OBC Connect

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

Share | 
 

 Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Lise
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1411
Join date : 2009-11-08
Age : 42

PostSubject: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:23 am

This might not be a new development, but it looks like Singer has formed his own centre.

It would be interesting to hear why, and to understand the degree of Singer's current connection to Timothy Schomberg's group, or independence from same.

http://www.seattledharmarefuge.org/about-us/
Back to top Go down
http://obcconnect.forumotion.net
Carol

avatar

Posts : 364
Join date : 2009-11-10

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:25 am

This is very interesting. Basil is a good-hearted man. He has put up with a lot from Koshin over the years, but his website still refers people to Koshin's dharma talks. I wonder if there has been a break between Basil and Koshin.

Basil has wanted to set up a meditation group in the Seattle area for a long time, but in the past it was always something affiliated with NCBP. This sounds like an independent organization.

Unless Koshin has changed a lot, he wouldn't permit one of his disciples to go off on his own, set up his own organization, lives separately from NCBP, etc.

I wish Rev. Basil well in his enterprise. He was always kind to me and he is a man of good cheer. This is quite a surprising development, really. I would like to know more. Perhaps Rev. Basil would join OBCC once in a while.
Back to top Go down
Carol

avatar

Posts : 364
Join date : 2009-11-10

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:44 am

Now I see that NCBP's website (such as it is) has a link to Rev. Basil's website. The parting between Rev. B and Koshin must have been friendly (if not exactly "sanctioned") or the NCBP website wouldn't link to Rev. Basil's site.

The OBC tradition seems to be that once someone has departed on unfriendly terms (like many of you on OBCC), they are expunged from history. Since Rev. Basil hasn't been banished completely, the parting of the ways must have been friendly.

Anyway, I wish Rev. Basil all the best. I notice that he is working with Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. A good use of his skills and his own past struggle with the disease. I hope he is well.
Back to top Go down
Carol

avatar

Posts : 364
Join date : 2009-11-10

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:03 am

One last blast on Rev. Basil. He posts on his website a series of emails that are intended as teachings. He notes in one of them that he is living in Seattle "independently." I read through through the emails, which are based on standard OBC teachings, but he has a compassionate and kind way of approaching the subject. I commend his website to anyone who is open to a positive way of looking at the teachings of RMJK. I can never follow those teachings again because of the perversions of her and her followers and the organization -- all of which are well documented on OBCC -- but it's good to see a person of good will like Basil processing those teachings. I wonder what happened . . .
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:37 am

looking at the teachings of RMJK. I can never follow those teachings
again because of the perversions of her and her followers and the
organization

Are you saying Carol that her teachings were separate from the perversions?
Back to top Go down
Carol

avatar

Posts : 364
Join date : 2009-11-10

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:26 pm

The "perversions" I'm talking about may not be RMJK's teachings themselves, but how certain OBC monks and people in power in the OBC apply those teachings. The OBC line seems to be that its followers should never question the OBC's interpretation of the dharma. "Disciples" must always follow the abbot - no matter how crazy - in whatever direction he/she goes. People must revere certain powerful monks and elevate them above ordinary human beings ("never sit in the abbot's special chair," etc.) and never openly challenge their teachings or their conduct. It's okay to shun some people (especially monks) who leave the OBC, etc. etc.

Apart from these wrong-headed practices, I don't know if RMJK's teaching of basic Buddhism was sound or not. Obviously she got seriously off the mark when she was going around saying she was Jesus Christ or whatever and acting like a petty tyrant under the pretext of skillful means.

I don't know where her personality disorders (so interestingly documented by Josh and others here on OBCC) stopped and where authentic Buddhist teaching began. I can't imagine being a Buddhist of any kind after seeing and hearing about the abusive treatment against other human beings perpetrated by OBC priests (including RMJK) under the guise of Buddhist teachings. But maybe what they are teaching isn't Buddhism. I just don't know.

