Treeleaf Sangha

Treeleaf Sangha

Postby myozankodo » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:09 pm

Hello all,
I'm new here and have just been looking around. I did a search on my own Sangha (Treeleaf, where I am an Unsui), and found this:

viewtopic.php?f=69&t=11646

I was curious, in what way exactly is Treeleaf controversial?

Gassho,
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Jikan » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:50 pm

What was not so traditional, however — and rather groundbreaking and somewhat controversial — is that it was, we believe, the first time that a Buddhist Ordination has been performed simultaneously on three continents (with the preceptors, Taigu and Jundo, in Japan, and our three ordainees in Canada, Germany and Sweden) all linked by audio-visual media via the internet.


from:

http://shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p=18165

Here, you can see Treeleaf's leader, Jundo Cohen, describing some of the controversy surrounding his organization, in his own words. You'll notice in the thread you referred to that I used the word "controversial" to describe this group. I did not say it was good, bad, or indifferent, but merely that controversy existed.

There are other areas in which Treeleaf and its leadership have provoked extensive and (not infrequently) heated discussion. Others can fill you in on this. Some specific criticisms of this teacher and organization are made in this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=66&t=8706&start=0&hilit=treeleaf#p107356
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby myozankodo » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:38 pm

Hi Jikan,
Thanks for your reply. I understand that some find the ordinations at Treeleaf controversial. I know all about that controversy. Yep.
But you were making a comparison between Treeleaf and the Five Mountain Zen Order. In what sense are both similarly controversial?
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Jikan » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:54 pm

myozankodo wrote:Hi Jikan,
Thanks for your reply. I understand that some find the ordinations at Treeleaf controversial. I know all about that controversy. Yep.
But you were making a comparison between Treeleaf and the Five Mountain Zen Order. In what sense are both similarly controversial?
Gassho
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I said that both are controversial, but for somewhat different reasons: which is to say, I did not say that both are similarly controversial, or controversial for the same causes. There are important differences, for instance, in how the leaders of each group respond to controversy. Paul Lynch ignores it. By contrast, Jundo Cohen is very active online. They also have very different writing styles and, if you will, public personae.
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Jikan » Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:01 pm



I should add: the reason I brought it up in the first place is because the OP suggested he or she was not interested in Five Mountain because it is controversial. If one wishes to avoid a controversial sangha and teacher, then such a one may wish to know where the controversies lie (and it was not me who introduced Treeleaf into that particular conversation).
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby shel » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:38 pm

Hi Myozankodo,

While we're on the subject of controversy, may I ask why Shinkai 'Allison' (the only female priest at Treeleaf) "retired" from novice priest training after only just beginning?
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby myozankodo » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:06 pm

Thanks Jikan for the clarification. I understand now. You were not making a direct comparison between the Five Mountain Zen Order and Treeleaf. Rather you flagged that online ordination at Treeleaf is controversial in some quarters, which I know it is.
Hi Shel. You asked about Shinkai leaving priest training at Treeleaf? Sure.
My understanding, based on what Shinkai said herself around the time of her departure, is that what with her commitments at work in Facebook, she realized (as her training began) that the time commitment for rigorous Unsui training was just not something she could accommodate in her busy life. It was a difficult decision for her, and we all understood that at Treeleaf. That's about it, as I understand it. Do ask Shinkai yourself.

Also, I'm sure other priests will be ordained at Treeleaf: female and male.

Just to clarify: It seems to me the online ordination question is just about the only controversial thing at Treeleaf. There have been no money or sex scandals. Indeed, there is no money involved in the Sangha experience … no donations, fees, etc. Not everyone might appreciate every teacher's teaching style. But that's why we all choose the Sangha that we are comfortable in, that fits us. After three years at Treeleaf, I can honestly say that the two teachers have been above reproach in their conduct … even if some people do find the raison d'être of the Sangha (an online Sangha for people with no Zen centre near them) to be something they find it hard to get their head around. Different strokes for different folks.
What looks good at DharmaWheel is the breath of the discussion. I look forward to having a good look round.
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby shel » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:19 pm

Hi Myozenkodo, and thanks.

myozankodo wrote:... rigorous Unsui training was just not something she could accommodate in her busy life.


What does this "rigorous" training consist of, like on a daily basis?

I can honestly say that the two teachers have been above reproach in their conduct …


It's funny you can say that, are you even on the same continent? Have you ever met in person? Did you know that Jundo was banned from this forum and Zen Forum International for his "conduct"?
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Jikan » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:56 am

myozankodo wrote:Thanks Jikan for the clarification. I understand now. You were not making a direct comparison between the Five Mountain Zen Order and Treeleaf. Rather you flagged that online ordination at Treeleaf is controversial in some quarters, which I know it is.


Yes, that's obvious. Two more clarifications are in order following your comment. First: I didn't say Treeleaf was controversial in some quarters. I said it's controversial, full stop. Second: my comment was directed toward Simplexity, who might not be expected to know this, and not you, who should be fully aware.

No further comment from me in this thread. I wish you safe travels, long life, great health, and a fulfilled path.

:namaste:
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Dan74 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:56 am

I think it's incredible that Jundo dedicates so much energy to Treeleaf and asks for no payments and donations. I also think that for those with no possibility of access to a "real-space" Sangha, this is an interesting and potentially useful idea.

Personally I have reservations about Jundo but they are mine and if your practice there is strong, that's the main thing.

All the best.
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby oushi » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:33 am

The idea of internet community is very good. I would like to see more diversity in this field.
shel wrote:Did you know that Jundo was banned from this forum and Zen Forum International for his "conduct"?

So was/am I. What does that prove?
I have read most of Jundo posts here and there, and although I do not agree with everything he says, I never found it inappropriate. Some people have their ideas and will do everything to enforce them, silencing others is one way. What is interesting, I've been writing on many different fora, but only on Buddhist boards I found such practice. I never hears of Buddha gagging someone.
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Dan74 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:44 am

I don't think Jundo was banned from ZFI.
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Simon E. » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:05 am

Dan74 wrote:I don't think Jundo was banned from ZFI.



You are correct..HE is not banned from ZFI.

:namaste:
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:36 am

People do not necessarily get banned from fora for their ideas. Many people get banned for the manner in which they express their ideas. A troll may say something that is true, what makes them a troll is the manner in which they say it. A person can be banned for being aggressive, disruptive, deceptive, brusque, defamatory, rude, impolite, overbearing, etc...

In my time as a moderator here at Dharma Wheel, nobody has been banned for their views "in and of themselves". Many have been banned for their, to use a broad term that covers all the abovementioned categories, social ineptitude.
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"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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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby myozankodo » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:43 pm

Hi all,
I really am not concerned with what you think about Jundo. I’m also not concerned about your history with Jundo. That has nothing to do with me. I speak for myself, not Jundo.

(That said, in my experience, Jundo is fair-minded and, obviously, impassioned in discussion ... as are many of you, i'd wager).

Shel, you had some questions I’d be happy to try and answer.

I’ve never met Jundo in person. No. But I have met my teacher Taigu in person. Indeed, I was ordained by him at the end of a Sesshin held in Kortenborg, Belgium, in 2011. This ordination came after two years of preparation, including weekly, hour-long meetings on Skype. I think we must be talking of about 100 hours or more of face-to-face, student-teacher interaction in advance of ordination.

You also asked about Unsui training at Treeleaf. Well, much like elsewhere it involves study and practice. Study of the sutras. Practice of the forms. Immersion in the history of the Soto tradition. Also, work practice, engaged practice, and the like forms part of the training. All in all, it is a daily commitment ... not a fly-by-night affair.

