In the wake of a Nov. 2 letter from Eido Shimano, now comes a follow-up from Shinge, the abbot of Dai Bosatsu Zendo and a woman whose designation as "roshi" hangs on the approbation of Eido Shimano, a man whose own lineage as "roshi" is no where attested to. The meeting Eido Shimano proposes is to be formatted and the latest letter offers that format.
In the 1980's, 90's and following, Eido Shimano was under attack for his womanizing and financial hi-jinks. This history goes back to the 1960's and is largely documented in the overwhelming amount of data collected in the waterboarding detail of the Shimano Archive.
It is all pretty exhausting for me. And it occurs to me that that exhaustion is precisely the element that Eido Shimano is counting on in proposing this meeting. The sense of been-there-done-that hangs like a fart in the air ... dwindling, dwindling, dwindling ... and in that dwindling, bringing Eido Shimano that much closer to a redemption and power that has been whittled away.
Exhaustion -- I simply have not got the energy to do all the homework that, if the past is any example, mediators won't do either. The meeting will be premised in good will -- a phrase whose translation is a kind of yuppified gathering in which salient background is kept at bay because it is so gnarly. Instead a "deep listening" and caring demeanor will hold the spotlight and ... and ... and nothing.
What ever happened to the forensic audit that was to be done at Zen Studies Society? Where did all that money go? What ever happened in the wake of similar meetings held in the past ... so caring and hugging and factually selective? To what extent is the upcoming meeting the latest maneuver in the multi-million-dollar suit and countersuit between Shimano and Zen Studies Society? Why, when those most directly affected by Shimano suggested a public forum in the past, was his caring voice not heard? Layer upon unresolved layer mounts up until serious appreciations are relegated to the darkness and only the 'light' can shine.
Everyone's getting old now and the reasons for doing the necessary homework ... well, let's make nice and move on. "Mediation" sounds so good... much as it has in the past. Skimming the coffers is ... well, it's water over the dam, much as the psychological wounds are long past ... even as they may linger.
It's a pestilential realm, but ... cui bono in the midst of this latest 'caring' realm? Shimano for sure; Zen Studies Society most likely; and the pure-as-the-driven-snow shawl worn by something alleged to be Zen Buddhism.
No one was ashamed then. Why should they be ashamed now?
Subject: FW: Facilitation for Nov. 21 Meeting
Date: November 5, 2015 at 4:53AM
From the zen studies society
Dear Sangha and Dharma Friends,
As many of you are aware, Eido Roshi wrote a letter to our Zen community wishing to create an opportunity to speak from the heart and to offer his sincere regret.
This meeting is an important step toward the possibility of healing for those who have
experienced harm and for the community as a whole.
Recognizing the sensitivity of the issues, the need for candor, and the need for creating an
emotionally safe environment to have these conversations, the Zen Studies Society has engaged a professional facilitator for the meeting, Christine Hickey, who has taught mediation and conflict resolution for 10 years at Syracuse University College of Law, and has given seminars for a variety of professional organizations in the area of conflict resolution and associated topics. Chris is not a member of the Zen Studies Society or a student of Zen Buddhism, and has no connection to either Eido Roshi or to any current or former members, other than being invited to participate as a facilitator.
You will have an opportunity to speak to Eido Roshi in the presence of supportive friends and members.
Eido Roshi will also have opportunities to express his thoughts and feelings both by way of addressing the topic and in response to those who attend.
Chris will help everyone listen deeply to one another by paraphrasing or clarifying when
necessary, and by maintaining a respectful structure throughout the afternoon.
You are invited to participate to the extent that you are comfortable. You may wish to attend and simply listen and witness the conversations, or you may wish to speak.
Chris has kindly offered to speak with you before the meeting to answer questions about the process, to help you identify and articulate the key points that you may wish to share at the meeting, and to discuss your fears, hesitations, perceptions, anger, and other emotions. I strongly encourage you to contact Chris soon by email or phone if you are thinking about or planning to attend the meeting. Your conversations with her will be entirely confidential.
Speaking with her beforehand will help increase the chances for healing and closure. Chris may be contacted at email@example.com or 315-422-9756. She is looking forward to hearing from you.
This meeting is scheduled for Saturday, November 21, 2015, from 2:00 to 5:00pm at All Souls Unitarian Church, 1157 Lexington Avenue (at 80th St.), New York City.