My point about Basil is that he is a decent human being. I have never seen him abuse anyone. Yet he teaches the RMJK doctrine, uses her language, writes reverently about her and Koshin, follows the party line. So I don't know if the OBC interpretation of Buddhist dharma is itself unsound or if just their practices are wrong-headed.
Back to top Go down
mstrathern
Admin
avatar

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

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:10 pm

Yes Carol. The truth is the truth, is the truth, is the truth. However much you question, doubt, ignore or disbelieve it, it still remains the truth. And it remains the truth for the simplest fool or wisest man. If your not allowed to question what is being put forward then it isn't the truth, the truth begs to be questioned (and to question us in return).
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:02 pm

The practices you talk of now Carol,which sound unpleasant, come from the teachings of JK
Back to top Go down
Kozan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 669
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 67
Location : Sonoma County CA

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:22 am

Mark and Chisan, I'm just going to toss this out as a query, motivated, Carol, by your excellent comments:

It seems to me that the prohibition against questioning is rife within most Buddhist institutions--and all religion. There are, undoubtedly, exceptions. And I do think that JK introduced an ampted-up version of prohibition. But I don't think that she invented the dynamic by any means.

I am inclined to think that the real problem is that institutionalized religion itself has an inherent motivation to discourage any questioning that might subject it to scrutiny.
Back to top Go down
breljo

avatar

Posts : 217
Join date : 2010-12-03

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:24 am

Happy belated Birthday, Kozan, and may you have many more.

I believe you are correct when you say that institutionalized religion itself has an inherent motivation to discourage questioning.It takes a lot of work and effort to establish an institution, to bring it into existence and then to maintain it, whether it is governmental,, educational, religious or whatever. A lot is at stake, often many people depend on it for their very existence, their continued existence. In a monastery, temple, for instance, people have dedicated their lives to a certain belief system that has transformed their lives forever, Any challenges, questioning or closer scrutiny will have to be viorously defended against, minimized or repudiated.in order to maintain integrity and continued support. It is therefore the first line of duty for the leaders of these institutions to defend their own, and they are most often very good at it.
Back to top Go down
Isan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 917
Join date : 2010-07-27
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:30 am

Carol wrote:
My point about Basil is that he is a decent human being. I have never seen him abuse anyone. Yet he teaches the RMJK doctrine, uses her language, writes reverently about her and Koshin, follows the party line. So I don't know if the OBC interpretation of Buddhist dharma is itself unsound or if just their practices are wrong-headed.

It was my experience at Shasta Abbey that most people were decent in the way you mean, but it's a dangerous business when you deny people the right to think and decide freely for themselves. It was the fear of going against the flow that made people go along with the less than decent things that happened there. Why not correspond with Basil and ask him how he deals with these contradictions?
Back to top Go down
mstrathern
Admin
avatar

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

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:16 pm

The view that formal religions are set about with the dead hands of prohibitions and its hapless consequence is not new; Blake mourned the negativity and the absence of positivity and life affirmation over two hundred years ago:
"THE GARDEN OF LOVE"
by William Blake, 1794

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.
And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And "Thou shalt not" writ over the door;
So I turn'd to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore,

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be:
And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars, my joys & desires.
Back to top Go down
Lise
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1411
Join date : 2009-11-08
Age : 42

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:13 pm

I believe that the OBC, at least the Shasta Abbey group, think they are teaching Buddhism. To me their approach is a perversion, because of how far they have deviated from the fundamental teaching "Be a lamp unto yourselves."

Kennett's Buddhism is what they teach, where personal autonomy is surrendered to the Abbess and the group. Individuals who indulge in "wanting" something for themselves, or holding a position that the monastic community doesn't like, are told that they are deluded and clinging to "self". Some of Meian's talks are especially notable for this. She refers to monks making "mistakes" because they believe "their views and opinions are real". They don't see "the big picture", as she does, and this gives her the ability to know "what's really best" for another person. Instead of realizing that her own assessment is also no more than a view and an opinion, and no more assured of being the truth, or the big picture than anyone else's. Her view could easily be wrong, deluded and wholly inapplicable to the persons she's judging, but this possibility never enters her discussion. The leader knows what's best, and she got this from Jiyu Kennett.

I agree with the comments on the effects of institutionalised religion. And I can't see a benefit in trusting what I hear from anyone who has handed over their personal autonomy and identity, in fact sold it to an institution.

For people who want to get a feel of what's going on at Shasta, consider listening to the Dharma talks -- they'll tell you a great deal more than what the speaking monk thinks he or she is relating.
Back to top Go down
http://obcconnect.forumotion.net
maisie field



Posts : 77
Join date : 2012-08-13

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:54 pm

Aah Mark!
I would have guessed you were a Blake person.....
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:37 am

Well Lise I so completely agree with you.
There seems there has been no growth at all over the years,the basic meditation teaching is as you say relative and limited.

