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 From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"

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Lise
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PostSubject: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:02 pm

First topic message reminder :

jack wrote:
I can't imagine that any conclave will result in anything
substantive. I don't find much substance in the issues Rev. Eko raised.
I don't see anything there that would change the OBC in a way to
increase its openness or the rigid authoritative character of its
hierarchy.

Churches in general have proved historically mostly
incapable of reforming themselves. Generally, they only do so when
forced to by a competing schism or near death. I've been inside a
church structure. From what I've observed the dynamics simply aren't
there to accommodate self-change.

Think about it for a minute.
Those who are senior monks within the OBC are there because they could
accommodate the Order "as is." Many have decades of accommodation. That
accommodation is built on an elaborate foundation of justifying and
accepting the rigidity, of successfully overriding doubts, and
modifying their views to be in accord with their guru. The ones who
were open, honest, and willing to follow their own hearts and mind
rather than repressing it and molding it to fit never made it to the
status of a senior monk. Where is the possibility for change, given the
existing structure? Do you really thing that there will be some
spiritual revival that will sweep the monastery with enlightenment and
insight, and that will remove the deep fear of doing anything contrary
to the founder's direction?

I recall an occasion at a Priory
where the monk in ceremonial zeal was trying to get a group of us
untalented, untrained. mostly male voices to sing one of the OBC hymns
without sounding like we were being tortured. It was a ghastly
cacophony. The prior, distressed by our attempts to render results
anything close to music, finally,with great reluctance, agreed to
changing both key and octave to fit the vocal range of us available
noisemakers. What puzzled and amused me is that he was honestly pained
as he hesitated before making that decision. He finally look toward the
ceiling and said in a low somber voice something like, "I think we'll
have to try a different key. I hope my master will understand and
forgive me." It wasn't said with humor. It was said with the doubt of a
devotee who had real reservations that he could change anything so
minor without offending the "god" he was attempting to serve. (The
change didn't help much.) It was a minor, somewhat humorous incident,
but it stuck with me as a vivid example of the prior's commitment to
follow every jot and tittle of what he'd been taught, like there was
almost no confidence in his own heart and practice.

I recall
some assigned reading we were given at at retreat which was very
explicit about "Be original. Do not copy others." I'm not sure now
where it came from, but I was struck by the total incongruity between
that and the practice I observed where devotion to the detail of the
founder's teaching seemed to be the paramount value which trumped all
personal experience and insight.

amalia wrote:
Jack, everything you say is so true. I have to admit I
smiled when I saw the name of this topic "Suggestions for the OBC".
Because one of the things I wrote on the piece of paper in my trailer
was "No Suggestions". Making suggestions is a sign of self. It is very
sweet that Ian still thinks that anyone in higher ranks at the OBC
might be open to suggestions from a lay member, much less from a former
monk or any other participant of an internet forum.
Your musical
example also reminded me of something. One of the seniors at the NCBP
had an excellent voice and always sang the harmony part of the
Scripture of Great Wisdom. It was one of the most beautiful parts of
morning service for me. One day Koshin stopped the service right in the
middle of the hymn and told him just to sing the same part as everyone
else. I guess there was some deep teaching in that. Probably that was
self, too, making the music too beautiful.

Diana wrote:
Hi Ian,
I appreciate where your heart is coming from
in all this, I really do. If there is anything I have learned, it is
that the pure heart of the trainee transcends everything and that those
of us with that big heart are beyond what the OBC has to offer.

To Jack,
You put it so well, I don't have anything to add except that I agree with you!
To Amalia,
I think that lay people assume monks hold them in high
regard, but you and I know this is not the case. We have talked about
this in our private forum a while back. It might be helpful at some
point, if you are willing, to bring the issue up here in this forum. It
is relevant to this subject and Jack has touched on it a bit. The OBC
is set up to perpetuate itself and its beliefs, etc... Even though we
all want change and think it is necessary, doesn't mean the monks and
masters want change. I'm sure they would like some better PR at this
point, but I don't think this forum will do anything significant. If
lay people only knew what those monks think of us! The level of disdain
for "worldly" things or the life of the "householder" is so pervasive
that it is part of the monks training and the thing that keeps them
separate from us. Any comments or examples you may have on this subject
would be appreciated.

