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 Irreverence

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Diana



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PostSubject: Irreverence   Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:24 pm

I was moved to start this thread after a memory of someone jumped into my head. I think this was prompted by Olga's statement in another thread about she learned to use her middle finger, lol.

Please do share any memories of folks that you have who acted in brave ways, stood up to authority, or was just brave enough to be themselves and train anyway.

Enjoy!
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Diana



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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:39 pm

Here's one for you...

Sabira (I hope that was her name?). Any of you had the pleasure of training with Sabira? Well, she was around when I was at SA. She was an elderly lady with what some would say, a "difficult" personality. Looking back, I think she was a bodhisattva!

One of things that Sabira would consistently do was fart (and loudly) in the ceremony hall or in meditation, or just about anywhere for that matter. The first time I experienced this I happened to be standing and sitting directly behind her in the ceremony hall. It was dead-silent. It was a juicy-sounding thing, had great range, and yes, it smelled, badly. My immediate reaction was to laugh and giggle; I actually could not control it. Good thing Sabira had a hearing problem because I would have been mortified if she knew I was laughing. What was even funnier was to look around and see other peoples reaction. One monk had a stern and serious look and as she stared at me like my mother used when she was trying to telepathically tell me that I was in big trouble, I realized she really didn't find it funny at all, actually she seemed quite put-out.

Most of the monks seemed to feel this way about Sabira. I loved her because she was really the only one I saw that was "real" in the whole place. I was sad when she died.

The tragic part for me was that I was never allowed to be "me" and therefore I could not learn or experiment with the teachings. I couldn't question. I couldn't make mistakes. I couldn't prove anything true for myself. Ultimately, I learned how to use my middle finger too. And ever since then I have been learning, and questioning, and making mistakes, it it's all good. Thanks Sabira.

Peace,
Diana
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:25 pm

Diana, I met her - we had fun conversations. When I first met her I asked her to say her name a second time, and she said, "oh don't worry, you won't remember it anyway by the next time I see you, and I won't remember you either!" She told me about her exploration in different traditions, Sufi among others. Very open person, a delight to spend time with.

I had the same impression as you, that the monks weren't too keen on her presence. I liked her
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:23 pm

I knew someone who always got up well in advance of the wake-up bell in the Vimalakirti Hall, during retreats. She was pretty good about most rules but was not willing to join in the stampede crowding into the washroom at 5:15 am to compete for sink space. She'd tiptoe out of our room at 4:30 or so, and be in and out of the women's room long before the bell had rung, and then turn up in the Buddha Hall looking well-groomed & wearing pressed clothes, unlike most of us who looked like we just fell out of bed and barely had time to brush teeth. I liked her style Smile


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cmpnwtr

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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:48 pm

I had to smile here at the mention of Sabira. She dates from my time also, 70s and 80s. When I met Sabira and had a chance to see her in action, it made me relax a little, because I thought SA must be awfully tolerant. Anyway.. I learned to not get too upset at the opinions of other trainees, in part because of Sabira. Someone I know who corresponded with her after she left Mt. Shasta said she converted to Christian fundamentalism before her death. It made me smile too. The Universe has a sense of humor and is very tolerant and accepting, much more than I am.
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:51 am

Irreverence ... well occasionally as a warm up, I'll play the Scripture of Great Wisdom very loud and make the windows shake . I plug my Strat into my "Bad Monkey" peddle and go for it!
afraid
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:17 pm

A great subject that is too often ignored... and just when I thought I had nothing left to say.

Irreverence and the ability to laugh at oneself are as fundamental to a balanced practise as the meditation itself.

Had it been more widely embraced at Shasta, the OBCC would never have had a reason to exist.

The best examples of irreverence I've seen have been from most of the members here.
There seems to be little middle ground between irreverence and pomposity for the spiritually inclined.


It is the willingness to see doubt as a positive questioning process that reveals just how foolish we all are and how OK that really is.
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:54 pm

Howard how right you are. If JK had slipped in morning service and fallen on her bum she would have been outraged if anyone laughed. When we take ourselves seriously it is only our delusory egos that we are taking seriously. When we have ourselves in perspective we can laugh along with life, and even with others who find our antics amusing and laugh along with us. As for pomposity, I fear it is a common failing of religions and religious. It comes from taking religion as being special and important, and by reflection so am I and my actions, when in fact it turns out they are prosaic, everyday, and just as liable to farce as everything else. If we can't see the buddha in our own farce then we've missed him again.
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:24 am

Thank you, Diana, for your Sabira story. I remember her, but not well.

