Saturday, January 14, 2012

Eido Tai Shimano (continued) 3

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This is a continuation of the Eido Tai Shimano (continued) 2  blog which A. I screwed up by trying to delete several "test" posts and then lamely tried to fix and B. refuses to add posts in ways that are readily available after 2,205 entries. Eido Tai Shimano (continued) was itself a continuation of Eido Tai Shimano, which went haywire after 5,000 posts.

With apologies to those who may feel they have seen it more often than they would wish, I am leading the thread with the letter that began it all, way back when. I am also taking the liberty of copy and pasting three recent posts I consider new news.
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Thursday, November 12, 2009
letter to Eido Tai Shimano
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What follows is a letter I wrote in 1982 to Eido Tai Shimano, the chief executive of Zen Studies Society in New York and Dai Bosatsu Monastery in upstate New York. Mr. Shimano is a Zen teacher.

The reason for posting a letter of so many years ago is not to open the old wounds that bled freely in their time. Nor is it to deny that Zen Buddhism in America has made great strides when it comes to the sexual and financial abuses that it has faced and continues to face from time to time. Nor is it to suggest that I have not been a hypocrite. Nor is it to elevate my own status as a rebel or nay-sayer or promoter of some one true virtue. I too love Zen Buddhism both in its directions and in its experiential truth.

I am posting it as a reminder that the past is or can be very much the present and further that the 'scandals' that have occurred involved very real and particular people and that those people suffered in ways that are contrary to Zen Buddhist teaching. Not for nothing did the teachers of the past make upsetting the sangha a no-no. Not for nothing did they encourage repentance when it was warranted. And not for nothing were they aware that in the human sphere, however elevated and adored, the room for error was and remains a very real possibility.


November 1, 1982

The Rev. Eido Tai Shimano
New York Zendo
223 East 67th St.
New York, NY 11021

Dear Mr. Shimano:

Thank you for your creative letter of Oct. 19, 1982 with its equally masterful enclosure of Oct. 21 to Mr. George (Jochi) Zournas. I must say that as I began to read your work I felt some vestigial hope that you might in fact clear the air, turn some metaphorical corner and clarify what, over the years, has become murky with the stuff that Soen Roshi has learned to call your “lies.” By the time I finished reading your words, I was, of course, disappointed if not surprised.

“So much sitting, so many sesshins, so many dokusans…” and still Soen Roshi calls you a liar. Could you tell me why? Is this perhaps another encouragement to “bravely march on?” Coming as Soen Roshi does out of a society that takes pride in indirection, still he uses this most direct word, “liar.” Why? Coming as he does out of a discipline that enjoins confession and straight-forwardness, he calls you a liar. Why? Among the monks at Dai Bosatsu last summer you managed to plant the idea that Soen Roshi was an alcoholic and/or senile. But why would a senile alcoholic even bother to call you a liar? Politics, you say? – because Soen Roshi wants Dai Bosatsu, to become king of the some American Zen castle? If Soen Roshi actually did want Dai Bosatsu, why not give it to him? Do you not owe him a great debt for his teaching, perhaps as Torei felt he owed Hakuin? As a ‘true man without rank,’ with so many sesshins, so much sitting, and so many dokusans behind you, surely you recognize that the toys of Zen Buddhism – the robes and monasteries and power – are only dreams. Could you, a ‘Zen Master,’ be fooled by a dream?

But this, of course, is not your understanding. Your understanding seems to be that They are all out to get you – you who are blameless in administration, honest in the dokusan room, pure and “fair” and deserving of respect from those who support and make possible your meaning as a person of rank. It is the questioners who are “insane” or full of “intense personal hatred” or want Your zendo or want Your monastery or hate you because you have money and they have not or don’t understand the ‘Japanese’ group and you…you bear it all so remarkably well, so staunch and patient. You are really very good at it: masterful, if not the master.

Besides those Jochi George Zournas mentioned in his letter (those Others who were out to get you), I would like to take this opportunity to recollect some others, perhaps not quite so august, who have left our own sangha. I am not now referring to those who left because they moved or to those who made an easy personal choice, but rather to those who left after some discovery in that beautiful zendo where there is room for our lifelong practice. True, some left in anger or confusion, but what was it they really discovered? Is it possible they discovered what Soen Roshi called your “lies?” I really don’t know, but I recollect them now and express my sorrow at their leaving: Daishin Peter Gamby, Maishin Mike Sopko, Reimon Ray Crivello, Genmyo Elihu Smith, Sojun George Seraganian, Bunyu David Bogart, Roca Lorca Morello (all of whom were residents as Sho Bo Ji with your blessings),Kanzan Bruce Rickenbacker (your monk who memorized the whole of the Diamond Sutra), Daiko Charles Carpenter (another of your monks), Shoro Lou Nordstrom (another of your monks), Kozen Peter Kaufman (another of your monks), Jonen Sheila Carmen (pseudonym), Wendy Megerman, Nennen Merry White, Toni Snow, Reishu Jim Gordon, Shinso Merete Galesi, Ishin Peter Mathiessen, Jean Day, Carol Binswanger, Jochi George Zournas, Wado Vicki Gerdy, Rinko Peggy Crawford and Mushin Frank LoCicero. You will recall, or course, that, over the years, the list has grown much, much, much longer and is filled with people who did not show sufficient “skepticism about rumors,” as you so quaintly put it.

How many of them came to you directly in 1975 and 1979 (when what were humorously referred to as the “Fuck Follies I” and the ”Fuck Follies II” were unveiled)? How many? Was it 10 or perhaps 20? Without any exception I know of, each of those who came to you directly came in a spirit of admiration and love, in hopes of clarifying a delicate matter without public exposure. The situation: your manipulation of the dokusan setting for your own periodic sexual satisfaction (seducing women); treating lovers taken from within the sangha with contempt once you had finished with them; and taking no candid responsibility for your own behavior but rather answering direct, honest and caring queries with, in one form or another, the line you used in a jam-packed zendo in 1975: “It’s none of your business.”

The line of people outside your door is long, very, very long. In my mind, they wait silently – the They and Them whom you so easily accuse of insanity or intense personal hatred. A long line of crazy people outside your door. What brought them there? Even crazy people have their reasons, don’t you agree?

Look! There’s Merry White. Remember her? She was the one who sent a letter to the Board of Trustees in 1979 outlining without rancor your sexual blackmail. It was she who wrote: “Personally, I found his (your) seductions very distracting and jarring during the first Kessei…I wonder now if I would not have been a better student in the long run without it. ... And last year (1978) during my second stay at Dai Bosatsu, it hurt me that he treated me very distantly for quite a while. When he warmed up, it became sexual again. That kind of either/or situation made it very difficult for me (or, I would think, any woman) to be his student. You want his attention and his help, and that, I think, is how it begins. He takes this emotional opening-up, which is normal and right in a spiritual student-teacher relationship, as a sign of sexual readiness.” Clearly the Board of Trustees, your Board of Trustees, took the only possible sane action by never fully discussing the matter and by issuing a letter, signed by Korin Sylvan Busch stating, “we affirm our confidence in Eido Roshi and his leadership of our sangha.”

And there’s Jane Smith (pseudonym)! Remember her? December 24, 1977, Room 1100A at the Statler Hilton after dinner at Mama Leone’s. Remember how the board of Trustees covered that one when Jochi and Korin, at whose instigation I can only guess, spread lies and rumors about Jane – how she was only dreaming of an affair with you? And how even Jane was drawn into the lies and told them on herself because she believed the truth would be harmful to you and to Zen practice in America? She was the same one who commented later in front of witnesses that “he (you) never even said thank you.”

And Carmen!… But of course you will recall this and much, much more.

On and on and on it goes down that long, long line. Person after person, Bodhisattva after crazy Bodhisattva, each of them willing their suspicions to silence. How is it possible they were so willing, so stupid? Perhaps it was because many people begin their spiritual practice with the understanding that the ascendancy they have previously granted to their emotions and intellect is the source of much suffering. Because of that pain, they were willing to set aside their own emotions and intellect (to the extent possible), and to be as faithful and obedient as possible. Perhaps they counseled themselves that intellect and emotion are more delusion. And perhaps they trusted that your emotions and thoughts were not based in delusion. This trust, however misguided, was surely human and understandable. Unfortunately, it was and is open to manipulation and deceit. There are many I know, myself among them, who practiced with you and were grateful to you, until, a little at a time, they began to wonder. In their wondering, they came to you in their twos and threes and tens, not even caring very much that you took lovers on the side, but curious about a wider pattern of contempt and manipulation. No doubt you saw them as insane people out to take your toys. Well, they didn’t get them, did they?

To some you said your Japanese heritage and samurai code of honor kept you from understanding or responding to these puritanical “barbarians.” Isn’t it odd for a so-called Zen Master who has lived in America for 20 years to claim he understands neither his students nor his environment? Isn’t such a person in the wrong line of work? No doubt it is equally insane to suggest that a real Japanese man would know something of discretion and that a true samurai would not exhibit contempt and dishonesty towards those in his own circle of honorable endeavor.

Of course it was more difficult to use this line on Dr. Tadao Ogura, the psychiatrist who offered to act as arbitrator in the present upheaval. He was the one who suggested taking three “impartial” observers from the sangha with him when he listened to the direct testimony of those involved. The group would then have reported to the Board of Trustees, your own Board of Trustees. Perhaps he too was one of the insane ones, the ones who had to be stopped. And stopped he was when Korin Sylvan Busch, at whose instigation I can only guess, let it be known that three “impartial” sangha members could not be found.

The long line outside your door does not say these things. They are silent. They are gone. It is I who say them, I, Kigen. I take responsibility for saying what I have said and doing what I have done. I have company, but I take responsibility for myself. I am one of Them, those Others whose fault it all is, one of the ones who supported you well, offered you gratitude, did his best to practice the Zen Buddhism of the Patriarchs, lied or remained silent for you on numbers of occasions, lied or remained silent to myself about you, endured and perpetuated your deceits, and, finally...went...”insane.”

It is out of that insanity that I also offer you my most sincere and honest thanks. I offer thanks without irony or sarcasm. You have taught me well and I am grateful. Besides the mechanics of Zen Buddhism, you have also taught me what a Zen Master is not – a teaching worthy of a true Zen Master. Although your teaching lacked the creative clarity, the nurturing of the Buddha Dharma, and the straight-forwardness of a truly enlightened man, still I say your teaching was fine. As I value my life, my Zen practice, so I value this teaching.

This is a time for potential new beginnings – yours, mine, the sangha’s. Always new beginnings. I pray now and will continue to pray that each of us may one day face death with strong, even breaths and perhaps a small smile of true understanding.

Thank you and goodbye.


Adam Fisher


It was during that same time period that I heard perhaps the sharpest rebuke I have ever heard in my life. At one point, Soen Roshi was talking face to face with Mr. Shimano and discussing the reported disharmony Mr. Shimano played a role in. Mr. Shimano offered his responses. And Soen Roshi reportedly said sadly, "Now it comes -- dead rock!"

285 comments:

  1. I wonder what the reasoning is behind your repetitive posting about this sex abuse scandle . In noting the frquency of posts on this topic . I at this point would think it fair to assume you were possibly a victim ? Although I do beleave you mentioned that you were not . Regardless Its your blog to do as you like with . I stopped reading the ones on this topic long ago . Anita

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the event that you come back to this thread in order to read any responses, Anita, what is your opinion about Shimano's behavior? Should the matter be dropped? ignored?

      Further, given that the leadership of Zen Studies Society has not officially acknowledged much less denounced Shimano's predatory and abusive behavior should they be not be held accountable? Should their lies of omission and commission be ignored as well?

      Delete
    2. BTW -- Did you read Genkaku's post Infuriation? Several of the points that he raises resonate with me. E. g. "The proximate cause of my infuriation (if that's a word) has been a series of reminders about the sexual abuse scandals that have rocked various organizations. ... the patterns are always the same. Bring the matter to light ... and then paper it over."

      While at the present moment I am not feeling particularly infuriated, I find that this is one of those societal issues that should not be "papered over."

      Delete
  2. Here are some to and fro's I took from Shimano2 in an attempt to create space and a return to decent function ... apparently it didn't work.

    • KobutsuJan 11, 2012 06:59 PM
    The genkaku-again blog is archived in the Shimanoarchive. The initial letter to the ZFI site appears in the archive here:

    www.shimanoarchive.com/PDFs/20100210_Genkaku_Again.pdf
    ReplyDelete

    ShodoJan 12, 2012 10:13 AM
    Tumblr said:
    "Shodo, It makes little sense to enter into a discussion with a troller since by definition that person is being contrary, argumentative, and hostile; consequently, there is no possibility of a rational, collegial or productive discussion with that person, or at least when that person adopts such a persona."

    Well, one usually doesn't know when you are talking to a troller until you have been talking to them for a bit first... and in "Spike's" case, I have a game much like BINGO that I play with "Spike's" many tells... when I make enough matches I say something along the lines of:

    HA!
    Hi Spike...:)

    And to date, when I have called them out, it has not been denied yet.
    Maybe I should yell BINGO!:)

    I just wish I understood his motives... Is he trying to harass discussion? (especially when it turns to criticism of Genjo)
    If so, all he is really doing is keeping the discussion alive and thriving.
    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1.
    tumblrJan 13, 2012 04:27 PM
    I wonder if he actually understands what his motives are as opposed to what he thinks he is doing.

