OBC Connect

A site for those with an interest in the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, past or present, and related subjects.
 
HomeHome  CalendarCalendar  GalleryGallery  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  Log in  

Share | 
 

 Myozen Delport

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3, ... 10, 11, 12  Next
AuthorMessage
jamesiford

avatar

Posts : 21
Join date : 2010-08-01

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.
Back to top Go down
http://www.boundlesswayzen.org

AuthorMessage
myozen



Posts : 98
Join date : 2012-07-25

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:10 am

Hello, gassho -
Sorry, I am dropping in in the middle of a conversation. Thank you for introducing me, James and enabling me to be in contact again with Kozan, Mark, Joshua, Isan, and meeting new dharma family. So good to see your faces in your photographs!

As James says, the dark and the light are all intertwined. It seems that somewhat drastic changes in Kennett Roshi's methods and personal manner developed in Shasta Abbey ... the Kennett Roshi I joined at Unpuku-ji in December 1968 was a jovial person who was generous and kind to me, allowing me to study calligraphy at one temple and Sanskrit at another. This forum took me to reading the journals I kept while at Unpuku-ji and found that I had on two occasions considered leaving her. Severing ties with a teacher is a painful business - I returned to Japan in 1976 and became the caretaker and resident monk of a rural parish temple. Things were interrupted when Kennett Roshi began to interfere from her location in Shasta Abbey. In response I returned to lay status for several years since I did not want to inconvenience my teacher and also did not want to continue being the subject of her letters containing some very surprising misinformation. Although she derailed the process, and I am still working with the results, I must admit that I continue to feel gratitude to her for ordaining me.

When I returned to Japan I learned that it seems that Soto Headquarters had not been aware of her plans to leave Japan - so it would appear that she did not go to teach in the United States under the auspices of Soto Headquarters. This may be why she did not form ties with the Japanese Soto community in the U.S. I think you may have touched on this subject previously some time, Mark? In Japan I found that, while there was acknowledgement of problems that existed relating to Kennett Roshi, her lineage was never questioned and people who knew me through her treated me with warmth and kindness.

May I backtrack a little? Joshua, I agree that Suigan Yogo most likely dictated the texts to Kennett Roshi, since I never saw her working off a Japanese text at Unpuku-ji and her grasp of Japanese was very limited. Even well-seasoned Japanese scholars find Dogen difficult. Isan, I thought a lot about your comments regarding translations of Dogen's works. Meditation experience is certainly important - an understanding/familiarity with the classics he so deftly paraphrases and makes puns with is a key requirement. He also "plays" with the readings of the Chinese characters - it is all rather subtle and certainly would be inscrutable if translated literally. Kennett Roshi would often go by the feeling the words in the translations by Suigan Yogo evoked, but I do not believe she could have grasped some of the intricacies involved in the scholarship aspect. There are misspellings of Japanese terms in her work, with some interesting results. Her work with Suigan Yogo certainly was pioneering and she did respect and love these texts.

Chisan, I recall something regarding the connection between How to Grow a Lotus Blossom and The Secret of the Golden Flower - in Unpuku-ji in 1969, Kennett Roshi showed me The Secret of the Golden Flower and told me, "Every transmitted monk should study this." I believe the content of Lotus Blossom and the visions were already percolating then.

Stan, Giko was the name of Kennett Roshi's closest and dearest friend in Japan. He taught Mokurai and myself how to fold our robes, how to spread our bowls, how to make our straw sandles, and he took us on begging rounds. He is the person who stood by her through thick and thin.

Find all this rather difficult to write about - thanks for letting me share this.

Many bows, and again so happy to be in contact,
Myozen
Back to top Go down
myozen



Posts : 98
Join date : 2012-07-25

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:54 am

And so, after I mention Kennett Roshi's misspelling of Japanese terms, I misspell the English word "sandals" - perhaps this is "instant karma"?

Myozen
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes



Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:13 am

Myozen, thank you for writing a clear unbiased post
Back to top Go down
Anne



Posts : 408
Join date : 2010-07-28

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:02 am

:-) Myozen, I never met you, but warm greetings sunny, and many thanks for your interesting post.

I hope you will excuse my continuing the earlier conversation on your thread, even though it's supposed to be your party! Shocking manners!... (-:

Chisan wrote:
You slightly have the better of me here again Anne. Is Buddhism expressed through ideas and concepts,that one can be right or wrong about in the first place ?
:-) CMH, my understanding of JK here was acknowledgement that she could be mistaken, misunderstand, etc. Hope that helps, else not sure what you mean. (-:

Carol wrote:
When a teacher/guru says to a disciple "I am only human" or "I am not perfect," it assumes that the disciple knows the teacher/guru IS perfect and IS superhuman. To prove it, the teacher/guru is so humble that he/she can even say, "I am not perfect" or "I am only human." Wink, wink. "We both know what I REALLY mean."
:-) I do agree that people (not only gurus) may say "I'm not perfect" as a way of 'evincing' that they are humble; however, I think it wise to beware of setting up saying nothing as 'the' criterion for proving that one knows that one is not infallible -- some who never say "I'm not infallible" might think this proves them superior to others who do say it; and people could get afraid ever to state, where seems appropriate, that they are not infallible because they think others will judge them as suffering from delusions of grandeur. Silence is the new 'humble' funny

In a footnote to a small booklet on meditation that I part-compiled/part-edited for newbees visiting a Buddhist group I attend, to protect readers from thinking that every word must be infallible I wrote the following:
Quote :
Please note that teachers often differ in their presentations, not only in style but also in meaning and viewpoint. Also, they are not infallible (me neither! -- Editor). Also, you may find that your own experience differs from what you read or hear. This may be confusing for the beginner, who wonders what to believe. The important thing is to try to find what works best for you.
Now, from across the Atlantic, two people seem to be telling me that my bracketed admission proves that I and anyone else who states similar think we are perfect?... Chaaaps, if that's happening, I think you could be wrong! (I might go so far as to say I know you are; but I don't want you to feel bad! ;-) Thinks: Is kind the new nasty? uhoh
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes



Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:49 am

I think this means Anne that I can say for the first time.I completely understand what you are talking about
Back to top Go down
Anne

avatar

Posts : 408
Join date : 2010-07-28
Location : Dorset, UK

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:57 am

funny Somehow, I knew you'd visited!
Back to top Go down
Jcbaran

avatar

Posts : 1614
Join date : 2010-11-13
Age : 66
Location : New York, NY

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:01 pm

Myozen --

Great to connect with you here. I always remember you with great fondness. Glad that James found you.

I hope you will share more of your story with regard to Kennett both in Japan, your time her in America, your leaving and afterwards. This website is kind of on-going collection of what happened with all these Shasta/Kennett connected folks - since no book was ever written. I think the great thing about a website like this is that anyone can join in, anyone can read, and anyone can selectively choose what they want to look into.

