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 Rev. Bridin Rusins

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Lise
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PostSubject: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:25 pm

From Shasta Abbey's news section , posted 12 October 2013:

"We are sorry to say that Rev. Bridin departed from the Abbey on October 9th, to take up to a year’s leave of absence, both for medical reasons and to clarify her spiritual purpose. She left on good terms, and we support her in this decision and hope she will return. We are grateful for her 16 years of training with us, and wish her well."

I hope her health improves -
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:40 pm

I wonder if the rejection of the faith trust report has caused some inner tensions for those who thought it was a fair way to deal with the issues that surfaced with Mike Little's departure
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:50 am

Good for Rev. Briden. I didn't know her, but she's following her own good counsel to take time off!
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:37 am

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:
I wonder if the rejection of the faith trust report has caused some inner tensions for those who thought it was a fair way to deal with the issues that surfaced with Mike Little's departure
Michael, I think that you are probably right.
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:39 am

Carol wrote:
Good for Rev. Briden. I didn't know her, but she's following her own good counsel to take time off!
Carol, I think so too.
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:32 am

I think that rejecting the faith trust report is an incredible opportunity missed, goes against the Buddhist principle of no fixed view and of course a little contrition which is good for us all
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:40 am

Yes rejecting the Faith Trust report just reinforces bunker mentality. For those within OBC who believe that Buddhism is concerned with openness and inclusiveness this must be very difficult. For some though I am sure the standard line works well: 'We are inclusive and open, it's everyone else that is closed and excluding. Look they don't accept the Truth and follow us so they must be.'
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:07 pm

Hard to say what Rev. Bridin herself thinks of the FTI situation or whether that was related to a desire to "clarify spiritual purpose", but I think they could easily be connected, in the larger view. Enough time has passed for SA's leaders to show through their actions whether they meant their words that were published in response to the publicity about the report. Many have reported being disillusioned and disappointed by the result.

I think if I were Throssel's bursar, I would like a refund on what they paid toward the report's cost (1/2). It didn't seem to do much except purchase short-term discomfort for SA while they were being examined, and some damage control/lip service that SA used to their advantage, even as they rejected the report and let it gather dust.

Back to R. Bridin, I hope she's well during her leave.  Looking up and out, into the world, can't be easy after 16 years.
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:57 pm

I feel that when one looks at the world it is a beautiful place,wonderful colours, and interesting people. Personally I feel the problem is relating to it in a positive way,finding a positive direction maybe a spiritual direction that leads to a greater affinity to our world,that is sort of why I wanted to learn to meditate. A course of meditation should help deepen our awareness of this special relationship with self and other people and things.
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:22 pm

Michael, you've captured the only elements that have made sense to me since I first got away from institutional messages about Buddhism (esp. OBC's) and tried to use my own head to think about this.

It only makes sense to appreciate our world and what's in it (not reject or denigrate it) so we can engage with it positively.  And we need to understand how to relate to ourselves (not "grind away" the self or despise the very idea of it) as part of relating to others properly.

Maybe I'm simple, but I don't understand why it has to be harder than this -
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:05 am

I don't think religion was ever intended to come between us and other,it seems personal interpretation,systems,titles,regalia, the teaching,righteousness, emptiness,Big self ,little self, Lord of the house, God,devil, Buddha,and certainly feeling bad about oneself...Sometimes get a little bit in the way
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:11 am

Lise something you write struck a chord with me too:

(not "grind away" the self or despise the very idea of it)

This may not in fairness effect other people but that was alot of how training was presented to me at SA, and other places, I think instutional zen can raise levels of people hierarchies those with tassels those with titles,seniors and juniors,unfortuneately these aspects can widen the gulfs between us  and very much teach all is separate .
I do not think any religion can only teach all is one ,because that is one sided and only partial, but zen of all the religions should teach that everything that separates us has no fixed substance,and all that separates us, is, maybe, if we are honest  a choice, maybe a very subtle and discreet choice, to be separate albeit in our thoughts. I will always remember Bill Picard  who did not like formal religion telling me when I was a lad, that depth of meditation united and enabled one to see clearer ones original face, and also with it came insight that could help one in less clearer times. That I always feel is one aspect and meaning of practice and enlightenment.
Being controlled by religion,even in a tight zendo, being made to feel bad about oneself, is I don't think, anything what so ever to do with zen
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:42 am

I think that we should remember that Zen is the product of historic Japanese culture and therefore reflects it. This was an extremely hierarchical, authoritarian and hidebound culture, but this is the side that should have been left behind and unfortunately wasn't. In fact it often seems the opposite - often more a case of throwing out the baby and keeping the bath water.

Yes the 'grind away' simile is great. After you have ground away the self, a horrible sounding process, what are you left with - the grinder. The hardened core of a new more intolerant Self that has convinced itself of its own non-existence and that it can and should lead an immaculate but intolerably hard life. And when it can't tolerate any more - Eko, chronic fatigue, etc.

Batter to make friends with yourself - you are part of the truth, part of the answer, and learn how to deal with your own greatness and your own grimness.
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:51 am

Even though the path seemed untrodden
The moon over Mount Fuji
Reminded me of Home
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:16 am

You all are great teachers!
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:38 am

Not so sure about that Carol but we do sometimes touch some relevant issues
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:42 pm

I am afraid I shall have to reprimand you Carol the proper etiquette is not 'great teacher' but 'Most Reverend Very Great Teacher'. Another slip like that and you will clearly be condemned to outer darkness for all eternity. Mind you it's quite comfy out here and I could do with the company.
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:31 pm

Mark, it's already too late for Carol, as she's racked up terrible karmic consequences for drinking out of other peoples' sacred mugs or tumblers or whatever and for not bouncing to her feet quickly enough to suit that [admin delete] at NCBP.  

I've no use for teachers, let's sink them all to the bottom of the sea!  clapping Who's with me?


Last edited by Lise on Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:41 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : hahaha! Gave myself a first warning, for name-calling. It was true, though.)
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:32 am

Personally i have a lot of respect for people who have a good practice,by that I simply mean someone who meditates and it has a positive effect on their life. I think that all the people we have been critical of, are people whose practice was incredibly limited,most probably stopped the moment other people started bowing down to them,and they ended up hiding behind their robes and clouds of mental camouflage. In all these situations teachers pupils and all beings in outer space place importance in the very things they daily chant are empty.
Anybody no matter who o matter how old and experienced no matter how deep or wise,always does something for me when they personally make the effort to cut through their own camouflage
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:35 am

Lise, I don't think there is anything wrong per se with teachers, only with Teachers. There are any number of, say, creative writing courses being taught quite adequately by people whose personal creative writing is not up to much. And indeed I have over the years seen an number of philosophers whose teaching on ethics was not exactly mirrored in their private life. No the problem is the conflating the teaching, however good, with the teacher. Almost anyone can teach mindfulness after learning how. Indeed there are a number of quite reputable courses that do just that, especially in the new MBSR / MBCT schools. It probably helps if there is a good deal of personal experience and practice but it is actually not essential. 'With the ideal comes the actual'. The problems start when the teacher, however good, becomes the ideal without any actual. Sometimes this is one sided being just the natural hero worship of the pupil for the teacher. But in spiritual matters it seems rather to often that the teacher begins to believe it and self elevates themselves to the ideal and becomes a Teacher. Then of course they have become the Ideal and any actual that appears must be seen both by themselves and their pupils, if not the whole world, to be part of the Ideal or part of the teaching, skillful means - what nonsense. The Master pupil relationship that we see so often is a remnant of the old master apprentice system of the medieval guild system and like them should be consigned to the history books, or at the very least updated to a more modern notion of apprenticeship and teaching.
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:04 am

You boys make good points. I'll start winching people up from the sea floor, hope they are not too soggy.

