Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Jikan » Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:55 pm

The Five Mountain Zen Order has come up in discussion surrounding some controversy surrounding the Taego Order. As it happens, some of the criticism directed at the Taego Order is produced from at least one ordinand in the Five Mountain Order:

http://www.lawrencegrecco.com/blog/2011 ... -monk.html

So it seems worthwhile to take a closer look at the Five Mountain group and Paul Lynch's leadership. This is something I know very little about; I am merely posing the question. Here's the official website. http://www.fmzo.org

This is presented as a part of Seung Sahn's transmission. Lynch himself was given inka by one of Sahn Sunim's students, Ji Bong (Robert Moore). I'd like to know what relation obtains between Five Mountain and Lynch and the other schools in Sahn Sunim's transmission (Kwan Um, Golden Wind...). And Moore Sunim in particular. Does Lynch's teacher teach Five Mountain ordinands, for instance?
Need help getting on retreat? Want to support others in practice? Pay the Dana for Dharma forum a visit...

viewtopic.php?f=114&t=13727
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5668
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Haemin » Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:56 am

I would write to FMO directly rather than post here. A lot of what came up about the Taego Order on Dharma Wheel was speculation and assumption, with no one bothering to check directly.
Haemin
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:11 am

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby jrzen » Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:50 am

I inquired with Paul Lynch and his Five Mountain Order of Zen in 2010.

I was very impressed with how friendly Paul was to me, a complete stranger, and he gave a lot of his time to me by phone as I had a lot of questions about Zen in general as well as Five Mountain. He never made me feel pressured to sign up with him and stressed how it is important that people find a teacher that resonates with their heart. He is incredibly knowledgeable about all kinds of Buddhism and has traveled throughout Asia. He was a really helpful and smart guy.

He seems like he just wants to help people and while I am not on an ordination path, if I wanted to study Zen more or if I wanted to be a priest I would have no problem going through the Five Mountain seminary program.
jrzen
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:33 am

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Jikan » Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:01 pm

Haemin wrote:I would write to FMO directly rather than post here. A lot of what came up about the Taego Order on Dharma Wheel was speculation and assumption, with no one bothering to check directly.


I have. Although it was a while back; at that time, J. Foster was still directly involved with it (he was the person I interacted with). I'll have more to say about Foster later.

Bigger picture: I think it's possible to discuss lineage & issues surrounding ordination in a public forum without falling back on speculation or unfounded assertion, especially in this instance where so much material is available online, in English. For instance:

Dear Students of the Golden Wind Zen Group and the Public at Large:

It is with a great deal of sadness and wistfulness that I write this letter is to inform you that Paul Lynch was permanently suspended on July 13, 2008 as a Ji Do Poep Sa Nim in the Golden Wind Zen Teaching Order. I originally asked Paul to take a leave of absence as a teacher during which time he could begin to practice regularly once again and make an effort to deal with his severe health problems and personal issues. When informed of this leave-of-absence from teaching, Paul decided to walk away from the sangha entirely.

A Ji Do Poep Sa is permitted to teach only under the direct supervision of their supervising Zen Master according to the Korean/American Zen tradition.

Any teaching done by Paul (under the rubric of a “Before Thinking” organization or in any other forum) is, therefore, presented without the consent or approval of Zen Master Ji Bong. Consequently, Zen Master Ji Bong accepts no responsibility for any of Paul Lynch’s words or actions currently or at any time in the future. Paul Lynch is not in any respect to be considered the Dharma heir of either Zen Master Seung Sahn or Zen Master Ji Bong.

If a student -JDPS is unwilling to follow his/her teacher, that student gives up all rights to any claims of lineage. One has authentic lineage or one has nothing – that is the majesty of the Zen Tradition.

Ironically, this experience has become a good teaching experience for all of us. We must watch our steps in each moment – remember there is always a banana peel close by.

Zen Master Ji Bong (August 17, 2008)
(a letter reproduced all over teh interwebz... you can ask R. Moore if it's legitimate if you like.)
Need help getting on retreat? Want to support others in practice? Pay the Dana for Dharma forum a visit...

viewtopic.php?f=114&t=13727
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5668
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Jikan » Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:27 pm

Why does this matter?

Because Lynch's claims on behalf of his authority as a teacher (inka from Moore) are at odds with Moore's own words on the matter. Lynch states that Moore authorized him to teach in a particular context; he does not state that Moore revoked that authorization in 2008. In fact, Lynch's teaching activity only accelerated at that time, from what I've seen. That's one aspect.

