Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Eido Tai Shimano

I originally posted this in November last year. Later, I collected it with other posts I considered removing from this blog. Later still, it was suggested I put the posts back ... which I did. Today I got a call from someone who was looking for this particular post and was having a hard time finding it because it was in among other posts headed "putting it back." So ... I am giving it back its own space and title for whoever might find it useful.

Thursday, November 12, 2009
letter to Eido Tai Shimano
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 Mater,’ 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!"


  1. Thanks for posting that.

    I was at DBZ for a bit, and I can bet you Shimano never even bothered to read this letter. The things you mention, he just believes they are his right. Anyone who has the nerve to question him is attacked (in cowardly fashion -- fees raised, lies and rumors spread, etc.)

    I left after asking him about a number of dealings I had somehow heard about -- the last of which involved a student being told to lie on her application for scholarship money. I'd often just speak up in morning meeting, assuming some mistake had been made. But I was learning these things weren't mistakes.

    Finally one day, in Dokusan, Shimano screamed at me in rage for perhaps four or five full minutes. It was an unbelievable anger. He was red-faced and spitting. "Who are you to ask me! You are nothing! I built this place!" etc. etc. I was thinking "this man is sick".

    So, that night, I told people I'd be leaving, and I told a couple others they should too. The next morning, unknown to me, Shimano held a meeting where he told people I had attacked HIM, and that nobody should speak to me.

    That was shocking. Some older students believed him. This was a very sad thing for me. I realized it was a waste of time trying to talk with them. Some I had known for years.

    Later, I read up on him -- about his financial scams, about women who ended up in the hospital back in Hawaii...

    He has his one mode of operation.

    Easy thing to dress up Samurai and scream at 20 year olds, then hide behind your robe when uncovered...

    So Mr. Fisher: Thanks again for the letter! I am sure there are many, many similar letters, as yet unwritten.

  2. There are many letters that have already been written. Here is one from 1993; redacted to protect the identity of the victim.


    August 5, 1993

    The Board of Trustees
    Zen Studies Society
    223 E. 67th
    New York, N.Y. 10021

    Dear Board of Trustees,

    On September 3, 1992, I arrived alone at Dai Boatsu Zendo with much anticipation. This was to be my first experience at a Buddhist monastery and I naively did not know what to expect. I looked forward to zazen, Buddhist studies, Dokusan, and koan study with Eido Roshi. He had been highly recommended as a great teacher by my well respected peers and instructors in XXXXXXX.

    From the very beginning, I felt Eido Roshi "noticing" me. He would often stop me in the hall or call me into his meeting room to give me a small gift, I assumed he was this way with everyone. However, my assumptions changed the first night o f Dokusan during Golden Wind sesshin when he pulled me toward him and kissed me on the mouth! He said, "The first time I saw you, something clicked into place for me. Perhaps something will happen between us in the future... hmmm?" This was the first time physical contact had occurred between us. This same behavior continued during 80% of subsequent Dokusans, but he progressed from hugging and kissing me to touching my breasts. At one point, he told me that he wanted to make love with me. I told him, "No." He looked directly in my eyes and said " don’t wait too long." I experienced his statement as a veiled threat that he would abandon me spiritually and emotionally if I did not comply with his wishes. So, due to my own weakness and fear, I did as he wanted. At the end of "Dokusan" he would make a date with me to visit him in his quarters that night where we would have sexual intercourse, He made it clear to me that no one was to see me entering his quarters as it would cause him "a lot of trouble."

    During three different occasions I expressed my concern to him that I was deceiving my dear friends, XXXXXX and XXXXX, and my fiance, XXXXXX. I told him that I wanted to tell them because I did not feel right about keeping a deliberate secret of this magnitude. He said, "Lie" I was literally sick after he said this. I felt poisoned. On one hand, I did not want to cause trouble for him, and on the other hand, something was extremely wrong for me! This miserable affair lasted until I left, the zendo on December 11. 1992.

  3. Part 2:

    Upon my return to XXXXXXX I began to wake up and realize my own responsibilities (or lack of them) in this affair. What a relief it was for me to finally let the secret out! I have been in therapy since January exploring the roots of my specific psychological woundedness which allowed me to become so entangled with Eido Roshi. I feel deep shame and embarrassment that I submitted to him and did not find and maintain my sense of rightness. I am very angry that I was so used by a man in whom I put intimate spiritual trust . To put it briefly, I have a long history o f complying with male dominance and giving away my personal power. Sadly, many other women in this culture and worldwide have been handed this same legacy of fear if we do not comply with patriarchal values. And men like Eido Roshi prey upon these women.

    To conclude, yes, I had my responsibilities that I should have maintained in order to restrain Eido Roshi's advances. But that is not really the central issue here. The crux of this situation is the fact that he continues to breach fiduciary trust and the fact that his behavior causes much pain to many people. In my own experience, the moment he crossed that sacred boundary with me, something precious was slain in my hope for spiritual realization. As teacher, it is absolutely his responsibility to maintain an impeccable sexual boundary with his female students so that essential ground of trust will grow.




    My Commission Expires May 27,1996


  4. Shimano apparently did read Adam Fisher's letter: (Part 1)

    Dai Boutsu Zendo - Kongo-ji
    Beecher Lake, Star Route
    Livingston Manor, NY 12758
    Telephone 914 439-4566

    New York Zendo - Shobo-ji
    223 East 67th Street .
    New York, NY 10021
    Telephone 212 861-3333 THE ZEN STUDIES SOCIETY

    October 19, 1982

    Dear Sangha Member,

    After many years of Dharma Association with George Zournas, Frank LoCicero, and Adam Fisher, I was shocked at their recent actions directed towards me. They have helped The Zen Studies Society over the years, and I hope that during those years, I have been able to help them though it is difficult for me to articulate what I feel I have done for them.

    All of a sudden, without discussing any of the allegations they have made against me, they address malicious letters to the Sangha, instead of confronting me directly, although I am the object of their allegations.

    On Friday evening, the 17th of September, Frank LoCicero and Adam Fisher wrote a letter and had copies of this letter distributed to provisional students and other students at Shobo-Ji. This despite the fact that Frank had not yet discussed his allegations against me as we had agreed to do so on Monday, the 20th. Bear in mind that provisional students are not yet full members of the Sangha.

    According to George Zournas, Soen Roshi told him that he had sent a telegram to me which read: "Eido's shame is Soen's shame. The shame of Dai Bosatsu Zendo is the shame of Ryutakuji and every zendo in the world." I never received such a telegram, and I challenge George to prove that Soen Roshi ever made such a statement. I did receive a telegram from Soen Roshi on September 9, after his return to Japan. The telegram reads:

    Ima wa tada Namu Dai Bosa arunomi ("Right now just Namu Dai Bosa")
    from dead end here. To dead end Namu bravely march on Butsu.

    The telegram is in fact an encouragement from Soen Roshi to "bravely march on".

    On October 5th, Kogen Mike Rafferty, Shobo-Ji's resident, found the word, "SHAME", painted on the front doors and walk of Shobo-Ji. That same day, Aiho returned to New York City from Dai Bosatsu Zendo to find the same word, "SHAME", had been painted on the steps of our home.

  5. Shimano apparently did read Adam Fisher's letter: (Part 2)

    These incidents are just examples of a series of cruel actions directed towards Aiho and myself in the past few months. Due to my cultural background, it is extremely difficult for me to speak out in a public manner. However, it is unfair to conclude that my silence implies that I must be what the letters say I am. Indeed, in Japan, to protest too much against an accusation is considered a sign of guilt.

    According to George, Frank, and Adam, I am evil, unethical, dishonest, unfit to lead The Zen Studies Society. The Shimanos must be expelled from this country! They claim, 1) I told a woman she had a Kensho experience to a seduce her, 2) there has been no public accounting of Zen Studies finances, and 3) I was not a good host to my teacher, Soen Roshi, during his visit here.

    So many letters, from people who have been long associated with The Zen Studies Society. For them to express this intense personal hatred towards Aiho and myself, I must have been a terrible teacher and administrator all these years. So much sitting, so many Sesshins, so many Dokusan's to come to this!

    We all have much to learn from this situation. I only ask from you what you would give to a stranger: respect for my privacy as well as Aiho's, skepticism regarding rumors, and fairness. You will find here no secrets about what happens, during Dokusan. Many of you have experienced Dokusan and know what it is. As for my long relationship with Soen Roshi, my teacher those who have read Namu Dai Bosa and Golden Wind know that I speak of him with respect and love. I have trained with him and I am his Dharma Heir. I am the only person who has worked closely with Soen Roshi both in Japan and in the United States, and I know that I know him better than anyone. Bear in mind that this special relationship has a thirty year history. It is presumptuous of George Zournas or anyone to think, that they understand this relationship or can judge it.

    It is important that even if we have our differences, we share in the sincere effort to make Shobo-Ji and Dai Bosatsu Zendos become complete. It is my sincere wish that my letter addressed to George Zournas, here enclosed, will clarify this unfortunate situation.


    Eido Tai Shimano
    Abbot, The Zen Studies Society

  6. Shimano to George Zournas (Part1)

    Dai Boutsu Zendo - Kongo-ji
    Beecher Lake, Star Route
    Livingston Manor, NY 12758
    Telephone 914 439-4566

    NewYork Zendo - Shobo-ji
    223 East 67th Street
    New York, NY 10021
    Telephone 212 861-3333 THE ZEN STUDIES SOCIETY

    October 21, 1982

    George Zournas, Director
    Theatre Arts Books,
    153 Waverly Place, New York, N.Y. 10014

    Dear George:

    Our friendship has been a long and productive one. Looking back at our long years of association, I feel much gratitude for the many gestures you made to help Aiho and myself personally, and to the Zen Studies Society. In particular thank you for making possible the publication of Namu Dai Bosa. Indeed you have immeasurably helped true Dharma continue.

    Inspite of this present situation you have helped to create, I hope you feel that because you have known Aiho and myself, we too have been helpful in your life, not only in "Dharma matters", but in some personal, tangible way. I am sensitive in being critical of you, George, because we were friends. During those fifteen years; we had our disagreement. Yet what I remember vividly is our good feelings towards each other. So I find it truly painful to write this letter because it is the end of this friendship.

    You have chosen to write letters to the Sangha of Zen Studies Society that accuse me of the most serious allegations that anyone could make to someone in my position. Since you have questioned not only my integrity, but have also chosen to involve other members of the Sangha, I am posting copies of your letters at Shoboji with my answers to your allegations.

    1. On Soen Roshi:

    You describe my treatment of Soen Roshi , my teacher , as "abominable", and claim that he "publicly denounced" me. I cannot jump to the conclusion that for the past fifteen years you have been coming to sesshins and Dokusans, you ever considered yourself my student. Perhaps you never were, for no student would ever treat his teacher the "abominable" way you have treated me in your letters.

  7. Shimano to George Zournas (Part2)

    You claim also that "Soen Roshi.... had revelations.... about not receiving moneygifts" from The Zen Studies Society "on his previous visits". Let me remind you that The Zen Studies Society, over the past fifteen years, made substantial moneygifts to Soen Roshi, including $4000.00 given to him for his recent visit here. In 1968, at Soen Rosh request, Ryutakuji was loaned $ 30,000.00 to acquire more land around the monastery. This money was later donated to them. In 1981, as you know, The Zen Studies Society contributed an additional $ 5000.00 to Ryutaku ji to help build their new Zendo. You were present when this gift was offered to them. It was given to Ryutaku ji when we stopped over in Japan on our way back to the United States from our China trip.

    Why do you think that you and I and Bugyo went to Japan in June of this year? Why do you think I flew out to Los Angeles to spend five days with Soen Roshi just before his final departure for Japan? Why do you think that on the evening of July 31st, you and I met to discuss the possibility of Soen Roshi residing at Dai Bosatsu for a period of time while I went on sabbatical? Do you think these events show an "abominab1e"way of treating my teacher?

    I deeply hurt that you have set yourself up as someone who can comment on my relationship with Soen Roshi, my teacher, in the most despicable way. This I find really abominable. Do you understand, George?

    2. On the bookkeeping and accounting of Zen Studies Finances:

    According to your letter,

    "For many years various members of the Board have protested the fact
    that the minister's wife was also the Treasurer of the Society.
    They found this totally unacceptable, but Korin and I were able to
    quiet their complaints. We never had the slightest doubt of the
    integrity of the person in charge. However, the revelations of
    SoenRoshi about not receiving moneygifts on his previous visits to
    us, have called our whole bookkeeping system into question."

    I trust that you will remember the following events:

    On August 31, 1976, when Dai Bosatsu Zendo was completed, Aiho and Bill Johnstone resigned their positions as Assistant Treasurer and Treasurer respectively. It was at this point in time that you became the Treasurer of Zen Studies Society. On December 18, 1976, three and a half months later, Aiho accepted her appointment as Treasurer, because you had come to us and told us that you were incapable of continuing on as Treasurer. You in fact begged Aiho to assume the work you could not perform. It was the unanimous feeling of the Board at that time that Aiho was the most appropriate person for the Treasurer position.

    Why imply that Aiho and myself are thieves without directly accusing us?

    For years, Philip F. Seckler & Co., as you know, has been retained by The Zen Studies Society as our public accountants. We have never once attempted to conceal the financial records of The Zen Studies Society. All financial records of the Society are available immediately to any
    Board Member. You should have asked to examine them before making any hints that Aiho was stealing money from The Zen Studies Society. Every year, our Financial Report is filed w i t h the Internal Revenue Service-- as a past president of The Sea Studies Society, you must be aware of this.

    3. Dokusan and seduction:

    The most serious and sensational accusation you make, also made by Frank LoCicero and Adam Fisher, is the allegation that I have used my position as Roshi, during Dokusan, to seduce women. This is a very serious charge, and because of its nature, one that has disrupted activities at Shobo-Ji and Dai Bosatsu Zendo.

  8. Shimano to George Zournas (Part3)

    For weeks now I have not answered your many letters, because I had to wrestle with the subtle question of how to talk about "what happened during this Dokusan". You have been a Zen student for many years. Perhaps during this time you never learned the nature of Dokusan. Dokusan is one of the most important things that we do in our Zen practice. For centuries, this meeting between teacher and student has remained confidential to both: the teacher does not talk about it, and neither should the student. The secret character of Dokusan is essential. Only thus can true Dharma continue, especially in the Rinzai tradition.

