Roshi Daido Loori

Roshi Daido Loori

Postby kirtu » Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:11 pm

As most people know, Roshi passed away in October, 2009. As will be the case for some time in the West, he was seen by some as a controversial Zen practitioner*. I personally think that he will be seen as a great Zen master; a great Bodhisattva.

Daido Roshi's page on the Mountains and Rivers site
MRO Eulogy site
John Daido Loori site
Bernie Glassman's remembrances of Daido
Robert Thurman's Tribute to Daido

Kirt

*Meaning that for at least a generation, people will wonder about the attainments of western masters.
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"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
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Re: Roshi Daido Loori

Postby meindzai » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:01 am

Zen Mountain Monastery was the first Buddhist center of any kind I ever visited. I had already been listening to the talks on wzen.org for quite some time so I was pretty geared up to go and meet everybody.

I remember at the introduction retreat, we had a choice to meet privately with either him or Shugen Sensei. I picked Shugen because I think I found Daido intimidating. Of course I spoke with him outside of private interviews once or twice and he was of course very warm, though he could be fierce if he needed to be.

I'm not sure he was any more controversial than any other zen master. Within a zen context he was quite orthodox, and was very much against self-styled "anything goes" buji zen.

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Re: Roshi Daido Loori

Postby ronnewmexico » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:23 am

I am certainly no expert on Zen, my experience being in the main as a volunteer handyman at a zendo, but by my uneducated take, I'd say Bernie Glassman is much more controversial, currently and there being many past controversial masters in America. I have even heard rumor BG's latest wanderings have him acting as not really a zen adherant and lineage holder. I could easily see a Japanes master expat doing exactly what RDL did, though RDL's lineage in that regard, is from Jersey City.

Unfortunately the leave things as they are environmental wilderness ethic he is rumored to have held leaves out the most critical part of wilderness management, most often.....the role of fire and forest fires in such environments. If he did actually hold that view, and that is seperate from his apparent excellence as a Zen teacher and lineage holder. If he did hold that view it goes to show perhaps even the best of us, is not the perfect best of us....in this realm at least.

A great master it appears. As such things go I'm certain he will continue to be honored within his lineage. What else can a lineage holder hope for, aside from enlightenment of course?
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Roshi Daido Loori

Postby kirtu » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:50 am

ronnewmexico wrote:I am certainly no expert on Zen, my experience being in the main as a volunteer handyman at a zendo, but by my uneducated take, I'd say Bernie Glassman is much more controversial, currently and there being many past controversial masters in America.


Yeah - I didn't really mean to highlight the "controversy" aspect except to indicate that Daido Loori is likely to be undervalued (except by his students and people who's lives he changed directly) for at least a generation. And this will be the same for many western masters IMHO. In actually I see nothing at all controversial in Daido Loori's life, really.

As for other Zen teachers - well, in general Zen Buddhism in the west is having troubles but teachers like Daido Roshi and other Zen teachers who at least attain deep samadhi and are deeply devoted to the teachings are still definitely available (now Daido Roshi as an example that, as he put it once - anyone could actually become a Zen master).

Unfortunately the leave things as they are environmental wilderness ethic he is rumored to have held leaves out the most critical part of wilderness management, most often.....the role of fire and forest fires in such environments.


Likely this is a result of Daido Roshi's view that sentient beings are everywhere (the traditional Buddhist view) combined with his teachings of the insentient. I hadn't heard this about fire (or controlled fire) but this would be something to look into. Perhaps he has a very good reason. More likely he had a view that transcended the duality of for and against.

A great master it appears. As such things go I'm certain he will continue to be honored within his lineage. What else can a lineage holder hope for, aside from enlightenment of course?


Daido Roshi was a great teacher who saved many beings by getting them kickstarted on the spiritual path. My impression was that he attracted lots of people for whom the spiritual life had lapsed for a while and hooked them. And many people are practicing Buddhists because of his teaching.

Kirt
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"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
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Re: Roshi Daido Loori

Postby ronnewmexico » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:22 am

The most exemplification of Roshi Daido Loori's teaching and leadership.....your devotion to his memory.

You and others are the proof. NO question remains. What you say is not so important it seems, as that you say it, and say it quite clearly.

I myself are quite touched by seeing your devotion to this obviously great teacher of Zen. What student can pay greater tribute.....I find none.

I wish I had met him, though our traditions differ such peoples communicate I find, beyond the tradition.
I thank you for your excellent example. If I had such a teacher and he had passed I would hope to suchly act.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Roshi Daido Loori

Postby mindyourmind » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:38 pm

Sometimes I do live in my own little bubble .... I was not aware of Roshi passing. I really loved his books and general teachings, and especially in my early days of Buddhism he was a great inspiration.

So sad. Go well, Roshi, I hope you are at peace.
As bad as bad becomes its not a part of you

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Re: Roshi Daido Loori

Postby meindzai » Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:25 pm

Tricycle article on John Daido Loori Roshi:

http://www.tricycle.com/thus-have-i-hea ... n?page=0,0
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Re: Roshi Daido Loori

Postby kirtu » Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:54 pm

The second anniversary of the parinirvana of Daido Roshi is coming up on Sunday, 9 October. Zen Mountain Monastery also has a weekend seshin that weekend.

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