Many people here probably never met you - and many probably never even heard of you. As was Kennett's way, everyone who left was usually first demonized for a few years and then vanished from the history of the organization. Non-persons. Mokurai joined this site but has not posted much. It would be beneficial for you to share your tales and insights. I would love to hear them. The other fine thing about this forum that there is no need that we all agree with each other. We all have our own experience, insights, reactions, journeys - some quite different.

Kennett created a culture of suppression. There was no communication. So often monks went through all kinds of personal issues and they were never brought into the the light. And once they left, we heard nothing of course, except the negative stories that Kennett would. She saw every departure as a betrayal, as a personal rejection, and so created the stories that fit her narrative. but also, while we were at Shasta, we did form relationships and connections, but often did not share much personally with each other.

Yes, Shasta and Kennett changed radically after you left. As you will see on this site, there are many discussions and accounts posted about what happened and how people reacted. This site is really the only place that former members have shared their experiences. There is a lot to go through on the site actually, for some, perhaps too much information, but I think it's all useful to be posted.

For many people, their time at Shasta was a very mixed bag, and for too many, their leaving was traumatic. And in digesting and understanding what happened, all these discussion can be very useful, healing, necessary. Silence is not golden and I certainly don't follow the old Asian mindset that one should never criticize one's teacher / father / master. That mostly doesn't work, especially when there has been harm.

Anyway, please join in the conversation -- anywhere on the site, and as I said, there is no pressure to follow any one point of view.

Happy sunday.....it's a rainy overcast day here in manhattan. off to the gym.

josh
Back to top Go down
Kozan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 668
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 67
Location : Sonoma County CA

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:59 pm

Myozen, welcome to the site! It is so good to have you here!!

As with many of us within the 'first generation', your presence, teaching and support had a profound influence and impact on me.

I look forward to more of your thoughts and discussion!

With warm regards, and in Gassho,

Kozan
Back to top Go down
Lise
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1408
Join date : 2009-11-08
Age : 42

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:38 pm

Hi Myozen -- very glad you joined us Smile Welcome!
Back to top Go down
http://obcconnect.forumotion.net
Carol

avatar

Posts : 364
Join date : 2009-11-10

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:01 pm

I might be wrong, as my husband points out. But then again, maybe I 'm right about that.
Back to top Go down
myozen

avatar

Posts : 98
Join date : 2012-07-25
Age : 71
Location : Terrace, B.C. Canada

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:36 pm

Josh and Kozan, thank you for the warm welcomes and encouragement - I really feel blissfully blessed. You were so important to me, and my first friends, when I newly arrived in the United States, and you have been so dear to me through the years between when I was "disappeared". Lise, Chisan, and Anne - very happy to meet you here.

Being reminded of the "small walk-up apartment" - as Josh describes it - brought back some pleasant recollections of our zazen sessions, and also of soccer games and an ordained kitten!

The process you describe is as I experienced it, Josh - it has reminded me that in Unpuku-ji Kennett Roshi began to give me inflammatory letters about other persons to translate into Japanese, which was one of the reasons I began to doubt things then. When I first arrived in Unpuku-ji I had been sitting at a Rinzai monastery in Nagoya for 9 months (the introduction was through my adoptive Japanese family since this was their ancestral temple) so my impressions of a Zen teacher and unsui at the time were based on experiences there. Translation of her letters continued in Shasta Abbey and Vancouver, so it seems it was my turn next! The incidents relating to Kennett Roshi happened in my early twenties and thirties and here I am in my sixties - during those years I had tried to understand and work things through by myself since it seemed almost a taboo subject. The very "creative" misinformation Kennett Roshi passed on about me had me more or less in a form on seclusion or isolation from other than our small local sangha and dharma family in Japan since I was reticent to do any networking.

I agree that participation in this forum and being reconnected with lost dharma family is so very healing, and a means to understand the factors involved on a more collective scale. Such matters can affect one at levels one is not conscious of. When the local zazenkai, Daiko-ji, was formed in 1991 the position I adopted was that I would lead the zazenkai, translate study materials, etc. but when it came to members requesting jukai, I would defer to my teacher although I had received authorization from him. During his most recent visit, he broached this subject and I was surprised to realize that I was still "showing Kennett Roshi" - she had one day called me into her house at Shasta Abbey and had accused me of trying to steal her disciples!

The positive side to all of this is that we learn that the dharma can sustain us, and that sangha ties are truly powerful.

This is my first experience with a forum so things are a bit learn-as-you-go, so please forgive my clumsiness. Kozan, I am also very much looking forward to keeping in touch and being able to discuss.

Chisan, Anne, and Carol - one of the things Kennett Roshi said in Unpuku-ji was, "Zen Masters have clay feet" ...

Gassho and warmest regards,
Myozen
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:09 pm

Hi Myozen, Did Dogen write in Chinese, or was it an old Japanese?

Every morning in Japan the young monks took it in turn to read old Chinese scriptures, formally at tea cermony,I never asked what it was only if it was Chinese as they struggled with it.

I have thought about you the last few days and I want to tell you that a good friend of mine was a monk at Eiheiji and he now helps translate Dogen at a university, I assume it is in Nagoya.

Kennett told me some things about you, cant remember what they were now.

When i left kennett Roshi I dreamed alot about Hashimoto Roshi,whom I had never heard of and unfortunately never met.

I would be rather disappointed if Zen Masters were not human beings
Back to top Go down
Isan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 915
Join date : 2010-07-27
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:51 pm

myozen wrote:
I agree that participation in this forum and being reconnected with lost dharma family is so very healing, and a means to understand the factors involved on a more collective scale. Such matters can affect one at levels one is not conscious of. When the local zazenkai, Daiko-ji, was formed in 1991 the position I adopted was that I would lead the zazenkai, translate study materials, etc. but when it came to members requesting jukai, I would defer to my teacher although I had received authorization from him. During his most recent visit, he broached this subject and I was surprised to realize that I was still "showing Kennett Roshi" - she had one day called me into her house at Shasta Abbey and had accused me of trying to steal her disciples!

The positive side to all of this is that we learn that the dharma can sustain us, and that sangha ties are truly powerful.

This is my first experience with a forum so things are a bit learn-as-you-go, so please forgive my clumsiness. Kozan, I am also very much looking forward to keeping in touch and being able to discuss.