    As for keeping the discussion alive, I disagree. A troller is not really interested in discussing anything, a troller wants any opinion other than his own stifled, shutdown and suppressed.

    Also, ignoring the temper tantrums is often the best way to get them to stop. I often want to say "use your big boy words."

    As to motivation I guess it's an attempt (intentional or not) to maintain whatever bubble one wishes to live in.

    I also think that the personality types that give rise to "trollers" are working out of habit and "intentions" are instead "justifications." The habit may be decades old. I have seen too many people respond to situations with anger and they only thing that makes sense is that in the past acting hostile has served them well in the past, or they believe it has.

    ....enough of using psycho-babble to explain the psycho-talk of a troller for today.


    P.S.
    I think the new blog format makes it things both easier and harder It certainly loads much slower on my ancient 'puter.

    Still no emoticons / emoji tho'. :-{
    Delete
    Reply

    ShodoJan 12, 2012 02:08 PM
    Because that would be odd.... nobody really criticizes Genjo much anymore - I think it's been pretty clear for months now that Genjo is quite clear on Eido.
    Genjo is hoping for the best, but he is not blinded by that hope.

    It's a shame he wasn't made Abbott of DBZ.
    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1.
    TumblrJan 13, 2012 01:16 PM
    "It's a shame he wasn't made Abbott of DBZ."

    Shodo, given the nature of the leaders of ZSS, its culture, and its current by-laws, entertaining any reasonable hopes for that organization is just "foolish talk." Let's get beyond it already.
    Delete
    Reply

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Eido Tai Shimano (continued) 3":

    I wonder what the reasoning is behind your repetitive posting about this sex abuse scandle . In noting the frquency of posts on this topic . I at this point would think it fair to assume you were possibly a victim ? Although I do beleave you mentioned that you were not . Regardless Its your blog to do as you like with . I stopped reading the ones on this topic long ago . Anita

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anita -- This topic has a life of its own. I figure it will likewise, at some point in the future, have a death of its own.

    In the meantime, since I started the thing, I feel responsible to those who may feel it is still alive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very much alive and I'm glad that you continue to maintain the thread.

      I am hoping that this new format works out well (of being able to reply to a specific post, immediately following the post).

      In terms of navigating to new comments that are attached to a particular post (as Passerby Jan 14, 2012 12:09 PM points out below), perhaps there is a feature in Blogspot that can be turned on that lists
      "new posts".

      I'll look at Blogspot and see. Anyway, thanks for keeping up the blog Genkaku!

      Delete
  5. I for one am glad you re-posted it as the new blogspot.com format makes it too difficult to navigate to 'newest comments' and more frequent re-posts may be required, depending on audience/comment numbers.

    Anita - I don't believe there is any motivation (as I see it) other than allowing this to be a place to air issues and discussions related to the Eido scandal. genkaku played a role in bringing all this out, and helping victims as applicable, and I see him just going along with this (current) responsibility.

    Gassho.

    ReplyDelete
  6. If this blog had been devoted to the concerns of Shimano victims, it would have been worthwhile.

    Instead it villified, in turn , Shimano, ZSS,, Genjo, Shinge, and along the way, the inconsequential killer/ped vic aka "spike".

    What a complete and total waste.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Fisher almost did the right thing and put this s-rag out of its misery.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "If this blog had been devoted to the concerns of Shimano victims, it would have been worthwhile."

    Yeah, Adam, why don't YOU apologize to the victims? Why don't YOU create a fund to compensate them, or institute a memorial day in their honour? Why don't YOU create a place where they can vent without having their cars vandalized?

    Well, OK, I admit you did that last one, but still! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. We all are victims, even those he didn't sexually exploit have suffered and been harmed.

    Therefore, this blog is not wasteful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "We all are victims, even those he didn't sexually exploit have suffered and been harmed."

      Absolutely!

      Delete
  10. Absolutely Not!

    What an insult to the actual physically abused women for you to equate your level of suffering with theirs, by calling yourself a "victim".

    ReplyDelete
  11. First of all, there are different degrees of "victim-ness," and I feel most people who were involved with ZSS for an extended period of time are victims to some degree.

    I am one of those who was sexually exploited. I witnessed many "victims" who were not sexually exploited (as far as I know) but who were very much psychologically abused. I am not going to presume that my suffering is any greater than theirs.

    ReplyDelete
  12. And let's not forget that, according to his own July 3rd pronouncement, even Shimano suffered because of the scandal. So he's a victim too!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Shimano suffers from mental illness, which all can see.

    No one who was actuallyly sexually abused would or could equate their suffering with the suffering of the non-physically abused.

    This I know.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Adam: hahahahaha!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Prisstopher: Don't put these fools on me!

    ReplyDelete
  16. SHO SAI SHU


    NA MU SA MAN DA MO TO NAN O HA RA CHI KO TO SHA SO NO NAN TO JI TO EN GYA GYA KI GYA KI UN NUN SHI FU RA SHI FU RA
    HA RA SHI FU RA HA RA SHI FU RA CHI SHU SA CHI SHU SA SHU
    SHI RI SHU SHI RI SO HA JA SO HA JA SE CHI GYA SHI RI EI
    SO MO KO.

    NA MU SA MAN DA MO TO NAN O HA RA CHI KO TO SHA SO NO NAN TO JI TO EN GYA GYA KI GYA KI UN NUN SHI FU RA SHI FU RA
    HA RA SHI FU RA HA RA SHI FU RA CHI SHU SA CHI SHU SA SHU
    SHI RI SHU SHI RI SO HA JA SO HA JA SE CHI GYA SHI RI EI
    SO MO KO.

    NA MU SA MAN DA MO TO NAN O HA RA CHI KO TO SHA SO NO NAN TO JI TO EN GYA GYA KI GYA KI UN NUN SHI FU RA SHI FU RA
    HA RA SHI FU RA HA RA SHI FU RA CHI SHU SA CHI SHU SA SHU
    SHI RI SHU SHI RI SO HA JA SO HA JA SE CHI GYA SHI RI EI
    SO MO KO.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, boom. Boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, boom. Boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, boom. Boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, BOOM

      Delete
  17. Rok my sol in the boo-zim of A-braham
    Rok my sol in the boo-zim of A-braham
    Rok my sol in the boo-zim of A-braham
    Oh, Rok my sol!

    NAM MYOHO RENGE KYO
    NAM MYOHO RENGE KYO
    NAM MYOHO RENGE KYO
    OH, RENGE KYO!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Replies
    1. Go Giants?

      Oh Pahleeze! Cheering for one group of muscular men in tights running after and jumping on another group of men in tights.

      What a waste of time and energy! But the money! Must be about 100 Billion a year. ! And don't forget the fame.

      With the shape of that ball being a prolate spheroid, originally constructed from a pig's bladder and covered with deer hide: What's up with that? Who came up with that idea? An in the 16th century no less!

      Who cares? Ex-actly!

      Delete
  19. U sound like a sore loser.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't understand! I coulda been contender.

      Delete
    2. but was sold a one-way ticket to palookaville, i.e. ZSS.?

      Delete
    3. It seem that the above link above got badly mangled. It should be
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QsNXd57Ppw

      Palookavile? Of course! In the movie "On the Waterfront" Marlon Brando's character, Terry Molly, speech about corruption in the world of boxing can be seen to be applicable on many levels and in many ways with respect to the central theme of this thread.

      Delete
    4. I don't know, I don't feel as used or in any other way abused during my
      years with ZSS. His behavior makes me angry because of so many inspiring people who influenced me, and whom, for the most part left ZSS in a bad way. The place definitely 'coulda been a contender'.

      Delete
    5. We were used though... Shimano took Dorris Carlson's gift to the American people as his own property. He misled us, in that he was not the "great roshi" he pretended to be, so we were bamboozled in that respect. He mistreated many, many people who fled from DBZ and NYZ. In many cases he instigated character assassination against folks and belittled their efforts to improve "the place."

      The line 'coulda been a contender' brings to mind one such person; Dogo Pat Scanlon, a former prize fighter who really 'coulda been a contender'.

      Delete
  20. Excellent Program was aired today on NPR's (National Public Radio)Talk of the Nation. You can hear the podcast here...(note that Mitch Garabedian is one of the speakers)

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/talk/2012/01/24/145704812/january-24th-whats-on-todays-show

    The topic is "Has the Catholic Church Changed". Many parallels and insights to Clergy Sexual Abuse anywhere.

    As described by NPR...
    "Has The Catholic Church Changed?
    Ten years ago this month, the Boston Globe broke the story of ongoing sex abuse occurring within the Boston diocese of the Catholic church. The Globe reported on a number of priests accused of molestation and abuse, and how the Church continually covered up the complaints, rarely pressing charges against the priests for their actions. Since the story broke, hundreds of victims of abuse have come out and pressed charges against the church. Similar scandals have arisen in other dioceses, raising questions about what changes the Catholic church has made over the past decade and whether they are any better in dealing with abuse charges. Host Neal Conan speaks with Boston Globe reporter Michael Rezendes, who was part of the reporting team that broke the story in 2002. Neal also speaks with Suzin Bartley, executive director of the Children's Trust Fund, who worked with the Catholic church's Oversight and Implementation Committee, and Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney who represents several victims of sex abuse within the Catholic church."

    ReplyDelete
  21. That was very useful and pertinent. Thanks Olivia.

    ReplyDelete
  22. From the movie 'Hereafter':

    "A life that's all about death is no life at all."


    A life too much about (your) "death" is no life at all.

    'Woman, heal thyself.'

    ReplyDelete
  23. Only the Shadow knows for sureJanuary 25, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    "'Woman, heal thyself'"? I haven't seen the movie, so I'm hoping I don't understand the reference. On the face of it, it looks like yet another cheerful bit of ZSS victim blaming. You left out, "she was an adult, and she was asking for it."

    ReplyDelete
  24. The movie was about not wasting your life.

    The comment was about focusing on healing vs. focusing on the undeserved hurt and betrayal by a powerful person.

    The victim is in no way blamed, but is urged to recognize her own empowement to heal.

    Atta sarana
    Anana sarana

    ReplyDelete
  25. http://playfulmoon.com/EidoRoshi/where.html

    W.T.F.?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Who are these people, who put the site together, and why am I left speechless?

    It was bound to happen, but just because the reclothing of the emperor was bound to happen doesn't mean I thought anyone would actually try.

    I guess that says more about me than it does about the emperor.

    PS.
    -- Welcome again at Sho Bo Ji.
    -- $1,000 a pop for sesshin in Turkey? Maybe that will help replenish depleted(?)Shimano coffers.

    ReplyDelete
  27. After looking through that site, does anyone still think that comparisons to cults like Aum Shinrikyo are inappropriate?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Inappropriate? I would say it is outrageous to make a comparison between a cult of suicidal zombies and students of ES; either, with his current supporters or even with former students turned critics, like you.

      Delete
    2. Dear friend,

      Cf. the student letter quoted by genkaku below: "I do not consider myself worthy of examining the behavior of a living Buddha." And "these alleged affairs, should they be true, most probably are Zen teaching."

      What makes you so sure that if Shimano, the "living Buddha," were to instruct said student to drop poison into the NYC subway, that this would not also be considered "Zen teaching"?

      Incidentally, the picture of his smiling "followers in exile," in their robes & rakusus, for me ranks right up there with Dennis Kelly's now giving "inka" himself: see www.mondozen.org.

      Delete
  28. After looking at that site - speechless, is this some elaborate sick joke? Afraid not.

    These spiritual overachievers seem to have lost all common sense.
    And lost touch with the reality most of us live in.

    A new depth for Zen in the West.
    Perhaps ZSS will react or would that be too optimistic an expectation? Probably.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Absolutley wonderful representation of the *true mind* of a shimano-hater!

    Large-scale waste of time? Certainly not! A perfect pasttime for just such a one! (Now we all know to stay clear of Turkey!!)

    The best part: forced admission of the separation of shimano from zss ...

    Keep the hate alive!

    ReplyDelete
  30. And speaking of "keep the hate alive," here is a letter contained within the web site above ... a whose forward encourages attacks on associates of ZSS board members:

    You can blame the board and take steps to influence them ... or try an influence them through the people they listen to: their spouse, their children, their co-workers, their immediate community. here is a sample letter.

    Open Letter to:
    Employees of the Rubin Museum of Art
    Directors of the Rubin Museum of Art
    Donors of the Rubin Museum of Art
    Patrons of the Rubin Museum of Art
    150 West 17th Street
    New York, NY 10011

    August 30, 2011
    Dear Sirs:

    This letter is to implore you to pray for the Rubin Museum of Art’s Employee Shoteki Chris Phelan.

    About 30 Years ago, Zen master Eido Shimano Roshi with donations from Chester and Doris Carlson and the Xerox company, was able to establish two places for Zen practice, Dai Bosatsu Zendo Monastery in the Catskills and Shobo-ji in Manhattan, together housed under the Zen Studies Society. Thereafter most important donations were from various Japanese companies and individuals with also a great amount of time, energy and money from Western Zen students. Those donations were made with the express purpose of helping Eido Shimano Roshi in his teaching, his Dharma mission, establishing an international Zendo, a zen temple.

    Last year, for the second time, Eido Roshi was the object of a sexual scandal with students complaining about alleged sexual affairs they willingly engaged in. Let me say, that I do not consider myself worthy of examining the behavior of a living Buddha. I guess being practical one might wander what the scandal is about, considering:
    -- The Buddha teaches that students must examine teachers for 30 years before becoming their students
    -- The Zen master is not a guru, Zen is a true revolution where the student remains in charge at all times
    -- The heroes of our practice are in constant physical battle with their teacher, so there is no scarcity of models on how to disagree with your teacher
    -- These alleged affairs, should they be true, most probably are Zen teaching.
    In addition, being from the realm of “The Tale of Genji”, for Eido Roshi, it could be said, having a cup of tea with someone is a more intimate affair than engaging in sexual congress, International students may judge the rumors and leave or say
    This is the 2nd scandal so…

    The 7 members of board of directors, of which Mr. Phelan is a member have decided and
    enforced that should Eido Shimano Roshi teach again in America and abroad, he would become homeless and destitute, not receiving his pension or enjoying the benefit of the housing given to him by Mr. and Mrs. Chester Carlson. The opposite of the purpose of the gifts given the Zen Studies Society.

    The board members responsible are:
    Soun Joe Dowling – President
    Shoteki Chris Phelan – Vice President
    Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat Roshi
    Genjo Marinello
    Zenshin Richard Rubin
    Jikyo Bonnie Shoultz
    Shinkon Peter Glynn

    Although, I can’t encourage you to donate to Shoteki Chris Phelan's cause, please investigate for yourself, it does seem that it is willing sexual touching that has fallen out of favor with him.

    Please pray for Mr. Phelan, Please pray that he has faith in the Dharma to believe that if the Dharma approves it will send him moneys to start his brand of puritan Buddhism.
    to have courage, not to have to hide to change the keys of the zendo to bar the founder access to that which he has founded.
    to have faith and wisdom to know Dharma will support him if his efforts are pure and worthy.
    To know that there is no need to hijack, however legally, a $25 million dollar organization from its aim, namely helping someone else, Eido Shimano Roshi, teach Zen.
    so that Mr. Phelan has the faith to meditate until Dharma sends him his own funds

    Thank you for your time and may Dharma bless you, May Shakyamuni Buddha bless you, May your God bless you
    With gratitude,

    Hoen
    Hoen Sandra Jean-Pierre
    Rinzai Zen Student

    ReplyDelete
  31. Is it just me or did some of that blog sound like the rantings of a crazy person...?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Some of that blog sounds like the rantings of a crazy person.

    ReplyDelete
  33. By the way, I find it sweetly ironic that the pro-Shimano rantings on that website are so over the top that some people on ZFI actually think it's a joke. Talk about "cross-cultural insensitivity."

    Anyways, some evidence that it's not in fact a joke is that one of the site's authors - he's also one of the people in the pictures happily having tea with Shimano last month - Mr. Martin Hara, really does exist: it is from his email address that Shimano sent his July 5th request to continue teaching. See www.shimanoarchive.com/PDFs/20110705_Shimano_Dowling.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  34. http://playfulmoon.com/EidoRoshi/page1.html

    Who is Eido Shimano Roshi?

    He came to America a poor monk and through the donations of many, he established two zendos, one temple in New York, one monastery in the mountains. Literally, millions of people tasted the peace of meditation because of him some staying one day, some a lifetime.

    Eido Shimano Roshi has run into some cross-cultural problems. There were two great scandals. Some people claimed that their sexual affairs with him endangered their spiritual practice. You might expect that students who grew up with American values would just leave. In this case, instead of leaving, they seized control of the legal entity controlling the two temples and forced him to retire making his income dependent on his not teaching, seeking thus to end his teaching activities in America and the world.

    ReplyDelete
  35. christopher said

    Feb 4, 2012 12:55 AM

    By the way, I find it sweetly ironic that the pro-Shimano rantings on that website are so over the top that some people on ZFI actually think it's a joke. Talk about "cross-cultural insensitivity."

    'Sweetly ironic'

    Yes indeed!

    Prisstopher doesn't get the joke!!

    Hahahahaha!!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. http://playfulmoon.com/

    It's not a joke...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahahaha!

      Now you're the joke, too!!

      Delete
    2. after having read her website, (except the fiction): she lets it all hang out, no hang ups. just unabashed devotion to ES. I'd say she's been bit by the zen bug, doesn't care about the 'affairs', doesn't think any harm was done, believes no harm was done--just wants to practice, sit. a raw enthusiastic vibe. It's under her skin now, if it goes to the bone she's a goner.

      feels like fresh air just blew thru this stale blog, if you don't mind me saying so.

      Delete
    3. still smells like the opposite of potpourriFebruary 4, 2012 at 10:54 PM

      OMG! Yet another silly fool!

      Hahahahaha!!!

      Delete
  37. I will say this... her sculpture is amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  38. The irony is: his only public Internet support is coming from someone who is reputed to be unstable herself.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Erasmus the ObscureFebruary 5, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Genjo comments on ZFI: http://www.shimanoarchive.com/PDFs/20120205_Marinello_ZFI.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  40. It appears Seigan is Genjo's go-to man for information on ES, and the one who turned him from defender to just another disgruntled dharma heir, in an ever growing line of them.

    I wonder why Seigan stayed with ZSS so long if, as Genjo says, " Seigan had it right from the beginning". He means the 'beginning' of current scandal I suppose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because ZSS is so much more than its disgraced former abbot.

      Delete
  41. Banko Randy PhillipsFebruary 6, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    Blue,
    Your comment is well noted, as well as your tone. Well, Genjo Osho is his own man and so is Seigan. Certainly neither of them need me to speak for them - but since you have categorized them thusly I will comment none-the-less. Seigan came in at the end of one of the last ER scandals. ER had seemingly been on his best behavior until the recent scandal broke. As a former President of the board of directors of ZSS I did not witness anything firsthand (or other) that led me to believe that ER was misbehaving in his old ways (which I was not really knowledgeable about until the archive came into being). When the recent scandal broke I talked with both Siegan and Fujin and neither of them knew beforehand of the affair - and I trust their words. Previous to that I was more concerned about his entrustment of the New York Zendo (Shobo-ji) to his wife Aiho-san. I led an intervention with senior Sangha members to try to have her removed before she ran the place into the ground. I was successful to a point but it was overturned by him (=her) within a few months. I had a mini-stroke there after and stepped back. There was a Shobo-ji advisory committee set up to take over control of Shobo-ji - they were shut down by ER within a few months.

    Your comments seem to be quite easy to make for you - "Seigan is Genjo's go-to man" and "I wonder why Seigan stayed with ZSS so long." I have no idea who you are because you use an alias. Seigan gave his youth to this organization and it was tremendous act of courage for him to leave. Genjo-Osho as a Dharma heir also showed his unfailing commitment to right action by his actions. His course of action was not due to any outside influence - Seigan's or mine (I left the board after Seigan and before Genjo-Osho.) To quote your words "Seigan..the one who turned him from defender to just another disgruntled dharma heir." I assume by your words that you do not know either of the two people that you talk about. If you do then pardon you for your insults. These are people who have my respect and they deserve respect and not derision.

    As a past member of ZSS what am I, or Genjo-Osho or Seigan (or Genkaku or Kobutsu in their time) guilty of? We may be guilty of loyalty. We may be guilty of looking at human faults that we deemed as minor that turned out to be major. But when we discovered the truth we acted in the best way that we could given our individual situations. "What more need you seek?" That was a rhetorical question, by the way.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Please note that due to cross platform compatibility structural changes in the http://www.shimanoarchive.com website, the RSS “Subscribe” button on the “What’s New?” page has been reconfigured.

    There was no way to avoid this change. So for those of you who have been subscribed to the feed, you will need to re-subscribe by going to http://www.shimanoarchive.com/NEWindex.html and click on the “Subscribe” button.

    My apology for any inconvenience.

    ReplyDelete
  43. While we are on the subject, Kobutsu, why did you stay with ZSS for as long as you did since almost upon your arrival, according to a recent 'memory' you published, you were confronted with a situation involving a young, distraught woman crying out, 'I have Eido Roshi's cum dripping down my legs', or words to that effect? I believe that was 1979 and you were his student till the mid-90s or so?

    SImilarly, with Seigan, who appears, (again according to Genjo's recent post) to have known from the beginning, and yet he too stayed on for many many years. Now, Banko, I'm not hurling insults nor derision (which I rightfully ojbect to being so classified) but I am interested in trying to understand what leads some people to staying on as long as they had having known his history, and in some cases, being a actively involved in covering up his disgraceful behavior.

    Again, according to Genjo (see last 2 months ZFI posts by him), the 15 year period he believed ES was not seducing his students, he recently learned, (from Seigan?) he was seducing his students. Which made him angry, another word for this--disgruntled--which directly led to his decision to resign (his own admission) from the Board and discontinue his association with ZSS. That's not an insult, rather an observation. You must of been through a lot, Banko and I hope your on the mend, I"m just trying to understand the human animal a little better.

    May all beings attain true wisdom.

    ReplyDelete
  44. You might as well ask Kobutsu about how his ring quest ended ...

    ReplyDelete
  45. Dear 2blue -- I can't speak for Kobutsu or Genjo or any of the others who lingered but I can speak for myself. I attended Sho Bo Ji and Dai Bosatsu for about nine years ... and lived through three of what I came to call The Fuck Follies -- times when Shimano's cruelty and sexual predilections burst into public consciousness.

    Nine years ... in on sense, what a flaming asshole I was! What kind of fairy tale planet was I living on?! Three instances that brought a new meaning to the term rock-'n'-roll. Looking back, I was an enormous fool, one who can say today, "I wouldn't trade my training for all the tea in China ... and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy."

    So then, what's my excuse? What's my explanation? The best I can come up with is this:

    To enter the world of Zen practice is to do so with uncertainty. How the hell can sitting on a cushion really smooth or soothe the wrinkles of an individual life? We all enter with uncertainty ... or that's my guess. And a little at a time, as one sitting follows on the next, it becomes apparent that there is something profoundly sane about the practice. No one can say precisely what it is (though there are plenty who can spout "compassion" and "emptiness" and "deeeeeep meaning"), but there is a sense of trust and love, so to speak. Zen practice, a little at a time, is precisely the medicine I was looking for.

    But I was not wise enough to separate that love from the environment in which I seemed to find it ... at Sho Bo Ji or Dai Bosatsu or somewhere else that was guided by Eido Shimano. Shimano was a part of the tapestry of love and I recoiled at the notion of weakening that appreciation and love. Shimano, for his part, in subtle and not so subtle ways, instilled the notion that is still prevalent today -- that it was through his graces and wondrous understanding that my own love flourished.

    So there was Fuck Follies I. Then Fuck Follies II. Then Fuck Follies III. And in each instance I was thrown for a loop -- confused, angry, and then confused again. Like a lot of others, I twisted and turned like a dead man on a noose: I simply could not bring myself to -- to use the phrase still used today -- throw the baby out with the bath water ... withdraw my love from what I so dearly loved.

    So I stayed and kept sitting and found nothing in it that ran counter to my appreciation of a great practice. I would not let my anger and confusion guide my footsteps. I would stay in the setting I knew to contain what I cherished.

    It is easy to say "confusion," but it is hard to depict fully. I wasn't alone during Fuck Follies I, II, III, but the confusion was utterly mine. And it was painful. So simultaneously, my practice was nourished in an environment I recognized as nurturing ... and there was confusion in the person of a sociopath masquerading as a Zen master.

    I guess all this is in aid of saying that confusion doesn't end overnight. It is mixed and bubbling, full of hot and cold ... and it takes some time to sort it all out. Is nine years a long time? Perhaps so. It's just the amount of time it took me.

    In the end, I was willing to trust myself. Zazen had given me some of that. I was willing to separate an environment that included a sociopath from the value I put on Zen practice. The baby was safe. The bath water was dirty. No if's and's or but's. It was time to get out of this tepid, dirty bath water.

    I left in confusion, but was glad I left... even as new confusions arose in my mind. Maybe I had made a mistake; maybe Shimano was the bestest with the most-est ... a one-way ticket to the "unconditional realm" or some other eyewash. And each time I had doubts, I had to lead myself by the hand, back into the facts, back into the history of Zen, back to the fact that if Shimano and his creations were all that Zen had to offer, I wanted no part of it.

    But I still do zazen.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Thanks for your considered reply Genkaku.

    Like you I too struggled when scandals would surface. The question that made me toss and turn was How can something so good come from someone perceived to be so evil? Also, another, disconnect. I would bump into members on the street near the zendo and talk about ES. Many then, well over 30 years ago, felt he was sick, a sociopath and a pathological liar. Yet, I didn't, and like you, I stayed a while longer because I couldn't wrap myself around those deeply disturbing psychological terms in reference to the meditation teacher I was just beginning to appreciate. Not to speak of the inspiring sangha members I was meeting, their community and the profound places sesshins were taking me.

    Of course, almost 40 years later and I still struggle with my image of ES. I too continue to sit and find daily life without it lacking. I don't see him as a sociopath or mentally ill though. His devotion to this practice and its transmission to the West is real to me-stealy real (to suggest a Genkaku-ism?). To say he was into it only for the women he could seduce or the fine dining he likes to do, misses by a long shot.

    Zazen is a discipline. It needs to be practiced. Attendance at sesshins are extremely important, especially for those of us not monks or nuns and who live in the hectic work-a-day world. To me, this is the gist of his teaching. I am once again attempting to live this way after many years of doing my own thing. It's a profound practice that shouldn't be taken lightly.

    ReplyDelete
  47. blue2 -- I was lucky enough to find a Zen teacher devoted to Zen practice. In no way did I ever hear him suggest, implicitly or explicitly, that he was (to borrow a Christian cornerstone) "the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."

    I feel fortunate not to share your confusions, to the extent they exist, about Eido Shimano. For me, the matter is simple -- not simplistic, but simple: There are things in life that deserve a clearly-stated and unqualified "no!" Eido Shimano and the other self-aggrandizing CEO wimps are all within that category for my money. Maybe not anybody else's money, but mine.

    My teacher taught the hard part of Zen: Never mind Buddhism, never mind Zen teachers, never mind altars and incense ... just learn how to live an attentive and responsible life. And beyond that -- beyond the furthest universe, learn what it is to laugh!

    Eido Shimano had the capacity to laugh AT others, but he lacked the capacity to laugh. This is a grave mistake -- one worthy of pity, perhaps, but nevertheless a grave, grave mistake.

    A mistake I decline to make.

    ReplyDelete
  48. P.S. I wouldn't dream of defaming my teacher by referring to him as my "beloved teacher" or anything remotely similar. Even the thought of such an epithet makes me imagine his saliva running down my cheek.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Dear 2blue,

    In my opinion, saying that Shimano wasn't just in it for the women is also misleading. He might not have set out at the beginning to build a personal sex imperium based on fooling Americans about Zen, but it certainly ended up that way. The fact that he was trained as a Zen monk in Japan made it convenient for him to teach Buddhism, but SGI or any other type of cultish practice would have done just as well. In Namu Dai Bosa there is a passage about how he was checked into a mental hospital in Japan before coming to America. So I suspect that he had sociopathic tendencies all along, and bit by bit realized that ripe American fruit would just fall into his hands if he played the game properly. The fact that he can appear to be so convinced about Zen, to the point that even critics like you believe he was dedicated to it, is just another reason why he was able to last so long. I don't mean to say your impression isn't genuine, just that Shimano is a VERY good impersonator.

    ReplyDelete
  50. The passage in Namu Dai Bosa is on page 180. It reads:

    "The shock of Senzaki's death, together With the strain of years of overly intense practice, had made me weak; there was something wrong with my heart. That November, I entered a hospital, where I spent a difficult half year."

    According to two physician friends, (one Japanese) people who entered the hospital in those days for “heart” problems for that length of time was unheard of – they simply died. If he spent that much time hospitalized for a “heart” condition, he would surely have exhibited a subsequent history of cardiac issues. He has no such history.

    It is interesting to note that the Japanese character 心 (shin) translates as “heart”…. It also translates as “mind.” So perhaps poor Eido got it mixed up somehow?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Yogi. I somehow remembered it as a mental hospital, but perhaps I got it mixed up with the shenanigans in the Hawaii psych ward. Anyways, your explanation is just as convincing.

      Delete
  51. Come on, Kobutusu! Don't (continue to) be gutless!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Death of Privacy -- If Kobutsu is gutless, I'm your aunt fanny. Just because he doesn't generally comment on blogs doesn't mean Kobutsu wouldn't be happy to take your phone call.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Just understand what everyone has such a hard time admitting: they were--willingly--seduced by Shimano.

    Brilliant teacher and a real son-of-bitch headcase.

    ReplyDelete
  54. The wimp even needs a wimp shill.

    ReplyDelete
  55. No, I am not you, thank god!

    Really, just fuk u, ok, a******.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Don't you hate it when the trolls get so upset they get incoherent?

    ReplyDelete
  57. Prissyboy says (on zfi):

    "We are all us"

    Brilliant, yes?

    He lives in Fukuoka, Japan, because he is a righteous zenboi ...

    Leave it to a subhuman to make a note.

    ReplyDelete
  58. 2blue
    Feb 7, 2012 09:01 AM

    "While we are on the subject, Kobutsu, why did you stay with ZSS for as long as you did ..."

    --Not a word from kobigbadbutsu on the righteous 2blue challenge...

    Why?

    Maybe at least partly because:

    he VALUES HIS PRIVACY

    ReplyDelete
  59. While asking folks about why they stayed affiliated with Shimano and ZSS long after they found out about Shimano's predatory and abuse behavior is a valid question, yet not everyone is as eloquent and clear as Genkaku.

    However, I strongly suspect few really deeply understand their own entangled emotional issues driving one even for a while to the serious committed practice of Zen Buddhism.

    If you have not read this 12 year old article at all or not recently, I suggest that you read or re-read it.

    Encountering the Shadow in Buddhist America By Katy Butler

    Ms. Butler has been a long time Zen student and author. In the article she wrote primarily about the problems caused by "Vajra Regent" Osel Tendzin, successor to Trungpa Rimpoche, and by Trunga himself. She frequently refers to the problems at San Francisco Zen Center where she began her practice.

    (ZSS and Shimano are mentioned only passing and in a matter of fact manner.)

    What Butler does is offers up some information into the individual and group dynamics that some may find useful to consider.



    May we all continue to grow in maturity and wisdom.

    ReplyDelete
  60. While studying the similarities between Shimano and another exploitative Zen teacher here in Germany, I looked at several reasons why Zen students tend to allow abuse to continue for so long:

    a) the fact that Zen ignores questions of morality
    b) that authoritarianism and slavish following of orders are part of the Japanese monastic tradition
    c) the claim that "there is no betrayal/abuse in the Absolute realm"
    d) the fact that the institution of dharma transmission makes the student dependent on the teacher's favour for advancement
    e) that there is in fact no truly 'selfless' state possible, which causes the student to blame himself
    f) that gratitude for their own positive meditation experiences makes the student dangerously forgiving of the teacher's misconduct
    g) that Zen groups with abusive teachers tend to degenerate into cultish dependency.

    I think some of genkaku's reasons could be mixed in there somewhere, too.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Christopher,

    I partially disagree with you on point #1.

    Does Zen ignore morality, or is it ignored by inferior or alleged or self proclaimed Zen teachers? Whenever I hear that ignore morality assertion, case #2 of the Mumonan, "Hyakujo's Fox" comes to mind.

    Essentially: "[A old man regularly visiting Hyakujo temple said] I was a Zen master and lived on this mountain. At that time one of my students asked me whether the enlightened man is subject to the law of causation. I answered him: "The enlightened man is not subject to the law of causation." For this answer evidencing a clinging to absoluteness I became a fox for five hundred rebirths, and I am still a fox. Will you save me from this condition with your Zen words and let me get out of a fox's body? Now may I ask you: Is the enlightened man subject to the law of causation?'

    "Hyakujo said: `The enlightened man is one with the law of causation.'"

    But, I do think that in Hyakujo's response, there is an implication that the enlightened person can try to manage causation, but then so can anyone.



    G.

    Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Genmai,

      My argument about morality is based on my own experience and a quote from Dale S. Wright, “Satori and the Moral Dimension of Enlightenment”, in which he states: "if we search for evidence of substantive interest in morality in the two dimensions of the Zen tradition where we would most expect to find it - in the vast canon of Zen sacred literature and in the full repertoire of Zen practices - we discover that it is largely absent."

      Though I don't doubt that particular teachers can read morality into many Zen stories such as that one, in the same way that certain Muslim teachers can read all the violence out of the Koran, for example.

      About the German teacher, there's a bit of a legal battle going on right now so I'm a bit hesitant to name him in public. But by all means email me (genkaku has my address) if you are really interested.

      Delete
    2. First off, Christopher, thanks for referring me to the article.

      I found the 17 page article on PDF format on the zensite.com
      Satori and the Moral Dimension of Enlightenment
      http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/Philosophical/Satori_and_Moral_Dimension.pdf

      While I am sure whatever literature Wright as well as Tom Kasulis, Chris Ives surveyed had little reference to morality. I like to know what criteria they used to distinguish the body of Zen Literature from the larger body of Buddhist literature.

      To me it's like a nerdy student saying "I'm studying advanced topics of computer science, therefore I will ignore personal hygiene." Sure, but ignore it at your peril!

      Yet Wright, in this article possibly without realizing it, actually presents the elephant in the room:

      "No doubt some masters in Zen history have been moral exemplars in their communities. ...[It] is not directly attributable to their Zen training so much as it is to their participation in the traditions of East Asian Confucian morality, as well as to the moral teachings of the broader Chinese Buddhist tradition. In other words, Zen masters, like everyone else in East Asia, lived moral lives and expressed themselves morally to the extent of their absorption of the Confucian and Buddhist culture in which they lived. Wherever moral stature is a component of the character of a Zen master, that stature would for the most part be the result of something other than Zen training.

      Still I was amazed by the words Wright attributed to D. T. Suzuki on page 7 pretty much trashing Zen monks, e .g. "[Suzuki] wrote: "present-day Zen priests have no knowledge or learning and therefore are unable to think about things independently or formulate their own independent opinions. This is a great failing of Zen priests."..."With satori alone, it is impossible [for Zen priests] to shoulder their responsibilities as leaders of society . . . by itself satori is unable to judge the right and wrong of war. With regard to disputes in the ordinary world, it is necessary to employ intellectual discrimination ...."


      N. B. Wright references the Suzuki quotes in a 2003 piece attributed to Brian Victoria but does not reference it by a specific name. The date clearly is not an edition of "Zen At War." I found a web site with a summary of the Journal of Buddhist Ethics article in 2003 by there was no mention of an article by Victoria.

      The important point in all this is that if Zen training does not encompass the study and practice of ethics then Maha-Sangha is going to keep having problems like Baker, Maezumi, Merzel, Nowick, Shimano, etc. It might have moral issues with tits leaders anyway, but the further problems of having confused sanghas and feckless boards like that of Zen Studies Society will probably be somewhat fewer.

      Delete
    3. Glad you found the article informative. I also don't know where that Suzuki quote originally came from.

      Though I don't think that Wright's argument is an elephant at all. Here in the West, we've imported all the haughty, "Zen is above everything" attitude, without the safety net of a devout Buddhist culture. That's why I say that Zen is great practice as long as we don't deny our own Western intuition about what's right and wrong. I certainly don't think we need to study Buddhist or Confucian ethics in Zen - normal people can see that Shimano's conduct is wrong just based on what they learned in kindergarten. Though, like you say, studying ethics in Zen can't hurt, and might even reduce the number of abuse cases in the future.

      But anyways, I go into some of these points in more detail in a paper I'm working on. I'll put up a link to it here once it's done.

      Delete
    4. Chris, I look forward to reading your paper.

      G.

      Delete
  62. BTW, Christopher, whom are you referring to when you write, "another exploitative Zen teacher here in Germany"?

    G.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Prisstopher barfed:

    "normal people can see that Shimano's conduct is wrong just based on what they learned in kindergarten."

    Guess Kobutsu, Genkaku, et al, the "willingly seduced", must have skipped that grade.

    The paper you say you are working on should be great for a real good ass-wipe.

    ReplyDelete
  64. It's pretty obvious that you won't be ever publishing a paper eh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's right, "Daryl": 'obviously' to you, I'm not scholarly material.

      Hey, and plus I'm blue collar: I drive a bus for a living, you classist pig!

      Delete
  65. Eric Hoffer was a longshoreman... "blue collar" true and true, but he wasn't an asshole.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Be a nice, boys, be a nice.

    ReplyDelete
  67. So I guess "blue collar" boys are not scholarly material because they're dumb? Ignorant? Or classist pigs?

    ReplyDelete
  68. At least we're not talking about the culpability of the 'willingly seduced'.

    Just think: if Genkaku, Kobutsu, et al, had stood up and pitched a bitch about Shimano's conduct, especially if they had NINE YEARS (THREE 'FUCK FOLLIES') to consider it, who might not have been raped?

    EH Jr., whoever the f that is: the foo shits, so I'll wear it.

    P.S. Thanks, mom.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Monkey Skull said...
    "Just think: if Genkaku, Kobutsu, et al, had stood up and pitched a bitch about Shimano's conduct, especially if they had NINE YEARS (THREE 'FUCK FOLLIES') to consider it, who might not have been raped?"

    Scroll up to the top of the page, and try reading the letter Genkaku sent to Shimano.
    And I quote:

    "What follows is a letter I wrote in 1982 to Eido Tai Shimano, the chief executive of Zen Studies Society in New York and Dai Bosatsu Monastery in upstate New York. Mr. Shimano is a Zen teacher.

    Also read the archives:

    http://www.shimanoarchive.com/

    ReplyDelete
  70. I think this article might even have been discussed here before, but it's certainly worth bringing up again: “Antisocial Personality Disorder in Cult Leaders and Induction of Dependent Personality Disorder in Cult Members” by John Burke. Some quotes which seem particularly applicable to Shimano's case are the following:

    “For example, psychopaths may borrow and use up another person’s finances for their own immediate wants and needs without later returning the borrowed money; or, in a similar way, they may sexually take advantage of people, and then after they have sated their animal urges, they sever the relationship with no thought of the other person. It has been found that during the course of a lifetime the psychopathic personality changes very little. But that at about age 40, the psychopath tends to become less active in terms of violent criminal activities, yet he still continues to act in a very self-focused and destructive manner even into the later years of life (Hare, 1993, p. 97). Unfortunately, psychopaths and antisocials seek out and prey on the weak and the needy, and one place they may go is into a cult, which contains vulnerable people.”

    and again:

    “When ASPD is observed, it has been found to be a stable personality organization that is ego-syntonic—that is, it does not cause internal conflict within the ego. This means that cult leaders who are antisocial do not feel distress or feel like they need to change their ways or voluntarily enter treatment. In actuality, antisocial cult leaders are thought to have a self-opinion somewhat like the following: “Nothing is wrong in my world; I am in control of my surroundings, and I like the way things are.”

    Sound familiar? I find the quotes especially appropriate given the outrage expressed here and elsewhere when someone first used the term “psychopath” to describe Shimano.

    ReplyDelete
  71. I'm glad he cutdown on his violent activities by age 40, the bodies were beginning to pile-up. We had to keep em stored in a cold-locker in the woods.

    I've grown old and tired digging hard-soil.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Christopher referred to

    “Antisocial Personality Disorder in Cult Leaders and Induction of Dependent Personality Disorder in Cult Members” by John Burke.


    Abstract
    This article considers evidence for the presence of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) in some cult leaders. Additionally, the influence of antisocial cult leaders on cult members is hypothesized to be associated with the emergence of dependent personality disorder (DPD) in some cult members.


    A link to the article is Here.

    N. B. The link that took me to the article is extremely long and may break due to formatting. So you may need to search for the article online yourself. This is an easy matter.


    One aspect of that article that I find important to keep attention on is that there are those with Dependent Personality Disorder, the people who have been often called the "enablers." They also bear responsibility. I suspect that the majority of each iteration of the ZSS board have had that disorder, as have been some of the senior students, and, I suspect, all of the remaining senior students.

    I wonder if the crude critic(s) who make(s) appearances here to vent and chide are somehow coming to terms with some form of DPD in themselves or others. I think this might be the case since the person or persons are particularly focused on Kobutsu and/or Genkaku for not doing more sooner. Interestingly the article briefly addresses this issue in passing:

    "The antisocial cult leader grooms people who will reflect his or her own core beliefs and desires. Such a leader might exhibit a superficial, glib manner that clashes with the more open and honest personality style of most “normals” in a cult. (In contrast to cult leaders, “normals” are usually more characterized by genuine, open communication and a desire for growing relational depth with others not based on merely ulterior motives). Normals who enter a cult may find to their dismay that they either must leave the cult (and it is estimated that about 10% of cult members do leave very soon after they join) or accept the leadership style of the cult leader."

    There is some reasonableness to the notion that a number of fairly normal people simply got temporarily stuck after they initially accepted Shimano's leadership style.

    During my stay with the group I found a number of people who stayed for personal reasons like convenience and attachment to the temples and environs, but at the same time more or less actively worked to shed light Shimano's wrong doings.

    ReplyDelete
  73. I do hope, based on the above observations, that participants here will do me the courtesy of not considering me "normal." I prefer to take honest responsibility, however poorly, for my own bullshit.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Hey Shodo!

    Genkaku said:

    "Nine years ... in on sense, what a flaming asshole I was! What kind of fairy tale planet was I living on?! Three instances that brought a new meaning to the term rock-'n'-roll. Looking back, I was an enormous fool ..."

    Your block is burning down ... how many houses go up in flames before you dial 911?




    Shodo, Genmai, Christopher:

    Please state your:

    1. Advanced academic qualifications in psychology, social work, medicine (e.g., masters, doctoral)

    2. Your licensing credentials, past or current.

    If you have any.

    Mine:
    1. MSW
    2. LCSW-C (Clinical Social Work License) retired (psychotherapist)

    ReplyDelete
  75. OK Transporter.... what State is your LCSW from? What is the license number?

    ReplyDelete
  76. Hey Transporter - What's your point?

    (but to answer your question, I am an undergrad...
    ... that's right baby - I'm still in college^^)

    ReplyDelete
  77. "Please state your:

    1. Advanced academic qualifications in psychology, social work, medicine (e.g., masters, doctoral)

    2. Your licensing credentials, past or current.

    If you have any.

    Mine:
    1. MSW
    2. LCSW-C (Clinical Social Work License) retired (psychotherapist)"


    I have a black belt in "AWESOME"...
    ... does that count?:3

    ReplyDelete
  78. Hey Genkaku, you don't have to worry about me, I will always consider you as a tad bit looney tunes :).

    ReplyDelete
  79. I have a black belt in "AWESOME"...
    ... does that count?:3


    Shodo -- Any social worker, retired or otherwise, gets my applause and awe for a remark like that! :)

    ReplyDelete
  80. Psychiatrist in court on sexual assault charges
    By Antonette Collins

    Posted February 15, 2012 11:52:22
    Map: Greenwich 2065

    A Sydney psychiatrist accused of sexually assaulting two of his patients has faced court.

    Dr Ong Ming Tan has been charged with a total of 14 offences, after 10 fresh charges were laid in Hornsby Local Court his morning in relation to a second patient.

    Tan is accused of indecent assault and indecency on the two women, aged 19 and 29, between July and November last year at Greenwich, on Sydney's north shore.

    In documents tendered to the court police allege the acts by Tan included kissing the neck and mouth, touching breasts and around the inner thigh, grabbing buttocks and putting his hands down one victim's underpants.

    Tan in free on bail under strict conditions, which include a ban on him practicing as a psychiatrist.

    He is expected to face court again in May.

    ReplyDelete
  81. The point: how qualified are you to diagnose? ASPD, DPD: really?

    ReplyDelete
  82. "Shodo -- Any social worker, retired or otherwise, gets my applause and awe for a remark like that! :)"

    My mom tells it too me every time we talk.;)

    The Trainspotter said...
    "The point: how qualified are you to diagnose? ASPD, DPD: really?"

    I assume you mean in regards to Shimano...?
    Well, I have read, re-read... and re-read again the Shimano Archives.
    And I have read, and re-read pages such at these:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder

    and

    http://www.cix.co.uk/~klockstone/teleg.htm

    ... And in an amateurish, non-certified and UN-licened opinion, I have made the conclusion that Shimano is a sociopath.

    I am 100% qualified to diagnose diddly-squat. I invite anyone to read the Archives and come to their own conclusions.

    ReplyDelete
  83. "how qualified are you to diagnose?"

    Though that very argument was already raised by Nonin on ZFI like a year ago, I'll respond again nevertheless: you're absolutely right. We armchair quarterbacks should all just sit quietly and wait until the psychopath himself sees the light, checks himself into a mental hospital at his own expense and lets a qualified physician make a proper diagnosis. At which time the ZSS and his followers in exile will of course all implement the necessary measures, retract their former endorsements, let themselves be in turn diagnosed with DPD, etc.

    I hereby prohibit anyone from following Shodo's medically irresponsible recommendation.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Here is the simple workaround: say that so-and-so seems to have symptoms similar to/like/reminiscent of *fill-in-the-blank*.

    Then you won’t sound so insulting or bigheaded, or look so silly, like suggesting that ZSS board members, whom you probably have never even met or talked to, are carrying a dx of DPD.

    Many MH professionals struggle with or are ambivalent about using diagnostic criteria (like DSM, as required for reimbursement by insurers). It becomes a label for life, deserved or not. It is also a question whether it is fundamentally fair to characterize humans in this way.

    Note also that there is a big difference between Axis One and Axis Two dx's, and the notion that some conditions may be treatable but not curable.

    Personally, I feel sorry for the incurables.

    ReplyDelete
  85. to continue along with this train of thought, antisocial personality disorder is an Axis II diagnosis and is, along with many other personality disorders, considered very difficult to treat. But I would like to suggest a treatment:

    zazen.

    I agree with you S&R, that once labeled with one of these DSM diagnoses one carries it around for life. In ES's case, I can hear all the zen psychotherapists that have proliferated within the last 25 years uttering "just another untreatable borderline" Being in the MH field myself, I see the preconceived expectations by staff when someone labeled with BPD comes into the hosp, and how these labels pigeon-hole people into nothing more than that: a DX, with a specific set of symptoms and expected behaviors. But, you have to call it something before billing the ins companies, otherwise no one gets paid.

    If I"m not mistaken, most of the Axis II dxs are untreatable; the Axis i dxs, treatable, but uncurable, at least to the point where one is able to be a productively functioning member of society again. Here I mean the severe mental illnesses such as, all the schizophrenias; major depression, SAD; BAD and severe anxiety disorders. There symptoms may be kept in check as long as they maintain their medicine regimen, in conjunction (if they are lucky enough to be able to afford it) wth thereapy.

    And here now we have the blog's armchair psychologists (along with other zen teachers) suggesting their own dx. And not even for billing purposes! I suppose it fulfills a need in an attempt to understand why people do the things they do, even though by saying ES has a PD is understanding very little of why he behaves the way he does.

    ReplyDelete
  86. "But I would like to suggest a treatment:

    zazen."

    Actually, zazen practice is problematic for untroubled Westerners, as studies by Ken Wilber et al, previously quoted, have made clear, and should surely be contraindicated for the mentally ill.

    ReplyDelete
  87. I would concur with that assessment in regards to people with severe Axis I mental illnesses, though I would say many of the people I've met and worked with who have had Axis II Dxs, for most of them I think they could manage to sit. Of course the discipline to maintain a practice is another question. Unless there is strong motivation. As it is for all of us.

    ReplyDelete
  88. "Contraindicated"

    "Concur"

    Classin' up this j'int, ain't we?

    ReplyDelete
  89. I suppose the use of these clinical terms may seem out of place here, though its an inevitable result to recent posts re the case of ES and his Axis II (here comes another classy, clinical term) symptomatology as we continue our attempt to understand his behavior. There must be one or maybe a dozen at least, zen-psychotherapists, who have examined the archived history of this case.

    Any further elucidations?

    ReplyDelete
  90. The last few entries while humorous provided no help whatsoever in furthering a working understanding what might be going on with Chayat and the majority of the ZSS board as they continue to support Shimano by refusing to denounce his actions publicly, and by refusing make public any efforts to terminate or even curtail his pension. Further it provides no clues as to how to proceed in a group run by a leader with an Antisocial Personality Disorder who takes advantage of those with Dependent Personality Disorder.

    As this current phase of "discussion" was launched by a reaction to the label of Dependent Personality Disorder by those with some self proclaimed understanding of the label / diagnosis, let me further elucidate the label a bit to show why I think it probably is correct usage.

    From http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001937/

    Dependent personality disorder

    Dependent personality disorder is a long-term (chronic) condition in which people depend too much on others to meet their emotional and physical needs.

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Dependent personality disorder usually begins in childhood. The causes of this disorder are unknown. It is one of the most common personality disorders, and is equally common in men and women.

    Symptoms

    People with this disorder do not trust their own ability to make decisions. They may be very upset by separation and loss. They may go to great lengths, even suffering abuse, to stay in a relationship.


    Symptoms of dependent personality disorder may include:

    Avoiding being alone

    Avoiding personal responsibility

    Becoming easily hurt by criticism or disapproval

    Becoming overly focused on fears of being abandoned

    Becoming very passive in relationships

    Feeling very upset or helpless when relationships end

    Having difficulty making decisions without support from others

    Having problems expressing disagreements with others

    Signs and tests

    Like other personality disorders, dependent personality disorder is diagnosed based on a psychological evaluation and the history and severity of the symptoms.

    Treatment

    Talk therapy (psychotherapy) is considered to be the most effective treatment for gradually helping people with this condition make more independent choices in life. Medication may help treat other conditions, such as anxiety or depression.

    Expectations (prognosis)

    Improvements are usually seen only with long-term therapy.

    Complications

    Alcohol or drug abuse

    Depression

    Increased likelihood of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse

    Calling your health care provider

    Call for an appointment with your health care provider or a mental health professional if you or your adolescent has symptoms of dependent personality disorder.

    References

    Blais MA, Smallwood P, Groves JE, Rivas-Vazquez RA. Personality and personality disorders. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa:Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 39.
    Review Date: 11/23/2010.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Here's a take on why he does what he does.

    In the absolute realm one experiences complete calm, relaxation. Its a complete blowing out of all connection to the world of strife, with all its myriad concerns, worries and anxieties. Even the great matter of life and death appears to be just another "bubble" event that ultimately doesn't matter--from this absolute perspective.

    So, the pursuit of sexual pleasure with females students, to him, is really a very trivial matter, to be enjoyed for what it is--pleasure, then, let go of repeatedly by accessing this absolute realm in deep zazen. He feels he is doing nothing wrong, because his sense of right and wrong (already conflated by cultural differences) is constantly being informed and challenged by what he experiences in this absolute realm.

