We are grateful beyond words for the incomparable gift of Eido Roshi’s Dharma treasure, and for his unstinting efforts to root Rinzai Zen Buddhism in American soil. Ever at home in the unconditional realm, he spurs us to go beyond the relative vista.
This, of a man engaged in ongoing sexual predation for over 40 years.
Perhaps the "unconditional realm" explains misdeeds that cannot be understood by those with a "relative vista." But to those not at home in the unconditioned, these words say: bugger off.
In its context, this passage attempts to compartmentalize Shimano's abuse.
So we might ask ourselves: is it possible to compartmentalize human life? Specifically, is it possible to limit our afflictive behaviors to a subset of our relationships?
Even the briefest self-study reveals the impossibility of this.
I am sometimes judgmental and critical of Susann. When I take responsibility for these behaviors, I perceive how they arise from deep and unresolved mind-habits that have nothing to do with Susann. In truth, I don't limit this behavior to Susann - although, of course, she experiences it particularly intimately.
Were I to assert that these behaviors only appeared in my relationship with Susann, it would be tantamount to blaming her. And that could not stand.
We are as we are. The relationship we give to one person is the relationship we give to all. Compartmentalization is a self-serving myth.
That's why yesterday I questioned Shimano's spiritual authenticity, and even the authenticity of his dharma transmissions.
Although I do not know the man, I know myself. And from this I know that predatory behavior, once unleashed, never remains in the bedroom. Everyone becomes prey.
I hope each of us will look closely into how we fool ourselves with language of separation and compartmentalization. Because, until we expose these deceits, we will never be free.
Many of you offered thoughtful responses to yesterday's post and I'm grateful for these. I have no plans to write further about Eido Shimano.
I encourage you to read Genjo Marinello's comment yesterday, as it represents the ZSS board's response to Shimano's behaviors. Marinello is not only a board member of ZSS, but also a Shimano dharma heir and abbot of Choboji.
Also, note Mumon's comment on the inherent conflict that arises from board members attempting to oversee a man responsible for their own spiritual development. I hope he writes further on this topic.
If you'd like to dig into this topic in more detail, you might go to the Shimano Archive.
The balance of this week's posts will echo this topic in some way. Thank you for your support.