone chooses the latter. What do you wish to do? That is your question.

PS Yes Howard is more bull headed and insensitive than me. Everyone but Howard takes that as a fact.
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mstrathern
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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:02 pm

Stan you said:
Quote :
What I do know is that there are many monks and trainees who quietly go
about their training with a trusting heart and are not touched by the problems
that have their origin in the past. This is not because they are brainwashed
but those problems are simply not in their experience. Some of these people
were not even born when Jiyu was around.
I for one cannot imagine dragging one of these trainees off their zafu and say
` Don`t you know you`re wasting your time ? Don`t you realize what Jiyu did
thirty years ago or more ? ! and so on....
and of course your are right. You and some of the others who have posted here and are pro OBC have clearly not been harmed overall by their time with the OBC, and in fact reported that they have gained a a lot from it, great! In may ways I think we have all gained from it, we are after all still here discussing it and apparently trying to practice one way or another. Then you mentioned the specific incidents that have been reported here where people have been harmed. As others have said there are always incidents in organisations. Organisations are made up of people and people are always imperfect and create lesser or greater incidents and do harm, sometimes with the best of intentions. One does not become a monk because one is perfect, quite the reverse, people become monks because they are imperfect and confused. They are looking to gain understanding and to improve. Often though when others come and say, if only by implication, 'Oh how holy you are, how compassionate, how enlightened' our heads get turned and we start to believe it, and then the inevitable myth of the clergy being better than the laity starts. And once started it becomes a great refuge for the clergy! But even this is not the problem here. There have been a number of incidents of one kind or another reported.The question is are they isolated incidents, the kind of thing that is bound to turn up over time, or are they a symptom of something more systematic. If we feel that they indeed do represent something more systematic what should we do? Should we keep quiet because some are benefiting? Or rather should we speak up and discuss what we feel are the problems? Isn't it rather under those circumstances almost our duty to speak out and warn others of the danger, even if it is hurtful to old friends who from their perspective and experience sincerely believe otherwise. Often this comes out rather harshly as we work through our anger, hurt and denial. So it is excellent that we have those who disagree with us to keep us in check and question our views and conclusions. We are also of course closely monitored and kept up to the mark from the our side by our great triumvirate: Howard the Zafu, Henry the Hard, and O'lga the Worm-can Opener! And my deep gratitude goes to all on both sides for their care and they have helped and taught me a great deal.


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cmpnwtr

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:02 pm

@Henry

Thanks for sharing your perspective on Daizui. It fills in some blanks in a way that I would have imagined them to be. I was puzzled then and remain puzzled now at the decision Daizui made, because it was so contrary to the person I knew. I'm sorry he made that choice, and wonder how his life might have been freer and happier and more fruitful had he chosen otherwise. I'm glad that you have gone on to have a good life, and I have a vivid image of the young person you were and I was back in Eugene Priory days. All in all both my wife and I are grateful for our initiation into Zen practice and early training experiences with the Singers. I don't know if you remember, but you were at our wedding, 38 years ago this month.

I have a vivid memory of seeing Daizui (Doug) MacPhillamay at the U.of O. a strange Ichobad Crane figure, strolling across campus, before his shaved head days. He helped to set up one of the first weekend retreats I went to in 1972 at McKenzie Bridge, a retreat at which Daiji (Mark) Strathern, one of our brethren here, was at, assisting JK. It all seems like such a short time ago.
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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:24 am

Bill:
Happy upcoming wedding anniversary and best regards to your wife! I am a great fan of happy marriages.
Mark:
I am thrilled to be upgraded to manhood. (re triumvirate. Don't get intimidated, I took Latin only in my ninth grade, and cheated all the time.). The 'upgrade' is, of course, a joke. Women, we all know, do surpass men.......in vindictiveness, specially towards other women and sometimes towards their husbands. This generalization is only to cancel out the one about women being more peace-loving. Bovine manure!

But of course, vain as I am, I am very flattered to be one of the triumvirate! As to opening can of worms, I am taking out a patent for it. I'm due to get a Nobel, too.