    My training strictly forbids me to speak publicly about what happens during Dokusan, yet I do not want' to use the confidential nature of Dokusan as an excuse to conceal alledged sexual pursuits. This has been truly my dilemma.

    Because of ' the situation at Shobo-Ji you have created, I have now decided to break the tradition and speak publicly about this allegation you attribute to a freelance writer.

    At Holy Days Sesshin, April, 1982, this woman attended Sesshin for the first time. On the fourth or fifth day of Sesshin, she came to Dokusan in a rather emotional state of mind. She said she had an "experience" which she proceeded to describe. I asked her if she had ever had this kind of "experience" before. "Yes,"she replied. I told her that she had "some kind of experience". At this point, she took my hands and placed them palms together against her cheek. After a brief moment like this, she said "I would like to keep it this way forever". I replied, "that's enough".

    In a subsequent Dokusan, she came in a calmer state of mind. Again we talked about her "experience", I asked her several traditional test questions about her "experience", like, for example, "what color is Mu?" She had great difficulty answering my questions, but eventually was able to give some "acceptable" responses. In assessing her responses to my questions, I was able to make a clearer judgement as to the depth and clarity of her experience".

    At no time did I tell her that her experience was Kensho.

    On the day of departure of Holy Days Sesshin, she asked to see me in, New York City. In fact she made an appointment to meet at Shobo-Ji. I assumed that' she wished to discuss her "experience", since it seemed so important to her. The first thing that she said was that after Sesshin, she was feeling depressed, and asked me if this was a common occurence. My response was that some people feel this way. She also said that she had experienced strong sexual feelings after Sesshin. I said that sometimes people felt that way.

  9. Shimano to George Zournas (Part4)

    She never for the remainder of our conversation inquired about the "experience" that was so important to her during Sesshin. Instead, it seemed to me that she deliberately led the conversation towards things of a sexual nature.

    We spoke for half an hour. I made and served tea. The atmosphere was very friend1y. The doors to the meeting room were open. She expressed her gratitude that I had taken time to see her. We stood up, and as she left the meeting room, she hugged me, and I hugged her back. I accompanied her downstairs, where she bowed in Gassho formally. I too bowed in Gassho.

    I was later to learn that this conversation, as well as conversations with her in the future, were recorded without my knowledge.

    I would like, to answer, sentence by sentence, all your allegations. Many of them are clearly insane. Some of them involve persons who feel that you have used and implicated them maliciously for your own mysterious ends. As to the parts of your letter that show no restraints about private matters, they are meant to be cruel rather than truthful statements about me. You are petty and childish, and it is time you recognize that your outbursts of personal hatred do not help the Sangha. In your letters, you have revealed more of your character than I have known in our friendship.

    You may not see that what, I have written you is truthful. There is no way I can change your mind. However, you musk admit to the Sangha at large that I have not responded to your many letters with any dramatic revelations about your private life. Fortunately it is none of my business. I would never claim that one person knows the whole truth of any situation. Neither should you.

    "This is a tine to face unflinchingly the sordid facts as they are."


    CC: Category A students
    Category B students
    Dharma friends Soen Nakagawa Roshi, Dokyu Nakagawa Roshi,
    Provisional students Joshu Sasaki Roshi, Dr. Ogura, Dr. Donden, Jack Clareman, Mr. and Mrs. Ballard

  10. Perhaps this is as good a time as any to review the Ten Precepts of Zen Buddhism:

    01. No Killing
    02. No Stealing
    03. No Misuse Of Sex
    04. No Lying
    05. No Dealing In Drugs
    06. No Speaking Of Faults Of Others
    07. No Praising Yourself While Abusing Others
    08. No Sparing The Dharma Assets
    09. No Indulgence In Anger
    10. No Defaming The Three Treasures – Buddha, Dharma And Sangha

    Reminders of what has happened in the past can serve to provide guidepost to those practicing in present and the future.

    Reminders can take many forms be they the prohibitions recommended by the precepts or a collection of anecdotal information about a set of circumstances of a particular sangha at a particular point in time.

    Genkaku's introductory points are well taken and very clear: "And not for nothing were [the teachers of the past} aware that in the human sphere, however elevated and adored, the room for error was and remains a very real possibility."

    "All the evil karma ever committed by me since of old on account of my beginning-less greed anger and folly, born of my body mouth and thought: I now confess and purify them all."

    May the details presented on this page as unpleasant as they are, add to our knowledge and practice of the dharma, and not serve to discourage us, and make us more mindful.

    Further, may these details convey, the extreme suffering caused by such things as ignorance, naiveté, the suspension of critical thinking, compounded misunderstandings, and unchecked ego.

    Finally may all those involved continue to be healed and may they continue to grow.

  11. I’m getting tired of this material about Mr. Shimano coming out in dribs n’ drabs, there has to be a wealth of information in the hands of many people that needs to be gathered and brought to light as His Holiness The Dalai Lama has urged:

    "Each student must be encouraged to take responsible measures to confront teachers with unethical aspects of their conduct. If the teacher shows no sign of reform, students should not hesitate to publicize any unethical behavior of which there is irrefutable evidence. This should be done irrespective of other beneficial aspects of his or her work and of one's spiritual commitment to that teacher."

    — His Holiness the Dalai Lama

    I have custody of the entire public Aitken – Shimano archive from The University of Hawaii in pdf file format. These papers are discussed in the article “The Aitken-Shimano Letters at: I am willing to provide a CD of these files (with my redactions of the names of alleged victims) to anyone; at cost - $5.00 (CD, label, case, envelope and US domestic postage included).

    I was associated with Mr. Shimano for over twenty years and I have seen the damage this man has done to hundreds of people. I perceive that he has done far more damage to people than he has helped. Nonsense such as posted above vis-à-vis, “I built this place!" is rubbish. Mr. and Mrs. Chester Carlson built Dai Bosatsu Zendo, New York Zendo and supplied Shimano and his wife with an Upper East Side townhouse. After Mr. Carlson’s death, Dorris Carlson made it quite clear that she regretted ever giving their money to Shimano. Enough is enough… The lies, cover-ups, mythology building and hyperbole have gone on far too long. I know only too well, as for many years: I myself was complicit in his megalomaniacal machinations.

    On February 8, 1984 Dorris Carlson wrote:

    “A number of key members of the Board of Directors have resigned over the past few years and information has come back to me that an atmosphere and behavior inconsistent with Zen teachings has taken place in and around the Zen Studies Society. Perhaps this statement becomes clearer when I reiterate for everyone's edification the statement, and indeed an important condition, in my letter of October 21, 1974 where I state “It is only because of the spiritual stature of Eido Roshi that I give any funds for the New York Zen Studies Society. If it were not for him, I should not have been interested”. Indeed, I do not share that same confidence that I once did and this is so because many reliable sources have reported to me that the spiritual stature of the Zen Studies Society has been compromised over the years because of Eido Roshi’s behavior.”

    And further:

    “… I do not have the same enthusiasm and confidence In Eido Roshi that I once had. Apart from statements made to me by others who have since left the Zen Studies Society, a simple review of the recent correspondence of January 28, 1984, December 21, 1983 and January 21, 1984 as compared with my original intentions outlined on October 21, 1974 seriously cause me to revaluate my total position.

    Please – you anonymous posters; contact me. Please – former Zen Studies Society Board members, former students and those who perceive themselves victims of Mr. Shimano’s power-over and sadistic proclivities – contact me… I guarantee strict confidentiality; nothing I am sent or told will be made public without a prior understanding and agreement. Your identity will be protected as you wish. All emails, letters, correspondence and any transmitted documents will be encrypted and stored at a secure, off site location.

    I can be contacted via: or by mail at:

    Kobutsu Malone
    Post Office Box 213
    Sedgwick, Maine 04676 (207) 359-2555

  12. In a personal interview,Shimano ordained priest Maurine Stuart revealed to "Tricycle" editor Helen Yworkov that she left the Shimano lineage due to his mistreatment of women. "Zen in America: Five Teachers and the Search for American Buddhism" by Helen Tworkov (1989).

  13. Received the following relevant article/link March 14, 2010 in email:

  14. Scary... but an eye opener for the more naive amongst us. Thank you for publishing this.

  15. The entire Robert Baker Aitken archive on Mr. Shimano can now be viewed directly on the web at:

  16. I was at Shobo-Ji and DBZ from 1980's through the 90’s when all this was happening. I witnessed much, ignored most and was very aware of the hypocrisy and just plain weirdness everywhere in those times. The stories that could be told……… However what has really caught my attention here in these postings is reading Shimano’s letters , knowing these people and juxtaposing that with his published writing. His letters remind of a Captain Bligh behavior in the Caine Mutiny movie. Delusional and whiney, nasty with a deliberate attempt to deny every act, accusations and everyone against him as being misinformed and “insane”.
    While a lot of focus, and deservedly so, is on Shimano abuses and sexual transgressions, the two resident monks at Shobo-Ji at that time in the 80’s, G and K, were allegedly taking advantage and having their own “fuck follies” with female students. At Dai Bosatsu the “activities” during Kessei was whispered about between monks and newbies. Judging Shimano to a higher standard is right but what about his successors ? As the saying goes – If the fish is rotten the fish stinks from the head downward”

  17. I am glad this point was brought up. This is my concern as well. What is being taught to the students of Kongo-ji, Shobo-ji and affiliated temples? Better yet, what is being transmitted to his Dharma Heirs? Whatever it is, I sure hope I don’t get it.

  18. To me, total responsibility means that everything — literally every single phenomenon inside and outside of my being — is wholly a projection of myself.

  19. I did a double-take on seeing that post by Eido Shimano. However, on Googling the sentence, I found that indeed Shimano did say those words, they are printed in his newsletter of 2007. The second Google result is an article by Kobutsu Malone that nicely dissects the talk in which Shimano made the assertion.

    Anonymous is indeed spot-on in wondering just what is being taught to the students of Kongo-ji and Shobo-ji. Shimano's statement is quite arrogant and narcissistic; and borders on the megalomaniacal. This is an example of solipsism at its finest. If people are sitting there accepting this drivel as dharma "teaching," then they are sadly delusional. Shimano's words are the ravings of a mad man... this whole business goes far beyond sexual misconduct, Shimano is, to use a technical term, a sick puppy.

  20. A bodhisattva without remorse is just a remorseless bodhisattva.

  21. If you post a comment, please select profile as anonymous or use your name.
    Eido Shimano did not post comment above. Using his name as an author of comment is very dishonest.
    You can use the sentence as a quote and provide the source of it.

  22. If you post a comment use your name or anonymous as an author.
    Eido Shimano did not post the comment above and using his name is dishonest.
    You can use the sentence as a quote and provide the source of it.

  23. I received a call from an old friend from DBZ a few days ago. He had read the article on Eido and was shocked by the accusations, to put it mildly. He said, "How can this be...everything I believed about Roshi is a lie." He went on to say, "Last time I was at DBZ I was cleaning the Dharma Hall.... [while emerging from the closet] I came face to face with Roshi and I just stood there looking at him. My mind went still and no outward details were found, it didn't even register that this was Eido Roshi standing in front of me. How can he do these things and have such great powers." I tried to explain that these were not the "special powers" of an enlightened being but, the result of his practice (he had just completed a sesshin). Moreover, I offered that the experience was quite ordinary and maybe just new for him. "But how can that be..." he says again… [oh] that was me? I did that...oh". Rinzai said that one of the biggest problems mankind has is his "…inability to trust himself". I am no Zen Master, I am not an authorized teacher and I was ordained in the basement of a townhouse but, some things ring true effortlessly (dharma). Concepts such as teachers being "friends" was revolutionary for me. I must humbly thank my "Friend" the Ven. Kobutsu for caring enough for me to spend night after night listening to my ramblings (I have got a little better - really). Unequal power distributions are fertile grounds for narcissists to manipulate others for their own benefit. Being honest is impossible for someone who has ulterior motivates and a desire to create personal control within a group.
    A few years ago during O-bon it was raining and we were worried about not being able to start the bon-fire or keep the candles lit on the lake. Within two hours, the ceremony had ended and so did the rain. One student said at the door, within ear shot of Eido, "Roshi has cleared the skies" and not one word was offered to correct the matter. I understand most bring this "magical thinking" to the table initially, this is a natural tendency; however, it is sad this kind of myth creation is encourage there. To be honest it saddens me to see people being manipulated and once the student begins to think outside of the box and trust himself more, strangely a fight occurs and the monk is deemed "crazy" or a "fraud".

  24. In Japanese Zen tradition it is not appropriate for a Zen Teacher to become student's friend or psychotherapist. It is very admirable to hear that Rev.Kobutsu was able to spend several nights listening to you and was of some help. He is not a Zen Teacher however, unless he put himself into this position. Maybe just your Dharma friend.

  25. In Japanese Zen tradition it is not appropriate for a Zen Teacher to become student's friend or psychotherapist.
    It is very admirable that Rev. Kobutsu spent several night listening to you. He is not however a Zen Teacher unless he put himself into this position. Maybe just a good Dharma friend.

  26. Go back to your sewing... you're transparent.

  27. For you it is not appropriate, for me it is a different story. Kobutsu has always made it clear he is not an authorized teacher; however, I have known Kobutsu for some time and have no problem taking the seat beneath his. I do not need fancy robes, titles and multimillion dollar temple replicas to deem someone worthy of learning from. The Zen Masters I know, do not need these things either. I have the greatest respect for the bearers of these great titles and seals; however, unfortunately, these titles are also sold, traded and tricked from others. It is easy to see the crushing weight of the gold kesa on those who should not bear it - crystal clear. "Rely on yourself, do not rely on others. Know you are the light!"

  28. Let me get this straight.... You can't be a friend to a student, but it's OK to exercise dominance and submission over students, humiliate them, lie about them, write them out of history and have sex with them? Did I get that right?

  29. Adam, I am alive and well. Thanks for your good work. - Merry White Benezra

  30. Are you people all crazy! Who taught you to do zazen? You are all getting off on this instead of focusing on your own mind. GET A LIFE!

  31. Strange to think that when people exercise the phrase "get a life!" they usually mean ... "make you life just like mine," "see things my way." Is such a suggestion more or less arrogant or foolish than the views of the one to whom the exclamatory advice is offered?