Hello Myozen, and a belated welcome to OBC Connect. I remember you well from Shasta Abbey. Many former disciples of Jiyu Kennett have found their way here. It has been very healing to break the silence and tell our stories. I believe this forum holds the only comprehensive record of the shadow side of JK and the ZMS/OBC. Many of the problems persist to the present day (read the "Eko" threads). For all that we suffered as outcasts I've come to feel we are the fortunate ones to be free of that system. I look forward to your thoughts.
Back to top Go down
myozen

avatar

Posts : 98
Join date : 2012-07-25
Age : 71
Location : Terrace, B.C. Canada

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:46 am

Chisan, Dogen wrote in both Chinese and Japanese. It was the same at the Nagoya monastery - there was much concentration during the lectures/classes on the Chinese classics with the young monks! I learned for the first time about the interlinear explanation marks which indicate the order of reading the Chinese characters to produce a Japanese sentence structure. The sutra book was also a source of fascination with sutras in Sino-Japanese, transliterated Sanskrit, Japanese! There was so much to learn, as you also experienced ... Are you still in contact with your friend? Yuho Yokoi who published his English translation of the Shobogenzo in 1986 was from Aichi Gakuin University in Nagoya.

Hello Isan -
So good to be in contact with you again. Thank you for your welcome. I remember you well, too, and the happier days we unsui spent at Shasta Abbey. Something I had wanted to convey to you - when I read your story in Tricycle I was so deeply moved that I decided to take a first tentative step out of isolation and connect by joining the Tricycle community as a start. Everyone is so courageous telling their stories in this forum and are helping each other immeasurably. Yes, we are fortunate in so many ways.

Gassho and many bows,
Myozen
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:19 am

Thank you for your reply Myozen, yes my friend worked with Yuho Yokoi who sent me a beautiful book of his translation of the Shobo-genzo
Back to top Go down
Isan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 915
Join date : 2010-07-27
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:03 am

myozen wrote:

Hello Isan -
So good to be in contact with you again. Thank you for your welcome. I remember you well, too, and the happier days we unsui spent at Shasta Abbey. Something I had wanted to convey to you - when I read your story in Tricycle I was so deeply moved that I decided to take a first tentative step out of isolation and connect by joining the Tricycle community as a start. Everyone is so courageous telling their stories in this forum and are helping each other immeasurably. Yes, we are fortunate in so many ways.

Gassho and many bows,
Myozen

Thanks for the feedback regarding the Tricycle piece. I was not happy with it because of last minute requirements to cut in half what I already felt was an overly brief account of my years with Jiyu Kennett. I'm glad to hear that you found it helpful.
Back to top Go down
Carol

avatar

Posts : 364
Join date : 2009-11-10

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:07 am

Isan, can you give us a link to the Tricycle piece? I would like to read it. Thanks...
Back to top Go down
Isan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 915
Join date : 2010-07-27
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:30 am

Carol wrote:
Isan, can you give us a link to the Tricycle piece? I would like to read it. Thanks...

Here's a link to the piece:

http://www.tricycle.com/feature/broken-gold

It is "member supported content" though, so you can't access it unless you join. My bit is one of three accounts of people leaving groups/teachers and going through a process of recovery. For what it's worth there's nothing in my piece that I haven't said better and at greater length here in OBCC (and at no cost to you! :^) )
Back to top Go down
Carol

avatar

Posts : 364
Join date : 2009-11-10

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:39 am

Thank you!
Back to top Go down
myozen

avatar

Posts : 98
Join date : 2012-07-25
Age : 71
Location : Terrace, B.C. Canada

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:34 pm

Josh and Isan,
I have started reading the other threads - may I comment on older posts? I am reminded of so many issues that have puzzled me over the years. I have also pulled out various manuscripts Kennett Roshi gave me and notes I made of her talks at Unpuku-ji to consider in the light of discussions on this forum.

It is taking me a while to get the hang of this forum but I would like to share the experiences with Kennett Roshi in Japan - I am trying to summarize/tidy up the 5 pages (!) since on my first try to post, I lost everything!

Gassho,
Myozen
Back to top Go down
Isan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 915
Join date : 2010-07-27
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:05 pm

myozen wrote:
Josh and Isan,
I have started reading the other threads - may I comment on older posts? I am reminded of so many issues that have puzzled me over the years. I have also pulled out various manuscripts Kennett Roshi gave me and notes I made of her talks at Unpuku-ji to consider in the light of discussions on this forum.

It is taking me a while to get the hang of this forum but I would like to share the experiences with Kennett Roshi in Japan - I am trying to summarize/tidy up the 5 pages (!) since on my first try to post, I lost everything!

Gassho,
Myozen

Myozen, yes you're welcome to comment in the existing threads or start new ones as you deem appropriate. Everyone will automatically see when old threads have been updated as well as when new threads are created.

Typing messages in the forum text box can be tricky. After losing a few I started creating the messages in a word processor/text editor first, such as Microsoft Word or Notepad. Then I copy and paste the finished post into the box and hit send - hope this helps.
Back to top Go down
myozen

avatar

Posts : 98
Join date : 2012-07-25
Age : 71
Location : Terrace, B.C. Canada

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:33 pm

Thanks, Isan, I'll give it a try. There are so many issues and I am playing catch-up since a newcomer to the forum and everyone's discussions!

So good to hear from you.

Gassho,
Myozen
Back to top Go down
Anne

avatar

Posts : 408
Join date : 2010-07-28
Location : Dorset, UK

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:34 pm

:-) Sometimes stuff I typed in the entry-field would disappear when I tried to Preview; so now I always Cmd+A and Cmd+C whatever I've typed before pressing the Preview button, so that I can Cmd+V should all disappear!

That might not be so bad for posts to be submitted for general view in one sitting, but for posts taking longer to complete I'm not sure how the forum's Draft function works these days (and I think one has to have done at least one Preview before that option appears). (-:
Back to top Go down
Howard

avatar

Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-06-27
Age : 62
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:26 pm

Nothing like seeing those, once in a lifetime ones jewels, disappear into the void, never to be satisfactorily duplicated again.


Somewhat like Isan
I just compose on my email system, copy & paste to here.

No more excuses though for the one that got away.

H..
Back to top Go down
http://hrmitchell54@yahoo.com
Jcbaran

avatar

Posts : 1614
Join date : 2010-11-13
Age : 66
Location : New York, NY

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:48 am

Myozen ---
Yes, you can post anywhere, on any stream, and it shows as the most recent post and people who have posted in that section are alerted to your contribution. So you should feel free to post anywhere on anything. I would love to read your insights, reflections, memories.

