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 Myozen Delport

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jamesiford

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PostSubject: Myozen Delport   Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:03 pm

First topic message reminder :

For those who trace their connections
back to the beginnings of the Zen Mission Society and the foundation of Shasta
Abbey I’m pleased as punch to say I’ve been in touch with Myozen Delport, for a
while Miyagawa.

Myozen was one of Kennett Roshi’s first students, studying with her at
Umpukuji. She ordained and was common in those years, not long after received
Dharma transmission on the 14th of July, 1969. She and another ordained
disciple came withher when the roshi came to California.

Following her marriage to Arnold, Myozen and her husband moved to his native
Canada. As was Kennett Roshi’s want, there were various false statements made about
her in the years that followed. Myozen has had a son, now grown, and following
a divorce has remarried.

What did happen is that she connected with an old friend, a Soto priest Kodo
Ito, and re-ordained with him. As Kennett Roshi never registered her
transmission there were no difficulties in her “starting over.” She travels to
Japan regularly. In 2004 Myozen received Dharma
transmission from Ito Roshi, which is registered in Japan.

This relationship continues to this day.


She is doing well.


And I am so glad.


I cannot say how important Myozen was to me at the beginning of my Zen life.
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Anne



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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:45 am

:-) Like Glorfindel and Chisan, I've been enjoying your 'tales' too, Myozen! There may be many appreciative lurkers under the leaves like me, even if all seems quiet !ssshh -- so please do feel free to go on, whatever the subject! (-:
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Jcbaran



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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:10 am

one tiny point. There was some discussion about a photo of Kennett with Kim Seng in Malaysia where Kennett was wearing her Japanese robes. My guess is that during Kennet's time in Japan, she took a break / vacation to visit Kim Seng in Malaysia - at least once. In which case, she would have been there in full Japanese outfit.
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myozen



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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:31 pm

Thank you for your comments, Anne! I always enjoy your humour so much. And here comes that puzzling photograph again...


Josh, the possibility that Kennett Roshi visited Malaysia during her stay at Soji-ji is an interesting angle - I had not thought of this scenario. That would explain why she is seated in front of the altar of Cheng Hoon Teng complete with hossu in her hand. Since the hossu would represent authority as a recognized Zen teacher, the other matter that then follows is that perhaps such recognition as full-fledged Zen abbot/teacher would have come after kenpodo/shinzan, her appointment as abbot of Unpuku-ji? Kennett Roshi has told me that she stopped in Malaysia and was ordained there (becoming Seck Kim Seng's disciple) on her way to Japan to become Koho Zenji's disciple. This reminds me of the official story that Kennett Roshi had stopped by in San Francisco on her way to England to establish a temple or Zen centre in London with Soto Headquarters blessing, but decided to remain in San Francisco. After Kennett Roshi received the invitation/suggestion to move to San Francisco from Claude Dalenberg while we were in Unpuku-ji, she immediately started planning for the move - visas, arrangements for transportation of possessions to San Francisco. She commented, "I have packed everything except the kitchen sink!" Kennett Roshi only went to England after she had set up the Zen centre in San Francisco. Prior to this, the establishment of a temple or Zen centre in London had not been mentioned or discussed in Unpuku-ji, as far as I can recall. I have often wondered why she had not set out for England, returning home, to begin with if she had received the mandate from Koho Zenji/Soto Headquarters? Although Unpuku-ji was a charming little temple and the village environment very scenic and peaceful, she did not like being there perhaps due to what she perceived of as cultural confines or limitations. Perhaps she also had larger hopes and dreams which could not be realized there. It is quite remarkable when one thinks of the subsequent scope of her creativity at Shasta Abbey.

Gassho,
Myozen
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myozen



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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:00 pm

I have often wondered what became of the young woman who was the chief junior at the time of Kennett Roshi's installation as abbot of Unpuku-ji. I believe her name was Alex or Myoko (I hope she does not mind this enquiry). I do not know where she was from. Kennett Roshi told me she left without completing her transmission, during the process of copying the documents/silks. Kennett Roshi always seemed sad and wistful when she spoke of her. It must have been a traumatic experience for both of them.

Gassho,
Myozen
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Jcbaran



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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:00 pm

Oh yes, I think Alex reappeared and visited Shasta at some point. Didn't she live in Arkansas in a town with the name of Hot Springs or some version of that? I really forget the whole story, but at the time, she struck me as definitely an independent character, a bit maybe zany or fun-loving, definitely not very monk-like.

Maybe other people also remember her showing up at Shasta at one point?
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Kozan
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:16 pm

Myozen and Josh,

I seem to remember Alex staying with us for a while in the summer of 1970, at the house in Oakland. JK had us set up a bedroom for her in the attic, since she felt Alex would need some privacy. I don't recall her staying very long.

I ran into her again in 1993, in Chicago, at the Parliament of the World's Religions. She had continued training with other Buddhist teachers, and had established, and was teaching at, a meditation center (I think) in one of the southeastern states.


Last edited by Kozan on Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mstrathern
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:56 pm

Yes Myozen, the story that you tell of JK going to the US and then the UK rather as an after thought is I think correct. It is certainly what she led me to believe. I believe she visted the UK at the behest of a Japanese patron who had met Bill Picard in Cornwall some time earlier. Maybe Chisan can shed some light from the Cornish end via Bill's note books.
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:36 am

I can tell you some details from the Cornish end it ties in with Josh's article about Toby Humphreys and Irmgard.it is all a bit messyI knew them all ...but so did you Daiji you could tell some stories!! I will write later as your posy caught me out and I am waiting for granddaughter(aged 4 to skype me before school)

But here is one I prepared earlier for Myozen

Myozen sorry to hear of Perry's Aunt passing away, I am sure not only is it sad for Perry but in a small community everyone feels it. You mentioned you felt you had a few issues. A forum like this is good for finding other people have the same or similar issues,we can all work it out together, chew it up and spit it out. Sorry should pehaps say let it go! I want to hear about the porcupine, I believe I would like Perry here is a poem for his Aunt

Rivers fish,birds and sky
Haisla old ways, life and death
All beings
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:41 am

When I wrote

I will write later as your posy caught me out and I am waiting for granddaughter(aged 4 to skype me before school)

I meant to say post not posy

I would not want anyone to think Daiji was sending me flowers !



I can not edit the above post of mine
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:56 am

Hey Mike,

You needn`t worry...we all know you`re just good friends ;-)

Thought I`d get in there before Glorfindel does !

Stan.
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:11 am

Ha ha very funny
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mstrathern
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:49 pm

Ah! And here I was just waiting for the postman
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myozen

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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:24 am

Josh and Kozan,
It was so good to hear that Alex continued her training with other teachers. Thank you for sharing this. I feel a bit sheepish that I do not remember her visit to Oakland - I dug out my journal from 1970 but the last entry was in May before we moved there from the apartment.


Mark,
In the the journal I found I had recorded that Lance Merritt, James, Leah, Jim Perry and Ed Smith were ordained on March 15th - Kennett Roshi and Mokurai left for England on the 20th. The July 5th ordination photograph would have been the first ordinations in the Oakland house after Kennett Roshi's return?


Chisan,
Both of us were very moved by your poem for Perry's aunt (his father's sister). It is so fitting in relation to a story that was told during the memorial service last night: her eldest daughter, Pauline, told a story about how concerned Perry's aunt was after the Fukushima accident - in the local media concerns were expressed about radiation reaching BC waters. She had exclaimed to Pauline, "What is going to happen to our herring eggs, to our seaweed, to our fish? I can't live without Indian food. I want to go home [heaven] now!" This interconnectedness really struck home when Perry and I took our teepee, in which we lived for a year due to housing shortage in Kitamaat Village, to the oolichan camp at Kemano in 1985. We had pitched it near the water and we could hear the sea lions, sea gulls, eagles, otters all there for the oolichan run, reminding us that we all gathered on the same level of the food chain at that point.

Perry says he will show you the totem pole he showed to the porcupine. He said he would also like to tell you about his maternal great-grandfather, Billy Hall. After an encounter with a bukwus (sasquatch) Billy Hall acquired mystical powers: he was able to keep a rock (no hands) on his chest while standing (Perry says he can also do this, but only when lying down ...). There is a recorded story which is part of the Haisla oral histories, of how he could dance on white hot rocks and glowing embers, and was able to bring a barren salmonberry twig to flower while doing so. He is also credited with teaching the method of purification, using a combination of plants, which he learned by observing a bear. Perry says, that if you go to storify.com/TreeComm1/sasquatch-and-the-snake-a-story-in-two-languages, you can hear his uncle Ken Hall (his mother's brother) tell the story of Billy Hall. There is a part 1 and 2 in English and a corresponding part 1 and 2 in Haisla. A photograph of Ken Hall in his regalia as an Eagle chief is also posted there. The bukwus mask used in Haisla traditional dancing was carved based on Billy Hall's description. However, it was Perry's paternal grandmother, Jessica Walker, who used to wear the mask in the dancing.

Gassho,
Myozen
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Kozan
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:00 am

Myozen, you wrote:

Mark,
In the the journal I found I had recorded that Lance Merritt, James, Leah, Jim Perry and Ed Smith were ordained on March 15th - Kennett Roshi and Mokurai left for England on the 20th. The July 5th ordination photograph would have been the first ordinations in the Oakland house after Kennett Roshi's return?


This is very interesting. I think that March 15th may have been a lay ordination/ Jukai?

Leah Ford was still a lay member, when Lance Merritt, James Ford, Josh Jitsudo Baran, Aubrey, Mark Daigi Strathern, and I were ordained as novice monks on July 5th, 1970.

James Perry--now RM Jisho--was not ordained as a monk until later in 1970 or 1971.
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myozen

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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:11 pm

Kozan,
Yes, I am certain you are right - March 15th must have been jukai! Thank you for clarifying the matter - I have been sorting through photographs and notes and attempting to put them in chronological order, as part of a process of now "re-assessing" the time spent with Kennett Roshi. In the journal I found an entry noting how happy I was training with, and being part of, our small sangha of fellow-unsui at the time. Goodness, it is more than 40 years ago!


Chisan,
It was getting a bit late last night so I logged off after Perry's story, which he was so happy to tell you. Yes, this forum has made a tremendous difference. As you say, finding other people with similar issues enables one to work through it together - it is this "together" which has been such a relief. I realized that I had more or less filed the experiences at Unpuku-ji and Shasta Abbey in a "restricted access" drawer in my mind, so being able to examine the contents through this forum feels like the restoration or return of an important part of my life and the joyful experience of being ordained as a monk in Unpuku-ji. The reunion with dharma family I trained with in the United States and becoming connected to dharma family, like you, whom I had not met before is so wonderful. Gassho.

Being here in BC is the result of Kennett Roshi's intervention in my attempts to continue training in Japan, but this is a beautiful area to live in - and Perry's family accepted my son and myself into their culture/fold. I have not been to Japan for several years now due to financial concerns, but my teacher has been here three times. During his last visit he had brought friends who are flower arrangement and tea ceremony teachers with him, so we had fun hosting an informal Japanese/Zen cultural evening at the art gallery - happily the gallery was filled with guests lining up to try the powdered green tea. Local florists were very kind and had been enthusiastic about donating flowers for the arrangements. After the lay ordinations and monk ordination of Hodo, we had taken the group to 'Ksan Historic Indian Village in Hazelton - they were quite taken with the Northwest Coast Indian architecture, saying it resembles Japanese shrine architecture to an extent. The story of the raven's role in local myth seemed to capture their imaginations, too. The Terrace Daiko-ji sangha is now dispersed across BC but I hope we can have some kind of reunion when my teacher comes to Terrace again.

Your mention of your friend's carvings of sheep reminded me of a friend who has large carvings of bears in front of his house. There are Kermode, "spirit bear", carvings at several spots in Terrace. People sometimes put scarves on them as a prank in winter - perhaps I will put a green rakusu on one of them sometime (with my teacher's permission)?

Gassho,
Myozen
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:54 am

I enjoyed listening o the story Myozen,I liked the story and the way it was told.It reminded me that it is so easy to not respect Nature and the things around us.It is so easy to take life for granted,so easy to pick up food fro the supermarkey without a thought of the whole process of putting the food on the shelf.In our culture we tend not to respect all life,but very often feel we have rights to all aspects of life.There was a 100 year old tree(at least very old) in Zuoiji Temple that people would pay respect to,I liked that.
When you say


Being here in BC is the result of Kennett Roshi's intervention in my attempts to continue training in Japan

Can you explain that a little,also did you feel that when Koho Zenji diedKennett Roshi did not feel she had anyone senior to her that she could confide in or receive teching from.Don't feel you have to answer if you do not want to. I would be interested in what you say.

Gassho
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:37 am

Actually I think the tree was much older than 100 years, 100 years at least reflecting on my life does not seem so old for a tree, any way it was a nice old tree.
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myozen

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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:38 am

Chisan, thank you. We are so happy you enjoyed listening to the story. I enjoyed your story about the tree at Zuio-ji, so looked at "Touring Venerable Temples of Soto Zen in Japan" on sotozen-net, and there was a photograph of the "millennium-old gingko tree"! It is beautiful.

Since this morning I have been thinking about your questions and have been "reviewing" the circumstances. When Arnold and I decided in 1976 to go to Japan to continue training there - starting over after the separation from Kennett Roshi - it was with the intention of staying. We even took our cats! Arnold went to a monastery in Obama and I took up residence in the rural temple in Mie Prefecture with my son. I changed teachers from Kennett Roshi to my present teacher and registered this with Soto Headquarters in 1978. Prior to this, correspondence had been exchanged with Kennett Roshi while we were still in Canada in which we clearly stated that we were severing ties with her - it was a painful process. When Kennett Roshi heard about our change of teachers, she began to write letters to Japan denouncing us and presenting rather destructive misinformation in an attempt to intervene in our training. I decided to remove my name from the monks' register with Soto Headquarters in an attempt to perhaps placate her; I also did not want to be the subject of further letters and inconvenience my teacher (I was later reinstated). After living in Tokyo for several months I returned with my son to BC in 1980. One of the cats accompanied us back ... After meeting Perry in 1981 I eventually started a new life in Kitamaat Village - my son immediately took to the lifestyle since it perhaps reminded him of the village in Japan. In the meantime the local zazenkai was formed, and I made visits to Japan, while my teacher made visits here, and that way the connection was continued. Chisan, I may be re-stating things already discussed before, sorry.

