Well, no, I meant it more like I wrote above, that some Zen institutions in the West may be placing too much emphasis on emptiness and not enough on a more full expression of Buddhism. A lot of sitting and devaluation of discernment and moral reasoning make Zen master a bad boy, essentially.
Can you cite some specific examples?
I stumbled onto a concrete example today. A letter written by Lawrence Shainberg, a member of the ZSS Ethics Committee:http://www.shimanoarchive.com/PDFs/20110905_Shainberg_Chayat.pdf
Lawrence makes the "inarguable" (presumably inarguable because it is based on Western Zen dogma about realization) proposal to allow Edio Roshi to continue working with students. In the letter he writes:
Lawrence Shainberg wrote:
All of us know that our roots are in the Heart Sutra, the identity of Relative and Absolute, thus that we are obliged to challenge dualistic moral judgment and appreciate the distinction -- and lack of such -- between the realm in which cause and effect are one and the realm in which they’re separate. On the other hand, we must not forget that the world we live in is every day, thanks to media, pop-psychology and the righteous fury of political correctness, more addicted to such dualism and the simplistic moralism it produces. It is obvious to us all, I think, that our practice requires us to find a Middle Way which avoids such moralism without denying that Eido’s behavior has had concrete effect in the relative world. One doesn’t have to forgive his malfeasance to acknowledge that Shoboji, DBZ and the Zen Studies Society in general owe their existence to his realization, and one doesn’t deny that realization by holding him accountable for the repercussions of his behavior. If he’s failed us as a human being, he’s not the first master whose realization did not carry over into the Relative Realm, and if we continue to revere him, we are not the first students to benefit from an imperfect teacher. In effect, we are required to judge him and not- judge him simultaneously, practice with our response to him as we practice with our koans on and off our cushions.
Not the first master whose realization did not carry over into the relative realm?
Isn't this in effect making "realization" meet the man, rather than the man meeting "realization"?
I believe this also expresses a devaluation of moral reasoning or as he puts it "simplistic moralism."
The letter closes with:
Since sexual issues like those he’s created are close to epidemic among those with power in our culture (see Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, numerous Catholic priests, and spiritual teachers like Maezumi Roshi, Chogyam Trungpa, Baker Roshi, Dainin Katagiri Roshi, Gempo Merzel, and many others), the insights produced by these teachings [Eido's continued teaching] might be profound and valuable beyond any we can imagine. I can’t speak for anyone else of course but I know that, while I’ve not been Eido Roshi’s student, I’d make every effort to study with him at this juncture of his life.
I know there are those who will be enraged at this proposal but to me it seems inarguable.
It reminds me of a talk show I once watched where Zsa Zsa Gabor was a celebrity guest speaker giving marriage advice.