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david.



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PostSubject: hello    Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:36 pm

Hello all.
I've been reading a lot on this site and following ZenForumInternational
for a few months, and have some things to discuss if anyone's
interested, so i thought i'd better introduce myself first.

I began zazen as a teenager in 1979 after staying at Throssel Hole for a
month. I stayed at Throssel for 1 month every winter for 4 years, and
did a few seshins at Throssel and did retreats with Daishin Morgan
whenever he visited the south of England. I also visited Chithurst
forest monastry (thai) and did retreats with korean zen master seung
sahn as well. What I saw of Daishin Morgan inspired me.

I practiced hard for 4 years, during which it didnt go the way they said it would at Throssel - I broke down, cried and cried
and cried, more of which in a separate post. At the end of it I had a
core ripping open. I fell out of "me" into the spaciousness that was
full of love compassion and wisdom. I was home, loved by the universe.
This spaciousness has never left me. I have left it regularly! Still do.
What a plonker I am!

Anyway, i went to Daishin Morgan with my opening experience soon after it happened, not feeling
the gratitude I'd read accompanies these experiences, more a total
confusion, openness and hesitancy. Daishin refused to talk about my
experience, saying that he did not say yes or no re lay-people's
kensho's, as they may use a yes to go out and teach zazen without the
expertise his monks get taught. My interview lasted 2 minutes. I left it
even more confused. Even more so as his refusal to say it was a kensho
seemed almost certainly an unintentional affirmation of some sort.

What he said made no sense to me. He was my teacher, I'd practiced
strong for 4 years yet I'd had 6 minutes of 1 to 1 guidance from daishin
in 4 years. And apart from 5 minutes of very useful 1 to 1 guidance
from the woman Roshi at Throssel, that was it. If that is good teaching,
it would be very hard to be much worse! I'd gotten all the weekly
support I'd needed from a local counsellor, who listened to me for 4
years, did not say i was going mad, didnt say much at all really and who
I made good enough through my tidal-wave of practice.

I went back to see Daishin for advice 1 more time, two years later re a
friend in deep distress. Daishin saw me 1 to 1, and gave me extremely
strong advice that within 2 minutes turned out to be totally erroneous
and revealed that he didnt know what he was talking about. As soon as
this happened, he said "i think this interview is over". I said "Yes it
is" and left. I have never gone back to Throssel or wanted to. When a
spiritual teacher is in 1 to1 with a student and lies about whether they
are coming from the buddha nature or not, there is nothing more they
can teach that student. I may talk more of this interview later though I
may not due to confidentiality re my friend. Suffice it to say that the
enlightened Daishin revealed a marked lack of knowledge of childhood
emotional issues. This I found very disturbing.

I am now reading of all the Zen scandals of the past few years, and
stumbled on this site. I have discovered others with experiences that
make sense of my experience at Throssel. I have to say that I was there a
long time ago so my experience is based on that. I would also say that
Daishin morgan is the person in my life who I have seen "God" speaking
through. This happened on more than a few occasions, was always an overwhelmingly powerful experience, and is I feel something of a direct
transmission for me.

I have practiced as best as I could for the past 25 years on my own, made a lot of mistakes, and
seem to be (hopefully) opening again, in a rather convoluted slow
dysfunctional way after another 5 years of crying my childhood out.

I can be a bit dogmatic at times, I apologise in advance for this!

david
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:38 pm

Hello David, and welcome! We're very glad to have you here. Please do share your thoughts on any discussion, and start new ones if you're moved to.

Most of us here can be a little dogmatic in one way or another, so I hope you'll feel at home Smile

Thank you for telling us about your experience. I have some questions which unfortunately have to wait (until I'm out of the office and on my home computer), but I look forward to following up.

I had some 1:1 sessions myself (at SA, not Throssel) and found it to be a mixed experience. Time and a broader perspective have helped me understand much better what was going on at that time, I think.

More to follow - again, welcome!

Best,

Lise
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:34 pm

david. wrote:
At the end of it I had a
core ripping open. I fell out of "me" into the spaciousness that was
full of love compassion and wisdom. I was home, loved by the universe.
This spaciousness has never left me.

Daishin refused to talk about my experience, saying that he did not say yes or no re lay-people's
kensho's, as they may use a yes to go out and teach zazen without the
expertise his monks get taught. My interview lasted 2 minutes.

Hello David,

Welcome to OBC Connect. As you've already seen there's a lot of information here that can help former members of the OBC make sense of their experience. To my knowledge Jiyu Kennett did not make a rule about not recognizing the experiences of laypeople. During my years with her I did not see her discriminate in this way and I don't know where Daishin picked up this notion. It's good you were able to recognize when you were done and move on. There are many discussion threads here. Feel free to jump in wherever you wish and/or start new topics.
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: hello    Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:13 pm

Hey David

I fell out of "me" into the spaciousness that was
full of love compassion and wisdom. I was home, loved by the universe.
This spaciousness has never left me. I have left it regularly! Still do.
What a plonker I am!

A lovely bit of plonk, that! Thank you!

Contrary to what a site with a bunch of ex monks might say...I'm not sure that having an understanding confirmed by anyone else does anything beneficial in the long run.

Usually the only thing needing such a confirmation comes from that uncomfortable wanker that the understanding has just relegated to streaker status. At best, most confirmations are simply variations on "There, there dear, maybe you might want to hold off on clothes shopping for a while. At worst, they are banked or paraded by Teachers as a confirmation of their own masters integrity.

All Zazen instructions apply as blanket operating instructions for all understandings so unless you wanted specific instructions on teaching others (a monks realm), the driving license was un necessary.


Enjoy the journey here and thanks again for the sharing.
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Anne

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PostSubject: Re: hello    Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:50 am

:-) Hi David, and welcome!

I think Daishin may have been quite new to teaching at the time of your 'falling out of "me"' (?early 1980s), but of course I don't know how he would respond nowadays. RMJ may not have heeded her own advice on confirming laypeople's kenshos but I think he was following her words on this, as I have read a statement on this elsewhere.

Although the reasons for this refusal are to protect others, it is a statement of mistrust, and hence distancing, to the individual layperson. Until this point one may have believed that one was part of an egalitarian spiritual family, but now realises that one will always be an outsider. It can be a lonely business having no sangha to which one feels one can open up and share, so I hope you find some benefit with your virtual, and other, spiritual friends. Also, if the matter cannot be openly discussed with ones teacher, any aspect of subsequent training may be incommunicable also -- so bom goes the prospect of meaningful future communication with that person!

It's one thing being able to train and awaken oneself -- and, as you observed, what you saw of Daishin inspired you and he is the person in your life whom you "have seen 'God' speaking through" -- but understanding where another 'comes from' and what would help is not a given: self-enlightenment does not automatically produce a comprehensive range of knowledge within oneself for helping others.

Reading some of the recent posts on the forum, and remembering some earlier ones, and personal experience, I think it not uncommon to find teachers responding in ways out of kilter with the person they are responding to. Of course teachers are people first, rather than a discrete species, so I guess this means that many other folk would do likewise if they too were in a teaching position -- it's just that they (we) don't get asked in the same way!

I'm being really nosey :^) but -- if you don't mind answering, that is -- at and after the time of your specific experience of falling "out of 'me' into the spaciousness that was full of love compassion and wisdom", was there a special seeing into emptiness? For example, was your perception of forms in the world around you, and your bodily form, and the I-concept changed (or had that happened before)?

All the best to you, and thanks for sharing! (-:
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david.



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PostSubject: Re: hello    Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:06 am

Thank you for your replies, welcomes, and comments, which are gratefully received.

Anne, the emptiness part of my kensho is something i haven't really gotten used to 25 years later if I'm honest. I was loved and home, and the love was unconditional, therefore not based on conditions. This meant "I" experienced it as totally impersonal, because a person is part of the conditions. So I was totally loved, and so was your average lamp-post. Equally. In a very heart sutra kind of way. Which does my head in because I consider myself to be more important and deserving of love than a no-good lamp-post! It's so unfair!......!....! !

So there was the direct experiencing of reality as a total emptiness, in the sense that no thing is more important than any other. This leads to some very weird (for me) implications. It meant that morals and ethics are just conditions in people's heads, it meant that nothing that anyone does is more or less loved or outside the love than anything else. An innocent child (if they exist), a moment of tenderness between two people and a serial killer are just conditions and equally impersonally loved. AAAGH!

Another aspect of this was the direct experiencing of Annata. This has led to my understanding that what keeps me from merging with the love is my identifying as being "somebody".. Bad or good is less important than the size of the "somebody". So we're all just lumps of fluff floating around in the vast empty loving space, thinking we're "somebody".

A nice aspect to this, is that no matter what men do to each other, its just kids in the playground, the emptiness that is full of love doesn't bat an eyelid. (If it had an eyelid to bat).

Strangely, talking of lamposts, I once had a rather lovely little "kensho?" when i was walking down my local high street, and I pinged open and "saw" that the lamp-post I was standing next to was God/The Is pretending to be a lamp-post, and finding it hysterically funny. Then I saw that an old woman worn down by the cares of the world was God/The Is pretending to be an old woman worn down by the cars of the world, and that was somehow very funny too. It lasted for about 5 seconds and faded away. Perhaps I'd been imbibing too much green tea and marshmallows, or listening to too many Ram Das tapes...

Why do I still treat life so seriously most of the time?
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Anne

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PostSubject: Re: hello    Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:33 am

:-) David, thank you for that detailed description. (-:
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:19 am

david. wrote:
So there was the direct experiencing of reality as a total emptiness, in the sense that no thing is more important than any other. This leads to some very weird (for me) implications. It meant that morals and ethics are just conditions in people's heads, it meant that nothing that anyone does is more or less loved or outside the love than anything else. An innocent child (if they exist), a moment of tenderness between two people and a serial killer are just conditions and equally impersonally loved. AAAGH!

Just because we are loved unconditionally doesn't exempt us from karma. I dare say that while a serial killer is loved unconditionally by "that which IS" he will endure profound suffering for his actions. It is unlikely he will be capable of believing he is loved and even if he can it won't exempt him from that suffering. So while our actions do not ultimately make us unlovable to IT they make a heck of a big difference to us.
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:27 am

Anne wrote:
:-) Hi David, and welcome!

I think Daishin may have been quite new to teaching at the time of your 'falling out of "me"' (?early 1980s), but of course I don't know how he would respond nowadays. RMJ may not have heeded her own advice on confirming laypeople's kenshos but I think he was following her words on this, as I have read a statement on this elsewhere.

I would be interested to know more about what JK said, and when. In the early years she more than once talked about Bill Picard's experience and while I was at Shasta Abbey (71-84) I never saw her withhold recognition when laypeople had "openings". In any case it seems a complete betrayal of laypeople who train in good faith only to discover at the critical time that the fruit of their training is denied/ignored.
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Anne

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PostSubject: Re: hello    Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:40 am

:-) The only printed reference I have now is in Meetings with Remarkable Women by Lenore Friedman (publ 1987), in which RMJ is quoted as saying...
Quote :
JK: "... But one of the interesting things about our particular church is that it would never confirm [a first kensho] for a layman. For the simple reason that a layman is not under the sort of discipline that the church members are under, and you'd have people going off and saying, 'I've had a kensho,' and perhaps doing harm."
LF: "Like people going to a seminar and having an 'experience' and calling themselves teacher."
JK: "That's why the church would never give a certificate saying they've had one. They'd simply say, this person studied well. Which would actually mean he had a first kensho. I see their point."
LF: "When you say the church, you're talking about...?"
JK: "I'm talking about the whole Soto church, either in Japan or here ..."
However, I think I remember seeing an earlier statement issued by RMJ about a policy of not confirming a layperson's kensho -- I'm guessing between 1977 and 1981 -- but if so, it would have been in an OBC Journal or some other now uncheckable place. When I first heard about it, I assumed that it meant no ceremony, not that people would keep schtum and refuse to talk about it.

On the Assessment by FaithTrust thread, Diana wrote something similar in September 2011: "[Eko] said that he would not confirm it being a kensho because I was a lay person, so I basically was not allowed to even say it was a kensho." It's the last post on this page: obcconnect.forumotion.net/t258p100-assessment-by-faithtrust

Might it be that 'the policy' stated something simple like, "Do not confirm a layperson's kensho", that was meant one way by RMJ but unknowingly interpreted another way by some? If you're still in touch with Seikai, Isan, maybe he could clarify what the policy was (if he was around early enough) and what it is now? (-:


Last edited by Anne on Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:44 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Added a hypothetical question (I think;-) and changed paragraph sequence)
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:24 am

Hi David. I like the bit about the lamp post Smile


david. wrote:


Daishin refused to talk about my
experience, saying that he did not say yes or no re lay-people's
kensho's

Would he not talk to you about what you were going through at all? (ie advice etc). Or would he just not say "yes" or "no" as to whether it was a kensho? Why would you want to attach a word (ie "kensho") to your experiences anyway? I'm pretty sure I wouldn't.
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david.