Here's another. If you take seriously Bodhidharma's statement that Zen is a special transmission outside the scriptures, and that teaching authority in Zen schools is given at the discretion of the master, then Lynch's situation on its own (even without going into some of the goings-on of those Lynch has authorized to teach) is... problematic.

These are two fundamental reasons why I would like to caution against presenting the Five Mountain Zen Order as some kind of progressive alternative to the Taego Order for potential ordinands. The group's culture may be more progressive, true, but if the point in joining a Zen Order is to join a Zen Order, then one may be better advised to seek a group that better represents the Zen and the Order parts.

Rebuttals?
Need help getting on retreat? Want to support others in practice? Pay the Dana for Dharma forum a visit...

viewtopic.php?f=114&t=13727
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5668
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby jrzen » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:50 pm

Haemin brings up a good point--why don't you contact the FIve Mountain people now and see what they say about this? Especially since Foster is gone. Also you can do this with the Taego people if you want a direct response.

This reminds me of Charlotte Joko Beck's rescinding dharma transmission to one or two of her heirs as she became older and less mentally stable.

Having met Jibong personally I believe the same problem is at play here unfortunately. He has done this not just with Paul Lynch but others that he has authorized to teach.

Incidentally the claim of "unbroken transmission" of most if not all lineages is questionable at best.

Check out these two articles on the subject:

http://sweepingzen.com/2011/02/08/linea ... rican-zen/

http://rzc.org/drupal/sites/default/fil ... achers.pdf
jrzen
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:33 am

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Malcolm » Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:28 pm

jrzen wrote: Especially since Foster is gone.


He is not just gone, he has gone beyond apparently, having become the 81st Ancestor of Zen.

https://prajnainstitute.org/faculty/myogak-foster/
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 12569
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Jikan » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:08 pm

I agree with jrzen that many historical claims to an unbroken transmission from master disciple amount to a pious fiction. In contemporary terms, however, this is what we have to go by: when examining a potential teacher, his or her authorization to teach should be subject to close scrutiny. If the teacher trusts the student, then perhaps the public can trust the student too.

What happens when the authorized student's claim is in contradiction to that of the authorizing teacher? Lynch is promoting himself as an heir to Moore. Moore is saying: Yes, I authorized him to teach under my direction, in-house, but when it became clear to me that his personal problems prevented him from teaching properly, I asked him to stop and he declined.

If you take Moore's point of view at face value, then you have to admit that Lynch appears to be a poor student of Zen. If you take Lynch's point of view, then you have to admit that Moore's point of view, his locus standi, is valid a priori (as it is this point of view that authorized Lynch as a teacher to begin with). See the bind?

I'm not familiar with other such cases among Moore's authorized-to-teach students as jrzen alludes to. Perhaps someone can shed some more light on that.


*I should also say that I don't know Robert Moore sunim, but I have had very positive interactions with his students, and a great deal of respect for Seung Sahn sunim's contribution to Zen practice in the English speaking world generally. If Ji Bong came to my town and gave a public teaching, I'd certainly be present and listen attentively.
Need help getting on retreat? Want to support others in practice? Pay the Dana for Dharma forum a visit...

viewtopic.php?f=114&t=13727
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5668
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby jrzen » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:45 pm

If you take seriously Bodhidharma's statement that Zen is a special transmission outside the scriptures, and that teaching authority in Zen schools is given at the discretion of the master, then Lynch's situation on its own (even without going into some of the goings-on of those Lynch has authorized to teach) is... problematic.


Do you believe with complete certainty that Bodhidharma was an actual, historical figure? This is not a certainty by any means and there is no way to prove that he actually existed.

Even if he was, what do you imagine his view of women, gays, and the physically challenged was? Remember, he was a product of his time and culture, not a god-like figure who could never be wrong about anything.

Also, is it sensible or acceptable for someone to bestow inka on a student and then decide to take it away for some vague, unspecified reasons? I am curious to know what happened there.
Last edited by jrzen on Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
jrzen
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:33 am

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Astus » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:51 pm

I'm not saying that the FMZO or Lynch is OK or not OK. But questioning their validity on the basis of personal relationships within a Buddhist community is pretty much bureaucratic. Why not ask and analyse if what they actually teach is correct or not? Isn't that what should matter?