RMJK hated exercise in all forms. I like regular exercise and sitting in meditation for hours is hard on the body, so at week-long SA retreats, I used to sneak into the woods behind the Guest House and do yoga. No one ever caught me, but I imagine they would not have approved of that! My friend Paula W. was an avid runner back in those days. There is a fence and a path of a half mile or so through the woods at Shasta, but Paula was told she was not allowed to RUN around the fence. I guess it was ok to WALK your dog through the woods (some of the monks did that) or WALK slowly (as if you were doing walking meditation), but no useful exercising!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:34 am

Hi Carol ... mentioning exercise brought back a pleasant memory about Shasta. The last time I was there was about 20 years ago. I was put on garden duty and handed this wonderful impliment called a double digger. For those who haven't seen one, a double digger looks like the Green Giant's kitchen fork with two handles. You drive the tynes into the ground stand on the "fork" and lean back while pulling on the handles. This rips out the spruce and pine tree roots that are constantly sending feeders into the tomatoes. I think after 6 weeks I'd dug up most of the gardens ... great workout, but I also broke the welds on the double digger ... oops cheers
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Carol

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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:18 pm

Wow! I'd like to have a double digger! I too spent a lot of time in the gardens at Shasta, a job I much preferred to sitting inside for HOURS and doing pointless work like separating invoices and other pieces of paper that had been stapled together.
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:51 am

When I was a monk at Shasta I remember some of the monks running round the property, and some of us did other exercise. Maybe things change, or maybe my memory is at fault.
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:27 am

Jimyo, I think that you are correct.

Carol, I think that you are correct.

Jimyo, you may well remember me running around the property (always late for something!). Plus, my prior life as a distance runner and mountain climber made this inclination a natural. Most of my exercise however was climbing Black Butte and distance running in the area, on days off. And then there was the weekend when Haryo, Eko, and I climbed Mt. Shasta. Well, not quite to the summit, but within shouting distance.

Carol, you are certainly correct in that RMJK did not generally think that exercise should be a regular part of the schedule. She did, however, institute days off, and promoted the idea of monks using the time for exercise: playing frisbie at the Abbey, and hiking and swimming in the local backcountry. At one point, she bought an adult tricycle for herself, and rode it around the Abbey--purely for the sake of exercise.
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mokuan



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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:24 am

Diana, thank you for starting this thread.

Do you remember the mantra "I could be wrong"? During my days at the Abbey, if you ever questioned a senior -- or almost anything, for that matter -- you were reminded that you could be wrong.

You could be wrong. You could be wrong, You could be wrong. Yes, I know, I've got that one on speed dial.

Well, one day the tides turned. I can't remember exactly what the issue was, but R. Meian --who was very, very senior to me -- and I were not seeing eye to eye on something. After some frustration on her part, she said those ubiqutous words that were meant to end all discussion: you could be wrong. She was standing behind me. I paused for a moment, thought about it, and then truned around faced her squarely and said: I could be right. She repeated "you could be wrong"; I repeated, "I could be right."

Poor thing, you think I'd just punched in the stomach with the look of horror on her face. She turned and walked away. It was a defining moment for me and probably the beginning of the end. I was going to start trusting my gut again, come what may.
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:08 am

Random thoughts -

I was chatting with a senior monk, Rev. Kinsei, near the end of my first visit in '01 (an Intro retreat) and asked him if he or others enjoyed hikes or snowshoeing in such a beautiful area. Without a pause he said curtly, "We have better things to do, like meditate." Other monks also made disparaging comments about physical activity that was done primarily for one's enjoyment/health. I don't know if this was one of their faddish notions that eventually waned, as a group belief. I wouldn't be surprised if some still hold this view.

Also in '01, I remember another senior instructing me not to run - we had been stacking wood, he kept us too long and the laity were late for the next activity. I tried to trot to the guesthouse in order to change quickly, but was reprimanded and told to walk slowly. Then got a scolding from the next monk, for being late to her afternoon dharma talk.

Mokuan - my thought about "you could be wrong" is that the only people entitled to use that phrase are those who say it to themselves, in looking at their own motivations, state of mind (as Kennett's WWG narrative indicates). Trying to use it on others seems to me an arrogant and disrespectful reaction to dissent and questioning.
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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:05 pm

Mokuan wrote:
You could be wrong. You could be wrong, You could be wrong. Yes, I
know, I've got that one on speed dial.