I made a solemn promise to not stay up too late, so Nightie-night, boys and girls.
O.
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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:28 am

Daizui's story is heartbreaking. I have to digest it all.
It's awfully complex and awfully human.
O
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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:45 am

@Olga

Thanks for the anniversary good wishes! It's been a good 38 years and getting better all the time. I think we got a good start with the wedding vow we took at the Eugene Priory. The prenuptial counseling we received emphasized the goodness of sexual love, a teaching attributed to JK by Shuyu Singer. (The ceremony used the vow from the Anglican tradition, "With my body I thee worship."). The written vow hangs on our bedroom wall and includes the commitment that has proved invaluable, "we vow to do our best to help each other be successful, each in our own way." We are very happy and enjoying our new granddaughter, Matilda, six months old. And my daily practice now includes day care once or twice a week, sometimes evenings, in support of Matilda and her parents, my daughter and son-in-law. I am retired, my wife will retire in the spring, and I'm looking forward to many more years of restful and joy filled life together.
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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:49 am

Well done Bill
Love from over the seas
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Henry

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:13 am

Bill,

Wish I could say I remember, but I don't. I know I went to a couple of weddings, Koshin and Hogetsu's being one of them--I guess yours was the other. The weddings I went to inspired me to have my own. Oops! Didn't last long. I do have some fond memories of my years in Eugene though and of the Singers. Eventually I had some problems with the Singers. I believe, looking back, that the problems I eventually had with them were related to teaching styles the brought from Shasta. This was more easily seen once you were headed for monkhood there I think. As people though, I was and remain very fond of the Singers. The style of teaching was just too authoritarian for me. The sad part of my story was how very very long it took me to realize the Shasta approach just didn't work for me.

PS Congratulations on your 38th anniversary. Mine 5th is coming up next week. Hope mine continues to grow as the years march on. I will be 93 on our 38th anniversary. I expect reciprocal congratulations from you at that time.
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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:55 am

Interesting this authoritarinaniasm why do people do it,insecure..want to appear right..I do not know, it is so off putting for me. The difficult teaching for me is the everyday mind is enlightenment..it is enough to make anyone snarl.

A quick note for Mark

A very balanced view my add on if I may for me is



I agree some people did not get hurt and came through OK. My point at the time (76ish) was that I felt that JK practiced a pure form of Zen , when the jin shin and previous lives started I did not feel it was pure zen,and actually felt that for people to not realize that the experiences were no more than dualism dressed up in a fancy title,if the whole experience could not be seen as empty comings and goings thenthe furure direction would be flawed.

From what we constantly hear with issues of authority problems,shunning,and now masterbation issues,I believe that I was right in feeling it was not the way for me,and I would look elsewhere for guildance for the pure zen path that I sought
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:32 am

OL`ga.

Hi `sugar and spice`..,

" why would wanting to fix things be a failing ?".

I think maybe my sister meant that I was veering to obsessive behavior and
pointing to an underlying issue. That`s how I took it anyway.

When I was young, about 10, my father sent my brother and myself to a
catholic boarding school run by monks. My sister got sent to a catholic
boarding school run by Polish nuns. We spent a good few years overall in
various of these schools.

I think the idea was that as they argued so much ( they eventually divorced),
that us kids would be better off away from such unpleasantness at a tender
age. Fortunately we all felt very much loved by our parents and loved them
very much in return. We didn`t feel damaged to any great degree.

In fact, when my father announced the divorce on Christmas day ( being a
slav and overemotional after drinks ), we all said great ! Can you hurry up
and get on with it. He was quite shocked.


Anyway, the point. When I was still fresh in the first boarding school, we had
one particular parents visiting sunday. We spent a wonderful day and in the
evening were taken to a cinema. During the intermission, the music was
playing and I was feeling unusually happy when I burst into tears.

My parents worriedly said what`s the matter ? are you all right ?
I answered that everything was so wonderful but it`s all spoilt because we
have to die and this feeling can`t last forever.
They laughed in relief which surprised me. Did they have some secret I didn`t
know about ? Unfortunately there was to be no answer and I felt a weight
come onto my heart. A problem that would henceforth need resolving.

It has to a degree been the story of my life. With each problem resolved, a
deeper one to take it`s place awaiting new resolution. It has taken me all
my life to find that the problems were callings that led to a place of no
more problems. I don`t mean to sound too poetic and mushy but that`s
been my experience in a nutshell.