As people mentioned, one safe way to do this is to write your thoughts NOT on the site itself - but first in your email program or as in an email and then cut and paste. Also, you can use a simple text editor. I have a PC computer and I use a standard simple word processor / text program called WORDPAD. Very simple text editor and when you cut and paste the text from WORDPAD into this website, the format works perfectly for this bulletin board. Isan i think told me to use a text editor. Often, if you use a more robust word processor and then cut and paste, the formatting is off, the line breaks are too short, etc. But with a simple text editor, it all works well. That's what I do when I post an article from the web or the NYTimes. I select the PRINT option from the web article, then I cut and paste the text of the article into WORDPAD and then i copy that and post that on this site. It sounds complicated, but actually it's pretty simple.
Back to top Go down
myozen

avatar

Posts : 98
Join date : 2012-07-25
Age : 71
Location : Terrace, B.C. Canada

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:43 pm

Hi -
When I told my husband about the stuff that disappeared, Anne, he commiserated and then commented that the empty entry field was the "ultimate Zen" message. Really, Howard, no excuses - I am that new to electronic communication. My usual mode has been my fountain pen. Thank you for the detailed suggestions, Josh. I will experiment and until my son has time to spend with me and the computer, I will probably write in smaller bits.

Reading the other posts brings matters to mind that I had forgotten. I have been thinking of the first meeting with Kennett Roshi in 1968. I had contacted her after receiving her address at Unpuku-ji from Suigan Yogo - she told me to meet her in the foyer of a department store in the nearest city, Tsu, since it would be the warmest there (it was December). When I arrived she was standing between the two sets of doors with several people coming and going around her. Even before exchanging salutations she said, "Let us get out of here, it is like Victoria Station."

When I arrived at Unpuku-ji a day or so later, I discussed my current visa - Karate training through paperwork from my instructor - and the need for permission from my Japanese family, who were my guarantors. She suggested I present them with a fete accompli and she had her friend Giko shave my head,
and dressed me in older too-big robes. When I arrived home, the family were a bit astonished but contacted the robe maker to prepare a full set of all the robes and items I would need. I also managed to sort things out pertaining to the change of study course with my visa. At the time Kennett Roshi told me she had been in Unpuku-ji for under two years and it seems she had been lonely on her own there since she said she kept the television on all the time just so that there would be movement. She also still seemed sad about a disciple who had left her - I think her name was Myoko - during the process of transmission. I believe it was on my second evening with her that she told me to take money out of the collection box and go to the village shop to buy her a bottle of "Akadama" plum wine (which I learned was her favourite) - this was my first outing into the village and opportunity to meet some of the people. Unpuku-ji was a charming little temple with a very graceful statue of Kannon, but it was a bit run down and in need of much cleaning up. She called the rat droppings their "visiting cards"! After Mokurai arrived we were ordained in mid-January 1969. We helped her modify the unused village meeting hall in the temple precincts into a meditation hall, which she named the "Chisan-do" after Koho Zenji.

Unfortunately the matter of my speaking, reading and writing Japanese soon became a bone of contention in Kennett Roshi's mind. It was a bit confusing to me as a new monk that she resented this ability while also immediately utilizing it for her book translations and correspondence. The thing is, to me speaking Japanese and getting along with the Japanese was nothing special. When I was 4 years old in 1949 my father took me hunting for books on Japan since I had been babbling about wanting to go there. After matriculation at 17 I received a job offer from the executive of a Japanese liaison/trading firm in Johannesburg - my parents agreed that his family would become my guardians and I left Cape Town to go and live with them. When they returned to Japan, they arranged for me to live with their parents in Nagoya and it was through their ancestral temple that I was introduced to Zen Buddhism. Karate practice at the dojo in Cape Town commenced with a few minutes of zazen with the purpose of calming/putting the mind in order.

In writing about Kennett Roshi I do not mean any disrespect - I am still attempting to understand some of the issues.

Kennett Roshi also required me to discontinue all relationships with my Japanese friends - some of whom I had been corresponding with since my early teens. Although my Japanese family had donated a modern Western style toilet for her comfort - I dug the septic tank hole to the amusement of the abbot of the Tendai temple who had wandered over to see what on earth was going on - she was very discourteous to them when they visited me and they left, obviously feeling insulted. There were many incidents like this and occasions where her inappropriate behaviour caused much embarrassment and discomfort.

I believe that Kennett Roshi burned her bridges when she left Japan since she had not informed Unpuku-ji parish representatives, nor Soto Headquarters of her plans to move to the United States. After she received the invitation or suggestion from Claude Dalenberg to relocate to the United States, she took me to the American Consulate in Tokyo to arrange for the necessary visa on my South African passport.

Since early childhood I had studied Japanese and had planned to go to Japan and remain there. I decided to leave Japan with Kennett Roshi because she had said, "with you it is Japan first and then Buddhism." As it turned out, I was soon very happy in San Francisco because of my new Dharma family - Josh, James, Kozan soon joined Kennett Roshi, Mokurai and myself. You brought so much joy and fun to my life!

Shortly after I joined Kennett Roshi at Unpuku-ji, Kennett Roshi gave me a photograph which I just found again while going through things. It is a bit of a mystery - would someone be able to shed light on it? I do not have a copy of The Wild, White Goose, but I think this may be the one referred to. She said this photograph was taken at her ordination by Seck Kim Seng in Malaysia - however, she is wearing the Japanese style kesa and tatemosu of a monk who has at least completed zuise. She is wearing the exact same set in another photograph she gave me taken at Unpuku-ji. In Japan, too, Kennett Roshi enjoyed wearing her brocade kesa and tatemosu - I do not recall who playfully (it may have been Kennett Roshi herself) called it her "Wizard of Oz" outfit.

Something which also mystifies me somewhat is - sorry, it is the lotus blossom again - in the 1977 edition, when she is asked whether she had "read any works that have similar experiences to this prior to" her having her visions, she had replied that she had "owned The Secret of the Golden Flower for many years but not read it." In 1969 in Unpuku-ji she showed me the English Wilhem/Baynes translation and had told me that every transmitted monk should study this text. She must have read it?

This is getting long again.

It has been a very busy number of days - my husband is Canadian Indian and this time of the year till early autumn is the time for harvesting traditional foods and processing them for the winter. Seaweed for drying; berries for canning; fish for smoking, drying, canning, freezing - our living area was chock and block with canning equipment till this morning. Next will be autumn hunting. When I married my husband I moved to the reservation with him and adopted his nation's life style and customs - it was difficult in the beginning since I was vegetarian and love animals. However, as he and his family taught me about their personal rituals pertaining to the hunting and gathering and the respect involved, I slowly began to understand the ancient traditions involved.

Gassho and many bows,
Myozen
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:35 pm

Thanks for that Myozen I find it all interesting.this part

I believe that Kennett Roshi burned her bridges when she left Japan since she had not informed Unpuku-ji parish representatives, nor Soto Headquarters of her plans to move to the United States.

Does not surprise me at all,I feel I was not told the whole story of leaving Japan, I did not want to be a part of kennett Roshi's reformed Soto Zen Sect, I feel she was unnessacarily unpleasant to people like me who dared question what was going on
Back to top Go down
Anne

avatar

Posts : 408
Join date : 2010-07-28
Location : Dorset, UK

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:10 am

:-) Hi Myozen!