  32. You are VERY smart, aren't you?
    This phrase could also mean... ENOUGH!

  33. Received in email today Aitken's blog entry -- an open letter to Eido Tai Shimano:

  34. "Anonymous said...Are you people all crazy! Who taught you to do zazen? You are all getting off on this instead of focusing on your own mind. GET A LIFE!"

    It is not all about you.

  35. Why do you assume they are doing zazen?
    It is clear they are not...

  36. Aitken Roshi is writing a blog. At his age it is amazing. OR, maybe he is not...
    Honesty is a very rare virtue.

  37. I think I missed the chapter in the Zen Handbook where it suggests we ignore the suffering of others and focus on just ourselves. Well, this makes this whole compassion issue much easier.

  38. Clever rationale will not resolve your problem. Compassionate effective act will help others and you too...

  39. Eido Shimano teaches:

    "To me, total responsibility means that everything-literally every single phenomenon inside and outside of my being-is wholly a projection of myself."

  40. Using someone's words out of context?
    Go back to your Zen Handbook to discover what compassionate effective act is.

  41. OK... here's some context:

    The other day I received an e-mail with a short article about a therapist in Hawaii who had the ability to heal mentally ill prison inmates without even seeing them. At first, I was half-believing, half-doubting. But as I continued reading the article, I couldn't help but agree with this doctor's methods.

    Go back to your sewing Ekyo....
    The article talked about "total responsibility." In general, it means that we are ultimately
    responsible for what we think, speak, and do, and beyond that things are out of our control. We are responsible for what we do, but not what anyone else does. Thus, we live in our own separate, individual worlds, and within these small worlds we cry with sadness and loss and we smile with happiness and gain.

    Bur having practiced zazen for almost my entire life, and having experienced many difficult things, such as bitterness, accusations, and unbelievable surprises, particularly as a foreigner corning to the United Stated, my personal definition of total responsibility has changed from what I used to think. To me, total responsibility means that everything-literally every single phenomenon inside and outside of my being-is wholly a projection of myself.

    It is entirely my responsibility when things happen, including witnessing some troubled students come and go. We find it easy to blame them or dismiss them: "'He's crazy."' "She's a piece of work." But this is just a mere expression of our own frustration, and we don't realize that by saying such things, the situation often becomes even worse. We don't have the guts to accept that the problem isn't with them, but it's within us. These is only one way to truly help others, and that is to improve ourselves.

  42. "These is only one way to truly help others, and that is to improve ourselves."

    Buddhist teaching.

    Excellent teaching.

    True teaching.

    And one that is incredibly open to manipulation and denial and continuing, self-serving activity.

    Who has the samurai's courage to say, "I did that; it is mine; and I am sorry."

  43. “If a person with many faults fails to repent and
    cease immediately the thoughts that cause harm, his offenses will consume him, just as waters return to the sea which becomes ever deeper and wider. If a person with faults realizes his errors,corrects his actions and cultivates virtue, his offenses will naturally dissolve, just as sweating enables a sick person to
    recover gradually.” Gotama Buddha

  44. As I understand it, Buddhists are not lawyers and Jesuits. As I understand it, they take refuge in the Buddha and do not cower behind the Buddha's words.

  45. Words, words, words...

  46. Precisely what I was trying to point out! :)

  47. An email note from someone I don't know and won't name here said today:

    "Genkaku, the abuse is far from over at DBZ [Dai Bosatsu Zendo] and it is not limited to sexual misconduct. So Nonin's praise of Eido, is nothing more than a club member protecting the club house. I was at DBZ from 2001-2006 and before that with one of his "directors". The apple never falls far from the tree, so I will stop there."

    Vilification and scab-picking sadness aside, the tendrils remind me of the old line,
    "Well, if you can't put it down, pick it up."

  48. Protecting the club house... why not own that, or maybe disown it for a change. Are the foundations so weak?

    I know, I know, get a life. :)

  49. Can you purify the pain and anger you all have in your own hearts?

  50. No, we require the help of a reputable teacher. That's why it's so vital to protect the reputations of our teachers.

  51. The Ven. Kobutsu once said (paraphrased) that it really does not matter what we tell people about ourselves or others. What really matters and defines who someone is can be seen within the nature of their actions over time. So it should not be necessary to defend our teachers. Their actions define who they really and what kind of clarity they really have. The interesting point of this is, a few years ago I too thought I needed to defend the lineage I trained within and was scolded severely for doing so. Now I see some of the same teachers and students defending the same lineage....sorry a belly chuckle has just come over me.

  52. It does matter what you tell people about yourself and others... as well as how you live and act.
    Ven.Kobutsu has his own reasons to say otherwise.
    Ultimately, you defend yourself only. Be clear about it.

  53. I do not see anyone here trying to defend lineage. But, I do see several responses trying to point out to those angry ones that what they are doing is not worthy of time.
    Problem lies within themselves, first of all.

    Cover your feet with the leather first so you can walk in life full of pain and suffering. Later, maybe you can help others.

  54. We often see what we want to see.

  55. "Pain and suffering", You know what they say about Assumptions

  56. Received in email

    "Today - a new, expanded version of the Shimano Archives web page was posted at:

    The new page contains 317 document entries from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Archives; an increase of 170 documents over the initial posting. The new files are primarily Zen Studies Society documents dealing with the machinations of the Society in handling the various incidents surrounding the "Shimano Problem," related letters to and from the Board, Shimano, and others."

  57. And, in a more generalized way, here is an article on the tableau:

  58. The fruits of Shimano's life is that he enabled the construction of Dai Bosatsu and Shoboji temples. Is the Dharma in the architecture of these structures ? Mu........ like lovely teacups...... with bitter tea. Soon death reaches us will Shimano be remembered in history? Is it too late for all of us who were hurt by Shimano to offer forgiveness? I do care - I forgive you Roshi. I bow

  59. Received in email today:

    "The entire criticism section on Shimano has been removed from Wikipedia."

    All I could think was, "Hitler built the autobahn. That is all you need to know."

  60. The following three-part posting (the blog rejects anything so long as a single post) is a posting on the secret American Zen Teachers' Association Yahoo blog. It was authored by Genjo Marinello, posted to his website, used by him as a "reference" on the Wikipedia page on Eido Shimano. It was then deleted from his site after it was deemed inappropriate for a Wikipedia reference. According to Wikipedia, "On May 21st, 2008, Genjo (Marinello) Oshō received dharma transmission from Eido Shimano Roshi...."=

    Genjo's memories

    I would like to share with you some thoughts I have shared with others who have asked me how I can continue to train with Eido Roshi ....

    I heard of Eido Roshi's history with students, 15 years ago, before I started to train with him. I also knew that he was confronted more than once about it, by Aiken Roshi, Soen Roshi, members of AZTA, members of his own Board of Directors and senior students. Because of his poor response, or lack of it, to these confrontations, I also knew that he lost many Sangha and board members over his indiscretions. Nevertheless, I was instructed to train with him by my ordination teacher, Genki Takabayashi Roshi, for continuation of koan training, as Genki Roshi was of failing health, near retirement and did not have the English skills, nor did I have the Japanese skills, to complete the curriculum. There was, at the time, only one other Japanese Rinzai lineage holder living in the USA I could have trained with, and frankly I had also heard that he had the same kinds of problems as Eido Roshi.

    I met with Eido Roshi about 14 years ago, we evaluated each other, and we found in each other a promising match, and slowly he became my "core" teacher and ultimately my Dharma Father. Please note in the whole time I have trained with him there has not been even one hint of a complaint of sexual indiscretion that I know of, and I should know, as I have trained with him intimately for all these years and have had five misui (monks), three female, training with him fulltime for various periods in the years I have been associated with him. If there was some sort of smoking gun of continued indiscretions, I cannot believe I wouldn't have heard of them by now, especially given what has been recently released and propagated on the Internet.

    I have heard him take all responsibility for all the failings that have befallen him and his organization because of his actions, saying repeatedly and publicly that "It has been only my own failings that led to those that have left." I have watched him grow and mellow over the years, which is all we can ask of anyone. I have dinner regularly with people who have murdered in cold blood, and those who have done other crimes, but are now caring, productive, enlightened members of society. Eido Roshits actions were not even illegal, just unconscionable by our standards, still it is not like he forced, bribed, coerced or paid anyone to have sex with him. No one has ever claimed that he has had any relationships with anyone except consenting adults, who should of known better themselves. Granted the power dynamic is totally lopsided and his responsibility for these actions is 80% or more, but not all his. Please know that if his behavior had continued, I too would have confronted him. I have never been, nor will I ever be part of a cover-up.

    As to why I continue to associate with him, he has demonstrated to my satisfaction, that he can see, hear, speak and act as the ancestors of our lineage; moreover, he has thirty years of experience and practice on me, and I will never catch up to his abilities in this regard. Why then would I remove myself from his council? I will be so fortunate to have it as long as I can. And then there is a debt of gratitude I owe to the lineage and to him specifically. I will do my best to repay it, by supporting and working to continue the best of his work, while leaving behind that which does not work.

  61. .
    (Genjo's Memories ... part two)

    Here is part of a letter that I wrote to him on the occasion of his 70th birthday, almost eight years ago:


    For the last seven years, it has been my great good fortune to train twice a year at sesshin with Eido Roshi and the Dai Bosatsu Sangha. I cannot relay properly how important these years have been to my formation. I am ever so grateful for the opportunity to do sesshin with Eido Roshi, and I believe over time we are deeply cementing our Dharma relationship. Doing Dokusan with Eido Roshi, who has a complete grasp of the English language and American vernacular, is like resolving a well-known picture into a refined pristine focus where nuances and understandings to koans become perfectly clear and undisguised. Doing sesshin with Eido Roshi is like participating in symphony with a masterful conductor who can bring both sesshin and Dokusan practice to a powerful crescendo.

    For any life, the greatest task is to bum off as much Shuku-go (karmic residue) as possible. I believe this is the greatest gift we can give to the world, as this combustion frees us to be naturally clear and compassionate in our thoughts and actions. The genuine Rinzai Zen practice that Eido Roshi has fostered at Dai Bosatsu is like a furnace designed to bum through the many layers of karmic hindrance that we all carry. All of us who have had the good fortune to train at DBZ are strongly challenged to do our bone-crunching best, and no finer demonstration of this sincere dedication can be found than in Eido Roshi's own example to us. This training offers us an inexhaustible path to face the inconceivable and shifts the dedicated practitioner from a narrow self-centered view to a collective or universal principle view, a view that arises from true insight into the nature of reality. The training offered at DBZ is like water to a desert. We who have the opportunity to train with Eido Roshi could not be more fortunate.

    I believe in him more now than I did then, but I must say that when the full extent of his earlier history became known to me in the last year, I too was shocked. I read all the letters, many times with tears in my eyes. Nevertheless, it gives me even more admiration for the man, because he did not quit his impossible dream. In our shadow lies a gold mine, if we are brave enough to shine a light on it and then digest and learn from what we see, as I believe he has done. No matter how dark we may be at times, we all have the potential to combust our karmic hindrances and flower towards our natural Bodhisattva potential.

  62. (Genjo's Memories ... part three)

    We should remember the past so that we learn not to repeat old errors. It's true that among the many transgressions of many teachers, Eido Roshi's history makes a good case study. I for one have no objections to this history being a part of the public record; however, as I have said earlier in this forum, "I have no objection to public debate, even after this long interval, but much of the recently circulated material on the web has been sanctimonious vilification, which will have it's own karmic effect.''

    This current controversy, over old material, has been and continues to be fanned by four men with old grudges, intent to "bring him down," as one has said directly. By the way, none of the four men I am referring to are members of AZTA, but please be aware that a man who was declined membership in AZTA, in part because Eido Roshi would not acknowledged him as a Dharma Teacher, started the current wave of vilification. I am happy to participate in any AZTA discussion on any topic, but in my opinion no investigation public or private will satisfy these four.

    Ethical complications for teachers and students must periodically be reviewed, investigated and propagated. In doing so, case histories are invaluable. When we meet together next month, I have no objection to using the history of the Zen Studies Society as one example of the difficulties encountered in transmitting the Dharma to the West.

    With palms together,
    Genjo Marinello
    Abbot of Chobo-Ji, Seattle, WA

  63. Hardly a secret post. It is available and accessible to all AZTA members in the AZTA yahoo group. You are correct that it did not meet Wikipedia standards for a "public" record, so it was deleted. I offered it to try to give a little balance to the critical footnotes which included this blog (genkaku-again). As you have also noted, a senior Wikipedia editor determined that the whole criticism section was improperly referenced and therefore deleted it. I have no objection to my blog post being in the public domain.


    Sorry, this group is available to members ONLY.
    You are not allowed to access this group.

  65. Uh . . . actually, *most* Yahoo groups are members only.

    Wow. This is getting hilarious. It's degenerated to such a juvenile pissing contest in here, I'm gonna need a raincoat. Congratulations, kids. Whatever (presumably) good intentions-- ::airquotes!:: --that may have originally motivated this whole recent brouhaha are now buried in the sandbox, while the main issues at hand keep getting increasingly ambiguous (. . . or perhaps more and more clear?), having been eclipsed by this silly playground squabbling.

    "You're talkin' about me behind my back!"


    "Yuh-huh! You hung up my notes in the locker room!"

    "Yeah, to prove to the world that you are a JERK."

    "AM NOT!"

    "ARE TOO! You won't let me play in the clubhouse!

    "It's MEMBERS ONLY, retard! The sign SAYS SO."

    "YOU'RE a retard!"

    "Your MOM's a retard!"


    "Why don'tcha MAKE ME?"

    ::puts blogger in headlock and proceeds to administer noogies::

    Now before anyone gets all riled up thinking this is an insensitive, irreverent (and HIGHLY inappropriate!) parallel, allow me to confess: I must admit it's kind of fun to watch the drama unfold, in the same sick sort of way that it's fun to become immersed in the latest celebrity gossip and scandals from various and sundry tabloid media. It's entertaining in a perverse, voyeuristic sort of way, but ultimately not very relevant within the context of our own mundane daily lives. We just love to dig up dirt and judge other people's (the famouser the better!) immoral actions, shady pasts and dastardly deeds. It's fun! Moreover, it makes us feel good about ourselves to know that, despite all their celebrity clout and cachet, WE ARE STILL BETTER THAN THEM!