Simple meditation shows us that our heads or minds are constantly churning and running constant commentaries of our lives, views and opinions of everything we see,a little bit of guided meditation, such as on a retreat shows us for our selves that the churning is caused actually by our attachment to our own churning.Even at this stage right and wrong are slightly irrelevant to the issue of attachment and effect of it.
Meditation direction is not so easy but here is a very basic point when clarity is needed,because every aspect of the mental attachments need to be dropped, not some of the negative stuff but everything ,nothing needs to be picked up.Let go and let go of letting go. let go of zazen sects this and that Buddhism,teachers,institutions. Of course Spiritual direction is so important,but as Buddhist we believe that our inate nature,that which is born free of concepts,that which is already whole and complete, will appear and we can gradually start the path to being real human beings.This of course can not be taught,but realised one can not try to be complete one already is complete,to actually try to achieve anything in meditation is simply adding to the churning.Stop it, drop it, and spit it out.
So I agree with you Lise JK,s teaching was about dropping self but also about picking up, at worst picking up her views at best,things which might ring true.
Back to top Go down
jack



Posts : 165
Join date : 2010-06-29

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:25 pm

I ran across Rev. Basil several years ago. He seemed like a down-to-earth individual with a good disposition toward life and others. He taught Jiyu's How to Grow a Lotus Blossom material as canonical -- with some of it being eerily similar to the Christian redemption theme.

The few OBC monks I've encountered as teachers have seemed fairly ignorant of canonical Buddhist teaching; it's as if for them, Jiyu's books comprise the entire necessary and sufficient extent of Buddhist teaching. That crippling limitation was very apparent when I made the effort to read Buddhism widely rather than within the confinement of OBC literature

I received a letter from a Buddhist friend at Throessel who replied to my criticism of the OBC and other Buddhist institutions for their failures to be consistent with what they taught. And I compared those to the manifest failures of Christianity in the same regard. The reply asked why I thought Buddhism would fare any better than Christianity, given that the people who populated it had the same nature and deficiencies as human beings. That question made me think about my implicit assumption that somehow because I believed Buddhism to be a bit closer to truth than Christianity, its institutions should be freer from the inherent deficiencies of human beings. I nearly laughed when I recognized the smug absurdity of my presumption. No doctrinal truth protects institutions from the human deficiencies that comprise them. Never! Laughter and insight -- how often they go together.
Back to top Go down
mstrathern
Admin
avatar

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

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:55 pm

Maisie actually I am not a whole hearted Blake fan. His poetry is wonderful but I find his views a bit manachaeist at times.
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:18 pm

Jack I would have put delusion insight and laughter
Back to top Go down
Isan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 917
Join date : 2010-07-27
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:41 pm

Lise wrote:

Kennett's Buddhism is what they teach, where personal autonomy is surrendered to the Abbess and the group. Individuals who indulge in "wanting" something for themselves, or holding a position that the monastic community doesn't like, are told that they are deluded and clinging to "self". Some of Meian's talks are especially notable for this. She refers to monks making "mistakes" because they believe "their views and opinions are real". They don't see "the big picture", as she does, and this gives her the ability to know "what's really best" for another person. Instead of realizing that her own assessment is also no more than a view and an opinion, and no more assured of being the truth, or the big picture than anyone else's. Her view could easily be wrong, deluded and wholly inapplicable to the persons she's judging, but this possibility never enters her discussion. The leader knows what's best, and she got this from Jiyu Kennett.

There has been discussion about how the robes, music, etc, were "Christianized" over time at Shasta Abbey, but not much about how the very concept of monkhood was Christianized. I remember the community reading a few books about Catholic mystics and monasticism, and how the depicted self-abnegation was held up as a model by JK. There's a movie called "The Nun's Story" (Audrey Hepburn) about someone in a monastic order who can't quite buy into the notion that denying her selfhood serves a greater good. The film accurately depicts the manipulation and mind control of the RCC, and the struggle and loss of someone with a real vocation who couldn't comply. It is eerily reminiscent of what occurred when I was at SA.
Back to top Go down
Carol

avatar

Posts : 364
Join date : 2009-11-10

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:53 pm

This whole business of "self" is pretty confusing to me.

