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 new member: Rev. Seikai

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Rev. Seikai



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PostSubject: new member: Rev. Seikai   Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:23 pm

First topic message reminder :

Greetings, My name is Rev. Seikai Luebke; I am an active monk of the OBC, a Master of the OBC, a disciple of Rev. Master Jiyu Kennett, ordained in March, 1978. My objectives in joining this forum are very simple: contributors have expressed a desire that active OBC members contribute to the forum, in hopes of gaining a broader spectrum of views on what has occurred in the past or is happening in the present in the OBC. If I can shed a little bit of light where there is murkiness, openness where there is hiddenness, and positivity where there is negativity, I will be delighted. I have no desire to change anyone's views on the OBC per se, other than to help foster a move in the direction of openness, which seems to lie at the root of what past members have objected to from decades past.

Unlike most of the contributers to this forum, I have made a lifetime commitment to being a monk of the OBC, have experienced many of the same difficulties and frustrations that former monks of the OBC have experienced, have worked to resolve those issues within the context of being an active, supportive and deeply contented monk within the order. Like any human organization, we have problems and difficulties that arise in the flow of events over time; life is a constant process of addressing problems, doing the best we can with them, practicing kindness and compassion to all beings, working to alleviate suffering. I see a group of people here who are genuinely trying to find the truth, trying to understand their past experiences within the OBC, reconnecting with old friends, and trying to bridge gaps of understanding. I hope that I can be of service and that my contribution, like that of Rev. Master Daishin Morgan, the abbot of Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey, will be well received.
Blessings to all, Rev. Seikai
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:18 pm

Seikai,

Thank you for your efforts here. I'm glad you will continue to check for private messages. I also hope you (or someone) will post news from the OBC about the new policies that RM Meian has talked about.

Best wishes for health and happiness.
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Rev. Seikai



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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:15 am

Friends, a small musing. I haven’t retreated completely from this forum; I think sometimes about stuff like the following:

Not long ago I met a character in the town of Ojai who told me he was a Shinto priest. He was American, about 60 or 65, had a long ponytail, drove a Ford pickup with a camper on the back and had a wonderful dog with him. Ojai, a town where Krishnamurti lived for many years, attracts people like him. Not unlike Mt. Shasta, there are always new age and spiritual types around town, and one cannot help encountering them from time to time.

This fellow let me in on a secret: while in Vietnam, he met certain aliens. These aliens informed him that, among other things going on with our planet, there were aliens around who are feeding off the negative energy created by earthlings. He didn’t say so directly, but one implication of this was that the Vietnam War must have created a banquet for these beings, and since then they have moved on to other hot spots on the face of our blue planet.

I’m not particularly interested in aliens; as far as I’m concerned, they probably have their own problems and their own karma to deal with. But the direction my mind takes is something along the following: Buddha taught how to give up being negative, how to purify negative thought patterns, negative energies, negative Habit Energy, which is one way of describing unwholesome karma. But why is it so hard for people to see this, let alone actually get down to the business of witnessing their own habitual negative thinking and converting it?

On an occasion when the Buddha was walking with his attendant Ananda in a village where he was not respected, the villagers hurled insults at them to the point where Ananda said to Shakyamuni: “Let us depart this place, World-honored One, and go somewhere where we can beg for alms peacefully.” But the Buddha responded by saying, “No, Ananda, patiently will I endure the insults and abuses of others, as an elephant endures the arrows shot in battle, for the world is ill-natured.” I have always taken great consolation in that one sentence, which is a verse from the Dhammapada.

The fellow I met in Ojai also told me that the aliens steer a wide berth around those who have renounced negativity and cultivated a pure, positive mind. Apparently, they’re just not interested in such people. It’s a slightly wacky story, I admit, but no matter how far-fetched it might be, it gets me to ponder the state of our ill-natured world. How far can we go with our collective negativity before we begin to flat-out self-destruct?

RMJK also taught how to purify negativity and karma. Perhaps her personality somewhat obscured the message, and that in the years since then people have used her eccentricity and personality as reasons for not really hearing or putting her central message into practice. But I, for one, heard it. Despite all the difficulties inherent in being her disciple, I put them aside and just concentrated on the actual practice. Now I am eternally grateful that I did.

Blessings, Rev. Seikai
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:56 am

Seikai it is really good to see that you are still with us. However I think you're posting misses some important points. The Buddha taught, not only how to give up being negative but also how to give up and purify the positive. The overly optimistic is just as deluded as the overly pessimistic.

I'm sure you feel that you "will endure the insults and abuses of others" when you read much of this forum, I genuinely feel for you, thank you. And I do take your implied point about this forum that it may in the end just implode in a cloud of negativity, there is that danger. However, much of what has been said here, although couched in negative terms, is actually positive. It is positive that for the first time many of us have been able to tell the truth, and the truth in this case is important and right. The negativity comes from the fact that the truth has been about harm and suppressed for a long time. There are those within the OBC that have been promulgating lies; both by supressing the truth and in their actions. It is a lie to say that you are being compassionate when you're being deliberately take pleasure in being cruel, it is not skillful means, it is a lie, lie, LIE. This has damaged many people. Such teaching is not the Dharma and and those teaching it are not the Sangha, and they have forfeited the right to call themselves such. The Dharma and the Sangha lie with us, and here I include not just the members of this forum, but also all those of goodwill within the OBC, particularly yourself. There are some on this forum who I think would like to see the end of the OBC. I do not, I think there are those within the OBC who are following the Buddhist path. If they can reform the OBC from within then it can emerge a strong and vibrant organisation doing good in the world and helping others, at the moment it is not. But to do this they must take ownership of both the problem and the organisation, difficult training. If they cannot reform it then I fear I will, with great sadness, join those who would see it end, because it will be doing more harm than good, more damage than healing. And it will end, because it will become more and more closed to the outside world until it extinguishes itself. Twenty years of studying complex systems science has shown me that openess allows evolution and change, and is dynamic and full of life, whilst being closed is static and always leads death. Two of the great laws of the universe are ahimsa and the second law of thermodynamics.
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:38 am

Well said Mark I applaud you.
wish I could express like some of you guys.
much love john.
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Jcbaran



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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:40 pm

Just jumping in her a little:

Seikai said: "Perhaps her personality somewhat obscured the message, and that in the years since then people have used her eccentricity and personality as reasons for not really hearing or putting her central message into practice. But I, for one, heard it. Despite all the difficulties inherent in being her disciple, I put them aside and just concentrated on the actual practice."

ACTIONS are everything - words almost nothing. I did not use Kennett's eccentricity and personality for reasons not to put what she taught into practice. I enjoyed her eccentricities for the first few years and did put the basic Soto teachings into practice, as best I could. And I did appreciate some of the "tough" parts of her pushing during that first chapter at Shasta.

AND when her ACTIONS became progressively more angry, abusive, irrational and tyrannical -- well, they spoke much louder than her words. The roar of this tigress was harmful. And these were not just charming eccentricities. The "central message" is what you do, how you treat your fellow men/women, your everyday actions.

But here is something that keeps on striking me. I notice this in your post and in Daishin's dismissal of my experiences. One of the main reasons I left was that i could no longer take part in harming others at Shasta. To stay and support Kennett - and to function as the good disciple and do exactly as we were told -- involved HARMING other people - no beatings, that's true, but there were frequent and constant examples of emotional brutality -- and in the context of a closed community where people have given up everything, this borders on emotional and mental terrorism.

And as the most senior students, we were often told to say and treat other monks with hard disrespect. Many times I felt terrible in carrying out Kennett's commands. And I could find no dharma in what she was doing -- many of her actions seemed to come out of insecurity, jealousy, her discomfort with married couples, her need to be the constant center of adoration. Over and over again I had to violate my inner sense of right, my conscience, to follow her - and at a certain point, I couldn't do it any longer.

