Let me add that ZFI has some lovely folks [they are all very very good and well intended people at ZFI, and they are doing wonderful work there for preserving the Dharma.], but there are also some problems.
After the Fukushima accident (just 100 miles north of my house in Ibaraki Japan, which is not too far when it comes to nuclear meltdown
) I ran into problems with some of the ZFI administrators who were (and are still) posting often very extreme, one-sided and exaggerated (some just baseless, more than one can only be described as "wacky"
) reports founded on rumors, questionable scientific sources and writers with an overt anti-nuclear political agenda that seem to be far exaggerating the otherwise very, very
serious situation here in Japan. I would usually point out the most extreme cases, and link to more respected sources. There are so many crazies and wingnuts (left and right) filling the blogosphere with quack science, panic and supposition, political agendas, pre-packaged conclusions, and the like ... misquoting and twisting the facts ... that I feel it my obligation to point that out (since I have to live in the middle of all this). Here are some examples ... http://www.zenforuminternational.org/vi ... 751#p97751http://www.zenforuminternational.org/vi ... 816#p97816
I also annoyed this same administrator when I questioned the evidence she presented for U.F.O.'s and alien invasion ...http://www.zenforuminternational.org/vi ... 78#p104378
... and for reincarnated children ...http://www.zenforuminternational.org/vi ... 300#p50300
I consider myself an "open minded skeptic" on UFOs, physical evidence for rebirth and the like ... but also critical of puff, snake oil and pseudo-science. That did not set me off very well with the main administrator.
Likewise, any discussion of the old chestnut of "Shikantaza and Koan Zazen" is a minefield there, no matter how one bends over backwards to say that they are both beautiful practices.
FInally, a series I wrote critical of some (just some) aspects of monastic practice bothered a moderator there, a Soto priest ... who did not like very much what I had to say on that and related issues. For example, I wrote an essay posing the questions ...
Have monasteries, throughout their history, been (not just necessarily exclusive in order to maintain levels of spiritual practice) but -too exclusive- in their availability to those who may wish to enter and undertake the Dharma? Although monasteries serve a function in training the next generation of gifted Teachers ... have they, in fact, excluded many more individuals who would be gifted Teachers but could not enter the monasteries for social, political, gender or economic reasons? Rather than admitting those who should be there, have they tended to admit those with the political and social connections, and (even today) economic means to be there? Have they tended to admit, not just the many great talents and serious "seekers", but also a disproportionate number of folks who are there for the wrong reasons or should not be there?
You can read the whole, long thread here ...http://www.zenforuminternational.org/vi ... 458#p99458
In anything I wrote, however, I was never disparaging of people ... and never said "my way or the highway" ... even though I could be very critical of ideas while honest in offering an opinion. But after awhile of all my questioning and honest writing, they limited my privileges to post there. The one thing I could do before leaving was to change my avatar to this ...