It seems that "self-hood" is something to be dropped, abnegated, let go of both in OBC teaching and other Buddhist teaching. As several of you mentioned, the OBC teaches that opinions are an expression of self-hood and that "self" stands in the way of spiritual progress. Michael says we must "Let go and let go of letting go." The Buddha (or his followers) gave us that great metaphor of building a house around ourselves, brick by brick, which shuts us off from spiritual development.

All this seems right, but how do we reconcile letting go of our "selves" with finding that "innate nature" that Michael talks about. Also sometimes our "selves" do a pretty good job of being kind, smart, funny, compassionate, wise, loving. Seems like there must be a "good" self that somehow emerges from meditation and a "bad" self that we need to let go of. I don't get this.

Isan, I don't know if I want to discuss any of this with Basel. He has always been strictly party line, and I'm not sure he would welcome the questions you raise. Besides, after all that happened at North Cascades, I'm not sure I want to give Koshin the idea that I'm coming back, even if it is a communication only with Basel. I feel like they owe my daughter an apology, which apparently will never happen. Maybe I'm just afraid or stubborn!
Back to top Go down
chisanmichaelhughes

avatar

Posts : 1638
Join date : 2010-11-17

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:02 am

Carol I have copied this story from wikipedia
The first chapter of the Platform Sutra tells the well-known apocryphal story of the Dharma-tramsmission from Hongren to Hui-neng. Hongren asked his students to...

... write me a stanza (gatha) [...] He who understands what the Essence of Mind is will be given the robe (the insignia of the Patriarchate) and the Dharma (the ultimate teaching of the Chán school), and I shall make him the Sixth Patriarch.

Only Shenxiu wrote a poem, anonymously on the wall in the middle of the night.[5] It stated:[6]

身是菩提樹, The body is a Bodhi tree,
心如明鏡臺。 The mind a standing mirror bright.
時時勤拂拭, At all times polish it diligently,
勿使惹塵埃。 And let no dust alight.

After having read this poem aloud to him, Hui-neng asked an officer to write another gatha on the wall for him, next to Shenxiu's, which stated:[7]

菩提本無樹, Bodhi is fundamentally without any tree;
明鏡亦非臺。 The bright mirror is also not a stand.
本來無一物, Fundamentally there is not a single thing —
何處惹塵埃。 Where could any dust be attracted?

Nanhua Temple, where Huineng taught and lived.

Hongren read the stanza, and received Huineng in his abode, where he expounded the Diamond Sutra to him. When he came to the passage, "to use the mind yet be free from any attachment," Huineng came to great awakening. He exclaimed,

How amazing that the self nature is originally pure! How amazing that the self nature is unborn and undying! How amazing that the self nature is inherently complete! How amazing that the self nature neither moves nor stays! How amazing that all dharmas come from this self nature!

Hongren then passed the robe and begging bowl as a symbol of the Dharma Seal of Sudden Enlightenment to Huineng.

Simple meditation show us that our thoughts are impermanent,one comes one goes,self identity changes it comes and goes,where we seem to be in Buddhist growth what JK taught was polishing the mirror,disciplining a self that is impermanent,improving a self, making a self Buddhist,or making a spiritual self, how about denying a self.Duality creates duality.

Hui neng poetically points out that our hearts are originally pure,let go of what will go and our hearts or original nature or as he says self nature will manifest,but this is not a me and my self nature situation it is a self nature situation
Back to top Go down
jack



Posts : 165
Join date : 2010-06-29

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:09 pm

Carol wrote:
All this seems right, but how do we reconcile letting go of our "selves" with finding that "innate nature" that Michael talks about. Also sometimes our "selves" do a pretty good job of being kind, smart, funny, compassionate, wise, loving. Seems like there must be a "good" self that somehow emerges from meditation and a "bad" self that we need to let go of. I don't get this.

I think Zen over-mystifies the concept of "non-self." What the Buddha taught was that there was no permanent self. And the paradoxical Zen anecdotes, with their intriguing enigma, only seem to make things more obscure.

This Buddhist idea that I've found profoundly helpful is what we usually perceive as a permanent self is not permanent at all. What we are is ever-changing as ideas, memories, feelings, and our encounter with form stream through consciousness. What is a river? Can it exist as anything permanent or fixed? Yes and no. That's paradox arises when we reduce it to a "word" that seems to fix it as a "thing" rather than the flux it is.

There is sometimes amazing awe in watching myself as "I" change in response to the environment around me -- to see thoughts flow in and out of consciousness -- to watch feelings cloud into a storm and then dissipate. There is a great sense of freedom in realizing that while past experiences shape the thoughts and feelings that are arising, there is no concrete self that keeps cements me into being what I've been.


