Treeleaf Sangha

Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby tigerdown » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:28 pm

Jikan wrote:I'm not saying Mr Cohen is or is not qualified to teach anything, because I have not met the man; --- I've never even been in the same room with him, how could I have any basis to evaluate him as a teacher or his community as a space in which to learn?


Dear Jikan,

You repeatedly say you have never met the man, and have never practiced with him, yet make comments or aspersions about his abilities as a teacher in several posts.

You are a Tendai Buddhist practitioner, and seem not too personally interested in or connected to Soto Zen, yet you seem willing to judge who is and what makes a good Zen teacher. Should I, who have never practiced Tendai Buddhism (among the few schools I have no experience in), set about to declare who is and is not a good Tendai master?

You seem to discount the many voices here of Treeleaf people who report a good experience, and put weight on the comments of one person who has been shown to have some personal issues with the community. Maybe you should come try Treeleaf yourself and see what it might offer you before you judge.

Finally, I notice that you make it a habit of calling Cohen Osho as "Mr. Cohen" in many posts. Do you make it a habit to address any other Buddhist teachers in that way? Am I to correctly understand that I may now use "Mr. Dalai Lama" or refer to Bhikkhu Bodhi as"Mr. Jeff Block" (his birth name) or address your teacher as "Mr. Paul Naamon" and his teacher as "Mr. Ichishima" [I assume they are ordained and are very excellent teachers]. That does not sound like it would be right, yet I do not see any other Buddhist teachers being addressed so.

Tiger
Last edited by tigerdown on Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby floating_abu » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:30 pm

In fairness to Jundo and the other named teacher, it is nice of them to do what they are doing, and judging by the many posters, it is heartening to see how popular they are amongst their group.

Good for them, good for Trealeaf Zendo. Thanks to you for voicing your thoughts here.

On some of the points in this thread, I myself did/do have criteria of following a teacher, and that is that they have the real Dharma eye, insight, and sustained application to make them a teacher. Without this, and without them knowing the limits, the possibilities, the methods, the depths of all the Buddha's range of teaching -- and without their practical living application etc how else can I master what I wish to understand? I would say this has led me well as an ethos in my own fledgling Dharma practice.

I think it is possible, but weak, to say that no-one can say that anything (including Dharma) is more real or less - because whilst we can say we need to be open minded -- well I would also always follow someone who can show me the real light of Dharma. Ergo, my criteria was never 'nice guy' but genuine Dharma practitioner. Believe it or not, there IS a difference although it seems most people get stuck at the 'nice guy' part.
Likewise, my criteria was never no criminality associated, rather living and genuine Dharma energy and practice.
The clearest examples of course would be Gautama or Hakuin or Longchenpa, and the like. Of course in Dharma practice we can also differentiate but those teachers would likely teach you and I not to differentiate in more human ways such as compassion for all, tolerance and love etc.
It can seem like a fine line and I do believe it is tricky and subtle, which is why I always vote for real guidance, if you can find it for yourself and then also have the good karma to identify that which is true,

For those reasons, I would not generally vote for Treeleaf Zendo as I always wanted more - but this is not to say that many will not find it very useful, very helpful. And I believe it is for these good people. It is just like other Buddhist fora, and even Zen Forum International has funny hashtags like "teacher" for some people who are just in robes and nothing more. That could also be said to be faux yet you have people subscribing to this, so Jundo is similar in the whole scheme of things, and perhaps he is doing good work - I do not follow him nor have read him for many years now.

The only limitation I see with this online scenario is not the fake identity that shel said (given people can fake in any place or setting), but rather that the set up is too controlled, and that will never raise a real Zen lion IMO. (The controlled aspect is also probably what shel was alluding to in that it is easier to fake things online - as opposed to sustained real life interaction - and OK in saying so I concede to shel that that is probably also true, but also still some people can be fake even in real life for sustained periods so we all have to pick our bets in some way :spy: ) Regardless, lacking a master's guidance, my opinion is, the guidance is thereby self limited.

I apologise if these views are too confrontational and if I am wrong, I will be happy to discuss them further. I do know that my assessment is based on historical interactions with Jundo so I will add that caveat to it.