Peace,
Diana


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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:57 pm

Henry I quite agree, I was never sure how one could go from being a Dharma heir to being discredited in 32.65 seconds,from a descilpe to being the devil in double quick time,or even how one could teach freedom and then deny it , by controlling peoples lives. Or even by saying the true way is full of compassion and love, but it will cost you 50,000$ to get me to show you . No wonder the cat walked of with its shoes on its head
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:31 pm

Credibility = walking the talk.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:53 am

Henry, I have removed your reference above regarding "sexual predator". I understand there is a lot of emotion on the forum right now concerning the topic of Zen teachers' behaviour with students, but your comment is not supported by the facts that are known about Eko's history. It is unfair to him, and you are exposing me and others who support this forum to possible legal liability through irresponsible comments like this.

I am asking you to stop.

Lise
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:41 pm

Thanks Lise. I was very concerned about that statement as well and felt that this description of him was way over the top.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:08 pm

Thanks Laura. It took me a day to two to see it, longer than I would have liked.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:49 pm

Lise,

I would like to say I disagree with what both you and Laura posted. I also disagree with the fact that I was banned for a while from the forum. That didn't sit well with me. The public chastisement above is the cherry on the sundae. Uncalled for, to my mind. As for my statements being legally actionable, I find that highly unlikely. Look on any blog or forum and what I said is totally tame in comparison. Please explain to me how other blogs and forums have such far more inflammatory posts and the sites they are on are not sued? It is a serious question. It seems my calling Eko and Koshin "tyrants" warranted my being banned. I can recall being banned from three places in my life. As a teenager, I was banned from many of my friends' homes. My sympathies go out to their mothers who had good reason for their decision. I'm in agreement with that.

In my adult life, I have been banned from two places: the OBC and OBC Connect. My opinion of my having been banned from the OBC has been stated on my introduction thread and elsewhere. My being banned from OBC Connect, I feel is ridiculous and rude. I think there is a place for contraints to keep discussion civil, but when the definition of "civility" contrains expression to the point that has been done here, and when the remedy for the use of the word "tyrant" of people who have done what Eko and Koshin have done is to ban them, then I think there is a problem.

For one thing, how do we refer to people who have the degree of authority Koshin has in his domain and who treat those who disobey him or don't live up to his expectations as Amalia was treated? In addition, Carol's posts on his abuse of his position adds only more evidence. Tyrant seems a fair word to me. Tyrant does not have to equate with Hitler. It can be a person who seriously abuses his authority, humiliates others, and brooks no dissent. How far off am I on that? As for the word sexual predator, perhaps it is hyperbole, but what do you call a person with Eko's authority who spends so much time alone with select female monk(s) and disallows the same for others? And then it is found he's had a relationship with a lay person (who probably idolized him) and there were posts on this site stating there were other questionable.liaisons that were not seen or allowed to be seen due to his position of authority. The real problem though, as I see it, is that he kept everything secret and lied about it and maintained these behaviors while abbot of a monastery. I work with at risk teenage boys. You'd be surprised how easily the label sexual predator can be applied to them. In addition, as a therapist, if I behaved similarly with my clients as Eko did with his congregation and lower ranking monks, I would most definitely be labeled a sexual predator, very possibly legally and most definitely by my colleagues, and my license would be revoked or suspended. Why should the abbot of a monastery, claiming to be an arahant, be held to a lesser standard than criminal teenagers and therapists?

My personal opinion is that there are times and situations in which hyperbole and being provocative can be useful. Obviously, I think that what is and has been occurring within the OBC is one of these situations. This idea of being banned and shunned for speaking the truth as I see it, for obvious reasons, is repugnant to me. We are not children that we can't use hyperbole, and as I wrote above, to say that my use of sexual predator and tyrant is even hyperbole is debatable. That the forum is under risk of legal action for my statements is debatable. That some of the rules on OBC Connect are for the best is debatable.

I sincerely hope your answer to this post is something more than obey the rules or be banned. That would be ironic.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:11 pm

AS you can see from my reply to your above post Henry I agreed with you, I did not have a problem with the wording,however I do not have the same responsibility that Lise has.
I think the areas we have been discussing are very emotive,and serious topics. I have seen a lot of abuse and you clearly through your job have too,your tolerance leval would be low,and your need to speak out loud great.
The sexual antics of genpo appal me and I am sure most if not all of the forum,I am equally appalled by Amalias situation not only as it occurred but the lack of resolve, from Shatsa. I feel equally appalled how alot of people here , all excellent young monks were dismissed and discredited ,because their own hearts told them something was not right with the organisation,they once loved and helped build.
I feel for you as you feel and talk passionately about life ,and fight and stand uo for what you believe in.
So I am in the middle It is Lise decision ultimately what we are allowed to say, I think we have to live with that. Please do not take your argument to the point of \I have had enough,as we have not had enough of you and your balance. a lot of people may well look to you as a cornerstone of debate. I certainly do I always feel I will get your truth,whether I go with it or not is secondary
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:19 pm

