Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western Zen

Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Yudron » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:24 am

On the face of it, it sounds terrible. I have been closely connected with three Tibetan lamas for 14 to 16 years, including co-leading centers, living with them, and so forth, and have more peripheral relationships with about 10 others. I have never encountered anything that even remotely resembles what you are talking about. But, the lamas I know will talk about this kind of thing, so I know there are truly rogue lamas out there.
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Sara H » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:39 am

tobes wrote:So in psychologising me as 'using big words in the attempt to hide an insecurity', would this be an example of seeing things as they are without making judgements?

I don't mean to be contrary here, but I think it demonstrates what I'm trying to say: there are very strong judgements going on here, which get expressed as a 'non-judgemental ethos' or a freedom from the act of making judgements.

Buddhism cannot function without the act of making deep judgements: that things are conditioned, that conditioned things generate duhkah, that one can act to be free from conditioned things and duhkah, that such actions must be wholesome....

How do you know to practice Zen and not Christianity? How did you arrive at that conclusion?

Surely it did not just spontaneously happen.

You had to discern what is true (for you), what seems to be in accord with reality, what is fruitful and what is not fruitful.

I don't know what is to be gained by pretending that judgement does not occur.

:anjali:



Friend, the difference is that a judgement is a lack of compassion. I don't think you're a bad person for having some small personal traits. Goodness knows I have plenty myself. You can observe something without closing your heart to it.



Nobody is pretending that human beings do not judge each other, however that does not make it Right Thought. Or Buddhist thought. We train ourselves to refrain from judgements. To rein in the judgemental mind.

There is a way to look at something as it actually is, without either pushing it away and blaming it, or by grasping after it and praising it.

The way you do this is by keeping an open heart and looking at it with compassion.

If I look at someone who's having a hard time and say, "oh, they're not doing so well" and say it with an open heart full of compassion, I'm not judging them.

If I look at someone who's having a hard time and say, "oh, they're not doing so well." And say it with a closed heart, full of bitterness, greed, anger, or delusion, then I am judging them.

Compassion, and whether or not you are keeping an open heart is the difference.

I did and do the same thing with Christianity.

I don't have a closed heart to Christianity or think it's not a valid way to train. Buddhism is better for me, but the way I arrived at that was through sitting, through listening to my gut with an open heart, and feeling which one felt right from that place of stillness.

And again, you can listen to your gut with an open heart, without closing it to the options you didnt choose, and being hard-hearted towards them.

Buddhism is not a matter of making deeper judgements.

It's about learning to sit still, with an open heart and listen to That Which Is in each of us, so we don't have to make judgements. We can learn to sit still with it, and ask what's good to do, and really listen.

In Gassho,

Sara H.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Indrajala » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:51 am

Ramon1920 wrote: So when there's abuse in a religious group, let's take it seriously and warn people.


I don't know how widely well known it is, but a few major East Asian Buddhist texts have a precept against "speaking of the faults of the four assemblies". Specifically, that means not announcing that a renunciate has broken a precept. On the reverse, however, a renunciate can announce the faults of a layperson. It has to do with the order of precedence in the hierarchy (a bhiksuni can't speak of the faults of a bhiksu, but the reverse is possible).

What this means is that it is taboo to actively speak out against individuals in robes behaving in questionable ways.

I believe the original meaning behind the precept was simply to prevent slander that would damage the harmony of the sangha rather than protect dodgy individuals. Such things ideally should be reported to someone in a position to deal with the individual in question, though that assumes the authority actually can and will do something about it.
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Sara H » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:03 am

Regarding a follow-up to Tobes,

When I say Buddhism is not Christianity, what I mean is we don't have things that we close our heart to. Wheras Christianity does. That's sortof a practice for them actually, they sortof close their heart to one thing, whilst opening it to the next.

We don't do that. That's not our practice. Our practice is to teach ourselves to leave an open heart to everything, not just most of it.

In Christianity, a "sin" is something you close your heart to, because it is evil, and apart from God.

