It seems to me that his departure was an admission that he was incapable of bringing about the kinds of institutional, procedural, or even cultural changes that he wanted to put forward in the OBC. So he left to avoid a split in the sangha. I don't think this is at bottom a "sex scandal" or an abuse scandal, although it became one later.
Little was not allowed to leave on his own terms, as the above material outlined. He was shown the door instead. As near as I can see, sexuality and not the direction of the institution became the rationale for that decision.
I dunno. The thread I linked above is worth reading in its entirety.
No, that's not true.
Eko left of his own accord.
He probably honestly felt like it was good to do from a place of sitting to not be a monk for himself anymore.
He had a "romantic relationship" with two or so laypeople. There was no sex involved. I'm not exactly clear on what "romantic" means in this sense, but my mind it means either kissing or "making out" at the "worst" or could simply be that he was pursuing a relationship with people that was obviously a courtship.
Something that as a celibate monk, goes against his vows.
Now, this sortof thing does occasionally happen, and Shasta and the OBC have procedures for this. I'm not clear on exactly what the wording of those procedures are, but basically they involve honesty, on the parties involved, and I would imagine introspection and a choice: Do you really want to continue being a monk, celibacy and all, or do you feel it's more appropriate for you to become a layperson, and maybe have a family?
That's not a bad thing either way.
I think in his case, he just kindof got trapped in his position, kindof acting on some feelings he either didn't know were there, or was trying to push them away somehow until they just surfaced and he acted on them. Then, I think because he was the abbot, he probably panicked and lied about it to try to press for time, rather than confront the issue head on. Things continued, and it surfaced eventually that it was going on and that he had not been entirely forthcoming about it to say the least.
It was more the dishonesty that got him in procedural trouble, but even that could have been resolved.
I think, personally, it kindof made him realize something about himself, and he simply felt it was better in his heart to be a layperson.
I was, incidentally sad to see him leave, as I know that when one makes a mistake, the continued training afterward can greatly deepen it, but, I realized later that he is
continuing training, that being a layperson might honestly be the best way for him to continue training as a Buddhist.
I really wish him the best in that, he was my Precepts Master, and that's a very important thing.
Regarding the 'reforms' he wanted to make. I say those in quotes, because they actually wern't.
Eko wanted to go full vinaya.
And, as I've stated elsewhere on a different thread, for reasons disclosed there, the OBC does not, nor has any intention of becoming vinaya.
Along the lines I think he proposed, may have been segregating the congregation etc.
This, may incidentally have come about due to his own tensions coming up with women.
Obviously, if he was freaking out about having a beautiful woman around, as a layperson, he may have wanted to go more along the lines of the vinaya's restrictions on gender mixing for that self-same purpose, to help him with his own problems, and let him continue to do monastic training.
But the truth is, he honestly may be "meant" to be a layperson anyway. Not everyone is cut out to be a monk, and not everyone should
be a monk. There is very good training of a different sort to be had as a layperson. He may be well have been getting kindof a sign from the Eternal that he needed to face something in himself and all this happening may well have just been the final catalyst of something that had been been simmering on the back burner of his own training for years.
Stuff like that happens.
I don't bear him any ill will.
He certainly did the best he could as an Abbot,
he had some very big shoes to fill.
I think he did very well under the circumstances, and within the context of his own training, and the karma that he carries and inherited from previous lives.
I wish him all the best in his training and with all the love I can send him.
"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,
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil Singer
" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy