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 Ethical Standards in the SZBA

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H Enida



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Join date : 2013-11-11

PostSubject: Ethical Standards in the SZBA   Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:21 pm

http://sweepingzen.com/ethical-standards-in-the-szba-a-potential-model-for-others/

A link to a post of interest.  Seems many folks are working on requiring ethics as part of the mix....

I believe the Order and Shasta, Throssel and other temples technically could implement ethical safeguards pretty easily -- if one could get the various members of the organization to agree Smile


Last edited by Lise on Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:15 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fix typo, per request)
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maisie field



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PostSubject: Re: Ethical Standards in the SZBA   Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:20 pm

I agree H Enida,if only:

folk I meditate with would even want to talk about it;
We could then create a framework for discussion and consensus.

I have read and enjoyed the SZBA document.
I have suggested we look at it, us being a lay sangha group.
It seems I am a lone voice, so I stop for a while.
There is inertia here, and until people get "stung", I believe that inertia will continue.

I have been practicing more or less within the OBC nexus for over forty years,  and I have seen behaviour and culture develop in ways for which I think there needs to be a framework of regulation, such as we have in advanced civil societies, in professional bodies and in other churches.
Ethically and constitutionally the OBC  will wither and die ,or spiral into further corruption, as demonstrated by the Michael Little debacle, if this doesn't change ,and these little fiefdoms, their temples and groupings, remain unaccountable to the rule of law, and to  the mores of normal society.

The organisation is a cult, not because it is particularly bizarre or extreme,  but because its priesthood refuses to participate in society.

So what is next, do you think?



best wishes
maisie
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gnorwell



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Join date : 2010-09-26
Location : Boston, Lincolnshire UK

PostSubject: Re: Ethical Standards in the SZBA   Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:40 am

Hi Maisie,

Does your lay sangha group know about this:

http://obcon.org/blog/2013/06/30/18-month-public-statement-review/


which I think is the latest output from the OBC since the Faith Trust Institute report.

Best wishes,
George
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maisie field



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PostSubject: Re: Ethical Standards in the SZBA   Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:51 am

Thank you George,

I have taken note of this

Best wishes
maisie
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Kat14



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Join date : 2013-10-22

PostSubject: Re: Ethical Standards in the SZBA   Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:47 pm

gnorwell wrote:
Hi Maisie,

Does your lay sangha group know about this:

http://obcon.org/blog/2013/06/30/18-month-public-statement-review/


which I think is the latest output from the OBC since the Faith Trust Institute report.

Best wishes,
George
Thank you for posting this. Good to hear that something is in the works for dealing with ethical issues.
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: Ethical Standards in the SZBA   Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:30 pm

The date of that posting was May 2013; soon it will be a year on.  What actual progress, concrete steps, have been taken?

Haryo Young reportedly shut down most of the Interim Board's worthwhile suggestions and their valuable work output that was presented to him, leading to individuals departing the Board in 2013 as a consequence. If this isn't correct, I hope someone will comment here.

From that SZBA link that Enida posted, I like the idea of an Abbott/Abbess signing a contract. That would be a good way to show followers their sincerity and acceptance of their own accountability to others.
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H Enida



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PostSubject: Re: Ethical Standards in the SZBA   Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:10 pm

Lise,

I believe you are correct in that there have been no formal changes, just talk of them.  As it stands now, the OBC and many of the temples are still the same, i.e. separate corporate entities that are corporate soles (run by only one board member), and have no ultimate responsibility or accountability to anyone, and no required transparency.  There is an ethics committee at Shasta, but it is not independent with non-biased members.  It is made up of a few Shasta monks and dedicated lay people, some of whom I have taken refuge in in the past and have not taken me seriously.  I don't see that that really fulfills the FTI suggestion that the whole organization try to interlace accountability and transparency in the various factions of the institution.

A monk recently told me changes have been modest, and that whatever is done in the future will not be motivated by mistrust.  My question in response would be, how can you be certain that your nonaction is not based in mistrust?  From what it sounds like to me, there is probably no way to gain consensus by all the monks for what is good to do, so modest changes are all that can be accomplished at this point.  I imagine they aren't at all interested in making radical changes as suggested by the SZBA as good safeguards -- it would just be too much change.

I trust that the monks in charge right now won't abscond with money, act inappropriately sexually or grab for power.  But the monks in charge are over 60 and I don't know what the next batch is capable of, some of which haven't even appeared yet.  This isn't a condemnation of the current monks, this is a concern for the future of the organization and whether I can invest in it, either with time or monetarily.  I just can't imagine throwing good money and effort after bad.  Until there are more safeguards in place to protect people from abusive seniors in the future, I will simply beware.
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: Ethical Standards in the SZBA   Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:24 pm

That makes sense to me, Enida.  If an organisation's leaders will not own and support practices that protect the well-being and safety of everyone, why hang around them. The world has many places to train, and there are so many people who seem to be quite a bit farther along in their understanding of ethics and accountability than the Shasta monks. 

Hopefully time will correct what's wrong at Shasta. There likely isn't time for the generation of younger monks to absorb the degree of indoctrination that will allow the dysfunction to continue flourishing. As the oldies pass away and some younger monks come in, and others leave, won't this nearly ensure that improvement happens whether anyone wants it or not? Newly-entering monks will be in more equitable position as well, as the older monks become increasingly dependent on them to run the monastery, see to their needs, deal with laity. The locus of power will shift. And yet I understand what worries you -  what will be the ethical compass of the person who eventually takes over there? Will they come up through the ranks with the same narcissism and sociopathic traits of a Michael Little?

It's interesting to consider that laity in meditation groups have it completely within their power to craft their own Ethics Code and keep harmful teachers in check; does anything prevent this? If, as some OBC monks maintain, "there is no OBC", then no need to ask for their agreement or even bring them into it.  It seems to me that at least within the lay realm, these practitioners have a wide-open opportunity to support and live up to accountability, transparency, appropriate exercise of authority, as it applies to everything the lay people do and to those who wish to practice with them, which includes teaching. If a monk doesn't agree with the trainees' Code, they don't need to have contact with them; instead of going out to give teaching, better to stay home in the monastery and meditate.

Wouldn't it be interesting to see the effect over time, if monks were first thoroughly grounded in ethics and responsibility as lay members, before they ever got near to postulating?
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mstrathern
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PostSubject: Re: Ethical Standards in the SZBA   Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:32 pm

It would make sense to me for the OBC to commission an audit of their of their progress from the FTI. It would not have to be big, or expensive, but would certainly allay (or not) any fears that matters are not being addressed or even as some have suggested swept under the carpet.
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: Ethical Standards in the SZBA   Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:18 am

Mark, it would make sense, but with Daishin Morgan out of the picture, who could put this idea forward and get any traction with it? The Shasta group didn't want Faith Trust involved at all, so not likely they would seek out a progress report from them at this point.

The laity of the OBC are entitled to know what's been done and they should ask for an audit, and not stop asking until it happens. But they won't -
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gnorwell



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PostSubject: Re: Ethical Standards in the SZBA   Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:01 am

Mark, Lise,
Your comments about feedback from the FTI are well made. So I have asked on the Brightmoon site whether there are any plans to get feedback from the FTI. I'll let you know if anyone out there answers.
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H Enida



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PostSubject: Re: Ethical Standards in the SZBA   Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:02 am

Mark,

The OBC never engaged FTI.  Shasta did, and the scope was very limited.  I would doubt very much that the OBC or Shasta would engage them again, as they are now in move on mode.  Basically, the Rules haven't changed much for the Order as a result and the Abbey has no current rules to speak of (they are so antiquated as to be completely inadequate).  Somewhere I think I have a copy of the Shasta rules.  If so, I can try to post them at some point.

I appreciate your thoughts Lise.  I too think the next generations will make radical changes....if the organization survives intact.
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: Ethical Standards in the SZBA   Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:14 am

If the SA organisation does survive let's hope the younger ones can create something free of the current cultic mindset and behaviours.  

George, thank you, it will interesting to hear what happens with your question.
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: Ethical Standards in the SZBA   Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:03 pm

Lise wrote:
If the SA organisation does survive let's hope the younger ones can create something free of the current cultic mindset and behaviours.  

George, thank you, it will interesting to hear what happens with your question.
.
There is a current discussion about this on Bright Moon to which George added his question.  It can be found here:

http://brightmoon.org/forum/faith-trust-institute-report

I don't know if this page can be viewed without a user account.  One thing of interest is Rev Meian Elbert responded on the thread and in particular mentioned the "18 Month Public Statement Review" which is published here:

http://obcon.org/blog/2013/06/30/18-month-public-statement-review/

Note that that review was posted in May 2013.  It was also stated that the thread would be replicated in the OBC Facebook group but so far I'm not seeing it there.
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