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. During these years, Eido Shimano Dharma heirs have accumulated; some have "left" to serve the Dharma and some have "stayed" to serve the Dharma.
    Thousands of their fellow seekers have been benefited by this service.

    During these years, many students of Robert Aikens have recieved sanction to teach and dispersed to continue their s ervice of the Dharma. Thousands have their fellow seekers been benefited by this service.

    During these years, unaffiliated sincere and serious teachers have been active and they too have helped thousands to gain a better understanding of the Way and this service has enriched and enabled the flowering of the Dharma.

    Through all of this, the Dharma moves.

    It is not yet determined if this service or if the dis service and excesses of some and the so called self-serving choices of others will upset this flowering because the karma of none of this is combusted.

    So. "Was it worth it." Yes. And I do not mean this Yes as a relative tabulation of plus and minus.

  2. I am a relatively new member of the ZSS.
    Shocked to learn all the accusation.
    The broad seems ot be as guilty as Shimano and they should step down as well.

  3. You raise an interesting question and one that I too have considered after reading through the archive. If Aitken did hesitate to pursue more stringent measures to curtail Shimano, (which appears so) one could easily conclude that he did not want to jeopardize his own standing with the Japanese who would of been the ones, in theory, and, in time, to give Aitken the authority of zen teacher. So he didn't pursue sanctions against Shimano because of his own zen ambitions? Possible. Maybe Malone can ask him about this, or maybe someone has already?

  4. Many of the concerns that are being addressed and written on this blog and elsewhere about Eido Shimano can be read about in great factual detail in a book: “Nine Headed Dragon River – Zen Journals 1969 – 1982” by Peter Matthiessen

  5. Dear Anon July 29 1:20 pm:

    It is clear you are a strong supporter of Rev. Kobutsu and of the truth.

    Know that I do share with you the wish that Shimano should have been stopped, and I believe we share desire to stop his unethical behavior even now.

    However, it seems we differ in our opinion about Aitken.

    You make much of Aitken's weakness and "spiritual greed" in failing to have Shimano deported back in the mid-sixities. I fear that perhaps you are judging the legal system of the state of Hawaii and the US Immigration authority's response to male sexual "misbehavior" by a clergyman in the 60's by the mood and legislation of the 2010's.

    Perhaps you got the idea idea that Shimano, a young, male, Japanese Buddhist clergyman who could date and marry within his chosen religious practice, could have been deported based on having consensual sex (or, if you prefer, sex by seduction) with a woman who subsequently had a nervous breakdown from Aitken's own record of his feelings now made available in the files. However, would it have been so easy to have him deported?

    It would be good to first understand the laws and how they probably would have been applied at the time before saying Aitken should or shouldn't have done this or that.

    Further, have you really considered the effect that this would have on the nascent sangha? Never forget that this was the 60's the early years of sexual liberation. One even needs too understand the relevant attitudes towards sex in Hawaii specifically.

    Also, even 10 years later many considered Tai-san very energetic and charming, even charismatic. From many sources, we know that some were very enthusiastic about Tai-san.

    If you or or Kobutsu I were in the position Aitken was in, we each would have undoubtedly reacted and acted differently based on our wits and resources.

    You might be right and the desire for transmission was present in the mix in the decisions and actions Aitken took. Even so, I think one needs to look at the big picture and what occurred later before judgement.

    You are entitled to you opinions, of course, but I think opinion when shared in public need to be well informed and examined. But that's me.

  6. (the above post is misleading -- people read the archives to determine on your own if Hawaii was indeed the happy love-in that the poster portrays)

  7. again and again, and again... ect, I am glad to see this happening while Shimano is still alive. Good for you Robin! Thank you for standing up for all the people who were hurt and damaged by this manica.

  8. "manica," "manica," what's a "manica?"
    Think I'm being petty?
    How about some of these posts? Just sayin' ...

  9. "What's a manica?"

    Perhaps it's a wholesome grain.

    It makes more sense if you reshuffle the letters so that it is spelled maniac. A maniac is some one who is characterized by inordinate or ungovernable enthusiasm for something. It seems appropriate.

    There is another one of these inadvertent mis spelling adventures back along the line a bit.

    The word typed is broad, when reshuffled it spells board, which makes another kind of sense.

  10. Oh yeah... the board broad.

  11. Genkaku,

    Perhaps this post should be here as well as in the Tuesday, August 3, 2010 section.

    ""Zen and the Art of Seduction"

    "Received the following in email today. The 1982 document is unpublished, but has joined the Aitken (Roshi) archive (a public record) in Hawaii.

    ""Zen and the Art of Seduction" by Robin Westen

    "It may be dusty, but it may also be pretty informative for anyone interested in Zen practice."

  12. Yes, I meant to post it here as well, but only got as far as giving it its own topic space in the blog ... and forgot this thread.

    So it goes.

  13. The announcement was posted on his blog today:

    "Aitken Roshi passed away yesterday, Thursday, August 5, 2010, at around 5:30 pm at Straub hospital in Honolulu. He was 93."

    As I understand it, Aitken loved and emulated Jizo. May we all do the same and keep Aitken Roshi very much alive.

  14. My dad's homage to Aitken, Rodaishi

    Saying Goodbye To Papa Aitken

  15. Two new documents have been posted to the page.
    These are very recent letters from Jiro Andy Afable, Shimano’s second Dharma heir, addressed to the Zen Studies Society Board of Directors.

    Jiro letter of June 3rd 2010 to the ZSS Board.

    Jiro letter of July 29th 2010 to the ZSS Board.

  16. A comment on the Jiro letters.


  17. @The Archivist

    I'm guessing but you are now back from Hawaii and have lots of information to share?

    This is like watching a smelly old onion being peeled.

    An optimist doing this continues peeling, going inward as layer after layer comes off, hoping that soon there will be something found to be of worth, worthy of keeping and putting to good use.

    A dramatist has another aim. Create tension and suspense to ensure the audience's attention.

    If this is your intent I would encourage you to just peel the damn thing.

    This optimist has had enough and will leave the onion to its eventual fate.

  18. Jesus Christ, the man just got back from standing beside Aitken's death bed and all you want is more? Information comes and goes what is most important is what is available to us now. Peeling apart an onion takes patience and tears. Kobutsu has cried enough tears for a while. Leave him be.... he'll get to it when he can.

  19. One thing which comes to mind after reading all seven of these documents is:

    How did documents (the two Jiro letters) which seem to have addressed to the ZSS Board, and very recently at that, become available to the the Shaimanoarchive?

  20. Genjo Osho letter was dated June 09, 2010
    when he said that he trusted more on ER's
    integrity than ever before. It was before
    recent scandal (around July 2010). Will
    Genjo Osho retract his statement or he blindly
    become another zombie in pursue of bestowment
    for roshi-ship.


  21. Namaste??????????????????????????????????????

    You need to do some research before you shoot of your mouth.

    If you knew Genjo Roshi, at all, I doubt you would be able to say, in good conscience, what you have just said.

    He said, when I asked if I should address him as such.

    I'm new at this, Genjo will be just fine.

    Never, in two years of study with him, did I ever detect a "zombie in pursuit" of anything.

    What a sordid, pathetic, and utterly foolish thing to write or say.

  22. @Anonymous August 8 2010 6:36

    This "release" is curious. Good question.

    Hey Archivist! What do you say in response?

  23. The Archivist is simply the archivist. He has nothing to do with the release of this information, only providing it, as it is. Maybe your question is directed at the wrong person? Your asking a question about a hippopotamus when we're really talking about a leap frog.

  24. I will no longer post public announcements of the addition of new material to the site, nor will I engage in dialog here, or elsewhere, concerning the policies and procedures of the University of Hawaii Archives or the content of archive documents.

  25. @Ryushin and the Archivist

    You two are really something. IF you want to be the big stars of this show you will need to stay front and center stage.

    This show is The Hippo and the Frog?

    Lights! Action, everyone.

  26. From Namaste:

    What happened if I (Namaste) were Genjo Osho?
    I posed those two questions to check the water
    if a Zen practitioner easily deifying his/her
    teacher. A Zen teacher is still a human being
    that full of mistakes and can be deceived too.
    Furthermore, there is no Zen teacher, only a
    Zen pointer. Do not confuse the finger and the
    moon. Do not make a cult individual in Zen.

    What happened if I (Namaste) were not Genjo
    Osho? I posed those two questions not as an
    accusation but as the guiding rail. Statement
    A as opposed to statement B. I know that Genjo
    Osho is a psychoteraphist, give good Dharma
    talks, and honest Zen students. Why the guiding
    rail? It requirs the skillful means to navigate
    current issue. If this matter was going
    on-and-on-and-on and allow time to wipe out our
    memory, there would be three time bombs in front;
    1) lineage legitimacy, 2) legal battle when
    natural cause took over the case or otherwise,
    3) the color of ZSS Zen (remorse and confession -
    part of Sila Paramita - could be conveniently
    disregarded, deception was a norm, schism of
    Sangha was accepted values, enlightentment was
    the currency).

    May we learn not only about words but also the
    action, as did Gempo Roshi mentioned that Zen
    and Kensho have to be integrated in daily life,
    otherwise it is superficial. Both, words and
    actions, are not seperated.


  27. " A Zen teacher is still a human being
    that full of mistakes and can be deceived too."

    Of course. What I found in to be true of Genjo Marinello was a willingness to aplogize when he made one and a willingness to talk until common understanding was reached.

    "there is no Zen teacher, only a
    Zen pointer. Do not confuse the finger and the

    Exactly, and incidently this was one of his last comments to me as "my" teacher.

    "May we learn not only about words but also the

    Yes, they are entwined threads in one tapestry.

  28. One of the two Jiro letters listed above has gone missing and the archivist has no comment?

  29. check again, its there, placed in chronological order.

  30. The following profile information was posted on this thread twice and somehow disappeared, I understand. Since I do not delete anything -- short of the clearly insane -- I am posting it again at the request of the sender:

    This is Genjo Marinello's present "zoominfo" profile:

    This is his more detailed profile:

    This is the Google cache of his profile:

    Genjo identifies his sexual orientation as bisexual, has had a long affiliation with the "sex -positive" Society for Human Sexuality.


    Genjo Marinello, MA, LMHC

    A state licensed mental health counselor with an M.A. in Psychology and a degree in spiritual direction from the U.B.C. Vancouver School of Theology, Genjo has extensive counseling and therapy experience with sexual minorities, including concerns related to BDSM and other forms of alternative sexuality. As a Buddhist priest and a Quaker, he also serves as a spiritual director with the Anamchara Multifaith Center for Sexual Minorities. His office number and e-mail address are 328-3944 and

  31. Looks like the fifth dharma heir has more than his head up his ass....

  32. "Since I do not delete anything -- short of the clearly insane ..."

    Just when you think genkaku cannot possibly dig genkaku into the inane any deeper, genkaku does it again.

    When the inane are clearly making the call, who needs the insane?

  33. @Anon Aug12 2010 7:02pm

    After reading your "contribution" I looked up the meaning of the word perverse. It means to turn away from what is right or good. I also looked up the word pervert and this word means to misdirect, to divert to a wrong end or purpose.