Kennett Roshi did not tell me much about Koho Zenji, but soon after I joined her at Unpuku-ji in December 1968 she gave me a photograph of him published by Soji-ji, telling me he was the "Archbishop of the Kanto Plains". I believe it was very important to Kennett Roshi to be able to state that she was the disciple of a teacher of this stature. In effect, Suigan Yogo was her main teacher and she did tell me he was my dharma "grandfather" - the transmission documents I copied were through him. We visited him in Soji-ji on one occasion and I visited him several times at his home temple in Seki, which was not that far from Haino, the location of Unpuku-ji. Kennett Roshi was at that point maintaining a close dharma familial relationship with Suigan Yogo, so he would have been there to support and guide her after Koho Zenji's passed away. I do not know the circumstances related to her later evident fall-out with Suigan Yogo. I reread Anne's quote from WWG since I do not have a copy - Kennett Roshi indicates disillusionment with him in Soji-ji already, but there was no sign of this while we were in Unpuku-ji. She seemed to respect him and be fond of him.

At a time when things seemed dark to me in Japan - I was uncertain whether I could change my visa since it was for Karate training and whether I could stay on in Japan as a result - Kennett Roshi quoted a poem to me -

When the moon disappears, people say that the moon has gone;
And when the moon reappears, they say the moon has come.
But, in fact, the moon never goes nor comes, but shines changelessly in the sky.

When Kennett Roshi took Mokurai and myself to Koho Zenji's grave in August 1969, she looked somewhat sad, so I quoted the poem back to her. I have forgotten the origin of the poem.

Writing about Kennett Roshi becomes complicated due to all the puzzles in her story and since the human heart is so unfathomable.

Gassho,
Myozen
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Jcbaran

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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:30 am

Myozen - in terms of Kennett's behavior when you changed teachers, I am sure this was very upsetting. Based on my understanding of Kennett's personality, she had a strong unconscious need to possess or own people. She could not bear being rejected and people leaving her. When you left her, you were dead to her and vengeance was part of this dance. I know many Enneagram 8's. This is the mafia personality or the corporate boss that says if you quit, you will never work again - he will ruin you. Kennett was like that --- clearly. Rather than simply give you her blessing and warm wishes for your training to continue with someone else or support your journey, she did what she could to punish you, impede you. This was her self-blind human nature in full force. Many people saw this with Kennett -- most people who left were vilified, cast in a negative, history re-written. Her teaching that everyone should follow their heart -- well, what she meant was that they should her instructions to the letter - following your own heart, being an independent spiritual adult who followed your own heart -- no way. In the end, this was very sad -- mostly for her.

The original name of the Enneagram Eight type was Ego-Venge - for vengeance.

There is no longer any value is putting lipstick on this pig. There was no dharma teaching in Kennett's behavior. This was not teaching or skillful means. Had nothing to do with Zen. Actually, the best response to an Eight is to stand up to them. That is the only thing they understand in the end. When an Eight screams at you, you just scream back. Of course, most the time, people do what you did - find some way to avoid the attack, the negative process. You didn't want to inconvenience your new teacher.

These stories of Kennett's behavior just underline the key insight that one spiritual experience is not enlightenment, gold brocade does not make you a Buddha, and that much honest and long-term innner work must be done to truly transform our unconscious emotional patterns. She was a slave to her ego patterns, but put lipstick on them and dressed them up in white holy garments. Dressing up dolls as queens and cosmic buddhas.

In terms of Kennett's relationships with Koho Zenji and then Suigan Yogo, i think a few things. First, she was so unskilled at being in any kind of relationship with other people. As we discussed elsewhere, she was mostly a loner, had few, if any friends, never a lover, so she had few relationship skills. How could she? No one taught her how to be a good friend or companion or even disciple. And with Enneagram 8's, when there are any issues with a particular relationship - any bumps or conflicts, the Eight can cut you off, reject you for life, quickly move on. They feel easily betrayed - even by the slightest thing. And then that's that. In fact, they expect they will be let down, they assume you will fall short and hurt them. So they live their life waiting for that to happen.

I also have said that Kennett probably was very uncomfortable being in the disciple role. She was the boss. Disciples aren't the boss. But in Zen, when she came to Japan, there was no choice -- at least for awhile. So she was a disciple until she could extricate herself and be the master / boss / honcho. As we know, there are many people who enjoy the disciple position - they are devoted disciples of teachers for decades, not just a few years. I know many students of Tibetan Buddhism, and they are devoted disciples of one teacher and then another for 30, 40 years. That was NOT Kennett for sure.

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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:17 pm

Thank you for the link Myozen for the ginko tree,I guess that means it is a thousand years old, Wow.I am pleased you took the time to look and that you appreciated the tree.Life is precious and It is pleasing we find a little time to talk about one particular tree.

I am puzzled why you said regarding Kennett Roshi.....she began to write letters to Japan denouncing us....Had you said something to her? or even fallen out with her? Or could she not take you wanting to move on after being told you could not return to Shasta Abbey. I would be very interested in your reply

When I left Kennett Roshi I was surprised to see a nasty letter she sent to people about me, I also was given an official letter with Shasta Abbey notepaper on saying I could practice with anyone else..I met with alot of teachers and no one was interested in the letter,it was always a simple if you want to practice zazen then stay. I only had a tough time from Ikko Roshi but nothing to do with that..it was a bit of a fight when I asked if I could be his disciple,he did not want anyone clinging on to the sleeves of his koromo,he wanted me to stand on my own feet,look for my understanding not his.

It is interesting reading what Josh says about relationships, they can not be denied ,good relationships like zazen are deepened with time I think,intimate relationships are intimate,the dividing walls tend to fade away.I personally feel as being English we are not so good at relationships..or maybe that is just me. However the problem with spiritual relationships is more tricky, Kennett Roshi's relationship with Suigan Yogo is a very important relationship for her and whilst we were involved, for all of us too, it kept our Dharma family together, If Kennett Roshi broke the relationship and casts aside her japanese connection, or relationship,she casts us all aside,from what a lot of us believed in, a deep contact, a transmission or ordination line. At the time of the lotus blossom previous lives episode,I was asked to give a talk at the Buddhist Society Summer School,I agreed,then in between the agreement and the talk,I disagreed with Kennett Roshi I did not feel that the visions were anything other than makyo or a mess,I was still encouraged to give the talk, I felt I could not represent Kenett Roshi I did feel I could represent Koho Zenji..I have never mentioned this but now it seems relevant to our discussion,it was one of the main talks of the Summer School, I was young of course everyone looked at me as being young,I talked a little about the influence of Dogen and Keizan. During the whole talk I felt connected with our lineage,I believe in some odd way it would have been well accepted if the talk bombed,but it did not, after talking a little about Soto zen I asked if anyone had any issues or personal problems that they wanted to talk about there and then in the lecture hall, What followed was very fast and sometimes amusing question and answers. At the end everyone clapped the organiser stood up and said thank you and she felt it was the best talk on Zen tha she had heard..That went down well!....I left and took my robe of reformed soto zen off.However it was important for me and I believe you as well to reconnect,to join a lineage I personally believed in and wanted to be a part of...So this relationship with Yugo and kennett Roshi is actually important for all of us. Kennett Roshi broke it and did not resolve it,rather than being at peace with our Zen Buddhist sect, she opted to start a new line with her as the founder this is quite a scenario,very unresolved issues, unresolved relationships,and depends on ones point of view..all right for some,clearly not quite right for me.Second uestion here, when did you kknow that the relationship had turned sour or broken down?