Myozen wrote:
Shortly after I joined Kennett Roshi at Unpuku-ji, Kennett Roshi gave me a photograph which I just found again while going through things. It is a bit of a mystery - would someone be able to shed light on it? I do not have a copy of The Wild, White Goose, but I think this may be the one referred to. She said this photograph was taken at her ordination by Seck Kim Seng in Malaysia - however, she is wearing the Japanese style kesa and tatemosu of a monk who has at least completed zuise. She is wearing the exact same set in another photograph she gave me taken at Unpuku-ji.
I've looked at WWG second edition (2002)... In the only photo shown of her ordination with Seck Kim Seng, the ordination is actually in progress: she is bare-headed, surrounded by people, and with Seck Kim's hand above her head. If I understand what a tatemosu is (?a hat with cloth draping down at the back), there are two photos with her wearing this. The first is of her performing a ceremony accompanied by another priest (the book says he was "one of the chief priests of the big temple in Tokyo") to formally open the gate of her village temple; the second is subtitled, "The author sitting in front of the Kanzeon statue on the main altar in the Ceremony Hall at Unpukuji, her temple in Mie Prefecture."

...I think the system may have realised only a one-sided relative 'emptiness' (we shall have to hope that it doesn't aspire to teaching! uhoh ) ...On the other hand, there is something in Buddhism about all 'conditioned things' -- I really ought to go and look it up one of these days! Sleep
Back to top Go down
myozen

avatar

Posts : 98
Join date : 2012-07-25
Age : 71
Location : Terrace, B.C. Canada

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:36 pm

Hi, Chisan -

Thank you. Liked your story about receiving Yuho Yokoi's book.

Many of Kennett Roshi's methods/actions were puzzling to me even in the early days with her - but, of course, one cannot really fathom what it is in another person's heart that motivates their actions? This stage of "telling" is a bit difficult since I am writing about someone else while simultaneously reviewing everything now in light of accounts on this forum. Remaining silent for me also had to do with her early teaching of "beyond praise and blame." At times I feel tremendously grateful to her since in a way all this has been the catalyst for intense self-examination and reliance on the dharma! I still have not grasped how her teachings evolved from Unpuku-ji days to the concept of a "reformed church" ...

Regards,
Myozen




Hi Anne!

Thank you for checking WWG - perhaps I'll order a copy from our small local bookstore (the population of this town is 11,320 or so) and read it instead of just wincing as I glance at it. WWG ties in with the parting of the ways with Kennett Roshi - when she sent us the consent form relating to writing about me prior to publication, Arnold had requested her to inform us of the content of the section. We received a reply regarding trust and the threat that she could write me out of her book, which I requested her to do. She subsequently created of hybrid of Mokurai and myself.

Anyway - the background of the photograph is not a Japanese style altar; it does look Malaysian. The "big temple in Tokyo" must refer to the head temple Soji-ji in Yokohama? I am trying to sort through photographs and other materials related to Unpuku-ji and Shasta Abbey to place them in a chronological order of some kind.

Passed on the matter of the system's realization of relative emptiness to my husband Perry, who was chuckling while engaged in the conditioned chore of cleaning a fish bin ...

Gassho,
Myozen
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:08 pm

Hi Mozen,

I was very grateful for the whole process surounding Yuho Yokoi's translations, I have 2 books, my transmission book and Yuho Yokoi's it is in a little bound case, the book lead me via personal contact to Dogens lineage and Eheiji monks So I am grateful to the connection.

I am pleased that you are grateful to kenntet Roshi for starting you on the path,I feel that as unsuis we did well and touched true meditation to spot what we felt was not the right way. daiji must have touched true meditation to stand up and say the practice at the time of the lotus blossom was not right . This in itself does not mean we walk the right way either, but it does mean we want to.

I liked the story of your reservation,I hope you enjoy the traditional meals that you will cook through winter
Back to top Go down
Jcbaran

avatar

Posts : 1614
Join date : 2010-11-13
Age : 66
Location : New York, NY

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:24 pm

Myozen -- thanks for sharing these accounts of being in Japan with Kennett. I think these tales help fill in some of the blanks, especially for those who want to understand Kennett's personality, her unresolved issues, her shadows. It is not about respect or disrespect, it is about getting a better and uncensored picture of what happened and who she really was, beyond the "story", the official version.

As people on this website know, I reflected at length about Kennett's personality style, the way she was wired, and how her limited Zen training did not change that wiring at all. We can see from what Myozen shares is that Kennett was the boss / bully from back then. She required total adoration, demanding that Myozen cut off all connections with her Japanese friends. She was rude and insulted Myozen's friends, driving them away. She was jealous of Myozen's ability to read and write Japanese and how she was much more at home d to the Japanese culture.

I can imagine that Kennett's actions were puzzling and confusing. She was at times jovial, kind, charismatic, and then angry, jealous, abusive. As Kennett continued in her role as "master" at Shasta - of course, all her reactions of jealousy or possessiveness would be seen as great teaching, as ways to help her disciples smash their egos and so on. But none of that was really true, ever. Kennett liked to talk about the statue of Maitreya Buddha sitting on top of a lion. She talked about how the Buddha is bigger than the beast, so rides and controls the beast (i.e. the self / ego). With Kennett, that beast was at times running the show, but dressed up in gold brocade. What was beast, what was Buddha - i doubt if she had any idea, any self-awareness.

Back to Kennett's personality, I wrote about her in light of the Enneagram system. I went on at great length. Jumping back to that lens, Kennett was hard wired to be the boss, the one in charge, the big dog. Being a disciple was NOT a comfortable role for Kennett. She had to be the center of all attention, she ran the show. Period. She put up with being a disciple at Soji-ji for a few years- she had no choice, but as soon as she left, and then when Koho Zenji died, she soon fired Yogo, her actual master, so she could be her own boss, totally independent. She was certainly not going to submit herself to any other teachers or a head office. Also, based on her personality style, it makes perfect sense that she would routinely insult people, treat people with disrespect, not communicate, and be totally oblivious to how her actions were received. Not her problem. Burning bridges would be business as usual.

Of course, underneath it all is a woman desperate for love, adoration, approval.

A few other things I noticed from Myozen's account. Kennett's time at Unpuku-ji seemed like it was a period of loneliness, even isolation. It seems like she had little interest at being a temple priest. Soji-ji's main job was to turn out thousand of temple priests / ritual professionals whose job was not to teach meditation or Dogen's philosophy, but to perform constant rituals, memorial services, funerals. And even back then, thousands of temples were vacant as Zen was beginning it's huge decline. So Kennett was naturally assigned one of these vacant temples.