My weekly hour of Dokusan continues with my teacher. Having received Jukai in the SFZC lineage, I decided that Dokusan twice a year with Paul Haller just wasn’t enough. I realised I’d have much more interaction with a teacher at Treeleaf. So, I sought out Taigu, with whom I identified. Indeed, some of the training (particularly in forms) happened in Belgium ... and will continue, both online and at our next retreat.

I know Jundo’s priests-in-training also have spent time practicing with him in Japan, as well as their interaction online. This is certainly true of Mongen, who did some training in a Japanese monetary with Jundo for a week or two a year or two ago.
So, although much of our interaction occurs online, it is complemented in other meetings. It’s really not that radical ... quite like any other Zen Sangha in North America or Europe, really.

Thanks for your questions Shel. Who do you practise with, and where? I’d be curious to learn of your own practise.

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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby shel » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:11 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Dan74 wrote:I don't think Jundo was banned from ZFI.



You are correct..HE is not banned from ZFI.


Reminds me of a joke I once heard in a standup routine. The comic was telling a story about his job. He was saying how he did not lose his job, he knows where it is. It's just that whenever he goes there now someone else is doing it.

The comic was trying to be funny though. When Jundo denies being banned, not only is it not funny, it's not... hummm, what is the word I'm looking for?
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby shel » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:31 pm

myozankodo wrote:I’ve never met Jundo in person. No. But I have met my teacher Taigu in person. Indeed, I was ordained by him at the end of a Sesshin held in Kortenborg, Belgium, in 2011. This ordination came after two years of preparation, including weekly, hour-long meetings on Skype. I think we must be talking of about 100 hours or more of face-to-face, student-teacher interaction in advance of ordination.

You've never met Jundo, and it's not clear how much interaction you've had with him at all, yet you declare that his, and Taigu's, conduct has been above reproach for the last three years. I must say that this seems odd.

You also asked about Unsui training at Treeleaf. Well, much like elsewhere it involves study and practice. Study of the sutras. Practice of the forms. Immersion in the history of the Soto tradition. Also, work practice, engaged practice, and the like forms part of the training. All in all, it is a daily commitment ... not a fly-by-night affair.

I clearly asked about the so called "rigorous" daily practice. What daily practice is required? Please only answer if you feel like doing so. I'm merely curious. But please be honest.

Who do you practise with, and where? I’d be curious to learn of your own practise.

I practice with everyone everywhere, except when, where, and with whom I don't.

I don't practice what anyone would consider Zen Buddhism. Currently I sit daily for 30 min and generally endeavor to be a better person through learning, paying attention and trying to take responsibility. That's about it.
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby shel » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:40 pm

Dan74 wrote:I don't think Jundo was banned from ZFI.


Heya Dan, how's old ZFI doing? I notice there's not much activity there anymore. Pretty soon only the admins and moderators will be posting. But at least things will be firmly under control and Zen Buddhism will be properly represented. :smile:
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Simon E. » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:24 pm

shel wrote:
Simon E. wrote:
Dan74 wrote:I don't think Jundo was banned from ZFI.



You are correct..HE is not banned from ZFI.


Reminds me of a joke I once heard in a standup routine. The comic was telling a story about his job. He was saying how he did not lose his job, he knows where it is. It's just that whenever he goes there now someone else is doing it.

The comic was trying to be funny though. When Jundo denies being banned, not only is it not funny, it's not... hummm, what is the word I'm looking for?

Anyone who is able to log into ZFI, will find Jundo's account is intact..,including his personal message facility.
Ergo.. HE is not banned.
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby shel » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:42 pm

Simon E. wrote:If you go to ZFI, and if you are able to log in, you will find Jundo's account is intact..,including his personal message facility.
Ergo.. he is not banned.


Since we're getting all technical now, Simon E, I'll point out that being banned essential means being prohibited from doing something, like posting messages on an internet forum, for example. But I do see your point. The officials, who we all respect and regard as official in their official capacities, did not officially ban Jundo. We all regard the official decree as the important thing, not the fact of what Jundo is or is not allowed to do.
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