I met a lot of the former associates of kennett Roshi in and around London,I was at first hurt and did not like it because none of them took to her,I felt very hurt when I met an old monk who just said 'How's Peggy Kennett' The only person I sort of met who wanted to see Kennett Roshi was a guy who turned up at The first Sesshin in England who knew her and there was some sort of Alistair Crowley connection,he did not stay and I remember no more. however there clearly were old issues that no one would put down, and yet as adults and Buddhists we should all put them down, sit down talk with our masks off, talk heart to heart,sort it out..chew it up and spit it out ( sorry there I go again) let it go, move on, understand that all human beings are equal.When zen teachers think they are special or better, one has problems,it is like we are not out the starting blocks but we feel we are sprinting up the home straight.We are human and all our life our ego manifests in new and ever creative ways. We are human there is no problem with that,problems always arrive when we deny our humanity rather than accept it

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas. It is like water and ice: Apart from water, no ice, Outside living beings, no Buddhas.
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Anne

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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:33 am

Josh wrote:
She could not bear being rejected and people leaving her. When you left her, you were dead to her and vengeance was part of this dance. I know many Enneagram 8's. This is the mafia personality or the corporate boss that says if you quit, you will never work again - he will ruin you. Kennett was like that --- clearly. Rather than simply give you her blessing and warm wishes for your training to continue with someone else or support your journey, she did what she could to punish you, impede you. This was her self-blind human nature in full force. Many people saw this with Kennett -- most people who left were vilified, cast in a negative, history re-written. Her teaching that everyone should follow their heart -- well, what she meant was that they should her instructions to the letter - following your own heart, being an independent spiritual adult who followed your own heart -- no way. In the end, this was very sad -- mostly for her.
:-) Despite her external actions, Jiyu seems to have understood internally about giving her "blessing and warm wishes" for others' training to continue if they chose to leave. I believe that she may not have recognised all effects upon her of an inner need for reliable closeness and connection, and may have felt that signs of this need appearing were signs of something amiss in her practice* [see quote below]; fulfilment lies outside ones 100% control and often it seems she felt she had no proper option but to bite the bullet about relationship difficulties or lack of friendship. I can't say what beliefs and assumptions led to her outer actions in individual cases (other than that she thought someone was "deluded" about something): in these respects I utterly agree, Myozen, about the human heart being unfathomable (others', at least!); I think some people would be boggled to know not only the beliefs and assumptions I had but also the good intentions I had when I gave them grief in the past, thinking my speech/actions were best for them...you couldn't dream it up, as folks say! The following excepts are from How To Grow A Lotus Blossom.

Quote :
For the Lord [of the House] indeed does take care of all His beings; it is not for me to usurp the place of the Lord. That they go or come is not my problem; that they stay is not my problem. If they turn away from me, the Lord still does not turn away from them. If I feel anguish at their loss it is because there is in me still some clinging [see * above] and herein lies the use of the second column -- the washing in eternal love. I offer up both them and me into this column; I watch them washed within this luminescent water of the spirit ...

I must stay in meditation with my heart always open to those who have gone away; only then will they be free to decide to come or go. I want them to come so very much but I must not chase after them ...

There is nothing clean or unclean in the Mind of the Lord; all are Buddha as are these [disciples who left during this period] and I must see this at all times no matter what they do. The Lord bathes all in the fountain of His love and I must do the same for I have nothing that is not of the Lord ... I must not even wonder about their Buddhahood for that is a form of lying ... The best way I can help these disciples is by causing no obstruction in the water in the fountain so that it flows freely, not only for them, but for myself and all beings ...
Whatever her apparent execution of this, I think she knew the principle. (-:
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:16 am

I think she needed to go and talk to someone
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:46 am

Anne, we are not on the same page on this.

What you shared from that book to me is utter confusion and had little to do with Kennett's actual behavior. To me, her words just sound like religious babble and I was there when she was in the middle of all it. Behavior in daily life is what matters most, not pious imaginings and rumination. I saw a very lost, lonely woman who felt she was trapped and did not have the tools to truly face her shadows and feelings and so created these contrived visualizations, dressed them up in fancy holy clothes. Not interested. Not helpful. None of that had any effect on how she treated others and her self-blindness.

Through my work with Sorting it Out and my general exposure to so many seekers and new age and spiritual groups, I saw gurus, leaders, psychics, people who communicated with and channeled angels, ascended masters, buddhas, Jesus, God, ancient spirits, space aliens, the Virgin Mary, bodhisattvas --- Conversations with God, J.Z. Knight channeling Ramtha, the Course in Miracles, the Urantia book, and you could include the Book of Mormon here also ---there are so many others. There is a big group in India, half a million followers, where the women leaders channel some version of Shiva -- and to me, Kennett fits right into this tradition - NOT Zen, not at that point in her life.

And all these channellers come out with millions of these kinds of phrases and hyper spiritual stream of consciousness stuff. With Kennett, really this had nothing to do with Zen or Buddhism - although she certainly used some Buddhist terms.

That's my take and that's why I fired her as my teacher, jumped in my van, and took my leave. No regrets.



Last edited by Jcbaran on Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:25 am

I want to add one more thing. There was a famous Seinfeld TV episode where one of the main characters George Costanza figures out that he does everything wrong or backwards. So he decides that whatever he thinks he should do, he will do the exact opposite. It was very funny.

In my PR work, I sometimes have clients that I called "opposite clients." Whatever they tell me about what they want or their expectations, in truth, it is exactly the opposite. For example, the client might say, "I really don't want any personal attention - I just want my documentary film to get noticed and the issue to get media coverage." What that person really means is: "I want as much personal media coverage as possible and if I am not included in the stories I will be very upset." If the client says, "I really want your advice and will do whatever you suggest, you're the expert" - what they really mean is "I don't want any advice and won't take it - just do what I already want." If the client says, "I am so easy to work with," it often really means, "I am going to be a royal pain and this will be very difficult." Now, I have other clients that are totally truthful and easy to work with, but then we have these opposite clients.

Oh, and there are clients that say -- "Just tell me exactly what you think. Tell me the truth. I want honest unfiltered feedback." And guess what? When you actually do that, they freak out!! The last thing they really want is honest interaction. They want you to agree with them, tell them they are terrific.

So often you can't listen to what people are saying -- but try to get a sense of what they need or feel underneath - which may or may not be conscious to them. Also, you often can't take things on their face value. That is certainly true of most aspects of religion. How many religious leaders will say they love everyone -- while in real life they are homophobic, anti-women, really believe that people of other faiths will burn for eternity, and so on.

Kennett was the master at meaning the opposite. Like when she would say, "I am just a human being." We talked about this elsewhere. Who says things like that? I don't tell my friends, "I am just a human being." They would look at me as if i was nuts. What else would I be? When someone says, "I am not perfect" they are often really saying and promoting the exact opposite - You should see me as perfect. when Kennett would say, "I am just human being" she is really telling you that you should treat her not as a human being, but as a living Buddha. What she says, follow your own heart -- you better follow her wishes and HER heart - not yours. This kind of relationship is crazy making and so distorted. I am sure much has been written about this kind of thing by psychologists who are expert at dysfunctional families. When people say one thing but mean the opposite and the kids have to figure it out somehow.

So the more Kennett said in that quote -- and elsewhere about how people should follow their own heart or she wouldn't hold on to them, etc. .... it was all the opposite. That's my experience.

