Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Yudron » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:37 pm

When I go to the founders page, it all looks quite normal, with posts going back a long ways. I'm not getting what the problem is.
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Mujinkaruna » Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:42 pm

Call the head monk at IBMC he`s the one that told me and is running IBMC at this time. The problem is all this is called the smoke and mirror act, and Paul has done the greatest act and move of his life so far. You call and ask the head monk "Kusala Bhikshu" that has been at IBMC for 20 plus years, because theses are his words. He wants to know where all this came from, he knows nothing about it and lives there in the temple. The temple with the zendo is for the monks only, the other houses are for the nun`s, there are a lot of nun`s there do to that being one of the Ven. Karuna`s projects, nunneries. But if you have any questions give them a call, he will say just what I said, because he is the one that task me to find out what the hell is going on and how this person took over the school and why?
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Mujinkaruna » Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:19 am

Jikan wrote:
Sunya wrote:Hi, my name is Chester, my Buddhist name is Sunya Vajra Karuna, Thich Tam-Khong. My ordination came after five years of study, and my ordination to teach came after six more years under my teachers guidance. Our order requires at least ten years of study before being allowed to teach independently. After this, If given a red robe one is given permission to open a center or temple and act as abbot of it. We stress independence. We will not interfere with any other teacher to teach as they will. They have been tested with time and carefully nurtured. We trust these saplings and push them out to spread the Dharma.
With that said, I have met the Five Mountain Zen Order and Paul Lynch on line. I have investigated the group and Paul. I find them to be authentic and I am happy to join them in their efforts. I will add my linage to his in the hope that it will help us move beyond historical bigotry just for the sake of traditions. Slavery was a pretty popular cultural tradition and so is sexism and denial of handicapped, hell even ugly people aren't allowed ordination in most old schools. Dust on the mirror. Blow it off and get on with it. These people are sincere, and I for one am happy to help them dump these historical anchors.


It would be very good to know if this post was in fact written by Sunya Vajra Karuna, Thich Tam-Khong, or by someone pretending to be him.


NO WAY!!! He doesn`t even sound like this and would never say this. He isn`t even part of IBMC anymore really, as he left the Order to become married. You can not be married in the Order under the Ven. Karuna, she goes strickly by the Vinaya, that was the Ven. Chitta`s job to teach the Vinaya to all there living. You ask him why he left, it was to marry. And if you ever sat down with the Ven. Karuna she is very strict about the issues said above and is not in line with any of what was said/ posted in the post here. No WAY!!! If you went to her with this you want to see a mad as hell person, she would flip her lid for real man. I wouldn`t even want to be the one to have had told her all this crap, and I have had an ongoing student relationship with the Ven. Karuna Dharma sense ruffly 2006. NO WAY man!!! There is no historical anchors to dumping going on, there are many still in place, not like Paul's picture has painted at all. If he did post this I would love to see him say these words directly to the Ven.karuna Dharma, she would shit!!!! He would NEVER do it man, never! I can see it now, him sitting on here couch across from the Temple looking at the temple door and telling her this. You would hear her yelling from across the street. and if you think it isn`t true go there and see for your self. Just go knock on her door with this crap, OMG!!! One more thing, look at how he said he"investigated and found", once again there is the key of the smoke and mirror as he has nothing to do with IBMC anymore. Paul told me he (They) where trying to track down all the Karuna`s that had left to invite them in to FMZO. He seems to be the only one out of how many? A big #, and that is one big reason why he used me as well. His first plan was to have the Grand Ordination with the Ven. Karuna, he told me shes to sick to travel not true at all, she wouldn`t play ball. So he took advantage of the other Heir,as Sweeping Zen even said, the monks that he brought with him didn`t understand what was going on. If you look at the picture it speaks for itself as well. I called briefly a few months back before my Skype line went down to the Ven. Karuna to ask her about Lynch and she became pissed off at his name even. So until I speak directly with her and find out who really owns the rights to this college as it is still her`s he promotes that fact and is easing IBMC slowly out of the picture for a total take over do to Ven. Karuna`s health he is betting all in on.
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby jisahn108 » Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:24 am

Well, all of this comes as no surprise to me, obviously. Things have moved on, but just to remind that merely as someone who encountered this guy online and smelled a rat, I tracked and described a laundry list of lies, inflations, and fabrications even before this latest fiasco. Without sites like this, in another time or place, people like Lynch might con a lot more people for a lot longer time. But as is clear here, lies always get found out. How exhausting. Wouldn't it just be easier to tell the truth from the start? So much pointless drama...
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby SonofRage » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:32 am

Mujinkaruna wrote:
SonofRage wrote:Looks like a lot of the same information. Even getting through the poor English, the arguments presented aren't the most coherent in the world.



Yeah I just tried to read it again, it`s your reading not my writing. Most of it was from Sweeping Zen and copied pasted. so try harder. And I am not trying to make anyone think anyway, just see the truth. Some can`t deal with it it looks to me. I can care less about what anyone thinks of me, i know where i stand and i don`t have to make up documents and names every-week to take that stand. Funny how the Western Mind jumps straight to the crap of the matter and not to the facts of what is being said. Go get ordained by him, live a happy life with them all, it`s like the army for some and not others. So funny you jump to me not being American, must been living here to long? LOL....If you don`t think i`m a Buddhist wait till you ordain with lPaul and he tells everyone to frak themselves all day when he doesn`t feel good...LOL.



what are you talking about?
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby jisahn108 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:51 pm

Mujinkaruna clearly isn't the most gifted communicator among us, but its pretty clear that Lynch's transparent and recorded history of lies is a pattern that continues, and in fact might just be escalating. He insists on making his life as visible as possible online, so you can track it all and now read that he's in continuing financial straights, doesn't have any other income, and is dependent on making his "Dharma business" work. To do that, he clearly believes he has to fabricate qualifications, create a large Wizard cloud of smoke, dazzle folks with some flashy mirrors (and robes, and certificates) and all of it is simple lies, start to finish. Behind the curtain is a really sad, scared little man. He's clearly just driven by the need for cash, and adulation by those similarly ambitious, who have a history of getting what they want out of Lynch and moving on; much as he tried to do with his own teacher (who refused to give up the goods, at which point the lies began), and he is clearly now doing with the organization he's recently hijacked.
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Mujinkaruna » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:22 am

A quote from the head monk at IBMC, the Order that owns the rights to the school, the Ven. Karuna Dharma. Either stolen do to the Ven. Chitta, or sold out from under them/her without knowing. "Kusala Bhikshu
Hi Mujin... I'm not sure what is going on... I was not in the loop... I'm off to speak at Irvine High School in a few hours and will let the politics of Dharma work itself out... Take care." The home of the college itself doen`t even know what the hell is going on. WOW!!!!!
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Jikan » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:31 pm

Mujinkaruna wrote: " let the politics of Dharma work itself out... Take care."


Excellent advice. I'm not sure if anything else needs to be said in this thread, but I'm going to leave it open in the event more facts or relevant perspectives emerge.
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Ven. Charama Bhavika » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:41 am

Dear Dharma Wheel Editors and Readers,

I hope this post finds everyone well.

My name is Charama Bhavika. I am the Executive Director of the Five Mountain Zen Order. I believe I am in a position to comment on some of what has been going on lately.

I have known Paul Lynch for 2-1/2 years. He ordained me as a Zen priest last year. This year, he allowed me to teach as an apprentice Zen teacher. I take that responsibility very seriously. My fellow Zen teachers in the Five Mountain Zen Order do, too. They are wonderful people, with insight, wisdom, and great compassion among their many positive attributes. I am proud to be associated with Paul and the Five Mountain Zen Order, and consider myself blessed to know people of such sterling character.

Paul Lynch is an excellent teacher. More than that, I have found him to be a compassionate, giving person who goes the extra mile for everybody. I have spoken to Paul for hundreds of hours in the years I have known him. I can vouch for his character. Seriously, you would be hard pressed to find somebody more committed to the Dharma.

I have watched Mujin Karuna post comments here, there, and everywhere, trying to enlist as many people as he can to his cause. I am surprised by how many people believe him without ever checking the facts, or going to the source for correct information. When people on various web sites discover the truth of the matter, they take down his posts. He attributes that to "heat" being put on them. But it has nothing to do with "heat," for there is no "heat" possible. What "heat" can be applied? What can anyone say or do to coerce someone to take down posts?

What Mujin calls "heat" is merely the light – of truth. When people discover the truth, they cease giving Mujin Karuna a platform.

For the record, I do not make a dime from Five Mountain Zen Order. Or from the students I teach. Or from teaching classes at the College of Zen Buddhist Studies. To my knowledge, no teacher at the College in our Order does. We all volunteer our time – hours and hours of it – to help people. We do it out of the same dedication to the Dharma that Mujin Karuna claims motivates him. I do what I do because I love to see people's lives transformed. The feedback I get from my students thrills and humbles me. I learn as much from them as they say they learn from me. They make the long hours worth it. I am sure Mujin Karuna does it for the same reasons.

I do not doubt his sincerity. So why does he doubt mine? or Paul's? Or that of any teacher in the Five Mountain Zen Order?

I will not reveal personal information about Mujin Karuna. His past is his business. He has a right to his privacy.

However, I will say this: Mujin Dharma often posted comments in the Forum at the College of Zen Buddhist Studies. One comment would be kind and self-effacing. The very next could be sarcastic and bitter. One time, he complained that we were not paying enough attention to him, and angrily chided us for not doing more to reach out to him. Then, next post, he would apologize for his comments. A short while later, he returned to lashing out. He seemed to lack an even keel, swinging widely from one emotion to another.

Mujin Karuna was given free rein to become anything he wanted to be within our Order. Paul worked with him closely; doing everything he could to help Mujin become an educated, ordained teacher of Zen. Mujin was attending the College of Zen Buddhist Studies on a 100% scholarship granted by the teachers of the Five Mountain Zen Order. At one point, Mujin asked Paul if he could start a Prison study group. Paul agreed, and allowed Mujin to post information about his new venture on our College's Forum. Anything Mujin wanted to do, he could have done in our Order. There were no limits.
Except the ones he placed on himself.

And therein lies the heart of the matter.

On or about November 18, 2012, Mujin Karuna was expelled from the College of Zen Buddhist Studies and dismissed from the Five Mountain Zen Order for his divisiveness, attacking the Sangha verbally, attacking his teachers verbally, and creating disharmony within the Sangha.

This is when his vendetta against Paul Lynch and the Five Mountain Zen Order began in earnest.

Now, Mujin Karuna unrelentingly posts comments that accuse Paul, the Five Mountain Zen Order, and even me of malfeasance and/or trying to rip off the IRS or to con people. None of that is true. Paul Lynch is meticulous in his record keeping. And he jumps through all required legal hoops to make absolutely sure what we're doing is legal and above board.

For example, the issue with PayPal that Mujin Karuna likes to hold up as damning evidence against Paul was nothing more than the Five Mountain Zen Order following all of PayPal's requirements to open a business banking account bearing the same name as the order for Tax purposes – which was done once Paul relocated to Las Vegas. PayPal told Paul that he couldn't access his money until he complied with their regulations. He did. And the money was released. Nothing illegal occurred. No IRS law was skirted. In fact, just the opposite. All local, state, and federal laws have been fully obeyed.

On that subject, it is worth noting that on July 31, 2012, Mujin Karuna recounted his own struggles (in a post in the College's Forum) with setting up his PayPal account in the Philippines. He offered advice in setting up the Five Mountain Zen Order's PayPal account. He was not accusing us of anything then. In fact, then, he acknowledged the struggles he went through himself in complying with the regulations and laws, and sympathized with our plight.

As a side point, Mujin says that Five Mountain has committed tax fraud as a Non-Profit organization, and claims he contacted the IRS. He exaggerates his claims at every turn. We do not claim, and nowhere does it say, that the Five Mountain Zen Order is a tax exempt 501(c)3. We have filed as a Corporation in Nevada and are in the process of applying for tax-exempt status. The paperwork has yet to be filed with the IRS.

I have never met Mujin Karuna. I have only had limited e-mail exchanges with him, starting with the College acceptance e-mail I sent to him on June 26th, 2012. I know him primarily through his posts in our College Forum – and, lately, via his libelous accusations here and elsewhere. Therefore, I do not know if he actually believes what he posts, or if he is merely lashing out in blind anger trying to hurt us and take down an Order that exists for one purpose: to help others.

I have no "heat" to apply to Mujin Karuna. Or to anyone here at Dharma Wheel. There is nothing I can do to stop Mujin Karuna from ruining my life or the lives of those with whom I work, people about whom I care deeply. All I can do is hope that he will abide by the Precepts he took, and find the heart of compassion that is so lacking in the world today – especially if he is as concerned with the Mahasangha as he says he is.

That is all I can ask of anyone here, frankly. Patience. The benefit of the doubt. No snap judgments. There is no need for anger. Or bitterness. Or vindictiveness. Any time you would like to discuss the Five Mountain Zen Order, just contact me. I am on Facebook. You can always reach me there.

As I wrote, I do not personally know Mujin. I can see from his work in the Philippines that he is dedicated to helping others. He appears to be sincere in his commitment to the Dharma. I am not interested in tearing down his character or demeaning his work. In fact, just the opposite. I wish him all the best and hope his sangha grows and prospers.

As for the other anti-Paul, anti-Five Mountain comments here, I can assure you that nobody involved with Five Mountain is – as one poster put it – "...clearly just driven by the need for cash, and adulation by those similarly ambitious." If Paul has cash piled up somewhere, I have yet to see it. And if he – or any of us in the Five Mountain Zen Order – is "ambitious" it is to do one thing, and one thing alone: help others. That is why Paul worked with Mujin Karuna for so long, long after we suggested he part ways with him because of his erratic behavior. That is why his direction for me, in every conversation (for over two years!) is to find my path and let the world see my heart. He never once said, "You know, Charama. If you really want to rake it in, here's what you need to do." On the contrary, Paul assures me that the "Dharma business" is long on debt and very short indeed on cash.

Moreover, that is fine with me. I have learned to live on very little. My car is ten years old (and in serious need of repair) and I live paycheck to paycheck. It takes my wife and I months to save up for a Zen retreat. Afterwards, we are hurting for money. I know of at least one other teacher in the Five Mountain Zen Order who could not afford to attend the last retreat. Therefore, he did not. We make do with what we have.

