Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby dzogchungpa » Wed May 01, 2013 9:32 pm

Sara H wrote:This is an excerpt of some comments by Rev. Master Daishin Morgan, the Abbot of Throssel Hole, in response to that thread:...

and here is an excerpt from Baran's response to that:
I did NOT make up that at one point everyone in the Abbey became part of her fantasies about Jesus and Mary and Judas. And absolutely she claimed to have been St. John of the Cross and Bodhidharma. Later, even she realized how wacko the whole visualizations had become and she and Daizui changed or edited the story. All good mythology needs editors. And, yes, by the time I left, the drama had calmed down.

I shared the three dimes story because it was a good example of Kennett's mindset. Believe me, she wasn't joking. She wasn't lighthearted. She wasn't just saying, "keep in touch." There were so many other examples of her demonizing people who left, predicting bad things would happen, making leave-taking so painful and dramatic. There is no surprise here.

It is certainly possible that she thought she was doing something clever when she gave me the dimes - or she might have decided it was some kind of zen compassionate act. That doesn't make it any less distorted and outright mean. She was lost in her own grandiose fantasy so anything is possible.

In Kennett's mind, she could never, ever do anything "wrong" - so of course, she cast the story as -- Josh has misunderstood. That's the grand story. of not only Shasta, but many small cultic organizations. Teacher = perfect and always in the right / light. Followers = confused, ignorant, wrong, feelings not only don't matter, it's just their koan, their impediments. That's why I left. This is a very harmful story.

By the way, it was just her and me in the room, as far as I remember. So whatever any account you heard of this -- it must have come from her.
Note that, in the higher tantras, there is talk of a self and an I, even though in the lower teachings the absence of self and the absence of I is what is always proclaimed. - Tony Duff
To educate the educated is notoriously difficult. - Jacques Barzun
སརྦ་དྷརྨ་དྷཱ་ཏུ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔
User avatar
dzogchungpa
 
Posts: 2011
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Sara H » Thu May 02, 2013 11:15 am

Well, you know, whether he thinks she made a mistake or not in that, she's allowed to make a mistake. (Or was as she's dead)

Zen masters are human beings, and whether she used a used the right approach or not there (and it's possible it was the right approach) she's still allowed to make mistakes.

This practice is not for people who want flawless human beings for masters.

It's for people who want people for masters. People who are human and do make mistakes.

So regardless of who was in the right, or who was in the wrong in this particular case, the point is moot, because people are allowed to make mistakes.

Also, if a mistake is made, taking responsibility for a mistake does not mean subjecting yourself to every whim another person wants, just because they may have been effected by it or not.

People can be very unreasonable.
(And if a person is dead, it's unreasonable to demand that the people who inherited that person's organization, try and make amends for some private disagreement that they were not privy to. They had nothing to do with it. Some of them wern't even in the organization then. And so constantly berating the point is kindof useless, as it's all he-said, she-said, at that point. The OBC in this regard, has made many overtures to try and adress real concerns that people on there had, and most of them have been turned down, or slapped away. They're more interested in fighting on there, than they are in actually solving any problem. It's become a soap opera over what so-and-so might have said to someone else back in the seventies. Not really a real concern or adressing greviance base.)

In Gassho,

Sara.
"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
User avatar
Sara H
 
Posts: 531
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:51 pm
Location: On Hiatus from Dharmawheel.

Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Jikan » Thu May 02, 2013 1:35 pm

The matter of a private mistake, an isolated incident, is not at issue (if I understand Josh Baran and others correctly). It is the patterns of behavior and institutional problems that followed from it that are at issue. The "three dimes" story is significant because it is said to be representative of an overall culture. Those problems do seem to persist over time, as in the case of Michael Little (is he well regarded these days in the OBC, after having been regarded as a very good leader and Zen master?).

It seems reasonable from this point of view to hope this institution will reflect on these issues and learn from its history moving forward, for its own sake, for the sake of those with any connection to it, and for the sake of the Dharma.
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5000
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu May 02, 2013 4:21 pm

An excerpt from Strathern's response to Sara H's recent posts at OBC connect:
You argue that JK was giving a final teaching out of compassion; my experience of her attitude towards a number of leavers was that she was fond of final 'teachings' that showed her superiority and caused nothing but turmoil to the taught. I've seen people leaving in this kind of situation on a number of occasions and under a number of circumstances, and seen them handled well and handled badly, sometimes even vindictively. I fear JK veered towards the latter.


chisanmichaelhughes' follow up comment:
And these actions along with the actions of other disgraced 'teachers' were actions of incredible cruelty.This cruelty was indeed handed down to Eko, who would make his followers live one way whilst he lived by a different set of rules,he forbade his followers certain aspects of normal life ,whilst he indulged himself. Until he ( along with the disgraced teachers) were caught with their hands down their pants.


The more I look through the OBC connect site the more I think that the OBC is a pathological organization, and that its pathology fully reflects the character of its founder. Attempting to minimize the cruelty of Kennett's behavior in the three dimes story by calling it a mistake is ridiculous, especially since it was obviously premeditated and typical for her.
Note that, in the higher tantras, there is talk of a self and an I, even though in the lower teachings the absence of self and the absence of I is what is always proclaimed. - Tony Duff
To educate the educated is notoriously difficult. - Jacques Barzun
སརྦ་དྷརྨ་དྷཱ་ཏུ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔
User avatar
dzogchungpa
 
Posts: 2011
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby JKhedrup » Thu May 02, 2013 5:00 pm

How does the current climate at Shasta Abbey differ from when Jiyu-Kennett was in charge?
Perhaps we are judging them harshly based on past, and that should be tempered by looking at the current situation?

What has been posted about Jiyu Kennet here reminds me of a lot of the Theosophy stuff propagated by Blavatsky (for a reason unknown to me,
Theosophy is still rather popular in the Netherlands where I am living at the moment). Perhaps Jiyu-Kennett was influenced by some of the theosophy
principles regarding visions during meditation and contact with Holy Beings?
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2284
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu May 02, 2013 5:06 pm

JKhedrup wrote:How does the current climate at Shasta Abbey differ from when Jiyu-Kennett was in charge?
Perhaps we are judging them harshly based on past, and that should be tempered by looking at the current situation?

What has been posted about Jiyu Kennet here reminds me of a lot of the Theosophy stuff propagated by Blavatsky (for a reason unknown to me,
Theosophy is still rather popular in the Netherlands where I am living at the moment). Perhaps Jiyu-Kennett was influenced by some of the theosophy
principles regarding visions during meditation and contact with Holy Beings?
Perhaps she was as cracked as Blavatsky?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9319
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Anders » Thu May 02, 2013 5:17 pm

JKhedrup wrote:When these things "come up", we need to speak with a realized teacher. We cannot only rely on appearances, even if they seem to arise in a state of meditation.

In terms of past lives, I've given up on tracing back, as Shakespeare, Guinevere, Cleopatra, Napoleon, Genghis Khan and Jimi Hendrix have already been claimed. So better to focus on trying to cultivate something less sexy, like developing the wish to be liberated from samsara or compassion for sentient beings.


I don't think many Buddhist practitioners actually cultivate the remembrance of past lives. But it is a by-product of practise. Sure, it may be "just an experience". But so is breaking your leg. A broken leg is still an experience of some trauma and reconstitution that demands a certain level of attention and priority assigned to it to manage it skilfully. Past lives can be like that. Others more of a "a ha, well that it explains that, I guess."