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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:25 am

Anne wrote:

:-) Despite her external actions, Jiyu seems to have understood internally about giving her "blessing and warm wishes" for others' training to continue if they chose to leave. I believe that she may not have recognised all effects upon her of an inner need for reliable closeness and connection, and may have felt that signs of this need appearing were signs of something amiss in her practice* [see quote below]; fulfillment lies outside ones 100% control and often it seems she felt she had no proper option but to bite the bullet about relationship difficulties or lack of friendship. (-:

Jiyu Kennett had conflicting needs. In her role as teacher she would confront her students and often put them in very difficult learning situations. That is a vertical relationship with a strong power differential. Looking to those same students for closeness and connection placed an inappropriate burden on them. Friendship is essentially a horizontal relationship which requires awareness of and respect for the boundaries of the "other" and that wasn't something JK was willing to give. She really needed mentors and a peer group completely apart from her students with whom she could have met her needs for friendship and support, but that would have required effort and risk. It was easier to turn to those she had control over, not understanding that she was constantly sabotaging herself. The quoted section of HTGLB is an example of how she tried to find consolation for her losses in meditation, but there was no real human comfort in that. I believe what she really needed to do was learn and follow the ordinary rules of friendship to experience sustainable closeness/connection with others.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:29 pm

I want to add something here. We have addressed this a bit elsewhere in some ways.

When you become a doctor, first you need four years of undergraduate study in science. To get into a good medical school, you need good grades and then you need to pass a heavy duty exam. Then it is often four or five years of medical school, then residency - on the job training for a few years of close supervision, then for specialties, you need a few years of additional training and mentorship. OK, so that's like 10-12 years before you can practice medicine -- and even when you then practice, you consult with other physicians, your work is accountable, you continue to be supervised, you are held to a high standard - hopefully. And still many doctors make mistakes, etc.

I don't want to do a big analysis of Zen training in the modern age. It was hardly pure, always changing and adapting over the years and titles were bought and sold with temples from early Chinese days, but certainly the Soto Zen training of the 20th century was mostly focused on educating ritual professionals for the thousands of empty temples. It was not about creating highly awakened masters - maybe in some rarer cases - but mostly not and Sojiji had to staff thousands of temples. and Koho Zenji wanted a western disciple to go through the program to train temple priests and send Kennett back to West as quickly as possible. He wanted Soto Zen out in the west to compete with all that Rinzai stuff out there, so he was in a hurry.

Setting that aside, Kennett was certainly not well trained in the skills necessary to do what she was doing. At Shasta, I would say that she was mostly making it up as she went along. Yes, she learned basic Dogen, the simple rituals and forms, she saw what she saw at Sojiji, but the daily and in-depth leading of monks - that would have taken her many more years of hands on experience, sitting at the side of a teacher who had many monk disciples -- hat did not happen with her. Where did she learn how to manage dozens of monks? She didn't. Where did she learn how to guide them for more than a few years? She didn't.

The assumption was that her one great experience provides everything she needed - that insight that turns you instantly into a "master" - that's all you need - and then everything you do from that moment on is dharma, is skillful means, is teaching. Boom, you're a Buddha. Well, obviously, that's a story that isn't true.

Clearly, she did create a monastic community, set standards, a training system, and with her personality, made this pressure cooker environment that has some effect on some people for a while. Mixed effects by the way. Yes, some people were pushed into insights, others into more awareness, others into breakdowns, others out the door -- but, from my point of view -- this was all limited, not long lasting necessarily, and there were shadows that were an inherent part of this contrived process / community / teaching method. There were almost always shadows, thorns that came with the roses, and then as the years went on, more and more thorns and not so many roses.

Even before Kennett's lotus blossom period, as I entered my fifth year at Shasta, I saw that she really had come to the end of the line - in what she was teaching, what she was capable of. We would go over the same Dogen and Keizan chapters and the transmission book - and Kennett seemed bored. I could see too often that her main method was verbal and emotional abuse - nothing skillful in that. Anyone can do that. Did she do it with some great skill? Well, some might say she did in some cases. Now, not so sure in retrospect. Even if there was some skill, some time, too many dark effects that came to fruition later on in the behavior of other seniors and the culture of the heavy handed community that allowed no questioning. So, that is not skillful. That is not healthy. You have to look at the long-term, not just a moment here or there.

So, the few years Kennett spent at a big Japanese monastery only partially prepared her for what she was trying to do at Shasta. Of course, she was initially sincere in her early efforts (of course, who wouldn't be - nothing that special in that) but she was not self-aware of her shadows and limitations which eventually, after six or seven years, lead to a much more confused and cultic situation.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:38 pm

I think she needed to go and talk to someone
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:48 pm

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:
I think she needed to go and talk to someone

Yes, but unfortunately I don't think she could trust to that extent. She did have a few friends outside of the bubble of the monastery. She was more casual with them, but I don't know that she ever took off the mask of being a "teacher" and really confided in any of them.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:03 pm

And that in a few words sums up Kennett Roshi.

She was great when I first met her, she inspired me,I respected and trusted her, but I think she hid behind her masks,as she had not embraced her limitations,and put them down. If a teacher wears a mask all they teach is how to wear masks..The mask of enlightenment
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:38 pm

And yet, and ye,t she managed to inspire many people. I only met her once, in the last years of her life when she was very ill. The way she dealt with that and the courage I gained from that meeting and her writings helped me through the darkest days of my life and I will always be grateful to her for that.

And her legacy, regardless of her faults and its faults is an OBC with many fine people, monks and lay people who are my friends and also inspire me.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:57 pm

It is nice that you feel that
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:01 am

We arrived home a while ago all paint-splattered after spending the day helping a friend get her fences done before the snow flies. There are so many matters which have come to mind in relation to your posts! I would like to write tomorrow since it is getting late ...

Gassho,
Myozen
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:04 am

over here just starting a new day!
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:28 am

Hi ChisanMichael,
Yes it is nice.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:57 am

I think we are talking about relationships,I always say that with a bit of an American accent,as Americans seem so good at it,or seem to have been in the different places I have been over there, or at least they talk about it very well!
Our practice is both personal and not,we personally aspire to find peace of mind or to get through, or to feel happy,and this invariably leads us outside ourselves.My friend Stan Giko and I looked 45 years ago for peace and answers going down the paths of young people and then looked to Eastern religion for some answers.It becomes a matter of where one stays,where one feels is the right way , the right path,and then it is personal what is right for onself.
My relationship with myself led me to a relationship with the Buddha Dharma and Sanga,this becomes a very intimate relationship, zazen will bring us to great personal intimacy no gap between me and myself..there can not really be a gap anyway. This is simple awareness unified awareness,body and mind no gap, like a gassho no gap between the hands.
And then a teacher is very very helpful,but not by filling that 'no gap' with spiritual concepts and their own personal issues, but by showing the way to live or have a relationship with the world with no gap.
Zuoiji temple seemed a bit of a hell hole,strict, tough no room for oneself,but it taught intimacy,intimacy of spirit,this is 'no gap' within ourselves,'no gap'or spiritual intimacy with the teacher,'no gap'or intimacy with the the world.This relationship or practice, this zen way, never stops,when we feel we have achieved or accomplished we have only created a gap.when we try to understand zazen through concepts we create a gap and confusion.
What we are saying here is that at a place in time our practice with Kennett Roshi was being hindered rather than being helped.What Kennett Roshi talks about in the above passage is her innerlife of religious concepts, and to teach those is not for me teaching zazen. Zazen is only taught by sitting and living with 'no gap' what so ever.
Having said all of that you were helped when you needed it and that is a good thing.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:43 am

Hi again CMH

"What we are saying here is that at a place in time our practice with Kennett Roshi was being hindered rather than being helped" ........"Having said all of that you were helped when you needed it and that is a good thing."

This I get and I think here we meet.