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PostSubject: Re: hello    Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:27 pm

Hi Glorfindal, I described to him what led up to it and the experience, and how it had stayed. He replied that he didnt tell laypeople if they'd had a kensho or not, because they hadnt had the monks training so. might go and teach badly. Then there was silence. then we finished. that was it. He wasnt prepared to discuss my experience at all. I didnt ask if it was a kensho at any point. The whole interview was 3-4 minutes. Always good to know your teacher is right in there with you hee. As I said, that interview doubled the total personal help given me by daishin over my 4 years of full-on practice.

The lampost experience was years ago, and still kind of reverberates through me whenever i mention it. drunken It still makes my laugh inside, mostly at myself for being so anxiously serious so much of the time.....

Kensho was what I was practicing for. Daishin had publically talked about his during Jukai one year, and it was known that heaven and earth kensho was what made you a Roshi. Kensho is opening one's eyes and seeing. It reveals what everyone is looking for.

For me it is a very ok thing to be willing to open one's whole self up, and be dropped in the fire continually, year after year, until the core baby terrified me that holds on for dear life lets go afraid , and I fall afraid ..... into afraid ......


.. . . . . . . . . I love you

space I love you . . Shocked . . I love you

.. . . . . . . . . I love you


Sorry got carried away there, then found the funny faces hee....
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david.



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PostSubject: Re: hello    Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:38 pm

Hi Isan,

Anatta. There is no "us".

Therefor there is no individual karma. No good and bad.

Pure is all form, there is then nothing more than this.

So it isnt about improving myself, it's about realising who I am.

If I identify as being someone, "my" experience is conditions, dukka, karma, anicca.

If I let go of "me" and fall into the void, there is only unconditional love compassion and wisdom.
Why then do I spend loads of my time being "someone"??! PLONKER!

The most disturbing truth of my opening for me was that love is impersonal. Totally. Yikes! Actually it is one of the obvious implications of "unconditional".

I always find it amazing how we throw words like unconditional around, without really giving much time to what unconditional actually means. Cool word unconditional

I prommiss I'll get tired of the cartoons at some point
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glorfindel

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PostSubject: Re: hello    Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:26 pm

Thanks David. That has clarified the little corner I was looking at!

Even though your teacher sucked, what was going on in that place seems to have had the desired effect, yea?
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:38 am

david.--you wrote:

The most disturbing truth of my opening for me was that love is impersonal. Totally. Yikes! Actually it is one of the obvious implications of "unconditional".

I would suggest that Unconditional Love is only 'impersonal' so long as you (i.e. your awareness itself) continue to separate your awareness from AWARENESS itself.

In other words, the love inherent in awareness itself is only experienced as 'impersonal' so long as 'your' awareness continues to cling to the construct of the self (however unconsciously).

Drop the divide--and it's all personal. (And, of course, it's not 'personal' at all!)

Dang--there's that paradox again!
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david.



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PostSubject: Re: hello    Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:02 am

Hello Glorfindel.

The part of me that wants to blame my father etc has to very begrudgingly and sulkily say yes. Letting go of other people's fallibility when i KNOW i'm right is SO difficult. Thank you.

Hello Kozan.

What you are saying fits with my experience. There are 2 "me"s. There's clinging on to being "somebody" me (larger than I care to admit) who struggles to trust and let go into that impersonal spaciousness, and the spacious "me" that includes/is everything and everywhere. When I'm in the spacious me there is no "impersonal", in fact quite the reverse. There are no boundaries, nothing out of place, and its full of an interconnected depth. It feels so much better, it is home. It still amazes me that I can go to the boundariless me virtually at will, yet spend so much of my life clinging on to being "somebody" . I think I have some trust issues... drunken Thank you.


It's funny that from the spacious point of view all these "paradoxes" are the blinkin' obvious.

ps for clarification means "What a plonker! Thinking I'm a banana for god's sake!"
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david.



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PostSubject: Re: hello    Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:25 am

Aalso, after that initial opening, the clinging ordinary me was knocked totally out of kilter, because the truth of my opening fitted with everything the heart sutra, ramana marharshi etc etc said it would,and none of the people around me, including Daishin, were acknowledging it
at all, and i didnt suddenly get a load of spiritual confidence or
shakti (boo-hoo!). "little me" really struggled to adjust to my new eyesight on my own.

So for the next 20 years or so I tried to help other people "see" it, failed in that mostly, continued looking for someone to love me (yes I am that baby), compulsively acted out my neediness on people, and shimmered in and out of the connected spaciousness.

It was only 5 years ago that i decided to stop playing around in the space and chipping away on the outside of another large lump of dukka that I called me, and I began drilling into the lump with sitting. Another 5 years of crying and desperation for my mum to love me later, and maybe... just maybe... I'm slowly slowly letting go and opening again... I live in hope don't you know hee bom
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:37 pm

david. wrote:
Daishin refused to talk about my
experience, saying that he did not say yes or no re lay-people's
kensho's, as they may use a yes to go out and teach zazen without the
expertise his monks get taught. My interview lasted 2 minutes. I left it
even more confused. Even more so as his refusal to say it was a kensho
seemed almost certainly an unintentional affirmation of some sort.

Jiyu Kennett's teaching about kensho was contradictory. She quoted the traditional Soto position that people should practice without thinking about having experiences, yet she placed a lot of emphasis on her own kensho and those of her students. Students who had kensho were held up as examples that her teaching was correct, and they were often given a higher rank as a result. Associating kensho with rank and privilege in the monastic hierarchy distorted the practice and created a dysfunctional view of kensho. This put laypeople in a particularly onerous position. They are not subject to the monastic hierarchy and can't be "promoted" and otherwise controlled and manipulated - hence the fear that if their kensho is acknowledged they might run off and start teaching and there would be no way to stop them. This is a false argument, or at best a hypothetical one. In my years at Shasta Abbey such a situation never occurred. The real problem is a layperson's kensho bypasses and thus threatens the whole system. There is an interesting discussion here (see Diana's post in particular):

http://obcconnect.forumotion.net/t145-kensho-experiences?highlight=kensho#1988

"Openings" are a normal part of practice and need to be understood as such. However wonderful a kensho may be it can also be profoundly destabilizing and it is critical that a person be properly supported and guided at that time by others who understand the process. Refusing to talk about it is irresponsible to say the least.


Last edited by Isan on Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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david.



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PostSubject: Re: hello    Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:37 pm

Hello Isan.

What you say about Shasta is helpful. I think if I had been supported at that time it may have helped a lot. Thank you

I had had a few kensho experiences beforre. My opening was very different. I woke up one morning and everything had changed. I had felt unlovable, subhuman, all my life. That morning I was bathed in the love of the universe. I was/am loved. Unconditionally. By the Space that I'd never been able to really feel before. This certainty has never left me and never will. The opening I had was not an "experience". It was the end of a whole stream of karma that stretched back lifetimes. I literally experienced the stream disolving into the universe. This is the 2nd lifetime I know of where this has happened to "me". The first was as a Roman soldier. (You can all put on your Oh-Oh-Another-Past-Life-Freak protection on now hee Smile ). AND I am full of more b....y stuff that makes my life the continuing car-crash it is...

Howard. I read that thread and your wisdom that women don't see Kensho explains EVERYTHING! I now know why all my partners never understood.... why they laughed... why I cried..... Shocked

I can feel another car-crash coming on...
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:40 pm

I can only speak for myself and my own experience when it comes to these things....

When I got told I'd had a kensho I didn't know what all the fuss was about, and I found the fact that everyone else thought it was a big deal to be quite embarrassing. I hoped they'd all go away and forget and start treating me normally again sometime - and eventually they did.

Many years later, I still don't understand or like all the fuss about these kind of experiences. Maybe I'll get it some day....
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:04 am

:-) Interestingly, sometimes playing the 'not-self card' can prolong difficulties...

One may have seen into not-self, and be liberated from degrees of subtle illusoryself-grasping through insight into the not-self nature of form, sensations, and thoughts but, continuing to be perturbed by certain types of thought and inner activity, one may believe that, if only one could free oneself of these formations, one would enter the 'clear light of bliss' more fully. So one vexes oneself over how to stop these disturbing formations that suddenly spring up like a jack-in-the-box... Huh-huh-huh-HAH-ha! Twisted Evil

One may want to disown them, saying, "I know there's no me that thinks these thoughts", as they are like offensive and/or embarrassing relatives that one thinks should be locked up and doesn't want to be seen with! Equating nirvana with quietude and the event of these formations and activity with samsara or separation from nirvana, one may aspire deeply for ones moment-by-moment meditation-power to become so good that one escapes into the luminous beyond and leaves all that ordure behind. And I guess one could spend a long and stressful time with this strategy and aspiration, believing it must be the correct way forward because it has helped before.

Trying to disown the stuff does not work. In the situation I have in mind one needs to face the thick of it, taking responsibility for it -- it's ones stuff (not someone else's) and it's there. It may be frightening, it may be embarrassing (a helpful relevant rough quote to bear in mind here might be "Why are you so frightened of being embarrassed? Why are you so embarrassed to be frightened?"*) Due to knowing pleasant and peaceful states, one may be convinced that to face the darkness in this manner is to slide all the way down the ladder one has been trying to climb, to 'fall out of nirvana', a heavenly crow's-nest; but unwittingly one has unnecessarily been perpetuating a stressful duality.

In the situation I have in mind, along with taking this non-covetous ownership and responsibility one also needs to apply holistic compassion (for self and other) to be able to sit within the living hell -- like Acalanatha in the midst of flames -- that one may have to bear, surrounded by ones own imps. But persevering in this combination of compassion (or non-judgementalism), taking responsibility, and being willing to change, in the midst of fire and whirlwind, one may free oneself from more degrees of subtle illusoryself-grasping and its associated suffering.

Well, that's enough reminiscence before lunch! (-:

* from Tarantula by Bob Dylan
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:15 am

Anne wrote:
One may want to disown them, saying, "I know there's no me that thinks these thoughts", as they are like offensive and/or embarrassing relatives that one thinks should be locked up and doesn't want to be seen with!

Ah, the relatives! I have some internal and external relatives that I'd like to have locked up :-)

Thanks for the well articulated and poetic post;

in the midst of fire and whirlwind...
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david.



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PostSubject: Re: hello    Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:23 am

Hello Anne.

I find "taking responsability" to not work for me as it compounds and solidifies the sense of individual self, which can only solidify dukkha.

I find "allowing" and "making space for" to be more helpful.

The buddha taught anatta, anicca and rebirth as fundamental truths. He also taught the unconditional as the only real reality. Also the heart sutra is clear in it's meaning.

The more experience I have of past lives in myself and others, the more I feel the Wheel of birth and rebirth as an endless clinging on to "me" as an individual self. We have all been rapists and raped, we have all been the victim and the perpetrater, we have all killed and been killed, we have all been male and female, we have all been kind and cruel, we have all exerted power and felt powerless. We have all believed that all of this is so important. We have all clung on to the belief that we are the body, mind and emotions.

If rebirth is true, then we certainly are not the body, and when we die the "rules" are clear, that material/bodily possesion, emotional possesion and mental possesion are of no use, and the cause of dukka. Love is the only thing that can help us.

For me love is found when I let go of "me" as existing seperately from the world. Love is not found in the mind, taking responsibility, in the emotions or the body. Love is not found in another person's mind emotions or body. Love is not found in any thing. It is found in the space in which everything resides.

My opening was clear, that only when I let go of "me" totally, at the core of where i held on in terror as a 1 month old baby et etc, did I find the love I was looking for. And the love was everything I hoped for, it connected me with the world and universe, and it was TOTALLY impersonal. It is not based on conditions, it is unconditional, therefor if you think about it it has to be impersonal.

An amazing aspect of unconditional is that every thing is loved equally. As Stephen Levine said, no state of mind is better than any other. You can let go from depression or hatred into god, or you could let go from happiness into god.

I find Ramana Maharshi's words of great help in understanding the simplicity of the unconditioned.
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:24 pm

:-) Hi David!

I've sent you a private message (you'd need to login to access) (-:
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:57 pm

david. wrote:
Hello Anne.

I find "taking responsability" to not work for me as it compounds and solidifies the sense of individual self, which can only solidify dukkha.

I find "allowing" and "making space for" to be more helpful.

The buddha taught anatta, anicca and rebirth as fundamental truths. He also taught the unconditional as the only real reality.

For me love is found when I let go of "me" as existing seperately from the world. Love is not found in the mind, taking responsibility, in the emotions or the body.

Hi David,

I think that what Anne might have meant when she suggested the value of taking responsibility (and if she didn't, this is what I mean by it) is that at some point, it is essential to move beyond the stage of letting-go-of-everything-into-the-Unconditioned, in order to discover that volitional choice itself does not originate within the self--it originates within empty awareness itself--within the unconditioned.

The only way to do this is to take responsibility for choices and actions. It is not the construct of the separate self that takes responsibility--but a taking of responsibility within awareness itself.