Now, of course, the party line is that I was misunderstanding, substituting my own (less enlightened) vision for the greater and more enlightened vision of the great master. This is the standard story is so many cultic organizations, by the way. Well, you know I did buy that story for awhile -- and there was some truth in that approach for the first 4 years or so.

But after than, when my vision became clearer -- and Kennett's actions became more harmful, I didn't buy it any more.

But the bottom line for this post -- leaving wasn't just about me. It was equally or even more important that everything in me screamed to STOP DOING HARM. Stop this emotional brutality that was hurting others, turning them into fearful dependent children.

Seikai, you say that you put your concerns "aside" and just did your practice. Did you see others being harmed? by Kennett or Eko or the institution? and if you did notice this, did you put these concerns aside? Doesn't your practice involve the welfare of all your other fellow monks? Does just doing your practice mean ignoring what was happening to others?

I appreciate how hard this. I know from the inside. What I put aside - when I left -- was that I would NEVER AGAIN ignore my inner guidance. If my guts said NO -- i go with that. If my guts say LEAVE - I am gone. If my guts say DON"T DO THAT - i don't do it. Now, i have slipped up some times - and every time, that has been the only regrets in my life.

There is no greater good that what is found in the present moment, that's what I discovered. And the way we treat the "least" person is the way we relate to the whole. Since there is no least person, there is no greater good that is served by mistreating others, ever.






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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:27 pm

yes some good qestions and answers
I would like to know what the official view of of what we have been talking about.
What is the view on Eko being Jesus
Kennett roshi being Bodhidarma
Eko saying he did not think the Abbott of Sojiji had a kensho or understanding
The disturbing things the girls have been talking about
Could we have the official view please
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:30 pm

Jcbaran...Fabulously clear last posting!

Hello Seikai

Here is a return musing to your last posting, simple and perhaps not as novel as yours but it does end with a couple of questions that I'd love an answer to.


One of the most common fears that Shasta Monks have to hear from newcomers is the fear that they are going to have to give up something they don't want to let go of. These newcomers often see "letting go" as a pretty negative approach when compared to the world of attachments they've just come from.
You as a Shasta Monk don't see "letting go"as negative because you understand the ultimate importance of what takes its place.

I don't see this forum as ultimately negative for the same reasons.

(1) What do you think could be lost with Shasta directly addressing the OBC connect on the various issues that have been brought up here?

(2) If this was all just a conflict between two people, what would you recommend these two people do?

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:51 pm

Seikai,

My feedback is similar to Josh’s, but perhaps from a different angle. I for one, don’t deny the good Rev. Kennett did. I learned and benefit very much from her teaching for many years. But when harm is being done, to not confront the harm in some form or fashion, and convince oneself that the greater good justifies accepting the harm, is a karmic time bomb. I will try to explain.

That Rev. Kennett was allowed to continue her harsh approach which was harmful to many does have consequences. I use the word “allow” deliberately, for we all did allow her. We had a choice and most of us chose to be silent, I certainly did. Those who chose to speak up in the 80s precipitated a crackdown. Many expressed their dissent by leaving; the rest of us learned to be silent. Many of us became ill, and I often wonder if the degree of illness, which was rampant at Shasta, was not associated with the repressive atmosphere. I believe at minimum this contributed to it. What you expressed—putting aside Rev. Kennett’s eccentricities and focusing on practice—has postive and negative consequences. The positive is that you do your practice and can advance in deepening your meditaion; the negative is that the repressive atmosphere continues through the support of your silence. On a deeper level, these two do not really exist independently. You can just avoid the inevitable manifestation of the karma for only so long.

That karma is manifesting now. Rev. Kennett’s “eccentricities” caused her to be blind to Eko’s obvious flaws, and more obvious unsuitability for the role of abbot. Her eccentricities, or more accurately, her reaction to her own traumatic abuse, actually shaped her mind so that she valued the very qualities in Eko (the strict authoritarian who saw things in black and white; his seemingly unthinking obedience that eventually expectedof others, etc.) that would inevitably manifest in the horrible things he did to others from his position of power. In addition, the repressive environment Rev. Kennett created to deal with dissent, left only those people who could function within that sort of repression. It is a self selecting system. Those who could not tolerate the repressive environment left, leaving only those who chose to function within it. You say Rev. Kennett softened over the years and became less repressive. Part of that may have been her own development and growth, and part of that may have been that the dissenters all left. I’m not talking about those who disagreed with Rev. Kennett. Most of us did that. I’m talking about those who found the repressive environment intolerable; those who could no longer accept her emotional outbursts as enlightened actions. Those people who were compelled to speak out about those particular things and stand their ground had no place at Shasta. They all left. If they remained, I don’t believe Rev. Kennett would have softened in the way you’ve described.

So with the true dissenters gone, there were only left those who learned to be silent, or who had no problem with that aspect of Rev. Kennett’s personality. There was left only those who accepted that the abbot (be it Rev. Kennett or Eko) could do little that was truly wrong to the point that one had to confront him or her and put oneself fully on the line. In other words, the frame of mind that supported Rev. Kennett’s “eccentricities,” was the identical state of mind that supported Eko’s abuses (it’s easier to call a spade a spade with Eko). The blind eye that was turned from Rev. Kennett’s emotional outbursts by rationalizing them into something they weren’t, was the same blind eye that turned from Eko’s abuse of his disciples and made that into a third kensho. I’m sure you’ve read Laura’s and Diana’s accounts. Laura went to Haryo and Meian only to be discounted. It was her koan. Eko is the abbot; she is the novice. It must be the misperceptions of those less enlightened. The blatantly obvious is obscured by the accepting state of mind that was cultivated through Rev. Kennett’s threats and repression over decades. She molded the environment into something that made not seeing the obvious a form of survival and a path to promotion. Silence is acceptable; active support is even better; calling a spade a spade—well, you might as well buy a bus ticket out of Shasta.

In my opinion, your putting aside Rev. Kennett’s eccentricities and focusing on your own practice is in part representative of the Institutional Trauma that Kozan and I have been yammering on and on about for months. But because you live and breath it, because you have rationalized and justified and assimilated it deep into your being, neither you nor any of the other monks can see it clearly. As long as enough monks minimize and rationalize and justify Rev. Kennett’s “eccentricities” the OBC is that much more likely to repeat history.

The very spiritual practice that you have cultivated and prize so dearly has a frightening dark side. This is why what you perceive as stones and insults continue to be offered to you and the OBC on this site. Offered. The shunning Laura received is what Rev. Kennett, not Eko, created to deal with dissent. Those remaining in the OBC are the good students who assimilated survival techniques to the point that they can no more see Eko’s blatant errors than they could see Rev. Kennett’s. The excesses Eko exhibited that were minimized and rationalized away, are a perhaps escalated version of the execesses of Rev. Kennett, but you cannot say the branch did not grow from the trunk. You cannot say that the soil of silence--the soil of focusing on oneself and silently accepting “eccentricity”--that nourished the trunk did not nourish the branch.

What monks fear, I think, is that if they acknowledge the extent of the dark part of Rev. Kennett’s legacy, then they will be betraying her. All admissions of Rev. Kennett’s mistakes are euphomisms: “eccentricities,” “she wasn’t perfect,” “I know she made some mistakes.” All of them dismiss the extent of the harm caused. But I think that it is only by acknowledging what happened--by listening to the pain recounted in the stories written on this site, and by understanding that in regard to mistakes made, in many ways, or at least some, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree--that the best of Rev. Kennett’s legacy will survive. You and the monks of the OBC might be surprised how many (though admittedly not all) of us would like to see that happen.