I taught electronic engineering and physics for some 20 years and something I discovered early on is that no one ever teaches anyone anything. All I did at my best as a "teacher" was to help my students make their own connection and discoveries. They had to do the work. I could show them the laws, the rules, the "ritual" if you like and show them my connections and discoveries, but they had to run with it and make it their own or not.

I accept what you and Josh and others say about RMJ -that's how it was for you all and in that situation I think I would have done what you did and get out.

What interests me is that in spite of the situation you all describe so well, others (monks and lay people) somehow made their own discoveries, and connections, the"no-gap" you describe so well, and shared them with others and so it goes on, both within and without the OBC.

I had a related conversation with my 12 year old grandson the other day. He was telling me how he enjoys science but has a new teacher who he doesn't like so he doesn't like science so much anymore. I think you can work out the conversation we had. I hope he regains his enjoyment of science and maybe comes to like his new science teacher -we'll see.

I hope one day some of you visit Throssel and see how things have panned out. I hope and think you will be pleased that your efforts there weren't in vain.

In the meantime, all best wishes to you all.

George

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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:55 am

your talking of electronic engineering and physics makes the sodo life seem easy

take care
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:18 am

It's all just an exploration of our weird and wonderful universe,

Cheers,
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:16 am

:-) I wonder if, sadly, a common portrayal of the "bodhisattva ideal" leading towards "samyaksambuddhahood" -- with apparently no need for personal closeness with another/others, or for giving another/others personal affection, or for receiving it from them, but only being concerned for their liberation -- affects some people's beliefs of what they think their aspirations should be.

An obvious problem with this (I think very common if not universal) need is that the individual is not 100% in control of finding those with whom they have the affinity to share such a relationship, which means it may not happen. Therefore, people may try to deal with this situation by telling themselves they're not supposed to have such wishes, or should ignore them, rather than admit them fully into awareness, embrace them and acknowledge their importance, despite the sucky universe not necessarily playing ball. ...And of course there's the matter of death...

My impression from what I've read (but can't remember sources) is that Jiyu believed one could not truly form a heart-mate connection with anyone due to the not-selfness of the skandhas. I may have misunderstood her on this but, if not, it didn't seem to affect her sense of connectedness to Koho Zenji. I've encountered this 'believe one thing for love-relationships and another for ones guru' elsewhere, with one devotion being denigrated and the other elevated. Beliefs about personal change, and that a being is no more than skandhas in flux, may sometimes affect people's thinking on relationships.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:20 am

Josh-

Enjoyed what you said about the projection of opposites-(my shorthand for my version of this phenomenon).

I have written a short story with the "Stand it on its Head " rule as a theme.In my story,someone who feels very vulnerable is labelled "strong".I develop this idea to show that the strong-looking person develops a "strong" persona BECAUSE they feel vulnerable.I apply this to other characteristics too.Your analysis seems to fit what we know of RMJK.

I am also interested in the points about peer review training and supervision.

I have often reflected on this .Several years ago I started training to be a child psychologist in the NHS.The training goes like this:

Three years academic /experiential study ,pursued while working in a Child Psychiatric Unit,leading to an M.A.

One- to- one supervision and peer seminar review throughout this period.

A further five to eight years clinical experience,seeing, and completing work with, a minmum number of child psychiatric cases.

In addition to this and running concurrently,five hours per week of personal analysis.

In addition,a further three years academic/experiential study ,leading to a Doctorate.

IF I had completed this( I reached the MA and appointment to Training Post stage),I would then be considered able to supervise clinical cases.I would as a matter of course continue to receive one- to- one and peer supervision.Within the field,everybody receives peer and clinical supervision throughout their career.

This is an illustration of the rigour that is expected within an area very much akin,I would say,to the area within which Zen priests operate.I would like to see a comparable degree of rigour applied to the practice of Zen priests,and clerics of other religions.

I realise I attempted to start a thread on this topic a while ago-calling it Accountability.

Isan,I appreciate your reflections.This work of re-appraisal and revision,the work that adults have to do,is a great challenge.Not to say I don't agree it is necessary-so thank you.



Ikuko (posting as maisie field)
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Anne

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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:25 am

:-) Hi Myozen!

If you don't mind divulging details, like Chisan I'd be very interested to know more about the denunciatory letters. I think CMH wonders about the perceivable or explained background of these. Would you mind revealing actual content also? Understandably you might feel this to be unwise/unsafe -- you don't know who's out there Twisted Evil Suspect Evil or Very Mad -- and there's no shame in declining. I hope you don't mind my having asked. (-:
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:34 am

:-) I agree with Josh and Maisie about the need for teacher or 'client' training, supervision and peer-review. (For parents, it seems that one only has to be able to reproduce. ;-)
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:50 am

I wonder if, sadly, a common portrayal of the "bodhisattva ideal" leading towards "samyaksambuddhahood" -- with apparently no need for personal closeness with another/others, or for giving another/others personal affection, or for receiving it from them, but only being concerned for their liberation -- affects some people's beliefs of what they think their aspirations should be.

Anne.

I hope this doesn't secretly mean you if it does please tick box below and I will send up free enrollment for my 'rapid learn street dance routines and meet friends yer mother wouldn't like classes'
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:23 pm



funny Thank you for your kind offer. I eagerly await receipt...at least of the first part. As for the second part...that wouldn't be you by any chance? Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:18 pm

It's not fair you always see through my sneaky plans...I won't be so obvious next time
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:54 pm

Woke up this morning to the gentle sound of refreshing rain.

Josh, your posts have me re-considering several things. The letters Kennett Roshi wrote were clearly intended to discredit me in Japan and she clearly wanted to put a stop to my training with a new teacher. The accusations were rather crude (sorry) and surprising. As you say, I found a way to avoid the attack by removing my name from the monks' register and leaving Japan. Now in hindsight, there were other options of course. At the time it was evident that if I was not training with her, she would not allow me to train with someone else. At some point Kennett Roshi stopped training, it seems, and perhaps felt that any teaching a former student of hers would receive from another teacher would expose her self-perceived shortcomings. She did not train very long as an unsui at Soji-ji or elsewhere (she did not seem to know many very basic things related to Sodo practicalities, so I think she may have spent most of her time in the "foreign guest department"), before proclaiming the designation as Roshi - not just the abbot of a parish temple, but the head of a training monastery she established herself independently. I wholeheartedly agree with you when you say that "much honest and long-term inner work must be done to truly transform our unconscious emotional patterns." This is also where shotai choyo, the long nurturance and practice after kensho comes in, with the depth and mature experience it develops. In discussing the relationship between Kennett Roshi's expressed spiritual views and her actions, something that comes to mind here is, I believe, quite symbolic of this since the altar and the honzon is the "heart" of the temple structure, which in turn represents the body of the practitioner. Somewhere on line I read a talk by Kennett Roshi where she spoke, in very spiritual and lofty terms of the "beautiful Kannon statue" in Unpuku-ji and how it comforted her when she was alone there (I cannot recall the specifics now) - in reality when I joined her at Unpuku-ji, the statue and the entire altar was covered in dust and dirt. Cleaning it was the first job she gave me.

Chisan, behind Seiden-ji there was a pear tree that is said to have been there since the temple was established - it is not so old as Ryuo-ji's venerable tree - it was so enchanting to see the frail-looking branches burst into clouds of blossoms in the spring. To answer your question, it was not our idea to leave Shasta Abbey - after we learned we could not return, we left Vancouver and moved to Hazelton in rural northwestern BC in 1972. In 1974 Kennett Roshi sent me the basic form to complete for the publisher giving her permission to write about me in The Wild White Goose. I just now went hunting in my file drawers for this and actually found it, to my own surprise. We wrote back asking her what she would be including, since some matters in training are private.) In response, she wrote, "Enclosed are the pieces mentioning you. The entries from the original diary have been greatly reduced and curtailed for printing so as to provide maximum teaching and a minimum of personal affairs ... I must confess I am deeply surprised that our relations have degenerated so far that you cannot trust me in this matter. All others whom I have written to have so far done so. I can only presume that the special relationship that you have always said was between us is now lost due to your marriage. The master-disciple relationship is based on trust. I did not think that I would have to ever point this out to you. P.S. If you really feel badly about the publication of any of this I can cut you out of the book completely; if this is what you would prefer." These "diary entries" were so contrived and untrue, off-mark, that I felt she probably composed these specifically for the letter to chastise me - reading these I felt weary of her dramatics and manipulations and wrote back to her requesting her to leave me out of her book and that we were severing ties with her. It is truly painful writing these things which are also on a public forum. Kennett Roshi was greatly indebted to Suigan Yogo - I learned of the breakdown of her relationship with him through this forum. There was no sign of any difficulties between them while we were in Unpuku-ji in 1969, so what could possibly have caused her to change her mind later in Shasta Abbey? Based upon who she attempted to represent me (and herself) in the WWG draft, I believe her comments relating to Suigan Yogo were similarly created to present the disillusionment with him being present in Soji-ji already (?) It seems that Kennett Roshi would create alternative images and stories of people in her mind, that existed only in her mind. Chisan, lineage is precious and I have not lost the feeling of the vitality of the lineage through Suigan Yogo. Dharma family is precious and this why I also wanted to re-connect with everyone. The verse from Hakuin Zenji Zazen Wasan is such a pith statement of Buddhism - it is the first chant I learned at the Rinzai monastery and I still often go to it. Thank you for reminding me.


Anne, hi! I had a look at HTGLB - Kennett Roshi when I first met her was a witty, generous and inspiring person and I think that part of her understood the principles she expressed in the passages quoted, but somehow there was a discrepancy as far as the expression of these principles in action are concerned. In the notes I kept of her lectures in Unpuku-ji, I found this when I looked through them recently after joining this forum: she stated, "sometimes it is necessary to talk about others for training reasons - however it is the attitude taken when doing so ..." When we went to Japan and had settle down with our teachers, I had thought this phase of our training experiences had come to a close when Kennett Roshi's letters appeared. Regarding the letters - I learned the contents of some of the letters she wrote to Japan since they were in English and were forwarded to me for translation - I felt rather sorry for her for this embarrassment and unintentional disclosure. It seems she did not have someone to translate these for her in Shasta Abbey at the time - it used to be my job to translate such letters for her. It is difficult putting these matters in a public forum, as you say, but perhaps this is a way of dispelling them? I do not have a copy of the one intended for Soto Headquarters, but clearly recall that she stated that I had been thrown out of the Toronto temple because of sexual misconduct; that I had abandoned my child to try to become a disciple of Kodo Sawaki. There was no Zen centre or temple in Toronto at the time (1970) I was there - the small zazenkai I led informally was it, and there were no improprieties of any kind. Kodo Sawaki had passed away in 1965 so attempting to become his disciple certainly is an interesting proposition/concept! My son - 8 months old at the time - accompanied us to Japan and had a wonderful time living in the village and the temple in Japan, since everyone was so very kind and loving toward him. In the letter she sent to her Japanese monk friend, which he passed on to me since in English, she completely misrepresented events relating to my marriage, again implying misconduct. She stated that I had not informed her that I intended to study with teacher, although we had written that we were severing ties with her - she did not acknowledge our letter at the time. Here she attempted to quote Soto Headquarters regulations, although she had effectually severed ties with them by leaving Japan without informing them and and subsequently establishing her own monastery. The remainder of the itemized 14-point letter contained so much misrepresentation and bending of the facts that I was quite astonished at the time. It was such a mess that I decided to remove my name from the monks' registration and return to BC. It is so difficult to fathom why anyone would go to such lengths to discredit another sangha member. I also think we all other at some point without intending to so so, but deliberate action like this is a rather different matter - it again reminds me that all the depths of hearts/minds cannot really be plumbed.

Isan, I agree that Kennett Roshi did not monk peers in whom she could confide and receive support from. When I was newly moved in at Unpuku-ji, Kennett Roshi would tell me matters which I felt at the time were rather personal to be sharing with a "junior monk". I feel rather sad and sorry for her remembering this now - please forgive me for mentioning this. She seemed to have only one true Japanese monk friend, other than the relationship with Suigan Yogo, and she did not seem to trust other Japanese monks. She often seemed to think some was trying to "steal me" so I had to be very careful in how I spoke with other monks/abbots. Your post reminded me that Kennett Roshi never visited Suigan Yogo at his home temple in Seki during the period I was in Unpuku-ji - she would send me off on my own or with her Japanese monk friend. She used to go to Tokyo or Yokohama on occasion without any explanation and would stay away for a few days without any explanation. When we were in Tokyo and Yokohama before leaving for San Francisco in 1969, she introduced me to the friends she made with U.S. armed forces personnel stationed there, so I understood these absences for the first time. I think these visits were a form of refuge for her. Kennett Roshi did ordain and transmit us in accordance with the traditions handed down in our lineage, and that is a great gift she left us with.


George, Kennett Roshi did inspire many and that is the koan which is/was Kennett Roshi. I am still grateful to her for ordaining me in the first place and those early days with her in Unpuku-ji were a very happy time in my life. And she has brought us all together.

Gassho and many bows,
Myozen


Last edited by Kozan on Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:33 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo correction)
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:06 pm

Hi, Anne - ha! My statement should read, "there were no improprieties of any kind" - the statement as mistyped must have surprised you!

[Admin edit to add: the typo that Myozen mentions above has been corrected.]

Isan - I meant to say that Kennett Roshi did not have monk peers.

This post turned out to be a bit long and I do not know how to edit ... I was relieved when I could click on "send" but the relief was a somewhat short-lived when I spotted my typos!
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:15 pm

Hi again, Anne - Perry said to tell you that I was just testing to see if anyone was still awake reading the long post.

Myozen.
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:50 pm

Hi Myozen

Thanks for the thought ful post it fills in many gaps that we had sort of worked out

Interesting for me is you answer my question I did not ask you.

Life in the Sodo....I mention the sodo in passing to George I don't really know how to say this really, but I do not think Kennett Roshi would have done the things she did if she had practiced living in a sodo.

The other thing I would be interested to know in your temple when one passed a koan was there a mention of it ( like Myozen has passed mu everybody) or was Myozen simply given another koan. In my experience there were no announcements just a clearer view of ones practice ,next step this present moment.

You sort of said kennett Roshi named herself Roshi is this so

I write no doubt in the morning
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:22 pm

Married single mum dad
Beautiful old trees
Buddha Mind
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:46 pm

One thing to re-emphasize. Can you fire your guru / teacher / master / roshi? Yes, you can. And if they think they somehow own you, fire them again. In Zen, we don't take vows to any one teacher. And if somehow, you think you did or the guru asks for special commitments and vows, well, guess what, you can change your mind. I think it's very important to be very clear with a teacher when you terminate the relationship. You need to say -- You are no longer my teacher. I am no longer your disciple. I am no longer interested in your guidance. Our relationship is over. YOU ARE FIRED.