The notion that the separate self should take responsibility tends, as you suggest, to set up a cycle of judgement, guilt, and failure that can become self-perpetuating. Not taking responsibility, on the other hand, means that awareness continues to identify (however subtly) not just with the mind-body-self, but as the self.
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:17 am

:-) Thank you, Kozan. Yes, I meant "a taking of responsibility within awareness itself".

David, my reference to applying holistic compassion is like your "allowing" and "making space for". I am not meaning a specific feeling/sentiment, thought, or emotional formation, though these temporarily may help one 'aim' (so to speak); it could also be described as non-judgemental spaciousness-c.um-awareness. It is not at odds with "taking responsibility": as Kozan wrote, the taking of responsibility occurs within the non-judgemental spaciousness-c.um-awareness.

The presence of the activity of "taking responsibility" may seem like conjuring an illusoryself but it is activity. Due to subtle elements of illusoryself-view, undertaking it volitionally may seem like a reinforcing of an illusoryself and duhkha. Volition may seem like an intruder in the peaceful universe; something separate from space; something that reminds one of aloneness and loneliness -- hence the duhkha. However, it is an aspect of ones energy.

The teaching of anattā/anātman refers to the skandhas (rūpa/form includes own and other bodily forms and other objects of the physical senses). The "love" is that of your own spacious and connected mind -- perhaps it feels otherwise because it is so surprisingly different from what one has known. Sometimes the mind is compared to a glass: there may be smears on the glass that obscure it, but they are not inherent to the glass. When they 'dissolve into the universe' the glass and its natural shine appears. You may not believe it is yours at all -- past bad experiences of illusoryself-grasping may lead to people denying this, and there may be some safety in this for a time -- but you have cleared away elements of illusoryself-view from your mind that obscured its nature of "unconditional love".

To return to the "innocent child", the two lovers, and the "serial killer" -- not ones who have woken up to unconditional love and may be reassessing some of their thinking and intentions, but ones who continue quite grossly to project illusoryself, and who may be quite attached to this projection -- their volitional activity of body, speech and mind (or karma) is, as Isan wrote, making a difference to them because their own 'glasses need wiping' for them to be freed from the 'en suite suffering'.

Within the non-judgemental awareness one may wonder, does this mean really that it's OK for me to pursue, say, a direction of animosity and injury (including self-directed): one may have the sense that one could watch these activities from the spaciousness. But even "OK" is in ones head -- one is giving oneself permission. One has the choice, what to do? And what one chooses, does with ones will, intention, effort, produces spiritual results. (-:
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:54 am

Hello Kozan and Anne.

Thank you for your words. It feels like you've both put time into meeting me with this. This is highly unusual for me. Thank you.

I am sorry it took a while to reply. I have a liver condition (not too
serious but debilitating) that makes my brain foggy, so I waited till I
could focus on what you are saying. It seems that we are very close in view.

Kozan, I seem to agree with you. My experience is it is not possible to do a to let-go-of-everything into the conditioned. It just happens. For me not taking responsibility is the other side of the coin of taking responsibility.

Anne. It seems to me we're coming from the same place with different language. I can relate to you totally in the turning to face the thick of it. From the point of view of the unconditioned as i experience it there is no choice, no glass, and nothing that needs wiping. Everything as is. That's it. Seemingly bleak, but actually full.

I guess since my opening 26 years ago I have had much time with it. The unconditioned has stayed with me, and I have been oh so caught up in my self, messing my life up and making mistakes. I have done huge amounts of "taking responsibility" and huge amounts of that Mahayana illusion of trying to save others. Neither has served me.

Some of what I have come to is:

Increasing the sense of individual self increases the sense of suffering. Anything that decreases the sense of separate self decreases the sense of suffering.

There is no individual me. "I" contain many streams and bits of streams of many past lives of many people, and whatever other bits are there too.

Time is an illusion. So there are no choices, as choices are a function of time.

Choice, responsibility, intention, will, helping people, saving people, not saving people etc etc are just more conditions. If I think I'm doing any of those things in any shape or form I am increasing the sense of an individual self, so I am increasing my sense of suffering.

It is not what happens that is of any importance, as it will all happen anyway. It is where i stand in awareness. From the point of view of the conditions, we're all going to die so I am inevitably afraid. From the unconditioned everything is perfect as is.

So can I handle all this?

My honest answer for the last 26 years is a resounding "NOOOOOOO!!!"

Of course that will be my answer! "I" am a load of conditions, (many baby-like) so I'm terrified of not existing or being important to somebody.

So I have for the last 26 years continued been involved in difficult relationships, wanted someone to love me who couldn't, and tried to help people who feel unloved. In many ways a train wreck. And for the last 6 years I have been willing to drop into and "let out" (with a certain amount of prodding from the universe in the shape of people) the intense crying of a small child who is unloved and alone. I have failed in most of what I have done. And I have done my best to remember to stand in the place of unconditional awareness.

Now here's something. What I have been learning here (very helpful) and elsewhere over the past 3 months of the Zen church has been extraordinary to me. The Zen pedestal has come crashing down. Zen teachers are as a bunch dishonest and in terms of understanding basic psychology incompetent. Even the indoctrinating daily ancestor chanting that we know and love (?) has turned out to be one big lie. These Zen teachers are are not as enlightened as they pretend. Sad, a bit of a mess really. A bit like me.

For me an obvious implication of this Zen mess is that enlightenment itself has been much lied about too. Hum.

This is partly why I am trying to be honest here about my experience, what it actually feels like, and what I've "done" with it since. To test the waters. Despite feeling rather exposed and vulnerable in this company and in this public way in posting what I am posting (more important to me than I let on) I'm thinking why not talk about it honestly?


I'm sorry if I come across as dogmatic in my posting.
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:27 am

Hello David

I have been following this thread and thinking about your account of conversation(s)(?) with Daishin Morgan re kensho experiences.

It seems that at the time you thought he would become an authority who would help you make something of your unusual experience.

It seems a pity that the meeting wasn't more helpful.

I am interested in this topic because I have been beset by "mystical" experiences all my life that I can remember,and have only recently come to realise how difficult it is to talk about such things without a lot of mystification and mumbo jumbo coming in to the discourse.I have also "dreamed" a lot.How to share the content of dreams ,except as extended metaphor or fable?

I have speculated about that conversation of yours with Daishin.I wonder how cautious he was being,or whether he has a formula that he follows,if others ask him about such phenomena....I just wonder.

I have a memory of sharing "strange","mystical" feelings with an OBC monk.This person likewise didn't seem keen to talk about what I said.