It sounds like Kennett was not comfortable relating to the local Japanese, barely spoke the language, could not read or write Japanese, and spent her days watching television. When did she stop meditating? It may be that she never got into the habit or the flow of regular zazen.

Koho Zenji recruited Kennett so that she would go back to the West - he clearly wanted some western Soto zen priests in America or the UK to counter the dominant Rinzai Zen influence generated by D.T. Suzuki. And that worked for Kennett. Not surprising that she never told anyone that she was leaving. She cut herself off from everyone, she was the boss and wasn't going to ask anyone's permission about anything. That's probably party why she cut herself off from Yogo.

enough for now

josh
Back to top Go down
Kozan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 668
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 67
Location : Sonoma County CA

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:36 pm

Josh, this is a good assessment. I concure with all of your primary points.

And yet, I think that it's only (roughly) half the picture.

JK undertook her existential quest because it was an existential quest, not because she sought to dominate or exploit disciples at some point in the future.

The fact that she did engage in a dynamic of domination and exploitaion suggests that she never actually resolved the dilemma that she set out to solve.

In hind sight, and as you have said, JK was never able to recognize or heal her shadow--her own repressed existential trauma.

I would propose that her quest was, and is, the same as our own.
Back to top Go down
Jcbaran

avatar

Posts : 1614
Join date : 2010-11-13
Age : 66
Location : New York, NY

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:37 am

Most spiritual seeking / the quest is sincere. The con man or con woman is probably rare in the journey of self-discovery unlike say, politics. Of course, Kennett was sincere in going to Japan. We can give her credit for being a bit of pioneer. She did not start out seeking power or adoration. That came later as things seriously went awry.

Actually, come to think of it, I have met people who went into spiritual seeking to become a guru. Their dreams of enlightenment were intertwined with power and stature and being special and being worshiped and having devotees and so on. You should see the film KUMARE now in theaters that addresses this issue. I am sure there are Catholics who go into the priesthood for career and political and power reasons.

Seeking can be seen from two sides. as part of the solution -- you need to seek in order to wake up -- and seeking itself is the problem, an expression of our confusion, our story of lack, our illusion that we are lost or that we need to find something in the future, that we need to take this grand spiritual journey. In that sense, seeking is sincere but it is also an expression of our unique confusion and at times no doubt gets complicated. The only solution is honest, rigorous and continuous self-awareness, so we don't fool ourselves and we don't fool others.

Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:42 am

I am not sure what you mean Kozan, by saying her uest is the same as ours

Maybe in some way you can point out we all make mistakes, and are all trying to follow the Buddhist path ,but these would be clever use of words.

Kennett Roshi did know what she was doing,She did know she left Japan breaking contact with Yogo, and making me believe she had full backing from Japan.When we the deciples started to see it was not right, she had to be more controlling to keep people with her and her dream. It seems similar to me as the financial people who do these ponzi deals, they have to work harder and harder to keep the show on the road. I was actually drawn to kennett Roshi because I thought she was upright and righteous,and whilst we have imperfections, and are human, have shadows, and everything else.a teacher is someone who guides me through to my heart, not someone immersed in half truths
Back to top Go down
Anne

avatar

Posts : 408
Join date : 2010-07-28
Location : Dorset, UK

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:15 am

:-) CMH, by "full backing from Japan" do you mean something beside the SotoShu certificates that we discussed on RMJK and choosing a Dharma Heir, page 2, 31 July and later?

If it's just the certs, I think this should be checked with Shasta...though of our contributors on OBCC, only Kozan may be sufficiently trusted to succeed. (Kozan, did you see my query on that thread: Kozan, I hope you don’t mind my asking: do you think any relevant officer in Shasta would heed a request from you -- that is, only if you have time and inspiration to formulate one? :-)
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:57 am

It seems very grey, and very full of issues. One thing that hit me a bit is way the Tendai priest felt
Back to top Go down
Anne

avatar

Posts : 408
Join date : 2010-07-28
Location : Dorset, UK

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:15 am

:-) Myozen, did you spend much time with Suigan Yogo? I am wondering about your impressions of him? In WWG, Jiyu first thought very highly of him but later developed great concerns about him. From the top of my head (not a good place on a public website!) I seem to remember that the main issues included that he was two-faced with westerners (and maybe others) in the Foreign Guest Department of the aforesaid "big temple in Tokyo" (I'm not sure if this was Sojiji) -- smiling at them while "hating them in his heart" (I think she wrote).
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:32 am

So her teacher hated people in his heart is that right Anne
Back to top Go down
Anne

avatar

Posts : 408
Join date : 2010-07-28
Location : Dorset, UK

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:20 am

:-) You are making me work today! Who's going to do the shopping, CMH? Tell me that!!

I have found the passage in WWG, which appears on page 421 of the second edition, framed as part of a conversation with "Harry":
Quote :
...There are those who think that because they have the Buddha potential they need to do nothing. I watch Rev. Hajime [Suigan Yogo]; I worshipped at his shrine; I thought him the most intelligent, most holy priest I had ever seen. I watched him as he taught when a simple lecturer in the Tokyo temple -- a joy to behold, someone in whose Truth one could lie back and bask. Then I watched contrivance appear. I saw him behaving like a saint in others' presence but as a selfish man in mine. I was a nuisance. One time I saw him he told me I and other foreigners would be welcome as servants but nothing more. The next minute he was smirking and fawning over his foreign guests whilst hating them in his heart...
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:26 am

You do the shopping, but can you get white crusty rolls istead of that granary stuff, and pls go easy on the pulses.
Back to top Go down
Anne

avatar

Posts : 408
Join date : 2010-07-28
Location : Dorset, UK

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:36 am

:-) Myozen, could you expand a bit on your speaking, reading and writing Japanese becoming a "bone of contention" with JK? Josh has, I think, inferred that this was a matter of jealousy, but I have wondered if it was because she supposed that "speaking Japanese and getting along with the Japanese" must be 'something special' in your mind, and she was tilting at an assumed fault.

CMH -- Myozen may correct me here -- I think it was Myozen's Japanese friends, not the Tendai abbot, who had the discourteous reception (not that this may make a difference in your eyes)...

Quote :
Kennett Roshi also required me to discontinue all relationships with my Japanese friends - some of whom I had been corresponding with since my early teens. Although my Japanese family had donated a modern Western style toilet for her comfort - I dug the septic tank hole to the amusement of the abbot of the Tendai temple who had wandered over to see what on earth was going on - she was very discourteous to them when they visited me and they left, obviously feeling insulted.

