OBC Connect: fascinating reading

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OBC Connect: fascinating reading

Postby Jikan » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:29 pm

I've been following a discussion board concerned with the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, which is a Zen organization committed to following the teachings of Rev. Jiyu-Kennett. Two things are of great interest about it:

First, it's a damned fine story. There are great characters, truly admirable people. It's a story of good intentions sometimes going the wrong direction, and consequently, there are divisions and hope for reconciliation. And it's a story of how a moment's contrivance on the part of a teacher can become an institutionalized doctrine. A sociologist will immediately think of Weber here.

Second, it's an ongoing story. Many of the major participants in the story itself are also speaking up and, if not always directly, communicating with each other *through the means of the board.* It's publicly available, you can see it happen. Hence, it's a case study in what can go wrong and go right in a Dharma organization in North America, and a demonstration in how open communication & critical discourse might help remedy the errors and strengthen the better choices.

Check it out.

http://obcconnect.forumotion.net
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Re: OBC Connect: fascinating reading

Postby justsit » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:46 pm

There's quite a bit of discussion on that board. Jikan, were there any particular threads that you found most notable?
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Re: OBC Connect: fascinating reading

Postby Jikan » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:56 pm

There are a few.

I really enjoyed reading the Introductions, particularly Kyogen's. Kyogen Carlson is someone for whom I have the deepest respect as a teacher and a leader. His experiences are a good frame of reference for the narrative as a whole.

The thread on the resignation of Rev. Eko Noble I thought was compelling.

And of course, if you can find it, there's one on celibacy that includes some interesting comments on the Merzel Situation. I learned a lot from that one, even though my own views on sexuality are a bit different from the mainline of comments in there. (Anxiety & ultimately dishonesty about sexuality is a big part of the story at OBC.)

Generally what I see going on here over time is this: a teacher & a sangha started out in charismatic terms, and wound up increasingly conservative and fractured over time. I think this OBC forum is appealing to me in large part because it may present an opportunity for this web of sanghas and practitioners to heal old wounds and renew the whole project. I hope this happens.
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Re: OBC Connect: fascinating reading

Postby Jikan » Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:38 pm

http://obcconnect.forumotion.net/t215-m ... h-rm-meian

This should be required reading for persons interested in how legitimacy is understood in Soto Zen in North America: both in terms of lineage, but also in terms of institution, precepts, doctrine, and everyday practice. Three cheers for honesty and care! :cheers:
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Re: OBC Connect: fascinating reading

Postby tktru » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:18 am

Jikan wrote:
The thread on the resignation of Rev. Eko Noble I thought was compelling.


Did you mean Rev. Eko Little?

I am also guilty of having shown a keen interest of what has been happening at the OBC; I'm not the fastest at catching up to speed, but what has been happening (before and now) is absolutely stunning, good ways and not-so-good.
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