"Myoshin-ji has received many inquiries regarding its relationship with the Zen Studies Society in New York ever since the publication on 20 August 2010 of an article in the New York Times regarding the behavior of the Society's former director, Eido Shimano."Those who have been clinging (overtly or covertly) to their authorization as handed on by Eido Shimano may find new reason to reconsider their 'authority' and 'authenticity.'
"On the occasion of establishing the Zen Studies Society, Eido Shimano stipulated that the Society was to have no relation to Myoshin-ji or any other branch of Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhism. As far as Myoshin-ji is concerned, all along it has had no connection with Eido Shimano, his activities or organizations, including Dai Bosatsu Zendo and all affiliated Zen Studies Society institutions, nor is Eido Shimano or any of his successors certified as priests of the Myoshin-ji branch of Zen or recognized as qualified teachers."
In the past, of course, the mounting chorus of questions about Shimano seems to have aroused little transparent self-examination among those who had their tickets punched by Shimano. But, for those who take lineage seriously, Myoshin-ji is the big bopper of Rinzai Zen.
In the past, those playing Zen have asserted that a "lineage reaching all the way back to Shakyamuni Buddha" was not only credible (a point hardly born out by history), but also provided a reason for their own latter-day authority and, perhaps, wisdom. Similarly, in the past, when lineage has been challenged, these Zen playmakers have been wont to claim, "Oh well, lineage is not that important."
It probably won't be any different this time around, but still, with Myoshin-ji's statement, the world of K-Y Jelly Zen Buddhism becomes a little less credibly slippery.