    Have fun in hell, Mel Gibson! Don't be sad, Charlie Sheen will be there to keep you company!

    Aw, c'mon . . . admit it, you thought it was AWESOME when Paris and Lindsay were thrown in jail for their depraved and drunken antics! Hooray, those two blights on society got their just desserts! Integrity prevails! Well, it did . . . until their slick Hollywood lawyers got them released after completing sentences of what, five minutes? OUTRAGEOUS!

    (Please . . . like this has NEVER crossed your mind.)

    Honestly, how does all of this enrich our lives? How does it impact the lives of others, the alleged victims and villains? It is we who cast them in our mental soap operas, we who fruitlessly try to edit the script, we who try to direct the scenes . . . and for what? Who really benefits from all of this? Does this make us Bodhisattvas? Or does it at least fulfill our need to think we are? It sure does feel nice to be a hero . . .

    So there's my rusty ol' two cents' (which, sadly, doesn't get one very far in Hollywood, I'm afraid).

    Keep fanning the flames, people . . . the higher the temperature rises, so the credibility barometer falls . . . Consider the source: a low-rent, would-be (and frankly, far less titillating) Smoking Gun!

    Speaking of smoke, it's getting a little hot in here!

    ::opens window::

  66. Yes, let's consider the source.

  67. Who am "I" to place blame on "him?" It seems to me that if we continue to propagate distrust in this manner, suffering will inevitably result, regardless of what Eido Roshi did or did not do. Let us continue to practice diligently, and together.


  68. Ah... spoken with the "inner language" of a Shimano personality cult follower. Sounds very much like what Rinko Peggy Crawford expressed in 1982.

    The thing is, as Kobutsu Malone points out:

    "All the so-called "practice" in the world cannot necessarily transcend deep-rooted personality disorders. Sociopathic behavior needs to be addressed through psychoanalysis, or psychotherapy, and brutally honest personal psychological introspection; in many cases zazen and so-called "training" alone are insufficient."

  69. I receive that last post disrespectfully. Please do not assume my allegiance with a "cult" that is led by someone with a "deep-rooted personality disorder." The connection, which you have fabricated, is strikingly offensive. In one blow your association underhandedly indicates a belief that I as well have a "deep-rooted personality disorder," for who would follow the crazed leader of a cult without being crazy themselves? Of course, you might use this notion in a recursive proof that both Eido Roshi and I are indeed crazy, but this would ultimately miss my point completely.

    Do you not trust me? What have I done to you for you to label me as a "cult follower" after reading a few words. It seems that you are the crazy one. Whether that's true or not is, however, irrelevant. Look around! These are pixels on a screen; the internet is a wonderful place to hide.

    May everyone accomplish whatever task they are engaged in, and be fulfilled with all the Buddha-dharmas. Whether or not that includes the tarring and feathering of Eido Roshi, I don't care.

  70. Sadly, in every society, there are a handful of people who are filled with hatred, anger and revenge toward their fellow man. They don’t add to society in any meaningful way by edifying one another or building up their brother; rather they seek to elevate themselves by pulling down every person who seeks to become the best they can be. These people often hid behind guise of journalism or some invisible, untraceable identity on the internet. They say what they want, to whom they want, no matter how untruthful or destructive it may be, and then like true cowards, they run and hide behind their secret identity or television station or media machine.

    Some of the filth and utter trash said about James Ray on the internet by people who don’t know him, don’t know what he does, or the circumstance is nothing short of shameful and pathetic. These people who portray hatred through their words rather than show love are murderers – That’s not me saying that, that is what the bible says, “If any of you hate your fellow man you are a murderer.”

  71. "These people often hid behind guise of journalism or some invisible, untraceable identity on the internet. They say what they want, to whom they want, no matter how untruthful or destructive it may be, and then like true cowards, they run and hide behind their secret identity or television station or media machine."

    Are you referring to the people who can do no better than dub themselves "anonymous?"

  72. Question: Does the following updated policy contemplate treatment of complaints from events prior to June 2010?

    "The Zen Studies Society Ethical Guidelines
    updated June 2010

    ... The following behaviors are not permissible for any teacher, guest lecturer, monastic, Sangha member, program attendee or visitor at either Dai Bosatsu Zendo or New York Zendo:
    •Threatening, abusive or obscene behavior.
    •Disrespectful or preferential treatment towards anyone on the basis of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, physical disability, income or national origin.
    •Willfully causing injury, whether physical or psychological, to anyone.

    •Sexual advances or liaisons between teachers or guest lecturers or monastics and Sangha members, program attendees or visitors.
    •Sexual harassment, defined as any single act or multiple persistent acts of physical or verbal conduct that is/are sexual in nature and (1) sufficiently severe or intense to be abusive to a reasonable person in the context; or (2) unwelcome or offensive behavior in the view of the receiver of such attentions.

    1. If any Sangha member, participant or guest has concerns about how he or she is being treated by another or has concerns about someone’s ethical conduct within the community, he or she may choose to have a direct conversation with that person to address the concerns, provide feedback and reach an agreement about needed changes.

    2. However, if the concerned Sangha member, participant or guest does not feel safe to speak directly with the source of concern, feels the complaint is sufficiently egregious, or if he or she has spoken with that person and does not believe the concerns have been addressed, he or she is encouraged to actively pursue the following process: The Zen Studies Society's board will designate an ethics committee consisting of three persons to hear, oversee and resolve issues of interpersonal behavior or ethics...
    3. A complainant may choose one of the following ways to submit a formal complaint. A written complaint can be submitted by the complainant to the committee or developed with the assistance of the committee. Or a formal complaint can be made directly with the accused during a dialogue arranged and attended by at least two members of the committee, one of whom will take notes. In the case of a written complaint, after a review by the full committee, it will be shared with the accused so that he or she can make a written response to the committee. After the written response is reviewed, the committee will share it with the complainant and ask for any additional comment.
    4. The committee is authorized to review and investigate the complaint. The committee will retain all notes and correspondence associated with a given complaint for at least ten years.
    5. If the complaint is judged by the committee not to meet the level of plausible illegal activity or egregious conduct, the committee will, at the request of the complainant, arrange a facilitated session with the concerned party for the purpose of achieving understanding.
    6. If, after consideration, a majority of the committee agrees that a reasonable person would likely judge the conduct under investigation as illegal activity or egregious, it will be brought to the attention of the full Zen Studies Society's board for prompt consideration and response. If a member or ex officio member of the board is accused in the complaint then that member's voting rights associated with Board membership will be suspended during the period the complaint is investigated and he or she will be excluded from attending any meeting related to the complaint.
    7. Disciplinary action by the Board of Directors may include expulsion, discharge, suspension, probation and/or exclusion from future practice and events associated with the Zen Studies Society...

  73. What is not expressly prohibited is permitted... On that basis, I would recommend filing a complaint. Let's see if they really stand by these "guidelines."

  74. With the 40+ year history of accusations and allegations of improper behavior on the part of Mr. Shimano, if nothing else, if someone who now has clarity and strength would come forward publicly and in some other way journalize the proceedings, it would certainly be instructive to the entire Zen Community, and, perhaps the larger meditative community as well.

  75. "The full Zen Studies Society Board" includes Shimano and his wife, two Dharma heirs and the remaining are hand-picked for their loyalty by Shimano. This has always been the problem with the organization board, it is intrinsically a tool used by Shimano to maintain absolute control and has been historically unable to function in making informed independent judgments.

    It may be worth out effort to consider what might be most beneficial, to address the problem of ZSS Organizational Culture, or to address the numerous individual misdeeds of Mr. Shimano?

    The matter is admittedly interrelated, as Shimano crafted the organizational culture, the traditional religious culture, and very deliberately enabled the construction of a personality culture around himself.

  76. The international community of practitioners should be aware that the abuse at Dai Bosatsu Zendo is far from over. Barely two weeks ago, a young woman admitted to a two year long affair with Shimano. She was unaware of his long history of sexual misconduct. Shimano was just about to release a public statement addressing past allegations of misconduct and say that no sexual misdeeds had been committed on his part for almost 20 years. Then, this woman spoke up and told her story. Shimano has not denied this affair. The community is attempting to "retire" him. He refuses to step down. What will be done? Will this be covered up again? How many more women are to be exploited? Who else will be complicit in this half-century lie?

  77. This one will not be complicit. Please contact me privately with further information.

  78. One cannot help but wonder how Mr. Genjo Marinello is taking all of this after his recent AZTA Blog post. He was so sure of his “belief” that Eido Shimano was a changed man.

    Mr. Shimano is very skilled at deception and lying - to him is as natural as breathing. He has a character style that dominates people and inculcates them into his self-created webs that he uses to establish control, deceive and manipulate folks.

    I would like to see Mr. Marinello write about his most recent experiences with Mr. Shimano in a professional, honest and transparent fashion. It is OK to recognize the truth; it is all right to recognize that we have been duped. Students need to develop useful tools to determine the truth in life and learn to protect themselves from exploitation. Genjo now has some insight to offer in this area.

    It is high time the Zen Studies Society made a formal statement, something more transparent and truthful than their traditional, run of the mill, “statements” found in the Shimano Archives.

  79. How cowardly to post as Anonymous. Stand up and state your real name.

    I just posted this comment on Robert Aitken's blog as well.

  80. Many who remain anonymous have been hurt in ways perhaps you cannot imagine Bill. Allow us the dignity to be able to speak out as we choose. Name-calling helps no one.

  81. Bill, never mind the personalities and measure the facts. It is interesting to see what you "go after". Not as easy to call the topic acts "acts of a coward" - I understand.

  82. Genjo Marinello has announced on the AZTA listserve that Eido Shimano has resigned.

    It remains to be seen precisely what this means.

  83. Someday, the great contributions of Eido Roshi will be acknowledged-measured against this "archive" of abuse, where most of his accusers have the sane name, "Redacted", like Nixon'expletive deleted".
    There was an excellent reason the US constituton gives the accused the right to face and confront his accusers.
    Many real and self-proclaimed "Zen teachers" first encountered Zen at Shobo-ji or DBZ. Few acknowledge this. Some are Roshi's most virulent attackers.
    I was an ordained monk who lived at DBZ for several years.
    There were some disturbing aspects of Roshi (as occur in some of the greatest spiritual teachers throughout history).
    Men were sometimes manipulated,publically humiliated and castigated for real and imagined transgressions major and minor.
    I left after feeling betrayed. Yet I often temember....and dream of the warm, compassionate side of this man, the hearty laughter he brought to the sangha, lifting the spirits of his students.
    Entering the dokusan room,one would often feel a blast of compassion and (non-sexual) love and affection.
    I'd like to see a comparison of the contribution, hard work,and insight of Eido Shimano Roshi to that of the compiler of the archive-the mentally unstable (Diagnosed,unless I am mistaken) megalomaniac Kevin Malone, who gave himself the title "Roshi", then denied and retracted it.
    ead some of his wacky ideas, his accounts of his death row 'heroics', where he mentions himself and his sacrifces, insults the entire population of Florida and makes other comments,that his acknowledgment as a 'teacher' may be the gravest sin Eido Roshi ever committed.
    Kobutsu loves to recount being anally raped in Philly and other places in so many articles, one must question his obsession with sexual misconduct.
    I mourn the resignation (assuming Genjo is correct) of a truly gifted teacher and human being who had his faults as we all do, brought down by a sick parody of a"teacher".

  84. It would seem that the bringing down was simply the exposure of some of those "faults". It seems to be easier for some to trash the messenger than to face the truth.

  85. Regarding my previous posting: 1.Apparantly Eido Roshi has not resigned.
    2.I was mistaken, saying Kobutsu was acknowledged by Eido Roshi as a teacher. I was remembering Kobutsu's ordination ceremony at the prison that used to be known as 'Sing Sing',where he was merely authorized to conduct zazenkai meetings at the prison.
    3. My 'trashing' of "the messenger" was unfortunately over the top,written immediately after the shock and anger of beleiving that his vendetta had finally succeeded. I apologize for my indiscretions.
    If,as a previous poster declared, this whole obsesssion is motivated by 4 individuals, these individuals become fair targets regarding motivation AND if the teaching asbility and insight of Eido Roshi are brought into question, certainly the LACK of such credentials (and worse, lack of insight) are open to the scrutiny of all involved in this ridiculous vendetta.
    Those of us who know the 'messenger' and are familiar with his colossal ego, his sense of personal victimhood and self-righteousness can't help being apalled by the intensity of his vendetta (more appropriate to the contemptible cover-ups of child abusing priests by the church than consensual affairs between adults).
    This also calls into question some of the 'messengers' facts and his emotional state.
    The affairs that are not in question are indefensible nevertheless.
    But as an ordained Buddhist monk who beleives in the absurd vows to save all beings, could that be better accomplished by other means than spending much time and effort destroying Eido Shimano.
    Another legitimate question is: with all the suffering in the world, are there not perhaps more deserving victims of assistance than saving convicted murderers from their karmic retribution?

  86. "This also calls into question some of the 'messengers' facts and his emotional state."

    Does this also apply to 40 years of documentation by other teachers, by the Zen Studies Society itself, by qualified psychiatrists that are included in that and even moreso to Aitken Roshi for his own documentation during that time?

    The personal failings, emotional states, questionable decisions and even credentials of Kobutsu, Genkaku, Stuart Lachs and others are irrelevant to the facts of the situation.

    Whether truth is spoken by fools or saints it remains as it is.

    Why someone chooses to blow the whistle in any circumstances does not alter reality.

  87. "Another legitimate question is: with all the suffering in the world, are there not perhaps more deserving victims of assistance than saving convicted murderers from their karmic retribution? "

    Whose suffering is more worthy? Whose decision is that to make? Good questions.

  88. Er... What has Kobutsu actually publicly said about Shimano? All I can find is an archive of what other people have said that is completely lacking in editorial content. What I see here is nothing but ad-homonym defamatory attacks, hardly manifestations of the Bodhisattva principle. Is this what Eido Roshi teaches?

  89. I'd just like to contribute that I see all of this as the great working of Dharma in action. To those who would silence others in the name of "zazen" - how is your zazen? Is it only engaged in to get a nice feeling and stay out of trouble? That's not a bad thing necessarily, but the other side of our practice, when we get off the cushion, is to engage the precepts.