Henry,

What first-hand knowledge of Eko's behavior do you have that caused you to apply the sexual predator description? I have first-hand knowledge of his behavior during his abbacy and was concerned about his relationships, but I do not believe he ever once was involved in sexual activity during his abbacy. To have a couple of romantic relationship devoid of sexual activity hardly warrants the label of sexual predator in my opinion. I really think your emotions have gotten the better of you here.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:27 pm

Henry,

The answer is not more complex than "obey the rules". Coming to the forum is the same as walking into the living room of someone's home. If the house rules are "we maintain a civil environment and that does not include name-calling", then you know what's expected. You can comply, or not, but you don't have the choice of breaking the rule with no consequences. You were banned, as you know, after multiple warnings, so this could not have been a surprise to you.

There are many places on the internet where people can say whatever they like. This is not one of them.

You've asked me how you should talk about persons doing undesirable things. Talk about the behaviour and don't worry about what to call them. Nothing is gained by calling people names. It only makes this forum look like a mud & manure fest.

I can't address what takes place on other forums or whether they are worried about defamation. I am, and I cannot afford to pay legal fees if someone decides to file suit. Even a suit without merit could take months, or years, to deal with. I'm not prepared to be exposed to that risk, for you.

I hope that clarifies.

Lise
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:47 pm

I think primarily our concern should be for Lise's personal concern for litigation, I have almost lived in a court fighting for children,Lise has not. We must respect her concern,she is a young mum,who has done us all a big favour by running the forum,and allowing many people a voice.And that voice might surprise a lot of us,that there has been a need to say something from deep down inside,something that may have been forgotten. Even if I stop posting tomorrow,I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to say waht I wanted to say.
And then we have disagreements, the words sexual predator I did not use in Ekos case,but I may have used less emotive words,meaning something along those lines,as I feel in his position,with all his claims arahant etc something does not add up in the sexual way,I suppose it is because he stopped this type of activity with others,stopped normal relationships it seems a bit two faced if That is OK to say. I think one of the ladies felt awkward with him. Basically when one puts oneself in a leadership position of moral and spiritual standing,one should behave accordingly,This applies far more to genpo than Eko,
So I go completely with Henry's sentiments, However We must though be very thankful for Lise and support and stand by her if and when she wants us to
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:26 pm

Laura,

I would not need to have sex with a client in order to be labeled sexual predator by many of my colleagues nor to have my behavior cause for me to be fired, nor for me to be brought up before the licensing board. If in my position as a therapist, I developed a relationship with a client in which there was a high emotional intimacy that would classify me as a sexual predator in the minds of many colleagues. If I had all the trappings of a sexual relationship without the sex itself, but with the implied understanding of how special and close we were, that would be a problem. I can't do "special' things with cllients that imply a "special" relationship. I can't date them, spend my private time with them, etc. etc. Many of my colleagues would see that as sexual predation that is just somewhat disguised.

As I said, I see no reason that a low level therapist working for the county should be held to a higher standard than an arahant.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:47 pm

PS I would have to add that if I was dating a client, doing special things with them, having an intimate close 'special' relationship with them, that this would be classified as "sexually" inappropriate behavior by the licensing board, my boss, and my colleagues. That I was targetting women over whom I had a good deal of power and influence, plus intimate knowledge of their emotional state and details of their lives would be considered a type of predator relationship. Not having had sex would not protect me from this.

Again, I don't see why I'm held to a higher standard than an arahant.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:55 pm

Michael, I appreciate the kind thoughts, and at the same time I should clarify that I don't ask or expect everybody to go along with me at all times (I know you were not suggesting that).

I'm sure it's obvious that I feel a strong sense of something, I call it "proprietary anxiety", about how this forum gets on. A lot of topics are discussed here, some of which make me wince (Jiyu's private life, Maezumi's and Genpo's tomcatting) but as long as the language stays civil, I stay out of "what" gets discussed unless someone asks for my opinion directly. I care very much about "how" it is discussed. I care about the forum's reputation as a place where people can have reasonable discussions in a respectful way. I couldn't find that anywhere, about the OBC, and I knew that somebody had to get this thing started. And it matters to me that this forum keeps
going in a healthy and sustainable way. People won't come here if it feels like walking into a Jerry Springer taping, or worse. The behaviour should be the issue, not how many or different adjectives can be slung at a person. Reported behaviour can be fairly assessed by others (yes, I saw that, or no, never did), but how can we assess name-calling? It's pointless. Has no value, except perhaps on a therapy-dedicated site.

