I think there may have been something about how Zen was initially presented to the west that made it particularly vulnerable to the rise of "Zen", and we're seeing the results.Zen
^^^This. Absolutely. The anti-intellectualism and authoritarian tendencies of Japanese Zen led to this kind of culture, at least in part. Even David Loy, whose work is problematic in its own way*, makes this point (this is in The Great Awakening), just to cite one instance.
I've had very positive experiences at the Zen Community of Oregon, led by Jan Chozen Bays. I've had excellent interactions with the Blue Heron Zen people in Seattle, the Golden Wind Zen people in SoCal, Daiyuzenji Temple in Chicago, among others. Remarkably for this thread, I once sat a weekend retreat with a student of Joshu Sasaki (long before the abuse we have been discussing became public knowledge) in Reno that transformed my life. There are others.
At the risk of overgeneralizing, it seems to me that the Zen proponents who do the self-promoting and speaking online and in the media are often the ones who face problematic situations (ahem) of the kind we are discussing. The ones who know don't talk so much online; the ones who talk a lot, by contrast... (speaking as someone who rarely hesitates to open his mouth online)
*If you'd like a detailed criticism of Loy's position, we can do it in another thread. I'm working on Loy's social thought as part of a separate project...
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