Myogak Foster Fact Checking

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Myogak Foster Fact Checking

Postby DGA » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:42 pm ... interview/

In this article, Foster claims he was ordained as a bikkshu and resided briefly at KCC in Portland, Oregon (a center founded by the great Kalu Rinpoche). Can anyone verify this?

Probably more difficult to do, but can Foster's claim that he participated in a weeklong Vajrakilaya retreat with HE Garchen Rinpoche?

more on Foster here: ... -interview
DGA's dissertation, a cultural history of mindfulness, here: ... _OF_STRESS

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Re: Myogak Foster Fact Checking

Postby Josef » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:46 pm

Not sure about the bhikkhu thing but Garchen Rinpoche usually holds at least one Vajrakilaya retreat each year so that one wouldnt be very surprising.

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Re: Myogak Foster Fact Checking

Postby jisahn108 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:21 am

Here's a podcast interview from Sweeping Zen, where Foster talks about his new online Buddhist "university", with it 2.5 faculty, and $10,020 price tag (while the fine print says everyone gets a "scholarship" making the actual cost "only" $1800. Wow. What a deal.) ... e6b86ba738

Listening to this and knowing the little I do about this guy, I find the whole thing extremely questionable. I like how he starts by saying "I'm really not very interesting" - which by his tone you know he doesn't believe whatsoever - then he immediately starts with "I've practiced Buddhism for 26 years", listing all of his ordinations and various traditions and teachers, and goes on at length about all his insights into Buddhism granted from his vast experience in every style of Dharma.

This, from a guy whose only actually confirmed teacher, that he claims to be a Zen Master in the lineage of, he studied with for it appears no more than a few years, whose own record is highly suspect, and with whom he seems to have broken on terms so poor all mention of his name has been very recently excised (save for Foster's listing of his lineage back to Buddha, where he includes himself as the most recent addition) and all official connections severed. Pee ew.

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Re: Myogak Foster Fact Checking

Postby ijika » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:15 pm

There's an awful lot of grade inflation going on in "Western Buddhism".

I have an acquaintance who somehow ended up studying to become a Tendai priest, ostensibly, with Mr. Foster, who purported to be a Tendai priest at the time. Some time after this study begins, said acquaintance comes to me to ask me what the bonji lettering is for the Fūdō-Myō-Ō shingon (i.e. mantra). He provides me with some sort of a bitmap picture or photocopy of what he says his teacher "thinks" is the appropriate lettering. (It was the short shingon, not the full one.)

He also asked me, learning that I was going to be in Kyoto, if I could stop into a store there and get copies of some Tendai liturgical books.

It's inconceivable to me that it's possible to become a Tendai priest without knowing Fūdō-Myō-Ō's mantra. It's inconceivable to me that a Tendai priest wouldn't know how to write it properly, or at the very least, be able to look it up. It's very hard for me to believe that I'm a better source for Tendai books than a Tendai priest, although I've mail-ordered books and other stuff from Japan with some regularity. (日本語を話すことができるかな。。。?)

Anyway, it doesn't seem to have kept him from not only teaching, but having an entire "institute", complete with tuition.

Some folks seem to have the notion that Buddhism is about collecting "empowerments" and "ordinations" and beads and robes and bells and stuff. That's never personally been my understanding...

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