Sunday, October 21, 2012

Eido Shimano's 'lineage'

The following correspondence between Shinge Sherry Chayat 'Roshi' and Jeff Shore, a professor at Hanazono University and a 30-year Zen student/teacher, appeared in the Shimano Archive this morning. Eido Shimano is Sherry's teacher and the man who granted her succession. He is also a man whose sexual and financial depredations over the years have sown egregious sorrow.

In the correspondence, Sherry asks Jeff to verify or discount the authenticity of Eido Shimano's position within the Rinzai Zen lineage of Soen Nakagawa Roshi. Shore replies in various ways, among them:

At any rate, I trust you are really serious about this, Sherry.

If so, then you realize that there are no legitimate "successors" to Eido, and that their role as teachers of Rinzai Zen is null and void.

No hemming and hawing here.

Without this, we cannot even begin.
Jeff Shore
Shinge Sherry Chayat

Lineage in Zen Buddhism (and elsewhere) is taken with a sometimes-insufferable seriousness. To be part of the written lineage is to gain stature and legitimacy. To lack such a connection is to devolve into and rely on the wiles of charlatanism and cult-dom.

Sherry makes it clear in her words that she plans to hem and haw, to ask, as in the old Zen metaphor, who it was who shot the arrow that now pierces her breast ... what family does the shooter belong to, what bird provided the feathers on the arrow, what wood is the arrow made of ...? Sherry speaks of her wish for "integrity" and in the same breath flees that integrity as a wounded man might wish to flee the arrow in his chest.

The correspondence is informative for anyone interested in and perhaps devoted to a Buddhist practice.

Zen Studies Society, the umbrella group that maintains both Dai Bosatsu Monastery and Shobo-ji temple over which Sherry presides, may want to consider contacting a good lawyer.


  1. I see this has not been brought up on ZFI, Genkaku. Did the moderators rule that it wasn't up to par for inclusion on the Shimano thread, or did you decide against submitting it for their approval? Just curious. I wouldn't blame you if you've given up on that site, LOL!

  2. "The reason we are in such a mess is that we believed in a manipulative sociopath who was anything but a true man without rank."

    That comment is stunning... only a couple of weeks ago she praised Eido Roshi in a hushed reverential tone. I was willing to give ZSS and Shinge the benefit of the doubt. But now... well I'm stunned!

    I've had it with the whole Eido Roshi mess, I'm going elsewhere.

  3. "Anonymous" -- ZFI decided against including it.

  4. This is interesting.

    It appears as if ZSS has engaged in a 40+ year fraud. It also appears as if the Board Members of ZSS, through the years, have engaged in a conspiracy to commit fraud.

    I think some lawyers need to look into this. Is there mail fraud here, through fundraising and donations? Does this make ZSS a corrupt organization under Federal RICO laws? People who have contributed to ZSS are likely talking with their attorneys about this. All those donations, made to, what is essentially, a big scam. Wow. Now that we know that Ms. Chayat knows about this, and that she is the Chairperson of the ZSS Board, she must be personally liable, as all board members are, with unlimited liability. Anyone know how much her property in Syracuse is worth?

  5. Funny...How did you come about this "correspondence?" Could you please include the original citation?

  6. "Anonymous" -- See the Shimano Archive ( for 10/21/12.