It's pulses or the highway for you, CMH!
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:51 am

All people the same makes no difference

Its the highway as I m off to Mevagissy ( tiny fishing village for our overseas friends)

to take some pics of a kitchen, but the pulses will be fine, but please don't let them go to pulp this time.
Back to top Go down
Anne

avatar

Posts : 408
Join date : 2010-07-28
Location : Dorset, UK

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:03 am

:-) For people who by now may be harbouring suspicions, I'd better add that I live in a parallel universe to CMH and also am communicating with him by means of a 29,835-years time-warp. (-:
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:09 am

In that case I,ll settle for a baked peas pudding (try not to burn the top this time)

mevagissy I,m late
Back to top Go down
Isan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 915
Join date : 2010-07-27
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:08 am

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:
Maybe in some way you can point out we all make mistakes, and are all
trying to follow the Buddhist path, but these would be clever use of
words.

I'm sorry you feel that way. It was always clear to me that Jiyu Kennett was deeply sincere. Sincerity and having the problems she had are not mutually exclusive. She did try to follow the Buddhist path and I am no better than her in that regard.

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:
She did know she left Japan breaking contact with Yogo, and making me believe she had full backing from Japan.

How did she make you believe she had the full backing of Japan? It was my experience at Shasta Abbey that Jiyu Kennett made no secret of the fact that she was acting independently of the Soto Head Office/Japan.
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:28 am

Well yippy do Isan I never knew we were not a part of Soto head Office
Back to top Go down
Isan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 915
Join date : 2010-07-27
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:42 am

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:
I never knew we were not a part of Soto head Office

I take you at your word, but you said she made you believe she had the full backing of Japan. How did she do that?
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:53 pm

She sat on me and hit me with a stick....Sorry I could not resist that.

When I took lay ordination in 1970 I had a booklet which I was told had the Sojiji stamp on it
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:58 pm

Myozen I said I only had 2 books, I have checked my collection I have 1 or 2 more including Zen Dust and another in a little case which is The Eihei-koroku translated by Yuho Yokoi
Back to top Go down
Lise
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1408
Join date : 2009-11-08
Age : 42

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:40 pm

Well, I looked at splitting the thread but have decided this one's too tricksy. I give up Smile

I may start another topic related to Kennett's certifications and try to copy over some of the posts related to that, without disturbing this thread.
Back to top Go down
http://obcconnect.forumotion.net
breljo

avatar

Posts : 217
Join date : 2010-12-03

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:45 pm

Although at times I feel like an intruder in some of these discussions, especially the ones that revolve around RMJK because I did not know her, but I did think Kozan spoke with insight and generosity of spirit in yesterdays post. All those that come upon this "Quest" are in their way sincere, and what happens along the way seems to be a mixture of conditions, situations, predispositions, confusion and errors that has to be worked out within this human condition, due to causes we may only partially become aware of here and there.. Can't help but quote Rumi one more time, "This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, a momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honorably, the dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, each has been sent as a guide." Yes and of course, easier said and not so easy to do.
Back to top Go down
myozen

avatar

Posts : 98
Join date : 2012-07-25
Age : 71
Location : Terrace, B.C. Canada

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:03 pm

Josh - it has been truly difficult writing these things since it is being shared openly. It was as you say: Kennett Roshi would delight one with her sense of humour and then the next moment display cruelty. It began to occur to me in Japan that she was behaving in such almost rebellious ways since she felt she did not blend/fit in - it is so sad - partly because of her physique and the partly due to language and cultural difficulties. Some time ago when I was reading Thomas Yuho Kirchner's Dialogues in a Dream translation of Muso Soseki, the discussion of Shotai choyo/"long cultivation of the sacred embyo", of which Dogen also wrote in terms of the nurturing of trainees - practice after enlightenment - reminded me of Kennett Roshi. Perhaps she had somehow not received such nurturing and was therefore unable to extend such sustained nurturing to her disciples? This brought something home to me: after an experience in Unpuku-ji (please forgive me for writing about this) which Kennett Roshi confirmed, I was filled with wonder about everything around me and a bit goofy probably (and in most likelihood driving her bananas), feeling like a blank sheet of paper - Kennett Roshi suddenly started treating me in ways that seemed so mean-spirited that I began thinking of leaving her. When I voiced this she said, "it is sometimes necessary to drive the knife into Kannon's heart." At the time this made me wonder about timing and rushing a trainee along.

Kozan and Isan - I am also certain that, as Josh says, Kennett Roshi was sincere in going to Japan, but that things went awry along the way of her quest. That she loved the "patriarchal line" was clearly evident by the shine in her eyes when she spoke of it those early days in Unpuku-ji.

Roots in Soji-ji were of course of prime importance to Kennett Roshi as validation of her credentials. I have not seen her certifications/registrations from/with Soto Headquarters since at the time it had not been an issue. Zen is Eternal Life had its genesis in Soji-ji with Kennett Roshi writing in her capacity as the foreign guest master. Kennett Roshi gave me a typed manuscript titled Zen is Eternal Life published by Soji-ji in 1967, intended for westerners coming to Soji-ji for practice. It was comprised of the material which later became the "Stem of the Lotus" chapters of ZEL. At that point the ceremonial and scriptures were not included and she later worked on these at Unpuku-ji.

Perhaps having seen Suigan Yogo as a "most holy priest" is a clue as to the expectations and concepts she harboured in her early days at Soji-ji. Her words, "Zen masters have clay feet" comes to mind again. Anne, I did not spend too much time with Suigan Yogo. Kennett Roshi called him my "grandfather". I recall walking to his temple, Zuiko-ji, in Seki from Unpuku-ji. I believe Kennett Roshi received the vacant Unpuku-ji due to its proximity to Zuiko-ji. My impression of Suigan Yogo was that he was a patient and kind person who has much experience with new trainees. During that first meeting/interview it felt as if he was assessing me carefully. He did strike me as a person who would not take too much guff (a word I learned from Kennett Roshi). He was very supportive in the background over the years. When I registered my change of masters with Soto Headquarters in 1978 he had affixed his seals to the paperwork as Kennett Roshi's master/dharma family.

At the time I could not fathom why my speaking Japanese would have been a problem. Now in retrospect, after these discussions, perhaps it was "showing her up" - which never was my intention (I am Afrikaans-speaking and Japanese felt as natural as English at the time) - since I was the disciple and new monk?
When she was speaking Japanese to others she would shoot me glances as if to say, "don't you dare say anything!" At the time I usually shrugged it off as one of her quirks.

When I returned to Japan in 1976, it seems that Kennett Roshi was unfortunately not in good standing with Soto Headquarters - I do not know if this was later addressed or not. I believe that her departure for the United States was a statement of her independence, so Soto Headquarters would not have mattered.

