Posts : 14
Join date : 2010-07-25
|Subject: new member 7/25/2010, 7:56 am|| |
New person here - Katy. Nice to meet you.
I'm from Teesside and have been up to Throssel Hole a couple of times, and meditate with the Middlesbrough sangha.
Looking forward to talking with you and seeing what you get up to on these forums!
Posts : 1431
Join date : 2009-11-08
Age : 48
|Subject: welcome! 7/25/2010, 9:22 am|| |
Hi Katy -- nice to have you join us. It can be a lively place but I hope you'll enjoy visiting. And posting, if and when you want.
The members here have a mix of experiences and impressions about the OBC, both positive and not. The idea is to have an environment that allows both -- so far I think we're doing ok. It can be harder on people who are still in the OBC to read some of this, though; the degree of openness is not something typically seen in a sangha discussion. Just wanted to give you a head's up.
Glad you're here --
Posts : 124
Join date : 2010-07-30
Location : Portland, OR
|Subject: Another new member 7/30/2010, 11:02 am|| |
My name is Laura and I have been reading this forum privately for some time. After reading Amalia's courageous post, I've been emboldened to join publicly.
I am a former monk of Shasta Abbey, having served as chaplain to the former Rev. Eko for several years, and I also worked for two years with Rev. Master Hubert to finalize the editing on his translation of the Shobogenzo. My monastic name was Fidelia. I was a monk for 10 years, having been ordained after about 20 years of lay practice, many of those as a lay minister. So, my experience with the OBC in the US is extensive on both the lay and monastic sides of the Order. I am very glad to see this forum, for I feel that the opportunity to speak openly about our experiences in training with the OBC is sorely needed. I, for one, will never have anything to do with them again, nor am I likely to participate in organized religion in any form whatsoever in the future.
I will say that I have seen enough of their teaching in practice to be completely convinced of the truth of Amalia's story, though I have no first hand knowledge of that situation. The diagnosis of "spiritual illness" in connection with very real physical and/or mental illness is a trademark of their teaching, one which frequently has devastating results, not the least of which is adding a layer of profound guilt onto people who are already suffering intensely. I can also affirm that absolutely no training is given to the monks on how to do spiritual counseling (in case you hadn't noticed that from Amalia's story). Certainly none was ever given to me either at Transmission nor when I became a senior monk and began to do counseling myself. The emphasis on absolute, unquestioning faith in the teacher and, by extension, to anyone senior to yourself, sets the stage for rampant abuses of power and is clearly counter to what the Buddha himself taught. I witnessed and was subject to many of these abuses during the course of my monastic training, which not only broke my heart but also completely destroyed my faith and, to a large extent, my physical health as well. I returned to lay life because I was no longer willing to represent the OBC. I could never, in all good conscience, recommend that anyone practice with them.
I am glad to say that, given time and the support of my friends and family, I am recovering well and feel that I am finally emerging from years of trauma. I hope that this forum will provide a vehicle for others to do the same.
Last edited by Lise on 7/30/2010, 2:52 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : edited per Laura's request)