Your honesty is disarming,I expect,because to be quite blunt about it,people build their careers on this Zen Buddhism lark.To have the mystical side of it exposed as perhaps an ordinary or commonly occurring part of everyone's practice undermines the professional mystic's career......

I remember once on a Daishin sesshin tea-and-questions,someone asked Daishin how he felt about lay people providing therapy to the public,and advertising themselves as SereneReflection practitioners.This seems to me an inevitable outcome of a maturing lay sangha ,members of which will be pursuing careers related to their serene reflection practice.

On this occasion,I remember thinking he missed the mark,as he replied as if the person was asking HIM if he thought HE was a therapist.He certainly isn't that,although he is a nice man.His understanding of psychology and interpersonal dynamics is limited-this is not his area of expertise.

I have also been thinking about your response that Zen is a lie,a sham.I think that is what you feel?

I feel both that it is and it isn't.

The organisations that people create,their relationships their families, their businesses, schools, armies ,governments ,religions,all reflect in intimate detail the inner reality of each and every relationship of each and every person to themselves and others.

Zen Buddhism has faults and potential.

Me,I like the poetry.I like some of the people I have met through practice.I like the practice.My heart has been broken of course.....

I think that's all I have to say.

Thank you for your contribution.Please keep being honest.Hope your liver behaves itself today.

Gassho



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Anne

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PostSubject: Re: hello    Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:32 am

:-) Hi David!

You wrote:
What I have been learning here (very helpful) and elsewhere over the past 3 months of the Zen church has been extraordinary to me. The Zen pedestal has come crashing down. Zen teachers are as a bunch dishonest and in terms of understanding basic psychology incompetent. Even the indoctrinating daily ancestor chanting that we know and love (?) has turned out to be one big lie. These Zen teachers are are not as enlightened as they pretend. Sad, a bit of a mess really. A bit like me.

For me an obvious implication of this Zen mess is that enlightenment itself has been much lied about too. Hum.
What sorts of things have you believed about "enlightenment", having heard/read them, that now you think may be untrue? (Not a trick question:-)

The Buddha listed four sorts of attachment (upādāna) that would obstruct liberation; attachment to a meaningful loving relationship with someone wasn't one of them, though he certainly pointed out that duhkha was an implicit potential in attachment. Alas, due to the nature of existence, one may not find what would make existing worthwhile -- it would be so nice if X came along because one really needed it/her/him, and knows it, and is a decent sort of person...ho hum hmm ...but I would far rather be honest with myself about what I need, even if painfully absent from my life, than obscure or try to suppress it with a view that "I'm not supposed to need this", even though this honesty doesn't make life any more generous...ah, sigh Crying or Very sad

Viewed from one perspective, feelings are part of the radiance of mind-and-energy expressing itself through time; and from another, because of the absence of time in non-dimensional 'present moment', they are also "empty of self-nature" (as well as vedanā not being a self, as in "I" or "you"). I have found that they may point to some very important things for oneself (e.g where one is suppressing or not sussing something; or what matters to one in life, what one needs emotionally to feel well, happy, OK, glad to be; et al); and also that a very subtle idea of 'emptiness' as a relative state/condition, for example to feelings and heart-desires, can hang around conditioning a sense of contrast and conflict. It may be strange at first to find oneself without a concept of emptiness to hold up as a helpful standard (and it must have helped to some degree, until one can abandon it safely).

Goferit! You have the emptiness of 'emptiness' as defence! (-:
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:10 am

david. wrote:
Now here's something. What I have been learning here (very helpful) and elsewhere over the past 3 months of the Zen church has been extraordinary to me. The Zen pedestal has come crashing down. Zen teachers are as a bunch dishonest and in terms of understanding basic psychology incompetent. Even the indoctrinating daily ancestor chanting that we know and love (?) has turned out to be one big lie. These Zen teachers are are not as enlightened as they pretend. Sad, a bit of a mess really. A bit like me.

For me an obvious implication of this Zen mess is that enlightenment itself has been much lied about too.

What many of us have tried to do here is document the shadow side of the OBC, and as a result much of the content is negative. I feel it's important to keep in mind that this isn't the complete picture, anymore than the rosy story presented by the OBC. This is true of Zen Buddhism in general. The heart of the practice is there in the midst of fabrications and exaggerations. For instance the fact that the ancestral line is not historically true does not invalidate the fact that enlightenment continuously appears in the world. For me the solution is to shift from the literal to the metaphorical.
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:24 pm

Hi David,

I loved your description of the lamppost, thank you :-)

I'm sorry that your meeting with a teacher wasn't constructive or understanding. I'd like to suggest, don't give up on all teachers forever. There are those who get it, and when you find one whom you are on the same personal wavelength with, it can be key to moving forward.

All best wishes, Mia
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:02 pm

Hello Mia, thank you for your appreciation of the lamppost, and I look forward to meeting someone on my wavelength....

Hello Isan. I hear you about ways of shifting. I am having to shift my view of Zen teachers radically. They are not what THEY say they are. That's the point. And the ancestrasl line says there is a heart of practice passed down from the buddha. The truth that there is no ancestral line, and the appalling state of Japanese zen throughout history says clearly that there is NO heart of practice passed down. So the heart of practice is up for grabs, its a free-for-all. There are no authorities or "Masters". Look at the messes created by obc "masters", Salt Lake City "masters", New york "masters". Read about the transmission of some of the foremost USA zen "masters" and weep. The heart of "Zen" practice is the transmission. Oh dear.

I have got so much out of my "practice", and unfortunately I can say its despite my Zen teachers and community. Lies are lies however we wrap them up. I would never say i'm a spiritual teacher or Master, because I am definately not grounded in the absolute. Show me a Zen "Master" who is...

Hello Anne, I've got to go for the emptiness of emptiness defence now, followed by the fulllness of emptiness defence then follow it up with the emptiness of fullness of emptiness riposte! oh yes.

What did i believe about enlightenment? I believed what my Zen teachers told me!!!!! Oh dear. Like "because you're a lay person we dont do enlightenment with you" oh dear. Like "I am the authority, I know best. You sit hard and I shall deign to give you 5 minutes of my time in 5 years". Oh dear. Like "There's no need for any personal teaching, lets just do the general teaching thing" oh dear. Like "Roshi Kennet and Eko Little are these really holy people in America and i look up to roshi kennet" Oh dear. Like "I am a direct descendant in transmission from the buddha, which is the heart of my authority" Oh dear. "Sit and you can become enlightened like me." oh dear. Look at the mess at shasta thats documented here. Listen to the recording of the current abbot's apology re the mess and ask yourself if she sounds honest and genuinely sorry when she says it. I hear no genuineness or honesty in her apology, i just hear one of her "pretend" voices. oh dear. Strange isnt it, that the abbess of a Zen monastry hasnt yet learnt the basics of genuine apology that is being taught to 5 year olds by Supernanny on tv. oh dear.