I'm not sure where the ideas and charges come from that I see posted here, especially that Paul does what he does for money, or that we're all "ambitious." However, I can tell you straight out neither is true.

We do it out of love.

And that's the God's honest truth.

Here's more truth:

Mujin Karuna claims that Karuna Dharma, et al, did not know our Order assumed direction of the University the Venerable Dr. Thich Thien-An founded. The truth is, our Abbot and Karuna Dharma were responsible for the passing of the torch, from them to us. We now carry that torch carefully, gently, knowing full well how important it is to honor Karuna Dharma, Dr. Thich Thien-An, and all those great teachers and great students who were affiliated with the school over the years. We take nothing lightly at Five Mountain Zen Order, least of all the honoring of those who came before us.

Mujin Karuna claims that our Order "stole" the International Buddhist Meditation Center (IBMC). The truth is, Five Mountain Zen Order has no affiliation with the International Buddhist Meditation Center (IBMC) and has never stated such. IBMC is no longer operating as it once was. They now serve as an open Sangha House accepting Buddhist Monastics who live in Los Angeles.

Life is short. It would be a shame to spend it in anger, polarized by imagined - or falsified - bifurcations. That is why my own personal path is only love – as in "only love dispels hate." I try hard to build bridges, to mend fences, and to help others who are hurting. I ask everyone here to please seek love and to embrace peace. Working together, we could transform the world. Valuable time spent bickering is unforgivable.

Thank you for taking time to read my post. I apologize for its length. I guess I had a lot to say.

Many Bows,

Ven. Charama
"If you want to attain your true nature, you must have Great Faith, Great Courage, and Great Question. It is like a three-legged stool...With these supporting your practice, you can attain your true self. You can attain universal substance, and attain your correct way, and truth, and make your life correct. Then you can help all sentient beings get out of suffering. That is our job."

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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:53 am

I have known Paul Lynch for 2-1/2 years. He ordained me as a Zen priest last year. This year, he allowed me to teach as an apprentice Zen teacher. I take that responsibility very seriously. My fellow Zen teachers in the Five Mountain Zen Order do, too. They are wonderful people, with insight, wisdom, and great compassion among their many positive attributes. I am proud to be associated with Paul and the Five Mountain Zen Order, and consider myself blessed to know people of such sterling character.


This strikes me as unusual. To meet a teacher and be ordained as a priest 1 1/2 years later, along with using titles like Ven. And then to begin teaching with 2 years. It seems to me to be a short period of training. Just my opinion. Usually to be able to share with other people in the context of being a teacher we have to have some years of receiving teachings and applying them in our lives.

That being said I don't agree with the attacks on your organization if they are unsubstantiated. Have you considered getting a written statement, from Ven. Kusala, the senior monk at the centre formerly managed by Ven. Karuna Dharma? A letter from him explaining how things developed would go a long way in clarifying the situation.
Last edited by JKhedrup on Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Yudron » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:56 am

Ven. Charama,

I don't have any experience with your group. I'm curious, were you a Zen practitioner before you met your current teacher, or a Buddhist? 2 1/2 years honestly seems like a short time in the Dharma to gain teacher status. Perhaps you had some other background in the Dharma. Also, I am wondering about the Venerable title, usually applied in the west to monastics. Are you a nun? If so, from what monastic abbot/abbess did you receive your vows and when?
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Ven. Charama Bhavika » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:08 am

JKhedrup wrote:
I have known Paul Lynch for 2-1/2 years. He ordained me as a Zen priest last year. This year, he allowed me to teach as an apprentice Zen teacher. I take that responsibility very seriously. My fellow Zen teachers in the Five Mountain Zen Order do, too. They are wonderful people, with insight, wisdom, and great compassion among their many positive attributes. I am proud to be associated with Paul and the Five Mountain Zen Order, and consider myself blessed to know people of such sterling character.


This strikes me as unusual. To meet a teacher and be ordained as a priest 1 1/2 years later, along with using titles like Ven. And then to begin teaching with 2 years. It seems to me to be a short period of training. Just my opinion. Usually to be able to share with other people in the context of being a teacher we have to have some years of receiving teachings and applying them in our lives.


Hi JKhedrup,

Thank you for your comments.

I was not clear in my post. For that, I apologize. I didn't just meet Paul 2-1/2 years ago. He became my formal Zen teacher that long ago. I had attended the Five Mountain Zen Seminary for a while before that. I knew him through the now-defunct seminary.

But my Zen path began some 10 years ago. My first formal Zen teacher was P'arang Geri Larkin, author of many books and former Guiding Teacher at Still Point Zen Buddhist Temple in Detroit. P'arang is one of the most compassionate and genuine people I've ever met. I learn from her to this day.

As I mentioned, Paul and I have spent a couple of hundred hours in formal teacher/student training. This included koan work and general discussions about the Dharma, Sutras, etc. We will continue our intense training quite likely for the rest of our lives.