A good point by Ven. Chong Go: authority and transmission
In the comments, where Lynch mentions the transmission between Ko Bong and Seung Sahn, he replies, "This type of transmission was almost never heard of before the era of the Japanese occupation, and has since basically disappeared."
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4170
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby jisahn108 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:04 pm

I find all of this utterly fascinating. First, Paul Lynch and his students are denying that the Jibong letter is real, saying a Moore "student" wrote it - though there is no denial from Moore to be found, and the letter is all over the place. Weirdly though, Lynch and friends don't deny the contents - that there was a schism, and actual transmission didn't take place. On that point (and this is crucial) - "Inka/Inga" in the Kwan Um/related traditions of which Lynch claims to be part, is NOT "dharma transmission." Again, this is key. Inka/Inga is a provisional teaching authority to teach koans and lead retreats, under supervision. You are not authorized to ordain others, or give transmission. You are not a lineage holder. That's what this letter is about. Confusion arise because in many schools of Japanese/American Zen, "inka" = "dharma transmission".

So, in many ways and in many places, Lynch uses the word "inka", followed by the words "dharma holder" or "transmission" or "lineage holder" or "in the lineage of." In certain instances he seems to be hedging, not outright saying transmission, but clearly implying it. How else does one start one's own school and ordain people?

This is only the start of the questions around Lynch. As Jikan pointed out I think, it was the same time that this letter and split with Moore occurs that Lynch starts his own school and starts ordaining people, self-publishing books, opening new centers, starting online seminaries etc. In less that three years he's given transmission I think to Foster at least, maybe others; he's mysteriously adopted a Chinese Dharma name and taken to wearing a cheap-looking, ill-fitting machine made Taiwanese-style 'kasa'; and he claimed until recently on every ones of his websites (which seem to proliferate like rabbits) that he was a student of James Ford-roshi. I understand that this wasn't the case, they had a very casual acquaintance, and Lynch no longer claims to have been his student, but many old bios with this claim linger (I sort of presume he was asked to stop saying this by Ford, but this is guessing on my part.)

Lynch also tends to drop a lot of other names, for instance in a exceedingly lengthy profile on Sweeping Zen, in which Lynch goes much deeper into his personal bio than any other teacher profiled there that I've read - which I simply find aesthetically distasteful. As for this seminary, that now Foster has renamed and taken over (???), the for-the-12-time-redesigned website says tuition is over $10,000 - but I guess in the fine print, everyone receives a "scholarship" and the "actual" cost is ONLY $1800. What a deal, right? Except that no one accredited this thing, there is no oversight by a larger more established organization, and everyone involved has internet controversies following them around.

"Transmission" is not about magic powers. But as James Ford eloquently describes in his book, if you want to play the game of Zen Master/Zen Student, you have certain rules to follow, and seekers should evaluate their teachers carefully. There is a lot of ignorance and lot of confusion about the American Zen landscape, that I conclude Lynch is taking advantage of in order to play the role of "patriarch" for whatever reason. He's practiced and been immersed in that world a long time, and after a lifetime of looking up he probably wants to look down for a change, I don't know. If things blew up with Moore, and he had a good case and was in good standing, then I say he should have gone to another teacher in that tradition and seen if he could be "confirmed" by someone else - many others have done similar. But instead to just plow ahead roughshod, with increasing velocity? It doesn't pass the smell test, any of it.

In other words, I wouldn't go near any of these people for spiritual guidance if my life depended on it.
Last edited by jisahn108 on Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
jisahn108
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:34 pm

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Jikan » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:47 pm

I've started a separate thread to discuss some of the circumstances surrounding Foster, particularly his claims regarding ordination and transmission:

viewtopic.php?f=50&t=7769

Foster's claims on Tendai and his participation in it vis a vis Hayes should be understood in this context:

viewtopic.php?f=64&t=3949
Need help getting on retreat? Want to support others in practice? Pay the Dana for Dharma forum a visit...

viewtopic.php?f=114&t=13727
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5668
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby jisahn108 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:25 pm

Astus writes:
"I'm not saying that the FMZO or Lynch is OK or not OK. But questioning their validity on the basis of personal relationships within a Buddhist community is pretty much bureaucratic. Why not ask and analyse if what they actually teach is correct or not? Isn't that what should matter?"

This is a really important point! This is what everyone who is themselves, or whose teachers are under suspicion says as their "out." Of course in the end its the teachings that matter. But you have to look at the whole picture when evaluating a "spiritual teacher." Anyone can read a book about Buddhism and spout all the words. They can read about Zen, or even study it for quite sometime, and do a pretty convincing job of seeming to have it all sussed out. And if someone wants to say they are a "life coach" or "meditation teacher" or something, they can put up a shingle and have at it. there are no professional standards. It's buyer beware.