I'm very much in favour of learning even as I'm suspicious of Teachers. Being touched and inspired by another's quiet practice (non-showy, unadorned with costumes and pomp), yes, that would be okay and would not seem to involve a Teacher who seeks something from the transfer. It's that lot I have an issue with. Let the good stuff evaporate without effort from the practitioner and let it be absorbed by one who wants to take it in. No need to set up rules, roles and robes for that.
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:47 pm

Lise wrote:

I'm very much in favour of learning even as I'm suspicious of Teachers. Being touched and inspired by another's quiet practice (non-showy, unadorned with costumes and pomp), yes, that would be okay and would not seem to involve a Teacher who seeks something from the transfer.
Lise, right after reading your comment, I came across this article. I think it confirms the principle perfectly.

http://www.wired.com/business/2013/10/free-thinkers/
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:38 pm

Nice article, Kozan--thanks for the reference.  
I had initially thought that in the OBC you grew in training through the questions you asked, not through the answers you gave.  But toward the end my own questions were not well received. The Answers, held in some kind of sacred trust by the priests, seemed to be what was truly valued.
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:51 pm

I have been hoping to join in but too busy today ............we have been working very long hours this week. today is 18 hoursI will take my fried brains to bed and try and write in the morning
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:05 am

For me the issue of teachers is what is being taught. With my involvement with Shasta without doubt I did learn certain aspects of zazen and aspects of letting go of personal preferences,which may have been described as training. I remember JK telling me she used greed positively,by creating tiers of ranks of seniors and juniors.I was helpful to me in certain ways.
I spent alot of time with Bill Picard from 1976 Bill was someone who had no direction what so ever as regards his meditation,his zazen did not depend on any mental formulation of what to do , in fact zazen was done,the present moment can not be assaulted, the refreshing breeze of this moment can fill our lives. This was also how it was for me in Japan,constant zazen and awareness of the present moment,no where else was an acceptable place to be
This approach to zazen is not for everyone it is too subtle,so explanations and descriptions are needed,and that is when the problems begin,joining this becoming that simply gives on a new set of clothes to wear everyday. the teachers of this form of zazen keep on steo a head keeping the students interested and involved,but if zazen without shape and form has any relevance it has to be lived.
So a good teacher for me is within the trappings of their religion and culture the gateway to this present moment is not dependent on any teacher or teachings, rules regulations, words and actions,positions in time,sex,age or colour of skin.So a real teacher for me is someone who practices this zazen and lives it in their lives
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:08 pm

Just a quick note here re Bridin.  I may be wrong, but I thought only the tasseled monks got to read the Faith Trust report.  Has anyone else heard that or that the novices and transmitted monks weren't allowed to read it either?
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:11 pm

mokuan wrote:
Just a quick note here re Bridin.  I may be wrong, but I thought only the tasseled monks got to read the Faith Trust report.  Has anyone else heard that or that the novices and transmitted monks weren't allowed to read it either?
.
I did hear from a reliable source that it was not shared with all the monks, but I don't know where the cutoff line was.
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:15 pm

What's wrong with this picture?!
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:02 pm

Well personally I would not read the report, I would be interesting in someone telling me briefly what it said .
But I am very surprised that a selected few can read it and some can not,I think it would be fair for every one to read it that lives at Shasta. One important part for me about living in the zendo is there are no secrets,I remember the tea ceremony everyone there
'Chisan san,How are your bowels today'
'Fine thanks Ikko Roshi'
'Have you been Chisan san'
'Not yet Ikko Roshi'
'1 more day and then the fast acting pill'
'OK Ikko Roshi'
Much laughter but not as much as the next day
'Chisan san have you been'
'Hai!'
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:27 pm

Only the tasseled monks. Presumably the others aren't worthy of receiving the truth. Anyone got a copy for public posting?
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:22 pm

I think if SA asked faith Trust to investigate,and do not allow people who have made commitments to the order to be able to read a report that may seriously effect them, it really is out of order,for the sake of freedom they should consider their position
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:41 pm

Actually there could be many reasons why the full report might not be published. It might, for instance, have matters that could be construed as libelous. In the end I think it comes down to two questions: Are the conclusions being suppressed, and secondly are they being acted upon.

I am not in a position to judge properly on either count, but the small indications that I do have seem to imply that they are being slowly relegated to the forgotten backwaters of history. There appears to have been some surface movement that has been stifled when it started to get much beyond the superficial. but as I said iI'm not in a position to judge so could have this wrong. Time will tell, but it would be difficult for SA to write off the last ten years as the dark ages, let alone the last forty years.
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:13 pm

I think Sophia said the report was being discredited, which would go along with suppression

The discrediting machine
Like an old lawnmower
Has eternal life
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:03 pm

I just double-checked and I misspoke.  All the monks were allowed to read the Faith Trust report, but, and I quote, non-monks were not.
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:05 am

that makes sense and that is how it should be,if it is not a good report to read take it on the chin do something about it and move on
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:47 am

Yup
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:38 pm

Hi everyone,

It's been a couple of years so my memory isn't clear. As I remember all of the senior monks, not just tasseled monks, in the order were offered a copy of the report to read. As far as the novice monks, that was left to the head of the temple, or their Master, I can't remember which, as to wether they would be allowed to read it or not. I heard the summary part was sent to the Lay Ministers. I was given a copy as were some of the lay women that were victims of Eko's "abuse of power.,

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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:44 pm

Half of the report was paid for by the OBC and the other half was funded by Shasta Abbey. RM Meian also offered to pay for our travel expenses if we were willing to be interviewed, or we could send a written letter if we preferred. I don't remember how many were interviewed but I think the number was mentioned in the report. It was a balance of senior monks, novice monks, lay ministers and lay sangha members. It was well researched and fairly thorough but only addressed what had happened with the Abbot and what had contributed. They were asked to write the report, but when I asked, they said they had not been invited to help in any way in implementing their recommendations or do any follow up as to how well the implementation of their suggestions was going after the report.
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:51 pm

The reason I commented that the report had been discredited and set aside was because of the comments I have heard at the Abbey since they received the report. I have heard comments that the report was slanted in favor of the victims. Not in those very words, but comments that the people they interviewed did not give a fair impression of the Abbey. That they listened to the people who criticized the Abbey more than the ones who defended the Abbey. That kind of comment. The monks at the Abbey with the power to change things basically think the report was unfair and biased against the Abbey. These are not accurate quotes, but the gist of what I have said is correct. Very frustrating because there was a lot of good, accurate information and great suggestions in the report. From my point of view and experience at the Abbey it was right on.
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:00 am

There was a brief window of time when change could have taken place. But it's long past. Other than the difference in the way departing monks and ex monks are treated it's basically the same as it was when I was a novice there. Some of the practices that were attributed to Eko and his problem have surprisingly survived his departure. Things that I was sure were going on because of his particular problems are still going on. Not the sexualized part, but the favoritism, the giving lay people unsolicited advice about how they should live their lives, that kind of thing.

I wrote a remark about the difference when monks leave in the introduction section. It's my perception of why that has changed so drastically if anyone would like to read it.

Sophia
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:05 am

Their response to the report is fairly predictable.  Many insulated organizations would rather die than change.  The OBC/Shasta monks are living out Kennett's shadow and are oblivious to this constant reality.  With the Eko scandal / crisis, they essentially had no choice but to engage an outside group like FTI - I am sure lawyers told them to do it.  But the focus of FTI's work was deliberately narrow - and based on what we heard, they made as few changes as possible - cast out the bad apple - and keep doing the same dance.  No authentic self-reflection.  the last thing they want to do is examine Kennett's legacy. 

And what would be a "fair impression" of the OBC / the Abbey?  Fair is not the point.  Seeing more clearly, open and honest communication. true self-reflection, acknowledging the shadows... that is so much more helpful than some conception of "fair" or "balanced."  Emotional intelligence.. not that would be radical.
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:17 am

I find sophia you paint a bleak dark picture, nowhere is there light, real understanding and positive insight into living in this century having learnt from the past and history of the human race,let alone the recent past of the dark shadows of ancient and modern religious practice.
Sophie's comments about the monks giving  lay people unsolicited advice about how they should live their lives, is such a long way from the real teaching that you must  find this direction from within yourself. The hallmark of zen practice  seems a long way off.... Look within yourself,find and be your own enlightenment, even from the beginning, a meditation teacher should not be demanding dependance or trying to be stupid and control other people, a true teacher would be demanding  independence, and would be demanding that one finds ones own answer.
The other aspect of this is if the students are not capable of finding their direction they should be attending lay groups with balanced social support, I am not sure that people from a reclusive system can give advice on anything other than how to live in a reclusive way,but zen must be lived in normal everyday life.
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:24 am

Thank you, Sophia, for your comments. It is hard to understand how those in charge at SA expected something other than a report that acknowledged their failures to protect people.  Multiple victims over time - and people tried to warn Meian that Mike Little was doing things that weren't right -  and rules were in place that would have provided a way to hold Little accountable, if Haryo and others had not subverted the rules.

What were they looking for, I wonder.  Did they want the report to imply the women also were to blame, or somehow accepted the risk of being subjected to Little's crude acts? As an aside, I agree that phone sex is not the right term.  I think it's a form of indecent exposure perpetrated by one person on another, aggravated by the power imbalance between the two.  It's about the same as if Eko took a walk with one of his victims and exposed himself once they were out of others' sight. Him describing his masturbatory actions on the phone is no different.

I'm not surprised to hear your observation that some SA monks are still giving lay people unsolicited advice. That was my experience several times, and the advice was increased targeted toward encouraging me to be dissatisfied with my life and to de-value my positive experiences of living in the world. I feel fortunate that I saw this early enough and knew it for the manipulation that it was.

Sophia, to the extent you feel comfortable commenting, how does favoritism operate in a monastic community?  I think in simplistic terms of people getting favourable work assignments (or none maybe) or more freedom with their schedules, but maybe you're talking about something higher-level?
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:26 am

Hi,

I don't know how dark or bleak the situation is at Shasta Abbey.  There are wonderful, sincere, kind, dedicated monks at the Abbey.  Rev Bridin never said a cross word to me when I was a novice.  She was kind and helpful to me in every way. She was a sincere trainee doing her best to train in the Buddhist way. I had sanzen with Masters there that were very helpful that helped point me in the right direction so that I could find the truth for myself. 

On the other hand, there was a wonderful opportunity to have positive change when the FTI report was published that was thrown away.  The problem is that now, one by one, the sincere trainees like Rev Bridin are leaving. Often they are leaving because they have developed serious physical problems while training there. I believe some are leaving because they can no longer participate in an organization that won't look at itself honestly and make needed changes.
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H Sophia



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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:47 am

Hi Lise,

It was much more subtle than that.  The Novice schedule is done weekly and every attempt is made to keep it fair.  It's done by someone in the priory office.  The work assignments are more based on the needs of the monastery.  The younger strong male monks mostly were assigned to work crews or in the kitchen where young strong monks were needed.  Rev Ando often ended up being Head Cook because she is a great cook.

It was more, if you're agreeing with what the abbot is saying or promoting, you are a wonderful trainee and you doing great training and if you speak up against what the Abbot has decided you are definitely lacking in sincerity and are not practicing " uncomplaining all acceptance".  Therefore, you are missing the point of training and need to look at yourself.

After a while, how many monks do you think do anything but agree with the Abbot when asked for their feedback on anything going on at the Monastery.

There is also favoritism by Masters that have more than one disciple.  One spends much more time with the Master, accompanies the master on more outings, is invited to tea much more than the other.  That gives the subtle message that the favored trainee is a "better" trainee, a more sincere trainee, a more enlightened trainee.  And then without realizing it, the community starts treating the two trainees differently.  It's not unlike sibling rivalry which gets out of hand when parents have a favorite.  Family dynamics that get out of hand because the family isn't aware of them.  

It's not until the family becomes aware of the dynamics that they can change them.  That is why the FTI report could have been so helpful.
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:24 am

H Sophia wrote:
After a while, how many monks do you think do anything but agree with the Abbot when asked for their feedback on anything going on at the Monastery.

There is also favoritism by Masters that have more than one disciple.  One spends much more time with the Master, accompanies the master on more outings, is invited to tea much more than the other.  That gives the subtle message that the favored trainee is a "better" trainee, a more sincere trainee, a more enlightened trainee.  And then without realizing it, the community starts treating the two trainees differently.  It's not unlike sibling rivalry which gets out of hand when parents have a favorite.  Family dynamics that get out of hand because the family isn't aware of them.
.
You have articulated the issue of favoritism well.  It is perhaps worth noting that this has been going on at Shasta Abbey from the very beginning.  This is precisely how Jiyu Kennett operated and the monks are simply perpetuating what they learned.  The reason why the FTI process could not change anything at Shasta Abbey is because most of what needed to change had nothing to do with Eko.  As you say people continue to leave because "they can no longer participate in an organization that won't look at itself honestly and make needed changes."  Jiyu Kennett taught that loyalty to her took precedence over everything else.  That's how it has been playing out since the 70s.


Last edited by Isan on Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:52 am

Gosh some good posts.  However
Amongst the masturbation, tea and outings with the masters,favoritism,historical issues avoided in the brief to the FTI, Sophia is pointed in the right direction,I think that is great news,but although it is highly personal,Sophia,I would love it if you would tell me what that means
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:26 pm

I have to say Lise your writing about Mike Little did make me wince a bit,but it has left me wondering why there are so many sexual problems, in society and religion I suppose one reflects the other. How did the connection of power creep into religions that inspire one to be humble and lead a tender life. Why indeed do people equate sex with power over others, maybe we have an historic gene to violate and conquer, and normal loving and kind seems something that has been forgotten. I still smile when I think of Todd remember Josh's version of Jesus with a boyfriend scenario. I have not read any detail but I think the Dalai Lama suggesting a new approach to religion that reflected the modern time is  well worth a look at.
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:21 pm

Sophia, you say that SA viewed the FTI report as one sided and biased. This is ALWAYs and inevitably the case when a narrow scope is given to the investigation, which is often why it's done. The FTI remit was not to look into what was going right at SA, or at SA in general. Their remit was to look at what might be wrong in a very narrow and circumscribed area. Given the mess they fround it's not surprising that the report was negative. If SA wanted a more positive and 'unbiased' report they should have given them a more open remit and asked for comments on what was going right as well as what was going wrong. But then they might have been even more worried about an 'unbiased' conclusion. No, a report that is basically negative is much more easily dismissed as biased and having misunderstood SA, and then with some minor improvements, such as the treatment of people AFTER they have left, relegated to the dustbin.
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PostSubject: Re: Rev. Bridin Rusins   Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:23 pm

I have a small bee in my bonnet this morning re: the details around M. Little's behaviour, as a result of (once more) responding to an email from someone who thinks the whole thing was a made-up story. I get a handful of those communications each year or so, from people who went to the Abbey once or twice years ago, haven't kept up with the doings there, and are then very indignant & outraged when they run across this forum and start reading just a little bit about Eko. I wish they'd read a LOT of what's on the forum before emailing me with their protests, but alas, no. I should probably quit responding, since it seems to wind me up each time I write back to someone about it. I notice that I'm using more graphic terms now than I used to, maybe to help drive the point home that this behaviour doesn't need delicate wording simply because the perpetrator wore special robes and sat in the biggest chair in the Buddha Hall.  Nonetheless, I am sorry if my comments came across as distasteful or too jarring. I will blame some of that on the spicy tomato juice/vodka I had with breakfast this morning funny
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