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 Seeing the whole: Kennett's legacy of shadows and light

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Isan
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PostSubject: Seeing the whole: Kennett's legacy of shadows and light   Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:48 am

First topic message reminder :

[Admin note: This thread was created as an offshoot from the Introductions thread titled "Myozen Delport", in order to avoid the original thread being overtaken by a tangent. Although Isan is identified as the thread's "author", this is a function of the forum software because his post was the first among those split.]

This topic explores ideas related to the OBC's willingness to examine and evaluate the totality of Jiyu Kennett's legacy in light of incidents reported on this forum.



gnorwell wrote:

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

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

When you study with a teacher you receive from them both light and shadow. It's like realizing as an adult that you have more of your parents in you than you're comfortable with - it was imprinted on you without your realizing it, and maybe in spite of the determination to be different.

Jiyu Kennett transmitted the Dharma and many people have and continue to benefit from it (I certainly do). She also, and unavoidably, transmitted her flawed humanity, and this also continues in the present with members of the OBC displaying rigidity, group think, and other unhelpful and ultimately unnecessary traits as a result of mimicking her behavior. It falls to each generation to try to understand both the good and bad of the previous one. I don't believe we honor Jiyu Kennet's memory by imagining everything she did was perfect. If we want to honor her legacy we have to parse the good from the bad, and only carry forward what is worthwhile. Those in the OBC though actually make it a precept to not engage in this scrutiny.
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gnorwell



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PostSubject: Re: Seeing the whole: Kennett's legacy of shadows and light   Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:41 am

Hi Carol,

How are you?

It was Joyce on the radio.

I've always had a soft spot for Koshin. He was the first monk to teach me zazen when he and Hogetsu were priors at Throssel in the seventies. He also stayed with us in Cardiff for a few days the year before we stayed with you (1998/9?) and I got on well with him and liked his sense of humour.

I was saddened to hear of the events at NC and subsequent exit from the OBC

Keep well,
G
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chisanmichaelhughes



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PostSubject: Re: Seeing the whole: Kennett's legacy of shadows and light   Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:49 am

Carol when you said

Michael says that the OBC sect is not Zen Buddhism. Michael, I don't know if you're right or not. People ask if I’m still a Buddhist
and I don’t know how to answer.


It does seem a heavy statement of mine, however I look at Shatsta and they call them selves the OBC,calling them selves the Soto Zen sec or even the reformed soto zen sect seems to have long gone. I think it is fair to assume JK started her own sect, but still used some familiar terminology . This means that the word kensho can have a new meaning and all of the practices and statements and rhetoric everything in fact is fine within their church as it is the way they do things,they have their own meanings and understandings and practices,and these may very well include having individual visions joint visions,being different people in previous lives, removing the rights of the followers bullying and shunning all of what we have written about here They have created their own sect and within it they do as they wish.It just happens to be not my way.I would not want new people thinking they are the Soto sect,that would be misleading
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Carol



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PostSubject: Re: Seeing the whole: Kennett's legacy of shadows and light   Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:19 pm

Hello George,

It's good to hear from you. Give my regards to Joyce -- the lay minister on the radio!!

Carol

Hi Michael,

It's not so heavy a statement -- pretty reasonable, in fact, when you explain. Interesting that you would not want new people thinking they are in the Soto sect.
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chisanmichaelhughes



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PostSubject: Re: Seeing the whole: Kennett's legacy of shadows and light   Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:22 am

Hi Carol

In fairness I do not think the OBC do say they are the Soto Sect. I wou;d think that Kennett Roshi renamed the sect the OBC and also came up with all the new names like Rev Master and nobody has come up with any new names since,I would also think that it is all much the same since she died going over old tapes of her lectures and books. I would also guess that the lotus book is still studied at least in Koshins group. That gives someone some scope to say no no it is not like that at all..i do not know I am only guessing , but when the source of so many peoples meditative lives has been kennett Roshi it is difficult to change it
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pete x. berkeley



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PostSubject: Two monks on the road, a mud puddle, and a woman...   Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:01 pm