However, because there`s always a however, I feel that I have been left
with the side effects of years of trying to problem solve. Vasanas of solving
if you will. I`m sure I can be a pain at times `when I go off on one` and
drop into peoples private lives whilst I go rooting for my problems. Most of
these problems don`t even exist...God help me !

I`m sure that I`m running true to form when and why I come onto this forum.
I always feel sure that there must be some sort of solution. Chances are that
this may be right but the solutions apply to individuals separately . Things may
work out for individuals and organizations in their own sweet time all the
better for less input from me ! Maybe I just have to tire of the motions so as
to let go. I don`t know.

Anyway, I have to ask you to forgive me if I sometimes seem to get a bit too
much under the skin. in public too !

If I had your OBC experiences and those of some of the others, I sure would
have left too. As it is, I left for quite other reasons.

If I had witnessed RM.Jiyu struggling with her dark side and the ensuing
effects passed on to those around her, I would have been almost distraught.
I did not witness this and I was fortunate to gain more than I can repay.

For this reason, I feel that I am both an OBC supporter and an OBCC
supporter. To me they are not mutually exclusive and is the reason I keep on
coming back to the forum. I don`t find it a comfortable place but, hey ho,
problems, problems.

" puppy dogs` tails" ??.....Nah, You`re still sweet.

Stan.
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glorfindel

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:28 pm

Stan Giko wrote:

For this reason, I feel that I am both an OBC supporter and an OBCC
supporter. To me they are not mutually exclusive and is the reason I keep on
coming back to the forum.


You hit the nail right on top with that!


Thankyou to everyone for your stories about Mcphilamy. He is the only person in all the ancient tales told on this forum that I have actually met.

Once upon a time I was walking down a corridor. Walking toward me was the head of the OBC. I could see him through the glass panels in the door that was between us. As I approached the door I was having many thoughts:

"I bet in this stupid place they expect you to hold the door open for the boss."
"the shobogenzo really sucks."
"I bet he gives me a weird look if I don't open the door for him."

By the time I got to the door I was ready to plant one on his chin.

but he opened the door for me


flower

He was one of the reasons I liked the OBC. Him and that guy in Germany......

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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:20 pm

Henry.

Hi Henry,

I just wanted to say in starting that I don`t in anyway think that you`re
basically " Mr. Angry " ! I`ve read all your posts and it`s obvious enough
from that.
In my opening paragraph to you I said you could treat me a bit more harshly
in a jokey ( attempt at ) manner. I hope you don`t wonder if I was being
sarcastic....I wasn`t. The only person who could possibly find you angry is
Howard.

I`m going to be mercifully brief as I`m kind of tired today and feeling a bit
OBCCed out. Chances are I`m older than you too.

What you wrote about Daizui was a truly sad indictment of Shasta hierarchy.
It must have impacted terribly on him as on many people around him. what
a tragedy that he did not get the abbot`s job.

It`s exactly these sort of details that are so conducive to throwing light on
why the OBCC exists. It makes it more possible for people to come to a
considered opinion of what the problems truly are, why so many seniors left
and begin to consider the remedies. Attacking pro OBCers who come on the
site is counterproductive. They will have a quick look and depart thinking that
what is happening is just bad blood issues.

I can say from my own experience...and very recent too, that it`s the laying
out of the facts and elucidation of the history that really drive home the
reality of the situation. It`s obviously not pleasant dragging up these
experiences but very illuminating.

Over time truth always comes out and truth cannot be negated. Those who
resolutely refuse to look at truth, given the evidence, are going to have to
force themselves into some very strange pretzel shapes of untruth.

It may be simplistic but, I feel a new section could be in order entitled
something like " Why I left" or similar. It might be a more direct route to the
heart of the matter for visitors from all quarters.

I call myself an OBC and an OBCC supporter and I noticed that Glorfindel is
also in agreement with that sentiment. I know others would support that view
as well.

I`m not saying that you are the reason why I think that this forum shows
an antagonistic face to OBCers in particular. In my view, this forum shows
a pretty ferocious face to people, made to feel they are interlopers. (please
see rules of forum ??

So again, I would ask for less confrontation in general and more elucidation
from members. One could have asked Jay when he arrived.." have you read
the ` why I left` posts ? Can I ask your opinion of the contents ? etc
after that, hunting season open if need be.