But if someone says they teach "Zen", then they should have credentials to allow them to do this. These will vary school to school, teacher to teacher. But generally its not unreasonable to expect them to have at least 15 years of practice experience, and certainly unequivocal authorization of their teacher or teachers. This isn't just "bureaucracy." This is the nature of the entire Zen and Buddhist system going back millenia. And this is true for many other spiritual and esoteric traditions. It's master to pupil.

If a person LIES about what there credentials are - well that's it, game over. I don't care what they say - it's based in manipulation and deceit. frak it. Go somewhere else. Next, please.

Also, there are a lot of Zen stories about how two students give the same response and one has "it" and one doesn't. "The tongue has no bone." Nor do a few words on a page. You have to know people by their deeds, their presence, and the patterns of behavior they leave in their wake. I say Lynch's are not very orderly, wise, or clear.
jisahn108
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:34 pm

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Astus » Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:43 pm

jisahn108 wrote:But if someone says they teach "Zen", then they should have credentials to allow them to do this. These will vary school to school, teacher to teacher. But generally its not unreasonable to expect them to have at least 15 years of practice experience, and certainly unequivocal authorization of their teacher or teachers. This isn't just "bureaucracy." This is the nature of the entire Zen and Buddhist system going back millenia. And this is true for many other spiritual and esoteric traditions. It's master to pupil.

If a person LIES about what there credentials are - well that's it, game over. I don't care what they say - it's based in manipulation and deceit. frak it. Go somewhere else. Next, please.

Also, there are a lot of Zen stories about how two students give the same response and one has "it" and one doesn't. "The tongue has no bone." Nor do a few words on a page. You have to know people by their deeds, their presence, and the patterns of behavior they leave in their wake. I say Lynch's are not very orderly, wise, or clear.


Credentials going back to millennia, that is no more than a myth. The whole lineage idea started with the goal to convince others of one's superior position, and lineages were forged again and again according to one's personal needs. Also, even if a new lineage starts up, there is zero guaranty that it will be maintained according to the founder's intentions even in the second generation, not to mention the third and those coming after it. On the other hand, it gives a fine excuse to abuse power, as it did happen again and again. It also doesn't stop anyone to spread adharma. So what is its worth?

There are Zen stories, sure. But first of all, stories are just what they are, neither facts nor proofs. And when there is something mystical beyond the comprehension of those poor uninitiated people, that is the point where it starts to stink. What qualifies people are their words and deeds, I agree. And there is not much room left then for ambiguous tales on who has one eye and who hasn't.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4170
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Jikan » Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:58 pm

I think that's a separate issue from the one at play here, Astus. Really, the question is much simpler:

Why would someone trust a teacher who is not trusted, and has been declared untrustworthy, by his own teacher?

This is important to consider, given that this teacher and his school have been presented as a superior alternative to another school (the Taego Order) in a separate thread here at DharmaWheel.
Need help getting on retreat? Want to support others in practice? Pay the Dana for Dharma forum a visit...

viewtopic.php?f=114&t=13727
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5668
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Astus » Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:17 pm

Jikan,

I agree that that part could go on the negative side regarding Lynch. But what I am asking for is that before rejecting the whole person and his school, it would be only fair and sensible to actually look at what he talks about. It does not refute the Buddha that he was not from the brahmin caste, nor does it refute Lynch that there was a disagreement between him and his teacher. It is nothing more really than clinging to a mostly irrelevant point. Buddhist teachers - whatever lineage or tradition it is - should be measured by their Dharma, since that is what actually matters. So if people feel like criticising or defending Lynch, they should do that based on the right arguments. And not because it makes a difference for Lynch, since I assume it does not, but it makes this topic and this discussion board a lot more sensible, sane, and transparent place, not to mention that for refuting or proving a teaching requires some effort on the part of the members.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4170
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby jrzen » Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:07 pm

What about Charlotte Joko Beck trying to take transmission away from two of her heirs?

Are teachers always infallible or do they sometimes age and lose their ability to behave rationally?
jrzen
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:33 am

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby jisahn108 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:19 pm

Let's not get the water too muddy here! :smile:

Of course, the lineage thing can get messy going back. Let's not even get into that here. Paul Lynch says he has transmission. He himself emphasizes the importance of it over and over in passages like this:

The Five Mountain Order of Zen is formed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining public worship and teachings in accordance with the principles and doctrines of the Zen Buddhist Faith through a lineage of Masters, culminating in the teaching of Rev. Yuánzhì Dàoqīng Chánshī, and thereafter through the teachings of Masters and Teachers appointed by him. The Five Mountain Sangha is an American Zen Organization in the Korean Sŏn lineage of Zen Master Seung Sahn.


Never mind I find his entire tone inflated and somewhat ghastly. He is setting up the rules of his own game. Those rules are fundamentally based in clear and unmitigated lineage-connection, of which he is "the culmination" :rolleye:

Anyone can say the right "Zen-y" words. But as someone else said, if he's lying out of the gate, why would you entrust yourself to him or his guidance? Anyone can give advice. But I personally won't go to someone who says "I am an authority; look at all my shiny credentials!" but when those credentials are inspected, they aren't true. That is the point.

What I am saying in addition is that there is a pattern. He said he was a student of James Ford (again, in a greatly inflated manner, usually for years listing Fords teachers for no other reason than to pad his resume - he had no contact with Aitken or Tarrant). James Ford says he wasn't a student at all. he says he has transmission in a hundred places - but apparently he doesn't. He says "inka" is transmission in the Korean tradition - but it patently isn't. He split with his teacher Jibong acrimoniously, immediately started his own order, ordained a bunch of people (I say under false pretenses), and many of those (headed by the equally controversial Jiun Foster) have left Lynch, started THEIR own order, and are declaring themselves Zen masters now too. It's easy to say, "Whatever. Anyone can do what they want." That's fine for you - but what about the people who don't know any better, and get swept up in the "glamor" of connecting with Seung Sahn and Ancestral Zen Buddhism? You can likewise say "well, that's their fault for getting suckered; that's their business." But I think it is a real issue for Zen across America - can anyone just say anything they want and call themselves zen masters? I think we should call people out when necessary, and maybe head of worse abuses than simply lying before they start.

Lynch also mysteriously adopted an unpronounceable Chinese Dharma name, and calls himself Chanshi, or chan master. C'han is a different tradition. it is the forbear of Zen and Son, but is its own tradition at this point, with different methods, styles, practices. All of these things have their own integrity - they are all related, but you can't just go mixing and matching willy nilly - especially when to my eyes I think Lynch does it under the delusion of inflation, and a wish to convince people he is more qualified than he is - he wants to be the Great Zen Master! He studied with great Japanese Zen Masters, and sometimes has referred to himself as 'sensei' (despite no authorization, and no real study, in any Japanese tradition.) he has an impressive Chinese name! he uses Korean robes, Chinese kasa, and Japanese rakusu! How eclectic!

I actually think it all stinks to high heaven, almost every element of this guys MO.
jisahn108
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:34 pm

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Astus » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:29 pm

jisahn108,

This is the history of Zen lineages repeating all over again. Seung Sahn's lineage is only a little less problematic since he was a monk and came from Korea. Seongcheol, former head of the Jogye Order, had no lineage of his own, and it was not a problem. Gyeongheo, reformer of Korean Zen from whom modern teachers claim succession, did not state a transmission for himself, so others came up with one later. Now that the situation is a lot closer and the sources are in English, faults with a transmission history can be more obvious. But, for instance, can you check in any way Master Jinje's lineage (Gyeongheo 경허 (鏡虛), Hyewol 혜월 (慧月), Unbong 운봉 (雲峰), Hyanggok 향곡 (香谷)), who is the current head of Jogye? Unless you know Korean and have access to the relevant sources, it's not really possible. So, as I said before, it is not the lineage that defines a teacher, but the teaching. Lineage is used not to guarantee any kind of quality, but to promote oneself. And that's what happens in Lynch's case.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4170
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby jisahn108 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:03 am

Well, typical for discussions that veer into academic minutiae, you're missing the forest for the trees a bit. My point is that Lynch and now Foster say that lineage is important, and then they lie about theirs. Period. Simple enough?

Further, Lynch was asked by his teacher to stop his activity as a provisional teacher (ji do poep sa nim), take a break, and get some counseling. Instead, he immediately started calling himself "Zen Master", started his own 'order', and surrounded himself by a bunch of 30-something clearly ambitious young men, most of whom have now left and started their own school, where they are charging $10,000 for tuition for a useless 'degree', leaving Paul without a nod on their many websites. And there are so very many websites - they're popping up like mushrooms, everybody's names and titles changing like a chameleon's colors. We are not going to cause anything to change here, but I'd hope that folks could agree on a simple "gee, all that does seem to raise some questions."
jisahn108
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:34 pm

Next

Return to Zen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests

>