End of speech. To address some questions I've received through PM today: no one should worry they're going to be banned arbitrarily from the forum. Banning, like public chastisement, is a last resort and only happens when private warnings don't work.

Lise


Henry, I just saw your comment. You are held to the same, not different, standards as an arahant. If one of them shows up here, they'll be asked to follow the rules like everyone else.


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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:56 pm

Lise,

What you see as mud and manure slinging, I see as being straightforward--calling a spade a spade. There are differences of opinion. I thought this was our living room, but I guess it's yours.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:57 pm

Mokuan,

Thank you for your kind words. I would have responded by private message as you had written to me, but I have been blocked from doing so.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:03 pm

For anyone who would like to contact me, my email address is h.esformes@yahoo.com I am no longer able to respond to private messages as the administrators have blocked me from doing so.

This is starting to feel eerily familiar.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:26 pm

The PM function has been restored. They don't re-set automatically when a ban expires.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:32 pm

Lise,
My comment about being held to a higher standard than an arahant was addressed to Laura in regard to being labelled a sexual predator. She stated didn't see Eko being a sexual predator and I was pointing out that as a therapist, I would be labelled a sexual predator if I behaved as he did. I was not referring to jurisdiction of this site, in which I'm sure God himself would have to be on his best English countryside behavior.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:57 pm

Hi Henry,

I guess we are just disagreeing about semantics. I still find the sexual predator label way too strong, as it conjures up images of the type of behavior Genpo was engaged in. Genpo and Eko are in completely different leagues in this, but the terminology paints them both with the same brush and leads one to believe that Eko was sexually molesting his disciples, monastic or lay. I don't believe he ever actually did that. Still, when you say:

Quote :
I would have to add that if I was dating a client, doing special things with them, having an intimate close 'special' relationship with them, that this would be classified as "sexually" inappropriate behavior by the licensing board, my boss, and my colleagues. That I was targetting women over whom I had a good deal of power and influence, plus intimate knowledge of their emotional state and details of their lives would be considered a type of predator relationship. Not having had sex would not protect me from this.

...I absolutely agree with you. This is an excellent description of precisely the sort of behavior that Eko was engaged in with his female disciple and, later, with a lay member of his congregation with whom he did spiritual counseling. His toes should have been held to the fire about this long ago. I tried to do just that, but received the standard Abbey treatment of being dismissed as deluded, spiritually inferior, and as having very serious spiritual problems. And his relationship with his female disciple was justified and sanctioned by the Abbey's senior leadership. Unfortunately, they still don't seem to recognize the impropriety of the first, while concurrently decrying the second relationship. Aren't people interesting in their ability to do that? My mind still boggles from the sort of double-think this entails.

I hope this post helps to resolve our slightly divergent views, because we really do have a great deal in common. I worry about the labelling though, and not just from a legal standpoint. I do understand better now why you used it, but it is not a term I would use myself. We can agree to disagree about that while still being quite united about your underlying principle, with which I concur completely.

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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:00 pm

Hey Henry
Missed your mug. I see your font is up to size!

When ever I criticize a posting of yours, I wince a little because your writing ability is a formidable weapon that I'd have trouble fending off if it got pointed my way. In spite of my fear, your responses to past criticisms have been steadfastly generous, objective and inspiring.

I like your often expressed view of this forum as a place to throw out ideas just to see where they lead.

Lately your posting charges at the Abbey gates seem frustration laden like you've given them enough time to step up, and they haven't, so is this you bumping it up a notch?

Your current responses to the complaints of the posted Eko labels feels sooo much more emotionally charged than usual. Maybe some of it is in jest and I'm missing it but what gives?

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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:27 pm

Laura wrote:
Genpo and Eko are in completely different leagues in this, but the terminology paints them both with the same brush and leads one to believe that Eko was sexually molesting his disciples, monastic or lay. I don't believe he ever actually did that.

I think this is a good (and perhaps less charged) reason for focusing on describing behavior instead of using labels. A clear and detailed description of how someone has behaved is much less likely to be misunderstood compared with using a label. Labels can mean very different things to different people.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:30 pm

Laura,
I don't even see a divergence of view, just of expression. Why wouldn't I accept your expressing yourself as sits well with you?