I apologize for not being more specific or clear.

I also apologize for using the title Ven, especially if it offends you. I could have used Sa Bu Nim. Or Sunim. If you prefer, don't use a title at all. I'm happy just being Charama.

Many Bows,

Charama
"If you want to attain your true nature, you must have Great Faith, Great Courage, and Great Question. It is like a three-legged stool...With these supporting your practice, you can attain your true self. You can attain universal substance, and attain your correct way, and truth, and make your life correct. Then you can help all sentient beings get out of suffering. That is our job."

- Zen Master Seung Sahn
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:13 am

You using the title Venerable does not offend me at all. I was just surprised you used it in your name here with such a short period in the dharma, but you have clarified this in your statement above.

I personally dislike the title Venerable, and ask people not to use it when addressing me. It implies "worthy of Veneration" and as I possess few qualities worthy of veneration I ask people not to use it. But other monastics I have met have different opinions.

Why do you not ask Rev. Kusala over at the International Buddhist Meditation Centre of Los Angeles to write a letter clarifying how the lineage passed between Ven. Karuna Dharma and your order? This would very quickly clear any confusion, as he is now the seniormost monastic at the centre, and Ven. Karuna Dharma must have kept him informed about such an important event.
Last edited by JKhedrup on Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Ven. Charama Bhavika » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:18 am

Yudron wrote:Ven. Charama,

I don't have any experience with your group. I'm curious, were you a Zen practitioner before you met your current teacher, or a Buddhist? 2 1/2 years honestly seems like a short time in the Dharma to gain teacher status. Perhaps you had some other background in the Dharma. Also, I am wondering about the Venerable title, usually applied in the west to monastics. Are you a nun? If so, from what monastic abbot/abbess did you receive your vows and when?



Hi Yudron!

Thank you for your reply to my post.

I may have answered your questions in my reply to JKhedrup.

You can check us out by visiting our web site: http://www.fivemountainzenorder.org.

I'm not familiar with how or where titles are usually applied. I'll have to defer to you on that. Nor do I know how long it takes someone to achieve status in the Zen community. I don't pay attention to such things. I like to keep "don't-know mind," as my spiritual grandfather Zen Master Seung Sahn used to say. "Only go straight. Don't know."

My job is, "How may I help you?" Anything beyond that I leave to experts.

Many Bows,

Charama
"If you want to attain your true nature, you must have Great Faith, Great Courage, and Great Question. It is like a three-legged stool...With these supporting your practice, you can attain your true self. You can attain universal substance, and attain your correct way, and truth, and make your life correct. Then you can help all sentient beings get out of suffering. That is our job."

- Zen Master Seung Sahn
Compass of Zen
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Jikan » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:26 am

Hi Ven. Charama Bhavika,

You have rebutted the claim that Ven. Lynch is motivated by a desire for cash, by suggesting that he is without means. (This may or may not follow logically; being without means is a plausible reason why someone might be motivated to seek cash, and hence may be evidence against your claim, but we'll bracket that for now and take your word for it.)

The more typical criticism made of Lynch in this thread has less to do with finances and more to do with honesty. I don't have a position on this myself; I'm here to learn. That's why I posted this question at the start of this discussion:

Jikan wrote:
Haemin wrote:I would write to FMO directly rather than post here. A lot of what came up about the Taego Order on Dharma Wheel was speculation and assumption, with no one bothering to check directly.


I have. Although it was a while back; at that time, J. Foster was still directly involved with it (he was the person I interacted with). I'll have more to say about Foster later.

Bigger picture: I think it's possible to discuss lineage & issues surrounding ordination in a public forum without falling back on speculation or unfounded assertion, especially in this instance where so much material is available online, in English. For instance:

Dear Students of the Golden Wind Zen Group and the Public at Large:

It is with a great deal of sadness and wistfulness that I write this letter is to inform you that Paul Lynch was permanently suspended on July 13, 2008 as a Ji Do Poep Sa Nim in the Golden Wind Zen Teaching Order. I originally asked Paul to take a leave of absence as a teacher during which time he could begin to practice regularly once again and make an effort to deal with his severe health problems and personal issues. When informed of this leave-of-absence from teaching, Paul decided to walk away from the sangha entirely.

A Ji Do Poep Sa is permitted to teach only under the direct supervision of their supervising Zen Master according to the Korean/American Zen tradition.

Any teaching done by Paul (under the rubric of a “Before Thinking” organization or in any other forum) is, therefore, presented without the consent or approval of Zen Master Ji Bong. Consequently, Zen Master Ji Bong accepts no responsibility for any of Paul Lynch’s words or actions currently or at any time in the future. Paul Lynch is not in any respect to be considered the Dharma heir of either Zen Master Seung Sahn or Zen Master Ji Bong.

If a student -JDPS is unwilling to follow his/her teacher, that student gives up all rights to any claims of lineage. One has authentic lineage or one has nothing – that is the majesty of the Zen Tradition.

Ironically, this experience has become a good teaching experience for all of us. We must watch our steps in each moment – remember there is always a banana peel close by.

Zen Master Ji Bong (August 17, 2008)
(a letter reproduced all over teh interwebz... you can ask R. Moore if it's legitimate if you like.)


Would you like to put this to rest once and for all? Is Lynch's Zen transmission a "banana peel" or as "nothing" as Moore Sunim seems to describe it? How would you characterize Moore's comments here?

Thank you in advance for responding to these criticisms. I'm very grateful to have a balanced discussion here at DharmaWheel.

Best regards,
Jikan
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Ven. Charama Bhavika » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:30 am

JKhedrup wrote:I personally dislike the title Venerable, and ask people not to use it when addressing me. It implies "worthy of Veneration" and as I possess few qualities worthy of veneration I ask people not to use it. But other monastics I have met have different opinions.

Why do you not ask Rev. Kusala over at the International Buddhist Meditation Centre of Los Angeles to write a letter clarifying how the lineage passed between Ven. Karuna Dharma and your order? This would very quickly clear any confusion, as he is now the seniormost monastic at the centre, and Ven. Karuna Dharma must have kept him informed about such an important event.


Those are two wonderful pieces of advice that I will take to heart.

I never thought about the title being something that makes me look puffed up or self-important. But your point is a good one. (And I must be like you: Not many qualities worthy of veneration in me.)

I'm not sure what the connection is between IBMC and Ven. Karuna Dharma. I know there was a loose connection between Ven. Dr. Thich Thien-An's American University of Oriental Studies and the IBMC back in the early 1970s. But the two were not the same. And I don't know how closely aligned the two entities are now. It is our Abbott who befriended the great teacher (Ven. Karuna Dharma) awhile ago. It was the two of them who discussed us operating Thich Thien-An's institute. We are so proud that she entrusted us with that great responsibility. As I mentioned, we don't take it lightly.

But, again, I think your suggestion is a good one. Seems like a wise course of action.

Thank you for your help clarifying these areas.

Charama
"If you want to attain your true nature, you must have Great Faith, Great Courage, and Great Question. It is like a three-legged stool...With these supporting your practice, you can attain your true self. You can attain universal substance, and attain your correct way, and truth, and make your life correct. Then you can help all sentient beings get out of suffering. That is our job."

- Zen Master Seung Sahn
Compass of Zen
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Ven. Charama Bhavika » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:49 am

Jikan wrote:Hi Ven. Charama Bhavika,

You have rebutted the claim that Ven. Lynch is motivated by a desire for cash, by suggesting that he is without means. (This may or may not follow logically; being without means is a plausible reason why someone might be motivated to seek cash, and hence may be evidence against your claim, but we'll bracket that for now and take your word for it.)

The more typical criticism made of Lynch in this thread has less to do with finances and more to do with honesty. I don't have a position on this myself; I'm here to learn. That's why I posted this question at the start of this discussion:

Jikan wrote:
Haemin wrote:I would write to FMO directly rather than post here. A lot of what came up about the Taego Order on Dharma Wheel was speculation and assumption, with no one bothering to check directly.


I have. Although it was a while back; at that time, J. Foster was still directly involved with it (he was the person I interacted with). I'll have more to say about Foster later.

Bigger picture: I think it's possible to discuss lineage & issues surrounding ordination in a public forum without falling back on speculation or unfounded assertion, especially in this instance where so much material is available online, in English. For instance:

Dear Students of the Golden Wind Zen Group and the Public at Large:

It is with a great deal of sadness and wistfulness that I write this letter is to inform you that Paul Lynch was permanently suspended on July 13, 2008 as a Ji Do Poep Sa Nim in the Golden Wind Zen Teaching Order. I originally asked Paul to take a leave of absence as a teacher during which time he could begin to practice regularly once again and make an effort to deal with his severe health problems and personal issues. When informed of this leave-of-absence from teaching, Paul decided to walk away from the sangha entirely.

A Ji Do Poep Sa is permitted to teach only under the direct supervision of their supervising Zen Master according to the Korean/American Zen tradition.

Any teaching done by Paul (under the rubric of a “Before Thinking” organization or in any other forum) is, therefore, presented without the consent or approval of Zen Master Ji Bong. Consequently, Zen Master Ji Bong accepts no responsibility for any of Paul Lynch’s words or actions currently or at any time in the future. Paul Lynch is not in any respect to be considered the Dharma heir of either Zen Master Seung Sahn or Zen Master Ji Bong.

If a student -JDPS is unwilling to follow his/her teacher, that student gives up all rights to any claims of lineage. One has authentic lineage or one has nothing – that is the majesty of the Zen Tradition.

Ironically, this experience has become a good teaching experience for all of us. We must watch our steps in each moment – remember there is always a banana peel close by.

Zen Master Ji Bong (August 17, 2008)
(a letter reproduced all over teh interwebz... you can ask R. Moore if it's legitimate if you like.)


Would you like to put this to rest once and for all? Is Lynch's Zen transmission a "banana peel" or as "nothing" as Moore Sunim seems to describe it? How would you characterize Moore's comments here?

Thank you in advance for responding to these criticisms. I'm very grateful to have a balanced discussion here at DharmaWheel.

Best regards,
Jikan



Hi Jikan,

Thanks for writing.

A couple of short answers:

1. I'm not sure I made the claim that the proof Paul is not motivated by cash is that he is without means. Actually, if he is motivated by cash, he's doing a piss-poor job of making any of it for himself via Zen. From what I know of Paul, he spent his money on Zen. He doesn't make money from it.

What I meant from my comment is that I know his character from spending many hours with him. He doesn't speak of money. Not making it. Not spending it. He teaches me to have a clear mind. To be compassionate. To do no harm. To help others. That's what we talk about. He only mentions money when he is trying to scrape together enough of it to buy a software program to help keep better track of records, or pay rent. He lives the life of a monk. He walks the walk. No frills.

I see your point, though. And it made me laugh out loud. If Paul was a money-grubbing S.O.B. then having no means would only add motive for him to attain some of it. You're right. But, if he is a money-grubbing S.O.B. then he's done a superlative job of hiding it from me and the others in the Five Mountain Zen Order. That's not his character.

2. The matter of Paul's authority to teach is one he will address on his blog in the near future. I know what he's told me about the situation. But I may not have my facts right. And I'm certainly not at liberty to speak of it on his behalf. I can tell you there is an answer.

I could stop by here to let you know when Paul posts his comments. Or you could stop by his Zen Mirror blog from time to time. Here it is: http://zenmirror.blogspot.com/.

Please feel free to ask me anything or to make any comments you wish. I'm here to learn. If I have something to offer, all the better.

Charama
"If you want to attain your true nature, you must have Great Faith, Great Courage, and Great Question. It is like a three-legged stool...With these supporting your practice, you can attain your true self. You can attain universal substance, and attain your correct way, and truth, and make your life correct. Then you can help all sentient beings get out of suffering. That is our job."

- Zen Master Seung Sahn
Compass of Zen
Ven. Charama Bhavika
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:50 pm
Location: Michigan, U.S.A.

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:38 am

I'm not sure what the connection is between IBMC and Ven. Karuna Dharma. I know there was a loose connection between Ven. Dr. Thich Thien-An's American University of Oriental Studies and the IBMC back in the early 1970s.


Ven. Karuna Dharma was the abbess/director of IBMC for over thirty years. She retired recently due to old age and ill health. Rev. Kusala (ordained a bhikshu for 20 plus years) as the guiding teacher and senior monk would certainly have discussed all this with her and has worked in the same temple with her for over 20 years. As such he would definitely have knowlege about the relationship between the late Dr. Thich Thien An's endeavours and the Five Mountain Order. A simple email from him would enable you to clarify this once and for all in my opinion.

Could you also explain the terms "Bodhisattva Monk" "Sramanera" and "Anagarika" that are used on the page of your order? Anagarika usually means one who has left the homelife and observes the 8 precepts- some call it a pre-novice status. Sramanera is a title used in the Vinaya of Lord Buddha to indicate people who follow 10 main vows including celibacy, in some traditions counted as 36 with secondary trainings included. This is true in all the Vinaya traditions- whether Theravada, Tibetan or East Asian (Chinese/Viet Namese) Mahayana. But on the website it shows a picture of a young lady sramanera with long hair etc.

The term Bodhisattva monk also confuses me. Does this mean a bhikshu, observing many rules including celibacy, a lay person with teacher status (as in Japanese Zen) who observes the Bodhisattva precepts from the Brahma Net Sutra?

Thanks so much.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Jikan » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:32 pm

Hi Ven. Charama Bhavika,

Thanks for the clarification. I look forward to reading more from Lynch as it emerges.

All the best,
Jikan
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Ven. Charama Bhavika » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:17 pm

JKhedrup wrote:
I'm not sure what the connection is between IBMC and Ven. Karuna Dharma. I know there was a loose connection between Ven. Dr. Thich Thien-An's American University of Oriental Studies and the IBMC back in the early 1970s.


Ven. Karuna Dharma was the abbess/director of IBMC for over thirty years. She retired recently due to old age and ill health. Rev. Kusala (ordained a bhikshu for 20 plus years) as the guiding teacher and senior monk would certainly have discussed all this with her and has worked in the same temple with her for over 20 years. As such he would definitely have knowlege about the relationship between the late Dr. Thich Thien An's endeavours and the Five Mountain Order. A simple email from him would enable you to clarify this once and for all in my opinion.

Could you also explain the terms "Bodhisattva Monk" "Sramanera" and "Anagarika" that are used on the page of your order? Anagarika usually means one who has left the homelife and observes the 8 precepts- some call it a pre-novice status. Sramanera is a title used in the Vinaya of Lord Buddha to indicate people who follow 10 main vows including celibacy, in some traditions counted as 36 with secondary trainings included. This is true in all the Vinaya traditions- whether Theravada, Tibetan or East Asian (Chinese/Viet Namese) Mahayana. But on the website it shows a picture of a young lady sramanera with long hair etc.

The term Bodhisattva monk also confuses me. Does this mean a bhikshu, observing many rules including celibacy, a lay person with teacher status (as in Japanese Zen) who observes the Bodhisattva precepts from the Brahma Net Sutra?

Thanks so much.



Hi JKhedrup,

It's great to hear from you again. Thank you for taking the time to post a reply.

Unfortunately, I don't have many answers for you. I do not have your wisdom or experience regarding various orders and terms and meanings. I could not even pretend to answer your questions.

In our order, which is a Zen order, we we do not attach to form. We revere form, along with the various orders and lineages and traditions around the world. But we welcome all sincere practitioners with open arms, regardless of their title or lineage or tradition. Any Precept-taking Dharma brother or sister is our Dharma brother or sister. Doesn't matter how many Precepts. Or what color his or her robe is. Or length of his or her hair. A person who has taken refuge in Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha is someone to whom we bow in gratitude, and welcome into our homes with compassionate hearts.

So I do not make a distinction between titles, orders, robe colors, and the number of Precepts one takes. I know those who take more Precepts are very deeply committed to the Dharma. But I also know anyone who takes Precepts and begins the journey has embarked on a noble Path and requires my respect, and possibly my assistance.

In saying that, I do not mean such things as titles, orders, robe colors, and traditions are not important or that those who can explain them all with perfect clarity are wrong to do so. Everything is important. And nothing is important.

So I have the utmost respect for your vast knowledge of this subject. I can learn from you.

Regarding Rev. Kusala and Ven. Karuna Dharma, I know nothing about their personal relationship. Or how much they've shared with one another. Such is the stuff of conjecture. All I know for a certainty is this:

The Five Mountain Zen Order has no affiliation with the International Buddhist Meditation Center. We do not now "own" it. We did not, as Mujin Karuna asserts, "steal" it. The IBMC, from what I understand, no longer exists. That's what they posted on the Founder's Page of IBMC on Facebook on Tuesday ("Since IBMC is no more please send your support and donations to the teachers of Thich Thien-An."). The Founder's page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Founders-Page-of-IBMC-International-Buddhist-Meditation-Center/119847221408433?ref=ts&fref=ts. On that page, someone posted this earlier this week:

Wonji Dharma is a new teacher to our group and he is teaching good things. Please send him your support and questions. He is very skilled and mindful. See his FB page site.

(Wonji Dharma is Paul Lynch, the founder of the Five Mountain Zen Order.)

There are also photos of Five Mountain Zen Order people, Suhita Dharma, and others. Apparently, those who were part of IMBC or who still carry on in the tradition of Ven. Thich Thien-An, consider us Dharma brothers and sisters. I, personally, am friends on Facebook with some of them. Thich Tam Khong (Sunya), for example. Suhita Dharma, too. And Bhikkhu Gunaratana. I met Suhita Dharma at our sangha weekend in Las Vegas. He is a treasure, a sincere, compassionate teacher. I also met Bhikkhu Gunaratana that weekend. He and I continue our friendship to this day. In fact, he is sending me a book in the mail. It should arrive in a week.

Ven. Karuna Dharma and our Abbot are the ones who discussed the late Dr. Ven. Thich Thien-An's educational institution (not IMBC). They made it possible for the Five Mountain Zen Order to carry on Ven. Thich Thien-An's tradition of welcoming all with open arms, regardless of their tradition. Rev. Kasula may or may not have been privy to that. I wasn't there. So I don't know. As a practitioner of Zen, I deal with what is. Not what may have been. Therefore, an e-mail from him may or may not have bearing on the matter. And may, in fact, be completely irrelevant, offering no insight at all.

Until I hear otherwise from Ven. Karuna Dharma, our Abbot, or Wonji Dharma (Paul Lynch), Five Mountain Zen Order is the torch bearer for Ven. Thich Thien-An's tradition of excellence and compassionate acceptance of all who desire to learn and follow the Path.

Many Bows,

Charama
"If you want to attain your true nature, you must have Great Faith, Great Courage, and Great Question. It is like a three-legged stool...With these supporting your practice, you can attain your true self. You can attain universal substance, and attain your correct way, and truth, and make your life correct. Then you can help all sentient beings get out of suffering. That is our job."

- Zen Master Seung Sahn
Compass of Zen
Ven. Charama Bhavika
 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:50 pm
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