Last night as I read Josh's post, I was reminded of a matter which Kennett Roshi later misrepresented somewhat. I thought I would sleep on it and see in the morning if I would post the story or not - I woke up from a dream in which Unpuku-ji had been beautifully renovated and restored. When I told my husband of this dream, he asked what Unpuku-ji's name meant. "Un" is "destiny" and also "to carry". "Puku" (fuku) is "fortune, blessing". Unpuku-ji was too small for Kennett Roshi structurally as well as in its function/scope. What follows is a bit awful, but I have been rethinking its elements in the light of later developments in Shasta Abbey. Please forgive me if it oversteps any perimeters of propriety and sensitivity.

When I first arrived in Japan in 1968 I exchanged visits with the friends I had made through correspondence during my early teens. One of these friends was a kind and sensitive young man who was the son of a Shinto priest. I was so gung-ho involved with Karate practice and studies at the Rinzai monastery that I unfortunately did not notice his feelings. After I told him I had decided to become a monk, I received an early morning call from his sister informing me that he had committed suicide. I rushed to his home town - three hours or so away by train - and was met by his grieving family's graciousness. Although they had lost their son, they were concerned about me telling me not to feel responsible. So much warmth, so much sadness. After I was ordained by Kennett Roshi I told her that I felt I had to train extra hard since someone had ended their life over this. I meant a taking of responsibility for my decision. Kennett Roshi drew the conclusion that I was filled with guilt which I felt I had to expiate, and that he was haunting me (as in being a ghost) since she noticed I burned candles at night in my room. I do not know why I did not tell her that the candles had to do with something else. In the countryside where I grew up in South Africa there was no electricity or running water until I was about 15 years old. I used to read my penfriends' letters by candle or lamp light, and I loved its coziness especially on rainy winter nights. In Unpuku-ji when I would wake up during the night I would light the candle on my altar and do zazen. I loved the statue of Sakyamuni Buddha I had since I had watched the carver complete it over a period of several weeks in Nagoya; it was my first statue as a newly converted Buddhist. In all events, Kennett Roshi put me in "tangaryo" and would solidly whack me several times a day with the kyosaku to provide penance practice. I recall her biting her lip when she saw the blisters on my shoulders - she quickly brought ointment. This sounds terrible now in the telling, but at the time I understood what she was trying to do and I appreciated her attempts while feeling that she had misread the situation.

I believe Kennett Roshi loved us as her disciples in her own way. She seems to have been an unhappy person and I have often made prayers for her well-being wherever she may be now. One day when I walked into her room in Shasta Abbey she was sitting on her bed looking forlorn. I kissed her on her head, and she said, "you must learn to share me with everyone." At that moment I realized that there was no longer any clear communication between us: she was so off-mark regarding the gesture. Leaving Shasta Abbey had not been Arnold and my idea - although I had not been paying the fees due to translation work I was doing, after marriage to Arnold she required that he pay for both of us. We went to Vancouver to work and save for the fees but when we were ready to return she first informed us that the Abbey was full and then that married couples were no longer allowed.

For me too this is a matter of understanding these issues in the larger context of everyone else's experiences. I am so grateful to you for letting me share and work through these things.

Hello Breljo - beautifully stated. I agree with you.

Chisan - the transmission documents are so precious. I liked hearing how you keep these books. It is so very moving to think of other monks through the generations copying the same words from their masters' documents. My teacher sent me Yuho Yokoi's Shobogenzo and Eihei Koroku - his son was one of Yuho Yokoi's English students. We are living in town at present due to housing shortage on the reservation, about 45 minutes away and we both miss it. We go there as often as possible and return to town feeling rejuvenated! It is a rather beautiful setting on a channel connected to the Pacific Ocean. Even though there are of course supermarkets in town, having the traditional foods all put up for winter is very comforting and reassuring for everyone. There is one important component missing from the traditional foods now - the oolichan (candle fish) grease/oil which has been a vital trade commodity between all the nations along the coast here. Due to industrial development and pollution resulting in environmental changes along the channel, the oolichan have dwindled to virtually nothing. In spring we used to go to oolichan camp for about 10 days, starting out early in the morning by boat for the 2 hour or so trip. Stories would be told about individual rocks, waterfalls and other landmarks along the way. The production and refinement of the oil itself from the oolichan is quite a process which has been taught from generation to generation. The oil is put in bread, eaten with dried fish, put on potatoes, even in fruit salads made with berries! It would go nicely with the crusty rolls Anne picked up for you ... The people are fighting for the survival of their traditional lifestyles/livelihoods - there is strong opposition to plans for an oil pipeline that would bring huge oil tankers into the channel with the threat of oil spills destroying food resources.

Many bows,
Myozen
Back to top Go down
mstrathern
Admin
avatar

Posts : 602
Join date : 2010-11-14
Age : 73
Location : Bedfordshire, UK

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:31 pm

Brigitte please don't feel like an intruder, you aren't. I have always enjoyed your contributions. And of course you and Kozan are right almost certainly JK started out with mainly sincere intentions we all do. That is why 'Zen mind, beginner's mind'. But I'm afraid few of us live up to our intentions, I think it is was Nagarajuna who put it rather poetically as 'Bhoddhisatvas who take the great vow, fishes eggs and mango flowers these three things are common enough but rarely is it that they come to fruit.' I can remember when at the birth of my children like most parents vowing to be the perfect parent, but like most I have not lived up my sincere intent that time either though I still try to be a good parent. The truth is that some of us, myself included, feel that JK did not just fail to live up to her initial sincere intent, few if any of us do that of course, but that she at some point intentionally gave up on it, which is rather different.

I was writing this as Myozen posted and I think she has put even better.
Back to top Go down
myozen

avatar

Posts : 98
Join date : 2012-07-25
Age : 71
Location : Terrace, B.C. Canada

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:53 pm

Mark, it is so very good to see you again via your photograph! Recently I went through photographs of Mount Shasta days and had a few chuckles.

Did this post with a bit of trepidation - it is a matter of the very fond memories of Kennett Roshi and of the puzzlements all together. Thank you for your thoughtful response.

Now I can prepare dinner!

Warmest regards,
Myozen
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:47 pm

Nice posts by all.

Myozen the bit about Anne buying rolls for me,is only my silly way of teasing Anne,she lives miles away and has far more interesting things to do than buy me bread rolls.

I love hearing about the Indian way of living

One aspect of what I read here is unexpected wisdom from many people who have suffered from the individual interpretation of zen by others . This wisdom is strong clear and true,and is what I was and am looking for in my zen practice, it is refreshing to see that regardless of anything our spirits have not been broken, This gives me great encouragement in my daily life and path of zazen
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Myozen Delport   

Back to top Go down
 
Myozen Delport
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 2 of 12Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3, ... 10, 11, 12  Next
 Similar topics
-
» Myozen Delport

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
OBC Connect :: OBC Connect :: Keeping in Touch-
Jump to: