markatex wrote:If you find that Nichiren Shu is a good fit for you doctrinally, I'd say find a different priest to work with if this one isn't a good fit, even if you have to maintain contact from afar. If you're being yelled at and ignored at your current temple, there's no reason for you to go back. I wouldn't.
You know, you make a lot of sense here. In retrospect, I can't believe I held on for as long as I did....
I am trying to not get too specific, because I am afraid that maybe some people who know me may read this. But then, if they do, what would the consequence be? I've already decided not to go back that often anyway, and am contemplating not going back at all anymore.
I should make the following clear: the sensei has been helpful and kind.
What is a struggle is the very unusual dynamic at the temple. The person who yelled at me is not the sensei nor even a member of the Japanese American congregation who grew up in the temple. The temple has come to be dominated by someone whose father is a Nichiren Buddhist of a different denomination. If I read between the lines, it seems like a "Love Me, Daddy" effort on the part of this person; "See, I'm trying to be interested in your religion, daddy...." And this person is very bossy and conduct themselves as though they are the sum-total of the temple. This person, by the way, isn't even of Asian descent, which makes for a very unusual dynamic. You have a congregation of people with a wounded sense of their cultural identity, some of whom were born in internment camps, being bossed around by someone who doesn't seem very sensitive to the matter. At one particular "social hour," said person sat at the table and loudly and casually blurted out, "A lot of people here were born in internment camps! He was (pointing at the person). She was (pointing at the other person)." This person I refer to is so socially awkward that I wonder sometimes if they have mild autism.
At this particular temple, there have been moments that have been very moving and meaningful for me. But there have been moments -- usually regarding interacting with the homeless who show up for a free meal, or the Caucasian person who has commandeered the temple -- that are taxing beyond belief.
In retrospect, the situation is sort of baffling. And I kind of can't deal with it anymore.... (The person I refer to above, who has sort of taken over the temple in an attempt to ingratiate themselves to their father, announced one day during study of the Lotus Sutra that they aren't interested in studying the Lotus Sutra and that they aren't interested in this dogma. I looked at this person and thought to myself, "Then why are you here?" Obviously, to please their father. It's unusual, at best.)