Howard,
You've read my mind. I was just going to write you about my font. I've finally figured out how to use email draft, as you suggested, to write in, then cut and paste into the forum. I just have to use plain, not rich, text. My font is finally large, just the way I always wanted it!!

I am doing two things. One is notching it up, as you say. If the badger won't come out of its hole, why not shove a stick down the hole and see if you can't provoke the little bugger out of it.

The second thing is sometimes I just get [banned term] off. I have the good fortune of being neither enlightened nor British, so I sometimes get [banned term] off. Ban me.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:36 pm

I can't believe the words I used are banned words. Utterly unbelievable. I would not have guessed they could have been a problem. Absolutely ridiculous. This is true, no game. I guess I will be banned.

I have not in anyway tried to go against the rules. I talk as I talk everywhere I go. When I am on this site, I guess I haven't always been aware of OBC Connect World etiquette. When I have been I've complied. Like I said I'm neither enlightened nor British. I guess I'll be gone for a while folks. Be well all.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:41 pm

I sure hope you'll be back soon Henry!
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:49 pm

Henry,
Watson and I have both had private exchanges with you to explain the forum rules. We have both asked you to read them. They're posted under "Forum Housekeeping", right up top.

There is no need for you to leave. Your contributions are valued, but the way you express them does matter. The same rules against name-calling and vulgarities have been in place since Day 1 and they apply to everyone.

You asked whose living room this is. It was created for, and it belongs to, those who want to talk in an environment oriented to civil expression. If you want something other, you can find that, or create it. Amalia made a forum that is not restricted; anyone can do the same. But you do not have a right to take a civil environment away from us.

I hope you will reconsider, but if not, thank you for being part of this.

Lise
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:05 pm

I think the treatment Henry has received is insulting and rude. This isn't really someone's living room, but the frequently-not-polite internet. Too much censorship will drive people away from this forum even though they have valuable ideas to contribute. Someone wrote on another thread that she hoped everyone would sit down at a big round table and talk things out. Sometimes talking things out requires tolerance for language that we may not like. Short of gross obscenity, though, I think it's better to let people have their say and then let others respond to it. That, in fact, happened in the case of Henry's remarks about Eko. I also disagree with his characterization of Eko but I sure defend his right to say it!
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:10 pm

Lise,
I didn't say I was going anywhere. I just figured having used banned terms that I would be banned again.

But back to the subject at hand. It seems you can't stop insulting me. A person who throws mud is a mud thrower. A person who slings manure is a manure slinger. A person who is incivil is a cretan. So you have repeatedly called me a mud throwing, manure slinging cretan. Fortunately, I accept that as your opinion, which I happily allow you to express. That you describe my behavior and not "label" me is semantic nonsense. You most assuredly have called me a mud throwing, manure slinging cretan. And I have to admit, you do have a point.

Carol,
What my characterization is or isn't of Eko is irrelevant. The fact is that if he was in my profession, the reality in which I reside, like it or not, many would characterize him as a sexual predator. As I keep repeating. I don't see why a lowly therapist and county employee, should be held to a higher standard than an arahant.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:14 pm

How am I supposed to stay annoyed with you when you write stuff that cracks me up. I mean, seriously, Henry. I'm going to go make a rule against it.

How about we both stop being donkeys' behinds? Let's synchronise watches . . . 3, 2, 1 . . . Now!
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:56 pm

Hmm. I just saw the tread and never did see the comment. My, how curiosity arises!

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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:10 am

Quote :
A person who is incivil is a cretan.
:-) Henry, you have now just insulted people from Crete. Did you perhaps mean "cretin" ~ someone suffering from a condition of severely stunted physical and mental growth due to untreated congenital deficiency of thyroid hormones, due to maternal nutritional deficiency of iodine? I do remember one belching very loudly in 1968 ~ it made that much impression! ~ but I would not judge all cretins by him. (-:
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:31 am

Henry,

Just for the record, I completely and utterly agree with you about the commonly used words that are banned terms on here. It's one of the reasons I rarely post...but there are many, many other reasons actually. I've been warned for speaking on here as I normally do too. Yet being blunt to the point of hurtfulness and nastiness is quite acceptable and said to be 'just the internet'.

But let's face it, this is Lise and Watson's train set, however much they may say otherwise. They make the rules.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:51 am

I've recently been interrupted by the banned term as well. I wanted to say that I had to but in,
b-u-t-t, but the forum wouldn't let me write b-u-t-t.

What if it's HAL, the H euristically programmed AL gorithmic computer?

Uh-oh.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:05 am

I wish it was HAL, he'd be a rockin' admin and the rest of us could go play golf. I loved that movie.

There are a few innocent words still on the banned list. Each time they're taken off they show up again in crude expressions, usually when new people join who haven't read the rules. By far, though, most are terms that have no place on a forum whose overt mission statement is to support civil discussion. I can email the list upon request.

I think it is time to admit that OBC Connect is indeed Watson's living room and mine. We built and furnished it and we've worked hard to keep it clean. I've been in rooms where you couldn't find a place to sit for all the rubbish. There are plenty of places on the Internet for people who want that; I had no desire to replicate it here. And we won't.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:18 am

Henry wrote:


Carol,
What my characterization is or isn't of Eko is irrelevant. The fact is that if he was in my profession, the reality in which I reside, like it or not, many would characterize him as a sexual predator. As I keep repeating. I don't see why a lowly therapist and county employee, should be held to a higher standard than an arahant.

I think others have said here that the issue is that your industry has well-defined guidelines, definitions and universally accepted codes of ethics around therapists and therapy, and governing bodies exist who can pull licences and issue other penalties. You know what sexual predation is because your industry is clear about it, but this is not true for the "industry" of Buddhist teachers. Applying the same definition to a monk's behaviour doesn't automatically result in the same conclusion; you would need consensus on what constitutes sexual predation. It might or might not be the same definition used in your industry, but the point is, the process of defining and agreeing these things has to happen first. It may take years, maybe generations if Buddhism lasts long enough here, but the major groups have got to get together and adopt a universal code, and an attitude that censure is appropriate for serious violations of trust such as sexual or emotional predation.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:27 am

:-) Thinking of some of what has been under discussion on this website about harsh methods not having the desired effect but, rather, alienating and leading to (mud-slinging) websites like this, despite benign intentions ~ do you think, Henry, that your words would result in the impression of your meaning and intentions that you wish, with whom you wish? I know this is a difficult one ~ speaking for me, to someone (or even crowds) I may seem like the central hole in the lowest sphincter muscle whatever I do.

Though you may use fiery and dramatic terms without enmity or animosity, even with a playful glee like a child dressing up, readers cannot see and hear you, and might think that you are indulging in verbal flagellation and demolition because you believe “being right” entitles you to this, or that you have joined the ranks of those who say, “Never mind the truth, let’s hit ‘em with exaggeration, then believe the exaggeration…”

I understand that you are trying to rattle someones tree (I have mixed my metaphors here). And you don’t want to feel verbally castrated. But will it help your aim if OBC members too often believe that you disappear up your own exhaust-pipe to dance a jig? (I realise that the above could apply to me; you may be in bad company…)


How long can I escape the censors…? Suspect
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:41 am

"I may seem like the central hole in the lowest sphincter muscle whatever I do."

Love it!!!!! Laughing Laughing Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:02 pm

Jimyo wrote:
"I may seem like the central hole in the lowest sphincter muscle whatever I do."

Love it!!!!! Laughing Laughing Laughing

Uh oh, I think the banned terms list may be growing flower
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:24 pm

Lise
Thank you for admitting that this is your living room. This an
whole discussion is a fascinating development because it is how we are developing our own group dynamic.

Food for thought:
Lise started this site. Her rules. Everyone is fine with it. We are grateful for the she provided. Time goes on. Many feel this is our living room. Gratitude wanes and there is a sense that as long time members of the forum, we should have our own, maybe even equal, say. We test Lise's authority. We are banned. We get angry. Some say, Henry be reasonable we should be grateful to Lise. Henry's not happy. Most are silent. Some cheer him on. Lise asserts her authority with a clear authoritarian statement: this is my living room. People poke fun of the absurdities of the rules. Lise justifies them.

But what happens from here? And more importantly, if I feel strongly enough I'll challenge Lise by continuing to break the rules, because I think my straightforward expression is more honest than her indirect, back door way to insult. Sides might be taken. Rules may get stricter.....

I'm not talking about whose right and whose wrong. I'm talking about group dynamics. How are we different from the OBC who we criticize? Group dynamics have there own reality: authority, rebellion, acquiescing, placaters, clamp down, let up.

What if we played this out for 40 years? Who would we be? Who would leave? Who would be left? What of this site were a huge part or all of our life instead of a hobby?

Is this so much different from what happened at Shasta from a group dynamic rather than content perspective? How do groups handle these things? Who do we want to be?
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:01 pm

On the particular terms that Henry used Wikipedia would side with Henry:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_predator
there seems to be a general usage that agrees with his. However I do understand the two problems Lise referred to. The first the legal problem is not great, if the original post referring to the behaviour, or whatever, is legal then I would think that correctly summarising it using a term that is legal and in common usage should be legal too; but I'm not a lawyer they have strange ways, I know, my wife's one. The second is a matter of politeness, different manners for different places. When we joined we signed up for a particular set of rules of manners that were laid out originally by Lise and Watson. If we want them changed then we can discuss it with them, but if we strongly disagree we can do as Amelia did and start a separate forum where we can flame to our hearts content. But I personally have found that I can say anything legal that I want without too much difficulty, though there have been times when nearly done a 'Henry'.
Now, of course, referring to someone as a 'Henry' that would be totally unacceptable! Joking aside though I think it's good to have some people who question the rules and why they are there, it stops us getting too, what shall I say, ... OBCish.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:07 pm

Henry wrote:

Food for thought:

But what happens from here? And more importantly, if I feel strongly enough I'll challenge Lise by continuing to break the rules, because I think my straightforward expression is more honest than her indirect, back door way to insult. Sides might be taken. Rules may get stricter.....

I'm not talking about whose right and whose wrong. I'm talking about group dynamics. How are we different from the OBC who we criticize? Group dynamics have there own reality: authority, rebellion, acquiescing, placaters, clamp down, let up.

What if we played this out for 40 years? Who would we be? Who would leave? Who would be left? What of this site were a huge part or all of our life instead of a hobby?

Is this so much different from what happened at Shasta from a group dynamic rather than content perspective? How do groups handle these things? Who do we want to be?

Thank you, Henry. This is something I tried to say - perhaps not too clearly - some months ago. I got shouted down. Another reason I don't post often. You put it well. You are right of course.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:24 pm

Hey Henry

For my 2 cents worth...

There is a certain level of navel gazing that just ends up bending my neck out of shape and trying to control others is a dangerous game to play.

My hope for this site is that I'll see and approach it as my meditation. It's not enough to have responses to postings but more about whether this happens to be the appropriate time and place for their venting. I can't intellectualize this very effectively
but it is about being careful that my postings are not going to harden or solidify the ego but will they be part of softening & dissolving it.

No time to pretty up this posting as I'm flying out the door to work.
Cheers


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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:28 pm

Different manners for different places, yes. Lise and I talked about this at length in the early days. The idea was to have a place where polite conversation can find a home and is not driven out by the opposite.

It is our right to make a place that is free of objectionable language. Those who also want that environment will stay, and we will not let them be deprived of it by others.

As Lise said, it is not more complicated than that.

Thank you.

Watson
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:50 pm

Watson
What you need to understand is that it is always simple and uncomplicated for those with absolute power. The complication is experienced by those who disagree with what those in power dictate. Again I find the similarity between our own group dynamic and the group dynamic of the OBC who we've placed under a microscope to be quite fascinating.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:55 pm

And I'm happy to let people make rules, and I'll stick with them and get out of things just what I want while I want it...hmmm, as I did with the OBC. I too find such things very simple. Maybe I'm just totally selfish, but it works for me.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:16 pm

It works great for some, who can flourish in those conditions. It doesn't work for others. Those will keep silent or rebel. Some will work for a compromise, some couldn't care less. At the OBC they stuck to the it's simple, follow the rules. Many who protested were demonized. Here we use temporary banning, perhaps permanent at some point.

The reality is that a group can't help but evolve. The question is does it do so consciously or not. If it is done consciously, is it directed by one or many. Some don't care. Some will leave in a huff. Some will think those who stay are sheep. Do we care if people leave or are upset? Do we not care? Group values will develop whether we want them to or not. There will be a group "feel" to OBC Connect, just as there is to the OBC, even if that group feel is that we don't care what happens, let's just leave it to others or to no one. personally I. Think the group dynamic that developed at the OBC has too many unhealthy unconscious elements. As for OBC Connect, time will tell.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:02 pm