Can anyone parse this story for me? I am pretty sure Josh (Jitsudo?) Baran knows something about "living in the moment."
I was glad to stumble upon the Berkeley Buddhist Priory flyer stapled among a welter of posters on the front of the xerox store's desk, San Francisco, Market and Van Ness. At that time Rev. Mokurai was the prior...I called to confirm that I could come on down...and then didn't understand the directions and walked up and down Telegraph Ave -- in Berkeley -- not finding it. Found a pay phone and called again. Got the word and got on a bus for a loonngg ride away from my comfort zone, in Berkeley...and then learned about Shasta.
I found a refuge there. Didn't come too close, tended to put myself too far away, but didn't get burned as so many seem to say. So, to sum it up: You are all seniors to me, in commitment and experience, yet? The friction still! Sparks are flying! You know the piezoceramic effect? You take a wafer of mica, and squeeze it, mechanically deform it, and it sparks out electricity in a curve analogous to its deformation and restoration (analog, vs digital)...That's how the early phonographs worked...a needle glued to a piece of mica, glued to a speaker coil, driving a little speaker in the head of the arm of a phonograph...music!
Shasta and those who committed to Shasta, helped me, a lot. I loved those times...you did a good job of not showing your biliousness on the rolling sea. Now we're retching over the side? I don't get it! You got your sea legs, and I'm still sloping around on mine. Reverend Master Jiyu Kennett often said that she was told Zen had to be brought intact to a new time and place and country, but conform to the people it was meant to serve...she didn't say serve...that's a Christian buzzword...conform to the customs of the nation. So you didn't like the transitional personality from Depression Days, WWII England during the Blitz, Britain stiff-upper lip and colonial tyrrany, Japan with its licking stick (kyosaku) and merciless suicidal asceticism...well then, me hearties -- change it! for the better! You're actually doing that! but this is only virtual reality. Anais Nin told an artist "I want to live in your paintings!" Nice compliment, but not possible.
The OBC at least put a roof overhead so people could come in out of the rain, settle down, and train.
Now please, don't throw down one too many pomegranate martinis on shore leave and ralf all over The Bloodline of the Buddhas. A hymn comes to mind...
"I came to Jesus as I was/weary worn and sad/my soul has found a resting place/and He has made me glad." now for the true Buddhists, we have to translate that. How about: "Buddha recognizes Buddha and Buddha bows to Buddha!" ? I was unworthy of being bowed too, but I appreciated the care and concern so much. I honestly love(d) Jiyu, and Eko, and a host of others...hope we don't mind. Wasn't it a Zen Master who said: "Make yourself as good as you tell others to be!" (yes, it was...but I can't seem to find it now...anyway--that's my next job, after cleaning up the basement.)
They didn't bury Rev. Master Jiyu Kennett according to her wishes -- at the end of Lotus Blossom 2nd ed. (wonder why?) But let's not let's not defile the whachamacallit, the obelisk they raised a Shasta, raise a leg on a post, and then dog scratch those turf-flinging back feet like we're getting something done! She got something done. You didn't like it? Make it better, if you can. I'm not much help, I know that...but maybe I don't mind the shortcomings or call it mental illness if you choose too...I'm even shorter, and even more mental...they helped me level up -- YOU (too!) helped me level up. I'm very grateful for the opportunity to train with you. And I was happy to discover (on my own) RMJK cobbed the melody for "Homage to the Relics of the Buddhas, or merit all..." from a Russian hymn Kontakion For the Departed.
That means stuff comes from somewhere, and goes somewhere - and I can be part of it. Don't tell me I was just a flat-out dummy, a benighted mucker...tell me how the story ends about two monks on the road...Rev. Master Jiyu Kennett, and you...and you...and you...
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Carol

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PostSubject: Re: Seeing the whole: Kennett's legacy of shadows and light   Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:36 am

I don't know you, pete x, but it's great to see things shaken up around here again! I was beginning to nod off, but you threw a nice goblet of cold water on our jaded forum!
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Kozan
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PostSubject: Re: Seeing the whole: Kennett's legacy of shadows and light   Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:34 am

Well said, Carol!

Pete is an old friend (at least from my perspective), and I'm glad to see him back here as well!
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Jimyo

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PostSubject: Re: Seeing the whole: Kennett's legacy of shadows and light   Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:46 am

I'm not sure if we ever met, Pete, though I think we're from the same era, but I loved your post!
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pete x. berkeley

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PostSubject: Re: Seeing the whole: Kennett's legacy of shadows and light   Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:20 pm

Dear Carol, Kozan, and Jimyo...
Actually it's wonderful to hear from you 3, too.
And, as Kozan knows (who celebrated my wedding) my name is Pete Mundy...
I picked X-Berkeley to 'splain my whereabouts at the time...now it's Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Anyway, Jimyo -- I bought your book! My sainted mother has it, guaranteeing I'll get it back when I visit. You can go helicoptering with the ex-Pope...he's a pilot too!

And, Carol, I saw you around, didn't we? being responsible. Since I wasn't and amn't our paths didn't x much...

And when Rev. Kozan was Prior at the BBP I recall two things at least...one was his notice that from like the attic window you could see the beautiful Berkeley Hills, but from the windows of that repurposed house down by the Oakland Expressway, you couldn't see much but urban crunch...and so he imagineered mirror chimneys to affix to the windows from the outside, to change the view to a bit of nature! When necessary, you swing the things on hinges to get your cleaning done...and? there would have been a bonus: blocking some direct (high-frequencies only) noise--that constant wash of traffic...

The second thing? A beautiful young woman with flowing hair showed up and rang the bell. I happened to be running a dust mop by the front door, and let her in. She wanted to attend part of the weekend training but in the course of the conversation, she explained to Rev. Teacher Kozan that: "I'm not all that together...I've been diagnosed as schizophrenic." This is what I remember the Prior saying, looking sharp in his turquoise clerical shirt and collar: "My name is Kozan; I'm the Prior here. You're welcome here. We do have a fairly fixed schedule, but we'll walk you through it so you can participate, and if you ever need anything, please don't hesitate to ask. Now I've got to get the tea things." and he turned and walked back up to the kitchen while she sat down and joined the lay people in the front sitting room.

I just thought to myself: That's why I'm in the door -- I haven't got it together; I'm pretty much nuts -- they're gonna tolerate me anyway, and show me how to train the mind. I love them for that...which is why I can't pound out my woes from the past, regarding the characters who passed through Shasta Abbey. We were all trying to walk in ancient footsteps, and trusting that the training would hold us, and improve us.
"The man standing next to me--his head was exploding.
Oh! I was praying the pieces wouldn't fall on me..." (Bob Dylan The Day of the Locusts-- as song from the occasion of his receiving an honorary doctorate from Princeton U.
"Yeah,the locusts sang off in the distance
Yeah the locusts sang such a sweet melody
Oh, the locusts sang off in the distance
And the locusts sang and they were singing for me!"
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Jimyo

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PostSubject: Re: Seeing the whole: Kennett's legacy of shadows and light   Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:05 am

Which book, Pete; I've written three. Always nice to know if old friends read my stuff.
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pete x. berkeley

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PostSubject: Re: Seeing the whole: Kennett's legacy of shadows and light   Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:11 pm

Jimyo...what th' Lil Jimmy Dickens? I need three eyes open, then...
(the kinhin around Merrie Olde Englande one)
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