    Given these definitions, what are we to make of you that you have not already demonstrated as yourself?

  34. Perverse is a 77 year old abbot seducing and engaging in sexual relations with a twenty-something year old child in secret.

  35. "Perverse is a 77 year old abbot seducing and engaging in sexual relations with a twenty-something year old child in secret."

    Child? Are you kidding? She is a grand child.

  36. Genkau, thank you for locating and posting of Genjo's profile.

    Perhaps Genjo's personal bisexuality and professional concern with "sexual minorities, including concerns related to BDSM and other forms of alternative sexuality " explains in part why
    * Genki Roshi sent Genjo to Shimano and why
    * Shimano appealed to him over other Rinzai teachers.

    Genjo's involvement with BDSM is of particular interest.

    According to wikipedia (1), the compound acronym, BDSM, is derived from the terms bondage and discipline (B&D, B/D, or BD), dominance and submission (D&s, D/s, or Ds), sadism and masochism (S&M, S/M, or SM)

    BDSM, is a type of roleplay or lifestyle _choice_ between two or more individuals who use their experiences of pain and _power_ to create sexual tension, pleasure, and release.

    (The underscores are mine.)

    This information plus the fact that he is a type of psychotherapist would tend to explain Genjo's less judgmental approach to Shimano. It tends to explain why he can write thing such as "Granted the power dynamic is totally lopsided and his responsibility for these actions is 80% or more, but not all his."

    I wonder what his reaction to Robin Westen's article, Zen Seduction <'s/19820400R_Zen_Seduction.html > has been?

    Is it still so easy to be so accepting of Shimano sexual problems?

    Knowing that Shimano has repeatedly seduced woman in the Dokusan Room, is it so easy to say that Shimano deserves to remain as abbot?

    Is it really so easy to ignore the judgement of what must be at least hundreds of students of dharma (some of whom who have gone on to become dharma teacher) vs. the relatively small handful who have stayed with him?

    Or does he now agree with the senior psychiatrist, Doctor Ogura, who said in 1982 "...This coupled with his lying, makes it essential that he be removed from Dai Bosatsu and Shoboji. Wherever he goes, he should never again be given a position of primary authority."

    It would be nice if he finds a venue for response.

    (1) < >

  37. Dear Jiro Roshi, why did you submit these letters for release to "the Shimano archive?"

  38. Anonymous August 11, 2010 1:34 PM wrote:

    "Dear Jiro Roshi, why did you submit these letters for release to "the Shimano archive?""

    Zester the Zen Jester says:

    "Oppps! Oh my! There goes another f-ing secret flying by!
    Bye Bye!"

    "Oh dear me! Looks like one of the old guardians of the stained and dirty linen is up in arms and is at it again."

    "Hurry Hurry! Pull down the blinds!"

    "Hee hee hee hee hee hee!!!!"

    "Read them again, you old stain protector."

  39. As Shop Steward for the Stained and Dirty Linen Workers Local I feel mandated by my oath of office to speak out in favor of a thorough airing of all stained and dirty linen, followed by a thorough washing concluding with a hanging-out-to-dry. These are good and wholesome activities.

    Support Local 108 - The Brotherhood of Stained and Dirty Linen Workers.

  40. In his letter of 9/19/64 Aitken Roshi states: "Tai San finds close relationships possible only on a dominance-submission basis." This may have a lot of bearing on Genjo’s relationship with him.

  41. Dear Steward of Local 108.

    There is plenty of work for the brothers and sisters of your local at Zen Studies Society.

    The basements, the attics and many, and many, many closets are filled with over 40 years of hidden stained and dirty laundry. Some of the monks, many of the board members and some of the regular members have even taken the linen with them and stored it in their homes. Set end to end it extends from Japan to Germany by way of such places as Hawaii, California, Seattle, New York (where most of it is), and Denmark.

    You may need to contact your counterparts throughout the world to embark on what must be the greatest undertaking of cleaning of dirty linen in Buddhism in the last several centuries. Not only will this provide gainful employment for many, this will also certainly help the economy and further the linen cleaning technology.

    We are so very glad to have your local on board. Contract talks can begin by contacting the Ethics Committee at your earliest convenience. Be sure to impress upon them the necessity of using the highest quality cleansers; explain that they can save by omitting the fabric softeners.


    Chilly Hill, NY

  42. Dear Taigu-san,

    Our deepest thanks for your generous support of Local 108.

    We are painfully aware of the existence of the various scattered soiled linens of the Zen Studies Society. We are constantly striving to assemble these orphaned linens in a central location. It behooves us to appeal to all the sundry holders of such items, in cooperation with the Postal Workers Brothers and Sisters, to assemble these scattered linens in a central location for processing, that we may air, wash, and hang out to dry said unmentionables for the sake of all beings.

    The best thing that holders of these orphaned soiled linens can do is to send them to the Archivist so that we in the Local can begin our work and hang out clean linens in the transparent sunshine of daylight for all to see.

    A manila envelope with no return address and a few stamps is all it takes. It is heartening to know that there are far more disparate holders of soiled linens out there than those who would hide and deny the existence of said laundry so much in need of the light of day.

    Support Local 108 - The Brotherhood of Stained and Dirty Linen Workers.

  43. In his letter of 9/19/64 Aitken Roshi states: "Tai San finds close relationships possible only on a dominance-submission basis." This may have a lot of bearing on Genjo’s relationship with him.

    hey come on now.

    certainly a low blow!

    why are you giggling? that's not what I meant!

    sorry... couldn't resist.... somebody delete me...

  44. Namu Dai Blowsa....

  45. What is truly needed is in Japan known as hattenteki kaishō 発展的解消.

    It involves the dissolution of an organization to make way for its existence in a different form.

  46. I agree.
    Let's scrap this rotten, sexual-abuse-infected, cult-like organization and start form scratch.

  47. Is it a cult-like organization? Do they
    sacrifice animal and baby too?


  48. cult-like = animal/baby sacrifice ??
    You better check the wiring of your brain.

  49. Go back to your sewing Ekyo.

  50. It is actually a personality cult.

    Shimano has fostered it for decades with his "magical" and "mysterious" mandalas that all revolve around the importance him and his friends. It's chilling to watch him inculcate magical thinking and Japanese superstition in the minds of gullible students while purporting it ti be "True" Dharma.

  51. "cult-like = animal/baby sacrifice ??"

    ->Is it an equality or identity or assignment?

    "Shimano has fostered it for decades with his 'magical' and 'mysterious' mandalas that all revolve around ..."

    -> Oooo does Shimano also play black magic?
    In America too.


  52. "to assemble these scattered linens in a central location for processing, that we may air, wash, and hang out to dry"

    "these orphaned soiled linens"

    Archivist, Shop Steward, whatever,

    In this sordid little game you play using those harmed by Eido Shimano, it seems we are to think of such people as soiled linen?

    Or are they just pawns in your game?

  53. "->Is it an equality or identity or assignment?"
    If you want to talk about programing, this is not a right place.

    You seem to want to defend ES but unable to do so directly given the outrageous nature of ES's behavior.

    By throwing pointless comments, you are making yourself a smaller clown that serves the Master Clown ES at any cost.

  54. If ES continues to act as the abbot, I suggest we chant the Kama Sutra instead of the Heart Sutra.

  55. Anonymous August 12, 2010 8:01 PM wrote:

    "In this sordid little game you play using those harmed by Eido Shimano, it seems we are to think of such people as soiled linen?"

    Dear Anon. no one ever intended to call the women soiled linen; but I think you really know that. Nevertheless others may be confused.

    "We do not air our dirty linen in public" refers to what some members of the ZSS Board have said for decades about not being forthright and public about dealing the problems of Shimano and the organization.

    The presumption of this idiomatic expression is that there are matters to be dealt with in private, behind closed doors. It initially seemed a reasonable stance. Over time, however, some of us realized that the it was an approach doomed to fail as Shimano proved time and time again to be incorrigible.

    Eventually, even his teacher, the late Soen Roshi, eventually denounced Shimano as "a seducer of women and a liar." (But, many believe that it was too little, too weak, and too late.)

    Those who advocated (and possibly still advocate) discretion were never effective in stopping Shimano from using the Dokusan Room as his personal seduction lair. They never convinced him to get the help necessary to stop the compulsive and spiritually destructive behavior. Nor have they been effective in making the matters of the organization transparent (e.g. assets, holdings, etc.) in general. In fact, these "dirty linen" people have been his most loyal enablers.

    It is clear that a sufficient number of current board members are finally (or at least officially) backing away from that stance, but not so far as to advocate the immediate and unconditional removal of Shimano as abbot and his wife as treasurer. At least not yet. As other have pointed out, there are elements of a cult present in this organization which accounts for the extreme difficult of purging the organization of it's central figure even as his flaws have been apparent for years. It is why some form of hattenteki kaishō 発展的解消 - the dissolution of an organization to make way for its existence in a different form - is being advocated.



  56. He might have been right when he once said to me, "A lot of people cannot wait until I am dead." Yeah, he said that. I regret not asking him why at the time but as I read through all these posts, I think to myself the suppressive nature, the intimidation and the honor holding my tongue. Why would people want you dead? This is my training.

    Now, I completely understand why he said this to me and why I left. He needed protection and eww, tried to deal me in for him self! For his own delusion and mental defect in himself. He hates it and becomes enraged about it because he cannot deal with it. He despises the truth because he cannot control the lies that have accumulated, encompassed and now revealed themselves, publicly.

    The point is, he is a danger and a threat to the well being, the true well being of him self and others, obviously. I am truly, yet sadly grateful for the courage of the people engaging in and outside of this discussion. And to those revealing the truth in-order for healing to take place.

  57. This is Jushin (who promised to stay away but just can't)

    What is kind of scary is the people who continue to support Shimano on this board, and at DBZ/ZSS, especially in light of the frequent "it's a cult!" cry -- scary because their supports are often directly in line with what is expected in behavior of the brainwashed.

    I'm not joking here -- I urge people to read about it. Anybody who has spent any time at DBZ (or any other totalitarian zen center) should read up on brainwashing techniques and common cult forms. It is difficult to find something that is NOT very obviously present in gross abundance at DBZ.

    The "we have to look within ourselves"-or "practice forgiveness"-type response to a leader's corruption is just what you'd expect from cult members.

    Please nobody respond to this point until you read up on it. It's a serious thing. Reading Robin Westin's article shows you a little bit of the difficulties the whistle-blowers go through in such an institution. I went through something similar -- though not nearly so damaging. It IS a cult.

    Sadly, a little study along this line leads one to discover that this applies generally to the "Imperial Zen" form, as it arrived from Japan -- not just to Shimano.

    Not coincidentally, it is this form that so perverted Buddhism to champion Japan's aggressive military actions in the last century -- with almost no dissention throughout the entire Japanese Zen institution (with, instead, ardent, bloody fervor). All this from the "masters" innocent westerners welcomed as saints in the 60's.

    I'll note that U.S. based Rinzai masters Joshu Sasaki and Maezumi were involved in many similar scandals.

