a true flame? a true jewel?

a true flame? a true jewel?

Postby kirtu » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:18 am

floating_abu wrote:For this reason, I hope that there is an awareness of persons who have committed great wrongs and who should now rightly not be able to teach, and to also face the consequences of their actions.

Eido Shimano Roshi, is one such teacher, who has at long last been revealed publicly for his crimes and actions of harm.


Okay - and what about Sazaki Roshi with the recent revelations, whom you list as a true jewel? BTW - this is not to get into a flame war or to being discredit on Sazaki Roshi or to gossip.

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Re: What I have learnt about Zen & those that are called teacher

Postby shel » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:29 am

A true flame, how funny (in a sad way).
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Re: What I have learnt about Zen & those that are called teacher

Postby kirtu » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:51 am

shel wrote:A true flame, how funny (in a sad way).


Well, it goes to the very nature of enlightenment in Zen Buddhism. To some extent this goes back to Brian Victoria's "Zen at War", etc. and the clear conflict between enlightened behavior and how most Zen exponents behaved during WWII. Now we have seen questionable behavior amoungst some Zen masters. In fact I have heard two of my former Zen teachers address these behaviors without questioning the realization or transmission of the individuals involved.

However if the teachers were enlightened then serious issues would not have occurred and they would not have continued (minor issues could still occur with "minor" being culturally determined). Why? Because a person who has some degree of realization cannot intentionally harm another person (except to keep greater harm from occurring).

So a Zen teacher with some kind of infantile relationship to sex but some realization could possibly violate the personal space of a person but not after they realized that the person viewed that as harming and unwanted.

We might want to break this out into it's own thread.

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Re: a true flame? a true jewel?

Postby Astus » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:01 am

In the article Batchelor discusses how the organisational structure - basically, the idea of a superior teacher - can be a major factor in the abuses in Zen and Tibetan Buddhism:

Buddhism and Sex: The Bigger Picture
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: a true flame? a true jewel?

Postby kirtu » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:56 pm

Astus wrote:In the article Batchelor discusses how the organisational structure - basically, the idea of a superior teacher - can be a major factor in the abuses in Zen and Tibetan Buddhism:

Buddhism and Sex: The Bigger Picture


I read that and in fact FB-liked it after reading it. However Batchelor essentially follows the "abuse is human nature" line of reasoning. This is a line of reasoning that I specifically reject wrt people who have some degree of realization because they will be aware of the harm that they are causing and will stop doing it. With deeply realized people we will never see them intentionally inflicting harm. Batchelor is correct as far as his article goes but if Sazaki Roshi were the person implied in his title (and claims around him) then he would not have inflicted harm on others in a pattern over 50 years.

As a sidenote - what exactly is Sazaki Roshi's Zen teaching? My understanding is that he emphasizes a kind of tathagatha Zen.

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Re: a true flame? a true jewel?

Postby Jikan » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:35 pm

I think Peter Hershock has a valuable contribution to make on this point:

http://blogs.dickinson.edu/buddhistethi ... iberation/

If we want people to practice, we need learning situations. If the generic structure for the Buddhist learning situation as Batchelor describes it (perhaps he overgeneralizes) is problematic, then how about an alternative? I think Hershock's idea of family relations is helpful here, because it offers an alternative that has been tested historically and refrains from pitching a very important baby--recognizing the competence of those who know the path well and are fit to guide others--with the bathwater. Check it out.
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Re: a true flame? a true jewel?

Postby kirtu » Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:03 pm

Jikan wrote:I think Peter Hershock has a valuable contribution to make on this point:

http://blogs.dickinson.edu/buddhistethi ... iberation/

If we want people to practice, we need learning situations. If the generic structure for the Buddhist learning situation as Batchelor describes it (perhaps he overgeneralizes) is problematic, then how about an alternative? I think Hershock's idea of family relations is helpful here, because it offers an alternative that has been tested historically and refrains from pitching a very important baby--recognizing the competence of those who know the path well and are fit to guide others--with the bathwater. Check it out.


Jikan, thanks for this. Lama Kalsang had emphasized that we are family rather than a group of people meeting together for practice. From memory, HHPR also said that. The article looks very promising.

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Re: a true flame? a true jewel?

Postby Astus » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:55 am

I think it goes like this. From the lowest level of a noble disciple (stream-entrant) enlightened beings follow a clear ethical conduct. A bodhisattva may go out of the boundaries of ethics driven by compassion, however, neither compassion nor the idea of skilful means are an excuse for misbehaviour in any situation (in the story of the ship captain bodhisattva he willingly took upon himself birth in hell as a consequence of murder). Therefore, either the teacher is truly realised and needs no special rules from the community, or the teacher is not enlightened and needs regulations and overview. There is no such thing as a naughty bodhisattva. Enlightened madness is what it is called, madness, therefore it should be treated as such.