    When those have been broken, they need to be disclosed and discussed. It is a practice, and not an easy one, to speak truth and stay calm. I see more calm on the side here of Shimano's critics than his defenders.

    It is crucial that, if American Zen is to continue and flower as I think it must do for the sake of our very planet and civilization, that these matters be fully disclosed, argued, ranted and raved over, so that we can truly have "Adult Zen" and not baby rattle zen, or toddler teething toy zen.
    Namu Dai Bosa!

  90. I have no clue as to what it may mean in its particulars or day-to-day concrete fact, but I received this in email today:

    The Zen Studies Society acknowledges that there have been occurrences of improper relationships between teachers and students. In the past, attempts to address concerns about such relationships were not satisfactory. The present board has revised and posted the following Guidelines for Ethical Behavior, including a grievance procedure. The board is adamant that these guidelines be upheld. The board also wishes to begin a process of reconciliation. If you are reading this and feel your concerns have not been acknowledged or heard, please contact a member of the ethics committee. On July 4, 2010, Eido Shimano Roshi and Aiho-san Shimano, who served the Zen Studies Society Board of Directors for the past forty-two years, voluntarily stepped down from the board to facilitate a smooth transition of both temporal authority and spiritual legacy.

  91. The last line, "On July 4, 2010...", is not on ZSS website right now, so I'm wondering where this line came from?

  92. It was up there yesterday.....

  93. You are right. As I said, I received it in email and simply missed the addition.

  94. It would have been more honest had they begun with:

    “The Zen Studies Society acknowledges that there have been occurrences of improper relationships between Eido T. Shimano and students. In the past, attempts to address concerns about such relationships were not satisfactory.”


    Eido Roshi has only symbolically resigned from the board. Do not be fooled into thinking that he has relinquished power over the Board. It does not say that he has resigned as Abbot of Dai Bosatsu Zendo so he still resides in his private playground and is lord and master over everyone there. He is still protected by his henchmen (women?) operating behind the scenes to do his dirty work - like instigating poorly conceive attacks on people in his name and coaching easily manipulated people in making ad homonym attacks on others.

    All in all, it appears to be just more of the same, politics, cover-ups, dishonesty and avoidance. What is going to prevent Eido Roshi from targeting the next vulnerable young woman he takes a fancy to? Will the DBZ staff step in to enforce the ethical guidelines? Hardly, they kept silent for two years in the latest affair and there is no way they could not have known about it.

    This “resignation” is but another in a long line of smoke screens extending back for half a century. Sadly, it is just business as usual for Eido Roshi. You can’t just erase forty years of organizational corruption with a statement calling for “reconciliation.” We are adults, calling for “Adult Zen” not teddy bears, bunny rabbits, and singing blue birds of happiness.

  95. gengaku, this is indeed an extraordinary development. It is crucial, I feel, that Tricycle, Shambhala Sun, or Buddha Dharma, as the visible reputable journals of our traditions, report on this story, confirm and reveal this entire matter, so it can move from the realm of online blogs, and these tedious debates about it all being pure "rumor and sighs." The press and the information it can provide is the most efficacious agent of transformation. Too much of this has been hidden for too long, or scattered among too few. Those aspiring to Dharma have the right to know the history of a teacher and school.

  96. After checking a little, I wrote this on Zen Forum International:

    "On July 13, 2010, the following was posted at Zen Studies Society

    The Zen Studies Society acknowledges that there have been occurrences of improper relationships between teachers and students. In the past, attempts to address concerns about such relationships were not satisfactory. The present board has revised and posted the following Guidelines for Ethical Behavior, including a grievance procedure. The board is adamant that these guidelines be upheld. The board also wishes to begin a process of reconciliation. If you are reading this and feel your concerns have not been acknowledged or heard, please contact a member of the ethics committee. On July 4, 2010, Eido Shimano Roshi and Aiho-san Shimano, who served the Zen Studies Society Board of Directors for the past forty-two years, voluntarily stepped down from the board to facilitate a smooth transition of both temporal authority and spiritual legacy.

    By July 14, 2010, the text had been revised to read:

    The Zen Studies Society acknowledges that there have been occurrences of improper relationships between teachers and students. In the past, attempts to address concerns about such relationships were not satisfactory. The present board has revised and posted the following Guidelines for Ethical Behavior, including a grievance procedure. The board is adamant that these guidelines be upheld. The board also wishes to begin a process of reconciliation. If you are reading this and feel your concerns have not been acknowledged or heard, please contact a member of the ethics committee."

  97. In the HTML source code of (captured at 12:14 PM EDT today 07/14/10) is the line:

    class="story">The Zen Studies Society acknowledges that there have been occurrences of improper relationships between teachers and students. In the past, attempts to address concerns about such relationships were not satisfactory. The present board has revised and posted the following Guidelines for Ethical Behavior, including a grievance procedure. The board is adamant that these guidelines be upheld. The board also wishes to begin a process of reconciliation. If you are reading this and feel your concerns have not been acknowledged or heard, please contact a member of the ethics committee.

    indicates the end of the comment.

    They have "commented out" the "missing lines" between yesterday and today.

  98. Sorry... this blog will not allow the HTML code to be posted properly.

  99. Hacker, can you break up the code in a couple place so it can be seen here?

  100. You can view it yourself….

    go to

    and in the view menu choose “Source” it will show you the actual code. Do it quickly before they change the source code.

    To view the HTML source code for a Web page using Internet Explorer 3.x and later, click Source on the View menu. To view the HTML source code for a Web page using Internet Explorer 2.x, right-click the Web page, and then click View Source.

  101. Thanks ZH….

    Following your instructions I grabbed the HTML source code at 1:55 PM EDT on 07/14/10 and made it into a pdf file that is here:'s/Shimano_Archive_Redacted/20100714_ZSS_Ethical.pdf

    The line under discussion is line 49 (in grey) at the top of page 2 of the pdf. It begins with a “less than symbol” followed by an exclamation point and two dashes (this indicates the beginning of a “comment” that does not appear in the actual document). At the end of the invisible comment are two dashes followed by a “greater than symbol.”

    This is what was “commented out”:

    “On July 4, 2010, Eido Shimano Roshi and Aiho-san Shimano, who served the Zen Studies Society Board of Directors for the past forty-two years, voluntarily stepped down from the board to facilitate a smooth transition of both temporal authority and spiritual legacy.”

  102. @Shusan

    Tricycle, and Shambhala Sun/Buddhadharma have had copies of the Aitken archive files for over a year.

  103. "Ad Homonym" = Best. Pun. Ever.

  104. Well the on again off again "resignation" moves definitely serve to validate the post concerning the recent two year affair. I wonder if someone just realized that?

  105. As someone very concerned but in the "wider audience" to this bonfire, I would like to ask that all of those principals with concerns, unmet needs, or expectations from the now long byzantine history of DBZ and Eido Shimano to please, take a break and sit, quietly waiting to see what develops now within ZSS. Thank you.

  106. "Bonfire" seems a bit of a hyperbole. The request for participants to disengage and become voyeurs renders the situation into a grotesque spectacle on par with Celebrity Rehab or similar "reality" TV shows. No doubt some people do view it as such. However that is hardly the case for the principals nor for many who have been affected even tangentially in the maha-sangha.

    Quashing of discourse, in rather parental fashion, will not render "concerns, unmet needs or expectations" or whatever other ad hominem justifications you wish to throw at participants, invalid. Nor are those justifications necessarily involved in the reasoning behind people's concern. That is psychological speculation.

    People have to work out their own issues regarding this matter as well and if they choose to engage those in the public sphere that is their choice to make.

  107. Posted the following at Robert Aitken Roshi's blog and guess it should be here as well:

    "Posted by Zen Studies Society:

    "If you are reading this and feel your concerns have not been acknowledged or heard, please contact a member of the ethics committee."

    1. The implication of this invitation is that those who may have felt badly-treated in the past can now trust that they will receive good treatment. But why should they assume that? Because it is written in a statement? From the point of view of those who may have felt misused or denigrated, which is more convincing -- a 40-year track record or a newly minted statement of concern?

    2. Who is on the ethics committee and to what extent should those who feel wounded and discarded believe that these members are not now, as they have been in the past, Mr. Shimano's obedient surrogates?

    3. Is it possible that an ombudsman -- probably someone from outside the Zen Studies Society framework -- could be engaged to hear both sides of the story and be granted the authority to mete out decisions and, possibly, penalties?

    4. To what extent is the Ethics Committee serious in its promises and to what extent are their 'caring' assertions little more than a subterfuge exercised so effectively in the past?

    5. I fear that without spelling things out in greater detail, what was posited as 'ethical' will simply devolve into more of the same old 'unethical.'
    July 15, 2010 5:29 AM "

  108. Excuse me if I remain standing and keep speaking out despite some anonymous, authoritarian, establishment apologist telling us all to sit down, shut up and wait.

    Wait for ZSS… yeah, their track record is worth waiting on! Just in the past couple of days they have announced the “resignation” of Eido Shimano and his wife, only to delete the announcement without explanation. Sure, this bunch is really worth waiting for.

    We’re still all waiting for Shimano’s “statement” – Oh, that’s right; he had to start over rewriting that. He got busted yet again and his loyal apologists got egg on their faces. Fifteen years worth of “dried shit” my ass!

    People, most especially ZSS students, clergy and Dharma heirs need to begin to recognize that they have been conned - no matter how hard that is to face up to, no matter how it affects one's "credentials" or sense of identity within the Buddhist establishment.

    Where is Genjo’s “statement” now? The "shit" isn’t as dry as he thought it was, is it? Stop posing Genjo – speak up – speak up!

    Genjo’s shit stick.

  109. Nellalou. My name is Mike. I have been doing this meditation stuff for maybe three years now.

    What is done at ZSS in the coming weeks does matter, even to me though I have never been to DBZ, do not know ES, and have only an overview of this situation.

    Perhaps this old phoenix will rise again, and yet again. Perhaps not. None of this affects, in the least, whether or not I or you or anyone sits zazen each day.

    Relax. Watch what comes along. It will anyway. Pretty basic stuff is it not?

  110. Good point there Anon, none of this affects our own practice. But you must realize that there are people obsessed with Eido and who have been for the past 40 years (he must be brought to his knees) and who have found the convenient truth of his inappropriate and frequent infidelities as reason for their crusade, justification for a life spent in frustration come into being from their own lack of fortitude in zazen practice, as mine own has by its lack of motivation-- curse of the bourgeoise--- boredom. So on and on we TALK.

  111. Relax. (that's an order) Watch what comes along. (another order) It will any way. (you're stupid) Pretty basic stiff is it not? (you're really stupid... I'm smart.)

  112. ^^^^^

    well said.

  113. Thank you Debbie.

    Who is who in your message? If I follow "who is who" the word really seems excessive to me.

    Be that as it may, I am all I/you suggest. I am not all you/I suggest as well. Good news.


    The QUESTION seems to be, "Does the old dragon (ZSS) still bite or not?

    The governing capacity of Eido Shimano is in the hands of ZSS as it should be. It will play out and, however it goes, in or out, apologize or not apologize, et cetera and et all, we will see.

    I do not think it matters either way. Zen, going forward in this place, is assured, I firmly believe, because sitting or not siting zazen is a personal choice.

    No king, nor his horse, nor his men, not you and not me, no website in this world and all of its words, can change this.

    Best news of the day, I think.

  114. hey i know some of you! Bill... Ippo...

    it's Jushin -- that was my dharma name...

    You people were my friends. That's the way I saw it. I've got no idea how you felt about me! But I'd like to say this:

    Shimano isn't what he claims to be. Those of you who support him are the very ones who are now being taken advantage of. Many of you put a lot of time and work into DBZ, and you put a great deal of trust in your teacher, assuming all the while that he could lead you, somehow, toward [your word here].

    Forgive me for saying it, but you have no way of knowing whether or not that trust is warranted. You've also got no reason to trust me. But consider that your faith in Shimano hinges on the above hope -- built mostly on your belief in the tradition, lineage, etc... Else you wouldn't call him "teacher".

    The "attacks" on this board, and elsewhere on the internet, aren't done out of vitriol or anger, or vengeance, as has been portrayed. They are to help. The fact is this: the truth comes out, and in strange ways. A false man can't hide behind fancy robes and tradition forever.

    Shimano is, right now, betraying your trust. Not because he had sex with another woman -- lots of people have sex -- but because of the great lie that is his life. These sexual and financial deceits are only the symptoms of his sickness.

    A whole lot of people have left DBZ -- people you like and miss -- just as people to share a casual laugh with. Not so serious about the forms, they were very capable, but perhaps a little forgetful. They are the ones you remember from your heart. They were people in whose company you relax a little.

    There were many, many honest, ordinary, good people.

    These are the ones who could have turned DBZ around.

    Always fearful of what they bring, Shimano never wanted them them there.

  115. Hello Mike at 11:41.

    "I have been doing this meditation stuff for maybe three years now."

    Well Mike I've been at this Buddhist endeavor for almost 30 years now.

    "What is done at ZSS in the coming weeks does matter, even to me though I have never been to DBZ, do not know ES, and have only an overview of this situation."

    Yes it matters greatly.

    "Perhaps this old phoenix will rise again, and yet again. Perhaps not. None of this affects, in the least, whether or not I or you or anyone sits zazen each day."

    I agree. Personal aspects of practice and the discipline involved therein are our own responsibilities.

    However I've taken refuge in the Sangha as well as the Buddha and the Dharma.

    If Buddhist practice were only about my wishes and desires, my separateness, my ease, my self-improvement, my meditation, my discipline, my opinions, my comfort, my clan, my spiritual ambition(I'm talking Bodhisattva vows there) then your final advice could be taken and I'd just pass it off as "Not my problem" and get on with it.

    But Buddhist practice is a little bigger than me.

    "Relax. Watch what comes along. It will anyway. Pretty basic stuff is it not?"

    The assumptions made here are rather erroneous Mike. I am actually quite relaxed. I am watching what comes along. Inevitability is...inevitable. Basic? Very.

  116. Tricycle has just made a blog entry as if it's news to them.....

    This must be in response to Shusan's inquiry and Kobutsu's response.