In Buddhism we view that nothing is apart from "God", from the Cosmic Buddha, and so we don't judge it, that is, we don't close our heart to it. We keep compassion open to it, even if it is hard, or really harmful, the thing we are looking at. We still don't judge it, or practice not to, and practice keeping an open heart full of compassion. That's the difference.

When pointing out this "Christianized thinking", what I meant was, it seemed some people, when obseving these actions of others, these Priests and Laypeople who are going through this, it seemed some people were closing their heart to those acused, whether they did it or not.

In Buddhism we keep an open heart to someone, even if they have done harm. We don't judge them and close our heart off to someone.

Does that better explain it I hope?

I hope it does.

If not, I'll keep at it again, because it's worth talking about.

In Gassho,

Sara H.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby tobes » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:20 am

Sara H wrote:
tobes wrote:So in psychologising me as 'using big words in the attempt to hide an insecurity', would this be an example of seeing things as they are without making judgements?

I don't mean to be contrary here, but I think it demonstrates what I'm trying to say: there are very strong judgements going on here, which get expressed as a 'non-judgemental ethos' or a freedom from the act of making judgements.

Buddhism cannot function without the act of making deep judgements: that things are conditioned, that conditioned things generate duhkah, that one can act to be free from conditioned things and duhkah, that such actions must be wholesome....

How do you know to practice Zen and not Christianity? How did you arrive at that conclusion?

Surely it did not just spontaneously happen.

You had to discern what is true (for you), what seems to be in accord with reality, what is fruitful and what is not fruitful.

I don't know what is to be gained by pretending that judgement does not occur.

:anjali:



Friend, the difference is that a judgement is a lack of compassion. I don't think you're a bad person for having some small personal traits. Goodness knows I have plenty myself. You can observe something without closing your heart to it.



Nobody is pretending that human beings do not judge each other, however that does not make it Right Thought. Or Buddhist thought. We train ourselves to refrain from judgements. To rein in the judgemental mind.

There is a way to look at something as it actually is, without either pushing it away and blaming it, or by grasping after it and praising it.

The way you do this is by keeping an open heart and looking at it with compassion.

If I look at someone who's having a hard time and say, "oh, they're not doing so well" and say it with an open heart full of compassion, I'm not judging them.

If I look at someone who's having a hard time and say, "oh, they're not doing so well." And say it with a closed heart, full of bitterness, greed, anger, or delusion, then I am judging them.

Compassion, and whether or not you are keeping an open heart is the difference.

I did and do the same thing with Christianity.

I don't have a closed heart to Christianity or think it's not a valid way to train. Buddhism is better for me, but the way I arrived at that was through sitting, through listening to my gut with an open heart, and feeling which one felt right from that place of stillness.

And again, you can listen to your gut with an open heart, without closing it to the options you didnt choose, and being hard-hearted towards them.

Buddhism is not a matter of making deeper judgements.

It's about learning to sit still, with an open heart and listen to That Which Is in each of us, so we don't have to make judgements. We can learn to sit still with it, and ask what's good to do, and really listen.

In Gassho,

Sara H.



I agree Sara, but I don't know any form of Buddhism which only teaches compassion and having an open heart.

In the Mahayana, compassion is always joined with wisdom.

You should love the enemy who tries to kill you, but you should also acknowledge that the act of trying to kill you is unwholesome.

On a more mundane issue: I do not see how using the term prajñā on a Zen forum gives you insight into my flaws.

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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby tobes » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:30 am

Sara H wrote:Regarding a follow-up to Tobes,

When I say Buddhism is not Christianity, what I mean is we don't have things that we close our heart to. Wheras Christianity does. That's sortof a practice for them actually, they sortof close their heart to one thing, whilst opening it to the next.

We don't do that. That's not our practice. Our practice is to teach ourselves to leave an open heart to everything, not just most of it.

In Christianity, a "sin" is something you close your heart to, because it is evil, and apart from God.

In Buddhism we view that nothing is apart from "God", from the Cosmic Buddha, and so we don't judge it, that is, we don't close our heart to it. We keep compassion open to it, even if it is hard, or really harmful, the thing we are looking at. We still don't judge it, or practice not to, and practice keeping an open heart full of compassion. That's the difference.

When pointing out this "Christianized thinking", what I meant was, it seemed some people, when obseving these actions of others, these Priests and Laypeople who are going through this, it seemed some people were closing their heart to those acused, whether they did it or not.

In Buddhism we keep an open heart to someone, even if they have done harm. We don't judge them and close our heart off to someone.

Does that better explain it I hope?

I hope it does.

If not, I'll keep at it again, because it's worth talking about.

In Gassho,

Sara H.


I don't know much about Christianity, but it doesn't sound like a particularly fair appraisal - the ideal at least is to love everyone as your neighbour right?

Nonetheless, I take your point about not closing your heart off to people who have done harm. I am reminded of imprisoned lamas in Tibet, who even in torture refused to abandon compassion.

But I don't think it follows that this precludes the possibility of acknowledging the harm, recognising it, speaking up about it and ensuring it does not happen again.

That is, in wisdom, discerning, appraising, judging the situation for what it is.

If it's unwholesome, it's unwholesome: wisdom is what knows this.

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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Wayfarer » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:39 am

Tobes wrote:I take your point about not closing your heart off to people who have done harm


Which is also one of the most recognizable Christian teachings, from the Sermon on the Mount:

You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who spitefully use you, and persecute you;

That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

For if you love them who love you, what reward have you? do not even the tax collectors the same?

And if you greet your brethren only, what do you more than others? do not even the tax collectors so?

Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.


Although I will be first to agree that this is not necessarily something you will see much of amongst many who all themselves 'believers'.
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Sara H » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:57 am

tobes wrote:I don't know much about Christianity, but it doesn't sound like a particularly fair appraisal - the ideal at least is to love everyone as your neighbour right?

Nonetheless, I take your point about not closing your heart off to people who have done harm. I am reminded of imprisoned lamas in Tibet, who even in torture refused to abandon compassion.

But I don't think it follows that this precludes the possibility of acknowledging the harm, recognising it, speaking up about it and ensuring it does not happen again.

That is, in wisdom, discerning, appraising, judging the situation for what it is.

If it's unwholesome, it's unwholesome: wisdom is what knows this.

:anjali:



Nono,

That's not what I was saying.

I'm not saying you can't recognize harm.

It's very important to recognize harm, compassion is not a doormat.

But wisdom, follows love, which follows compassion.

If you can't keep an open heart, there is no wisdom at all, because even though it is there, all arround us at all times, we can't see it if we close our heart to it.

You are right, it's important to respond to harm.

But the question is how?

As I said you can say the exact same thing with an open and closed heart and they'll be completely different.

You can point out something, identify harm, and use it as an example of what not to do, and say so. Sometimes one must actively stand against it, because to do not to would be doing a greater harm by letting it run unchecked.

But you can still have an open heart while you do this. Full of compassion. This is the way wisdom and wise discernment works, not steeling one's heart to something and doing it because one feels it must be necessary. One can still do a necessiary deed without being hard-hearted. Though it takes courage. Because it's painful and saddening to do.

Does this make sense?

In Gassho friend,

Sara H.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby tobes » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:52 am

Sara H wrote:
tobes wrote:I don't know much about Christianity, but it doesn't sound like a particularly fair appraisal - the ideal at least is to love everyone as your neighbour right?

Nonetheless, I take your point about not closing your heart off to people who have done harm. I am reminded of imprisoned lamas in Tibet, who even in torture refused to abandon compassion.

But I don't think it follows that this precludes the possibility of acknowledging the harm, recognising it, speaking up about it and ensuring it does not happen again.

That is, in wisdom, discerning, appraising, judging the situation for what it is.

If it's unwholesome, it's unwholesome: wisdom is what knows this.

:anjali:



Nono,

That's not what I was saying.

I'm not saying you can't recognize harm.

It's very important to recognize harm, compassion is not a doormat.