The problem with the above traditionalist presentation is its extremity of pure-impure. Keeping up this division in general is useful to some extent, and that's how Buddhism operates in its established form, similarly to any organised religion. There is also the option to leave the whole enlightened-unenlightened question out of the business and see humans as humans. Spiritual attainments should not be organisational factors. In fact, they never are in the monastic structure. It is a Western mistake, a confusion, to think that teachers are necessarily enlightened. There is also a general misunderstanding about what enlightenment is. Abuses will continue as long as good willing teachers and writers fail to reform their presentation of Zen.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: a true flame? a true jewel?

Postby floating_abu » Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:25 pm

Hi Kirt

I have learnt that it is hard to discuss this without getting into misunderstandings and such. There are many students of Sasaki Roshi and perhaps if you see them off the internet, it would be a worthy topic to discuss. But over the internet forum, without experiential context, the situation looks blacker than black. :hug:

:namaste:

PS There is also no way to discuss this without getting into gossip and misconstruction
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Re: What I have learnt about Zen & those that are called teacher

Postby floating_abu » Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:29 pm

shel wrote:A true flame, how funny (in a sad way).


It's not funny, shel.

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Re: a true flame? a true jewel?

Postby kirtu » Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:46 am

floating_abu wrote:Hi Kirt


Okay, thanks! :group:

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Re: What I have learnt about Zen & those that are called teacher

Postby shel » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:31 am

floating_abu wrote:
shel wrote:A true flame, how funny (in a sad way).


It's not funny, shel.

Best wishes,
Abu


Not the subject matter of course. The funny but sad part was your referring to Sazaki as a "true flame" in contrast to Shimano, when in reality they burn like paired candles on an altar of debauchery.
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Re: a true flame? a true jewel?

Postby Jikan » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:05 pm

floating_abu wrote: the situation looks blacker than black.


Yes. But it's also changing. This is from Kogan Seiju Bob Mammoser, Osho (of the Albuquerque Zen Center)

"The oshos of Joshu Sasaki Roshi are deeply troubled by the allegations of abuse involving some of the students who have practiced at our centers."

"In order to thoroughly address this matter, on the weekend of January 5-6, 2013, the Mount Baldy Zen Center will host a meeting for the oshos of our community together with an independent, professional facilitator trained in addressing such matters. We will also invite representatives of the Mt. Baldy Board, the Rinzai-ji Board, as well as members of the ordained sangha to attend. This meeting will be the necessary first step to clarify within our organization what is an extremely difficult and complex issue. We welcome any suggestions or comments that sangha members might have regarding this meeting and the issues to be discussed. Confidentiality is guaranteed. Please email us at mbzcoffice@gmail.com"


from here: http://sasakiarchive.com

Let's not rule out the possibility for productive civil discourse on an exceptionally difficult topic like this one. I think the above proposal is one attempt in this direction, and I am very happy to see it.

For myself, I've only had positive interactions with students of Sasaki Roshi, including a weekend retreat I attended about a decade ago that made a deep impression on me. FWIW.

:namaste:
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Re: What I have learnt about Zen & those that are called teacher

Postby floating_abu » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:29 pm

shel wrote:
floating_abu wrote:
shel wrote:A true flame, how funny (in a sad way).


It's not funny, shel.

Best wishes,
Abu


Not the subject matter of course. The funny but sad part was your referring to Sazaki as a "true flame" in contrast to Shimano, when in reality they burn like paired candles on an altar of debauchery.


It's simply not true, prax/shel.

FWIW eh? FWIW.

:anjali:

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Re: a true flame? a true jewel?

Postby floating_abu » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:28 pm

Jikan wrote:
floating_abu wrote: the situation looks blacker than black.


Yes. But it's also changing. This is from Kogan Seiju Bob Mammoser, Osho (of the Albuquerque Zen Center)

"The oshos of Joshu Sasaki Roshi are deeply troubled by the allegations of abuse involving some of the students who have practiced at our centers."

"In order to thoroughly address this matter, on the weekend of January 5-6, 2013, the Mount Baldy Zen Center will host a meeting for the oshos of our community together with an independent, professional facilitator trained in addressing such matters. We will also invite representatives of the Mt. Baldy Board, the Rinzai-ji Board, as well as members of the ordained sangha to attend. This meeting will be the necessary first step to clarify within our organization what is an extremely difficult and complex issue. We welcome any suggestions or comments that sangha members might have regarding this meeting and the issues to be discussed. Confidentiality is guaranteed. Please email us at mbzcoffice@gmail.com"


from here: http://sasakiarchive.com

Let's not rule out the possibility for productive civil discourse on an exceptionally difficult topic like this one. I think the above proposal is one attempt in this direction, and I am very happy to see it.