    Now, as to why he doesn't understand the impact and harm his behavior has on the unity of the sangha and mental health of his victims, can only be attributed to his well-known arrogance. Which in itself is something that would involve intensive therapy for him to acknowledge.

    To have continuously acted irresponsible like he has, he must believe he is not doing anything wrong. Unlike a true sociopath who doesn't experience remorse, ES does know shame and remorse, he just isn't able to see sleeping with his students as wrong. And from what I can tell, it took many people many years to have come to their own conclusions about this specific kind of behavior. Unlike many other sex scandals, there has been no legal action against ES which begs the question Why not?

    ReplyDelete
  92. Sorry Layman Jim... I couldn't possibly disagree more.
    Sounds like the only thing keeping you from calling Shimano a "true sociopath" is a shaved head, a kesa, and assumption that he dwells in the realm of the absolute.

    When have you seen Shimano show shame and remorse...? In fact, I dare you to look at all the public statements from Shimano that are in the archives and find one that ever explicitly states what he actually DID.

    ReplyDelete
  93. No, didnt say he 'dwells'' in the absolute. He is able to access the absolute ( zazen)
    which informs (distorts?)his sense of right and wrong. He doesn't believe his acts are wrong because of his ability to access this non-dual condition in which the little self gets dissolved along with its puny, petty, concerns. To his understanding sexual relations, even with his own students, shouldn't be such a big deal.

    The above is a theoretical explanation in an attempt to understand why he acts the way he do.

    ReplyDelete
  94. "No, didnt say he 'dwells'' in the absolute. He is able to access the absolute ( zazen)
    which informs (distorts?)his sense of right and wrong. He doesn't believe his acts are wrong because of his ability to access this non-dual condition in which the little self gets dissolved along with its puny, petty, concerns."


    By your reasoning then therefore, if we all could only access this non-dual condition we all could then forget about puny, "petty" concerns...?
    Like empathy?
    Like the Buddhist precepts?
    Like taking responsibility for the evil one commits?
    Like not harming others?

    No no no... I am sorry, but I respectfully submit to you that you took a wrong turn at absolute junction and then got all turned around at non-dual circle.
    The only thing I will say about "the absolute" (waits for the ghost of my old teacher to hit me with a stick...) is that one's empathy, one's concern for "the other", one's taking responsibility for the evil one commits only increases - if you think that those things DEcrease with deep zazen... I am sorry that is just simply wrong.

    I don't know what Eido is accessing, but it aint "the absolute".

    ReplyDelete
  95. The above is a theoretical explanation in an attempt to understand why he acts the way he do.

    Hi L. Jim -- My view: In the end, why someone does something is less important or convincing or useful than the fact that s/he does it.

    ReplyDelete
  96. what a bunch of pretentious jerk-offs

    ReplyDelete
  97. "what a bunch of pretentious jerk-offs."

    ahhh ok.
    please point out my error.

    ReplyDelete
  98. "Birth"

    Ah yes well there is that I suppose... whether or not it was truly a mistake I was born is still up in the air... least for a little while longer I suppose.

    Can you point out the error in what I said?
    Or is your issue with how I said it?

    ReplyDelete
  99. Don't Feed The Trolls

    ReplyDelete
  100. "Don't Feed The Trolls."

    Oh but in this case, I just cant help it!

    Does "fool" think that with sincere practice one grows more callous...? UN-empathetic? Less willing to uphold the precepts?
    (I guess that means the Buddha had it backwards...)

    Or is the reverse true?

    ReplyDelete
  101. SIncere practice, Shodo? Not what I said. Accessing, penetrating the core of your being (zen center is in your hara) where I and other, here and there, no longer apply. Not heartfelt effort to do good toward your fellow man, even though this is very important.

    You have the tendency to change the original context of what is being talked and applying it to your own ends.

    Peace out, dude.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Sincere practice, Shodo?...

    ...You have the tendency to change the original context of what is being talked and applying it to your own ends.


    Are you mistaking something I wrote to the person with the handle "fool" as something I wrote to you...
    ...Or is LJ and fool the same person?:3

    "Accessing, penetrating the core of your being (zen center is in your hara) where I and other, here and there, no longer apply. Not heartfelt effort to do good toward your fellow man, even though this is very important."

    Ok. If one does what you describe, how do they get from "the absolute" to the "up-skirt grope"?

    ReplyDelete
  103. "Ok. If one does what you describe, how do they get from "the absolute" to the "up-skirt grope"?"




    That's what initially I thought we were trying to understand, Shodo. How does one go from the peacefulness of nirvana to acting as irresponsibly toward his students as he has?

    And, again, he took these extreme liberties toward his students because he doesn't see any wrongness in it, because, as I proposed earlier; the morally neutral non-dual condition, a powerfully calmed state, where self as we know it disappears(and feels so good)--this state revisited over and over again sets up some kind of conflict with the relative world of do's and don'ts--due it's profoundly world-altering perspective. I know you think it should make one's behavior more toward that of a " saint-like do gooder" , but I don't believe that personally. Perhaps the self (ego) that re-emerges from this condition doesn't always do so in a healthful manner, doesn't integrate, re-form itself in a manner befitting society's rules and regs. And that this (call it what you wish) distortion/imbalance, can, in some types cause them to act as callously as ES has.

    By re-entering this neutral, non-dual state, where one is at total ease with all of the world and wherein his actions in that world (though he is aware others see them as wrong) have none of that nasty, residual, bothersome, conscience, most of us mere mortals struggle with. HA! I know what your thinking--no conscience=sociopath?

    So the hand goes up the skirt because he sees nothing wrong with it. So, if he sees nothing wrong with it, he is not going to see the harm he is causing others or the sangha. He thinks that's our problem: we see something wrong with it.

    The concept of illicit sexual behavior doesn't appear to trouble him at all. He moves freely, unhindered throughout the 3 worlds.

    ReplyDelete
  104. He ain't movin' so "freely" any more...

    ReplyDelete
  105. By re-entering this neutral, non-dual state, where one is at total ease with all of the world and wherein his actions in that world (though he is aware others see them as wrong) have none of that nasty, residual, bothersome, conscience, most of us mere mortals struggle with. HA! I know what your thinking--no conscience=sociopath?

    I don't believe this at all.
    What you are saying is that Eido's ability to access "the absolute" has twisted him into a person with sociopathic tendencies.

    I think it FAR more likely that Eido is a man with sociopathic tendencies who has been able to "fake it" for a really really really long time.

    The words of Aitken Roshi come back to me now...:
    "Meantime, Shimano completed his formal study with Yasutani Rōshi in 1969, and returned to Nakagawa Rōshi, who made him his successor. This raises an important question. After hearing Shimano's talks in 1976, and after reading his essays since then, I must say that I find him sadly lacking in insight. Wouldn't this be evident to his two teachers as well?

    I believe they were both convinced that he was in process of change, and that he would continue to develop. He had established himself very well in New York, and had attracted many fine students. I feel sure now, with the benefit of hindsight, they would acknowledge that they might better have applied the wisdom of certain great teachers in Zen Buddhist history, who, despite the careful training, they extended to all disciples, could find no one good enough, and so died without leaving any successors at all.

    To this day, Zen Buddhist training is intensive and exacting. Each action is ritualized and used as a teaching, guiding the monks to worthy applications of the peace and harmony found in zazen meditation practice. The “Ten Grave Precepts” of Buddhism are examined as koans, themes of meditation, and the “Six Perfections of Character” also are studied. Compassion as the handmaiden of wisdom is stressed in lectures, in interviews, and in the daily life of the monastery. Even with a relatively slight realization experienced in the course of meditation, the monk who pursues monastic training diligently will emerge from the eight years or so an exemplary human being. Even a lazy monk who walks through the training cannot help but become a better person.

    Formal Zen study serves to sharpen and clarify even the deepest realization, and the daily practice of saving all beings becomes a lifetime task. The truly accomplished Zen Buddhist student inevitably is open and loving, obviously an emancipated human being with an affinity for children and animals. I sense that if it were the karma of all people to attain easily to such grace, the Zen monastery would be a far less rigorous place.

    Apparently, Shimano was a breed apart. He was, we may be sure, well trained in the monastery, but it seems that only the exterior was polished. Some observers knew right away that this form had no heart. When Nakagawa Rōshi suggested sending Shimano to Los Angeles to serve Sensaki Nyōgen Sensei in his last years, Senzaki Sensei sent a trusted friend [Shubin Tanahashi?] to Ryūtakuji to meet Shimano. She took one look, and returned to Senzaki Sensei and reported, "Not for you.”

    Likewise, an old-time student of Shimano told me about taking his brother to a meeting of the Zen Studies Society. The brother, who had no previous exposure to Buddhism, walked out at the first break in the meeting. When asked why, he said, "That guy is only acting.”


    I don't believe that Shimano is the great practitioner people claim he is - in fact, in so far as I can discern such things - I don't think Eido is clear about much anything, especially zazen.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Shodo, LJ, Pork Ranger: none has been a student, or perhaps even met, Shimano. True?

    'Let he who is without understanding based on direct observation and experience cast the first turd' (and the second, and the third ...)

    ReplyDelete
  107. fool said...
    "'Let he who is without understanding based on direct observation and experience cast the first turd'

    Yeah, I have heard Gregory Wonderwheel make the same kind of argument...

    I have my own experience as a practitioner.
    I have the recorded experiences of the abused in the Shimano Archives.
    I have the words of Aitken Roshi... as well as other teachers.

    I think I have quite enough information to reach an informed conclusion.

    I have never in my life met Shimano - but I know enough about practice to know what Aiken said above was true.
    I *do* believe, like LJ, that there is a correlation between zazen and how one conducts oneself in the "world of the relative"... I disagree however that it goes in the direction LJ suggests.

    I disagree on the direction LJ uses to rationalize Shimano's behavior though

    ReplyDelete
  108. Hey fool, just asking...

    Are you, LJ, V and Park Ranger the same person?

    ReplyDelete
  109. Shodo, LJ, Pork Ranger: none has been a student, or perhaps even met, Shimano. True?

    Hi fool -- I have met Shimano, but I have to admit I never met Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson, or Adolph Hitler, all men who offered a profound understanding to anyone who asked them.

    ReplyDelete
  110. shodo:

    no

    (now they probably feel insulted)

    ReplyDelete
  111. Hey: it's Eido Shimano, not Adolf Shimano!

    Eido doesn't have even 1/10 of 1/1000 of 1% of the scholarly research, or even pop psychology, of the triumvirate u cite, and never will. Moral turpitude? No comparison there, either.

    Genkaku: your words about Shimano should be respected like the words of few others due to your long-term relationship (more than just 'met') with him, and you surely know this.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Eido doesn't have even 1/10 of 1/1000 of 1% of the scholarly research, or even pop psychology, of the triumvirate u cite, and never will.

    Hi fool -- And you know this about the 'triumvirate' because you met them ... or is that a faulty inference?

    ReplyDelete
  113. Was with ESR & ZSS many years. Began to attend session at DBZ after a 25 year absence, which was 2 years before current scandal broke.

    ReplyDelete
  114. What exactly constitutes "the current scandal"? And when did it break?

    ReplyDelete
  115. LJ are you responding to genkaku...?

    Why would you respond to Genkaku when that question was directed at fool?
    Or are you just offering the info?

    ReplyDelete
  116. LJ: let those turds fly! You are entitled!

    Genkaku:

    ??

    ReplyDelete
  117. Shodo:

    I still like you, but--

    You are just about hopeless

    ReplyDelete
  118. Jesus Spike - really?
    I get the sinking feeling that the only person any of us are talking to is you.

    ReplyDelete
  119. "I don't believe that Shimano is the great practitioner people claim he is - in fact, in so far as I can discern such things - I don't think Eido is clear about much anything, especially zazen."

    Zazen IS the ONE thing he is clear about. I have always struggled with this question, How can someone who teaches something (zazen) so well, and which is really good for people (if they do it) be perceived as someone who is so evil?

    Now Mr. G. is referencing him alongside the likes of Dahmer, Manson and Hitler. What's that about? Mass murderers=serial seducers. Aiken said "watch his eyes" someone else, "the guys only an actor" and Senzaki's friend said "not for you". All evidence he is the manifestation of an evil person.

    I'm angry he can't keep his desire in check, taking advantage of his students shattering the harmony of repeated sanghas, but still feel lucky to have absorbed his zazen teachings deep into my bones. I have no doubt regarding this.

    ReplyDelete
  120. Now Mr. G. is referencing him alongside the likes of Dahmer, Manson and Hitler. What's that about?

    Lucky Jim -- Professional obtuseness does not much appeal to me. Please read what I said.

    Fool said: Eido doesn't have even 1/10 of 1/1000 of 1% of the scholarly research, or even pop psychology, of the triumvirate u cite, and never will.

    I said: Hi fool -- And you know this about the 'triumvirate' because you met them ... or is that a faulty inference?

    What I was asking was whether, if "fool" could make such a statement, s/he had something like the first-hand knowledge s/he demanded of others. By implication, if s/he did not have such first-hand knowledge and was nevertheless willing to make the statement, then perhaps we can infer that first-hand acquaintanceship or knowledge is not always necessary to making a sane judgment.