    Sasaki still speaks openly, almost every other teisho, about the glory days of Japan's military might, and about his sadness regarding it's end. When he's sad, He's not talking about Hiroshima.

    Zen will only heal when this imperialist tradition is thrown out COMPLETELY.

    It should be obvious to everyone that these men are doing the very opposite of what the Buddha did in his life -- when he LEFT his palace and threw off his crown. Bodhidharma did the same thing (he too was a prince). Rinzai refused all positions and ceremonial honors in the monastery he first entered.

    Isn't this where real Zen begins?

    And for all the screaming Shimano et al do towards their students -- for all their bluster -- who was Rinzai screaming at? The "masters"! And the only time he yelled at his "students" (he didn't even want to call them that) was to implore them NOT to follow these over-dressed, slow motion narcissists!

    His effort was to free people, not to imprison them.

    People like Shimano have done just the opposite all their lives. We shouldn't even be surprised at the scandals and lies.

    Rinzai Zen Buddhism? What we have isn't Rinzai's Rinzai. It isn't Bodhidharma's Zen. It isn't Buddha's Buddhism.

    What is it?

    It's history speaks for itself. Let's get rid of it, or ignore it and watch it die on it's own, as it surely will.

    I have to zay this: Zen would be a vital, dynamic, enjoyable, welcoming thing if it were not for these "masters".

  58. The "soiled linens" being referred to consist of documentary evidence of the history of the Shimanos and The Zen Studies Society, NOT people.

    The people damaged by Shimano and his fantasy "imperial zen" are our brothers and sisters, those who have been hurt by this brutal little man and discarded by the road-side.

  59. Jushin since you travel widely to Asia,
    I would like any input regarding Zen
    practice in China, Vietnam, and Korea.
    I still have good impression of Sheng Yen
    (China) and Nath Hanh (Vietnam).

    How is it compared with Theravadin practised
    by the forrest monks in Thailand? I have
    impression also that the social structure
    of Asian people helps to contain the abuse
    of Buddha's teaching relative to the one
    in the West, since Buddhism is still new here.

    Does Christian culture also help the
    creation of cults? Did you observe if
    Asian members of ZSS being sexually victimized?
    If no, why? Are they always "more careful"
    in meeting or confronting the teacher.

    Hopefully you already come back to NYC safely.

    Note: not all who went or still at ZSS practise
    a cult. Some (a lot) are aware of this. Also
    the story of his Dharma Heir is interesting.
    Is it true?

    Thanks Jushin.

  60. Anonymous August 13, 2010 2:07 AM said...

    Shimano said, "A lot of people cannot wait until I am dead."

    I am glad that your recalled and wrote this.

    Shimano said that to me, too.

    He readily turned around reasonable criticism of his anti-social behavior into victimization. Stronger criticism was turned into persecution.

    Nevertheless, for over forty years strong, sincere practitioners, people of good conscience from both inside and outside the organization have been expressing the same thing, that "' essential that he (Shimano) be removed from Dai Bosatsu and Shoboji. Wherever he goes, he should never again be given a position of primary authority.' "

    If anyone reading this blog is currently with Zen Studies Society, please, remember this "The real authority to be a Rōshi comes from the students." -- Robert Aitken Roshi

    Soen Roshi said this as well this when he gave informal inka to Maurine Stuart.

    Echoing the dedication of the late Robert Aitken -

    May all past and present members of the Zen Studies Society Sangha find rest, peace and fulfillment in our lives; all Buddhas throughout space and time, all Bodhisattvas, Mahāsatvas, the Great Prajñā Paramitā.

  61. Jushin asked

    "Also the story of his Dharma Heir is interesting. Is it true?"

    Today, August 13, 2010, I re-checked the link Genkaku posted:

    This is Google's cache of It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on Jul 8, 2010 21:41:57 GMT. The current page could have changed in the meantime.

    Also, as of today, the current version is substantially the same see

    Since we don't know how long the information will be retained I'll paste the relevant section here:

    Anamchara - A Program of Multifaith Works - [Cached Version]
    Published on: 10/31/2002 Last Visited: 10/12/2003
    Genjo (Joe) Marinello, M.A., is a Buddhist priest and a Quaker with a degree in spiritual direction from U.B.C. Vancouver School of Theology; he also has a M.A. in psychology from Antioch University.He began daily Zen meditation while attending college at UCLA in 1975 and was ordained an unsui (Zen priest in training) in 1980 and an Osho (full priest) in 1990 by Zen Master Genki Takabayashi.From the fall of 1981 and into the winter of 1982, Genjo trained at the Rinzai Zen temple, Ryutaku-Ji, in Japan."Genjo" is the Buddhist name given to him by his teacher and means "heavenly-silence realized."He is also a long time Quaker and member of University Friends Meeting in Seattle, where he has served in pastoral roles.Genjo has written many articles on contemplative training and practice and has been published both locally and nationally.Genjo has served as a teacher at the Center for Spiritual Development, Still Point, Seattle Holistic Center, the Western United States Aikido Association, Antioch University, and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Washington, Seattle University and other regional institutions.For several years he was the volunteer Buddhist pastor of the Twin Rivers Correction Center in Monroe Washington.Currently, he oversees Zen training at his temple Dai Bai Zan Cho Bo Zen Ji (, leads four week-long silent Zen retreats a year, and attends two additional week-long retreats at the Daibosatsu Zen Monastery in New York state.Genjo identifies his sexual orientation as bisexual, has had a long affiliation with the "sex -positive" Society for Human Sexuality ( and is on their list of "Seattle Counselors And Therapists."

  62. Dear Anon. no one ever intended to call the women soiled linen; but I think you really know that.

    I do indeed. This blog so "uneven" in its content that I sometimes throw a stone into the road.

    Your response is good content and appropriate. Thoughtful even tempered and making no attempt to smear others with innuendo.

  63. "Jushin asked..."

    (I didn't ask that)

    But to the person who asked me about sitting in other places/traditions around the world -- I don't think it's appropriate for me to answer here, but I'll happily tell you or anyone about it if you wish to send me an email. Make an anonymous gmail account if you wish to remain incognito... My email is:

    And regarding my brainwashing/cult comments, of course not everyone's brainwashed.... But I'd really like people to google "brainwashing techniques" and read through half a dozen or so links.

    I know not many will, but if you do, you'll find it interesting.

    Near the time I left, everyone knew Shimano was effectively thieving from a donor. Yet there was not anyone else who wished to do anything. Not one person. Instead, people would say "don't disrupt the sangha" or "let it go" or "it's not your concern" or "practice acceptance" or "we must extend love" or "you're right, but don't be attached to being right" or "Roshi is just a manifestation of yourself! You created the situation!" etc. etc. etc.

    Really I heard ALL of these silly things. This stuff would drive me up the wall.

    Really spooky! Cult-like! No?

    So I told the donor myself (actually, I told his friend and asked that he relay the message), as Shimano just lied and lied and then became enraged when I questioned him about it, as is his custom, the infant.

    I can prove this, if anyone's interested. It was only a few thousand dollars. I don't even think the donor cared. But I still have the contacts of the people involved.

  64. Jushin,

    Thanks for your info. One day we will meet soon.
    Remember we had lunch together before sesshin
    to your "special choice" diner at Livingston
    Manor (it was fun though).

  65. "Jushin asked..."

    (I didn't ask that)

    Somebody did.

    With 267 entries and growing it's a little confusing at times

  66. Anonymous August 13, 2010 1:47 PM wrote

    "I told the donor myself (actually, I told his friend and asked that he relay the message), as Shimano just lied and lied and then became enraged when I questioned him about it, as is his custom, the infant.

    "I can prove this, if anyone's interested. It was only a few thousand dollars. I don't even think the donor cared. But I still have the contacts of the people involved."

    Yes, please share the information.

  67. Please send the information to:

    The Archive Project
    Post Office Box 213
    Sedgwick, Maine 04676

  68. O boy Kobutsu more bad things to collect about Eido. Your life has not had such purpose since your drug-dealing days. Or is that someone else?

  69. ^^^^^^

    See? That's what I mean when I say cult-like. Why the personal attacks on the guy? Why put him through that? I don't know Kobutsu, but even if he IS doing what he's doing out of heated, vengeful spite (and I seriously doubt he is), he's not the criminal here.

    On this issue (theft from a donor), you are effectively harboring the thief and condemning those who wish to protect the public. Do you even realize that? I mentioned this attitude in my last post.

    To bring to light an unfortunate event in the hopes of making it right isn't an "attack" on Shimano or anyone's "authority" or "this great tradition" or "Japanese culture" or anything else. But at DBZ, it's always taken that way.

    To me, this was the single most amazing thing about life up there, and at some other monasteries as well -- the blind, aggressive onslaught of the zealots.

    Why not just say "oops! a mistake was made! let's tell the guy and return his money!"

    How come nobody up there thinks that way? It's obvious to everyone here that Shimano doesn't. But why the rest of you? What do you gain? Really, somebody say!


  70. Is there any update from the board?
    Where is the promised "transparency"?
    By letting Shimano do what he has been doing, what is the use of the board?

    I suggest the board set up a new section on the ZZS website and post update at the least every week. If they cannot, they should step down.

    What is the "outside help"?
    My, the same old back-door dealing...

  71. Anonymous August 14, 2010 8:12 AM

    "I suggest the board set up a new section on the ZZS website and post update at the least every week. If they cannot, they should step down."

    Instead of calling on the board as a group we need to call on nine individuals one by one.

    The current members of the ZSS Board are:
    Carl Yuho Baldini
    Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat
    Joe Soun Dowling
    Seigan Glassing
    Genjo Marinello
    Chris Shoteki Phelan
    Randy Banko Philips
    Richard Zenshin Rudin
    Jim Togen Streit

    Carl. Sherry. Joe. Seigan. Genjo. Chris. Randy. Richard. Jim.

    You are nine individual with hearts and minds who right now hold so much influence over the destiny of not only Zen Studies Society, but of American Zen Buddhism, and American Buddhism.

    Each one of you has the power and ability to influence each other.
    Each one of you has one vote.
    Each one of you can make a proposal and to ask that a vote be taken.
    Each of you is responsible primarily to the sangha and of course to the Dharma.
    Each of you has fiduciary responsibilities with respect to federal and local government.

    Anyone of you who wants to clean up 45 years years of accumulated mess at Zen Studies Society MUST NOT RESIGN simply because the majority will not budge or think all they need to do is to ride out the current storm.

    Even it's only one person, hopefully you can be steadfast in protecting the Dharma and do not give up. But know enough to reach out for help whether it be legal, psychological or spiritual as it is needed.


    Train harder. Study. Prepare yourself.

    Know for certain that literally hundreds if not thousands of people, of bodhisattvas, are behind you!

  72. Carl, Sherry, Joe, Seigan, Genjo, Chris, Randy, Richard, Jim;
    Do not take lightly you fiduciary responsibilities. Your Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance policy will not protect you from personal liability for Mr. Shimano’s transgressions on your watch. Every D&O policy application asks a question to the effect of “Are there any circumstances (per-existing conditions) that might have any bearing on future claims that might be made against the insured?” If that question is answered “yes” the application will be refused - if it is answered “no” – (in the case of the Zen Studies Society) it would be a lie. Whichever way, you either have no insurance coverage or the coverage you do have will be held invalid under investigation and you individual Board members will be personally liable for any claims brought to bear.

    If the Board allows Mr. Shimano to conduct dokusan with female students they are failing in their responsibility to take appropriate measures to protect female students from Mr. Shimano’s predatory sexual proclivities. Such a failure can be seen as criminal in view of the Board’s obligation to the Zen Studies Society Charter and ethical guidelines. This matter comes under the jurisdiction of the New York State Attorney General.

    A young woman just came forward at the end of June and illustrated the lack of fiduciary responsibility and oversight of the Board and DBZ Staff. To let Mr. Shimano continue to teach is a complete abdication of Board ethical and fiduciary responsibilities. This is an extremely serious situation that can only be dealt with by removing Mr. Shimano completely from a position of authority. In the words of Dr. Tadao Ogura in 1982, “The great energy that has enabled him to make such a splendid contribution at Dai Bosatsu and Shoboji has also been channeled into sexual energy. But this energy he is completely unable to control. This coupled with his lying, makes it essential that he be removed from Dai Bosatsu and Shoboji. Wherever he goes, he should never again be given a position of primary authority.' "

    You are now facing forced transparency; you are on notice that your actions have drawn the attention of the World Wide Buddhist Sangha, the American people and American law enforcement agencies.

    Make the right decision, you no longer have a choice not to.

  73. We should not be afraid of shutting down the current the ZSS as it is. Unfortunately the board still keeps letting Shimano do dokusan and, by putting the same website with Shimano being the abbot and in charge, they have officially set themselves and the entire ZSS as liable as Shimano for his past, present and future behavior.

    Sorry to tell this but they already proved to be incompetent or have no willingness to face the reality and do needed tough job. They should go.

    It has been getting more and more clear that this organization has NO capability to cleanup itself. If this is the case, we better shut down this organization, which has nothing to do with zen but obsessed with sex, money and other greed. The proceed from liquidation will do much better things to real people who are suffering.

    People, wake up.
    With no men, no zen.
    Zen that is completely separated from our daily lives is not real zen.


  75. As long as ES case never goes to public
    media and no complaint from victims,
    everything will run as usual at DBZ.

  76. And of course Attorney General will be reluctant
    to proceed. Only with media and real complaints
    they will proceed.

  77. For the first time ever countless former Sangha members of the ZSS are able to come together and tell the truth. Countless former members have been manipulated, told lies, and or sexually abused and as a result left due to this horrific corruption. For Forty-six years...?!!!!

    This is OUR Zendo. The American peoples. Not Shimano's!

    After what he has done and what he is capable of, it might be in everyone's best interest that WE do something about it.

  78. See ... he is back. He will give a sesshin
    in Europe! I am sorry for the board, my
    feeling they are split in the middle. The
    Sangha too are split. Most NYC sangha members
    are mad like hell to ES, but most nuns at
    DBZ remains in tact with ES (This is a matter
    of economics I think. NYC sangha are mostly
    professional, while most nuns at DBZ never
    succeed in professional life, otherwise
    they will leave too). Or Jushin and Ippo
    could give better explanation.

  79. Perhaps one DBZ nun could succeed professionally as a dominatrix at a NYC S&M club?

  80. Can we call for an election of new board member?
    As far as they are there, nothing will happen given what they have done so far. It is a joke that one of them is a former sex partner of Shimano. I heard one of them left, but still on the board??

    With internet, it is so easy to find docs and articles that connect each member of the ZSS with this sex-cult organization. That could be your potential investor, employer, spouse, girl/boy friend, colleague ... literally anyone who is important and influential to your life.

    Especially after this story goes to public, we will be a certified member of an exotic zen-sex cult organization. You better abandon running for a public office.

    Those live on people's good will such as donation have to be really careful how to behave themselves. If they cannot live up to a common sense based standard, they are parasite and need to be gotten rid of. Although not a huge amount, I really resent wasting my money donating to them. That should have been used for other causes including people suffering under the current recession instead of supporting Shimano's sex palace.

    Let's discuss what we could do given the inaction of the useless board.
    1. Call for election of the entire board.
    2. Maybe contact to the head temple in Japan suggesting a possibility of official investigation by the AG's office, which would be a great disgrace for them?
    3. Media?

  81. The Zen Studies Society was originally a membership corporation. However, over the years, that changed.

    If you go through the archives you will find that in 1970 ['s/19700112_ZSS_Townhouse.pdf] ZSS WAS a membership corporation. You will also find that by 1993 ZSS was NO LONGER a membership corporation, "The Corporation (herein sometimes referred to as the Society) shall have no members." ['s/19930130_ZSS_Bylaws.pdf]

    If people were led to believe they were "members" of ZSS they were misled. The move from a membership corporation to a non-membership corporation meant that there could never be a rebellion of the membership to force change. If people paid dues thinking that they were dues paying "members" of the ZSS they were mistaken, if not defrauded.

    There is no "head temple" in Japan, ZSS is completely independent, Shimano took care of this matter in 1982 - ['s/19821019_ZSS_Board.pdf] "After some discussion, upon motion duly made and seconded, it was RESOLVED that the Zen Studies Society acknowledges and declares Eido Tai Shimano Roshi to be the founder, and the first and present abbot of Dai Bosatsu Zendo Kongo-ji and New York Zendo Shobo-ji; and Soen Roshi and the late Nyogen Senzaki to be honorary founders; and that Dai Bosatsu Zendo Kongo-ji and New York Zendo Shobo-ji are and will remain independent from any other Zen Buddhist organization here or abroad."

  82. "Carl, Sherry, Joe, Seigan, Genjo, Chris, Randy, Richard, Jim; Do not take lightly you fiduciary responsibilities. Your Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance policy will not protect you from personal liability for Mr. Shimano’s transgressions on your watch."

    Anon Aug. 14, 1250 -- Does this mean that directors might be liable for actions on their watch even though they quit the board?

  83. Good information.
    Then what is the process to elect board member?

    Although Shimano skillfully severed the official tie with the head temple of Myoshin-ji, he still relies on his informal relationship with them such as bringing Yamakawa-roshi from Shogen-ji for the coming Golden Wing Sesshin, which I assume is based on their perception that Shimano is doing well. He was so proud of the reward from a Buddhist association in Japan for his "achievement of spreading Zen in the U.S" a few years ago. Revelation of his decades-long abuse of zen to continue his sex adventure will damage his standing in Japan and, maybe his relationship with Japan.

    What is your thought?

  84. "... that Dai Bosatsu Zendo Kongo-ji and New York Zendo Shobo-ji are and will remain independent from any other Zen Buddhist organization here or abroad"

    That explains.
    So Shimano has no reason/obligation to teach zen after being set free from the Japanese zen society.

    Maybe what he has been teaching us is ZEX(= ZEN + SEX). Man, I didn't know that I have been practicing Zex for many years...

  85. "Anon Aug. 14, 1250 -- Does this mean that directors might be liable for actions on their watch even though they quit the board?"

    Absolutely, even if a Board Member quits, they still have to answer for their actions while in office. They cannot be held liable for any Board actions after they quit, but they still bear responsibility for what went down on their watch. This also holds true for all former Board members in years past. Judging from the archives, this set comprises a LOT of people. ZSS Board resignations are astonishing in their number and frequency.

  86. Board members can only be elected by vote of the existing board.... unless the Attorney General steps in and places the Corporation in receivership. I don't know how the AG would proceed at that point in time.

  87. I want all my dues back... I thought I was a member of ZSS. This is outrageous, what first appeared to be a sex scandal is now revealed as system-wide corruption on a massive scale. We regular "members" were kept completely in the dark.


  88. "Board members can only be elected by vote of the existing board"

    This means there is nothing we can directly do to fix this corrupt organization. So there are only two options: to leave and forget it as a nightmare or to raise the awareness of the public, both U.S and Japan, on this cult organization and create a pressure for the useless board to be sacred and do something.

    Truly helpless organization.
    What a joke it has been, bowing and listening to the old sex monster that is consist of only greed. As a matter of fact, Shimano is a biggest devil or hungry ghost.

  89. "Senior" at the ZSS means "more corrupt" and "more clueless".In ordinary expression, "BIG LOSER."

  90. Tis is what each of us who have been betrayed by Eido Shimano and his organization can do: File a complaint form with the New York State Department of Law - Charities Bureau under Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo. The form is available on line here:

    Anyone can file these Complaint/Inquiry forms... even for such a small matter of questioning dues payment and requesting the return of same. This is our voice and if enough of us step up and file, the Attorney General will take notice. zIt only takes a few minutes to fill in the form, an envelope and a postage stamp. Oh, and above all, the WILL to do what is right....

  91. ZSS is an independent non-membership
    corporation, there is no formal affiliation
    with any Japanese Zen center but there is
    informal relatonship with some Japanese Temple
    (with Shogen-ji for example). Also ES in 2004
    received prestigious award from Bukkyo Dendai
    Kyokai (BDK) as excellent Zen teacher
    (before this case being opened to the public -
    so BDK is also deceived).

    Any Japanese organizations are usually very
    sensitive to complaints and they will listen to
    us if they are notified. Here are the address of
    BDK in Japan and its reps. in America.

    Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai
    3-14, 4-chome
    Shiba Minato-ku
    Tokyo 108-0014 Japan
    Tel. (03) 3455-5851

    Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and
    Numata Center for Buddhist Translation & Research
    2620 Warring Street
    Berkeley, CA 94704
    Tel: (510) 843-4128 Fax: (510) 845-3409

    Regarding Yamakawa, he is a very nice and
    honest Roshi. I think somebody should notify
    him (Shogen-ji)before he is dragged into this
    poisenous swamp.

    I am also sorry with current board members.
    I cannot blame them all. Some were elected
    recently but before this case opened to public,
    hence they did not know the depth of the
    problems. Yuho for example is still new
    (look at the year he was appointed as a board
    member). My feeling is that Yuho is also
    knew 'member' of ZSS so he did not know either
    the depth of previous scandals. This
    case could drag his professional career down.
    Contrary to common perceptions, Genjo is
    totally pissed off with ES. There is a writing
    in this blog that mentioned one of the member
    was a sex partner of ES before. It is shocking,
    because it directly points to the only female
    member of the board. She should resign first!

    Attorney General will not move if there are no
    complaints from any victims. Even if there
    are complaints usually they move slowly unless
    media (newspaper) takes this issue.
    Do you think BP would respond seriously about
    oil disaster in the Gulf without media
    coverage? Do you think Toyota would respond
    promptly and responsibly about the brake problem
    unless media reported it? One should not
    underestimate the power of the fourth column
    of democracy, the media.

    Regarding the non-membership organization,
    certainly this will make members of Shobo-ji
    more mad because they pay monthly due for ZSS
    membership. Is it the reason why there is
    no annual financial report? One can google
    Wikipedia and look for keyword Chester Carlson
    and find two references about financial
    matters that made Doris pissed off with ZSS.

