I had a moment today and did a bit of research online. I wanted to find out (since it hasn't come up in this thread) what contemporary Zen teachers outside the OBC and not named Kyogen Carlson actually think of the OBC today. It seems to me that if a Soto Zen teacher is willing to send his or her students to practice at North Cascades or Shasta Abbey, then that tells us something about how this school is regarded.
As it happens, I found out that two of the internet's most prominent Soto Zen teachers are divided on this issue--strongly. Here is one post in one thread on this topic:http://www.zenforuminternational.org/vi ... 160#p99995
It seems that J. Cohen and N. Chowaney disagree directly, with Cohen citing discussions from the now-familiar-to-all OBC Connect site as evidence in his negative assessment of the OBC. By contrast, Nonin endorses the OBC (here and in another thread in the same forum), claiming to send his own students there to train.
What does this add up to? I don't claim to know.
Apparently it adds up to Cohen and Chowaney pursuing their own agendas, simply, neither of which may have anything much to do with Zen practice.
Jundo wishes to promote his online Zen training brand. One method to build a brand is to distinguish it from what it's not, hence the monastic poo-pooing.
Nonin's experience is:
Every Zen Buddhist practice place has former disgruntled members. I, however, have learned not to take the views of disgruntled former members seriously.
It's sad that he always experiences disgruntled members, though knowing him a bit that is not surprising. It is also sad that he dismisses all criticism out of hand.
In the same post from your link Nonin also writes:
Shasta Abbey is one of the best places for [Soto Zen] priest training in the West.
And there you have it, the best
in the West, such as it is.