Nothing worth creating an enduring narrative over, but at the same time, not so worthless it shouldn't demand some attention when it comes up either. There is a lot of potential for healing pent up psychic and even physical trauma stored in the bodymind through such remembrances. That in itself makes it worth paying a bit of attention to, regardless of how real they may be (myself, I tend to think of past lives as inherited fictions. Albeit, fictions with inherited consequences too).
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
User avatar
Anders
 
Posts: 726
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:39 pm

Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu May 02, 2013 5:24 pm

Thing with the past life rememberance is that people always claim to have been somebody of importance during their past life. You rarely hear of people remembering being a scum sucking peasant, or remebering their past 100,000 lives as a cockroach. Wouldn't that be more cathartic?

Anyway, I do not give so much weight to the whole "past lives recollection" deal, it is (more than) enough (effort) for me to look (mindfully) at this life, in order to understand my brain dead stupidity in my past lives! Of course there must have been some merit too, but judging from my circumstances, bucketloads of demerit is more likely.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9319
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Jikan » Thu May 02, 2013 5:36 pm

Anders wrote:
JKhedrup wrote:When these things "come up", we need to speak with a realized teacher. We cannot only rely on appearances, even if they seem to arise in a state of meditation.

In terms of past lives, I've given up on tracing back, as Shakespeare, Guinevere, Cleopatra, Napoleon, Genghis Khan and Jimi Hendrix have already been claimed. So better to focus on trying to cultivate something less sexy, like developing the wish to be liberated from samsara or compassion for sentient beings.


I don't think many Buddhist practitioners actually cultivate the remembrance of past lives. But it is a by-product of practise. Sure, it may be "just an experience". But so is breaking your leg. A broken leg is still an experience of some trauma and reconstitution that demands a certain level of attention and priority assigned to it to manage it skilfully. Past lives can be like that. Others more of a "a ha, well that it explains that, I guess."

Nothing worth creating an enduring narrative over, but at the same time, not so worthless it shouldn't demand some attention when it comes up either. There is a lot of potential for healing pent up psychic and even physical trauma stored in the bodymind through such remembrances. That in itself makes it worth paying a bit of attention to, regardless of how real they may be (myself, I tend to think of past lives as inherited fictions. Albeit, fictions with inherited consequences too).


As I suggested earlier...

http://www.ehow.com/about_5689498_sympt ... tions.html

admittedly not the most rigorous scientific source, but good enough as a stopgap for the present. My point is that there may be a material basis for the kinds of behaviors we see described here: visions and revelations from "Cosmic Buddha," growing a lotus out of your head... Kennett was ill and her illness was not addressed properly. Who is responsible for that?
Attachments
JiyuKennettBiggestLoser.gif
JiyuKennettBiggestLoser.gif (109.28 KiB) Viewed 448 times
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5000
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Jikan » Thu May 02, 2013 5:49 pm

Jikan wrote:And apropos of Jiyu Kennett's self-care issues and premature death due to out-of-control diabetes

viewtopic.php?f=66&t=12597

was, by Sara's own standards, an actual suicide? (as distinct from the "suicides" she cites among Tendai practitioners who mysteriously fail to die and lack the intention of self-harm)
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5000
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Simon E. » Thu May 02, 2013 6:05 pm

JKhedrup wrote:How does the current climate at Shasta Abbey differ from when Jiyu-Kennett was in charge?
Perhaps we are judging them harshly based on past, and that should be tempered by looking at the current situation?

What has been posted about Jiyu Kennet here reminds me of a lot of the Theosophy stuff propagated by Blavatsky (for a reason unknown to me,
Theosophy is still rather popular in the Netherlands where I am living at the moment). Perhaps Jiyu-Kennett was influenced by some of the theosophy
principles regarding visions during meditation and contact with Holy Beings?


She was part of the London Buddhist Society scene, which at that time was shot through with Theosophical concepts...the LBS was started by Christmas Humphreys as a Buddhist " Lodge" of the Theosophical Society. He was a great admirer of Blavatsky.
I was never really drawn to Zen apart from my early enthusiasm for all things Buddhist, but the only Zenny person that impressed me from those days was Myo-kyoni ( Irmgard Schleugal ) ( spelling ? )
who seemed like the real thing, at least to my untutored eyes. And who was not at all Blavatsky-ish.
Last edited by Simon E. on Thu May 02, 2013 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Simon E.
 