God, how funny!
I love you, Mok!
O.
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:30 pm

Here's another -- I'm told that a few years ago, some monks were sorting photos taken around the Abbey, for the purpose of choosing some that could be posted on SA's website and would help illustrate different activities like lay retreats. I'm told that Rev. Celia asked one particular lay woman (a worldly type) if they could use some photos with her image, because "you look mainstream, you know, . . . normal . . . "

as opposed to, I suppose, a crystal-waving, Lemurian-seeking, deva-channeling Mt. Shasta hippie sporting dreadlocks? (Don't flood me with PMs please, I think dreads are fine. On the right people.)
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:31 am

mokuan - the other side of the 'I could be wrong' coin is of course 'I could be right'! But people and organisations that emphasis the former are normally running away from the latter. Yes, it is good to recognise that one could be wrong, but it does not stop there. You need go on and try and see whether it is more likely that you are wrong or right - definitely using the Buddha's injunction to test it for yourself and not just take it on another's authority.
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:15 pm

"You could be wrong" or "I could be right" was not a teaching recognized by Rev. Koshin. If he taught that something was True, he was Right. If something seemed wrong or untrue to you, you were supposed to "put it on the back burner." That way no matter what you thought (even if you took the advice to "test it for yourself"), you were not right, you just lacked the wisdom and understanding to see the Truth. You just weren't far enough along to get It. Now if I misunderstood Koshin, I apologize to him in absentia, but that was certainly the message I always heard about being "right" or "wrong."
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mokuan



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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:30 pm

I love you too, O!

Mark, there should have been two sides to the coin, but at Shasta when I was there, there was only one. And to be fair, it was nothing personal against R. Meian. Anyone at that moment could have said the same thing and my response would not have been any different. Plain and simple, I was done. And it was exhilerating!

Carol, your perceptions of Koshin's teaching also ring true. Lip sevice was given to the Buddha's admonition to prove things for yourself, but if your "proof" did not fit the party line, well you were just full of self.

In my experience Koshin is a scary fellow. Two things come to mind immediately when his name is mentioned. The first being that Koshin's response to one of the barking dogs on the property was to beat him with a large piece of wood. It was Koshin's opinion this was the way to cure the barking. He didn't even consider the barking was because the dog was isolated and distressed. When he explained his reasoning at tea, no one said a word. Not even RMJK, who loved animals.

The second instance I rememeber was also at tea. Many of the monks had chronic illnesses. Koshin was visiting and he was quite verbose in his opiions that people were not training hard enough or even properly to have that much illness in the community. He was condescending to say the least. Had I had my ah-ha moment at that time, I would've have called him on it. I would've have reminded him how very physically demanding our lives were and sufficent rest was just not possible. I also might have mentioned there's some crazy behavior going on here with RMJK. When an individual has no recourse against exhaustion and craziness, they're bound be beome ill. Again, no one said anything in response.

But I see this is as a "happy thread." A thread where we can talk about those moments when we reclaimed our truth and stood up for ourselves and maybe even used that middle finger! Good for us.
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:03 am

Mokuan, in my opinion, you are right on the mark with every point that you have made.

Carol and Mokuan, I think that Koshin has become effectively trapped within his own unacknowledged shadow-side--to the detriment of many.

This is, of course, my own personal opinion. It is based on having known Koshin for many years as a friend, having worked with him in Seattle as he was setting up the North Cascades Buddhist Priory, and (therefore) having seen the trajectory that he was on--and (apparently) continues on to this day.

Like you, Mokuan, there were times when I might have spoken up--but didn't. My understanding and conviction, at those moments, just wasn't up to the task.

However, I think that the other aspect here is the impact that collective unconscious opinion and belief has in effectively determining what is (and isn't) permissible to talk about in a group.

I am taking back my understanding and conviction. And you, clearly, have done so already!!
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:41 pm

Fantastic stories of irreverance
I can add some too.
I go back to the sunny summer of 1970 and a zendo in Purley Surrey UK the sesshin was hotting up,I can remember scant and fleeting details,The Italian Princess, The rich Antique dealer, Mike Lessers drawing of a brick wall behind his eyes,and the American girl whacking the wall in front of her,and shouting dig it dig it.
Crazy times,When Jk left the UK for the states she stayed at the house of the American girl,They were rather wealthy and had Rembrandts on their walls, the house reflected their opulent life.
After JK had left in a fast car and the family returned in doors they discovered that she had defecated on a very elaborate, exclusive,and expensive carpet.