Carol wrote:

Besides, after all that happened at North Cascades, I'm not sure I want to give Koshin the idea that I'm coming back, even if it is a communication only with Basel. I feel like they owe my daughter an apology, which apparently will never happen. Maybe I'm just afraid or stubborn!

I don't think it's wrong to wait for an apology. The apology won't fix anything, but at least it's a partial recognition that the other party recognizes the pain inflicted and the harm done. Until there is that acknowledgement, there is great probability that the harmful behavior will be repeated. Actions which dismiss accountability implicitly reinforce the notion that the behavior was acceptable. That sort of passive complicity permeated the culture that made child abuse possible in the Catholic church for eons.

This is to me quite a different issue than forgiveness. Forgiveness is about letting go of the desire for revenge arising out a sense of injury -- or in some cases even justice -- so that one is not forever mired by attachment to past trauma.
Back to top Go down
Isan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 917
Join date : 2010-07-27
Location : California

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:46 pm

[quote="jack"]
Carol wrote:

I don't think it's wrong to wait for an apology. The apology won't fix anything, but at least it's a partial recognition that the other party recognizes the pain inflicted and the harm done. Until there is that acknowledgement, there is great probability that the harmful behavior will be repeated. Actions which dismiss accountability implicitly reinforce the notion that the behavior was acceptable.

This is to me quite a different issue than forgiveness. Forgiveness is about letting go of the desire for revenge arising out a sense of injury -- or in some cases even justice -- so that one is not forever mired by attachment to past trauma.

Agreed - Carol left because NCBP was clearly unsafe, and being given a real apology would be an important first step. I say "real" because for an apology to have substance it would have to be preceded by an honest assessment of what went wrong followed by the willingness to take unconditional responsibility for it.

Forgiveness can be difficult because it can feel like giving the guilty party a pass on their bad behavior, but really it doesn't. It just allows us to move on. Others are still left to get their own houses in order.


Last edited by Isan on Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:58 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
breljo

avatar

Posts : 217
Join date : 2010-12-03

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:43 pm

It's nice to hear Rev. M. Basil establishing his own center, and beside the
question of "will he teach party line", in which there is a lot of room for personal interpretation, I could not imagine him ever using arrogance or exclusionary practices in any way. Iwas reminded of his helpfulness when he came to my rescue, now more then a decade ago. when I arrived very exhausted at the Gate of the North Cascades Priory during a most inconvenient time, a monastic retreat was going on. I had been on a trip through the Western United States, starting out from California, and at the suggestion of Rev. M. Phoebe, whom I was training with at the time, it had been my intention to stop at the Priory once I got to Washington State and pay my respects. I had assumed (mistakenly) that since it had been her suggestion that I stop there, she would have had somehow communicated to Rev. M. Koshin that I would be stopping by there. Not so, it had apparently just been sort of a random remark of hers.
I had already been through quite a few States and that particular day I
started out from Wyoming, having spent the previous day going through
Yellowstone National Park, It had been the opening day, (end of April) and even though it had not been my intention to stop there, I couldn't resist the
temptation of a little sidetrip. Since it was opening day, there were hardly
any cars on the road, no rangers anywhere in sight, but lots and lots of Bison,
blocking the road. I had never seen a Bison outside of a Zoo, and all at once
being confronted with herds of them on the loose was a bit unsettling. I had no idea how they might to react to a car horn. I decided on the side of caution, each time coming upon another herd blocking the road , stopping the truck, at a respectful distance and waited until they decided to move on. Thankfully not in my direction. It took a while to pass several herds and. I arrived in time to see Old Faithful in action.

This is a very condensed way to see Yellowstone, not to be recommended. I stayed overnight in a Hotel in the little town outside the park, with occasional Elk roaming around freely through the neighborhood. I got up early the next morning and continued through the rest of Wyoming into Montana, stopping at the Little Big Horn, Crow Territory, Custers Last Stand or "The Battle of Greasy Grass", so called by the Lakota. I parked the car and wandered among the Gravestones of the Cemetery , reading the names on the headstones, the huge Montana Sky above It was a sunny peaceful day, tall grasses slightly bending in the breeze on top of the rolling hills, an excellent lesson onthe transitoriness of existence.