Posts: 2543
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu May 02, 2013 6:09 pm

JKhedrup wrote:What has been posted about Jiyu Kennet here reminds me of a lot of the Theosophy stuff propagated by Blavatsky (for a reason unknown to me,
Theosophy is still rather popular in the Netherlands where I am living at the moment). Perhaps Jiyu-Kennett was influenced by some of the theosophy
principles regarding visions during meditation and contact with Holy Beings?

Regarding the theosophy connection James Ishmael Ford had this to say on the "Spear of Destiny" thread:
I think she was always fascinated with the occult. If I reconstruct her early years correctly her early Buddhism really was Christmas Humphreys' highly occult-theosophical version. While I'm inclined to believe her visions were induced by untreated diabetes, I think much of the content dates from her time with Humphreys...
Note that, in the higher tantras, there is talk of a self and an I, even though in the lower teachings the absence of self and the absence of I is what is always proclaimed. - Tony Duff
To educate the educated is notoriously difficult. - Jacques Barzun
སརྦ་དྷརྨ་དྷཱ་ཏུ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔
User avatar
dzogchungpa
 
Posts: 2011
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu May 02, 2013 6:12 pm

Simon E. wrote:She was part of the London Buddhist Society scene, which at that time was shot through with Theosophical concepts...the LBS was started by Christmas Humphreys as a Buddhist " Lodge" of the Theosophical Society. He was a great admirer of Blavatsky.

I haven't read it yet, but there's a thread on the topic here:
http://obcconnect.forumotion.net/t575-london-buddhist-society
Note that, in the higher tantras, there is talk of a self and an I, even though in the lower teachings the absence of self and the absence of I is what is always proclaimed. - Tony Duff
To educate the educated is notoriously difficult. - Jacques Barzun
སརྦ་དྷརྨ་དྷཱ་ཏུ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔
User avatar
dzogchungpa
 
Posts: 2011
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Anders » Thu May 02, 2013 6:43 pm

Jikan wrote:As I suggested earlier...

http://www.ehow.com/about_5689498_sympt ... tions.html

admittedly not the most rigorous scientific source, but good enough as a stopgap for the present. My point is that there may be a material basis for the kinds of behaviors we see described here: visions and revelations from "Cosmic Buddha," growing a lotus out of your head... Kennett was ill and her illness was not addressed properly. Who is responsible for that?


It is also quite possible for it to be both. I imagine there are also many schizophrenics who are both schizophrenic and having actual visions. A nasty cocktail.

I am not an expert, but my impression of reading some of these accounts is of someone with some depth to her having visions and remembrances and, lacking received learning and and/or proper guidance on how to navigate such things, was having to come up with her navigational tools for it. As a rampant diabetic, she might not have been well positioned for that.

Maybe the "cosmic buddha" was a mahasattva of some sort, which she named as "cosmic Buddha". That buddhist practitioners should have such encounters shouldn't be terribly surprising to one who takes the mahayana sutras a little bit literally. But I can well imagine that the diabetes and so forth would make such a person liable to misinterpretation and overreliance on such visions and voices. Without proper guidance or a very still and de-agendafied mind (for lack of a better word), the boundaries between genuine 'channelling', intuition and just plain imagination can end up getting quite blurred. And relying on it to such a degree so as to consult on choices of cars and sharing such things with others totally unfiltered suggests at best a rather naive approach to managing such things, more probably self-taught skill dealing with such phenomena having veered into delusional territory as well.

I suspect many such things are a product of visions filtered through various lenses of delusion. That is in itself not a big deal. Unless you are a mahasattva, it seems to me hard to avoid. The key point is whether they are useful or not. But once you starts taking such appearances very literally and rely on them without more than a few grains of salt with regards to their accuracy, it can become a potent cocktail for wild tales, even if they are wild tales somewhat rooted in the real thing.