    One more thing that made Shobo-ji members mad.
    ES in his teisho always emphasized zen students
    need to be honest and have gratitude. Yet in
    current situation, ES deceives everybody and
    feels no remorse (think and act as usual). He
    does not give an example of gratitude being
    supported financially and spiritually by
    Shobo-ji members, and acts as if this
    sangha is expendable. True unfortunate. If I
    were ES I would resign (or take a very long
    long sabbatical).

  92. Do you have the address for Shogen-ji?

  93. Robert Baker Aitken, Roshi Final Interview - Excerpt of Comments on Eido Shimano.

    Aitken, Roshi Passed Away Three Days Later on August 5, 2010.

    An excerpt from the final interview given by Aitken, Roshi to Joel Whitney, a freelance reporter for Tricycle Magazine.

    Present, by invitation, were Lynn Davis and Kobutsu Malone.

    Recorded with permission of Aitken, Roshi by Kobutsu Malone and Lynn Davis.

  94. Woah!

    Good on Aitken Roshi, good on Kobutsu Malone.

  95. Feigning deep concern, the Japanese temple will very politely decline to do anything. The more effort that you put in this direction, the more creative will be their kindly deflections. This will go on for years, until you give up.

    May as well try, but if you start to get the feeling that they are sort of putting you on, best to move your attention elsewhere.

  96. Roko wasn't just a sex partner. She was married, was having an affair with Shimano. Left with many others when the Sangha found out. He was alone. She negotiated her return, got transmission, runs the Syracuse center.

  97. Roko was always ambitious; she would stop at nothing to get what was most important to her, the “credential.” How ironic, she got her wish ruining her marriage in the process, yet continued to curry favor with the man she knew far better than most to be completely corrupt. In the midst of the downfall she stood up at the AZTA meeting and read a “love poem” to Shimano. What was she thinking?

    Of what value is her “credential” now? It is perhaps as the Diamond Sutra says: "Like a falling star, like a bubble in a stream, Like a flame in the wind, like frost in the sun, Like a flash of lightning or a passing dream -- So should you understand the world of the ego.”

    Genjo was played the fool; he also was so enamored with his “credential” that he could not see what was in front of his nose. He thought that if he just pleased the crook, emulated him, posed in a certain manner, affected the “dramatic” speech of Shimano, he was somehow a practitioner of “True Dharma” worthy of title and brocade - far from it…

    Roko is already setting her sights on gaining control of DBZ and what’s left of the ZSS Empire. Her ambition still rules. Genjo is hurt, confused, and angry.

    Roko would best proceed by resigning from the Board; her ability to make independent decisions for the good of the parishioners of the ZSS is thoroughly compromised.

    Genjo would best proceed by making a public apology to the Maha Sangha, specifically to the men he castigated not so long ago and especially to the one man who stood up fearlessly to speak the truth that he dismissed with ridicule. Let him be as public with his apology as he was in his defense of his thoroughly corrupt master.

  98. It's Jushin

    You guys get a group of people together and just create a new Zen -- look at the scandals at Mt. Baldy, SF Zen Center, Tassajara, Baker, Maezumi.. Everywhere....

    Why do people keep looking toward these kings of tradition? That's all they are. Look at them! They are like little babies playing dress-up, wanting all their lives for people to worship them, crying for the fanciest clothes. They have never grown up, and they forgot they are playing.

    Just move into DBZ and ignore Shimano, et al. Mr. 11:48 is right. It's everyone's place, so go there. Relax a bit. Do only the necessary work, then jump in the lake. If the nuns or "masters" start screaming, try to sooth them (with candy?), but don't obey them. Have a good time. Find ways to ignore Shimano... Bring a ping pong table for the lounge, and detour downstairs during dokusan -- take turns playing -- winner stays, loser walks. Why not enjoy yourselves?

    Announce What you want during morning meeting "there will be an extremely informal fettucine and wine dinner instead of the evening sit today". Willfully ignore any protests from the old guard.

    If anyone new shows up, say "don't go to dokusan! this fancy old baboon will grab your crotch!" and get them into the ping pong line.

    There's nothing wrong with having a good time while sitting. It's better. It's these "serious" samurai types that cause all the trouble. And it's the ones that follow them that make things miserable. It takes a certain type of individual to grab all the BS and start screaming maniacally at others when they step on an imaginary line on the floor. It's these imaginary line experts that go on to become Roshi, so they can give long speeches about "acceptance". Unbelievable.

    I'm just tired.

    Why do you think Rinzai used the term host/guest instead of master/student or teacher/disciple? How does a host make a guest feel? Who serves whom?

    Look at these overdressed megalomaniac clowns! They are all the opposite!

    Those of you who are saddened by Shimano et al. know that you would NEVER behave the same way. It's WHY you are surprised. So why do you keep looking for someone to "teach" you the truth? You are obviously already much farther along than any of these "masters". Just sit together. Throw out what's not needed.

    Easy to talk the talk. That's what THEY do. You people are ALREADY walking the walk. That's what you have to understand. I've been everywhere.

    Just go up to DBZ, sit together. Be happy, and learn how NOT to follow lying, angry, hurtful, deceptive people -- that's real zen anyway. Easy just to sit and help others sit. Let the old, useless things sort of fall away. Squat up there. bring your friends. Wear only the most comfortable clothes everywhere. Be happy. Invite Shobo-Ji people up for potluck weekends by the lake. Make it nice. Just have a good time and do something real and good for people. It IS your place.

    And the truth is, if you do this, Shimano will leave.

  99. Jushin,

    I disagree with you.
    Do you think all the people who stayed after the past scandals are brain-washed? I am pretty sure that some of them had a similar idea to what you just articulated. Look at the results.
    This is a calculated and systematic act based on a platform specially set up for the purpose.

    Too be happy and go back to DBZ or Shobo-ji just makes Shimano and Co happier. A very bad idea.

  100. Following you proposed tack Jushin will result in arrest for trespass.

  101. In defense of Jushin. Let us take an
    example of Shobo-ji. Who owns the zendo?
    Roshi and his wife, or the Board or Sangha?
    If it is not owned by ES+ wife, then if the
    board and Sangha have nice sitting ignoring
    ES and his wife, they cannot be arrested for

    How is about changing the lock? This will
    prevent the "master" of claiming the
    ownership of the zendo.

  102. It's owned by the Corporation, which is administered by the Board. The "Sangha" are only invited guests, they have no power, no legal standing whatsoever.

    Having a key does not confer "ownership" only access. Changing the lock won't do squat, Aiho in her fits of paranoia, has had the Shobo-Ji locks changed so many times over the years after someone leaves their good graces that she is probably on a first name basis with all the local locksmiths.

  103. A major impediment for the Zen Studies Society has always been Eido Shimano’s mental deficits, most specifically his borderline personality disorder. Check the Wikipedia entry for a brief outline:

    Shimano has consistently destroyed the ZSS sangha over, and over, and over, and over again through the years. He is fundamentally insecure and unable to function in the real world outside of his opulent cocoon at DBZ and during his brief visits to Shobo-Ji. Shimano is unable to function in an egalitarian community; he is only comfortable playing the completely dominant personality surrounded by people who are totally submissive.

    It is unfortunate that he has fractured the Sangha repeatedly; this is a grave infraction for a supposed Buddhist priest. It is interesting to note that this very blog is the first time ever disenfranchised former ZSS parishioners have been able to gather together to discuss the problem in the open.

    Us communicating here is perhaps the beginning of the reconciliation of the dispossessed parishioners of the Zen Studies Society that Jiro spoke of. We seem to share one common perspective, that being the necessity for Eido Shimano to say sayonara and go back to Japan, or to Costa Rica, or Mogadishu. The man is poison to community and so long as he is associated with the organization he will destroy what we, the parishioners, build. He, and his close supporters have to go if ZSS is to survive and thrive, as it should have done over the past forty years. Unless the ZSS house is cleaned completely the same tired patterns will continue to repeat. It’s time to really wake up.

  104. "Having a key does not confer 'ownership' only access". This is the point. It means that
    ES and his wife do not own Shobo-ji. The
    corporation does. If the board (particularly
    the ones coming from Shobo-ji) agrees with
    Sangha, the board can change the lock and
    allow sangha members to sit in disregarding
    ES. ES and his wife already resign from the
    board, so they do not have anything to say
    about changing the lock. And Jushin now
    can sit in at Shobo-ji ... no?

  105. The only body that can make decision = Board.
    Board members: elected by existing members.
    Existing members: elected by Shimano's slaves including his former sex partner.

    What do you expect?

  106. They need to leave in a bit more formal manner than having the locks changed to keep them out. What of the cooperative apartment that Aiho inhabits? That is ZSS property, ZSS pays the maintenance on it, what of their medical insurance? ZSS pays that too, along with a myriad of other ties and obligations... If the Shimano's are forced out you can be sure they will retain legal counsel and fight the ouster.... at least until it gets to be deposition time at which point Eido will abscond or become too ill or a myriad of other excuses not to go through with it. He is too proud and frightened to be deposed or cross examined in an American court room. A good lawyer would make mincemeat out of the so-called Zen master under cross examination in open court.

  107. I feel the board splits already. The new
    board members are more open, only one or two
    still defend ES.

    Let us not talk about ES apartment, but
    concentrate/focus with current issue first,
    "sitting in Zendo" aka changing the lock.
    (so Jushin and others can sit happily ever
    after, or can do yoga after sitting).
    Apartments and others we deal later.

  108. "To be happy and go back to DBZ or Shobo-ji just makes Shimano and Co happier. A very bad idea. "

    I really dopn't think you understood what I was talking about at all. Trust me. Shimano and those that serve him would not be happy to have me or any other reasonable people of this board up there.

    (besides, I can't go. I'm far away.)

    The people who stayed after past scandals stayed and continued to serve Roshi as per the tradition -- they "believe" in some mystical magic that is somehow more important than what was very obviously in front of their eyes. This is what I mean by "brainwashed" -- serving a thief, sex abuser under the blind idealism of "Zen".

    And yes. From what I went through, I'd call these people -- many of them -- "brainwashed". Sorry, friend. Look it up. You get a roomful of people "teaching" others to "open your heart and accept" his high upon high holiness as he lies and steals and molests women. Isn't it obvious that that's exactly what is still going on?

    You want to know how NOT to be arrested for trespass? Go to the local cops first. Show them the archive. Explain that you were members of ZSS -- that it was your money and effort that built it. The people around there know about him. They won't bother you.

    Don't put any faith in the board. The board won't do anything. They would have done it by now, right (*brainwashed*)? Even if they do, they would just replace him with another slow motion megalomaniac, as that is the tradition, and, like Shimano, tradition is all they see.

  109. Or get Soun (from the board -- or someone else) to write a letter saying it's OK. He might do this. Shimano's not on the board anymore. You could stay there just on that evidence. If the rest of the board disagrees, they will have to debate it and debate it.


  110. oh... somebody already said that... thanks man.

    Go up there and have the best time you can and talk it out and sit together in a circle. No more imperial Zen nonsense. Invite everyone. I would really like to help. I'll come when I can.