This had all been quite a trip, with some strange experiences along the way, way too long to go into, but most of all what stayed with me was the immensity of the Montana Sky.
I had been very lucky with the weather, not even carrying tirechains with me, but hadn't counted on having to go over Snoqualmie Pass when certain passages of the Kanzeon Scripture came to life, "when hailstones beat, and rain in torrents pours".. Hail, thunder, sleet and lightning, all at once, on top of eighteen wheeler big rigs obliterating the windshield.on the I-90. I thought my day had come right then and there, but no, I wasn't going to get off that easy. I managed to make it down to the flatlands and after an intensive search, asking my way around the neighborhhood arrived athe Priory which was unmarked. I rang the bell or something of that nature, someone answered the intercom on the other end, I stated who I was and why I was there and was told to come back later. With what little energy i had left went to the nearby little town, (very little) and returned a few hours later to the Priory, there were no Hotels in that town. Rev. Basil opened the gate with a friendly smile on his face, and after some negotiating arranged for me to stay at the adjacent property. I believe I heard somewhere that this property was later donated and annexed to North Cascades and the owner of that property joining the monastic community there. Had it not been for Rev. M. Basil I probably would have had to sleep in my truck, and it was very cold still.
My stay at North Cascades was very brief and I have noted my impressions of the Priory itsself on an earlier post. To summarize briefly it seemed to me that
Rev. M. Koshins teachings were very orthodox, that he ran a "tight ship", which appealed to me very much at that time. Only little by little were
questions beginning to emerge then that I thought were most likely due to my
lack of undersstanding about Zen or esoteric Buddhist doctrine or practices in general. In any case. for whatever reason Rev. M. Basil may have separated from the North Cascades, I wish him well and believe that he will be successful.
Back to top Go down
Carol

avatar

Posts : 364
Join date : 2009-11-10

PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:44 am

Michael relates the lovely story of Huenig and the mirror and says "Hui neng poetically points out that our hearts are originally pure,let go of what will go and our hearts or original nature or as he says self nature will manifest,but this is not a me and my self nature situation it is a self nature situation."

Then Jack and Isan write about forgiveness. Jack says "Forgiveness is about letting go of the desire for revenge arising out a sense of injury -- or in some cases even justice
-- so that one is not forever mired by attachment to past trauma." And Isan similarly says "Forgiveness can be difficult because it can feel like giving the guilty party a pass on their bad behavior, but really it doesn't. It just allows us to move. Others are still left to
get their own houses in order."

All three of you seem to be saying much the same thing. That "self" who demands an apology, that "self" who won't forgive those who trespass against him (or her) causes worlds of suffering to the self-righteous one. We hurt ourselves with our indignation at perceived wrong-doers. Grudge carrying hurts the grudge-carrier most of all.

If we can blow the dust off the mirror -- or better yet, understand that the mirror isn't really standing there anyway -- we can see that purity within us where there is no room to be aggrieved. As Jack says, passing phenomena don't require us to justify any "self" or to demand that others apologize to us for perceived wrongs.

That doesn't mean that we don't acknowledge cruelty when we see it. Many of the stories on this forum rightly state the facts of what happened, and many of the things JK perpetrated on many of you were unforgiveably cruel.

It also doesn't mean that we shouldn't apologize when we have caused harm to someone else. As they say in the 12-step programs, from time to time we need to do a "searching moral inventory" and right the wrongs we have done to others.

But that is a whole different thing from holding on to self-righteous anger and feeling justified while we wait for an apology.

Of course, none of this means that we are not humans and would like to have our hurt feels assuaged by the person who hurt them. Maybe in some other realm they don't need to apologize because no one goes around feeling hurt by others. But here in this realm, an apology can go a long ways toward mending a spirit wounded by indifference or cruelty.

Breljo -- Your story about Rev. Basel is typical. He is a kind, compassionate person. He would feed you and give you a place to rest even if there was an official retreat or silent period or whatever. He knows tired and hungry!

(Speaking of forgiveness, please forgive all the quotes. I thought I had
finally figured how to do the direct quote thing and was showing off,
but now I see they still didn't turn out in those little boxes after
all. So much for pride in"self"!)
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory   

Back to top Go down
 
Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Update on Basil Singer, formerly of North Cascades Buddhist Priory
» Rev. Kinzan
» 01/22/16 - 01/23/16 Update #3 - Will Models Trend Back North?
» Update on Martian Atmosphere.
» North Dakota 3D map

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