In this situation, you need to reassert your autonomy and your spiritual adulthood. Yes, you might have all kinds of feelings when you start to do this - that's common. I did. For many of us, we lived in an enchanted distortion field. We were, in some ways, brainwashed. I try not to use that word too often, but it sometimes, it does seem appropriate. Btu as you pull away, as you rediscover your own inner guidance, it is important to keep feeling your autonomy, your own integrity, your own polestar. That inner voice of the guru that is in your head -- that's the brain washing, the programming, because for years, over and over again, these distortions and beliefs were reinforced. So, it takes time to de-program yourself, to confront and realize that the guru's voice in your head is just babble - that isn't true.

Kennett's attempt to interfere with Myozen's further training in Japan, is nothing but an expression of Kennett's personality disorder, her need for control, possession and revenge. I have seen other examples of this with other gurus, some actually much worse. I have seen some gurus threaten the life of disciples who had the audacity to leave. Certainly, many former disciples are told terrible things will happen to them - in this life and in the next lives -- like Kennett did with me with her absurd three dimes curse.

When you reclaim your own spiritual adulthood, it was important to me to really understand that Kennett had NO POWER AT ALL. When I fired her, that was that. This transition can be hard, because until you do leave and terminate the relationship, the guru, in this case Kennett, had all the power -- in the game. I repeat -- in the game -- NOT in real life. The rules of checkers only apply on the checker board - so when you stop playing checkers, the rules no longer work. When you stop playing the game of being the disciple of this or that guru, of Kennett, then those old rules no longer apply. Her power, her control evaporates. In any case, the rules were rigged.

In her small theocratic realm, she makes all the rules - as she goes along -- and those that are enchanted, play by the changing rules, convinced that every new rule and move is all just some form of wonderful Zen teaching. But in reality, this is Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. When you walk away and stop playing the game, for the first time, you can begin to see that it was a game, a crazy game, a limited game, an ego game, in Kennett's ego doll house and all her disciples were just dolls to her. When I first saw that, WOW! A spiritual insight in how these things work, how a distortion field operates.

end of my babbling for now.



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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:50 am

Myozen

I feel that you must have had a tough and confusing time which must have taken some time to put down and resolve,my heart goes to you. Alot of your experiences that you describe I find quite disturbing.

I am actually disturbed by the diry altar at Unpuku-ji . This is a temple that sees no practice,this is not a temple of spiritual practice, dedication, awareness and life. I am assuming that there was one multi functional room,ceremony and zendo.In which case I also assume that Kennett Roshi did not meditate there. A picture is painted of depression, low energy level, lack of direction,someone who is done in. Her source of insiration seems to come from the energy of deciples .

It is almost like Kennett Roshi, managed to get through, a tough time at training temple, was offered the chance to go to America took it,abandoned plans of keeping in contact with Yugo and the temple actully rejects them, and rewrites the training manual for all new recruits,who are led to believe they are experiencing the real thing.She constantly rewrites titles names position colors to give sense of importance certainly sense of self,rewrites what in her opinion a kensho is. I was quite disturbed when Bill Picard told me(only when I asked him) that kennett Roshi asked him alot about his experences and she clearly had no feel about what Bill had experienced. I am sure I remember Daiji saying to me that he felt very confident in Kennett Roshi because of Bills experience I did too we both felt in some way Kennett Roshi was instrumental in the whole experience,but she was not at all.

Kennett Roshi had one thing on her side none of us were experienced in Zazen,none had been to a real temple,we were just told stories that would put us off going,however we did practice zazen,and this did touch our hearts,even to the point when we could see through the facade,For me my point was the lotus stuff,it was not my way,did not connect with my experience.

If I have made assumtions about Unpuku-ji,or any thing else that were not correct I am sorry please let me know.

This journey

To our hearts

Never needed to start
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:08 pm

Josh

Yes,of course,you can fire a religious teacher-a Zen master or whoever.It is possible to choose not to study with that person.Surely that response is only a component of what we need to do ,us spiritual practitioners.

The religious/spiritual organisation is also part of a society/group/state/nation.

This is the basis of my point about accountability.Shasta is in California,and like it or lump it is a component in the governance of that state.You have posted excellent references to research about the relation of the Japanese Zen Church to a fanatical xenophobic nationalism.Throssel is in Northumberland,a conservative parochial county and region of England.These relationships cannot be ignored.Awkward and clunky as it is to have to integrate into local cultures,pay or withhold taxes,maintain friendly relations with local businessmen and farmers,a community such as a Buddhist temple,quaker meeting ,etc., can't be a realistic,wholesome organisation unless it does so.

One story I have heard about Throssel is that there is a perception amongst local people that the monks"don't do anything".In other words,the monks are not conspicuous in doing social work,as are representatives of the other churches in the area.You won't be surprised to hear this,you know what Zen organisations are like.The expectation that a religious organisation OUGHT to participate in local community life is quite a strong one though.

But this is not my whole point.

My point is that societies as a whole have mechanisms for regulating the behaviour of their members.These mechanisms are faulty,clunky.Yet without them,( I am thinking about Human Rights legislation for instance),much injustice and cruelty could not be tackled.The reported activities of Eko Little amount to harrassment,from what I understand.There are laws on harrassment in Britain,and I believe in the States as well.These laws emerge from the Enlightenment,and the concept of the rights of the individual(" Life,liberty,and the pursuit of happiness....")

It is absurd that organisations such as Shasta and Throssel don't refer to these laws,not as the whole approach to internal regulation,but as a healthy part of it.Other organisations must adhere to policies and procedures .For instance,providers who deal with vulnerable people must have policies that demonstrate a commitment to A Duty Of Care to their users.So ,too,should a religious organisation.People who go to temples,meditation groups and the like,are also citizens,who are protected,albeit patchily,by a legal and legislative system.We don't stop being citizens when we sit in the zendo.And in fact wether they know it ,wether or not it is explicit,these people have a Duty of Care towards us,when we visit their premises.And when I run a meditation group,I have a Duty of Care to the people who come.....

Our country is rapidly sliding towards a culture of de-regulation because we have a far right prime minister.These issues have become even more urgent under the current regime in Britain.

So,those who set themselves up as teachers of buddhism,meditation,etc.,should be subject to the same level of scrutiny as NHS Psychology practitioners and teachers in schools,because those areas relate to the areas within which they operate.

And the organisations they operate within need to have policies and procedures that reflect Good Practice for comparable organisations in the same legislative system.

Right I am done.



Going for a cup of tea now.

Ikuko/maisie
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:16 am

Myozen

Thank you for telling us more on the early days at Unpuku-ji

When you arrived the mind that seeked he way asked permission to practice the old temple came to life through simple practice of zazen

wooden figures sing

Kannon statues smiles
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PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:56 am

Sorry I could have been clearer in what i said .

The dust on the altar troubles me,I think you too or you would not have mentioned it. The harsh reality is this was not a practice temple, there was no practice,practice was in limbo,undefined no direction when you guys turn up it starts,you clean up,make a place to sit,and practice begins. This is unbalanced practice,as the life the energy, the mind that seeks the way is coming from the new people. The inspiration to sit to find Buddha Mind. A good teacher will always admire and respect and draw strength from beginners mind,but then a good teacher will only be ever starting an open road for the first time.What I want to pay my respect to is the start of the effort that did help me and certainly led me back to Japan,This simple effort did start at Unpuku-ji ,with the simple act of cleaning the altar.

Gassho
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