  111. Anonymous 5:46AM said:

    "Roko was always ambitious; she would stop at nothing to get what was most important to her, the 'credential.' How ironic, she got her wish ruining her marriage in the process, yet continued to curry favor with the man she knew far better than most to be completely corrupt. In the midst of the downfall she stood up at the AZTA meeting and read a 'love poem' to Shimano. What was she thinking?"

    Wooow .. is she still falling in love?
    When I googled "chayat eido scandal", I got

    "In a Women's Retreat at the Guest House on Beecher Lake at Dai Bosatsu Zendo in the early 90's (?), attended by the wife of the then current Chair of Board of Directors of the Zen Study Society, several of Eido Roshi's ordained nuns, including Sherry Chayat, and long-time students, Sherry Chayat admitted to having an affair with Eido Roshi when she was resident at Dai Bosatsu. The affair led to her divorce. Why, if she had been so distressed by the affair would she return so many years later to continue study with him? In no time at all she had received inka from him and still continues to teach as his heir in her zendo in upstate New York."

    So is it true?

  112. Yes it's true. This was once on the public discussion section of Wikipedia. Genjo had the section blocked. The whole thing is rotten.

  113. Whoa ... so let us call ZSS = Zen Sex Society.
    or Zesty Sex Society.

  114. It's not just about sex.... that is just one facet. One does not need a DSM to get the picture.

  115. People ought to read Zen at War and The Rape of Nanking to get an idea of the social mindset from which this ultra-nationalist, imperialist tradition was born.

    Why not read them? Confused by the corruption and deception at US Zen centers, I read both.

    Here's a good review of both books:

  116. I once tried to get Denko to read Zen At War -- after he screamed at a couple of kids and kicked them out for arriving late to tea. He said "not interested".

  117. Most of the so-called “second generation” Zen teachers out there are still stuck in “replica Zen” - they are posing in the form of their Eastern teachers. There are very few Zen teachers who are able to practice Zen in a “blue-collar” American form at this time.

    Shimano is well known for propagating this replica form. He even laughs about it, poking ridicule at us Americans and self-validating his need for absolute control. He mandates breakfast of rice gruel, raw egg and seaweed… and then sends already tired people out to cut, split and stack firewood in a cold climate. Ever see Mr. Shimano out on the wood crew Jushin?

    Denko’s refusal to even read something his teacher disapproves of places him in an untenable position. The “I won’t investigate the contents of a book because it upsets my teacher or threatens to alter my perception of my replication of the Rinzai tradition” attitude can hardly be seen as engaging in critical thinking.

    Many American Zen teachers “pose” in their presentation disconsciously to curry favor with their Eastern teachers, going so far as to affect their “imperial Zen” styles, even to the point of affecting their teacher’s speech patterns, broken English or “dramatic” presentation style.

    You can listen to examples of this “replica Zen” style in Genjo Marinello’s “teishos.” His “Kanchiketsu” talk is particularly germane to this thread.

  118. "Ever see Mr. Shimano out on the wood crew Jushin?"

    Although I do not agree with Shimano's sexual
    and deceiving conduct, I say 'yes' answering
    previous question. I worked with him in
    wood crew twice, splitting the logs.


  119. Two days out of how many?

  120. "Shimano is well known for propagating this replica form. He even laughs about it, poking ridicule at us Americans and self-validating his need for absolute control."

    I deeply despise Shimano for his shameless act but, man, don't overstretch the facts. I saw the movies clip and saw no issue there. He acknowledged he is both a blessing and pain for Americans due to his insistent of doing things Japanese way. It didn't strike me as insulting Americans.

    I think it is ok to make fun of him and blame him but to bend a fact seems to be quite mean.
    The Rape of Nangking is totally unacceptable and the Japanese should be blamed forever for that. But we knew it when we joined this cult organization. What is the point to bring it up now?

    Shimano deserves all the shame, blame and curse, together with his sex friends and servants and we should focus on this instead of bashing "everything Japanese." If you hate Japanese things, why did you stay given there are many other more Americanized zendo's?

  121. I saw him do wood crew for two successive days in a two year period.

  122. This is Jushin.

    I don't expect an old man to haul wood, unless I'm the old man.

    The point of the books isn't to blame anybody. And no... No people should be blamed forever, no matter what was done. If we did that, the world would quickly spiral into hell. Have to give people the space to look at themselves and change. It can't be forced. It can only be invited.

    But I have to say.. Shimano, personally, didn't do that! He was from that particular period/class/frame of mind, and prided himself on it. Still does, I'm afraid.

    I read them. The books explain a lot. They show that this was the case historically, pervasively, for Japanese Zen -- especially for the Rinzai sect. The Rape of Nanking shows what was going on, and Zen at War shows The Zen institution's position on what was going on. That's all.

    And I had no idea this was the case. I grew up with Karate and Samurai movies and the idea of honor. There was always a really cool guy in those movies. A poor, kind family man who has holes in his sleeves but is actually the world's best swordsman. They were really good movies. Shimano and some other Zen masters took me by complete surprise. The hatred and deception that I found was unbelievable to me.

    Who would choose to live that way? You'd never be able to relax! You could never even enjoy your time with anyone! You'd have to sit there juggling lies and your little slow motion show and your hatreds and your secret urges all the time! A completely false life! A horrible life! The worst on earth! You could never even say "zounds! look there! a fine looking woman!" if the need arose. You'd have to remain in your sorry little character!

    I just wanted to understand.

    Somebody build out a happy, healthy place somewhere where people can sit together and joke around in off time, with nothing for these power-mad Steven Segal clones to grab onto.

  123. "Who would choose to live that way? You'd never be able to relax! .... A completely false life! A horrible life!"

    Some good words, Jushin. I would only add "...and an addictive life for people who see power as the way to lead life."

  124. So now Shimano's former mistress is being installed as Vice Abbot?

    From the ZSS Site:

    " Shinge Roshi Roko Sherry Chayat, who will be installed as Vice Abbot, Dec. 31, 2010, will offer dokusan from January 2011 on. Roshi will actively continue in his role as Abbot of the society until he retires, April 8, 2012, but he will not be seeing new students for dokusan. "

  125. What's a joke!!
    Shimano's ex-sex partner!
    And retire in 2012!??
    I am sure that things will change by that time and Shimano will resume his reign.

    All the board members, SHAME ON YOU!!

  126. They've taken down the list of Board members they had up... guess they have lost a few?

  127. There'll be a real cat-fight with Roko and Fujin.

  128. "Somebody build out a happy, healthy place somewhere where people can sit together and joke around in off time, with nothing for these power-mad Steven Segal clones to grab onto."

    Why not you?

  129. So Shimano will be around for plenty of time for the lawsuits to start hitting. Apparently the "Business as usual" faction of the Board has again triumphed. So much for "transparency" - Ah well. Putting Roko in there will decrease their already waning credibility and further retard the possibility for growth. It really was a shameful move. I bet the board members with assets will be scrambling to hide and divest before the coming storm.

  130. 1) ES retires in 2012? How is about his
    statement that he would retire in 2004
    (yes 2004) ... expect he retires in 2018
    or never et all.

    2) Shinge election as Vice Abbot is no
    surprise et all. But watch out this
    dynamics between Fujin and Roko. My
    observation, Fujin is ES's bumper or
    bulldozer to kick the ass of monks and
    nuns and kick off previous vice abbot.
    But now the vice abbot is former mistress.
    Who will win?

    3) It seems the board split. Someone already
    give hints for Jushin to create 'heavenly
    sangha' (do we need sex too here?).

    4) It seems no serious moves from Maha-Sangha
    to sue or to expose ES's crimes (to media).
    Life as usual too for Maha-Sangha since 45
    years ago.

  131. An interesting observation, if I may interject... It would appear that all of Eido's supporter have shut up at the moment. Interesting to say the least. Also, on a personal note, Fujins an asshole! Again, no surprise there. Merely a simple observation.

  132. Day to day modeling for Jushin's heavenly sangha could be a question.

    What would Eido do? Then do anything but.

    No sex? Are not we speaking of religion? The Shakers already tried this and they are extinct.

  133. "It would appear that all of Eido's supporter have shut up at the moment. Interesting to say the least."

    Given the interests and intent of this blog who would waste time preaching to this choir?

  134. I want to second the commenter who wrote:

    "This means there is nothing we can directly do to fix this corrupt organization."

    However I take issue with the options. I see them differently:

    Leaving or staying are options.
    (I left seems most others here seem to have as well. Personally, the more one knows about the organization leaving or not affiliating with the organization may be the only sensible options.)

    Forgetting or, more likely _ignoring_ what has gone on are options.
    (I can't forget or ignore and it seems neither can others who have been weighing in here.)

    Choosing whether or not to raise the public awareness of the numerous problems of this organization is an option.

    Doing what one can to create a pressure for the board to do something is an option.

    Quibbling? Perhaps. Clarifying? Perhaps.

  135. I read and verified on the ZSS / DBZ site that Sherry Chayat, one of Eido's long time students and one who has openly and repeatedly admitted to being a former lover, is headed to become Vice Abbot.

    Does this woman really think she will have wide credibility and respect regardless of her history? Clearly, she does. Not exactly Hakuin's Torei
    But, Wow! What nerve!!
    She is truly a Shimano heir; all told may be even THE Shimano heir.

    So... we are back to "This means there is nothing we can _directly_ do to fix this corrupt organization."

    As Soen started:
    "Let True Dharma Continue.
    International Dai Bosatsu Zendo
    Become Complete."

  136. Are there other viable options for practice in New York State? Where do you go from here?

  137. "Does this woman really think she will have wide credibility and respect regardless of her history?"

    But she can sing though ... notice her
    Dharma talk, she always sing (and most students
    fall asleep).

  138. Even taking control back of ZSS seems a bit like buying General Motors for a dollar.

    "Yay! What? What do you mean I also just got all their financial liabilities?"

    Even if Eido and board were gone, wouldn't the new incarnation still be liable for all the past debts and lawsuits incurred by the cooperation?

  139. Genjo silence is thundering. Is he finish with imperial zen? Can he bravely make contact and know Kobutsu "blue-collar" zen?

    Roko action matches Shimano - ambitious and arrogant. Business as usual cannot be other wise. New boss, old boss..... sad.

  140. Now someone sings:

    "To dream the impossible dream ..(be a roshi)
    To reach the unreachable star ..(be an abbot)
    this is my quest ... (to kick Fujin's ass).



  142. Please don't assume that I have any connection to a "branded" form of Zen, blue-collar, "trade marked" or otherwise.

  143. Maybe here Genjo is silent. Check out his temple's website, he has had much to say about Eido and his behavior. None of what he says is critical of the behavior, rather more defensive. In general though, the ZSS is much more transparent than it was in the old days. Not allowing Eido to have dokusan with new students is a good step, and with a retirement date looming in less than 2 years a new structure of running the place with begin to form. What with the Board asking for any current and previous complaints re: Eido's behavior for serious evaluation, and the promise to look into the financial structure what more is needed? I'm sure whatever is done short of a jail sentence won't please some of you here, but I feel the board is taking steps in the right direction for once in protecting unsuspecting students from the uncontrollable, predatory behavior of Eido.

  144. What are you looking at on his web site? URL? Date?

    A thorough reading of the archives will reveal why people are cynical of approaching any "Board" of the ZSS. Their most recent move, putting Roko in as Vice Abbot, has plummeted their credibility in the minds of many.

    Prior boards "took steps" and they lead nowhere....

  145. I think the best for board credibility
    and ES is:

    1) OK ... he resigns as abbot in April 2012,
    but he could have sabbatical starting, say,
    January 01 - 2011.

    2) At least ES shows public remorse, at least
    in front of the Shobo-ji sangha (as they
    are the backbone of ZSS). He could show
    in his first teisho this coming September.

    3) Board has to have annual financial
    report preferably monthly (like in some
    Catholic church) and accessible to Sangha

    4) There should be a clear cut management
    of Shobo-ji after Aiho retirement (not always
    so in previous years, new committee was
    dissolved (not functioned properly) after
    one or two months of its formation.

    5) As a compromise the vice abbot might be
    given to Roko, but this does not mean
    automatic promotion to abbotship when ES
    retires (preferably given in written
    statement). The position of abbotship
    is determined by board later on, with the
    input of senior sangha members.

    6) For new members, there has to be WARNING
    not to engage or involve in sexual relationship
    with a teacher or roshi, particularly during
    dokusan or seshin. This warning should be
    stated clearly for new members prior his/her
    first sesshin, or during intro to zazen.

    7) There should be more balanced practice.
    So many ZSS monks/nuns do not know what six
    paramitas is, not to speak about sutras
    and sashtras. Zazen without balancing quality
    of compassion and wisdom is very dangerous.


  146. @Anon August 18, 2010 11:34 AM

    "What are you looking at on his web site? URL? Date?"

    There are teishos concerning this matter other than the one about the shitstick.

    "Prior boards "took steps" and they lead nowhere...."

    So, you mean by "...." this board is condemned?

    Anon August 18, 2010 11:09 AM

    "I'm sure whatever is done short of a jail sentence won't please some of you here, but I feel the board is taking steps in the right direction..."

    Yup. However, what is doable for the present ZSS board and reasonable for everyone given the complexity of this situation just rains on this parade.

  147. Anonymous August 17, 2010 8:37 PM said...
    Are there other viable options for practice in New York State?
    Where do you go from here?

    Each individual will have to figure it out.

    As for Zen in New York State on might want to start with the larger groups.

    Zen Center of Rochester
    Zen Mountain Monastery http;//www.mro.og/

    ZMM has a temple at 500 State Street in Brooklyn.

    There's the Village Zendo led by Pat Enkyo Roshi (White Plum Lineage)

    There is a group affiliated with the San Francisco Zen Center in Park Slope.

    There is a group affiliated with Joshu Sasaki Roshi located in Williamsburg Brooklyn:

    There's a group affiliated with Kennedy Roshi (also White Plum lineage) who studied with Koun Yamada Roshi then with Maezumi and Glassman.

    There are a couple of other Zen Groups in NYC as well.

    There are some good search tools on the internet that will help locate any Zen Center that wants to be found.

  148. what's complex?

    August 18, 2010 12:37 PM

    Complex is a word which means composed of two or more parts.

    An example of such "complexity" might be figuring out how to get a turtle out of its shell without killing the turtle or damaging the shell.

    OR, if this is still too complex for you.

    Keeping ZSS intact while disassociating from ES in a manner which kills the harm he has done and does not kill the good that he has done over a period of fifty years. That is complex.

    You might hope for the same consideration at the end of your service however flawed or exemplary it turns out to be.

  149. Re: NYS Zen Centers

    Also there is First Zen Institute which is Rinzai yet very different from Zen Studies Society

  150. Re: NYS Zen Centers

    This may not show up on a search for Zen Centers

    Dharma Drum Mountain

    Chan, Chinese Zen Buddhism, in the tradition of the late Chan Master Sheng Yen.

    They have a center in Corona Queens

  151. Anonymous August 18, 2010 12:16 PM wrote

    "Yup. However, what is doable for the present ZSS board and reasonable for everyone given the complexity of this situation just rains on this parade."

    There are some writing here who are either so distraught they are acting immaturely, or they so young that they actually are immature. But this ZSS partisan's attitude isn't much better.

    The only sensible course of action still is most strongly recommending quitting or altogether avoiding Zen Studies Society and all those who claim teaching authority derived from its abbot Eido Tai Shimano, and clearly and compassionately warning away others from it as the best possible course of action.

  152. It's Jushin

    Well that's it! I'm going back to my occasional lurking. If you guys aren't going to man up and squat and have BBQs and good times in the Beecher house, I'm headed back to my nap.

    Roko as Vice Abbot?

    Geez... A piece of styrofoam on the high seat is better Zen.

    Whatever happened to that fat little monk who would come by DBZ now and then? That guy has a zendo somewhere in the city too. I'm talking about the one who would doze off all the time. I forget his name. His solution to sleeping was to put his sutra book on his head, as it would serve as an alarm...

    Once, when it got really bad, he put his tea cup on his head. For me, watching that was like the Chinese water torture...

    Something tells me he and Shimano would not see eye to eye, which is a promising thing!

    Do you guys know who I'm talking about? Does he still go up there? Anyway, he has a place in NY too.

    All you Shobo-Ji people could sit there, leaving ROko to sing "The Impossible Dream" to the sound of crickets.

    Too bad Kyudo Roshi up and died... Now there was a guy who put out cushions for people.

  153. Well, you can wash your hands of the experiment of Dai Bosatsu as its sun sets into American licentiousness/foolishness and materialism.

    I am sorry for all the dead bodies and broken backs and bank accounts. BUT

    ES himself admitted he was made "Roshi" too early. Don't believe for one minute he left a realized dharma heir.

    And dearly departed Bob could have put a stop to this mess years ago, had he not, alas, also been greedy for "credentials"...

    Thankfully there is hope for a future, healthy, spiritually strong and joyous sangha on the west coast, when Taigen Shodo Harada is made abbot of Tahoma One Drop Zen Monastery in Sept of 2011. May dharma relations become complete....see you there! GenRo

  154. @GenRo August 18, 2010 4:06 PM

    Yes. I have been checking these folks out due to earlier reccomendation of Taigen Shodo Harada as an authentic and sincere teacher and like what I have found.

    Eyes up ears open this time around.

  155. @Genro,

    I think I know you. I wish you
    good luck. May you realize the Dharma.

    Indeed, ES was too early to become a roshi,
    even too early leaving Japan. He should train
    as a monk for at least 20 years in Japan
    before leaving for the US. But all these
    happened due to our mistake too. We
    are always in haste and want to be number one.
    So at that moment, as number one country
    we need a Roshi ... yes a Roshi (if
    necessary we need a God) here in this land.
    We could not wait. There is no word for
    wait or patience, if noodle can be instant
    why not roshi ... instant-roshi. There ...
    we now pick the harvest.

    When you said "Don't believe for one minute
    he left a realized dharma heir." This is
    also my question - about the legitimacy of
    the lineage. I knew this from early on when
    I danced with him - the mind dance. If I
    was not realized or never tasted the sweet,
    how could I told my student the one in
    his/her mouth was sweet? And how could
    the students of this student know the
    sweet? All are artificial sweetness, at most
    an intelectual sweetness.

  156. Alternative and better place in NY?
    Your home with your cushion.

    Why reply on others so much?
    This is why people are taken advantage of by con-artist like Shimano.

  157. Anon 5:43 pm -- How would you define sangha?

  158. @GenRo August 18, 2010 4:06 PM

    "a realized dharma heir"

    Please define this, particularly the use of the word realized.

    Anyone can take a shot at it if they wish.

  159. Without Rinzai's eye, there is one thing you could look for -- hypocrisy. This is what Jesus, the Buddha, Mohammad etc. told us.

    Most of these "Roshi"s say one thing (serve!) but do another (are served!) all their lives. "service" is not living like a king, giving a speech now and then, and bossing people around in the name of a "dharma" that they and their students have never knowingly touched.

    It is unfortunate that people believe this is how it appears.

    It's REALLY helping with what's necessary (washing dishes, cooking) in a natural manner, and having a good time with it. Sadly, this describes very few -- none who latch tightly on and climb the ladder of the traditonal forms, as these would have to be dropped too.

    As Rinzai himself mentioned, the good ones ARE the "ones who leave". Then he added "If they didn't leave, what GOOD would they be?".

    What good would Buddha have been if he kept walking in circles under a hindu master all
    his life?

    If all you people on this board lived like automatons and bowed to Shimano all your lives, what GOOD would you be?

    The hypocrisy is terribly obvious at ZSS.

    OK that was my last one.


  160. Press Release from The Zen Studies Society:

  161. If someone teaches "acceptance" and then blows his stack when you step on an imaginary line, call bullshit and leave. If you think there is such a thing as "compassionate anger", you are mistaken.

  162. -J

    August 19, 2010 3:34 AM

    It's REALLY helping with what's necessary

    Gassho, J

  163. One response to Genkaku's what is sangha.

    Sangha is that which surrounds your being and inter penetrates your being.

    Better perhaps to ask what is not sangha, and to know there is no sangha.

    On planet Earth, this sangha is all my relations and this being is to be cherished.

  164. Once, a ten thousand mosquito sangha attacked me.
    Several more could be seen coming my way.

    So cherished, I ran like hell.

  165. "Genjo Roshi"

    ::spits tea all over computer screen::

  166. Dear Jushin,

    I agree with a lot of what you say. Though I think that your position would be more nuanced if you had ever gotten a chance to see Kyudo Roshi as abbot of Ryutaku-ji. I know that many of his American students were shocked and/or put off to see their beloved teacher suddenly so distant and formal, gold brocade and all. He would even yell and beat the monks with sticks, just like in the comic books. So I don't think the point is to simply throw out all rules or discipline, but to apply them appropriately when the context requires. For example, most of the monks clearly weren't there because they were particularly interested in Buddhism, so I'm sure they sometimes needed to be treated severely in order for them to become proper Ryutaku-ji priests. The same applies to all the bowing and ceremony: over there Kyudo did it all, with perfect equanimity. I even saw some things that to my eyes could only be described as sheer cruelty - although he didn't import such practices to America, he clearly allowed them to continue at Ryutaku-ji.

    I think Kyudo's attitude was summed up in his expression "Ji Sho E", which apparently roughly translates to "time, place, opportunity". In other words, fluidity of action that freely and automatically adjusts to the outside circumstances. When you need to be strict (even to the point of violence), be strict, and when not, don't. Or, as my teacher says: "when it's sunny, you no longer need your umbrella."

  167. After the fact that nothing will change from the latest announcement from the board, what are you guys talking here? Quite pointless.

  168. "Anonymous said...
    After the fact that nothing will change from the latest announcement from the board, what are you guys talking here? Quite pointless.
    August 20, 2010 12:43 PM"

    Whaddya mean nothing will change? Eido can't see new students in dokusan; victims can write in to have their individual complaints reviewed; and, besides recently leaving the board, Eido will also be put out to pasture in less than a 2 years. Is this nothing?

