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 A perspective on both sides

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Jiko



Posts : 18
Join date : 2010-07-27

PostSubject: A perspective on both sides   Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:48 pm

Hello everyone:
My name is Jiko and I am a lay disciple of Kyogen, who introduced himself in another thread, and a Lay Dharma teacher with lay transmission at Dharma Rain Zen Center.

I find myself in between those who are grateful for their spiritual guidance from OBC and yet no longer have a formal sangha, and those who struggle to overcome negative experiences there.

I received the Precepts from Jiyu Kennett in 1983 and attended several retreats there. I was reared in that area, though I have lived in Portland for a long time. I know that part of my immediate love of the Abbey was my love of the countryside and the mountains. But most of it was a deep, immediate and abiding love for Soto Zen and for monastic life.

Around the time I began to seriously practice Zen and attend sesshin at the Abbey, Kyogen and Gyokuko became a familiar presence in Portland. This was a happy enough combination of relationships for a time, but it didn't last. I had begun training in the Lay Ministry program when Kyogen and Gyokuko separated from the Abbey and from OBC. (A long story, and Kyogen has posted a few links that tell part of it.)

At that time, Eko took me for a walk along the cloister and told me that I had to choose: I could continue to practice at the Abbey, or I could continue to practice with Kyogen. I could not do both; if I stayed involved with Kyogen, I would be banned from the Abbey.

It was a terrible choice, especially so early in my practice. I was still in my honeymoon phase, and also struggling over whether I had a vocation for monastic life (I had children and so it was a wish from afar). And bang, I had to choose between two relationships I loved and needed.

With a little time for contemplation, I came to see the "third position" of standing apart from a conflict. In fact, OBC was insisting that I choose, but Kyogen was not doing anything of the sort. He was not creating the conflict. So the choice became clear.

It was wrenching and I missed the Abbey terribly for a long time. I still feel wistful at times. However, I am grateful that things worked out as they did. Not just because of the fruitful and enduring relationship I've had with Kyogen and with my large and healthy sangha, but because of all that I've heard over the years about what I left behind. Now that I've had a look at a number of other American sanghas as well as several monasteries and temples in Japan, I see the pattern in much of the drama explained here. I see that our conditioning does tend to lead us into the same familiar mistakes.

I look forward to both lurking and commenting here - Jiko
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Jiko



Posts : 18
Join date : 2010-07-27

PostSubject: p.s.   Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:44 pm

I want to add that many years later, after my father died in Yreka, I ran into Eko on the street there. My brother and I were running around doing some of the errands one does after a death. Here came Eko, in long brown robes and big Wellington boots in the winter mud. And he recognized me! I was deeply touched that he remembered me after all those years - in spite of how we had parted. We had a sweet and friendly meeting.

I heard of his resignation and felt a lot of surprise and sadness. I have heard that he is staying in the area for now and has enough financial cushion, but as another Buddhist friend once said of the OBC in general, "They don't get out much, do they?" So I worry about him a bit.
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Diana



Posts : 206
Join date : 2010-06-11
Location : New Mexico

PostSubject: Re: A perspective on both sides   Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:20 pm

Hi Jiko,
Thanks for being here.
I worry about Eko too. He was my master for a while. I am still shocked that he left. I have so many mixed feelings including total betrayal. This forum seems to be a good place to shake out all those mixed feelings. There is comfort knowing I am not alone.

Peace to ya,
Diana
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Carol

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Posts : 364
Join date : 2009-11-10

PostSubject: Re: A perspective on both sides   Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:29 am

Jiko's comments brought to mind an odd experience I had with one of the monks living under Koshin's discipline. The monk (RZ)was head of the Seattle temple. He was kind and did his best to meet the needs of the tiny congregation that meditated there. Following a retreat at the Abby led by RM Eko, I obtained a set of tapes of RM Eko's dharma talks from the retreat. After listening to them, I gave them to RZ to contribute to the priory library. After several weeks I noticed the tapes hadn't been put in the library and asked RZ. He said Koshin didn't want them out because "people might get confused." I have no idea what that was about, but it seemed odd to have to somehow choose between RM Eko's teachings and Koshin's.
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Lise
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Posts : 1416
Join date : 2009-11-08
Age : 43

PostSubject: hi   Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:39 am

Jiko, just a quick hello and welcome from me too. I think I recognize your name from writings in the StillPoint newsletter of the Dharma Rain Zen Center. It's good to have you here.

I haven't yet read of any experiences similar to yours -- most of us leave without being pushed to the edge of a difficult choice. It's good to read that your path turned out well, esp. in terms of the connection to a healthy sangha. And that you didn't carry bitterness about Eko says a lot --

Thanks for joining us here, and I hope you will lurk/post often --

L.
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Lise
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Posts : 1416
Join date : 2009-11-08
Age : 43

PostSubject: Re: A perspective on both sides   Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:45 am

violet wrote:
. . . Following a retreat at the Abby led by RM Eko, I obtained a set of tapes of RM Eko's dharma talks from the retreat. After listening to them, I gave them to RZ to contribute to the priory library. After several weeks I noticed the tapes hadn't been put in the library and asked RZ. He said Koshin didn't want them out because "people might get confused." I have no idea what that was about, but it seemed odd to have to somehow choose between RM Eko's teachings and Koshin's.

It would have been interesting to hear what concerned Koshin about Eko's material --
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Amber Komei Larson



Posts : 5
Join date : 2010-08-03

PostSubject: Hi Jiko -   Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:59 pm

It was great to hear from you. I liked your comment in your intro about conditioning. So many people are mechanically believing their conditioned thoughts. I'm glad you followed your heart.
Best wishes,
Komei
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