Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby jisahn108 » Tue May 15, 2012 1:27 am

that list of "Five Mountain" teachers I linked to above has already grown by five or six - a more motley crew of Zen trippers with inflated self-estimation I dare you to find anything close to. Looks like, as suspected, all you have to do is shell out a few bucks, and agree to see Paul Lynch as your guru/Ancestral Patriarch, and you get a new place to plug your mediocre accomplishments (while speaking of yourself in the third person, of course, like all crap online narcissism outlets). I'm sure they all feel like they're on the cutting edge of Zen's history! :crazy:

My word, if it wasn't so annoying it would be truly sad. On the positive, this thread comes up in the top few sites with google searches for 'Paul Lynch Zen', so that's a good sign...
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby SonofRage » Fri May 25, 2012 2:02 am

Looks like someone asked about Lynch's credentials on his student's blog

Paul was given inka and transmission by Ji Bong. He has all the appropriate authorization papers and I have personally seen them. More importantly, he's a wonderful teacher who gives of himself and his time without asking for anything in return.



So...what's the truth?
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby MuMun » Fri May 25, 2012 2:07 pm

SonofRage wrote:
So...what's the truth?


Definitely true is that he received inka from Ji Bong Soen Sa in 2006 in a public ceremony at Golden Wind Zen Center in Long Beach, California. Many witnesses, and photographs posted here: https://picasaweb.google.com/goldenwind ... r/Inka2006.

Ji Bong Soen Sa appears to use the same two-stage approach to transmission that his own teacher, Seung Sahn Soen Sa, used. There seems to have been no transmission ceremony. The student in this blog claims to have seen some kind of authorization paper -- what is it? A certificate? A letter saying, "Sssssh, you have transmission?" We don't know.

This appears to be a claim of private or secret transmission. But why would this be the case? It's weird and if Paul is going to use the title, he needs to share that story.
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby jisahn108 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:41 pm

There's no claim of secret transmission. According to Adam Tebbe at Sweeping Zen, Lynch admits that transmission didn't take place, but that he has a "letter" promising transmission in the future, written before some sort of schism took place. This is clearly the main point: Lynch wants everyone to think that "inka" is transmission in the Korean traditions. It isn't. He doesn't have it.

Of course his students all want to think he's the real deal - they are putting their mouth where their money is. Here's what one of them has to say on yet another promotional push disguised as a feature article at Sweeping Zen: "Five Mountain is a thoroughly modern and truly authentic Order based in the same Korean Zen lineage of Zen Master Seung Sahn. It’s a young and growing “Monastery Without Walls” whose main focus is helping people regardless of their financial means or geographic location. Founded by my teacher and friend Ven. Paul Yuánzhì Lynch, it recognizes and respects tradition while being dedicated to offering people teachings and opportunities to practice in ways that make sense in our current culture and time. Paul is building an international sangha that is inclusive, dynamic, and far-reaching, and together we are trailblazing a path which other contemporary Western Buddhist lineages would be wise to follow."

This sums it up - all these people think they are on the "cutting edge" of the "New Buddhism." You have this kind of thing happening all over the place. Funny how the truly respectable and honest-to-goodness transmitters of authentic teachings never talk like this. Let's see where 5 Mountains is in 50 years - or 10. I doubt it will have moved from the far fringe, if it exists at all. Pretty feeble roots.

But then again, you have the Mormons, so who knows.
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Jikan » Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:17 pm

This conversation is winding down. I'm going to leave it open, though, in the event that someone from Five Mountain may like to comment... or perhaps something interesting that we didn't know already might emerge.

I agree, no one knows how this will turn out. My hope is that all beings connected with this group and its leadership in any way are liberated without hesitation, and bring great benefit to limitless beings.
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby SonofRage » Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:38 pm

The whole conversation that had happened on his student's blog has been deleted, including the comment asking if there was censorship happening because a previous comment on the issue had been deleted.
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby MuMun » Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:50 pm

Jikan wrote:This conversation is winding down. I'm going to leave it open, though, in the event that someone from Five Mountain may like to comment... or perhaps something interesting that we didn't know already might emerge.


Sounds good.

In the absence of a comment from someone in the Five Mountain organization or other news, I hope the takeaway from this matter is a reminder of "caveat zentor."

To be more specific:

* Check out the zen group or zen center you are thinking of attending. Internet searches are good, and ask around if you have friends who've been practicing a while.