Henry as I said I think that it is excellent that you question. But what changes would you like to see; spell it out then we can all join in the discussion. If it is that you want a completely un-moderated forum well that's what Amalia demanded and when it wasn't forthcoming she left and started another forum where anything goes asking anyone who felt the same to join her ( http://northcascadesbuddhism.org/ ). But as you probably already know it did not take off. I personally don't feel oppressed by the rules here, I think you do sometimes. Good please question what you see as the forums failings, we all need to be kept on our toes. As for the forum rules well yes there are some but they are open and transparent and one of them is not 'Thou shalt not question the forum admin'. Yes, you are quite right the forum rules are top down imposed, but that is the nature of forums, and in fact the internet in general. It is a much more hierarchical structure than most people presume. All forums, etc. are moderated by their own 'police force': Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, etc. For me the important thing is are they open and transparent about who is ultimately running the show and what the rules are. And can anyone who has joined openly raise questions about how the forum is run and who runs it. On those counts as far as I'm concerned OBCconnect is OK. And since the forum rules are publicly stated, capable of being questioned and for me personally seem reasonable I am for the present happy. Are the rules as I would have made them, no. But then the precise boundaries of all rules are arbitrary.
I have a friend who is truly subversive who has fought two cases himself, without legal representation, to our equivalent of the Supreme Court. He is a socialist, Gandhian pacifist, I often disagree with him but feel that he performs an absolutely essential public service. He told me once that his mentor taught him: 'If they give you a sheet of paper with lines ruled on it, turn it sideways and write across the lines.' Which he has done most of his adult life at considerable cost. So please continue the critique, keep the forum on its toes even at the expense of being a pain in the ...
(Mmm ... perhaps we should add ellipsis to the list of banned terms.)
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:53 pm

Mark
Can't say I'm an anarchist, as part of what I do is work within a behavioral program for teens. It did seem very rude to be banned from the forum for what I consider to be childish nonsense. We are adults and we don't all speak the queen's English. At least it's been said that this is Lise's living room, so that adds transparency. However, what interests me more than what words are or are not allowed is the process of how we interact and choose to interact. I am not familiar with forums so it is news to me that they are autocratic. I guess the same can be said of monasteries and religion in general. Obey or find another religious institution. OBC -- OBC Connect: same card game. Albert once said essentially that organizations are what they are. This is what they do (please correct me if I'm distorting your words Albert). it is very interesting to me the similarities between OBC and this forum. Take it or leave it. Banning is fine. It's very uncomplicated if you just obey. The way I judge people is civil. The way you do is manure slinging. Therefore you must speak as I do. And we all do. Little thought given.

Because of my profession and my experience at Shasta I find this way of thinking and the group dynamic that develops from it fascinating. I'm sure it's minimally interesting to most others at best, so I'm happy to let the whole subject go. I really have no interest in specific words that are or aren't banned.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:55 pm

Hello Henry and all,

I think there is a place for venting, getting out all the frustrations and strong feelings in a supportive atmosphere. The "truth" in that is all about how someone feels. That, however, is not what I want in a forum like this.

What we term "name calling" may be exactly how we feel about someone or something. The problem with it is that it does not offer a way for the other person to respond. If someone calls me a ****, then all I can say is "Oh yeah? Same to you." This is not dialog. I would want OBC members to be able to enter this forum and feel they are respected and protected enough to engage honestly. If I call someone out on a particular action, they can respond. If I accuse someone of "cult behavior," what are they supposed to say? The rules make it possible for a larger forum to exist, and I support them.

With palms joined,

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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:59 pm

Kyogen
I've found there are many agendas on this forum. Perhaps it will be narrowed down to one over time. Good for those with that agenda. Not so much for those with another.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:48 pm

Isan wrote:
Jimyo wrote:
"I may seem like the central hole in the lowest sphincter muscle whatever I do."

Love it!!!!! Laughing Laughing Laughing

Uh oh, I think the banned terms list may be growing flower


As my hero, Larry the Cable Guy, says, "I don't care who you are, that's funny right there."

(that was brill, Anne, it really was )
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:22 pm

Henry wrote:
Obey or find another religious institution. OBC -- OBC Connect: same card game.

It's hard for me to draw a line between our experience in the OBC and this forum. If this forum replicated that environment we would not even be allowed to speak here, let alone freely question and dissent about pretty much everything.

Instead of thinking about banned terms I ask myself what would I be comfortable saying to a room full of people some of whom I know and some that I do not. It's easy to forget, but that is the actual situation here and it makes me cautious. In fact the possible audience here is without limit and so I assume everyone is listening.
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PostSubject: Re: From "OBC Conclave 2010: a Way Forward"   Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:38 pm

Well said, Isan.

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