For myself, I've only had positive interactions with students of Sasaki Roshi, including a weekend retreat I attended about a decade ago that made a deep impression on me. FWIW.

:namaste:


You are a sweet one, Jikan.

Brad Warner also has a piece on it somewhere: http://hardcorezen.info/therell-always- ... gland/1496

But the initial commentary and framing from Eshu Martin and on the blogging site SZ I did not disagree with. I don't have an issue with the topics at hand though and as I have also sat with Sasaki in recent years, and saw him in action, I can say he is second to none in his teaching and realisation. How he conducted himself through the 50 + years of his teaching I cannot say, but as a newer student, and one who had visited many centers and teachers over the years before then, I will be forever grateful for the truth of that being that he showed and taught.

The naturally arising questions from a statement like that, are not ones I can answer over the internet and again I would encourage people just to talk to the real people and places if they are interested in practice, but not just as fodder, because that would be useless. There are many women who have already spoken on this topic elsewhere but there exists no forum for objectivity or appropriate representation it is true. The internet would just be a poor place for it all though really, there is nothing that can be said that will not be misconstrued. Reminds me of the conversations I cut short with well meaning Christian friends who suggest that meditation will cause possession and Buddhism is the work of the devil...sometimes it is hard to convey context and the second point is is it even necessary. I don't mind that Christians tell me that my meditation practice can cause me to be possessed, because I have my own experience and insight to evaluate that by, they can agree all they want, I understand why they say the things they do and respect that they have reasons for how they think and what the believe - but that is it. And sometimes I think it is similar to this discussion: I can see why people say the things they do, but that is their choice and prerogative based on what they have been told - but in this case, from a selective, motivated representation that I have criticised previously. Again, I do not have a problem with the topics, but I do have a problem with how it has been done, the purposeful representation in a way that I find not so nice. But people can say and believe what they wish, and they will, isn't that how it all works?

Again I cannot talk for all of Sasaki and speak only from what I saw and experienced. I would also add that I do not believe that Sasaki is a saint - I do not believe in that frame in any of Buddhism actually - I also do not believe that sex was ever taboo for Sasaki the way it is taboo for many of us. Just as in many Muslim countries, kissing is prohibited in public or penalty is expected, we all have our own confines. I watched a movie the other night called "Anonymous"; in it the guy (the anonymous Shakespeare) was shunned by society and his family because he wrote - an activity frowned upon by God, deeds of the low class only. I am not writing this to suggest that anything goes. It does not - clearly, and I would still stand up for anyone who could be hurt - and in Buddhist circles this includes faux teachings whereby people are seeking the truth. I also would be sorry if Sasaki did cause harm in his past which I do not know about. I am, though, pointing out the fine line between social norms/customs/context and activities of harm/hurt - such as the rapes committed by Eido or the assault of children. It can be hard to see, but there are differences at work, and it is a pity, yet accepted, that people would wish to conflate the two.

And so in summary, I don't think it mattters anymore: people can condemn all they want..and I have spoken my experience elsewhere enough. That said, I think the essence still matters though. I saw a statement today that said Sasaki has not taught since January of last year, he is too sick and old now, in very poor health. Yet, I think, if people criticise or mistake him I don't think it is a big deal - he is more than that - but if he has left behind even one good (true) student, then he has served us all well - and that is not an easy task to accomplish for his teachings. I saw him teaching to the bone under pain, exhaustion and difficulty living in a tiny hut - yet he persevered and that type of spirit cannot be faked, nor can the truth and level of his teachings.

And I recall Ajahn Chah's story:

"As a woman, I couldn't have a lot of contact with Ajahn Chah, and I couldn't be sent to study with Ajahn Sumedho either. Instead, Ajahn Chah suggested I practice with the American nun, Kum Fah. Kum Fah was very inspiring to me. When I left Thailand, I decided to ordain as a nun in England at Chithurst. After a time, Ajahn Sumedho organized a group from England to return to Thailand. One of the things we were looking forward to was reconnecting with this very inspiring nun. To our surprise, we found that Kum Fah had become a rabid born-again Christian. It was very distressing to see that this person had become so different than before. Furthermore, she was very keen on putting down Ajahn Chah and converting us to her views. Ajahn Sumedho went to Ajahn Chah very upset about the way Kum Fah behaved. Ajahn Chah simply said to Ajahn Sumedho, "Well, maybe she's right." - Thanissara

In this world, actually anything goes. And so what remains ultimately true and immutable? There could only be one thing IMO.

FWIW.
:namaste:

Best wishes,
Abu
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Re: What I have learnt about Zen & those that are called teacher

Postby shel » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:42 am

floating_abu wrote:It's simply not true, prax/shel.


Which part?

You still regard Sazaki as a true flame? or have you always regarded Shimano as a true flame?
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