Treeleaf Sangha

Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby KeithA » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:18 pm

shel wrote:To a [dysfunctional] fault. :twothumbsup:


you said it, not me! :cheers:
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby shel » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:21 pm

I think it's alright to be impolite to yourself.
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby shel » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:04 am

Getty back to the topic, I saw an interesting couple of articles published at Sweepingzen.com this week which I believe touch on the core issue of the Treeleaf controversy. The core issue is apparently that online sangha cannot be a substitute for in-person sangha, and I believe the articles posted by Jundo and Taigu demonstrate why. It can't be a substitute because with online communication we tend show an artificial version of ourselves. Indeed, one of the articles is literally titled "Unmasking" ( http://sweepingzen.com/sit-a-long-with-taigu-unmasking/ ). In the video Taigu mentions how his response to recent events in his life caused a big stir in at Treeleaf. It would appear that he is not well known at Treeleaf. Only the online mask is known. Granted it's possible to present a mask in person, and indeed we probably all do to some degree, but by being around others in person we see infinitely more. We see reactions to the unexpected, everything, unfiltered. Online everything is measured and controlled, and any random elements are removed, so we show only what we want to show.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby AlanI » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:58 am

shel wrote:Getty back to the topic, I saw an interesting couple of articles published at Sweepingzen.com this week which I believe touch on the core issue of the Treeleaf controversy. The core issue is apparently that online sangha cannot be a substitute for in-person sangha, and I believe the articles posted by Jundo and Taigu demonstrate why. It can't be a substitute because with online communication we tend show an artificial version of ourselves. Indeed, one of the articles is literally titled "Unmasking" ( http://sweepingzen.com/sit-a-long-with-taigu-unmasking/ ). In the video Taigu mentions how his response to recent events in his life caused a big stir in at Treeleaf. It would appear that he is not well known at Treeleaf. Only the online mask is known. Granted it's possible to present a mask in person, and indeed we probably all do to some degree, but by being around others in person we see infinitely more. We see reactions to the unexpected, everything, unfiltered. Online everything is measured and controlled, and any random elements are removed, so we show only what we want to show.

Any thoughts?


Very interesting, Shel, However, that is not the message of that talk by Taigu at all. In fact, it is the complete opposite.

I have been in many Buddhist groups over 30 years of all kinds. I even was around Trungpa for several years when he was alive, and lived with some of the people with Katagiri Roshi for many years. Treeleaf is my first online experience with a Buddhist community, and I have to say it is one of the warmest, most connected, helpful groups I have ever associated with. I am rather quiet, but when I do need some question, Taigu and Jundo and the others in the community have been there. Over the last couple of years I have found the practice there very real, and Taigu and Jundo very powerful and down to earth teachers. Maybe that honesty and down to earth is what is confusing you, Shel.

If you have never been to Treeleaf, Shel, you should give it a try.

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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby shel » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:23 am

AlanI wrote:
shel wrote:Getty back to the topic, I saw an interesting couple of articles published at Sweepingzen.com this week which I believe touch on the core issue of the Treeleaf controversy. The core issue is apparently that online sangha cannot be a substitute for in-person sangha, and I believe the articles posted by Jundo and Taigu demonstrate why. It can't be a substitute because with online communication we tend show an artificial version of ourselves. Indeed, one of the articles is literally titled "Unmasking" ( http://sweepingzen.com/sit-a-long-with-taigu-unmasking/ ). In the video Taigu mentions how his response to recent events in his life caused a big stir in at Treeleaf. It would appear that he is not well known at Treeleaf. Only the online mask is known. Granted it's possible to present a mask in person, and indeed we probably all do to some degree, but by being around others in person we see infinitely more. We see reactions to the unexpected, everything, unfiltered. Online everything is measured and controlled, and any random elements are removed, so we show only what we want to show.

Any thoughts?


Very interesting, Shel, However, that is not the message of that talk by Taigu at all. In fact, it is the complete opposite.

Hello Alan,

I only listened to the first few minutes of the video so I don't know what it was about other than what was mentioned at the beginning. The contents of video were not what I was talking about. I was talking about the big stir that was caused in the Treeleaf community when they learned more about Taigu's real life. Like I said, it's like no one really knows him there, and that's not a surprise being that they only know him through the filter of digital technology, where everything that's show is controlled and measured. Little, if anything, unexpected happens through that media channel.

lived with some of the people with Katagiri Roshi for many years.

How well did you know Katagiri? If you did really know him, did you abide all his activities?

Treeleaf is my first online experience with a Buddhist community, and I have to say it is one of the warmest, most connected, helpful groups I have ever associated with. I am rather quiet, but when I do need some question, Taigu and Jundo and the others in the community have been there. Over the last couple of years I have found the practice there very real, and Taigu and Jundo very powerful and down to earth teachers.

That's all very nice, Alan, and I'm glad for you. I clearly wasn't saying that the Treeleaf community is not warm or connected or helpful. Indeed I might be saying that that's all that they are, because that's all that they show through the controlled online medium. Life isn't always warm, connected or helpful. Hence the stir when the online group learned that life wasn't warm, connected or helpful to Taigu, in his real life.

Maybe that honesty and down to earth is what is confusing you, Shel.

You are suggesting that sensibility and honesty confuse me?
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby seeker242 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:40 pm

shel wrote:Getty back to the topic, I saw an interesting couple of articles published at Sweepingzen.com this week which I believe touch on the core issue of the Treeleaf controversy. The core issue is apparently that online sangha cannot be a substitute for in-person sangha


I have a friend who attends Treeleaf and finds it very beneficial. He does not believe that an online sangha can be an equivalent of an in person sangha. But he does believe that an online sangha is better than no sangha at all. I would imagine that it would be quite difficult to argue that an online sangha is not better than no sangha at all.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby SonofRage » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:02 pm

For what it's worth, I see my teacher in real life on a weekly basis for the past year and I can't say I know him in a way that would make me less surprised if he were depressed.
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby AlanI » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:39 pm

shel wrote: I was talking about the big stir that was caused in the Treeleaf community when they learned more about Taigu's real life. Like I said, it's like no one really knows him there, and that's not a surprise being that they only know him through the filter of digital technology, where everything that's show is controlled and measured. Little, if anything, unexpected happens through that media channel.


Shel, I am confused about what "big stir"? Taigu is talking about feeling stress on his job, and he talks about how we tend to idealize Buddhist Teachers as being perfect. He uses as an example Trungpa who felt fear and deep depression in his biography. This did not create any stir. Look for yourself at the very positive reaction from the Tree leaf members.

http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthre ... -Unmasking

You confuse me, Shel. Someone PM'd me to say that you are <SNIP>. I am just trying to figure out your very exaggerated reactions.

http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthre ... ION-PRAXIS

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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:44 pm

You confuse me, Shel. Someone PM'd me to say that you are the fellow who <SNIP> I am just trying to figure out your very exaggerated reactions.


"Outing" someone in this manner on an internet forum is very unfortunate and bad netiquette. Firstly, it is in no way proveable that Shel is the person you assume he/she is. Secondly, it is not very polite to share such a personal disclosure that came to you via a Private Message. The fact that the information was sent as a private message indicates the person who sent it counted on your discretion.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby shel » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:58 pm

seeker242 wrote:
shel wrote:Getty back to the topic, I saw an interesting couple of articles published at Sweepingzen.com this week which I believe touch on the core issue of the Treeleaf controversy. The core issue is apparently that online sangha cannot be a substitute for in-person sangha


I have a friend who attends Treeleaf and finds it very beneficial. He does not believe that an online sangha can be an equivalent of an in person sangha. But he does believe that an online sangha is better than no sangha at all. I would imagine that it would be quite difficult to argue that an online sangha is not better than no sangha at all.

How difficult or easy it would be to argue of course depends on the organization. But we will not argue the issue because it's off-topic.

I will draw an analogy for you though, to highlight the distinction between something that is processed and something that is raw or real. Processed juice that can be purchased at any grocery store is pasteurized, all or most of the fiber is removed, and in some cases contains sugar or high fructose corn syrup and other additives. It's branded as being healthy to consume, but is it healthy? I'll just say that if a company truly valued health, and they wanted to sell a healthy beverage, they would be selling plain water, and or raw fruits.

Our bodies were not designed to eat processed food. But processed food is fast, convenient and cheep. It's commonly branded with the illusion of being healthy because it's "low in fat." Unfortunately products that are low in fat often contain sugars, which our bodies convert into fat, as well as causing a host of other imbalances leading to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. A gallon of pure fructose corn syrup can be legitimately labeled as being FAT FREE, because it is fat free.

I think this may be what Jikan was basically getting at with the recent topic about shopping for a tradition. Giving people what they want rather than what they need. Can anyone at Treeleaf live up to the hype that Omoi Otoshi wrote and "stop trying to fight what life throws at you and instead accept your circumstances and adapt to them, dance with them, effortlessly, fluidly.” I think that we can possibly appear that way online, through the filter of digital technology, showing only what we want to show.
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby shel » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:16 pm

AlanI wrote:
shel wrote: I was talking about the big stir that was caused in the Treeleaf community when they learned more about Taigu's real life. Like I said, it's like no one really knows him there, and that's not a surprise being that they only know him through the filter of digital technology, where everything that's show is controlled and measured. Little, if anything, unexpected happens through that media channel.


Shel, I am confused about what "big stir"? Taigu is talking about feeling stress on his job, and he talks about how we tend to idealize Buddhist Teachers as being perfect. He uses as an example Trungpa who felt fear and deep depression in his biography. This did not create any stir. Look for yourself at the very positive reaction from the Tree leaf members.

At the beginning of the video he said it caused a stir at Treeleaf. Are you saying that is not true? Why would he lie about it?

You confuse me, Shel. Someone PM'd me to say that you are the fellow who was asked to leave Treeleaf by a vote of the whole Sangha because of creating a problem, and maybe this is why you have an axe to grind against Taigu and Jundo? I am just trying to figure out your very exaggerated reactions.

http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthre ... ION-PRAXIS

I thought you attributed my reactions to being confused by honesty and sensibility. But anyway, this is exactly what I'm talking about. If anyone cares to look, notice that all posts from "praxis" were removed from the Treeleaf forum. Why were they deleted? My posts there were no different in nature than they on this forum, which might be characterized as being critical, and as Keith put it, "dogged and relentless."

Isn't that an example of the content and interaction there being filtered and processed, Alan? After processing what remains is sweet, and as you put it, "warm, connected, and helpful." There's nothing wrong with that, if that's all you want.
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Jikan » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:37 pm

shel wrote:I think this may be what Jikan was basically getting at with the recent topic about shopping for a tradition. Giving people what they want rather than what they need. Can anyone at Treeleaf live up to the hype that Omoi Otoshi wrote and "stop trying to fight what life throws at you and instead accept your circumstances and adapt to them, dance with them, effortlessly, fluidly.” I think that we can possibly appear that way online, through the filter of digital technology, showing only what we want to show.


That's an interesting angle, shel (particularly the bolded bits)
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Omoi Otoshi » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:55 pm

No, I believe we all stumble and fall, every day. I don't believe any of us are saints all the time. Enlightened, a sentient being is a Buddha. Deluded, a Buddha is a sentient being. What I described in my previous post was a Buddha moment. In between those, there are many sentient being moments! ;) And that's OK. The goal of my practice is not some special state or permanent sainthood ("enlightenment"). The goalless goal of my practice is to give up the chasing after a goal and just practice. Be who I am, actualize who I am, naturally, effortlessly, from the heart. Some days we sure don't feel like we're dancing effortlessly and fluidly with life, and that's practice too, a very important part of practice, where the rubber meets the road. But whatever life throws at me, I try not to judge it as good or bad all the time, and instead practice seeing it for what it is, accepting it for what it is, all part of life, of this gift of being human, and alive. I try not to have too many expectations of what life should be like, how things should turn out. Sometimes life sucks, but instead of whining about it or blaiming anyone, I try to just let it suck and keep going forward. This practice can give you the confidence and ability to (at least on some days) effortlessly ride the jade elephant backwards through life, not caring which way the path turns, just enjoying the ride, the whole scenery, including both the nice and the ugly parts. It can be a wonderful way of living.

In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day


Gassho,
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby shel » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:28 pm

Hello Omoi Otoshi,

Omoi Otoshi wrote:No, I believe we all stumble and fall, every day. I don't believe any of us are saints all the time.


Yes, obviously, the point I'm making is that with online communication life is controlled and measured so "all the time" may be filtered, and we show only what we want to show. Even when we stumble, as in the case of Taigu's breakdown, it is put on show to derive some much desired meaning out of it.
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:41 pm

Omoi Otoshi wrote:What I described in my previous post was a Buddha moment. In between those, there are many sentient being moments! ;)
Every moment is a "Buddha moment".
"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 Omoi Otoshi » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:04 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Omoi Otoshi wrote:What I described in my previous post was a Buddha moment. In between those, there are many sentient being moments! ;)
Every moment is a "Buddha moment".


Yes, sorry if that wasn't clear in my post! :)

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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Omoi Otoshi » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:19 am

shel wrote:Hello Omoi Otoshi,

Omoi Otoshi wrote:No, I believe we all stumble and fall, every day. I don't believe any of us are saints all the time.


Yes, obviously, the point I'm making is that with online communication life is controlled and measured so "all the time" may be filtered, and we show only what we want to show. Even when we stumble, as in the case of Taigu's breakdown, it is put on show to derive some much desired meaning out of it.


Yes, it's a good point.
However, even face to face, we put on a show, show only what we want to show, play a charade. Maybe it's easier to see through face to face, but even on a forum, or on Skype, it shows when something comes from the heart, when words are not dead, but come alive. True, honest words. So in my experience, it works. Treeleaf is still an experiment, but so far a very successful one, in my view of course.

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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Jikan » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:22 pm

Hi Omoi Otoshi,

I'd like to hear more about the successes you see at TreeLeaf sangha. What are they, and how would you describe their success?

thanks
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Daido » Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:59 pm

Hi Guys,
I'm new to this forum and I wanted to thank you all for having me.

This thread is an interesting and useful discussion for me especially since I am a member of the Treeleaf Sangha for just over two years. Regarding Treeleaf and its successes the mere fact that I am here is one. Treeleaf and its teachers have provided me with a large resource of information on zen buddhism principles big and small as well as the opportunity to practice with guidance and companions along the way. For me teachers Jundo and Taigu have been unceasing in their commitment to me and the sangha. Treeleaf is an experiment. It can be controversial or ground breaking due to the internet aspects. It is open and strict at the same time. Open to all but strict as it is a Soto Zen sangha committed to the tradition. For me it is working. I feel I know my teachers as well as I can at the moment due to these new mediums such as skype and google plus and look forward to meeting them "in person" as well in future retreats. I also look forward to meeting others in different lineages during sesshins which we are encouraged to do.

Shel,
As far as Taigu's video. I viewed it in its entirely. Not doing so does is like viewing the world through a peep hole then pretending to understand it entirely. Sometimes that is all we have and it is something we all do but it is still not the whole picture. I think describing Taigu as having a "breakdown" is unnecessarily hurtful and a gross misinterpretation. In my opinion it was a lesson in openness and an opportunity to practice compassion.

Above are some of the successes as I have seen so far. Access to dharma and teachers, opportunities to actualize our practice, and having a sangha when one might not have one.

I look forward to discussing this further as well as other topics as well.

Thanks again,

Daido
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby zenji » Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:09 pm

shel wrote:Hello Omoi Otoshi,

Omoi Otoshi wrote:No, I believe we all stumble and fall, every day. I don't believe any of us are saints all the time.


Yes, obviously, the point I'm making is that with online communication life is controlled and measured so "all the time" may be filtered, and we show only what we want to show. Even when we stumble, as in the case of Taigu's breakdown, it is put on show to derive some much desired meaning out of it.


Hmm, interesting point. Are you showing us your true nature Shel? A true teacher is one who shows that we all face struggles in life. No matter how long one has been practicing, one can still be affected by the day to day comings and goings of life.

If I sit in front of someone day after day, does that mean I know them? No. We have seen time and time again that is not true ... both in a spiritual/religious context and in everyday life. But really, what does that matter? Accept or not accept, that is one's choice. I am a Treeleaf member and very much enjoy and trust what my teachers have to say and my other Sangha member's. Just because I trust someone, does not mean I follow every word they may say ... but I respect them for taking the time and just listen. :)

Gassho
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