* It is not necessary that the leadership have "inka" or "transmission." It could be a very good group to practice with, all the same. I personally recommend going for their meditation instruction even if you're a long-time zen student. Pay attention to how they teach newcomers -- especially when they talk about why we practice. It reveals a lot about what's going on in this sangha.

* If the leadership does claim inka or transmission, check it out. Who did they train with and where. Try to verify it online, from sources independent of that group or center. The leadership might not want to have a lengthy conversation about it, but anger or defensiveness are yellow flags -- maybe even orange flags.

* If there is dishonesty going on, I'd go somewhere else. They may do a lot of sitting but they're not practicing.

Caveat zentor.
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby jisahn108 » Sat Aug 04, 2012 6:44 pm

I'm not sure why we have to backtrack on this. Mumun's points are all valid - but I wonder if he actually has read this thread, since it lists the numerous ways Lynch has been lying and distorting his credentials and his biography, and the ways in which his most senior students seem to have fallen not far from the tree. I would hope for anyone reading, the legwork done for you by others would make further exposure somewhat pointless. Again, it is really the easiest thing in the world to spout "zen-isms." "Zen Master" is maybe the easiest authoritative position to fake, especially for those whose bullshit detectors are less tuned or whose egos are driving the so-called spiritual search. And that certainly seems to describe Lynch's students as they depict themselves online.
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby MuMun » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:56 pm

jisahn108 wrote:I'm not sure why we have to backtrack on this. Mumun's points are all valid - but I wonder if he actually has read this thread...


Because if I really read it, I would of course be equally outraged, arrive at all the same conclusions, and join you in condemning him and everyone associated with his organization at the same intensity as you. What is that about? A person can't have a valid response to the known facts that is different than yours? Is this about being with you or against you? "Backtracking" from what, exactly?

Or, to get right to the point: what do you want from this?
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby jisahn108 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:51 pm

What do I "want out of this"? I am not up nights worrying about Paul Lynch, I can tell you that much. Specifically here, in this particular exchange, I don't care how you feel about Paul Lynch and his students. What I wouldn't mind is that you seemed to be able to put the pieces together with full awareness and reason. So, like above, where you say his student claims he has transmission, that he has seen the papers (as other students have said). In this case, in a thread on said student's blog that was completely censored when a number of people were asking questions the guy didn't like. But somehow it still seems unclear to you. You still seem to be grappling for a conclusion, thinking it seems unclear or something, despite having it spelled out repeatedly.

Lynch himself elsewhere finally (after avoiding the question but being hounded into a response) admitted that he didn't receive transmission, but has a letter promising such in the future (actually it was his declared friend Adam Tebbe who revealed this - Lynch still says "only my students get the real story"). So, 1) either said student is lying - he hasn't seen the transmission papers, and is making this up; 2) misguided - he thinks 'inka' is transmission; we know Lynch has this (inka being a provisional teaching authority, under supervision, still in training), but has deceptively asserted flat out that this was transmission in the past, and is always implying it (currently calling himself "soen sa" in the line of Seung Sahn, starting his own Zen school, ordaining and transmitting to others, etc, all of which are reserved in his tradition for persons with full transmission); or 3), Lynch forged false papers saying he completed transmission that he showed to this student. None are happy conclusions.

So, my last comment was merely elicited by your otherwise very reasonable comment, that in substance I have no issue with at all. However, in this context, I don't understand how anyone who actually fully comprehends the complete pattern of Paul Lynch's deceptiveness (and the understandable dysfunction of his sangha,) could say anything else but "the writing's on the wall; know at the very least this guy has lied about his cred's". It's not infinitely subjective. He has lied, repeatedly, about his fundamental qualification to teach Zen, start his school, and ordain and authorize others. Beyond that, let people make their own informed choice. But let them be informed, without equivocation. There is no question on this point, no need for further research. By all means, go meet the guy. Just know that he has lied. Period.
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby MuMun » Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:43 am

jisahn108 wrote: But somehow it still seems unclear to you. You still seem to be grappling for a conclusion, thinking it seems unclear or something, despite having it spelled out repeatedly.


That's where you are wrong. It looks pretty clear to me and I am not grappling for a conclusion.

jisahn108 wrote: He has lied, repeatedly, about his fundamental qualification to teach Zen, start his school, and ordain and authorize others. Beyond that, let people make their own informed choice. But let them be informed, without equivocation. There is no question on this point, no need for further research. By all means, go meet the guy. Just know that he has lied. Period.


And that has been stated. Not enough?
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby lobster » Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:41 pm

As a fraud and charlatan (one of my hobbies), I would like to make an analogy . . .

Say you were a Professor of Zen or some other subject
or rather you claimed and were teaching on the basis of your
professorial credentials. The claimed University, said you had done most
of the course of study and were a probationary prof.

You decided to set up a university of life and zen.
You are quite good and indeed many learn a great deal
after all you are nearly the prof of the real plum pudding.

I am quite happy to learn at any price
I am happy to learn Zen from my cat
even though I don't have one . . .

If anyone requires transmission,
I am willing to strip an engine.

Meanwhile keep up the good work :popcorn:
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby jisahn108 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:19 pm

I'm sorry, but your analogy is nonsense.
There is no such thing as a "probationary professor". Likewise, the rest of your comparison is gobbleydegook.
A possibly more accurate version would be:
say you studied for many years for your PhD from Suchnsuch University.
You then failed your oral examinations and did not receive that degree.
Then, instead of going somewhere else and trying again, you simply went out and said that you did in fact receive that degree from Suchnsuch U anyway. And not only that, but also that you have an MDiv from a school you never attended at all.
Then you start your own university, saying your qualification is that you have a PhD from Suchnsuch U, and an MDiv (though later you stop saying the latter when someone calls you on it on the internet).
The issue is not that you learned a lot, and can coherently, even charismatically, talk about that information, or even put it into practice (which in this case is often famously likened to selling water by a river).
The problem is that you ARE LYING.
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Update on Paul Lynch

Postby jisahn108 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:09 pm

Paul Lynch, from his blog:
"We have recently taken over the operations of the Buddhist Studies Institute – Los Angeles from its previous parent organization the International Buddhist Meditation Center."


http://www.buddhiststudiesinstitute.com/staff.html

In an ironic twist after the last posts, Lynch has now added "Dr." to his ever growing list of titles - along with his minion, "Ven. Dr." Joshua Wanji Paszkiewicz, the 20 something "master of over a dozen martial arts" that Lynch named his "National Abbot" last year. Apparently Lynch has managed to convince what appears to be a near moribund organization to first, within a few months give him and most of senior students non-accredited and generally meaningless PhD's, and then to simply take control. So Lynch carries on his overt attempts to legitimize his claims toward "zen masterhood", aimed toward being seen as a great American Zen pioneer. Good luck with that.
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Seishin » Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:29 pm

I always cringe when I see someone wearing Buddhist robes and holding a sword.... http://www.beyondwallszen.com/martial-arts.html
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby jisahn108 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:43 pm

oh lordy - it just keeps getting weirder.
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Jikan » Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:57 pm

Seishin wrote:I always cringe when I see someone wearing Buddhist robes and holding a sword.... http://www.beyondwallszen.com/martial-arts.html


from that site:
Buddhist Martial Arts (Bupmudo - Somatic Buddhism)


Buddhism has always been somatic. You practice with the body. Prostrations, bows, offerings, pilgrimage, alms rounds... on into practices such as kaihogyo.

The relation between formalized martial arts practices (as distinct from direct preparation for war) and Buddhism can be fruitful. Meido here at DW has described this elsewhere. It's the name branding that I am skeptical of ("Somatic Buddhism (tm)").

EDIT:

I checked in with Wanji through the comment form on the "beyond walls zen" website regarding the content of this thread, as I thought it appropriate to solicit his views in the light of the criticisms made here. He replied quickly and politely, but declined to participate in this thread. I suggest concerned parties may wish to contact him directly with questions, as no one from Lynch's group has to date shown an interest in public discussion.
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Seishin » Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:15 pm

Good idea Jikan. And I understand why he wouldn't take part. However my comments weren't so much to do with Buddhism and Martial Arts, but the use of wearing Buddhist robes whilst holding a sword in a threatening manner. But I guess that's for the martial arts thread :offtopic:

Gassho,
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Jikan » Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:13 pm

Understood! :thumbsup:

Since it doesn't appear we are to get any meaningful response to the criticisms of Lynch and the Five Mountain Zen Order from within here, I should also point out that Lynch is active and public (2000+ friends) on Facebook; perhaps interested parties may wish to reach out to him there:

https://www.facebook.com/dochong?ref=ts&fref=ts
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:15 pm

Seishin wrote:Good idea Jikan. And I understand why he wouldn't take part. However my comments weren't so much to do with Buddhism and Martial Arts, but the use of wearing Buddhist robes whilst holding a sword in a threatening manner.
Like your avatar for example? :tongue:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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