  117. Well, don't bite the hand that feeds your glossies.

  118. Jushin:

    You express some real caring and touching honesty. What’s going on is not about “attacks” at all, as you point out, it’s about finally recognizing the simple truth. We need to remember that for every present supporter of Eido Roshi there are fifty people who would still be supporting him had he been honest and treated us as decent human beings. There are no “members” of ZSS, it is not a membership organization as clearly stated in the bylaws. There are those of us who are still “connected” although alienated… we are far more numerous than the transient group who think they are make up the organization and feel the need to defend Eido. We really do care…

  119. A posion tree bears posioned fruit. There is more involed here than just one man.

  120. "A poison tree bears poisoned fruit"

    I have a question for all who wish for change at the top of ZS and DBZ. In keeping faith with with the four vows, how do you propose to separate Eido Shimano from these institutions?

    Please, no more words as to "who hurt who" first,second, or third. No words recalling, retelling of past injustice, or justice for all.

    Those are potent words and stories but I would like very much to hear someone speak to the point I am raising.

    If you have a practice, and it is a serious one based on the four vows, how do you propose to do this extraction?

    Would it not be useful to begin, in this place and this time, an "unpoisoned" community?

    To those of you who have begun, or a far along such a path, already everyday working at this, how is it going?

    Thank you.

  121. Some poisoned fruit now objectively helping to process complaints as if not involved in previous "unsatisfactory" attempts to address complaints? Not possible.

  122. There is "not" possibility sounds too end of the rope yet hanging on to be a solution to me.

    I ask a serious question because it seems a very hard knot to unravel. If ES and ZSS are unfit, what do those of you who keep up with this site suggest as a four vows and bodisattvic solution?

  123. Jushin: "The "attacks" on this board, and elsewhere on the internet, aren't done out of vitriol or anger, or vengeance, as has been portrayed"

    First, Jushin, your statement is patently false. Kevin Malone,was content to sit with his knowledge of the allegations for who knows how long. Apparantly he started his crusade only AFTER Eidfo Roshi refused to acknowledge him as a Zen teacher in some British contretemps. He stated that Kobutsu was an ordained monk who served as chaplain at American prisons conducting zazenkai-NOT a Dharma TEACHER sanctioned by Eido, THEN Malone became Claude Raines from Casablanca-'I'm SHOCKED! SHOCKED THAT SHIMANO HAD SEX!" His motives MOST DEFINITELY have a bearing both on his ethics and the veracity of allegations where the women are not named.

  124. Ippo-
    you are clearly upset. I think it is clouding your analysis of the situation.

    Myself, I have never studied with Shimano. I have no personal axe to grind - nor do I see evidence of such for many people commenting here and elsewhere. Though that would hardly be reason to discount people and their observations entirely.

    I heard of allegations, began to research, and found an unprecedented amount of reasonable material stretching back a very long time implicating Shimano not in "having sex" (which is a wonderful thing, we will all agree, even if celibate) but in lying, abusing his position of power, and harming individuals and the Sangha.

    If these allegations are true, and I find it hard to believe in this giant conspiracy apparently headed by Robert Aitken, inspired by the demon Mara, that simply wants to create drama and drag your man down with a complex fabric of lies - then reasonable steps need to be taken.

    If he is innocent of every charge ever laid out against him, then history will vindicate him. But I think he should start by making some sort of statement, as suggested (sagely) by Aitken.

    Relax, breath. Relax, breath.


  125. It's Jushin again.

    Ok Ippo. What you interperet as anger I hear differently. I think the majority of those who left are just incredulous that the guy keeps lying, stealing and hurting people -- and that people keep following him. That's the case for me. It's a hands-up "I told you so!" feeling, so I've just got to chime in. Shimano keeps proving our point.

    Ippo, you never challenged him -- not in questioning his deceptive practices, and not in ANY other way. It's why he keeps you around. Peeping out a question and then bowing like a geisha after his little temper tantrum isn't what I'm talking about. "Selflessness" is NOT an absolute surrender to ANY worldly ideal (a monk under a tradition or teacher, a soldier for a country) as Generals and Zen Masters would have you believe. It's you knowing what to do.

    In Shimano, what appears to you like courage and strength is, in fact, extreme cowardice. He manipulates things so as never having to face any sort of challenge, even hiding behind his closest lieutenants when he implements his curious, fearful policies -- letting them take the blame. This is the opposite of real Zen.

    Try to picture him alone, outside of his literal and figurative Kingdom -- as a guy in Jeans and a T-Shirt in NY -- spending his day screaming at passers-by about their Japanese pronunciation, trying to trick women into closets, puffing out his chest and then walking down Broadway in slow motion (remember the t-shirt!), losing his temper again and again, when nobody bows.

    That's what he is.

    You believe in him because you're a good guy, and you can't imagine why anyone might lie about something so important in your life. YOU wouldn't do that. That's the case for many. Why would anyone choose such deception?

    I guess I shouldn't be carrying on here. I'm going to write something somewhere else. I never wish to teach anyone anything, but I'll try to point some things out from another perspective... You could always debate with me there.

    I'll be back to post a link...

  126. "Ippo, you never challenged him -- not in questioning his deceptive practices, and not in ANY other way. It's why he keeps you around.
    Jushin, In my years at DBZ, I was one of the rare residents who spoke up when I felt Shimano's policies were wrong. I felt the majority of sangha was, as Rinzai says,"Monks who swallow any piece of dung they come across and accept it as truth."
    After a private meeting in'97, Roshi told me I was a negative influence on new students and was only welcome at DBZ in the future for sesshin. My response will remain private, but to say that I never challenged him is patently false. I DO regret that I publicly didn't castigate him when he insulted you gratuitously during teisho one time.
    I received calls from DBZ staff that Roshi didn't mean what he said and I was in fact, still welcome at DBZ. After one more sesshin, I wrote Eido Roshi a formal letter of resignation as his monk and have not spoken to him nor been to either zendo since.
    The implications by others that my attacks on his attackers were solicited by the DBZ administration are false. NOBODY contacted me regarding this whole business.

  127. What is bass ackward? An experience easily found on this site.

  128. Ippo-
    after reviewing all your comments, all I can say is, get some help, friend. Perhaps therapy can help you with the rage, hate, blame, and bitterness you clearly feel, and with the misplaced loyalty you evidence toward someone (Eido) who clearly abused your trust, and many others.

  129. Statement from Zen Studies Society July 19, 2010

    Posted by Philip Ryan in : Zen , trackback

    Last week we indicated we’d contacted the Zen Studies Society (ZSS) regarding Eido Shimano Roshi’s status at the organization. The President of ZSS’s board sent the following statement in response:

    We are grateful beyond words for the incomparable gift of Eido Roshi’s Dharma treasure, and for his unstinting efforts to root Rinzai Zen Buddhism in American soil. Ever at home in the unconditional realm he spurs us to go beyond the relative vista.

    Nevertheless, we cannot ignore the world of causation.

    On July 4, 2010, Eido Shimano Roshi stepped down from the board of directors of the Zen Studies Society (ZSS). This was prompted by allegations of clergy misconduct. The ZSS is committed to fully investigating, clarifying and bringing resolution to this matter. Eido Roshi’s wife, Aiho-san Shimano, also stepped down from the Board at that time.

    It was with deepest gratitude and respect for their years of service to this organization and their humble effort to assist us in honestly processing this matter and preparing us for their transition from temporal authority, that we accepted their resignations from the ZSS Board.

    After discussion with senior members of the American Zen Teachers Association, the ZSS’s board has decided to seek outside professional assistance to move this process forward with openness and compassion for all.

    We thank the ZSS board for their openness and prompt response and we wish them all the best going forward.

  130. End of an era..

    does this mean all those who had left NYZ and DBZ will again participate in sesshins? Though its beginnings may of been tainted, there can be no doubt that the two zendos-- the result of many people's hard work over many years, are wonderful places for practice.. And I hope much of the form of sesshin and authentic Rinzai Zen will continue and not lose its great gifts to American Zen. Despite the fact they may of been too Japanese or perceived to be too militaristic by the intellectuals. Restrictive but not rigid..

    Let True Dharma Continue

  131. don't count your chickens. Eido's still abbot, and he's not fessed up to anything.

  132. from Aitken blog talk thread:

    It is with considerable dismay that I have recently been informed that Mr. Shimano has continued to engage in sexual contact with his parishioners.

    In reading through this blog, I see that the Zen Studies Society has invited the people they have harmed to come forward and to confide in their ‘Ethics Committee’. I have a few thoughts on this matter.

    If Mr. Shimano and/or other members of his clergy have sexually abused you, dear reader, I am very sorry that this happened to you.

    And if I may offer some kind words of advice, I would say that your course of action should depend upon your level of traumatization. Please do not overestimate your own resilience nor underestimate the level of deceit you will encounter. Please think carefully about how much of that trauma was inflicted by the organization *itself*.

    It is important that you realize that the Zen Studies Society operates like an *incest family*. There are secrets. There is fear. There are perversions of loyalty. Pretensions of ignorance. A swarming together to save Daddy, save buddhism, save themselves.

    There is *no one* that you should confide in there; they are too wounded or confused to help you.

    I therefore urge you *do not contact* the Board nor Committee; I fear that they will deepen your trauma and further damage your trust. Please know with *complete certainty* that the organization is complicit in your sexual assault.

    Please know that you were *not alone* in that room when Mr. Shimano stepped forward to assault you. You just could not see all the people who embolden him; but they were there. He was entirely certain that they were right there behind him, ready to crush you if you ever cried out.

    I am indeed very sorry that this happened to you. Many people *think* that it could never happen to them or to their loved ones. They are incorrect.

    I *do encourage* you to make two phone calls and to move as swiftly as possible through the process:

    1. Contact Mr. Mitchell Garabedian, a lawyer who is representing a plaintiff in a *February 2010* legal action against Mr. Shimano. Mr. Garabedian has successfully worked with many sexually abused parishioners and he is familiar with their circumstances and alternatives.
    Phone: (617) 523-6250 Fax: (617) 523-3667

    2. Contact the Sex Crimes and Prosecution Unit of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. Phone: (212) 335-9373. Ask them to re-open their *1994 investigation* concerning Eido T. Shimano. They have plenty of sworn testimony from many witnesses. The New York State Legislature has subsequently expanded its criminal code concerning professional sexual abuse, in which case you might avoid the cost of hiring a civil attorney. The DA’s Office can also offer you assistance through Witness Counseling.

    Please be aware that the Assistant District Attorney from the Sex Crimes and Prosecution Unit *contacted* the Zen Studies Society Board of Trustees in 1994 and advised them to call a halt to the sexual abuse, and *warned them* that as Mr. Shimano’s employer, they are at risk of civil lawsuits by continuing to allow it.

    Apparently they have continued to allow it. I am not at all surprised.

    Sexual Assault and the Criminal Justice System

    Mr. Mitchell Garabedian: Civil Law, Clergy Sexual Abuse

    Please re-post this message as widely as possible on the internet. Thank you.

  133. BAD LINK IN PRIOR POST: Mitchell Garabedian

  134. This last post smells fishy to me. Why would the Manhattan DA investigate something that took place many miles away in the Castkill Mountains? And if they did investigate and nothing came of it, doesn't that mean that they concluded that nothing illegal took place? Then why would they write to the board and tell them to put a stop to something that wasn't happening in Manhattan and wasn't even illegal to begin with? It would be like the Manhattan DA writing to the board of the PGA and telling them to stop TIger Woods from cheating on his wife in Las Vegas. Also, why isn't that letter in the archives that have been posted recently? They seem to have a lot of letters to and from the board from that era.

    And if a legal action was filed in Feb 2010, isn't that a matter of public record? Where's the evidence of that?

    This is either a hoax or a money grubbing lawyer trying to stir the pot and see what floats to the surface. Either way, it's a new low point for this debate, and that's really saying something.

  135. Indeed, there is a fishy aroma about that post…. however the aroma may mask other scents. I note that in this entire Shimano controversy far too much emphasis is being placed on the sexual misconduct aspect and far too little attention is being paid to the undue influence, institutional culture issues, apparent untruths and cover-ups that appear to have been propagated.

    Bear in mind that New York Zendo is located in Manhattan so there would be justification for involving the Manhattan DA if allegations were made concerning activities there. Any one who has watched any of the crime shows on TV knows that DA’s do not necessarily prosecute for any number of reasons irrespective of illegality.

    The Manhattan DA was evidently contacted at one point evidenced by a note appearing in the archive in 1994. There is also no way to know if the published archive is complete by any means, documentation may be missing or simply never made available.

    I agree that it is doubtful that any legal action was filed in 2010 as you point out - it does not appear in any public record. However, having the knowledge of how to make such a search enables one to search for filing actions in 1995 against Shimano, his wife and ZSS Board members. There is apparently no indication of the outcome of those filings available on line.

    I disagree that the post is an either-or situation as postulated; there are other possibilities. According to a Google search, the lawyer named is largely responsible for bringing down the Boston Archdiocese and Cardinal Law. The man is obviously no fool and would not jeopardize his position by resorting to self-promotional advertising in some random blog posting. It is possible that the posting is from an aggrieved third party unconnected to the lawyer but privy to some undisclosed information.

    All in all, I perceive the warnings presented by the post are indeed poignantly valid. It is essential for any aggrieved party to rely on the advise of personal counsel before becoming involved with any ZSS internal grievance process - no matter what reassurances are provided by newly minted public statements.

    Thank you.

  136. Well, I am a lawyer, though not of the money grubbing variety, so I can answer some of your questions.

    1.The Manhattan DA can investigate the Zen Studies Society because they are headquartered in New York City. If they are investigating the Society, they are well within their jurisdiction. Perhaps there were complaints about things that transpired at Shobo-ji, which is in NYC.

    2. An investigation by the DA isn't a "legal action" subject to disclosure like a civil case would be so it isn't a public record.

    For what its worth, I think the suggestions are good ones. Since Shimano is seemingly pathologically incapable of accepting responsibility for his actions, outside pressure in the form of a criminal investigation or lawsuit may be the only way to ensure the survival of the ZSS going forward. The dharma will survive either way, but after 40 years of malfeasance, perhaps it is better that Shimano be removed from contact with students.

  137. Mark,

    Thanks for this law your input.