  169. Eido Shimano has told three prior Vice Abbots that he would let them take on all new students and would retire in three years leaving them to run DBZ. In 2002 he announced his plan to retire in 2004 to the Board of Directors ['s/20020428_ZSS_Board.pdf ] In 2003 he changed the “retirement date” to 2005 ['s/20030323_ZSS_Board.pdf ] These are just two instances on the record in an archive of an incomplete record of the ZSS proceedings.

    Shimano has, on numerous occasions, stated he would retire in a specific time frame and failed to do so. Read the archives contents completely… the man (and by extension the bodies he controls) is a liar. Nothing that comes from Eido Shimano or his representatives can be taken as being truthful - the record speaks for itself.

    “Victims” (more correctly “survivors”) filing complaints with any ZSS body, invites compromise. The ZSS board and “Ethics Committee” are partial organs of Shimano’s extended web of deceit. Giving them information about possible offenses is unwise, better to retain independent counsel and file reports with law enforcement agencies.

  170. It appears that the Zen Studies Society has called off and silenced the attack crazies like Dr. Brenda and the rabid “monk” Ippo. They realized that they came off as deranged and made Shimano look even worse. What we are seeing now is a more subtle tactic, people coming forward with “testimonials” as to having matters (unspecified) handled to satisfaction by the “ethics committee” and now the “Whaddya mean nothing will change?” line. This is an effort at bringing about more subtle perceptual change but it should be noted that these are but the more refined machinations of Shimano apologists.

  171. those prior abbots were unable to keep their commitments for whatever the reason so Eido couldn't leave. Now with Sherri Roshi, whom it appears unlikely to leave, taking over Eido will definitely be able to retire. It is not only to the board the victim's complaints will be addressed to but also there is an organization being brought in--the faith trust group, or something like that--to help process the complaints. These folks are NOT controlled by Eido. But, if these victims feel illegally violated then they should absolutely take their allegations to law enforcement agencies.

  172. "This is an effort at bringing about more subtle perceptual change but it should be noted that these are but the more refined machinations of Shimano apologists."

    Duly noted!! And very subtle, indeed.

  173. The Faith Trust Institute functions in an advisory capacity only at the largess of the Board. They have no power, they can be dismissed at will.

  174. They have experience in dealing with similar violations by clergy. They are there to help guide the process. Their 'power' is hopefully in their experience in dealing with sexual abuse by other clergy. And Hopefully the Board will utilize them to the fullest, and this is not just empty gestures.

  175. Anonymous said...
    "This is an effort at bringing about more subtle perceptual change but it should be noted that these are but the more refined machinations of Shimano apologists."

    Duly noted!! And very subtle, indeed.

    August 20, 2010 2:13 PM

    OH NO!!! There's bogies bogies Everywhere!

    Subtle? Like a brick through a window.

    File these two as: conspiracy parnanoia.

  176. The test case is if Shimano will show
    remorse in his first Tesiho Sept 8, 2010.

    Otherwise, it is the same as usual.

  177. Well, it made the NY Times:

  178. Shimano may show "remorse" but it will be disguised "remorse" for getting caught - not for his actions.

  179. ^^^^^^

    Talk about hitting the nail on the head....

  180. Anon August 20, 2010 2:07 PM Wrote:

    "Those prior abbots were unable to keep their commitments for whatever the reason so Eido couldn't leave."

    "For Whatever Reason" -- This is clearly an oversimplification that attempts to minimize the reason(s).
    Shimano's attitudes and behaviors were clearly the largest of the reasons why they couldn't / wouldn't "keep their commitments."

    "Now with Sherri Roshi, whom it appears unlikely to leave, taking over Eido will definitely be able to retire."

    That's an unwarranted assumption based on past history.

    Further, you make it sound like having Ms. Chayat take over as virtual / acting abbot and head of ZSS is a good thing. but is it?
    1. From where does she derive her authority to be abbot from the Board? The Sangha? Shimano?
    2. Clearly, she derives her teaching authority from Shimano, someone whose own credentials are in doubt (and let's be clear his own teacher did denounce him - read the archives), and whose long history of behavior does not qualify him to be considered even a decent Zen Buddhist priest.
    3. By her own admission, she was a (former?) long time lover of Shimano.
    4. She left Shimano for a time then returned and a deal was struck she'd support him and he'd grant her a title of heir.
    5. Did she ever publicly denounce any part of his long history of the rest of his inappropriate behaviors, namely the way ZSS organizational structure was being deformed, how the board was continually manipulated, how the organization's money was and is being spent, etc.
    Have we seen instances of clear and independent thinking and sound judgement on her part? It seems all she possesses in abundance is gall and ambition.

    This all should cast a great doubt on her character, and on her ability to take point of ZSS and her ability as a teacher of Zen.

    "It is not only to the board the victim's complaints will be addressed"
    Just what does addressed mean?

    "but also there is an organization being brought in--the faith trust group, or something like that--to help process the complaints."
    What does process the complaints mean?
    Process? Complaints?

    "These folks are NOT controlled by Eido."
    The rule is to "follow the money." In the final analysis, hese folks are only going to do what the board wants them to do within their own ethical framework.

    Unless the board has the strength to put Shimano out to pasture, NOW, all these plans amount to nothing but words and posturing.

    "But, if these victims feel illegally violated then they should absolutely take their allegations to law enforcement agencies."
    Why just "legally violated?" What about emotionally violated or spiritually violated?
    While Shimano probably saw this all a "sex with friends for fun and relaxation" and may be even a form of pseudo-intimacy; for the women it's mainly about being misled, outright lied to, and being taken advantage of when in a vulnerable situation due any number of emotional siuations.

  181. There are some awfully intelligent and insightful people posting in here... On thinking about that, I recall something Junpo Denis Kelly said to me when I asked about the people hanging around DBZ. He said, "Anyone with any brains leaves."

  182. How do you know a "deal was struck she'd support him and he'd grant her a title of heir?" How do you know that? Or it this just conjectjure? Or, can you say how you came upon this information? But since we are all anonymous here maybe you can say...?

  183. I take it you can't say.

  184. Anon August 21, 2010 1:45

    You are not careful by writing point 4.
    "She left Shimano for a time then returned and a deal was struck she'd support him and he'd grant her a title of heir."

    I think your point is, if I may rephrase
    it, that past allegation (rumors) about
    her (sexual?) relationship with ES, if
    not cleared up, will cloud any ES decision
    related to her.

  185. Shinge Roshi can be seen as a victim who suffered and overcame being used and discarded by Eido and who healed herself. Her story looks this way. What give it a twist though is the fact she can still work with victimizer. Obviously she doesn't see his as such. After reading "Sex in the Forbidden Zone" recommended by someone on this list, wherein it speaks about of the uneven playing field in a sexual relationship between clergymen/parishioners, therapists/patients and teachers/students, the power imbalance. WHo has it and who don't and do they use power therapeutically it or abuse it and exploit. And how long and dfficult it is to heal for some women after the affair ends, and she survived all of this, no? Lived through it, if the good doctor is right, when he said because of the power imbalance in the relationship there is always a victim/sufferer.

    So I feel good about her upcoming vice-abbott installation, this is the case, she's come a long way and has been part of ZSS since their earliest days. We must keep these great places of practice going, so I say, you go girl!! Give her a chance, she may have a lot to contribute.

  186. There is question if even Shimano can resign under the ZSS bylaws:'s/19980705_ZSS_Bylaws.pdf


    1-- Chairperson:

    The Abbot shall serve as Chairperson of the Board and shall preside at all Board meetings. At the time of the adoption of these bylaws the Abbot is the Honorable Eido T. Shimano. Successor abbots are to be chosen pursuant to the provisions of Article V, below. The Abbot and Chairperson of the Board is not to be subject to the same provisions for election, term limitations, resignation or dismissal as other officers, but rather to the provisions of this section and Article V.

    Section 1-- The Abbot

    The Abbot of the Society shall serve as spiritual leader and Chairperson of the Board until he or she dies, resigns, is unfit to carry out his/her functions, or becomes incapacitated. In order for the Abbot of the Society to be involuntarily declared unfit to carry out his or her functions or incapacitated there must be a unanimous vote of all members of the Board of Directors currently in office, with the exception of the Abbot. For such a vote no proxies or telephone voting shall be counted. The Abbot shall be succeeded by a Vice-Abbot or other dharma heir selected and designated by the said Abbot to continue in his or her place.

  187. So a person who has been declared unfit is the sole source of choosing a replacement who will then be considered fit?

    In the sense of physical impairment, this seems reasonable/sensible. In the case of mental aberration, it sounds nuts... convenient, perhaps, but nuts.

  188. Article V is related to Anon August 22, 2010
    8:53 PM, "I think your point is, if I may
    rephrase it, that past allegation (rumors)
    about her (sexual?) relationship with ES, if
    not cleared up, will cloud any ES decision
    related to her."

    It does NOT point or refer to her, but to him.
    Whether she is good or otherwise, capable or
    otherwise ... still there is a cloud, because
    the decision comes from HIM.

    If we scrutinize again article V, it is
    full of flaws. Abbot can be considered unfit
    if ALL board members unaniomusly vote such.
    Since board is not elected by Sangha but picked
    by Abbot, unanimous vote will NEVER happen.
    (My curiosity: did she vote that current Abbot
    is unfit? Another cloud). Vice Abbot then is
    selected and designated by Abbot. If boards
    cannot elect abbot and vice abbot, and
    cannot retire an abbot, what is the function
    of board? Consider the following case, new
    abbot elected his/her son or daugther as
    vice abbot with the hope that he/she will
    become an abbot ... does it mean ZSS is
    'family corporation'? How is about fund
    bestowed by Carlson family, is it given
    to ZSS as a sangha or to this individual

    This organization is a complete sham
    in my opinion. Why? The three jewels are
    Buddha, Dharma, Sangha NOT Buddha, Dharma,
    and Abbot. Sangha has no say. Can we still
    say it is buddhist?

  189. The paperwork accompanying the Carlson gift has never been made public.

    In 1984 in a letter from Board member David Leddick to Korin Sylvan Busch we find: "The Society's lawyer, Jack Clareman, told me today that he in fact has never seen any document relating to the original [Carlson] endowment"'s/19840229_Leddick_Busch.pdf

  190. Anonymous August 21, 2010 5:43 PM wrote:

    "There are some awfully intelligent and insightful people posting in here... On thinking about that, I recall something Junpo Denis Kelly said to me when I asked about the people hanging around DBZ. He said, 'Anyone with any brains leaves.'"

    There are many ways to leave. Some left and never looked back. Some of us left but still care about what's happening with the organization to a greater or lesser extent.

  191. "Shinge Roshi can be seen as a victim who suffered and overcame being used and discarded by Eido and who healed herself..."

    I see, she overcame, healed,... AND all the way came back to the abuser, which she didn't have to do, and kept absolutely blind eye to other fellow victims suffering over and over by Shimano.

    Suddenly a few posted started emerging to defend Shimano and Co. by a twisting logic, even after his evil acts has been finally exposed to the public through the NYT article...