I remember with tremendous awe the stillness of Zuoiji Temple, The thunder and silence of Hashimoto descendents,the cleanliness of the temple how we cleaned and polished,the daily bathing , all together washing sitting in a big bath.I remember, and refect upon my self, my desire to practice the teachings in my very difficult circumstances. there are many takes , many points of view, many attitudes, the strongest is to always see the teaching.

How wonderful life is,to realise that everything is of equal importance,how wonderful to pass on such a teaching,even if it was not wanted or well received,nor offered any guidance,It is a bit like Koshin in his criticism of others effort, he really is saying look at me, and Eko with the telephone sex, after 40 years of denial,his egotistical behavior seems actually greater than before,All the religious words and practices certainly are empty of all things.
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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:53 pm

Michael, when you write,
they discovered that she had defecated on a very elaborate,
exclusive,and expensive carpet

- please tell us, WHO did?
Ol'ga
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:20 pm

After JK had left in a fast car and the family returned in doors they
discovered that she had defecated on a very elaborate, exclusive,and
expensive carpet.

LOL ... proof to me that RMJK was actually Glaswegian. I think the elephant in the room here is, was she invited back Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:41 pm

Re taking a dump on a fancy carpet, perhaps RMJK was inspired by the fairly well-known little gem from Jelaluddin Rumi (mid 13th century AD), below. I'm told that she read very widely and had an ecumenical sensibility, at any rate. Can we view this as her own little act of irreverence against riches and rare luxuries, or a sermon like the Buddha holding up a lotus to his disciples? Or was it just plain nuts (not to mention very rude and disgusting)?

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

A dervish knocked at a house
to ask for a piece of dry bread,
or moist, it didn't matter.

"This is not a bakery," said the owner.

"Might you have a bit of gristle then?"

"Does this look like a butchershop?"

"A little flour?"

"Do you hear a grinding stone?"

"Some water?"

"This is not a well."

Whatever the dervish asked for,
the man made some tired joke
and refused to give him anything.

Finally the dervish ran in the house,
lifted his robe, and squatted
as though to take a s***.

"Hey, hey!"

"Quiet, you sad man. A deserted place
is a fine spot to relieve oneself,
and since there's no living thing here,
or means of living, it needs fertilizing."

The dervish began his own list
of questions and answers.

"What kind of bird are you? Not a falcon,
trained for the royal hand. Not a peacock,
painted with everyone's eyes. Not a parrot,
that talks for sugar cubes. Not a nightingale,
that sings like someone in love.

Not a hoopoe bringing messages to Solomon,
or a stork that builds on a cliffside.

What exactly do you do?
You are no known species.

You haggle and make jokes
to keep what you own for yourself.

You have forgotten the One
who doesn't care about ownership,
who doesn't try to turn a profit
from every human exchange.
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:31 pm

Michael, I'm sure that you are honestly reporting the story that was told to you--but the story doesn't ring true to me at all. My perception is that RMJK actually loved mansions, and everything that went with them.

This is nothing but speculation on my part, but the story sounds like something that someone made up to discredit RMJK, using a scenario that implies twisted Zen teaching.
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:41 pm

Thanks for that Kozan ... bows ...
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:25 pm

Kozan-- Thanks for your perspective.
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:24 pm

Oh dear, is JK's loving or not loving mansions really the point?

I can't imagine the story is true. That is why I asked Michael to clarify.

End of any possible discussion of this, for me.
Ol'ga
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:01 pm

Ol'ga, I could have simply stated my opinion that the story is absurd, or that the alleged behavior simply wasn't RMJK's style, or any number of other comments similar in nature, none of which address what seem to me to be the implied basis of the story's claim to truth.

I think that the storyteller is implicitly claiming that RMJK defecated on the carpet as a teaching statement that mansion-like housing and anything associated with it, was...wrong, abhorant, an obstacle to training, or...who knows what.

My point was not only that the story is not true, but that the implied basis of the story's claim to truth is not true.

I don't think that knowing the storyteller's identity would be likely to either confirm or refute the veracity of the story itself.
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:22 pm

Kozan wrote:


I don't think that knowing the storyteller's identity would be likely to either confirm or refute the veracity of the story itself.

Maybe not, but I would like Michael to state if he believes it to be true and why he posted it.
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:47 pm

I did not express myself unambiguously, when I wrote:

Michael, when you write,
they discovered that she had defecated on a very elaborate, exclusive,and expensive
carpet

- please tell us, WHO did?
Ol'ga


I was asking about the identity of the 'she' (in Michael's post) who allegedly commited this bizarre act. From the context it would appear that the antecedent of the 'she' is JK, but I perceived a bit of ambiguity there. I find it so horrendous and unbelievable that JK would have done this act, that I concluded that I must've simply misunderstood Michael's message.

I honestly doubt that any Zen master, or any teacher would resort to this kind of a means of making a point, unless they were off their head. If, however, it is conceivably part of a sane Zen teacher's repertoire, then there is something wrong with Zen. Honestly.

I don't think it is, though (part of the...repertoire), so Zen still stands.

In my opinion.

As Isan, I would also like to know, Michael, if you believe this story to be true and why you posted it. There would be other things in your post to comment on - very beautiful. This particular issue 'grabbed' my attention, even though it probably doesn't deserve it. David thinks I should've ignored it. (I hope you and yours are doing OK, Michael. It seems your hands are full.)
Ol'ga
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:04 am

Yes, Kozan, I understand your point. It's just that I find this story so appalling - it surely would have got out much earlier, and entirely destroyed JK's reputation before her 'carrier' even started.
O.
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:08 am

Thanks Ol'ga and Isan--good points--and good questions!

Ol'ga, my apologies; I had not accurately understood your query to Michael as a request for the identity of the alleged perpetrator! And, thank you for the clarification.
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:29 am

Kozan, I don't think the two of us would ever get into a fight, or if we did, we'd be throwing at each other the most downy fluffy pillows, or fencing with lillies ha ha, quite a thought. I love you

Ol'ga

And now I really really have to brave the freezing cold, and take out the recycling rubbish. Brrr. Would any knight in a shining armour come and help me?
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:37 am

Ol'ga--same thought back to you my friend!

Good luck with the recycling!! ;-)
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:15 am

And now for a subject other than who did that rude thing on the rug . . . .

Mokuan, thank you for your comments on Koshin. I can absolutely believe that he hit the barking dog. He always kept 4 or 5 dogs at North Cascades. The newest monk had to feed and walk them. He kept them in a pen and they used to bark all the time.

At some point, he adopted Funi, a Shasta dog who bit people, and he brought Funi to North Cascades. He trained that dog, yelled at him, slept next to him. I guess he loved Funi. Then Funi came down with some terrible disease and became paralyzed in his back end and back legs. Koshin built a little cart for Funi to trot around in. He ordered his disciples to massage his bladder so the dog wouldn't urinate in the house. Koshin said Funi had some really terrible karma that was being worked out. Weird . . .

Kozan, thanks to you also. I too once considered Koshin to be a good friend. He has a wry sense of humor and used to give terrific dharma talks. But things got strange after RMJK died. That inner voice (didn't we all decide there was one?) kept telling me he was headed in a creepy direction.

He began ordaining monks right and left. He built a big residence for them to live in along with some little houses for his chosen ones. Last I heard, there were a dozen monks there in full time residence. He then decided the priory was really a monastary and he was an abbott. He made us stand when he entered the room and we had to call him "Reverend Master." He gave more and more talks on the evils of doubt, the importance of obedience to the master, and why psychology and "training" were incompatible.

North Cascades was once a 5 or 10 acre piece of property with a garden and a small ceremony hall (which Koshin himself built) and a couple of trailers. But then he began buying up land all around the priory -- it's now worth more than $1 million.

As time went on, Koshin became even more secretive -- no email, no street address, all kinds of information that was secret except for a few chosen "senior people." Mostly none of the lay people ever knew what was going on.

He abruptly announced one Sunday that he was going to sell the Seattle temple. Our little congregation had helped pay for the building and we supported it with our labor. He sold the Seattle building at a high point in the real estate boom for a profit of several hundred thousand dollars, which he he said he was giving to some monks. That was the end of the Seattle temple. So much for the lay congregation . . .

I wasn't surprised when Koshin and his group withdrew from the OBC. He would never let anyone -- even the OBC officers -- tell him what to do or interfere with "his" disciples or what he sees as his spiritual mission.