    The distinction between the Dharma and DBZ/ES is clear. I wonder if DBZ and ES are as co dependent or as strong as much of the content here seems to assume.

    "Obaku's Dharma is not so special"

  138. it is the possible threat of legal action that must motivate the board to action. if these cases of abuse can be defined as 'abuse' and prosecuted as such then ZSS stands to lose a lot more than just their teacher, and they need to recognize this possibility (I'm sure they do).

  139. Thank you Mark for good counsel! And I like Anonymous' posting too - the legal notice IS poignant, and seems like some really good advice. I hadn't though of that analogy, the incest family, before but it sure explains a lot of the behaviors witnessed here and elsewhere by ZSS sangha members, doesn't it?
    This is all really interesting, and I think a triumph of information and transparency. No more hiding in the dokusan room! The truth will out!

  140. @ stan

    Indeed, you are right on the mark about the potential threat of legal action serving as a motivating factor for the ZSS Board.

    Surely the Board has some sort of Board of Directors Insurance. Nevertheless, if the movement toward full transparency gathers enough momentum and aggrieved parties begin coming forward with representation in numbers the insurance underwriter is going to begin their own investigation. They may not be too pleased to discover the lengthy history of malfeasance that might not have been disclosed by the organization when coverage was secured. The Board may find itself in contention with their own insurer which could potentially be deemed breach of contract and void their insurance coverage.

    In that case the individual Board members would be personally libel for any potential damages assessed. I would not want to be a ZSS Board Member right about now.

  141. From Tricycle:

    UPDATE: In response to further questions (see comments below), the Board writes: “While Eido Roshi has resigned from the Board, he remains abbot of NYZ and DBZ. Internal discussions continuing.”

  142. Insurance won't cover illegal or unethical behavior and this directly violates their code of conduct.

  143. Have crimes been committed and is there evidence of criminal bx?

  144. Sex and the Sangha: Zen Studies Society Statement

    by NellaLou, The Buddhist Channel, July 21, 2010,9359,0,0,1,0

  145. There is no evidence on the page you referenced that comes near to this legal definition of sexual abuse. I don't see any evidence of criminal behavior. the incidents in Hawaii in 64, I don't believe could be called sexual abuse. Are there incidents that do fall within the parameters indicated? Has anyone been force or threaten? Are there documented cases of such?

    sexual abuse - a statutory offense that provides that it is a crime to knowingly cause another person to engage in an unwanted sexual act by force or threat; "most states have replaced the common law definition of rape with statutes defining sexual assault"

  146. "cause another person to engage in unwantes sexual contact by...threat" - difficult perhaps, but the argument can certainly be "I was told I could not practice here if I didn't have sex with him. I was convinced my spiritual well being depended on it. I became vulnerable due to the environment and the practice" Etc. Which is all true in some cases in question I think. I know what life in centers is like - you can really lose your center, almost have to at some points, which is why you need a HIGHLY REPSONSIBLE TEACHER.
    Other clerics and ministers have been convicted on similar - but I think this is really a civil case, and man, I hope someone sticks it to ZSS. They deserve to take a hit for 40 years of protecting Shimano to over and over and over and OVER sleep with and, I feel, abuse not only women but the sangha in general. Harsh I know, but this as we know is the only way organizations really learn lessons. In the pocketbook.

  147. I hear the defense attorney ask, "why didn't you just leave?". Isn't that always an option? Did he restrain anyone? It would seem a tough point to prove 'threat'. The person would surely be vulnerable and of a very delicate nature (which I'm sure many are in Zen centers), to be coerced into sexual activity without the treat of physical harm. Though, again, I'm sure it happens all the time. But does it become a 'crime' when the treat being used is her 'spiritual well being' may suffer if she does not comply? Maybe, I don't know. Be difficult to prove in court.

  148. This is not an ABA blog....

    Check out the term "undue influence" - it is perhaps more appropriate to this situation.

  149. Undue influence is usually not defined as a form of elder abuse, or even as a crime. It is,
    instead, recognized as a process or method used to commit financial or sexual exploitation.
    (YWCA of Omaha. (2006).

    Granted, this is not a lawyer blog, but what we are talking about is the future of ZSS and any possible legal actions may determine aforesaid. It seems a not so subtle distinction between 'abuse' defined as criminal and the method (UI) used to enact it. But if enough people can come forward and outline their abuse and the methods use by the perp, i.e. undue influence--they just may have a case.

  150. Jushin again...

    It's up to the women to declare the unwanted contact. But this situation is clouded by Shimano's position and status in the community. He also acts in the middle of sesshin. The woman's lack of sleep, and the contrast between the harsh atmosphere during the sesshin day and the (relative) calm, kindness of the dokusan (for them, i'm sure...) ensures their defenses are down. The (mis) use of this contrast, as well as long hours of meditation and chanting are all mentioned as common brainwashing techniques. Don't believe me? Hey look it up.

    It is obvious he preys on both their idealism and fear. Whether or not that is "illegal", I don't know. It is certainly creepy and dishonorable.

    Sometimes you see guys in bars roping the drunkest woman, leading them into a corner, and pushing drinks on them -- physically blocking them from contact with anyone else. It's the kind of behavior we all know is wrong, but it's one of those things that's difficult to stop. Shimano's really doing the same thing, but in private, where nobody can see.

    And Ippo cut it out. What do I care if Shimano insulted me? And that happenned what -- twice a day!? What do I care if I pronounce some Japanese OBAKU wrong. I never aspired to be Japanese! Me? Why? Hell he pronounces the CHINESE obaku wrong! so what!? (and by the way the guy's been saying "opening-GOO this dharma" for over thirty years! -- mention that to him and notice that he doesn't laugh).

    HE takes it seriously. I don't.

    I'm not angry at Shimano (though I am very much creeped out). That's obviously not what my posts are about. I'd just like that people wake up and get the heck out of there. I was trying to tell everyone when I left.

    Someone should buy a square meter of land from the neighbors and put up an orange sign that says "Hey Read This First" etc. etc. up the road from the DBZ entrance. That would do it.

  151. Shimano is an old, good and not good, man and he is, for the most part, history. History because his life is behind him and history because the world of Zen, for the most part, has moved on. Plus, no matter what he says about the past it will not now be enough for some or it will be too much for others.

    ZSS goes on. Their focus, I believe rightly, is on what they will do to foster reconciliation and what can be done to prevent reoccurance. I think that the pressure being generated now to reform and rebuild is good and should continue being applied relentlessly until it is done.

    Those were the only arrows worth shooting in the quiver and it now seems that they are all in the air.

  152. rubbish or riches, Annon, this site is a swamp of pretty poisonous stuff.

    I shall bid your muddy meandering adieu.

  153. yeah sure, you'll be lurking on, you know it. Those who say goodbye are always the last to leave.

    thanks, I'd argue, goes to the internet: one more lie is unveiled, another fraud unmasked, another bully deflated. huzzah.

  154. In general, I have steered clear of this thread, allowing others to say what they have to say. So far there have been nearly 160 comments. I mention that not for any other reason than that 160 is quite a large number.

    But today, I caught myself hoping that those with an opinion would recall or reread the initial letter which was the springboard for this thread. I don't mind if one thing leads to the next, but the initial entry still holds weight with me.

    And yesterday, I wrote to a friend who knows as I do about what happened in the past. And I wrote to him: "Not that he didn't ask for it, but a part of me dislikes the objective-ization of Eido -- as if he were no more than the kick in the ass he deserves. I am glad to have learned what I learned from him ... even if I wouldn't wish it on anyone else."

    Objective-ization -- the kind of short-hand references that people use in discussions -- are inevitable, I think. But still ....

    I learned a lot ... and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

  155. Genkaku,

    Thank you for jumping in.

    If you wish to avoid objective-ization why do you write,"I learned a lot ... and I would not wish it on my worst enemy?"

    How is this not shorthand objective-ization?

    With respect, it seems to imply there was nothing positive in the spectrum of your experience with Eido. Was this truly so?

    Does this not objectify your experience with this man as just negative?

    Thank you.

  156. There was positive stuff, there was negative stuff. As Edith Piaf sang,"Je ne regrette rien." That doesn't mean that if it looks like shit and smells like shit I can't call it shit.

    But I'll stay out of it now.

  157. Genkaku,

    Very straight. And, perhaps something useful will come of it!


  158. To jail with a japanese fuck.

  159. What just occurred to me is to think and do a search for the qualities of leaders. Most are are charismatic and some are also bastards. That search also take one to consider what are leadership qualities.

    In the case under consideration, for argument's sake take away both the presumption and the possibility that Eido had legitimate and deep realization experiences at some point in his life. Just make that irrelevant for a bit.

    Also set aside about Buddhist teachings like keeping the precepts.

    Next remove the fancy & expensive robes, rakusu and centers.

    Consider him solely in terms of his humanity, his communication skills, and his leadership skills.

    Then ask "Is this really the person I want spend serious time and effort to train with for something that is so personal, and so potentially meaningful, and so important?"

    Just a thought.

  160. @genkaku
    Thankyou for opening a window on this page so that we may discuss this issue. That in itself is a kind of bravery.

    Women are used to being silenced on these issues - throughout western history when women have been sexually assaulted they have often been told to keep quiet about it, for fear of upsetting the establishment, or for fear of affecting the power of the person who has committed this deed. Being silenced is a frequent component of experiencing such a confusing and fracturing thing.

    So I would like to say - no more silence on these things. It is hard to talk through these allegations, and many emotions are involved. I bow to those who can remain calm through such a hard time.

    I am so saddened by the silence of those who knew that something serious was amiss and did not speak out.

    And to those (especially women) who are speaking their truths, from their hearts, I thank you. It is a lesson for me.

  161. @bookbird

    Wow. Good heart.

  162. A letter from the board of directors at ZSS

    "On July 4, 2010, Eido Shimano Roshi and his wife Aiho-san Shimano stepped down from
    the board of directors of the Zen Studies Society (ZSS). This was prompted when an
    inappropriate relationship was revealed. The ZSS is committed to fully investigating,
    clarifying and bringing resolution to this matter.

    Along with our own internal efforts we are reaching out to the dharma community to seek
    help and guidance with this difficult process.

    While we each carry in our hearts a deep personal connection and debt to our teacher, we
    are obliged and tasked to ensure the health and integrity of the future of our society. Roshi
    is working with the board on the current matter. We are all engaged in efforts to assure that
    New York Zendo and Dai Bosatsu Monastery remain vibrant, healthy centers for practice
    now and into the future.

    More than ever, it is vital to continue our practice, so that we will have the clarity to proceed
    with wisdom and compassion. In order to insure an impartial and compassionate outcome
    for all involved, the Zen Studies Society Board has decided to seek professional assistance."

  163. Who is the letter addressed to?

  164. "...New York Zendo and Dai Bosatsu Monastery remain vibrant, healthy centers for practice."

    They were never vibrant and healthy. Students would come and go when they figured out what they had gotten themselves into. It is sad to recall all the faces that have come and gone. The ZSS needs to look deeper into their structure than just Eido Roshi. He is not the only person within their walls who has contributed to their current state.

  165. They should publish where the "professional assistance" is coming from so it can be vetted.

  166. Their "professional assistance" is likely to come from a source not of their choosing - such as the District Attorney or The Attorney General.

  167. Jushin again--

    "Objectification" of Eido Mr. Fisher? I really don't think so. I doubt you would leave your teenage daughter in a room with the guy, and I'd bet you'd dissuade any friend of yours into entering a business relationship with the man. You'd feel the same if he were an auto mechanic. There are others of us who have seen the way the man operates. Should we not say so?

    The far (far, far) greater mistake is the objectification that the words "buddhist", "roshi", monk", "master", "priest" etc. hold in the eyes of students, as this is what enables the abuses -- and encourages the cover-ups -- in the first place. Students enter churches and monasteries with belief sets and idealism that makes them easy prey for certain men like, well -- Shimano.

    This effect limits the individual student, and is in fact blinding to society on the whole. Hey -- despite all the words of peace, there is no religion without blood on it's hands. Japanese Rinzai Zen just happens to be one of the bloodiest (given it's relatively short history).

    The fact is, for all they talk, no "teacher" can "teach" another their true self. But, whether from ignorance or arrogance, the teachers are all happy to allow this notion to continue.

    There is a heart behind Rinzai's "kill your master". It really is a selfless statement. It's the same heart the Buddha had when he dropped "prince". No matter what advantages it might bring them, these guys didn't want to spend their lives blowing smoke. They LIKED people. Why be part of what blinds them? Why be part of what separates them?

    And Shimano? Playing dress-up in the castle of his little kingdom and screaming when someone doesn't bow to him slowly enough? Sneaking cash and diddling women on the sly? How more opposite might a man be?

    Yeah so if it looks like shit and smells like shit, then no matter WHAT you call it ("Roshi", "master", etc.), IT IS MOST LIKELY TO BE SHIT. And it's best to say so, before someone else steps in it.

  168. There are interesting letters in the when Shimano allegedly stated his intention to "resign."'s/19820914_ZSS_Board.pdf's/19820920R_Zournas_Clareman.pdf

  169. He'll never retire. How would he get laid?

  170. It's not about "getting laid" it's about exercising dominance over others.

  171. I know many are angry and upset but expressing it as cynical one liners isn't furthering the attempt dealing with the real problems here either one is experiencing personally or in helping others.

    It may be more productive to get some help from some spiritually inclined friends or even some professional help in dealing with the pain caused by the disappointment with Shimano.

    Further, it may be more productive to consider what a serious but healthy practice might look like in the ideal. Further it may be a good idea want to read some of the more dispassionate and well written criticisms of American Zen. For example, "Means of Authorization: Establishing Hierarchy in Ch'an/Zen Buddhism in America" by Stuart Lachs is very well written:

    Let's try to take good care of ourselves and each other, folks.

  172. listen. YOU read it as angry or upset (why?). Not everyone else does. Lots of us have happy lives and just don't want to see people hurt and lied to (over and over). Silencing frank talk is part of what maintains the illusions.

    I very much doubt the Anonynmouses need help. ZSS, Shimano, and his immediate followers need help.

    this was Jushin again. I'm posting too much. I'll stay away, I promise.

    p.s. please don't tempt me!