But wisdom, follows love, which follows compassion.

If you can't keep an open heart, there is no wisdom at all, because even though it is there, all arround us at all times, we can't see it if we close our heart to it.

You are right, it's important to respond to harm.

But the question is how?

As I said you can say the exact same thing with an open and closed heart and they'll be completely different.

You can point out something, identify harm, and use it as an example of what not to do, and say so. Sometimes one must actively stand against it, because to do not to would be doing a greater harm by letting it run unchecked.

But you can still have an open heart while you do this. Full of compassion. This is the way wisdom and wise discernment works, not steeling one's heart to something and doing it because one feels it must be necessary. One can still do a necessiary deed without being hard-hearted. Though it takes courage. Because it's painful and saddening to do.

Does this make sense?

In Gassho friend,

Sara H.


Indeed. I find nothing problematic in what you say here.

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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Adamantine » Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:05 am

Yudron wrote:
Matylda wrote:I can see that zen is very kind of social event in America or Europe... practice is kept pretty much in open and people talk about it a lot. There are also exteremly many misconceptions concerning zen, like being a hinayana, or any other distorted opinion. Then anything which goes in this circles will cause a lot of waves of negative emotions, and many people will not fail but fall under the burden of negativity..

Moreover there are so many moralists getting angry at teachers, whether they are right or wrong does really not matter, that even those unrelated to particular teacher with their anger will fall too... don't you think so?


Well, I am Vajrayana practitioner who does not view Zen as belonging to the Hinayana. We view it a sublime Mahayana practice.

Matylda, there is a kernal of what you are saying that I really appreciate. Stated broadly, if we have faith in the teachings of our lineages that claim to be a rapid path to enlightenment, then we have faith that there are many teachers alive right now high on the Bodhisattva bhumis, or have realized Buddhahood. Yes, my school as well as yours teaches that these people--a subset of the very best masters -- may display uncontrived conduct. The last thing I want to see is for these wisdom beings to be put in a box, and regulated by some kind of professional licensing boards that require them to be fine upstanding citizens according to the standards of the culture in which they find themselves. That being said, centers cannot thrive today -- as opposed to even 15 years ago -- with teachers who grope students breasts or genitals, beat up their students, display drunkenness, or act weird or crazy. Enlightened or unenlightened, that kind of thing won't work here in the West anymore... they would need to act as solo teachers, non-teachers, or hermits.

Most of the humans in this world are not Buddhist, and of Buddhists many are Theravadin, and of the Mahayana Buddhists, most do not practice in depth. Of those Mahayana practitioners who practice and study in depth, many belong to schools who emphasize the value of controlled conduct and appearing acceptable to society. Thus, there is hardly anyone in this world who have a willingness to engage with teachers who act weirdly. :rolleye:

Therefore, "good teachers who act badly"-- as Khyentse Rinpoche calls them -- can expect to be rejected by Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. That is one of the benefits of either unfabricated conduct, or deliberate "crazy" or "immoral" behavior (a powerful practice for those already on the bhumis)... that the practitioner will be disrespected and even despised by everyone. To be persona non-grata is said to be a very important practice to catapult one towards Buddhahood. Few have the courage for that!

So, it entirely right that people on internet forums should denounce even the idea that such beings could exist in the world today, much less that any specific individual is at that level. There is no problem with that, and there is nothing to defend.

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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:19 pm

Matylda wrote:I think that Marpa in the XXI century in our world would get life in prison... don't you think so? 20 years of abuse is a long time and prosecutors would be happy to catch such fish.. they would feed on Milarepa as well, a serial killer... many legal careers would build up on it, right?

So in this age we have no chance for Marpas or Milarepas or any really holy beings.. at least in the Western hemisphere..

In my opinion, mentioning Marpa and Milarepa in this context is kind of silly.
If you read chapter 3 of "The Biographies of Rechungpa" by Roberts,
it's pretty clear that the story of Marpa's abuse of Milarepa and of Milarepa killing all those people is basically a fairy tale.
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:48 pm

Matylda wrote:I read so called archives once.. not all it was just sickening.. and one who claimed to be zen teacher in America spent his life chasing after another, Japanese, for his sexual behavior... then such crusade made me think what is wrong with all those people? are they sane??? then the most famous legacy of the crusader knight, or some call him zen pioneer is his obsessive archives full of his own disturbing emotions... is it what was left for posterity as most famous legacy of this man?

Well I know someone much older then me who was student of this pioneer, and asked him straight about the teacher.. then he told me story, when one of the married friends of the crusader took to the center a hooker and had sex there with her, and it was too much for the members, who were present there.. so the man who told me the story was a manager of the center at that time and kicked him gently out, when the pioneer heard about it, got furious with the manager of the center, since the hooker guy was his good friend and somebody mentioned in one zen bestseller in the us. so then I could see something like double standards... on one hand there is Japanese having sex and was a subject of campaign, and the other American, a friend but it was all ok :)

Moreover the American zen pioneer is frequently quoted as the moral guard but in fact was just using double standards, and was very good in bashing others and finds many admirers ... do not you think that it is all strange???

I assume you are referring to Aitken, and you're story certainly doesn't reflect well on him. How is this relevant though? Aitken's hypocrisy or whatever you want to call it doesn't exonerate Shimano in the slightest.
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:56 pm

Looking over this thread, it seems like Sara H and Matylda have been effectively functioning as apologists for what they call Zen, and they both present themselves as knowledgeable insiders. However, there seems to be a deep discrepancy between their understandings of what a "Zen master" is. My questions for you both, and anyone else who cares to respond, are these: How are we to resolve this? Are neither, one, or both of these points of view correct? It seems that the confusion about what a "Zen master" is may be one of the underlying issues here.
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby shel » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:05 am

dzogchungpa wrote:It seems that the confusion about what a "Zen master" is may be one of the underlying issues here.


Eido Tai Shimano, for example, is a Zen master.
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Wayfarer » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:45 am

The thread also depends on a particular interpretation of what constitutes 'Christianized Thinking'. I think this was made more explicit in Sara H's post below:

Sara H wrote:When I say Buddhism is not Christianity, what I mean is we don't have things that we close our heart to. Wheras Christianity does. That's sortof a practice for them actually, they sortof close their heart to one thing, whilst opening it to the next.

We don't do that. That's not our practice. Our practice is to teach ourselves to leave an open heart to everything, not just most of it.

In Christianity, a "sin" is something you close your heart to, because it is evil, and apart from God.


Institutional Christianity has indeed had a tendency to 'demonize' those who are 'outside the fold' - whether they be sinners, heretics, or followers of other religious traditions. So there is truth in that observation. But I think that the tendency to cast out or demonize 'the Other', is a matter of human nature as much as anything specific to 'Christianized thinking'. There are plenty of examples of that kind of thinking in other religious traditions also. It is ultimately a result of dualistic, us-and-them thinking, which can occur anywhere. So here 'Christianized thinking' perhaps symbolizes 'dualistic thinking', generally.

I have tried to show that in some respects, the Christian idea of 'sin' is not that remote from the Buddhist understanding of 'ignorance', whilst also acknowledging there are deep differences between the two ideas. I also quoted a passage from the Biblical 'Sermon on the Mount' about 'not resisting evil' and 'loving your enemy' as representing non-dualistic thinking in the Christian tradition (even though there was never really such a thing as 'Christian non-dualism' in history).

As regards the 'Zen Master', I think in the context of this discussion, the 'Zen Master' represents, or even is, the state of enlightenment beyond all dualism and division between self-and-other, who therefore embodies that state of being 'beyond good and evil'. However this does not really account for the fact that some of those who are given, or have assumed, the title 'Zen Master', have committed ethical breaches, as noted in various threads on this site, and in other places.
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby shel » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:14 am

jeepers wrote:Institutional Christianity has indeed had a tendency to 'demonize' those who are 'outside the fold' - whether they be sinners, heretics, or...

Materialists? :emb:
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Wayfarer » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:16 am

:offtopic:
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby tobes » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:06 am

jeeprs wrote:The thread also depends on a particular interpretation of what constitutes 'Christianized Thinking'. I think this was made more explicit in Sara H's post below:

Sara H wrote:When I say Buddhism is not Christianity, what I mean is we don't have things that we close our heart to. Wheras Christianity does. That's sortof a practice for them actually, they sortof close their heart to one thing, whilst opening it to the next.

We don't do that. That's not our practice. Our practice is to teach ourselves to leave an open heart to everything, not just most of it.

In Christianity, a "sin" is something you close your heart to, because it is evil, and apart from God.


Institutional Christianity has indeed had a tendency to 'demonize' those who are 'outside the fold' - whether they be sinners, heretics, or followers of other religious traditions. So there is truth in that observation. But I think that the tendency to cast out or demonize 'the Other', is a matter of human nature as much as anything specific to 'Christianized thinking'. There are plenty of examples of that kind of thinking in other religious traditions also. It is ultimately a result of dualistic, us-and-them thinking, which can occur anywhere. So here 'Christianized thinking' perhaps symbolizes 'dualistic thinking', generally.




Right - it happens with incredible and predictable regularity within Buddhism too. This forum (and history) has offered us plenty of evidence of that.

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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby greentara » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:29 am

dzogchungpa, I couldn't agree more....."Looking over this thread, it seems like Sara H and Matylda have been effectively functioning as apologists for what they call Zen, and they both present themselves as knowledgeable insiders. However, there seems to be a deep discrepancy between their understandings of what a "Zen master" is. My questions for you both, and anyone else who cares to respond, are these: How are we to resolve this? Are neither, one, or both of these points of view correct? It seems that the confusion about what a "Zen master" is may be one of the underlying issues here"
I found alot of sarah H replies a little confusing and uneven and Matylda seems to have little give, often teetering on the aggressive.
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Re: Sex Taboo's & applying Christianized thinking in Western

Postby Dan74 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:57 am

greentara wrote:dzogchungpa, I couldn't agree more....."Looking over this thread, it seems like Sara H and Matylda have been effectively functioning as apologists for what they call Zen, and they both present themselves as knowledgeable insiders. However, there seems to be a deep discrepancy between their understandings of what a "Zen master" is. My questions for you both, and anyone else who cares to respond, are these: How are we to resolve this? Are neither, one, or both of these points of view correct? It seems that the confusion about what a "Zen master" is may be one of the underlying issues here"
I found alot of sarah H replies a little confusing and uneven and Matylda seems to have little give, often teetering on the aggressive.


I think practitioners have views that are often quite different, even within the same tradition. They are after all provisional!

Matylta came out sword blazing accusing people of being Western barbarians, puritans and hypocrites and what not while the master can do no wrong. Conveniently she ignored the question of whether the main protagonists of the recent scandals were indeed Zen masters.

A number of us tried to show that there is a great deal in Pali Buddhism, in Mahayana Buddhism and in Chan and Zen that speaks of doing no harm and of reigning in desires. It begs a very reasonable question of whether an individual who is exposed as a manipulative lecher and a liar can in fact be an enlightened Zen master. Just how far can the doctrine of skillful means be taken? Just how far can we trust someone with credentials?

The common sense answer is that the proof is in the pudding and someone who causes harm to people who come to him for help, lies and abuses trust is not a master of anything. But it is not all common sense it seems.

Yes, we should not confuse idiot compassion with the real deal and sometimes tough love is exactly what the doctor's ordered. But sometimes, abuse is just abuse, and a sleezebag in robes is just a sleezebag in robes. And common sense should never be tossed out of the window, IMO.

Sara H as I read her was mostly concerned with a conservative stance on sex and the judgmental attitude she perceived. Many of us put a great deal of energy into sex and a lot of attachment builds up around it. Any differing attitude is then perceived as puritan and an attack on this precious coveted thing. I don't know whether the shoe fits in this case, but I have found this attitude in myself and others.
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