Enlightenment isnt at issue for me, I have had it land on my head with full force for 26 years. What's at issue for me is the stink of Zen. In Zen the "Master" is the authority, is grounded in the absolute, is to be obeyed unquestioningly at all times. The master is the transmission, is the embodiment of enlightenment, due to his 30 years of deep, profound sitting. In zen the transmission is sacred,so the Master's Master is revered and held up as a great authority and spiritual light, which in turn shines light on his transmitted heirs. All very Japanese, all shown up in the past 2 years to be a great big lie. No deep profound sitting that freed master off, cos master went on a power trip and got a bit sexually caried away. Then pretended to still be a master by telling everyone to obey him/her. Just like the rest of us really, caught up in self, not really very free of self at all. Oh dear.

I spent time enough at throssel hole to see that the master had ultimate spiritual authority, and his master kennet had even greater authority. All obeying daddy or mummy really isnt it.

And here's something that the whole zen teacher community of america can feel ashamed about if they dare be honest. It has been known by the Zen Teachers of Japan and America for 40 years what Shimano and his wife were up to. And it wasnt "affairs" they were doing. it was victimization, physical abuse, and mental and emotional cruelty. A total and utter mess.

So what did the Zen teachers of america do about it when they found out, when women came to them, when it was made totally clear what the Shimano's were up to? They didn't do nothing. Oh no. They actively publically supported Shimano. For 40 years! The Japanese were no better. Soen "roshi" was told by a woman many years ago what Shimano did to her, so Soen leapt into action by refusing any contact with that woman again.

None of that is enlightened behaviour, its not even decent behaviour, its the stinky fear of following the herd, keeping your head down, not rocking the boat, its the behaviour of frightened children. Of spiritual children.

Until the internet and The New York Times article, when they were shamed by public exposure to suddenly acknowledge the truth, and say what a bad boy Shimano is. As Martin Luther King said


“He who
passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetuate
it”


I'm going to slightly go against some other things I've posted in saying this, unless one lets into the light of awareness the children inside, and lets them be here fully, one is not going to let go of the ego any time soon. If I am so frightened of children that i have to lock them away inside, if I am unable to start loving a child, then I'm not really even in beginners compassion classes yet am i. Yet the whole Zen tradition says nothing about this. Not a word. For centuries. Oh dear. In all my time at throssel, not a word. Can't you just feel the repression. The lack of love. Centuries of it.

Here's a truth about enlightenment. You can't go out sideways get a kensho and expect anything to change in who you think you are. To let go in any meaningful way of who you think you are you have to go DOWN. Into who you were taught to be. And keep going down, until you meet the infant core. Then you can let go of who you think you are and find who you really are. Thank you Ramana maharshi. No thanks to my Zen teachers, or any of my Thai buddist teachers, or my tibetan teachers etc etc. Oh dear.

This is all written at 2am and i am very tired, and have not the energy to edit it. So i shall push that send button and apologise if I have said anything untoward. Also, anything I write is by definition written by Plonker-me, The spaciousness-me just isnt as hurt or depressed about his Zen "Masters" as I am finding out i am.

Thank you to all for putting up with my ranting.
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david.



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PostSubject: Re: hello    Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:26 pm

Hello Maisie.

Thank you for your comments. I wrote a long reply but its just mysteriously erased itself. I shall try again shortly.

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PostSubject: Re: hello    Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:40 pm

Man, where's the like button when you need it? cheers
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:41 pm

David, many excellent observations here. These are issues that we all need to deal with--by recognizing and acknowledging them--as a first step.
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:48 pm

I'm withdrawing from this conversation because of the biased blanket negativity in David's last post.
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:38 pm

david. wrote:


This is all written at 2am and i am very tired, and have not the energy to edit it. So i shall push that send button and apologise if I have said anything untoward. Also, anything I write is by definition written by Plonker-me, The spaciousness-me just isnt as hurt or depressed about his Zen "Masters" as I am finding out i am.

Thank you to all for putting up with my ranting.

There's no "putting up" to be done, David - many forum members have been where you are now and can understand how you feel. Please keep telling like it like you see it. I too agree with many of your points, to the extent my experience gives me a basis for agreement. I never got in too deep with the OBC/Zen/master-disciple thing, but to the extent of what I observed and what I believe from others' first-hand accounts, I have come to conclude theirs is not a desirable or necessary way to do things.

The sharing of teaching is a good thing, but why does it need the formality of "transmission" which seems to be such a controlled and artificial event? What else does it do except set one person up on a pedestal to be the "transmittor" and only if/when he/she deems another "ready" to be transmitted? I think nobody needs another person to transmit anything to them. Insight/awareness/compassion don't need to be certified in order to move freely among beings in this world. People will begin to see more clearly when they're ready, and another person's validation of their readiness is not required.

I'm thinking about your comment re: Meian's apology -- am watching my thoughts settle as I write this. When Michael Little flew the coop I was hopeful that she would lead Shasta Abbey in a good way toward fixing their systemic rot and decay, but two years on, I no longer think so. True apology is not something the Shasta monks can conceive of, in my opinion. They saw (and lived) the things Kennett was permitted to do without apology and my own opinion is that they have not fully accepted being held accountable, for themselves or for the history of what their organisation has done to people. They want to pin the trouble all on Michael Little, but he was not the fundamental cause or symptom of what went wrong there. And contrary to what you'd think from reading Shasta's website, the FaithTrust Assessment was not their idea; they didn't want it and tried to push back; Daishin Morgan basically told them it was going to happen, like it or not. There was no noble humility or display of guts, in asking for help to set things right; they went along with the evaluation because they had no real choice. And then disagreed with the results and felt the report was "too judgmental".

I'll stop for now - just wanted you to know I understand, somewhat, about your sense of disillusionment and disappointment. Stay with us - keep talking if you want to.

Best,
Lise
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:53 am

Mia, I am sorry you found Davids comments too negative. When one first finds out that one's heroes have feet of clay, I'm afraid sounding off and pointing out the less salubrious side of the truth is a common reaction. It often sounds negative but is also often a counter balance for years and years of relentlessly 'positive' myth and propaganda. The truth is often a sickly child that must learn to stand on its own feet through thick and thin. If you find comments too negative please, please post a more positive view, we all need both sides to come to a considered position.