Well wishes,
Abu
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Jikan » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:46 pm

tigerdown wrote:
Jikan wrote:I'm not saying Mr Cohen is or is not qualified to teach anything, because I have not met the man; --- I've never even been in the same room with him, how could I have any basis to evaluate him as a teacher or his community as a space in which to learn?

You repeatedly say you have never met the man, and have never practiced with him, yet make comments or aspersions about his abilities as a teacher in several posts.


You fail to identify one post in which I have made a comment you object to. And yes, I refer to him as Mr Cohen, because that's the polite thing to do when you don't know any other way to address him--call him by his proper legal name. It's value-neutral: I'm not affirming or denying any particular role for him in doing this. I don't know if he's an Osho or a Rishi or not an Osho or anything else, and I don't know what title is preferred in the organization he's created, and I don't particularly care if it gives you a rash.

You are a Tendai Buddhist practitioner, and seem not too personally interested in or connected to Soto Zen, yet you seem willing to judge who is and what makes a good Zen teacher. Should I, who have never practiced Tendai Buddhism (among the few schools I have no experience in), set about to declare who is and is not a good Tendai master?


I don't care what you say about any particular Tendai master. That's your karma and your credibility. Can you site a single instance where I have made a judgment regarding who is or is not a capable Zen teacher? I have described some characteristics of capable Buddhist teachers, and described some of what Buddhist pedagogy looks like. Have I said anything in this thread that suggests any particular teacher is or is not up to the task? Show an example.
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby shel » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:00 pm

Hiya Tiger,

tigerdown wrote:If you find people who seem agitated, angry, resentful, fixated or with an ax to grind criticizing Jundo or Taigu


I for one am obviously extremely angry and irrational, but I don't recall criticizing Jundo or Taigu in this discussion. Could you please point out where I did?
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby floating_abu » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:22 pm

I think it was implicit and all the arguing reminds me at least that the OP's question was answered...

Live, speak then let live I say. :woohoo:
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby tigerdown » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:41 pm

Jikan wrote:
You fail to identify one post in which I have made a comment you object to. And yes, I refer to him as Mr Cohen, because that's the polite thing to do when you don't know any other way to address him--call him by his proper legal name.


Hello Jikan,

Yes, if I overreacted, then I apologize. I may have read too much into your seeming to compare him to Paul Lynch, someone who you have identified as falsifying credentials:

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.

viewtopic.php?p=90669#p90669

I may have misunderstood this. Anyway, there are not questions or allegation anywhere about Jundo Cohen being like Paul Lynch, making up any credential. Jundo is a member of the SZBA which checks their members credentials I believe.

Merely negative statements of endorsement (well, he's never done anything horrible that we know of publicly...) are rather weak endorsements. By that standard, my uncle Louie could open a Zendo just because he's not a pedophile and so on.

I took it to mean that you thought there may be horrible things he has done that are just not known publicy, and that your uncle Louie could open a Zendo just because he is not a pedophile. It sounded like you had overlooked the positive and enthusiastic endorsements by several people in this thread. Anyway, I apologize if I misunderstood.

I felt it strange that, you being very experienced for many years in a Japanese Tradition yourself, and very active on a Buddhist forum like this, would choose to call any ordained Buddhist teacher as "Mr". I am sure it was just an oversight. How about the same as your own teacher, and call him Rev.? That just seems typical and polite. Nothing to make a fuss. Sorry if I took it wrong.

Tiger
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby floating_abu » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:22 pm

Jundo is on the SZBA list? I don't know what the SZBA is but I would urge everyone to not take accreditations as much. Ad to use that as a resume. Jundo is more like a team leader maybe but more than that, and I admit I do cringe at the institutions that are now Zen Buddhism.

Oh here is what Brad Warner has said on the topic - http://hardcorezen.blogspot.co.at/2011/ ... rs-of.html

Ciao, all :hi:
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:36 pm

tigerdown wrote:I felt it strange that, you being very experienced for many years in a Japanese Tradition yourself, and very active on a Buddhist forum like this, would choose to call any ordained Buddhist teacher as "Mr". I am sure it was just an oversight. How about the same as your own teacher, and call him Rev.? That just seems typical and polite. Nothing to make a fuss. Sorry if I took it wrong.
Again you are overreacting and clinging to unnecessary details. "Mr" is a polite manner in which to refer to a man. Especially in the absence of knowledge of their formal title. Actually for my personal taste "Mr" is too polite. Sometimes my younger students call me "Sir" and I just cringe... :smile: Anyway, it's not like Jikan called him d*ckh**d Cohen, or f*ck w*d Cohen, he called him Mister Cohen. Chill out Mr "tigerdown" :smile: , there are a lot more important things to get your knickers into a twist over.
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One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Jikan » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:47 pm

I'm not very experienced in any tradition. I'm a beginner. Barely a beginner.