Food for thought perhaps. As always my friend, I would very much like to hear your considered thoughts on my comments. Please don’t avoid this by saying I should offer my services to Meian. If she wanted them, she would ask. I am interested in your thoughts. However, if you don’t have the time, desire, or energy, or feel it is too stressful or not good for your health, I can most certainly accept that.

As always,
Respectfully,
size12]Kaizan[/size]

PS. My only regret is that I have to put this on your Introduction thread. You know that causes problems for me.
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Iain

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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:30 pm

Howard wrote:

(1) What do you think could be lost with Shasta directly addressing the OBC connect on the various issues that have been brought up here?

(2) If this was all just a conflict between two people, what would you recommend these two people do?

Cheers

But it isn't a conflict between two people Howard. As far as I'm concerned it isn't a conflict at all, although I might disagree with some here about perceptions and causes. Inevitably as a UK layman who wasn't around at Shasta in the 70's and 80's I have a very different perspective on many questions raised here.

I also have two questions for you.

You ask why "Shasta" can't address "The OBC Connect" directly on the various issues raised here. Firstly I want to ask you just who do you think "The OBC Connect" and "Shasta" are? My opinion is that 'OBC Connect' consists of server space, some software, organisers/moderators and 158 registered users. About 15-20 users frequently contribute on a whole spectrum of questions, challenges and evidence, much of which is currently very critical of RMJK and in particular her actions and behaviour 34 years ago. It is extremely important and absolutely relevant to those here who were involved. It is also equally true that some present OBC monks were not even born when those events took place.

And who is "Shasta"? Rev. Master Meian? Or do you mean "The OBC"? The OBC is no large, sinister and secretive institution with executive powers. It is the administrative forum within which around 250 individual monks and lay people are able to collectively discuss and agree rules and propsositions. It just doesn't have a single "official view" of the kind sought by Chisan on many of the topics discussed here. But what they have already collectively resolved to do appears on the OBC website

Quote :
As many of you know already, the Abbot of Shasta recently left his post. As a result of the circumstances surrounding his departure, a committee was established at the conclave to carry forward a fact finding enquiry at Shasta Abbey by, or in conjunction with, an outside professional organization for the purpose of seeing what we can learn from these events. This matter has been a wake-up call to all of us and contributes to a sense that we need a period of reflection. During the discussions at the conclave, it became clear that we are ready to embrace the changes that are necessary, including the formation of the interim board, to review our structures and how we are all working together.

That enquiry is being set up now by the Interim Board. Contrary to what some might imagine I am sure everyone within the OBC is deeply concerned about what has happened at Shasta, why it happened, and what this is revealing about a wider need for more effective institutional checks and balances. What actually did happen and what can be done to make sure it doesn't happen again are questions on their minds, and I am sure that they will be exhaustively pursued.

The more direct and relevant evidence that they receive from all concerned, the more thorough their job is going to be. Through Rev. Sekai and the contributions that some other present seniors have made here over the last few months it is plain that contributors here are welcome at OBC temples. I'd say that if you want to see many of the issues being raised here positively and effectively addressed you were pushing against an open door, and so my second question is why not walk through it?

I have realised during this last few days that following this site and contributing is using up more time than I honestly have available at what is a busy time of year in a small Japanese 'cram school' business, and so I'm going to have to take more of a back seat in these discussions for the time being. Good luck!

in gassho

Iain
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:24 pm

Iain wrote:



You ask why "Shasta" can't address "The OBC Connect" directly on the various issues raised here. Firstly I want to ask you just who do you think "The OBC Connect" and "Shasta" are?

That enquiry is being set up now by the Interim Board. Contrary to what some might imagine I am sure everyone within the OBC is deeply concerned about what has happened at Shasta, why it happened, and what this is revealing about a wider need for more effective institutional checks and balances. What actually did happen and what can be done to make sure it doesn't happen again are questions on their minds, and I am sure that they will be exhaustively pursued.

Iain,

Speaking for myself (though I think it's what Howard also means) if the OBC were willing to have more of their senior monks participate in these discussions there would be a more tangible sense of their sincerity RE addressing problems. Opening the door and welcoming people to return is a fine first step, however taking another step and meeting people here on neutral, open ground would be much better. Seikai's willingness to participate here has made a big difference for many of us, but he is virtually alone and does not even officially represent the OBC leadership.

Regarding your confidence that the OBC will pursue their inquiry exhaustively I hope you're correct, but it remains to be seen.
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:58 am

Isan okay if there is not an official view I would settle for individual views on my questions
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:48 am

Hello Iain
I am intrigued that out of all the preceding posts that itemize the ever increasing craziness of the early Jiyu days, you choose my "call sometime" post to question.

well OK

I think of the OBC connect as a very convenient place for communication to evolve between Shasta management and those with claims against them. By management I mean senior Shasta monks. I personally use the word Shasta because I have no direct experience that Throssell is culpable.

It would be nice if the monks responding could represent Shasta but I would settle for any starting place. Rev. Seikai knows I'm not referring to him.
It may not be easy to answer some of the OBC connect questions but it's very simple to try. You know, it's that empathy, sympathy, compassion thing! It can be manifested with a phone call or the pecking out of a few keys on a computer.

Set up any committee, forum or research group you want but it all looks like digging a deeper hole to stick ones head in if you don't also act on the solution that is sitting right in front of you, right now.

A suggestion of drawing a line in the sand and saying who should cross it first is as helpful as asking for my definition of Shasta & the OBC connect. We are talking about two collections of adults who both claim extensive training in facing what is in front of them. What is missing is the direct communication between them.

How do two people with disagreements communicate with each other? It would help if both parties were willing to do so without anyone setting up a list of starting conditions with ego & turf. You can talk all day about talking or you can just talk. It doesn't have to be complicated.

I am prejudiced about this. The years that it took me to start seeing beyond my" Shasta is sacred" view is what I think it will take any fully indoctrinated Shastinite to wake up to. I hope they prove me wrong. I also have no fear that anything important will be broken in the process except our hold on foolishness.


Last edited by Howard on Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:30 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Cutting out the interesting & naughty bits. Moderaters are everywhere.)
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:07 am

I am just wanting to check ~ was there some kind of traditional "Zen etiquette" by which whoever was ordained or transmitted first had to be offered first refusal of a post such as abbot? (If that was the case, I have no idea who would have been first in line of eligibility.)
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:12 am

Anne, in response to your question:

"I am just wanting to check ~ was there some kind of traditional "Zen etiquette" by which whoever was ordained or transmitted first had to be offered first refusal of a post such as abbot?"

The answer is--no. In my opinion, ordination order hierarchy (indeed, hierarchy in general, and of all kinds) is given far too much importance--but nevertheless it has, or should have, no bearing on anything else.
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:14 am

Jcbaran wrote:

AND when her ACTIONS became progressively more angry, abusive, irrational and tyrannical -- well, they spoke much louder than her words. The roar of this tigress was harmful. And these were not just charming eccentricities. The "central message" is what you do, how you treat your fellow men/women, your everyday actions.

...

But the bottom line for this post -- leaving wasn't just about me. It was equally or even more important that everything in me screamed to STOP DOING HARM. Stop this emotional brutality that was hurting others, turning them into fearful dependent children.

I think that is the crux of the issue I have with the OBC. If it's harmful, I want it to cease to exist if it cannot reform.

It's also the crux of good Buddhism. There is a Zen saying that captures the crucial point:

Quote :
If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.

It is the a great freedom to realize that the Buddha is not your Master, is not your "superiors" -- not anything outside of you at all. It is an enlightenment of sorts to see for yourself -- clearly -- whether or not it contradicts what others (including your Master) have told you or are requesting from you. And it is the clear message of Buddhism, that YOU and no one else (including some Master) are responsible for your actions. It is that acceptance of adulthood that is a key step to freedom. Just as every mentally healthy child leaves his parent and becomes independent -- free -- and even acting contrary to the parent's wishes -- every one who wishes to be free actually has to become free -- with all the responsibilities of freedom.