Lise, yes of course you're right there is no fundamental need for the formality of transmission. After all, who gave transmission to Gautama Siddhartha? But it is a common practice in many religions, in Christianity there is the apostolic succession for instance. I think that this all harks back to the idea of inheritance, particularly royal inheritance. This was of course a way of keeping power for you and yours and led to an unholy alliance between religion and power whereby religion validated power (the 'natural' order of man, the divine right of kings, etc.) and power validated religion (the one true faith, etc.) In the end they acquired each others trappings; coronations, etc. for earthly power and absolutism with inheritance for religions. In worldly power in most places we have moved on from this medieval view of the world but not in religion. No one believes (...mm, well maybe not quite nobody) in the divine right of presidents and their families to rule the US. And when it did raise its head the constitution was changed to only allow 2 terms. In the UK of course we still have the vestigial remnants with the Queen, who is both head of State and Supreme Governor of the Church of England. It is time to move religion into a more democratic age, but that will be extremely difficult. Can you imagine bishops and priests being voted for by their flocks? And of course even if it could happen it would lead to different forms of abuse; we've seen what can happen with elected officials. But in the end it comes back to the quote from a parliamentary speech by Churchill 'Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.'

On the other issue you raised I felt, from what I saw of it, that the Faith Trust report was direct, even handed, but very restrained. But then of course 'judgmental' is the the common cry of those who cannot deny the truth but wish to dismiss it out of hand; in order that they can keep their eyes averted from anything nasty, the noses free from any unpleasant smells and their heads firmly buried in the sand (I would have suggested somewhere else but I don't think the forum software would have allowed it)
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:04 pm

A few thoughts on the "transmission." If you read the Pali Canon, there is no transmission. The Buddha preached the Dharma and some people had insight and he acknowledged it.

There was nothing to transmit, no special energy or holy spirit or divine something that was passed from person to person. The word "transmission" just didn't come up because it would have been contrary to what the Buddha taught.

But there are many religions that believe in the passing of a holy spirit / energy from the prophet or savior. That would of course mean that you don't have it until it is given to you. The divinity needs to be bestowed on you by another person, a higher person.

Also, there is something very seductive about the story of the "unbroken lineage" - the unbroken blood-line of kings or gurus. It is such a powerful story. You imagine this direct connection back to the source, the truth, the Buddha or Sun goddess. How special you / we are because of that. But this story depends on the "unbroken" part, doesn't it. The minute the connection is broken, disconnected, the story collapses.

I think the unbroken lineage story is a very painful fiction that has caused all kinds of unintended consequences, factions, fantasies, delusions. And also because once you discover that this lineage is broken, not real, you then feel lost -- because you have taken refuge in more fantasy, that you needed this holy spirit from the past.

end of thought
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jack



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PostSubject: Re: hello    Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:48 pm

david. wrote:

Listen to the recording of the current abbot's apology re the mess and ask yourself if she sounds honest and genuinely sorry when she says it. I hear no genuineness or honesty in her apology, ...

I don't know whether or not her apology is sincere. But I do know that most religions (and states) I've come across have a great deal of difficulty with both recognizing and apologizing for their errors and harm.

The Catholic church still seems half-hearted about apologizing for its abject failure to protect its young from sexual predators in priestly robes. It still can't just throw up the clerical arms and acknowledge in detail how bad it was, their hierarchical complicity, and some obvious sorrow about the harm done. Rather it's a song and dance shuffle to protect the image of the church, the hierarchy, and church property. And the shuffle will continue.

Some clerics in the Catholic church have even criticized the Pope for apologizing for the Inquisition -- centuries after it occurred.

The examples could roll on and on.

I think the crux of it is a reply from my Dad when I told him I found some part of the Bible to have great truth, and other parts to be folklore and the harsh prejudice of primitive culture and tribalism.

His reply was that if you started throwing out the parts you didn't like, then there wasn't anything authoritative left except your own opinion and ideas. After reflecting on it, I concluded he was mostly right. I was comfortable with my own opinions and ideas about truth formed in the forge of honest inquiry, exploration, and experience.

In my opinion and experience to date, that's the beauty of Buddhism -- finding truth for yourself with enough guideposts so that you don't immediately fall into the swamp. But that's not common institutional Buddhism which promotes "authoritative" doctrine -- no matter how much it differs from one flavor to another. Once there's a crack in the authority, the whole stale cookie breaks to crumbs.

If Shasta admitted that it was really wrong, then Jiyu was wrong. If Jiyu had set up a corruptive environment, had made serious fundamental mistakes in both her "enlightened" behavior and judgment, on what foundation does the OBC rest? It's there to promote her and her teachings. (Specifically stated by the OBC monk who taught me for a while.) Shasta would be destroyed if it acknowledged that enlightened Shasta masters could not discern with years of enlightenment that which was very obvious to lay and less senior monks. Why would anyone follow someone who admitted that he didn't even know he was blind?

Denial, weak apologies, whining for indulgence of the harm they've done is absolutely necessary for survival of the institution. If Shasta did any differently, it wouldn't be Shasta anymore. The monks would have to be dispersed to perhaps form new entities of their own. Most institutions just don't commit willing suicide.
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: hello    Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:34 am

Falling down & getting back up is the practise.
Unfortunately Jiyu and her following institution only nurtured those willing to stay down. Those willing to get back up, eventually just left for where they could do that.

The Shasta machine was half a practise, half a truth and the epitome of a hobbled horse.

The sad story is that if the sange was real then Jiyu's credibility, who is enlightened or not, or who follows who, would all be of secondary importance to the practise of the moment. The institution would just be that moments practise, Buddhism, meditation or zen.
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: hello    Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:07 pm

Howard wrote:
Falling down & getting back up is the practise.
Unfortunately Jiyu and her following institution only nurtured those willing to stay down. Those willing to get back up, eventually just left for where they could do that.

The Shasta machine was half a practise, half a truth and the epitome of a hobbled horse.

The sad story is that if the sange was real then Jiyu's credibility, who is enlightened or not, or who follows who, would all be of secondary importance to the practise of the moment. The institution would just be that moments practise, Buddhism, meditation or zen.

Howard, I like your metaphor. By the way, did you mean to say "sange" (contrition) or "sangha" (community)?
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: hello    Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:12 pm

Isan

By the way, did you mean to say "sange" (contrition) or "sangha" (community)?



Strictly "sange". (contrition).

Trust me! There's no stick around here long enough to have me to poke the Sangha question of who's real or not. But...now that you mention it, sange & sangha are surprisingly interchangeable in that posting.
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