As a point of reference, consider other threads in which I and others have referred to particular teachers by their last names only (without the Mr or Ms). I don't recall you or anyone else objecting to this practice over the years, except when the topic turns to Cohen and TreeLeaf. For instance:

viewtopic.php?f=69&t=7613

I see the names Foster and Lynch and some others too and zero whining about it from their students and friends. As I said already, Five Mountain and TreeLeaf are controversial in different ways.

:shrug:

As I've said before, I have no particular investment one way or the other in the TreeLeaf group, although you're free to infer whatever you want from whatever nonsense I post. (The first page of posts in this thread amount to me posting repeated and reiterated clarifications of misreadings of this kind. This is tiresome. Friends: please read carefully.) I am interested in the Buddha Dharma and how it is taught without much consideration for sect or tradition. I've become convinced that the "how it is taught" part is an integral part of the Dharma itself. What lessons can be taken away from the TreeLeaf experiment? That's what I'd like to know, as I've said before.

:cheers:
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby dearreader » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:14 pm

tigerdown wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:
tigerdown wrote:The teachers including Jundo Osho and Taigu Osho are good hearted and first rate.
Having seen the flip side of some of the aforementioned individuals I would have to disagree with your analysis.


Why? Where you are part of Treeleaf? Did you study with Taigu and Jundo? So what are you judging on? The words here? Share with us. If you make some innuendo you should explain. Truth be told, this whole thread seem like quite a lot of resentment and ax grinding that never gets backed up with facts. That is just my impression.

Kindly share with us.

T


You can easily read about the challenges some have faced with Jundo by searching online, say for example at Brad Warner's blog or at the Blog of Dogen Sangha where even Jundo's own teacher tells him he "Does not belong at all." (Jundo was ordained and given Dharma transmission in 2002 by Rev. Gudo Nishijima).

There are probably others here who can tell you about the threats of lawsuits or other harassing emails and intimidation they faced from Jundo. I only heard of these lawsuits and emails second hand.
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby tigerdown » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:51 pm

dearreader wrote:
There are probably others here who can tell you about the threats of lawsuits or other harassing emails and intimidation they faced from Jundo. I only heard of these lawsuits and emails second hand.


Yes, I also know about that, and he has discussed it. I believe that involved events and what was perceived as "sect bashing" of Soto Zen at the infamous "e-sangha" being discussed on another thread here.

viewtopic.php?f=36&t=11218

You may have guessed from my attitude in writing, but I was a judge for several years. now retired, and a committee member of the American Civil Liberties Union. He spoke to me about the issues in that case, and I advised him on that. He ended up making a web page where people who believed they had suffered there could at least publish their experiences and let their story be known. I advised on that too. Buddhists should all get along.

As far as his teacher, I don't know very much except that he is not well due to his age and has withdrawn from the public. I do not know the details of what happened between them.

By the way, I do not consider it Right Speaking in any tradition to use " d*ckh**d X, or f*ck w*d X" with a person's name even to make a point. However, that is your Karma and I am not a moderator here.

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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby shel » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:14 pm

floating_abu wrote:I think it was implicit and all the arguing reminds me at least that the OP's question was answered...

Au contraire mon cheri, my point was made in the following post. As yet no one has disputed it.
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.
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:48 pm

tigerdown wrote:By the way, I do not consider it Right Speaking in any tradition to use " d*ckh**d X, or f*ck w*d X" with a person's name even to make a point. However, that is your Karma and I am not a moderator here.
Firstly, I don't really care what you consider right speech or not. Remember, you are not a judge anymore? :tongue: Secondly, regarding the point I was making, did you get it, or are you just continuing to "carry the beautiful girl "?
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby shel » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:10 pm

http://www.101zenstories.com/index.php?story=14 wrote:Muddy Road

Tanzan and Ekido were once travelling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling.

Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.

"Come on, girl," said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.

Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. "We monks don't do near females," he told Tanzan, "especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?"

"I left the girl there," said Tanzan. "Are you still carrying her?"
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Daido » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:38 pm

Gregkavarnos

I think you need to tap out and let another moderator in. You needs to chill a little buddy

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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby shel » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:03 am

Anyone know of a Zen story about pissing into the wind?
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:05 am

Daido wrote:Gregkavarnos

I think you need to tap out and let another moderator in. You needs to chill a little buddy

Daido
Chill? What makes you think that I am not "chilled"?

Anyway, I don't know how it works in the US, but here in Greece it is considered quite rude for a guest to tell a host how to go about their business in their own house. Like I said before: "Back to the program" and the program consists of discussion on Treeleaf Sangha, not on Greg's moderating style/personality. ;)
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby floating_abu » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:39 am

tigerdown wrote:
dearreader wrote:
There are probably others here who can tell you about the threats of lawsuits or other harassing emails and intimidation they faced from Jundo. I only heard of these lawsuits and emails second hand.


Yes, I also know about that, and he has discussed it. I believe that involved events and what was perceived as "sect bashing" of Soto Zen at the infamous "e-sangha" being discussed on another thread here.

viewtopic.php?f=36&t=11218

You may have guessed from my attitude in writing, but I was a judge for several years. now retired, and a committee member of the American Civil Liberties Union. He spoke to me about the issues in that case, and I advised him on that. He ended up making a web page where people who believed they had suffered there could at least publish their experiences and let their story be known. I advised on that too. Buddhists should all get along.

As far as his teacher, I don't know very much except that he is not well due to his age and has withdrawn from the public. I do not know the details of what happened between them.

By the way, I do not consider it Right Speaking in any tradition to use " d*ckh**d X, or f*ck w*d X" with a person's name even to make a point. However, that is your Karma and I am not a moderator here.

Tiger


Hi Tiger,

Perhaps it is best if Jundo clarifies the point about intimidation, and his teacher saying he does not belong, himself.

Attributing it to the "old man" syndrome is not so good, in my opinion.

It can be an easy lawyer trick (e.g. 'the witness is discredited because he has signs of amnesia') but I would not dishonour his old teacher like that if his old teacher did say that - through your assertions.

Granted, there are enough aspersions through this whole thread (and I am guilty also) but I think these are serious enough cases to be investigated seriously for those who wish to join that group -- and for you to not get away with suggesting that the old teacher is old and unwell and therefore this issue can be bypassed.

Take care, everyone -

Abu
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby Daido » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:56 pm

I asked Jundo if he wished to comment on the following as requested:

*You can easily read about the challenges some have faced with Jundo by searching online, say for example at Brad Warner's blog or at the Blog of Dogen Sangha where even Jundo's own teacher tells him he "Does not belong at all." (Jundo was ordained and given Dharma transmission in 2002 by Rev. Gudo Nishijima).*

Jundo says:

In 2007, my Teacher, Gudo Wafu Nishijima, allowed me to make Treeleaf independent of Nishijima Roshi's "Dogen Sangha". You can read about that here. We disagreed on some governance issues and the need for better ethical oversight in this age of scandals.

http://gudoblog-e.blogspot.jp/search?q= ... permission

Roshi's additional statement here;

http://gudoblog-e.blogspot.jp/search?q= ... ernational

In 2010, I commented on some matter that Roshi felt was an internal issue of Dogen Sangha, so he reminded me that I am not longer part of Dogen Sangha. Thus he wrote:

*You do not belong Dogen Sangha at all. Therefore you should not say anything about Dogen Sangha completely.*
http://gudoblog-e.blogspot.jp/search?q= ... completely.

So, once again, peoples' attempts at muck raking and innuendo turn out to be quite dull and unexciting.

Yes, Nishijima Roshi is suffering from age related confusion that soon reached the point where he had to stop all translation and public activities, and is under the full time nursing care of his daughter.[/QUOTE]
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Re: Treeleaf Sangha

Postby shel » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:19 pm

Did Brad Warner agree that Jundo should be booted from the Dogen Sangha?
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