This story raises the question of how the OBC -- when Koshin was still a part of it -- let him get so far off course. Wasn't anyone wondering about all those property deals? Didn't anyone ask if it was right of him to sell the Seattle temple? Didn't anyone find it peculiar that he was ordaining and running every detail of the lives of the many new monks he ordained with little or no supervision from the outside?

Parting from Koshin was for me something like a divorce. Painful and sad, but much healthier for me to be away from all that weirdness.

Writing this feels like an act of "irreverence," the topic of this thread. But OBCC surely helps me deal with this. All of you out there are sort of like a collective therapist!

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glorfindel

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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:43 am

So much noise has been made here about Eko but the business at North Cascades gives me the creeps even more. At least Eko (eventually) gave up his position as a spiritual teacher (before he was expelled) but this Koshin guy is still out there doing his thing.

As for a turd on the carpet: If they had framed it and sent it to the Tate Modern, they could have made a fortune for this marvelous piece of modern art.


My own story of irreverence:

>>DISCLAIMER: I no longer condone or endorse the behaviour described in this post<<


I left a retreat in another buddhist tradition because I decided it was a stupid cult. On the evening of my
escape I tiptoed into the shrine room and slid a banana, upright, in Buddha's hands. Below it I placed two
ripe, purple plums. It made me very happy to know that, when the cultists turned up for their morning
ceremony, they would be prostrating to Mr Buddha's Magic Banana.

Once I was at an obc temple with a friend. We used to play tricks on each other. He didnt realise I had
moved his meditation stool so he fell flat on his back at the start of morning meditation. He muttered
rabidly for the rest of the session. After meditation I couldn't find my flipflops anywhere. He had hid
them the night before. One was under the fruit in Buddha's bowl, the other was wedged behind a
lavatory! Anyway things escalated until we ended up having a mock fight right in front of the buddha statue
in the empty ceremony hall. We were taking tight fisted, feigned swings at each
other (all aimed to miss) but, like two arrows in mid air
that meet, our knuckles collided and my hand was pretty much crippled for the rest of the retreat.

After that we made up and took to discussing how hot the nuns in the temple were.
A bit later one of those babes sent us to do some work in the laundry room and we hit a
gold laced jackpot! Knickers! Nun's knickers everywhere! They were all hung up to dry.The treasure house had opened
naturally so that we could enjoy it fully.
Instinctively, my hand reached out to grab a handful of them to throw at my friend's head. And I can tell you: If I had
completed that action then knicker missiles would have annihilated the laundry room.
But two nuns barged in and my hand recoiled.
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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:45 pm

I still remember how studied, pious, our bows to the altar were as we entered or were about to leave the mediation hall. It would be fun if the Buddha all of a sudden held a banana in his hand...how about a cigarette?...or a pink lacy pair of knickers, holding them delicately between two fingers in a mudra? It would be even better if the statue suddenly came to life, and threw the banana at the bowing monk. I think JK's empire would have collapsed right then and there.
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IanPatton

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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:23 pm

Here's an "odd" story sort of about Irreverence ... I was at the Abbey for a six week stay back in '92. One day I kept running into this monk ... I don't know who he was ... he was bald if that helps Very Happy ... anyway, every time I passed him I would gassho, and every time he would pretend I didn't exist. Anyway that afternoon I was cleaning in the guest quarters when said monk passed me in the hallway and the show went just like the rehearsals except what went off in my head was, "OK a####le, don't gassho." In mid step the monk spun around and looked angry and surprised ... I just smiled.

Just sayin', that's what happened.

Ian
Senior Iconoclast of the Frozen Northland
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:52 pm

Hey Ian

It sound like what you thought might have activated your tongue more than you realize.

This comes from a particulaly pious layman who thought that ordinary people seemed to sense his specialness when he was walking through a grocery store during a monastic break. He quickly checked his hair & clothes and they were all ordinary enough and yet every body seemed to be watching him as he passed by. Wow! This meditation stuff really affected people! It was about two minutes later when he realized he was still gasshoing everybody he met or passed by.

Just sayin.

