What belongs is what people consent to.
Zen is a harsh discipline.
Historically, it is.
We, in the west, tend to like a softer life, but it's easy to forget, that the people who first brought it over here from Japan, were trained in Japan, and so only had a Japanese training experience to draw upon for their teaching methods.
Jiyu-Kennett was literally beaten black and blue by the kyosaku in the meditation hall in Soji-ji.
She was nearly starved on several occasions, because the monastic diet there at the time was primarily a broth soup and rice. She also got very ill from the harsh treatment there, that was made more severe by the prejudice against her as a woman, and foreigner.
If you want to know what she went through for training, I'd suggest reading her diary of the time, The Wild, White Goose Vols. 1 and 2
It's available for free now from Shasta's website for download in segments, if you don't want to buy the book.
Compared to what she went through, and how she was taught, Shasta's teaching is incredibly mild.
It's not possible to get things perfect, especially so, when you are pioneering things like bringing a whole new religious practice into the west, in a country where it has never had it before.
She got plenty of criticism for of her efforts to "tone Zen down" and make it gentler.
Kyogen, is a bit of a hypocrite. He's made plenty of pretty bad mistakes himself, that he doesn't like to talk about, some of them really bad.
If you have a teacher, what works is what is good for you as a student, and whether or not the Teacher fits you or not.
Some teachers are not for everybody, there is not a one-size-fits-all fit.
Jiyu-Kennett's style was very good for some people, highly beneficial.
For others, it was not so good, it didn't work.
But that doesn't mean there is anything bad with either party, sometimes, people just don't work out. Just like spouses, (though that's not a parallel analogy).
People are different, they have different needs. What may have seemed "cruel" to Kyogen from his perspective may have been exactly what some people needed.
And they have said so.
Different strokes for different folks.
Personally, I need a more intense form of the Dharma to practice. I find it's highly beneficial to me.
I actually find Shasta's practice pretty mild in some ways, it's very gentle in fact.
I once heard a story of the monks laughing, because apparently some Japanese, or some other Asian senior Teachers came to visit, and apparently after the end of their stay there, looking at the training that went on, and evaluating it, after their own experience, they said something to the effect, that it was very good, but "too much food, too much sleep!"
As I said, different strokes, for different folks.
Zen is not a brand image, that has to have a unifying theme and way of doing things across all temples and all Teachers.
Each teacher has a right and the authority to create their own teaching style.
Some people only teach a select few students, or even just one or two, and focus on them.
Others do larger temples, and, everything in-between.
They all do their teaching to the best of their ability, drawing upon their own experience, and how they were trained, and building upon that, and discarding things where things are found to work or not work. Sometimes there's a lot of trial and error involved, a disciple is not like a broken clock where you can clearly see the gear that needs to be fixed.
Sometimes it takes a try or few to understand something about them to know what and how to help them.
It all just depends.
If I felt and had the expertise to know, that all someone needed to have an experience of the Eternal, a Kensho, -that they were right on the edge, and just needed a push to get them to have it; was one swift kick in the ass, I would probably kick them right in the ass.
There's not necessarily a "wrong way" to do Zen training, if something works.
History and stories are full of the occasional student getting hit with a stick or something to quite literally knock them to their senses.
For some people, that's waaay to harsh.
For others, that's exactly what they need.
Each person is different, each person has different needs, and the Teacher does their very best to fit the teaching to the needs of the student.
As I said, different strokes for different folks.
Kyogen obviously didn't find Jiyu-Kennet to be his best fit. Unfortunately for him, the selection of Zen teachers in the West was much more limited at the time, so he had to make due with what he had.
They may both have even known that they weren't an ideal fit for each other, and tried it anyway because what was the alternative? Send him to Japan? There weren't a great deal of alternatives. Sometimes we have to just make do with what we've got.
With the ideal, comes the actual, after all.
Now people have more options, and can look around a bit more for a teacher that's a seems to be a better fit, rather than being forced to try and "make it work".
Kyogen had his kensho while training with Jiyu-Kennet.
Her methods obviously were at least somewhat successful for him. ; )
But in the end, the Buddha's and Ancestors do but point the way, we have to do our own training.
"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
" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy