Saturday, August 18, 2012

Welcome home, Eido Shimano!

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The period placed at the end of any sentence is a fiction in real life, but it felt something like a period on a long and arduous sentence today when the Shimano Archive published festive pictures of the Aug. 12, 2012, ceremony outside the new, $100,000+ sanmon gate at Dai Bosatsu Monastery in upstate New York.

Over the years, the Shimano Archive collected almost numberless documents attesting to the fact that Eido Shimano, once abbot of both Dai Bosatsu and its New York affiliate temple, Shobo Ji, had lied, manipulated, and abused the organization of which he was the head, Zen Studies Society. Besides employing his position as abbot as a means of seducing and abusing his students over a 40-plus year period beginning in the mid-1960's, Shimano managed to evade all responsibility and elude all accusations. Victims of his depredations were silenced in a variety of artful ways, mostly with the connivance of the board of directors of Zen Studies Society. Then at last, the pressure applied by the Shimano Archive and elsewhere forced the board to take 'action,' which it did grudgingly and with little or no intent to be fully transparent. Shimano stepped down or retired or was pushed out with a $90,000+ per annum retirement package that included other perks ... but there were loopholes. A financial audit was promised, but has yet to be produced two or more years after the promise was first announced. Wound-healing meetings were held at Dai Bosatsu, the very venue in which many victims suffered at Shimano's hands ... and everyone but the victims seemed to come away healed.

Decades of depredations, manipulations and lies. The details go on and on. And finally some push-back. The topic grew older and older and the ardor and rancor diminished. And then, on Aug. 12, 2012, there is was -- the opening of the sanmon gate with the assemblage dutifully smiling. It was the status quo ante -- a return to the times when Shimano was adored and protected and elevated and could do no wrong. The object lesson of his sociopathic activities might be imagined in the fire that backdrops both him and the latest lineage holder at Dai Bosatsu, Sherry Chayat, in one picture. And the sign over the sanmon gate might be taken as a nose-thumbing rejoinder from Shimano, reading as it does, "Hounzan," meaning "Male phoenix bird cloud mountain. "Fuck all my detractors! I'm baaaack!" Shimano conducted the ceremony giving Dai Bosatsu its new Dharma name: Hounzan Dai Bosatsu Zendo Kongo-ji. He bestowed the new name after he was largely barred from participation in Zen Studies Society business by the board. Yes, indeed ... Eido Shimano was baaaaack.

And so history slides into history.

Welcome home, Eido Shimano!



Eido Shimano





















Sherry Chayat and Eido Shimano



Eido Shimano and whisk -- the center of attention




















Gathering at the $100,000+ sanmon gate at Dai Bosatsu Monastery Aug. 12, 2012


May all those who value their Zen practice (or other spiritual efforts) at least familiarize themselves a little with the cautionary tale of Eido Shimano as it appears in the Shimano Archives and elsewhere. What is right and good and true has every capacity to become wrong and foul and false.
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18 comments:

  1. Zen has no morals?

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  2. "I think I'm turning Japanese ... "

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    Replies
    1. Shingle Roshi, you are still a victim. I have offered my help. Please contact me.

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  3. "Meet the new boss.
    Same as the old boss."

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  4. Shinge Roshi Sherry Chayat, you have ZERO credibility.

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  5. Shinge and her hand-picked Board never wanted to "separate" from Shimano in the first place. They were backed into a corner by the force of the Archive, the backlash of the wider Buddhist community and the focused attention of The New York Times. Shinge and her "Board" were always conniving to keep little Eido on tap - here: The document is a window into the inner corruption, moral and ethical dearth that existed within "those left standing" of the Eido Shimano personality cult / carnival show now running the Zen Studies Society Board of Directors last year. Think much has changed?

    "As it stands now, if ER comes to DBZ it is a virtual certainty that he will reside and see students in the monastery building. We understand this is a potentially volatile, and emotional situation and gives his detractors (and ours) the opportunity to protest, and debate his involvement in ZSS affairs. Simply not having him visit DBZ may be a short term solution, but not a longer term one, because of his unique association with DBZ and the support of a segment of sangha members (we of course represent them too)."

    They wanted to have their cake and eat it too. No words of inquiry as to how to serve those damaged, only panicky, reactionary, ass-covering posturing. The gleeful countenance of Shinge's face while being "whisked" by His Highness the "Exalted Grand Wizard" says it all... "Fuck y'all we don't care if you were hurt we're gonna have a good time with our wonderful and glorious leader irrespective."

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  6. It didn't like the link:

    http://www.shimanoarchive.com/PDFs/20110214_Jorakuan.pdf

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  7. Shinge is weak, ineffectual, uninspired and hopelessly attached to Shimano. She’s going to go down under the pressure. She bought into her identity as a Shimano “heir” - so much so that she has no identity without him. Like many have said in the past, it’s a house of cards built on a confidence game spun by a thoroughly deluded little sociopath. The Zen Studies Society is crumbling, slowly sinking into a morass of deluded thinking and unwillingness to face reality. Their only hope might be to turn to those they perceive as their “detractors” for solutions they are unwilling to entertain and ill equipped to implement.

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  8. Was Shimano wearing his $40,000 hat? What was it Jesus said about rich men, camels, needles and heaven? I donm't blame Shimano much for this (tho i consider him an unenlightened nasty prick, like his wife). I see the Zen community of America, and specially the teachers, who have known about him for 40 years, being weak, bow-down spiritual children. Always good to throw mud after the event. Read Martin luther King for moral direction on this issue, do not listen to your local zen "teacher". Zen as an organisation is morally in tatters. I speak as someone who has been "doing" zazen for 30 years. i am ashamed of the zen teachers of USA. Apart from Genkaku, Malone and 1 or 2 others.

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  9. NYS Commission on Judical Conduct Forever Bans Judge From Bench For Sexual Abuse:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/nyregion/panel-wants-former-judge-in-syracuse-kept-off-bench.htmlom

    If only such a commission could be of help here.

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  10. This certainly provides an interesting perspective on attachment as suffering. Attachment to sex, power, victimhood, idealization, indignation...

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  11. Adam - Please send me your email address.
    peterkaufman58@hotmail.com

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  12. Peter -- I have complied and sent an email, but my email is already on this blog underneath the picture of me and the opening descriptive paragraphs: genkakukigen@aol.com

    Best wishes.

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