    But perhaps, as often happens, 'my' inconsistencies are acceptable because they are 'mine?'

    Never mind. I'll just watch "Dumb and Dumber" and see if I can get things straight.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Oh look.... another "totally new" person...
    (if you are totally new to this thread truly, then welcome Lucky Jim^^.... otherwise - Hi Spike.)

    Zazen IS the ONE thing he is clear about.I have always struggled with this question, How can someone who teaches something (zazen) so well, and which is really good for people (if they do it) be perceived as someone who is so evil?

    All anyone can give you is beginning instruction, everything else is up to you.

    Shimano is all form and no heart. His vaulted "practice" has not penetrated his skin, much less his bones.

    ReplyDelete
  122. Genkaku,
    So if what you were after was an admission that one doesn't need to know someone to make a 'sane judgment' about them, why choose those 3 historical evil-doers and not, lets say; Marilyn Monroe, Lady Gaga and Bill Clinton? If all you were after was an admission from fool that inferred knowledge is equal to first-hand, experiential knowledge, any names would of been applicable in that case. Eidolf Shimano, indeed.

    And Shodo, I, me, Lucky Jim, has absorbed Shimano's teaching deep into the marrow of my bones. It doesn't matter to me what you say about or what you think about Shimano, or what you have read about him. This I know beyond a doubt. Good Luck with your practice. IT is only up to you, you got that right

    I'm not fool or spike. i'm Layman JIm, Lucky Jim, LJ, and sometimes, Lonely Jim, and occasionally Lugubrious Jim, though I'll try my best not to be.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Wish there were "LIKE" and "DISLIKE" buttons! Maybe there should be a Facebook page. Oh no, then people could not be anonymous.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Lonely Jim said:
    "And Shodo, I, me, Lucky Jim, has absorbed Shimano's teaching deep into the marrow of my bones. It doesn't matter to me what you say about or what you think about Shimano, or what you have read about him. This I know beyond a doubt.

    Hmmm...
    I remain unconvinced.
    What did he teach you besides learning how to sit...?:3

    ReplyDelete
  125. Convince yourself with ur own zazen! That's how it works

    Over and out.

    ReplyDelete
  126. Convince yourself with ur own zazen! That's how it works

    Yes yes.... but how does Shimano fit into that?

    ReplyDelete
  127. Shododo said:

    "Shimano is all form and no heart. His vaulted "practice" has not penetrated his skin, much less his bones."

    *vaunted*

    Shodo infers that a**holes aren't capable of good zazen ....

    HahahahaHA, Shodo!

    Genkaku asked:

    "What I was asking was whether, if "fool" could make such a statement, s/he had something like the first-hand knowledge s/he demanded of others."

    I am one of his named spiritual children. I benefited from his teaching. I am forever grateful to him. But: knowing what I now know, I would never never never study with him again. If he had done what he is infamous for with my daughter, I still would have forgiven what was left of him after I was done, which, given my history, would not be very much at all.

    ReplyDelete
  128. Hi Spike.
    you said:

    "Shodo infers that a**holes aren't capable of good zazen.

    It is also Aitken's perspective.

    Aitken said:
    "He was, we may be sure, well trained in the monastery, but it seems that only the exterior was polished. Some observers knew right away that this form had no heart.

    If I'm wrong then I am in trusted company.
    The benefits of practice are what Aitken outlined above - if that isn't happening after 50 years, maybe it is then safe to consider that something significant has not sunk in.

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  129. assholes can practice "good" zazen I think, and become less of assholes over time.

    ReplyDelete
  130. "Shodo Feb 22, 2012 02:38 PM
    assholes can practice "good" zazen I think, and become less of assholes over time."

    True dat!

    Just not Western a**holes. They are mostly hopeless.

    Shimano misused/misuses zazen. I know his problem because I experienced it. The joriki power developed by zazen gets outletted in the lowest chakra. It never becomes spiritual power. This problem, combined with the strain of an arranged marriage, earlier MH problems, and culturally arrogant sexism all preclude any other speculated diagnosis, imo, even if one were applicable.

    P.S. Please don't call me (or anyone else) 'Spike'. May he rot in peace.

    ReplyDelete
  131. Re, Aitken:

    Don't forget--one reason Aitken hated and disparaged Shimano was because Shimano stole away so many of Aitken's students.

    ReplyDelete
  132. "Don't forget--one reason Aitken hated and disparaged Shimano was because Shimano stole away so many of Aitken's students.

    You are full of shit Spike.

    "P.S. Please don't call me (or anyone else) 'Spike'. May he rot in peace.

    Until you resign yourself to a single handle, every time I find you I will call you Spike, Spike.
    That way folks can see it's just one person instead of many.

    Your rationale for his behavior is silly... his joriki power was getting dumped into his lowest chakra...?
    The man has been preying on vulnerable women for decades. Don't complicate things with "woo woo" excuses.

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  133. Just ignore the anger and resentment of Shimano's arranged (mandated) marriage, his documented MH problems, his culturally arrogant sexism ...

    Hahaha!

    Woowoowoo!

    It must hurt to be so wrong and so stupid at the same time, Sho dodo!

    As for the dammed up joriki power masculine males sometimes have to deal with: you probably just don't have anything 'down there' in terms of a holding vessel to understand the issue ...

    ReplyDelete
  134. I forgot to say: I still like you, though!

    At least a little bit!

    Respect? Well ...

    ReplyDelete
  135. The joriki power developed in zazen is quickly dissipated unless carefully guarded, usually a few days after sesshin. Its power is to be utilized during sesshin to push one deeper and deeper till all the chakras open up. There are powerful energies being manipulated consciously and unconsciously during a lifetime of zazen. After 38 years, I feel like a beginner still.
    Here's to: endless dimension universal mind.

    "to open the immortal eyes of man inward, ever-expanding within the bosom of god" --Wm Blake

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  136. I'd like to recommend the discussion forum http://obcconnect.forumotion.net/ for those interested in some of the topics that have been raised here. It's mainly for ex-members of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, another authoritarian Zen group with cult tendencies, but everyone's welcome and discussion of Shimano and other abusive teachers is encouraged. There is a wealth of information, recommended reading, and intelligent discussion there, and no trolls.

    ReplyDelete
  137. Good Lord.

    Layman Jim and Spike, (personally I think it's JUST Spike) where did you hear that Joriki has anything with chakras? Joriki is just the power to concentrate... the reason is "builds" during sesshin is because you are practicing concentrating! Zen does not have a chakra theory, that is Vajrayana Buddhism.

    You can't make joriki (japanese zen word/concept) into a "special stuff" that collects in a chakra (Vajrayana word/concept) and then expect to fashion all slap-dash a credible rationale explaining why Eido preys on women.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, at least there is something about you that is rigid.

      Delete
    2. and your point was made as eloquently as if you had said "I can count to potato."

      Delete
  138. Christopher's new fave tune:

    "I'm down with O B C!
    (That's right, now, you know me!)"

    A true Genkaku loyalist

    Troll, n. Very tall, impossibly handsome and lawyerly intellectual whose wit, wisdom and eloquence inevitably knock the unwashed opposition over with a feather. v. To look for foolish opinions to put a pin in.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Shodo, I'm NoT Spike. It appears our views are similar though Spike has an easy way with words which is impressive and, at times, terribly funny. Don't you think?

    As regards ur above post. Don't get caught up in the words joriki, chakra please consider the below advice:

    Read 2 pages of the Diamond Sutra twice a day for the next 3 weeks. Call next month for an eval.

    ReplyDelete
  140. "Shodo, I'm NoT Spike. It appears our views are similar though Spike has an easy way with words which is impressive and, at times, terribly funny. Don't you think?"

    You are totally Spike.

    "As regards your above post. Don't get caught up in the words joriki, chakra please consider the below advice..."

    The words joriki and chakra was a part of your explanation for Eido's predations...

    At least now you can admit your reason was an empty one.

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  141. He's everywhere! He's everywhere!

    Holy shit, it's some kind of vast, spike-wing conspiracy!!

    Shodo: I love snoopy (Peanuts) cartoons. I clip the good ones and continue to send them to my adult daughter, as I did during all her college years. I send her every snoopy card I can find: one for xmas, valentine's, etc. You could say I'm a little obsessed with a cartoon character.

    Spike was a cartoon character.

    Not a healthy attachment on your part.

    Spike was a persona. Spike is gone.

    There is more than one voice that is different from yours.

    Consider accepting others at their word.

    P.S. Charles Schulz was similarly not the character Charlie Brown, notwithstanding Charlie's big head.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't care Spike - you are here now, stop trolling and contribute.
      Pick a persona and stick with it, I am tired of playing whak-a-mole.

      Delete
    2. Sounds like it is all just too much for you ...

      Delete
  142. "Yoga and Sex Scandals: No Surprise Here"

    Above is a headline in today's NYTIMES. The parallels with this blog and with what those on it have said about ZSS and Shimano is fascinating to me, especially this:

    "To denounce the philanderers would be to admit years of empty study and devotion. So many women ended up blaming themselves. Sorting out the realities took years and sometimes decades of pain and reflection, counseling and psychotherapy. In time, the victims began to fight back."

    I really think our attitudes about sex and spiritual practices needs to change. Why does a teacher need to be perceived as holy and pure before we decide to do their brand of spiritual practice? If we could see sexual activity with a teacher/friend/ or next door neighbor as nothing more than a display of affection instead of something impure or disgraceful, particularly when done with more than one person at a time, or with someone who is considered 'below' one in position of power-there wouldn't be so much needless suffering on the 'victims' part, then they wouldn't have to blame themselves because they would not experience what they did(having sex with THE teacher) as wrong/bad/stupid/ nor would there be any other cause for needless suffering, for them, and their teacher.

    A broad acceptance of sex, it would seem to me, would eliminate a lot of needless suffering. I personally don't think John Friend is any less a yoga teacher because he slept with many of his students. And I know my years with ESR were not wasted because he was sexually promiscuous with his students. I received something of great value that there is no doubt--nothing wasted. And I'm really saddened by the ones harmed, but they too need to see that their years were not wasted because they got involved with ES in that way.

    Of course, this is not how we see sex with a teacher. In the world we live in, it's always wrong, the teacher is a pervert only looking out for his own self interest. So on it goes the needless sufferings.

    ReplyDelete
  143. This is the sort of logic that NAMBLA proponents use regarding sex with young boys...

    A broad acceptance of sex with children would eliminate a lot of needless suffering...

    ReplyDelete
  144. This is what I said:

    'I really think our attitudes about sex and spiritual practices needs to change.'

    Which is too general a statement, I agree, and I see how you can easily extrapolate and imply a broad acceptance of sex to include "sex with children" from that statement. That was not my intention.

    Rather, the standard narrative we are all fed growing up, is that sexual relationships are something you only have when you really love a person and only that person, and if we do this together (have sex), it means something really really special has happened between us. You love me, you care about me. We share this intensely intimate experience so therefore we are forever connected, and we should probably get married, because we did this and so we will be together all our lives. One man with one woman. This is the general view of how we've come to accept sexual relations in my experience, and specifically how many young women in society are conditioned. Young men too, but there are other forces influencing them other than those imposed by society's institutions.

    When things don't work out in this way, we needlessly suffer, because, we are programed to view sex occurring only in long-term, monogamous couplings.

    OK? I didn't intend "sex with children". My understanding is that NAMBLA advocates to lessen the consensual age for sex between men and boys, and that it is are extremely controversial for being a haven for pedophiles.

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  145. Jim said...
    "Rather, the standard narrative we are all fed growing up, is that sexual relationships are something you only have when you really love a person and only that person, and if we do this together (have sex), it means something really really special has happened between us. You love me, you care about me. We share this intensely intimate experience so therefore we are forever connected, and we should probably get married, because we did this and so we will be together all our lives. One man with one woman. This is the general view of how we've come to accept sexual relations in my experience, and specifically how many young women in society are conditioned. Young men too, but there are other forces influencing them other than those imposed by society's institutions.

    When things don't work out in this way, we needlessly suffer, because, we are programed to view sex occurring only in long-term, monogamous couplings. "


    Is this your perspective of how Eido Shimano has behaved over the years?
    This isn't a case of puritanical Americans getting hung up on some rigid Protestant-based "sex is bad m'kay" morality...
    Here is an excerpt from Genjo Marinello last posting on the Eido thread on ZFI...

    "Our investigation turned up credible evidence that the most recent incident was not the only breach in the last many years, and also brought to light that Eido Roshi was in the habit of more aggressively pursuing the most vulnerable female students under his spiritual care. Most disturbing of all to me was when we learned that not all sexual encounters started "consensually."

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  146. If he had uncovered criminal sexual activity, which is what the last sentence in this quoted excerpt suggests, then as a Board member, I would think he would be mandated to report it to the proper authorities. And if so, then you should be more concerned about Genjo,s lack of fiduciary action then my speculations about sexual morality.

    ReplyDelete
  147. Let's all character assassinate Genjo now...