  173. You keep posting Jushin, ignore paternalistic suggestions that you need "help," professional or otherwise!

  174. "Silencing frank talk is part of what maintains the illusions."

    Actually, I intend my comments to foster frank, _productive_ discussion.

    (Perhaps my tone is paternalistic being a father and pushing 60. What can I say?)

    I do not intend to remove anyones right to self expression, but I do ask that those who are tossing out the inflammatory and cynical one liners be more responsible.

    I absolutely agree with Jushin and don't to see people abused, manipulated and lied to either!

    BTW While the suggestion for help wasn't directed at anyone specifically, I feel there is emotional rollercoastering going on and that we need to take care of ourselves. And yes, myself included.

  175. " There is a heart behind Rinzai's "kill your master". It really is a selfless statement. It's the same heart ... "

    Many many hearts. Perhaps all of us are this same heart and it is this that is open to all hearts unconditionally.

    When this knowing is lost there is absolutely no end to the possibilites of selfishness.

  176. Jushin, your words in light of your kind and easy-going nature makes it even more clear the broader scope of the problem.

  177. As something of an outsider in all this, I'm assuming the New York Zendo and Dai Bosatsu Monastery are owned by a foundation, that's controlled by the board. But who controls the board? If the voting membership has been whittled down to core supporters of Eido, I can't imagine he'll ever leave (or in practice truely relinguish control.) Unless the ZSS loses all of it's assests, Catholic church style. But I don't know how likely that is; it seems like it would be a lot harder to prove wrongdoing in the case of adults. A trial seems like it would be a nightmare: there'd have to be witnesses testifying as to what he did in his role as a roshi, and then you'd have other witnesses comparing that to generally accepted behavior of a roshi in Japan. Ugh.

    Even if he did leave, the board and others who supported him, and those who have tied his legitimacy to their own would still remain.

    It seems like it would be better to just walk away and try to start/go somewhere else. About all that's left now seems to be the buildings, and those may be lost anyway, or at least the center of a lot of ugliness.

    I'm sorry if any of this comes across as snarky or insincere, that wasn't my intention It just seems like such a heart-breaking situation.

  178. Sad but true....

  179. Hi ANon 203am,

    Those who will not or can not stop venting, those with unresolved concerns, frustations that Eido Shimano Roshi is not yet as humbled and/or as broken as they feel he should be or they are themselves need and here have a place to express these feelings.

    What is expressed is a feeling of inequality. Fair ness and/or just suffering for all is the equality sought.

    This sense of fairness is cultural.

    This is also dualistic awareness on top so to speak.

  180. From AN01

    Dear Maha-Sangha members,

    Recent controveries (scandals) around Eido Roshi (ES) make us all feeling
    sad, betrayed, angry, deceived, etc. Most expressed emphaty mixed with sadness
    to current ZSS members, others blamed with "I told you so", while few
    suspected that current ZSS members are fanatical zombies of ES.

    Be that as it may, I found out zss members suffer the most pain of this
    scandal. They feel painful, yes ... but they are not confused. They are still
    sorting out what steps are neccessary to be taken and they are aware that
    they are on the focus of Buddhist Community's eye (at least in the Zen community).
    It is very intolerant, I think, if we double-victimise the zss sangha. The
    same thing happens with zss board members, I found out not all of them are
    the parots of ES. Some stand up valiantly.

    The ZSS members and board recognize current scandal occurs in different era.
    Era of transparency, internet, rigorous sexual harrasment legal system which
    give them strength to reform or restructure the ZSS sangha. In the old time, sangha
    and board members can be easily flushed out, but not now. In the old time good
    but disappointed sangha and board members opting out of the boat, but with new
    era the majority opt to stay and to relieve the nachoda. I think, with this
    new era, they are willing to invite again the old members, who now become excellent
    zen teachers outside, to help them with current mess. I think we should support
    current board decisions to seek help outside and AZTA can proactively monitor
    the process. Another thing that one can do is to keep the heat on, to give the
    pressure to ZSS in order all these scandals not forgotten. It is for the future
    of Zen in geneneral, and ZSS in particular where capital, energy, monies have been
    spent for the growth of Buddhadharma.

    In practical way, this external pressure can be done through email/mail, blog news and
    discussion, and contacting and discussing these cases with Japanese Rinzai Maha Sangha
    (at least Ryūtaku-ji or Shogen-ji with which ZSS has association) and to BDK
    (Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai) of which ES received an award as Zen teacher. It is not only for
    the goodness of Zen sangha in America, but also Zen in the whole world. In particular it is
    for the goodness for the old person himselself before facing the final-gate of current
    karmaic life. Let us do it with prajna (wisdom) and karuna (compassion).


  181. "They are still
    sorting out what steps are neccessary to be taken and they are aware that
    they are on the focus of Buddhist Community's eye (at least in the Zen community).
    It is very intolerant, I think, if we double-victimise the zss sangha. The
    same thing happens with zss board members, I found out not all of them are
    the parots of ES. Some stand up valiantly."

    Just so. Although those who do "stand up' may not finally persuade those others (who stand up as well) towards reform, the climate within ZSS board is not monolithic in nature.

    As has been said, things are moving now. Roshi and wife have resigned from the board of ZSS, a public statement on ethics has been made, and professional facilitation is in place although who is doing this, I do not believe, has been announced.

    Give the board room to work. Rome was not built or dismantled in a day or even many days.

  182. Apparently there is at least a modicum of turmoil within the Zen Studies Society; we can only trust that this opportunity for systemic change might result in complete transparency in the handling of this latest Eido Roshi debacle, although this is doubtful. The truth has been completely disregarded for too long by Eido Roshi and by extension, his organization, the Zen Studies Society. Enough questions have been raised in the American Zen community over Eido Shimano that it is incumbent on the organization to tell the public the complete truth about what is taking place. No one - in forty years, has ever stood in the way of the ZSS Board doing its work, except those within its own confines.

    The available archives, when thoroughly examined, reveal certain behavior patterns of a serious nature that cause harm and hurt to others. We need to ask some very pointed questions to enable us to develop some understanding of the dynamics around Eido Shimano.

    The man is a liar, he relates to the world only through dominance. He is arrogant, completely non altruistic, and considers all friendships and associations expendable. Eido Shimano “Roshi” is an exquisitely constructed deceptive “character” that superficially appears to be a powerful, insightful and genuine Zen master. He provides no hint of inadequacy in public behind his mask of deception. However, on a deeper level he is profoundly addicted to his dominance and abuse of women, students, and people in general. He is intent on weaving his elaborate webs of lies around his own significance. Eido Roshi appears to be totally unconcerned by the fact that he is deliberately lying to people. He seems to assume that other people are merely models of himself - there for his amusement at the time. This involves him seeing everyone as nothing more than a deceptive mask, since he is so heavily invested in deception himself.

    He needs assistance, but he can only avail himself of such through his own recognition of the problem, it can not be imposed from “outside.” The sangha needs to remove him from a position of authority over students forthwith to prevent any possibility of future hurt to vulnerable people. This they can do, through the Board. If the Board refuses to act to remove Eido Shimano they will be remiss in their Charter obligations and in violation of their own ethical guidelines. ZSS has had a set of ethical guidelines in place since at least June of 1993 according to the on line archive. These guidelines have proscribed “Sexual advances and/or liaisons between teachers, guest lecturers or other religious and any kessei student, sesshin and/or workshop attendee, sangha member or visitor” for seventeen years. The "Ethical Guidelines" are nothing new. The failure of the Board, the Dharma heirs, and senior staff to enforce the ethical guidelines or ever recognize their violation calls for a serious accounting.

    As for involving the aforementioned Japanese institutions… “rotsa ruck.”

  183. "rotsa ruck"

    What nonsense. This last comment is racist, it speaks more clearly of the writer's intent than all of words which precede it.

    So close yet so far. Always just beyond reach.

  184. “racist”

    Humorous perhaps, hardly racist - racist is turning away dark complexioned African American people at the door of New York Zendo, telling them there is no more room, then admitting Caucasians five minutes later.

  185. either that or penis envy.

  186. All beings without number, I vow to cherish.
    Endless blind passions rising, I vow to uproot.
    Dharma gates beyond number, I vow to penetrate.
    The great Way of Buddha, I vow to attain.

  187. Thank you Reddirt.

    As someone mentioned, everyone involved is a being in the process of growth and change. However, when someone demonstrates ingrained and persistant, deeply harmful habits, the only responcible choice is to arrange the situation so that this person is unable to harm people.

    I think this is were, legally, the ZSS is in deep trouble: For 35-odd years , they (the board and senior members) knew their was a problem, but took no substantive actions to do anything about it. They were negligent. That there was an incident again just a few years ago proves that nothing effective was done during that time. If someone can establish that Eido's behavior harmed them,(psychiatrist/doctors records, etc) then both Eido and the ZSS will be held liable.

  188. "And the smell of the air! I used to spend a week just breathing." attributed to Treebeard from the book Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

    Don't really know why I post this other than I like the image. Old "Treebeard" must have known well the beauty of just breathing, of being settled in stillness.

  189. Received in email:

    Greetings Dear Friends and Supporters,

    The Engaged Zen Foundation needs your donation in order to continue its work!

    Thanks to your continued support, EZF has been surviving on the donations of a very small number of individuals and frequent infusion of personal funds. . Just recently EZF was part of two SCOTUS cases as amici curiae. In Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005) Elimination of juvenile death penalty and In Graham v. Florida (08-7412) and Sullivan v. Florida (08-7621) (2009) Juvenile Life Sentences. Since much of the work of EZF now focuses on correspondence practice and providing Buddhist written materials to prisoners, EZF has strived to survive on a shoestring budget.

    Only a few weeks ago, Robert Aitken Roshi, now 93 years young, invited Ven. Kobutsu to visit with him at the Honolulu Diamond Sangha for one week. This will be a very important and valuable pilgrimage for Kobutsu as well as Robert Aitken Roshi and the future of American Zen Buddhism.

    EZF needs your donations to make this pilgrimage possible. We are calling upon you, our friends and supporters, to assist us in raising the necessary funds --approximately $1,200.00 -- to send Ven. Kobutsu on this important journey.

    Your tax deductible donations in the amount of $25, $50, $100, $500, or any other amount, can be made to EZF via credit card or PayPal by clicking here:

    For those without HTML email, donations can be made from the EZF site at:

    Alternately, donations may be made by check to:

    The Engaged Zen Foundation
    Post Office Box 213
    Sedgwick, ME 04676 USA

    In dynamic peace, with nine deep bows,

    Ryushin Sean Malone, Vice president – The Engaged Zen Foundation

  190. Greetings Dear Friends and Supporters,
    The Engaged Zen Foundation needs your donation in order to continue its work!

    Thanks to your continued support, EZF has been surviving on the donations of a very small number of individuals and frequent infusion of personal funds. . Just recently EZF was part of two SCOTUS cases as amici curiae. In Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005) Elimination of juvenile death penalty and In Graham v. Florida (08-7412) and Sullivan v. Florida (08-7621) (2009) Juvenile Life Sentences. Since much of the work of EZF now focuses on correspondence practice and providing Buddhist written materials to prisoners, EZF has strived to survive on a shoestring budget.

    Only a few weeks ago, Robert Aitken Roshi, now 93 years young, invited Ven. Kobutsu to visit with him at the Honolulu Diamond Sangha for one week. This will be a very important and valuable pilgrimage for Kobutsu as well as Robert Aitken Roshi and the future of American Zen Buddhism.

    EZF needs your donations to make this pilgrimage possible. We are calling upon you, our friends and supporters, to assist us in raising the necessary funds --approximately $1,200.00 -- to send Ven. Kobutsu on this important journey.

    Your tax deductible donations in the amount of $25, $50, $100, $500, or any other amount, can be made to EZF via credit card or PayPal by clicking here:

    For those without HTML email, donations can be made from the EZF site at:

    Alternately, donations may be made by check to:

    The Engaged Zen Foundation
    Post Office Box 213
    Sedgwick, ME 04676 USA

    In dynamic peace, with nine deep bows,
    Ryushin Sean Malone, Vice president – The Engaged Zen Foundation

  191. " the only responcible choice is to arrange the situation so that this person is unable to harm people."

    Yup. How well does the turtle come out of its shell? All the way? Part way? Eido Shimano is neither dead nor useless.

    Responsible arrangement, to me, means ZSS board grappling with all of this, liability and lawsuits included, and then making the best resolution they can find. As soon as possible and that no longer means indefinitely failing to answer "the unable to harm others" piece of it.

  192. " Only a few weeks ago, Robert Aitken Roshi, now 93 years young, invited Ven. Kobutsu to visit with him at the Honolulu Diamond Sangha for one week. This will be a very important and valuable pilgrimage for Kobutsu as well as Robert Aitken Roshi and the future of American Zen Buddhism."

    Perhaps the "deal with this" screw turned just a 'tich inward.

    Here's hoping this visit goes well, whatever its dimensions and content, for all.

  193. I am not sure about the visit determining the "...future of American Zen Buddhism" but it may bring some clarity in regards to the Shimano/ZSS issue.

  194. How much clarity do you honestly believe these men could possibly need in this matter or anyone for that matter? Kobutsu needs no praise, nor transmission, nor inka and certainly not clarity or great merit. His actions over the many, many years of providing men and women with the possibility of Awakening stands on it's on. Kobutsu does not seek anything than offering truth, as it is. This is about doing the right thing. There is nothing more important than the truth, especially when The Dharma has been used and manipulated for the benefit of one man through power over anyone for his own personal gain and not for the sake of all beings for 45 years! This man has caused more harm than good for thousands of people. The truth stands on its own.

    Nothing was said about "determining" the future of American Zen Buddhism. As it is, this meeting will be important and valuable for those who stand for reviling true transparency of power over dynamics, by example. Nothing more. If this meeting helps people by the example of bravery to examine not only themselves and teachers but also who we are exactly, than good on them.

    One detail I would like to put out there... Why didn't Aiken Roshi have this man deported so long ago? After reviewing The Shimano Archives, it appears that Aiken Roshi did write the Japanese regarding this matter with nothing more than the response of we will look into this matter. Is it possible that Aiken Roshi had more to gain from discontinuing his efforts over his endeavors and to be in the good graces with The Japanese? I fear the answer to be, yes. 45 years later... over thousands of people being injured in many ways, was it worth it?