Sorry if I came on a bit personal and uninvited Howard. I do think Ol`ga may
have had a bit of a point there. ( spitting as I say it. )

All good things take time. Even Josh said " the tree is savable ". o.k, with
many ands, ifs, and but`s and not holding my breath etc.

Other than that, I`m so glad I kept it short.....Jeez.
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:30 pm

Mark,

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your message. I had to read it a couple of times as I couldn`t
see your points of contention. Still can`t. I think it must be because I`m in
agreement with pretty much everything you say !

You`re just so reasonable !

It must be your fine Charterhouse English public school upbringing. ( LOL ).

I did like your triumvirate of Howard, Henry and Ol`ga.

I`ve got them filed under " Ratpack ".

Take care, Stan.
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:39 pm

Glorfindel.

Hey Zen dude.

Two nails that in mid-air do meet !

Not quite sure about `that guy in Germany`. explain ?

I kind of hope that one day you may change your Avatar.
After all this time , I can`t help feeling you must look like
that. Worst part is, I quite like the idea. I`m losing it fast.

Take care now, Stan.
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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:16 pm

Henry wrote:
Bill,

Wish I could say I remember, but I don't. I know I went to a couple of weddings, Koshin and Hogetsu's being one of them--I guess yours was the other. The weddings I went to inspired me to have my own. Oops! Didn't last long. I do have some fond memories of my years in Eugene though and of the Singers.... As people though, I was and remain very fond of the Singers. The style of teaching was just too authoritarian for me. The sad part of my story was how very very long it took me to realize the Shasta approach just didn't work for me.

PS Congratulations on your 38th anniversary. Mine 5th is coming up next week. Hope mine continues to grow as the years march on. I will be 93 on our 38th anniversary. I expect reciprocal congratulations from you at that time.

@Henry

It is only natural that my wedding was more memorable to me than you. I do remember your then brief bride-to-be. I resonate with your comments about the Singers. I liked them a lot, and also didn't much care at times for the teaching style but managed to get past it, which I also believe stems from what they were schooled in at Shasta. I'm glad to see they got out of the priest role structure and went on to do good things for the disabled. Last time I saw George Singer was on a running path in Eugene in the 80s, and he definitely didn't want to be acknowledged by his priest name or identity. For our 39th anniversary I'm taking my own bride to Italy (where I attended university back in the 60s for a time) for an excursion and cruise this time next year. She's never been outside the country except for Canada and is really looking forward to it. Congratulations on your 5th! Hope to be around for your 38th!
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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:16 pm

Hey Stan

Where's your Google-fu? The guy in Germany is Rev Fuden Nessi.

I look more like my name than my avatar.
The reason I don't put my real picture up is because this is a Buddhist site and I don't want to generate too much passion in the female contingent.

People's thoughts could become unclear.

So for now it's Monkey pointing at his preceptual crown Wink

^^

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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:20 pm

Glorfindel.

Hey Glorfindel,

Yeah of course. RM. Fuden is one of the loveliest kindest men in the world.
You been to his place there ?

Female passion ? Hmmm.....you`d better watch your tail mr. Monkey.

Catch you later, Stan.
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Diana



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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:27 pm

Lol Glorfindel! Thank you (from the female contingent) for exhibiting such thoughtfullness!

Oh- this is ironic. So, I just got my Shasta Abbey calendar in the mail (why did they send this to me and how did they get my address???), and they are offering a retreat on the "Teachings of Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett." I must say, this is the first time I have ever seen this subject for a retreat. Maybe there is a new surge in Jiyu devotion? Hmm. Maybe this is the push-back from the forum here? What do you guys think?

Peace,

Diana
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:03 pm

I do not feel anything at all Diana. Neither negative or positive
What were her teachings? I have no idea, and do not feel like finding out.
I think I have said all I want to say about her, most probably talked her out of my system, just not for me
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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:39 pm

Glorfi,
The reason I don't put my real picture up is because this is a Buddhist
site and I don't want to generate too much passion in the female
contingent.

Lucky thing I am immune, being one of the triumvirate.

Otherwise Jiyu's ghost would certainly come to haunt me, with her, "There is a certain female senior monk here who has not learnt to control her sexual urges..."