    ReplyDelete
  148. Jim said...
    "then you should be more concerned about Genjo's lack of fiduciary action then my speculations about sexual morality."

    they are two separate issues... your speculation's about sexual morality seem to suggest that you wish to give Eido a pass, but hang Genjo out to dry... this seems backwards to me.

    Have you read his post?
    Do you wish me to post it in it's entirety?
    For contextual purposes?

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  149. In my opinion Jim - in perfect 20/20 hindsight - the dirty little bugger Eido should have been arrested and deported when Aitken discovered in 1964 that Eido(Tai San) was preying on women.

    his pathology is over 50 years old.

    http://www.shimanoarchive.com/PDFs/19640808R_Smith_Aitken.pdf

    http://www.shimanoarchive.com/PDFs/19640504R_Aitken_Note_Transcribed.pdf

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  150. Genjo mentions that "we learned..."so there are others who may of neglected their duties if 'they' had indeedi uncovered criminal activity.

    If it was your daughter being raped I'm sure it would matter to you if people knew what occurred and didn't act.

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  151. Jim said...
    "If it was your daughter being raped I'm sure it would matter to you if people knew what occurred and didn't act."

    It sure would if it was my daughter!

    Now consider the possibility that it was your daughter... Do you still think it would be you who had to revise your views on "sexual morality" and just give Eido a free pass to avoid much pain and suffering?

    ReplyDelete
  152. And before you comment again, here is Genjo's post in near full...

    ". When the most recent scandal came to light in late May, 2010, all board members, including Seigan, were deeply shocked, as we all believed that he had reformed long ago. Eido Roshi had assured us, just days before the scandal came to light, that there had been no ethical breaches in well over a decade. He had also repeatedly apologized to the ZSS Sangha for his past behavior, and we loyally and perhaps gullibly believed him.

    When his lie was exposed, as I recall some board members, especially Seigan, wanted Eido Roshi to resign as Abbot immediately. Unlike many on the board, including myself, Seigan had been around when a previous scandal broke, about 15 years earlier. Because we were all clear that Eido Roshi had lied to us in private and in public, Seigan saw that the only appropriate action was for Eido Roshi to fully resign at once. It was this stance of Seigan's that I referred to as, "right from the beginning." In hindsight, I wish the full ZSS board would have insisted on Eido Roshi's immediate resignation, and fired him if he did not resign.

    Most board members, including myself, wanted more due process, and were content, at least initially, with Eido Roshi first resigning from the ZSS board, which he did on July 4th, while an investigation was started to examine the extent of his misbehavior. The rest is now history. Our investigation turned up credible evidence that the most recent incident was not the only breach in the last many years, and also brought to light that Eido Roshi was in the habit of more aggressively pursuing the most vulnerable female students under his spiritual care. Most disturbing of all to me was when we learned that not all sexual encounters started "consensually."

    As the extent of this pattern came into focus, along with Eido Roshi's obvious insincerity about his own apology and his deep lack of comprehension of the damage he had done, it became clear to me that stronger corrective and redemptive action was needed by the ZSS board, yet the majority, led by Shinge Roshi, was not and still is not, willing to go there; hence, my own departure from the board and organization."


    Please don't lay the blame totally at Genjo's door.
    Roko is Eido's strongest enabler.

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  153. Rape is not sex, its violence, first of all. So no revision of my liberal sexual mores would be necessary.

    If my daughter told said He held me down, I wanted to leave but he wouldn't let me go, and there were bruises on her, it would enrage me. I hung around ES for a long time, but it was many years ago. I could never imagine him acting like that. Did he? Have board members been told such events occurred? I haven't heard of any, but how are we suppose to take Genjo's cryptic phrase, "learned that not all sexual encounters were "consensual", if it wasn't a forced act, with violence?
    You tell me Mr. So Sure of Himself When it Comes to ES, because you read the sacred archives and everything else about the man.

    ReplyDelete
  154. "Did he?"

    Yes, I believe the board found that he plied some of the women with alcohol... and I believe the words "almost date rape" have been thrown around a bit.
    ... and that the last girl was young enough to be his granddaughter.

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  155. Genjo mentions that "we learned..."so there are others who may of neglected their duties if 'they' had indeedi uncovered criminal activity.

    If it was your daughter being raped I'm sure it would matter to you if people knew what occurred and didn't act.

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  156. Excuse that duplicated post, still learning how to use new iphone.

    ReplyDelete
  157. Sweeping Zen has done an interview with Roko Sherry Chayat.

    http://sweepingzen.com/2012/02/29/shinge-roko-sherry-chayat-interview/

    ReplyDelete
  158. OK.. In the spirit of: "I am committed to providing a healthy, openhearted, non-secretive, flexible atmosphere"

    Please inform us who the ZSS Board members are on "our newly expanded board of directors"

    ReplyDelete
  159. SRSC said, in the above-referenced interview:

    "I think that the same thing is true in cases where psychotherapists have been in teaching roles. It can be a very messy, difficult thing for the person in therapy to also have the same person as a Zen teacher."

    Hey Genjo, if you happen to read this: would you care to comment? It seems a rather pointed barb.

    Hey Curious, I emailed ZSS SJ to find out who is on the board (signed with dharma name). I have unsuccessfully tried to find this out via email request in the past. We will see if this time is different.

    ReplyDelete
  160. GENJO PART I

    Plum Mountain News Volume 18.3 Winter 2011-12
    Page 8

    ZSS & Chobo-Ji
    a report by Genjo

    As we are all well aware, back in June of 2010 a scandal broke about Eido Shimano Roshi having yet another sexual liaison with a female student. Immediately pressure was put on Eido Roshi to resign from the Board
    of the Zen Studies Society (ZSS), which has the legal and fiduciary responsibility for the two ZSS properties, Dai Bosatsu Zendo (DBZ) in the Catskill Mountains and the New York City center, Shobo-Ji. This was
    done so that the extent of his ethical breach could be fully investigated before any further remedies were sought. Eido Roshi resigned from the ZSS Board July 4th, 2010. I was a board member of ZSS at the time, and had been training in earnest with Eido Roshi since 1996. 1996 was the year that Genki Roshi first seriously started talking about retirement, and it was his instruction that I complete my formal Zen training with Eido Roshi.

    To assist with our ethics investigation the ZSS Board enlisted the help of the FaithTrust Institute, a Seattle based group skilled at such work. What we discovered over the course of months was credible evidence that the most recent incident was not the only recent breach of ZSS ethical guidelines. However, we often heard Eido Roshi claim that this sort of behavior ended many years ago. In fact, what we learned was that over the course of decades, Eido Roshi abused his position of power and authority repeatedly, and was in the habit of aggressively pursuing the most vulnerable, attractive female students under his spiritual care. In addition, it became increasingly clear that his many so-called apologies over the years were vacuous of any serious understanding of the harm he had done. Most disturbing of all was hearing a credible first person account that not all sexual encounters were started “consensually,” and the fact that he transmitted STDs to his own students.

    Eido Roshi resigned as Abbot of ZSS on December 8th, 2010. Shinge Roshi, my Dharma Sister, was installed as the new abbot January 1st, 2011. In February 2011,ZSS announced that Eido Roshi would no longer teach Zen under their auspices. However, since the recent scandal broke in June 2010, five ZSS board members, including myself, have resigned because we became frustrated with the board’s inability to more aggressively address the sins of the father. Three different meetings have been held to give the ZSS sangha a chance to voice their concerns; the most recent was a weekend late in August 2011. This meeting was facilitated by An Olive Branch, a professional group dedicated to fostering peaceful and effective solutions for Buddhist groups in turmoil. I so wanted to attend this meeting but was turned back by Hurricane Irene. Much was accomplished at this meeting, but in my mind so much more needs to be done.

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  161. GENJO ... PART II



    Recently I was asked by Rev. Marie Fortune, one of the founders of the
    FaithTrust Institute, and one of two people who investigated Eido Roshi’s breach of ethical guidelines at the Zen Studies Society, if I knew that Chobo-Ji’s listing at the Northwest Dharma Association (NWDA) still listed me as a student of Eido Roshi. I responded, “I was his student and I still am, in that he is teaching me even now many unexpected, uncomfortable lessons. The Historical Buddha said take what works and leave the rest. I might say, learn as much, if not more, from what doesn’t work.” I also spoke to Rev. Fortune about what I see to be the failure of ZSS to adequately respond organizationally to Eido Roshi’s serial ethical breaches over decades that seriously harmed and alienated many in his own sangha and repeatedly tarnished the reputation of American Zen.

    A few months back I asked the Chobo-Ji board to consider terminating our affiliation with ZSS as a “Related Zen Center” on their web pages . After two months of deliberation, when it became clear that ZSS was ready to move on without taking further steps to address those sangha members who have been most harmed or alienated by Eido Roshi’s behavior, the Chobo-Ji Board wrote a letter requesting that our temple be removed from their listing of Related Zen Centers. It has been nearly two months since the letter was sent, and still the listing persists on their web pages. Please be assured that neither this temple nor I are any longer in any way officially associated with the Zen Studies Society. In my mind, this is one of the saddest outcomes of this whole tragedy; I have now joined a cast of hundreds that feel so alienated by the organization’s woefully inadequate response that we find ourselves unable to train there any longer.

    It would have been relatively simple for ZSS to respond more adequately to those who were most harmed. For example, the ZSS board, led by Shinge Roshi, has never made a public organizational apology for its part in historically under-responding to Eido Roshi’s serial abuses of power. What the ZSS board has done is spend well over a year trying to finalize a highly questionable Deferred Compensation Agreement. ZSS is paying Eido Shimano Roshi and his wife well in excess of 70% of their expensive base salaries, when other benefits are added, rather than working to set aside funds to deal with the trauma of his sexually traumatized victims. The ZSS board has also failed to adequately rework its bylaws to prevent abuses of power of anyone in the abbot’s role; namely, they still don’t have a board that is in large part elected by the ZSS Sangha. I can’t tell you how disappointing this is to me. The properties associated with ZSS are some of the finest practice spaces in American Zen. I fear they will never reach their full potential without better dealing with the history of Eido Roshi’s abuses of power. At the very least while Eido Roshi remains delusionary and in denial about his part in this fiasco and schemes to find ways he can resume teaching, he should be excluded from setting foot on ZSS property. Even this simple break has not been possible under Shinge Roshi’s leadership; clearly, the ZSS board’s continued attachment to the man precludes serious effort to reach out compassionately to those alienated or harmed. This is such a shame, and flies in the face of the deepest insights that Eido Roshi himself tried to impart about uniting with great compassionate Bodhisattva spirit, Namu Dai Bosa. (For a more detailed view of the steps that I think are necessary to turn ZSS around see http://www.choboji.orgZSS_steps.pdf.)

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  162. GENJO ... PART III


    My mind and heart have gone through periods of anger, frustration, disappointment and doubt concerning my long association with Eido Roshi and ZSS, but I have learned some invaluable lessons. First and foremost among them is that Zen practice can indeed nurture true insight, but true insight alone, especially when bounded by a bubble of arrogance and self -
    aggrandizement, is insufficient for deep maturity in the Way. Genuine maturity requires that we examine our lives and vow to root out any repeating pattern or program that harms others. We must always be on the lookout for patterns that cause harm.

    These patterns represent gaps in our development and we must vow to expose, examine and face our shortcomings so thoroughly that they are transformed from liabilities to assets. This effort will likely be the hardest and most important work we will ever do. Our gifts will come to naught without this heroic effort. How can we hope to live our Great Vow to care for all beings without truly facing our own shadow?

    Some have asked why I don’t reject any association with Eido Roshi. I will not throw out the baby with the dirty bath water. I will not deny Eido Roshi’s
    strengths and gifts, in fact one of the most important lessons he helped me realize is that one can never find Buddha in isolation from Bumpkin. We are all a mix of strengths and weaknesses, just because we are weak in some areas, doesn’t mean that we can’t excel in others. Genki Roshi taught me something that is so important to remember, that from wherever we are, we are just beginning. I love Eido Roshi; nevertheless, I will not enable his
    grandiosity or delusional denial by keeping quiet about his harmful behaviors or his schemes to resume teaching. We all have work to do; unfortunately, it appears that with the help of others who continue to indulge and financially support him, he won’t be facing up to the work he has to do any time soon.

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  163. Associatively ....

    In a press release from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, is quoted as saying on a "60 Minutes" television interview scheduled to air March 4, 2012,

    “the truth has a power to set us free which half-truths do not,” adding, “I still cannot accept that no one can take responsibility [and] the responsibility seems to be the fault of others or of the system”.

    Here is the press release: http://03409bc.netsolhost.com/snapwisconsin/2012/03/02/archbishop-of-dublin-reaffirms-statement-on-sex-abuse-crisis-made-in-milwaukee-on-60-minutes-this-sunday/

    ReplyDelete
  164. “the truth has a power to set us free which half-truths do not,” adding, “I still cannot accept that no one can take responsibility [and] the responsibility seems to be the fault of others or of the system”.

    Good quote!
    I was thinking something similar as I read the interview with Roko.
    I haven't heard what anyone thinks of it (besides Nonin's comments on ZFI - much eye rolling there...) but my opinion of it was that it was evasive and ungenuine... and by the time I got to the end I thought it was a steaming pile of horseshit.

    ReplyDelete