The freedom to see Jiyu clearly within the OBC isn't evident. No freedom -- no enlightenment. That, Seikai, is an opportunity this forum offers -- a window on the wider world of seeing both sides -- perhaps a last opportunity for many in the OBC to wake up and see things without the filters and colors that have become so ingrained in their seeing that they think that's the way the world is..

Seeing the dark side, seeing that Jiyu wasn't enlightened -- certainly not at any exalted level -- will be extremely painful for those who have invested so much time in the myth. It will be a devastating blow to the ego which will have to admit it was wrong -- was fooled yet again. But i don't see any way to freedom without that. And without freedom -- no enlightenment.
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:30 am

Funny jack for some reason I was racking what is left of my brains trying to think of the saying' if you meet the Buddha' and there you go and wright it. is that the saying? seems harsh eh
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:31 pm

Jitsudo wrote:

"AND when her ACTIONS became progressively more angry, abusive, irrational and tyrannical -- well, they spoke much louder than her words. not just charming eccentricities.
The roar of this tigress was harmful. "

Rev. Master used to say: Enlightened action leaves no wake.

She could produce tsunamis.
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:50 pm

"Enlightened action leads no wake." Great saying. Great ideal.
And you are right. Based on what is happening right now, on this board, based on what was happening at Shasta during these last decades, there seem to be an infinity of wakes,

tsunamis, tidal waves, hurricanes of confusion and bad feelings

How did this happen? What happened?

I would point out -- even if you believe the delusion that we / the former students all misunderstood, we all got it wrong, we are all to blame

- well, that would confirm and prove conclusively what poor teaching was going on. Kennett loved the television soap opera "Dark Shadows" -- well, I guess she acted it out.

And what about all this BLAME? At Shasta, "blame" was a paramita.....
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:24 am

But I think that it is only by acknowledging what happened--by listening to the pain recounted in the stories written on this site, and by understanding that in regard to mistakes made, in many ways, or at least some, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree--that the best of Rev. Kennett’s legacy will survive. You and the monks of the OBC might be surprised how many (though admittedly not all) of us would like to see that happen.

This is intended specifically for Kaizan:
Who, exactly needs to acknowledge what happened? Have I, being the only OBC monk to engage in any dialogue on this forum, so far failed to acknowledged that people were harmed, or that they feel pain? Are you thinking that a certain critical number of OBC monks needs to participate in some way in this acknowledgement, and if so, how would you suggest they do that?

As usual, I pretty much agree with what you wrote in your last post, and being in the awkward position that I am, I still wonder how I could set in motion the wheels for a broader detente, conversation, healing process. Being a web forum, people who are not standing in front of you, or are in the same room with you, say some really nasty, aggressive things. As long as that goes on, wouldn't it stand to reason that most monks of the OBC would want nothing to do with this site?

I was actually serious when I suggested that you might try contacting Rev. Master Meian or Rev. Master Haryo and offer to help, because you have a point of view that appears to be fairly well thought out, and they both know you pretty well. I think we are ready to move beyond the days of simply dismissing criticism of RMJK without first considering whether it has validity. The validity of it, at least in your specific case, comes from a point of view that probably few monks in the OBC share, and so there would be a bridge to cross with respect to reaching a common understanding--if such a thing were possible at all.

Have you tried writing it out on paper and sending it as a letter to either of the two forementioned monks? Although society might well have moved beyond the pen and paper stage of our technological development, there is something in the physical act of committing ones thoughts to paper that carries meaning, as opposed to just typing it out on a computer and firing it off to the world of the internet. (I am not casting aspersions on the internet, please understand this.) Another way of asking my question is, Where do we start? Or: How can you put what you are thinking down in such a way that the monks of the OBC will take it seriously? Can you see that I am trying to help you? And, by extension, if you and the OBC (a few monks, anyway, one would hope) can have a serious conversation, will that have any effect on others out there who have grievances, and if that helps, maybe it will help the OBC at large?

As I've said before, I don't have much in the way of answers. Pretty much everything I say gets met with a hailstorm of criticism; I personally don't have anything to gain or lose, so it doesn't matter too much to me that this is the way things are. I have said that I'm human and that my feelings get hurt. This makes me also wonder if anyone realizes that, where I'm concerned, they are sort of taking on the role of RMJK, with her emotional outbursts, and now the same stuff is being projected back onto me. Is that karma? Am I the one who gets to feel the karmic fruit (vipaka) for the actions of my master (karma)? As I said once before, I've had to live with one degree or another of emotional terrorism, or at least upheaval, most of my life--I've gotten pretty comfortable with it--and I resolved a long time ago to be the one with whom the whole vicious cycle stops. Not sure I'm very good at it, but I do try.

Is there any way you could determine how many of you (who are you referring to?) would actually like to see the best of RMJK's legacy survive?

For myself, years ago I came to an acceptance that the OBC might not survive for very long, given its strange beginnings and the kinds of things people say about it/us. I don't feel that there is much within my power that I can do about that possibility, just as there was little or nothing I could do about anything while RMJK was still alive to alter the course of events, or have any impact on how she did things. Then and now, I've just tried to do the best I can, to have a positive influence on people in little ways, and then let go of it. Do you think I'm a wimp? Do you think I'm dodging responsibility? Truth be told, I'm fairly helpless; I'm definitely not very important.

Once again, thank you for your comments and your friendship.
Respectfully, Rev. Seikai
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:45 am

Hi Rev Seikai
I do have more questions and issues to raise. I appreciate your reply and I am not prepared to raise them with you on the basis that you seem hurt and I have no intention of causing you to feel hurt. To balance Kennett did not feel the same way about any of us,she had no such feeling wether she destroyed her former pupils and friends why because they dare mention the truth about Jesus Bodhidarma and her behavior. All of these things would have caused her not to look too good in the religious world
I respect your letter your feelings I do not want to hurt you
take care my friend
Chisan
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:01 am

Seikai, I feel the same as Chisan -- I don't want to see you hurt. I don't think anyone does.

But it is time for some tough love. I think you're winding us up here. I notice that you ask the same questions repeatedly, get the same answers, decline to reply to most of them, and then express hurt over the content of the answers. Could it be that the way to stop this endless loop is to really look at what's coming back and respond, instead of denigrating the replies as nasty and aggressive?

Or if it is just Kaizan you want to talk with, there's nothing wrong with going to him directly via PM. It might be more productive and less hurtful to you than the forum community's understandable response.

Either way I hope you will find a way to feel better about your participation here. If it's causing you suffering, that's really no good.

Regards,
Lise


Last edited by Lise on Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:01 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : seeking a better tone)
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:11 pm

I disagree. 90% of what Seikai receives here is tough love. If I were him I'd have already had my fill of tough love. Many try to be sensitive to those who've suffered abuse. It is almost impossible for people to understand how difficult it is for Seikai to be doing what he's trying to do here. Monks in the OBC have their own answers to the questions we ask and have never subjected themselves to this sort of interrogation. To digest half of what has been thrown at Seikai and rethink decades of assumptions and cherished beliefs that have been nurtured and reinforced within an enclosed environment is something most people on this site don't really understand. We are asking Seikai to consider things that his order has been extremely wary of to say the least. I personally feel some guilt even posting a response to Seikai as there are 50 arrows from as many directions as soon as he peeps his head out the door. To consider his feelings as we have tried to do with others who are sensitive seems reasonable to me. Anyway this is my opinion.
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:14 pm

"To consider his feelings as we have tried to do with others who are sensitive seems reasonable to me. Anyway this is my opinion."