Cheers
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IanPatton

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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:39 pm

Maybe it is as you say.
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Henry

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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:21 am

The story of irreverance that was the boldest and most revealing of OBC culture (that we are challenging here) that I can recall was of the teenage daughter (who will remain nameless, having been a minor at the time) of one of the monks. She was staying at Shasta at the time. I can't recall exactly what she did that brought the ire of Rev. Kennett upon her, but my recollection is that it was pretty much teenager stuff. She boldly faced up to Rev. Kennett in a manner that none of the monks would have dared done (can't remember any details of what she exactly she did). I must admit I was quite impressed. Her rebeliousness and boldness brought a stunned silence to the witnessing community. The girl was unfazed and stuck to her guns. This brought forth severe proclamations from Rev Kennett with instructions to the community as to how to shun her. Eventually she left or was forced to. I never saw her parent stick up for her (at least not publicly) and no doubt the whole affair must have been horribly painful for the parent. I wondered what the parent's public (perhaps complete) silence must have done to their sense of being a parent and the relationship with the daughter. I think she ended up being a fundamentalist Christian. What better slap in the face than that? Rev Kennett's response to teenage rebelliousness seemed way over the top to me, but of course I said nothing. We were all quite well trained in how not to defend in any way, shape or form anyone (even a child) who questioned Rev. Kennett's authority.

I'm wondering if anyone else remembers this happening and, if so, can they fill in any other details or comment on the accuracy of my perceptions and recollection
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Jimyo

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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:24 pm

I'm vaguely recalling something concerning Erin, Jisho's daughter. She would have been about 15 at the time. It would have been pre-1982 when I left Shasta. I know she became a Christian...at least I think so. Does that fit the bill? If so, I'll see if I can remember anything else; I knew Erin quite well.
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mokuan



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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:17 pm

Well, it was before my time, but her dad told me the story.

She got caught sneeking out of the Abbey to attend Bible studies!
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Henry

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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:24 pm

Mokuan

Amazing! She was publicly humiliated in that fashion for going to bible study? My understanding is that she was just visiting her parent for a time; perhaps for the summer or something. It wasn't like she was a postulant or anything. It is rare that I'm on the side of Christian fundamentalism, but go figure it'd be the OBC that has me cheering. If there is a Golden Irreverence to be given on this thread, I say it goes to this gutsy teen. She stood up for herself and didn't back down. She was alone in monastery full of robed, officious looking monks frowning down upon her, chastised by one of the enlightened, and she stood her ground without even flinching, as far as I could see. I think there's something we all could have learned from her. The envelope please!
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:10 am

I remember this story being told second or third hand. But leave it to the young to own their own truth and find their own path. In our day the oppressor of the young might have been the Christian fundamentalist pastor or priest, but it goes to show that the shoe of the oppressor can just as easily be on the Eastern religionist as the Western, even more so, if that guru, abbot, or teacher makes claims of enlightenment or infallibility.
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PostSubject: life's farces tragedies soap operas    Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:39 pm

I enjoyed reading this thread.I am new to the forum,and not sure how to use it or contribute.
Yes it is easy in this buddhist game to get"up yourself".all the men in frocks, doileys on altars bells and smells...

Easy too to forget we are involved in a new cultural phenomenon -western.buddhism,we are all amateurs.

Anyway its good to be here .I'm sure I'll find my way into some absorbing conversations on the site.There is a lot going on here and it seems very worthwhile

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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:50 pm

Ikuko wrote:
Anyway its good to be here .I'm sure I'll find my way into some absorbing conversations on the site.There is a lot going on here and it seems very worthwhile

Welcome Ikuko! Note there is an "introductions" section if you would like to say something about yourself at some point. Meanwhile enjoy the forum. Most of the conversations are related to the OBC, but the content is relevant to spiritual practice and groups in general.
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PostSubject: Re: Irreverence   Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:25 am

I was attending a retreat in 1984 and asked a monk if I could run around the property--they said it was o.k So I ran around the property next to the fence. There was no prohibition about going past the ceremony hall for guests at that time.I remembered seeing the cook at that time running. Also--several of the monks backpacked--Roshi Hogetsu, Rev Kinrei and Rev. Geoffrey. Rev. Kinrei made a great little meditation bench that had foldable legs you could put into a backpack. I bought one and used it until a few years ago.

Now I wouldn't even think of it--one of the drawbacks to spending a big amount of time there on retreat--no way to keep physical fitness up. I was a firefighter and had to keep my aerobic capacity up to pass the mandatory annual physical fitness tests for my job. I chose to do the most physical labor at the Abbey--chopping and hauling wood, double digging in the garden with Rev. Kinsei. But it was tough to do that hard work and then plop down on the meditation bench, motionless. It caused me to have severe back pain.
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