O.
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Henry

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:56 pm

Howard,

What a relief it is for both of us to finally have our long standing argument resolved. Mark has crowned us Henry the Hard and Howard the Zafu. Now I haven't sat on a zafu in decades, but if my memory serves me correctly, when a zafu is sat on for as much as you claim to sit on yours, the two most prominent adjectives to describe that zafu that would come to mind (to any random person asked) would be soft and flaccid. So there you have it. The unbiased independent third party (Mark) has finally completed his assessment after months of assiduous fact gathering, quantitative and qualitative research, and extensive peer review of the results. And the results simply are as they are: Henry the Hard and Howard the Soft and Flaccid (Mark's words, not mine). I know there have been times during our ongoing debate where feelings were hurt and tempers flared. But, Howard, that is behind us now. It is time to get behind the long awaited assessment, forgive and forget, and move on. I have no hard feelings. I hope you feel the same.
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:00 pm

Interesting stuff Diane.
Glorfindel! Thank you (from the female contingent) for exhibiting such thoughtfullness!

Just who's avatar was a chorus line of dancing warriors waggling their naughty bits about? I had just assumed that monkeys continued avatar presence was just an ongoing penance for those past offences which might have been better applied towards a layout for our own OBCC calender. Volunteers anyone?
Henry!..... I understand that you have a large font that might be a money making cover shot.!


PS Henry..

Just read your last post about your new title and while I was just about ready to put everything behind me, I think that in your present state I'll just keep you front and center.

No hard feelings....really.

H




Last edited by Howard on Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:03 pm

Ladies and gentlemen, the Venerable Mother Superior Lise and her wards,

Now Henry stepped hard on my can of worms, and so I am left with no choice but to open it and liberate the mistreated and oppressed creatures.

The upshot of this action is finding that Henry is doing Howard injustice. It shows that he forgot the dynamics of zafu-squashing owing to long hiatus in sitting. Henry, please understand that if you sit on a zafu long enough (say 2 hours, 17 minutes and 3.4 seconds a day), the said zafu becomes very hard indeed, as does a certain part of the sitter's anatomy, both resembling an overdone pancake, not soft and flaccid, as you stated.

Therefore, I must inform you, disappointing though this must be for you, the worms ruled that Howard is considerably harder, at least in some areas, than you.

I agree that Mark is a most unbiased arbitrator, and therefore I now call upon him to give his learned expert opinion.

Ol'ga and Her Worms


Last edited by Ol'ga on Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:33 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Inserting an indefinite article where same had been hitherto omitted and correct a typographic error.)
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:56 pm

Hey Ol'ga

Honorably named after a kitchen appliance

I believe Hard Henry( so named after a XXX star) is confusing a bicycle riders endurance injury due to excess seat pressure with sitting on a zafu. Perhaps hard Henry's sitting hiatus was due to a zafu practise that was a little bit too lively for him to handle. He does ascribe himself with attributes that are not likely to make sitting easy or perhaps again it was just a case of restless hands.

Is nothing is sacred?

Maybe Ol'ga if your can opener is still on, you could clamp it over hard Henry's can.

If he remains as excitable as his last few postings indicate then maybe Mark should tell him that, yes while a triumvirate is a three way, it only refers to political positions.

And doesn't Howard the zafu sound like something that deserves to be sat on.

Cheers

PS All the names on this posting are now on my merit board.
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Henry

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PostSubject: Re: Differing views on looking back   Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:17 am

Olga,

You have missed an important post sitting ceremony referred to as the "poofing of the zafu." Not to be confused with the running of the bulls. One places the zafu on its side, kneads it, turns it, knead, turn, knead, turn. The result: a soft and flaccid zafu after innumerable repititions.

Howard,

I can see that sanity just will not prevail. We've had the assessment by the faithful and trustworthy Mark. He has labelled the attributes of the various parties, the truth has been made apparent, and yet the debate continues unabated. I am almost ready to concede to falsehood out of sheer exhaustion. The only last ditch attempt at resolution that I can think of is to have our wives settle the argument. Or perhaps an unbiased third party of another nature. Better put that in small font so the wife doesn't see it. (don't bother with an obvious retort; I have a counter retort ready).


Last edited by Henry on Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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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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