Thank you, Kaizan. I've spent the last ten minutes trying to work out how to say just that. Spot on!
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:11 pm

Kaizan, I understand what you're saying. My response was directed to the issue that Seikai seems to be creating suffering for himself in the way he engages with the forum, though I know he and others may not agree.

It is good to be sensitive to people. But OBC Connect is not designed as a therapeutic environment, although some may feel they get therapy by being here. If therapy norms governed, this would be a private forum with very controlled membership and rigid guidelines on the boundaries of challenging others. That is not the case. No one reading this should get the impression that a poster's comments must be handled with kid gloves because he or she says they are hurt by others' comments. Civil speech is required here, but not all-acceptance or group validation. There is definitely room on the Internet for a therapy-specific OBC site, but realistically it cannot be this one.

I don't see Seikai as a victim of abuse who must be given cotton-wool treatment until he breaks free of his abuse syndrome. I take his comments at face value, as coming from a competent adult who's here of his own free will. I see him as being stuck in a cycle of trying to engage, but not on the same ground rules as the rest of us. Then he gets upset and goes away, then comes back . . . My opinion is that he could benefit from looking at this habit pattern and how his own actions contribute to it.

Lise
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Jimyo

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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:33 pm

"Then he gets upset and goes away, then comes back"

Eh????? We all go away and then come back. That's how internet forums work. Am I remembering wrong, or haven't we recently had the reappearance of someone who left a bit back in a huff, saying they weren't coming back - and it passed without comment. Rev Seikai appears to be treated differently to anyone else on here. He makes reasonable if unpopular comments, is attacked, and then everyone says it's his fault!

That's how it appears to me anyway, as an impartial observer.
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:08 pm

Kaizan, will you be able to answer Seikai's questions in his post addressed to you, above Question

If you're totting up the numbers that would "like to see the best of RMJK's legacy survive", please count me in.

:-) Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:19 pm

Jimyo, not all of us sign off, not by a long shot. I do remember when you said you weren't posting anymore b/c some posts made you physically ill. I wouldn't have mentioned it because since then you seem to have acclimated and understand that forums involve rough-and-tumble. I don't think Seikai gets that, still, and if he did, things might go better for him. That's why I mentioned the cycle of going away and coming back; I don't think it will change unless he looks closer at what's causing it. The forum dynamic isn't going to change, so . . . the only thing he can alter is his expectations of it.

To me he isn't treated differently. He's being held accountable for what he says. No one is seeking to draw him out and then pounce, have you noticed that? He poses questions but doesn't like the answers, and won't reply except very selectively. The responses show forceful disagreement with his views, but they aren't an attack on him as a person. How could any of us get through a job performance review or oral exams for a PhD, if we took hard questions as a personal attack?

It is interesting to me that you and I see this so differently. I won't go on and on -- it's another "agree to disagree", and that's ok. It happens.
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:03 pm

Lise
This is the first time I've been on a forum but my best guess is this is an unusual situation. Almost everyone is trying to point out errors made by the monks of the OBC and the defenders of their position on this site. On the other side there are only a couple of voices. That along with the dynamics I mentioned in my previous post creates what I think might be a highly unusual forum, though anyone please correct me if I'm wrong. These are factor ive considered in my own responses and because of this I expressed the opinion I did. But I view it as just an opinion thrown out for people's consideration. I have no desire to direct what they actually do with that opinion. They will read it and then assimilate some, none or all of it. What they choose is fine by me. If everyone conducted business in the same manner it would be a very boring forum.


Last edited by Kaizan on Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:15 pm

Yes, Kaizan, it is very unusual, and I have a lot of experience of internet forums. I also get the impression - though I can't be quite sure - that a lot of 'defenders', as you put it, come on here, post once or twice, then leave because they don't like the....shall we say generally accepted attitude on here. I've seen a couple of people apparently do that just in the short time I've been here. I tried to do just that, but...for some reason I'm not quite sure of it seems important that I stay.

I could be wrong about reasons and details, but the net result is that these forums are extremely one-sided, and that, yes, is unusual....I won't say any more right now as I'm still jet-lagged and want to go to bed!
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:47 pm

What you say might be in part true, but I think another aspect of it might be that the subject matter being discussed here has been so repressed that the standard defenses they use when this subject matter has been brought up--dismiss it, repress it, ignore it, criticize and ostracize the person bringing it up--doesnt work here. I think everyone defending the OBC has employed at least one of these techniques without even being aware of doing so. There is no self to hurt, it's time to move on, I'm fine why aren't you, etc. All these are atempts to silence criticism. Of course it won't be silenced. These methods have worked when dealing with one person at a time within the confines of the OBC. When it doesnt work here and attempts are made to point out why it doesn't, this seems to be experienced as unfair, so they leave. Of course with having a voice combined with camaraderie for the first time, there is the danger of mob mentality developing, but some understanding for this also might be in order. I think there is truth to what both of us are saying.
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:06 am

I completely agree with you Kaizan,It is a bit why did some leave when they thought it was wrong practice and some stay. I did move on and drop it too but here I am with a right to be here. My problem is I smell cover up mew people thought things were OK and good without being told the wholw picture .
if it were generaly know, Eko saying the Abbottof Sojiji did not have understanding, Or kennett was Bodhidarma, Eko was Jesus,I think a more balanced view could have been formed, In the 35 year old letter line 8 Kennett says any other experience rumored should be ignored, the rumors were the Jesus story.So I agree with you about the subtle tactics used to defend a position
It is a Dharma battle we have the right to speak, Any Buddhist looking in from around the world would agree.
Thanks also for your kind thoughts
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:05 am

Jimyo, what seems to you like unfair criticism or excess negativism is actually fresh air to those of us who trained as lay people, never daring to speak up when we saw irrational behavior or heard crazy teaching. We just accepted whatever we were taught and did whatever we were told, whether it made sense in the rational world or not. I believed that whatever the monks said was right because they followed in a direct line from Jiyu.

Reading this forum has opened my eyes to the blind obedience that was expected of lay people and what I bought into for over 12 years. This forum -- especially the stories of those monks who have struggled and finally left the OBC -- has opened up a world of spiritual thinking for me.

I don't understand why you and others feel such a strong need to defend the OBC, its founder, and her followers.
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:21 am

I would like to hear more of your views Violet,I feel sometimes we were given an opportunity to say no to what we did not believe in, no matter how long it took,I also feel, it is equal importance and diffcult to to mo to these things and yes to what we feel is true practice now.
Now if that is not dualistic thinking I do not know what is!
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Jimyo

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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:09 am

Vio;et,

"I don't understand why you and others feel such a strong need to defend the OBC, its founder, and her followers."

I say it as I saw and experienced it, and I've tried to make that clear. For the umpteenth time on these forums, I learned a huge amount at Shasta and Throssel, and it's affected my life positively ever since. I'm not going to keep repeating that any more, since no-one seems to hear me anyway. It wasn't perfect, but I don't perceive that as a problem...even though improving things is always nice and a good aim to have.

Strong need? It may not be meant that way, but that's unfair and insulting!!!!! It seems to invalidate my experience. I could just as well say I don't see why you feel such a strong need to criticise, couldn't I - completely ignoring whatever good reasons you might have. How would you feel about that?

The blind obedience was your choice. I questioned and criticised as a lay person, and as a monk, and as a monk I was questioned and criticised by lay people. The world never fell in. If you and others felt blind obedience was expected...why? Do you still always follow what's expected of you?
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:13 am

:-) Hello Seikai

Quote :
Who, exactly needs to acknowledge what happened? Have I, being the only OBC monk to engage in any dialogue on this forum, so far failed to acknowledged that people were harmed, or that they feel pain? Are you thinking that a certain critical number of OBC monks needs to participate in some way in this acknowledgement, and if so, how would you suggest they do that?...

I was actually serious when I suggested that you might try contacting Rev. Master Meian or Rev. Master Haryo and offer to help, because you have a point of view that appears to be fairly well thought out, and they both know you pretty well. I think we are ready to move beyond the days of simply dismissing criticism of RMJK without first considering whether it has validity. The validity of it, at least in your specific case, comes from a point of view that probably few monks in the OBC share, and so there would be a bridge to cross with respect to reaching a common understanding--if such a thing were possible at all.

Have you tried writing it out on paper and sending it as a letter to either of the two forementioned monks? Although society might well have moved beyond the pen and paper stage of our technological development, there is something in the physical act of committing ones thoughts to paper that carries meaning, as opposed to just typing it out on a computer and firing it off to the world of the internet. (I am not casting aspersions on the internet, please understand this.) Another way of asking my question is, Where do we start? Or: How can you put what you are thinking down in such a way that the monks of the OBC will take it seriously?...And, by extension, if you and the OBC (a few monks, anyway, one would hope) can have a serious conversation, will that have any effect on others out there who have grievances, and if that helps, maybe it will help the OBC at large?...

Is there any way you could determine how many of you (who are you referring to?) would actually like to see the best of RMJK's legacy survive?
Are these actual questions (i.e not rhetorical) that you would like Kaizan to answer, if possible, on this forum?
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:10 am

Jimyo
I too got a lot that was good from Throssel, Shasta and Jiyu. However I also got quite a lot that was bad, it took sometime to sort out which was which. As I have said elsewhere I felt that things went badly wrong and that I was being forced to follow, so I left. In my experience blind obedience was expected, nay often demanded. It seems that it was not for either you or Daishin. Good, that was a distinct improvement in the right direction. What had gone wrong, as I saw it, is known in many ascetic orders. Below is a quote from the wikipedia article on Hesychasm (the prayer of jesus), I think that many of us early critics would feel that it applied:

"Orthodox Tradition warns against seeking ecstasy as an end in itself. Hesychasm is a traditional complex of ascetical practices embedded in the doctrine and practice of the Orthodox Church and intended to purify the member of the Orthodox Church and to make him ready for an encounter with God that comes to him when and if God wants, through God's Grace. The goal is to acquire, through purification and Grace, the Holy Spirit and salvation. Any ecstatic states or other unusual phenomena which may occur in the course of Hesychast practice are considered secondary and unimportant, even quite dangerous. Moreover, seeking after unusual 'spiritual' experiences can itself cause great harm, ruining the soul and the mind of the seeker. Such a seeking after 'spiritual' experiences can lead to spiritual delusion (Ru. prelest, Gr. plani)—the antonym of sobriety—in which a person believes himself or herself to be a saint, has hallucinations in which he or she 'sees' angels, Christ, etc. This state of spiritual delusion is in a superficial, egotistical way pleasurable, but can lead to madness and suicide, and, according to the Hesychast fathers, makes salvation impossible."
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesychasm; 10/Dec/2010 10:46gmt)

Anne
First, I'm sorry I have not replied to your direct questions to me about my behaviour towards you at Throssel. I' am very sorry but I do not remember you, I should but time, trauma and increasing age means that much of then is very foggy. If I was remiss or hurtful in any way I apologise, I certainly was not perfect then or now.

Your points in your post and Seikai's is well taken and I have something to say on them both to you, Seikai, Daishin Morgan and the OBC in general, some positive, some negative. However I have to go out now and will try to formulate and thoughts and finish this post later.
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:35 am

Mark,

I can't really comment accurately on the experiences which caused you to leave, as I wasn't there. However, the impressions I've received have been that your visit to Shasta in 1975 (or was it 1976?) was at a strange time for RMJK and Shasta. A lot was going on, and it took some time to sort out. Experiences may well have been given undue importance, but by the time I got there in 1977, that wasn't the case; things had settled down, and the practice was definitely rooted in meditation. At least, that was how I perceived it. I suspect if you'd stuck around you might have felt differently, but of course I can't possibly know that. Are you basing all your thoughts on that one last visit to Shasta?

I'm not criticising or even thinking of anyone specific when I say this, but I think there's a danger in looking at what was going on with the OBC over a short period many years ago, and then extrapolating from that on a wider scale. Mistakes were made; we all acknowledge that. I spent many years after I left feeling quite angry and hurt, for all sorts of reasons. It took me a while to realise that there had been a thread of greater good running through everything, all the time, and that I was feeding and giving too much importance to little things. But then, none of you want to hear me say that again, do you?
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:45 am

Jimyo wrote:
But then, none of you want to hear me say that again, do you?

Jimyo--This is passive-aggressive. You are otherwise on very firm ground, imo. People who are being critical should be encouraged to look at themselves, which is exactly what I think you're doing by testifying to your own experience.

Too bad if they get angry. Can't do nothing 'bout that.

*Sends encouragement*
--Dan
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:45 am

Re visions mentioned in HGLB and other contemporary visions

Jimyo wrote:
Quote :
...the impressions I've received have been that your visit to Shasta in 1975 (or was it 1976?) was at a strange time for RMJK and Shasta. A lot was going on, and it took some time to sort out. Experiences may well have been given undue importance, but by the time I got there in 1977, that wasn't the case; things had settled down, and the practice was definitely rooted in meditation. At least, that was how I perceived it.
I do wonder if the imagery of Jesus and Bodhidharma arose as archetypes but, being mixed in with scenes from perhaps actual past lives, the nature of the former images was confusing at the time. For example, I note that RMJK first interpreted a vision she had of the formless plane as a past life (see HGLB ed. 1, "Vast Emptiness"); by the time of publishing HGLB ed. 2, she had concluded that it was a prediction of what could happen (see ed. 2, "The Formless Plane").

I can sympathise with these sorts of things being confusing to unravel quickly. The literal take on Jesus and Bodhidharma may have been fairly short-lived.

(Note: I may be using the term "archetype" loosely here, as I would include activities, scenery and inanimate objects, etc, like the "scaling the glass mountains" and the "paper moon" of illusory peace. Psychologists ~ please feel free to advise.)
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:22 am

This is in response to Violet's and Jimyo's comments:
This is certainly an open forum and supposedly "all viewpoints are welcome." This will sound obvious, but I'll say it anyway; of course there are things that are written that will offend people. I'm sure I've offended many. However, I am stating my own experience. I don't have a problem with anyone stating their own experience. But, I do get annoyed, irritated, angry, upset, etc... when people argue about or criticize other people's experiences. I don't think "playing devil's advocate" is useful AT ALL. Jimyo, you have admitted to playing devil's advocate, and there are consequences to that. For me, and I don't mean this to sound harsh, but honestly, I can't read your posts most of the time because of this. I'm sure there are many who won't read mine as well. I'm not suggesting we boycott people's posts and I'm actually glad Violet said something because it makes a good point. I know for me, what helps and what is not helpful. I am finding ways to be here and listen and respond and it is difficult sometimes. It is helping me and at least a few others so I'll continue as best as I can.
~Diana
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:00 pm

Jimyo wrote:

The blind obedience was your choice. I questioned and criticized as a lay person, and as a monk, and as a monk I was questioned and criticized by lay people. The world never fell in. If you and others felt blind obedience was expected...why? Do you still always follow what's expected of you?

Jimyo I feel this is an inaccurate assessment. Obedience was presented as part of the practice. People were told to put their doubts and objections on the "back burner". When you come to a spiritual practice that's reasonable since you're trying something new and you're trusting the teachers. Saying that people should have maintained the ability to discriminate and criticize is to suggest that they should have in fact rejected the practice.

Once you had stuff accumulating on your "back burner" you were in trouble. The only solution offered was "keep training" when it was already clear that wasn't working. There never was a sanctioned avenue for expressing doubt and criticism. You did so at your own risk and it rarely if ever had a good outcome. How would you define "the world never fell in"? I saw people thrown out of Shasta Abbey for challenging the "teaching". People are only able to really work this stuff out after they leave.


Last edited by Isan on Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:22 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : edit for accuracy)
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:39 pm

I feel this is what happens when the dharma is attempted to be taught mentally or through will power, rather than spiritually heart to heart
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:02 pm

With my fading memory I am grateful for the few postings that continue to represent the (inside Shasta) views that brought most of us to this forum . Their tenacious hold on this sacred cow helps remind me how difficult it is to really let go. Cow, leash and holder reminding us of our former bindings and what it took to break free.

You know not how you help!

Thank you.
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john

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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:49 pm

Was it Hermann Hesse who said the opposite of truth is also true,
not sure but it sounds apt.
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:02 pm

I think it was, I must go back and find my copy of Magister Ludi.

But you are rightr a falsehood is true, just not true as what it purports to be. It is true as what it is, a falsehood.
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:14 pm

Jimyo,

The fact that you got a lot of good from OBC and being a monk has indeed been stated umpteen times. We get it. The fact that you left but can still concentrate on the good is admirable. We get that. You seem to think that those whose experiences were negative and who feel helped and validated by participation on this forum are somehow less mature and clear sighted than you, making me wonder if you would not feel right at home back at the monastery. Playing devil's advocate is condescending and insulting. There are people here who have and still are suffering great pain and confusion, and none of them need to be told that they are spiritually and morally substandard for having those feelings.

Your suggestion that OBC's problems were confined to a brief period decades ago means you have not heard what others were saying here. But it also may mean that not enough current information has been put on the forum. Based on that I will go ahead and put up my experience which occurred throughout the past four and a half years. I will post it elsewhere, in the "experiences" section since this thread belongs to Seikai I believe.

Polly


Last edited by polly on Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:41 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : said one sentence too many. perhaps more but I left them.)
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:02 pm

Polly,

"none of them need to be told that they are spiritually and morally substandard for having those feelings."

Your words and thoughts, not mine. I never said that or thought it. If you read that into my posts, well, it leaves me speechless, to be honest. I also neither said nor thought anything about people's maturity or clearsightedness, or lack of it - again, it seems to be in your head. I'd rather appreciate it if you didn't put words into my mouth!

As for people not needing to be told certain things, as Lise keeps emphasising, these are internet forums, and we don't have to run rings around outselves considering people's possible feelings. So, while I'd never ever deliberately hurt anyone, I don't intend to beat about the bush. I'll say what I think, and if you don't like it, that's your problem and I don't in all honesty [admin delete] - most especially after your last post!


Last edited by Watson on Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:09 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : forum rules violation / obscenities, coarse language)
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:34 pm

To Seikai and Jimyo,

If your interested, please read my last two posts in the Making it Known: Why are you separated from the OBC thread in OBC Experiences.

I've tried to explain there why many people on this forum get frustrated with the way OBC members and their defenders respond to them. I'd be very interested in your thoughts on the posts.

Thanks

To Seikai,
Those posts I think might answer (or try to) one (possibly more) of the questions you posed to me. I will try to get to others as I can.
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:43 pm

Isan,
Your post is right on the money and the fact that wrote it helped me to see that indeed, nothing has changed at the Abbey or OBC in the 40 or so years it's been around. I experienced exactly what you said! There is no difference between us- it is the same for one training now or 30 years ago! I'm having a big AHA moment. :-)
Thanks,
Diana
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:53 am

I'm trying to hunt down and answer questions:

(1) What do you think could be lost with Shasta directly addressing the OBC connect on the various issues that have been brought up here?

(2) If this was all just a conflict between two people, what would you recommend these two people do? (asked by Howard)


In answer to 1): Face, perhaps, but not much else. Since I don't live there, I don't know much about the composition of the community and the overall dynamic since the departure of Eko Little; thus, I don't know who would be in the best position to do what you suggest here.

In answer to 2): In the world, don't people usually seek a third party, such as a mediator that both parties agree to, to resolve disputes? I've inserted myself in here to, in part, try to mediate a bit or at least try to clarify some things that were murky. Obviously, the conversation has moved on a long way since then and now I realize more fully the limitations under which I operate.

But it is time for some tough love. I think you're winding us up here. I notice that you ask the same questions repeatedly, get the same answers, decline to reply to most of them, and then express hurt over the content of the answers. Could it be that the way to stop this endless loop is to really look at what's coming back and respond, instead of denigrating the replies as nasty and aggressive? (asked by Lise)

Could you please give me an example of a question that I have asked repeatedly? (Meant as a serious question, not rhetorical.) Seems to me that it isn't often that I get direct answers to my questions. I have asked several questions of Kaizan, recently, and he has indicated that he will try to answer them in the due course of time. Regarding your last sentence, which is phrased as a question, I think the answer is no. I've noticed the endless loop, also; it seems to me to be the result of a basic communication problem, of people having different sets of assumptions and motivations. For instance, you tend to come from a very emotional orientation to things, while I come from a very monastic orientation to things, in which I was taught that emotionality didn't actually solve anything. I sometimes try to bridge these basic communication problems; the use nasty of and aggressive language is well known to be very unhelpful in the resolving of disputes, meaning that if people were to refrain from that, it might go a long way towards having a meaningful conversation. The fact that it is so difficult to have a meaningful conversation on this site is something I find disheartening, but it is the nature of the beast nevertheless.

I don't see Seikai as a victim of abuse who must be given cotton-wool treatment until he breaks free of his abuse syndrome. I take his comments at face value, as coming from a competent adult who's here of his own free will. I see him as being stuck in a cycle of trying to engage, but not on the same ground rules as the rest of us. Then he gets upset and goes away, then comes back . . . My opinion is that he could benefit from looking at this habit pattern and how his own actions contribute to it. (Lise, cont.)

I'm going to ignore all your judgments of me, and make just one point: My life does not revolve around the OBC connect forum. Sometimes I need to not read/respond for periods of time because I have other, more important things to attend to, or because I simply don't have the energy. Those are simply conditions of my life, and I'm sorry if they do not meet with your approval.

Or if it is just Kaizan you want to talk with, there's nothing wrong with going to him directly via PM. It might be more productive and less hurtful to you than the forum community's understandable response.

Either way I hope you will find a way to feel better about your participation here. If it's causing you suffering, that's really no good. (Lise, cont.)

It would seem that Kaizan would like to carry on this conversation in the open, which is fine with me. As to my mentioning that I find things hurtful, please try to consider the following: The social unity that most closely resembles the OBC is the family, as opposed to some other sort of human institution or organization. Dogen wrote that there is greater intimacy within the Buddhist priesthood than what most people have with themselves....whether you believe that or not is up to you, of course, but he is making a point about the nature of the monastic Sangha. So, to have people say the things they do, even if the underlying motivation is positive in the sense that they desire change in the OBC, they want old wrongs to be righted and so on, is often fairly painful. These are things that people are saying about my family, and I am only trying to engender a tiny bit of sympathy. I doubt that you would be thrilled if people debased your family as they do mine, regardless of the motive.

Are these actual questions (i.e not rhetorical) that you would like Kaizan to answer, if possible, on this forum? (question from Anne)
Yes, these are actual questions, not meant as rhetorical comments. The reason that I have posed them is the following: I'm trying to find a way forward towards the actual resolution of problems, as opposed to the endless continuation of sitting around and talking about them. As I have said before, I realize that the talking phase is necessary and useful to many people, and I sincerely hope that they arrive at a place of greater clarity as a consequence of having done so. And maybe it is wishful thinking on my part, but I'd like to think that there might be ways to actually create some good will in all of this. I'm looking for solutions.....one solution which has been offered is for someone from the OBC to acknowledge that my Master acted in ways which were cruel, as well as harmful to people who studied under her. I'm thinking about that; the use of the word cruel implies deliberate will to inflict pain on someone. That is very strong language.

To Kaizan:
Yes, I looked at your posts on that other thread, the one that I inadvertantly authored. Thank you again for your observations. If you have posed any questions to me that I have, as yet, seemingly ignored or not answered, please re-ask them or point them out. I'm trying to corral all my stray unanswered questions and answer them if I can.

Just one final point: I do sometimes deliberately ignore questions which, if I sit still with them and just let them be in my mind for a while, sort of regurgitate back up as not being worth the dignity of a response. And it is only fair that if someone, Kaizan for instance, were to feel the same way towards a question of mine, they would let it go unanswered.

Respectfully submitted,
Rev. Seikai
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:30 am

Hello Seikai

Great answer to question (1) Thank you.
I think the answer is not so much of who because any willing senior monk representing the OBC would be something over nothing. In fact I don't think they should need to represent the OBC to start with.. The other part would be when.

For Question (2) I would submit that the first action for two people with a disagreement to do is to get them to directly talk to each other. Its not that complicated. If that doesn't work after both parties have tried direct communication, then a third party can be introduced to moderate.

I'm married, If I needed a third party to moderate disagreements I wouldn't even get through breakfast.

If the idea of talking to someone who may bring up doubt of ones teacher or training is too scary to do directly, then that just speaks to the fragility of ones faith. One might even say that ones faith has been possibly substituted for habit.
If it is just a question of saving face then that's just grist for the mill and why our practise includes meditation.

If your list of those wishing to throw their hat in to help is real and disgruntled laymen
are acceptable then I'm in.

Thanks again for your help.
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:46 am

Rev. Seikai wrote:

... I'm going to ignore all your judgments of me, ...

I agree with your position on that. I will do the same.

Rev. Seikai wrote:

... and I am only trying to engender a tiny bit of sympathy. I doubt that you would be thrilled if people debased your family as they do mine, regardless of the motive.
It wouldn't be a question of my feelings, Seikai, not where other people have been hurt like this. If my family had been up to the tricks that some OBC monks have, I would be deeply thankful for having a different last name and living on another continent as I do. I would not try to work up sympathy, not even a tiny bit, in order to assuage my own hurt feelings about the long-overdue and well-deserved public spanking they're getting. And I would not try for sympathy from a group comprised mostly of those who have been harmed. That one puzzles me the most.

Rev. Seikai wrote:

I'm looking for solutions.....one solution which has been offered is for someone from the OBC to acknowledge that my Master acted in ways which were cruel, as well as harmful to people who studied under her. I'm thinking about that; the use of the word cruel implies deliberate will to inflict pain on someone. That is very strong language.

Do you talk with the other monks about this? It's good that you're looking for solutions and want to help things move forward. But could you perhaps be more effective by engaging other OBC members and working with them, in addition to your posts on this forum? For some reason I think you come here to talk because you can't talk to them about these things. Am I even partially right?

Lise
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Henry

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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:01 am

Seikai
You wrote:
Who, exactly needs to acknowledge what happened? Have I, being the only OBC monk to engage in any dialogue on this forum, so far failed to acknowledged that people were harmed, or that they feel pain?

I think I answered this in an indirect way in the two posts on the Making it known thread yesterday. What I got from this question is that we keep going around and your acknowledgement of harm never seems enough. I do want to acknowledge that you’ve done this, and I believe I have made such acknowledgments, but I hope my posts give a reasonable answer to the frustration you feel and is in turn felt by many on this site. Did my posts provide a satisfactory answer?

Are you thinking that a certain critical number of OBC monks needs to participate in some way in this acknowledgement, and if so, how would you suggest they do that?

And:

I was actually serious when I suggested that you might try contacting Rev. Master Meian or Rev. Master Haryo and offer to help, because you have a point of view that appears to be fairly well thought out, and they both know you pretty well. I think we are ready to move beyond the days of simply dismissing criticism of RMJK without first considering whether it has validity. The validity of it, at least in your specific case, comes from a point of view that probably few monks in the OBC share, and so there would be a bridge to cross with respect to reaching a common understanding--if such a thing were possible at all.

Have you tried writing it out on paper and sending it as a letter to either of the two forementioned monks? Although society might well have moved beyond the pen and paper stage of our technological development, there is something in the physical act of committing ones thoughts to paper that carries meaning, as opposed to just typing it out on a computer and firing it off to the world of the internet. (I am not casting aspersions on the internet, please understand this.) Another way of asking my question is, Where do we start? Or: How can you put what you are thinking down in such a way that the monks of the OBC will take it seriously? Can you see that I am trying to help you? And, by extension, if you and the OBC (a few monks, anyway, one would hope) can have a serious conversation, will that have any effect on others out there who have grievances, and if that helps, maybe it will help the OBC at large?

To this I can only say that I barely know where to begin to start in regard to how a détente could be practically set up. I have asked those who are interested on this site to let me know who they are. That is a start. I think a statement by Meian and Haryo on this site inviting anyone interested would be helpful, though I would understand that they would not be comfortable with this site as a means to conduct an ongoing attempt at resolution as there are so many different agendas. I think it would be appropriate for them to apologize to Diana, Laura, Polly (and others if they wished to), publicly on this site, though again, I understand the ongoing resolution between those parties (if those I mentioned were even interested in any of this) would need to be conducted in another manner. I think such public apologies would be an act of good faith. The silence, the keeping these things from the light of day, the hiding of them in “private conversations” that get nowhere but putting all the responsibility on the complainant have become tiresome and predictable beyond measure. These public apologies specific to individuals would be an act of good faith that the OBC is making an effort to put an end to this decades long insulting practice. From there hopefully someone could come up with ideas for an ongoing discussion. These are just ideas of my own. I certainly speak for no one, as do you.

Please let me know if I’ve left anything unanswered.

PS So far Anne and Howard have signed up. Isan has expressed interest also.
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:12 pm

Kaizan, definitely count me in.

Since working towards a collective recognition, healing, and transformation of harmful dynamics within the OBC has always been my primary interest (since well before I joined the forum)--I have always considered myself "in". As a result, I at first missed the point at which you and Rev. Seikai began asking the question more specifically--and you began proposing a more specific detente. Great idea!
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PostSubject: Re: new member: Rev. Seikai   Sat Dec 11, 2010 5:21 pm

Dear Kaizan,

I don't want or need a public apology. Rev. Haryo made it clear in talking with me that he understood my feelings. He may not have taken action, that I know about anyway, but he and I have an interchange in progress, (at least I think we do). He may have some forgiving to do toward me because I sent him a stiff lecture.

Rev. Seikai did apologize. George from England apologized. The most important apology to me probably is not possible, I don't think the monk involved can see it or afford it.

Rev. Seikai, you will like the quote (wish I knew the author of it) that "emotion is the thief of reason." My emotions have been tied up in OBC long enough. I'd like to see the promised change. I'd like to see decisive leadership, a revision of the standards used for selecting and placing teaching monks, and a real re-visit to the chasm between how Zen Masters expect to be treated and how they behave. No one is above constructive criticism.

When I separated from my original religion in order to study Zen, I first called and asked if doing so would be considered disloyalty to the Guru. The nun who answered my phone call told me that not only was it disloyal, it was the equivalent of having an abortion. Believe me, I fired off a very hot-tempered letter about this. Not long after, I got a phone call from a different, more senior nun in the organization. First, she apologized for my bad experience. When I apologized for my loss of temper in the letter she said "You can say anything you want to us." I'd like the world of Zen Masters to try that attitude on for size. This circling the wagons at the first whiff of criticism or concern has to cease.
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