I don't know how true any of that is of Kennet. Not my business to say really either. Just spitballing on the topic based on what is being written.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
User avatar
Anders
 
Posts: 726
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:39 pm

Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby JKhedrup » Thu May 02, 2013 7:02 pm

Greg,
As i mentioned I am a bit surprised Theosophy survives as well as it does here in the Netherlands.

I guess back in Blavatsky's time, things were not translated, the world was not globalized, Christianity was still the dominant paradigm. But now, with translations available, senior masters teaching in the West, and better general knowledge about Eastern traditions I have no idea why people would choose the Blavatsky mish mash route, but some do.

As for the importance of the past lives, if it is a genuine experience it is significant, but I feel in many cases it is projection. I think we are up to three Guiniveres by now. In the traditional Gelug and Theravada circles with which I am familiar it is seen in poor taste to talk about such experiences at length and in public, except for maybe a vague hint.

No matter what our past lives were, if we don't have realizations, they probably are not worth bragging about.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2284
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Jikan » Thu May 02, 2013 7:04 pm

Simon E. wrote:I was never really drawn to Zen apart from my early enthusiasm for all things Buddhist, but the only Zenny person that impressed me from those days was Myo-kyoni ( Irmgard Schleugal ) ( spelling ? )
who seemed like the real thing, at least to my untutored eyes. And who was not at all Blavatsky-ish.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myokyo-ni

:namaste:
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5000
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu May 02, 2013 7:07 pm

JKhedrup wrote:I guess back in Blavatsky's time, things were not translated, the world was not globalized, Christianity was still the dominant paradigm. But now, with translations available, senior masters teaching in the West, and better general knowledge about Eastern traditions I have no idea why people would choose the Blavatsky mish mash route, but some do.
I just put it down to karma viapakka. It makes perfect sense to me.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9319
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Jikan » Thu May 02, 2013 7:08 pm

Theosophy was part of the general milieu of her class and time, which emphasized the Transcendental, the Eternal, the Ideal, the Esoteric. Think of Aurobindo, the English Idealists, J. Cousins & AE. Educated people at that time found the notion of the "perennial philosophy" very appealing indeed. It's a product of the time and place and (let's be honest, bourgeois) social circumstances.
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5000
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby HePo » Thu May 02, 2013 7:12 pm

JKhedrup wrote:

How does the current climate at Shasta Abbey differ from when Jiyu-Kennett was in charge?
Perhaps we are judging them harshly based on past, and that should be tempered by looking at the current situation?

Perhaps this article Why Are Roshi Jiyu Kennett’s Disciples So Reclusive? by someone (still in the OBC) is somewhat helpful.
http://sweepingzen.com/why-are-roshi-ji ... reclusive/


@Jikan and dzogchungpa - since you are reading the OBCconnect forum:
To get a picture of some of the people who post there and were involved in the early days.
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/monkeymind/2011/02/july-1970-an-early-western-zen-buddhist-ordination-photograph.html
These folks were of some importance to the OBC - Daiji made it possible that Throssel Hole (then priory) was bought.
The others (i believe all of them - could be wrong) at some point did have fairly 'high' positions in the organisation.

Simon wrote;

I was never really drawn to Zen apart from my early enthusiasm for all things Buddhist, but the only Zenny person that impressed me from those days was Myo-kyoni ( Irmgard Schleugal ) ( spelling ? )
who seemed like the real thing, at least to my untutored eyes. And who was not at all Blavatsky-ish.

Actually the London Buddhist Society and Humphreys thought so too.
Irmgard Schloegl was invited by the Society to teach Zen in the UK - if i remember correctly when Humphreys died his house became a training temple.
HePo
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:39 pm

Re: Order of Buddhist Contemplatives

Postby Jikan » Thu May 02, 2013 7:30 pm

note from the moderator:

I've merged three separate OBC threads into one for easier reading. Apologies for any discontinuity.
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5000
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Zen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests

>