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August 24, 2010

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Genju

We create saints and sinners because it terrifies us to believe we can be both, either, and neither. It is the very fact that I can see the inherent Buddha in predators that makes me vulnerable to becoming prey (and it has once too often). But wisdom arises from knowing when I'm dealing with the predatory aspect of someone and when I desperately want their desire to fulfill mine. Predators may well have the capacity to be good, neutral and evil, but it's wise to know which one is in the foreground. For that, I need to know my own predatory nature and my capacity for using for my own ends.

I posted this comment on Smiling Buddha Cabaret: "In my experience with personality-based teachers, there is no understanding of the power they wield or the willingness to be vigilant to the vulnerabilities of the people they serve. The unbelievable issue is not that sexual liaisons happen (they do) but that few teachers or communities want to be educated on how they can happen and what to do to protect their members against it."

I walked away from an emotional predator's offer to be loyal to him with a hint that becoming a dharma teacher would be the prize. After I rejected him and he retaliated, I hung in with the community to try and protect others by calling for ethical guidelines and oversight. It was a useless attempt but it taught me lots about my own greed and the blindness of others.

I struggle with the validity of teachings delivered by those caught in their delusions. I share your feelings but still struggle with it. Just wanted you to know that. :-)

My thoughts in a nutshell: We aren't doing enough.

Genjo

I agree that compartmentalization is one kind of delusion that most of us suffer from time to time, so is the delusion that we are either Buddhas or bumpkins. Yet everyone should know that you will never find one without the other. Even a "crazy" person can share great gifts and be transcendent, inspirational and insightful. The good news of Buddhism is that we are all Buddhas, not just naked apes.

The Buddha says take what works of my teaching and leave the rest. This is what I have done with all the mentors in my life. You say you have never met Eido Shimano, well I have known and worked with him these last 14 years. In that time he has pointed many to unceasingly search their own depths, inspired many to open up to and follow Heart/Mind. I wish there were more human beings who could inspire as well as he can. There are no Buddhas; if I meet one on the road of life, I have found a fraud.

You proclaim that Eido Roshi must be blind, yet you have only been exposed to a narrow slice of him. I would say he definitely has blind spots, as we all do; unfortunately, his have proven to be repeatedly dangerous to the very population of seekers he has otherwise given his life to. Very tragic for him, our Sangha and most of all those he has wounded. Gratefully, he has progressed enough to admit his errors and take responsibility. I have seen him do so through his recent actions and in saying so both privately and publicly to our Sangha. I hope that one day soon he will find it in his heart of hearts to do so to the wider public.

Lois

He has "admitted his errors and taken responsibility" before... it was meaningless. You don't know the guy Genjo, you have never lived at DBZ as a resident, your only exposure to him has been attending sesshins twice a year. He fooled you once and you pathetically hold onto the notion that "he has progressed." The man is a crook and has a "criminal mind" as Aitken Roshi has said. He is a skillful psychopath and your dependence on his "credentialing" for your identity as a Dharma teacher has left YOU blind... Eido Shimano has zero regard for others, you included. A lot of us hope that someday soon YOU will see clearly.

Genjo

I'm glad that you "Lois" and others hold out such hope for me. However, I hope to never fall into the trap of seeing the world as black and white as you do. Perhaps, if I didn't have familiarity with my own dark convoluted side, I could be as certain of such labels as predator, psychopath and crook. I'm very sorry that Eido Roshi has deeply and repeatedly disappointed you, he has also disappointed me, but I owe him my life and I am not talking about his acknowledgment or approval. I cannot and will not defend his behavior; however, I will not abandon him. To do so, would be my failure.

mama p

Barry, thank you, again, for writing on all of this. Thank you for your directness: "Buggar Off!" I am completely grateful to you for calling a spade a spade. I am sure the victims are, too. (I do not hear too many speaking for them, sadly.)

Such abuses of power are COMPLETELY unacceptable.

We only assist in the crime if we do not call it out as such, and strongly, with determination. The victims deserve that much from us, at the very least. How else can anyone be served by such a tragedy-both victim and perpetrator alike- if we aim to soften it?

golden wind

Genjo, Your pain is not different from my pain, or Eido's pain, or the pain of those he has intimately wounded -- we're all intimately wounded together.

Your role is different, though. Without ever abandoning love, we still have to do what falls to us to do.

Eido roshi needs to resign as Abbot and teacher. If he cannot do it the board must do it for him.

Genjo

Thank you "golden wind." Both Eido Roshi and the ZSS Board realize this is a time for transition and there can be no turning back. The transition has begun, Shinge Roshi is working as fast as she can to change over her life to meet this need. At the same time, the Board is working overtime to reorganize itself and the organization.

During this transition Eido Roshi will not see new students; old students are well informed that the transition is happening and irreversible. We are working to have as healthy and timely transition as possible under the circumstances without creating a vacuum for those still actively training at Dai Bosatsu Zendo. I believe not to allow for this would be negligent and nearsighted.

However, if through our association with the FaithTrust Institute and our open ethics investigation, we discover there is more than this one lapse by Eido Roshi in recent years, we will have to reevaluate our timeline.

Michael

Golden wind,

Do you know Eido Shimano is not doing these things? Do you know what Genjo says or does as a member of the ZSS board? Do you know what Genjo means when he says he will not abandon one of his teachers?

I have goals mostly in progress. Not once have I reached any one goal now.

Wounded cannot,deliberately should not, be separated from healed.

There is only moving towards a goal.

Eido Shimano now moves toward a new goal. He is withdrawing from roles he has taken, done both well and poorly, for much of his long life.

As a teacher, he sees only senior students, like Genjo, now. He will very soon have a vice abbot to take over responsibilities of running DBZ.

This is not true progress?

Nothing happens now. If this is what you ask for it is simply not possible.

Anonymous

@Genjo

Just exactly WHO "Met with" the young woman and the roshi?

REDdirt

Barry's first offering on this subject lead to a conclusion of Eido Shimano as being a spiritual fraud.

Nothing, nothing exists in isolation. To think this is not so is to be lost in the fog of duality.

If, as alleged, there is present in Eido Shimano, a spiritually fraudulent voice; ie one that is spiritually deceitful and spiritually spurious, there is also present a spiritually truthful and spiritually authentic voice.

IT cannot be any other way! :)

To draw a conclusion, as Barry has done, by focusing only on one aspect of this man, is an fine example of meeting the Buddha then forgetting to kill him.

The conclusion does not stand up. fraudulent conclusion.

golden wind

Thank you for your response, Genjo.

Time seems to be appearing in various ways here -- the many years of Eido Roshi's transgressions for which amends have yet to be made, the time it takes to make a transition, the focus on more lapses in "recent years", the delay of 1-1/2 years until Eido roshi plans to step down as Abbot in April 2012. It feels out of synch. We're in the now. Where else could we be?

The nom de plum "golden wind" just jumped into my mind when first responding to you. I reread the case just now -- #27 Blue Cliff Record. An offering from the commentary: "In general, to uphold and establish the vehicle of our sect, you must take up the burden with your entire being and not fear for your eyebrows, you must stretch out in the tiger's mouth and allow others to pull you back and forth and drag you down. If you're not like this, how will you be able to help people?"

golden wind

Gassho, Michael. It's always good to be reminded of what I don't know.

anonymous

As someone who reads and is interested in how all of this turns out, I find this to be the most thoughtful and engaged conversation going on this subject.

Thanks for the fresh air!

golden wind

Lois, I don't want to remember Aitken Roshi this way. He was a weak and dying very old man, perhaps posessed by a bitter and vengeful demon that had grown in pain and bitterness for several decades. But what is said cannot be unsaid, so I just have to say, "This, too." A cautionary tale of what can happen even to the very best of us. I hope he had more peaceful thoughts before he died. May he rest in deepest samadhi.

Genjo

To Golden Wind or anyone else with an inquiry, please email your question or comments to the ZSS Ethics Committee at the address bellow. I am one of three people on the committee. There are two males and one female. Two members, including myself are on the Board. All three are professional counselors. All inquiries and comments will be shared with FaithTrust Institute for their added support, but will otherwise remain confidential. We will respound in a timely fashion and are happy to dialogue with you about your concerns or comments. 
zssethicscom@gmail.com

Lois

So golden wind, you want to remember him as a weak and dying very old man possessed by a bitter and vengeful demon instead....

REDdirt

Lois | August 25, 2010 at 02:51 PM

You are twisting words into a new shape. To what end?

Perhaps better to let the dead be dead.

Memory can take myriad forms and none are true.

Jack

Two pertinent items from the Genkaku blog:

http://genkaku-again.blogspot.com/2010/02/eido-tai-shimano.html?commentPage=3

Anonymous said...
Not too long ago the ZSS posted a list of the names of the members of their Board of Directors on their website ethical guidelines page. Some time later that list was removed without comment.

Yesterday an “insider” at ZSS revealed: Allegedly three Board members have resigned including the Board Secretary and Treasurer. One of the people to resign was Seigan Ed Glassing, a monk and long time supporter of the Shimanos.
August 28, 2010 4:15 AM

and

Anonymous said...
The resignees might consider that they are not officially off the Board for at least sixty days after their notification of intent according to the bylaws. The latest copy of the ZSS bylaws available to the public on the www.shimanoarchives.com site is from 2003. It states:

Section 4 -- Resignations

Any director of the Society may resign at any time by giving written notice to both the President and to the Secretary of the Society, or if they are unavailable, to two (2) directors. Such resignation shall take effect in no less than sixty (60) days from the date upon which it is given.

It might behoove the three erstwhile Board members to reconsider and withdraw their letters of intent to resign; they can still sue ZSS for dissolution of the Board or appointment of a receiver based on deadlock. It might be helpful for them to consult with counsel since by announcing their intent to resign they appear to be holding to righteous ethical standards.

The remaining Board members are likely deeply conflicted. The recent revelation that two of them sit on the three person “ethics” committee should raise big red flags to anyone considering approaching this “ethics committee.” This “ethics committee.” is just a cover name for appearances, another smoke screen. Anything that anyone reveals to them is likely to be used in defense of Shimano who the Board is allowing to remain as Abbot. Anything that is revealed to the committee in confidence is likely to wind up plastered on some random public blog in an effort to mitigate Shimano’s transgressions or paint a survivor in an unfavorable light however slight.

Stay away from this sham… talk to an attorney; let your counsel deal with the ZSS Board.
August 28, 2010 6:01 AM

Genjo

In our preamble to our Ethics Guidelines (www.daibosatsu.org/ethical.html) we state: "If you are reading this and feel your concerns have not been acknowledged or heard, or are aware of ethical matters that need to be addressed, please email your written communication to the ethics committee. With guidance from the FaithTrust Institute, the Ethics Committee will respond and process every communication we receive in a timely and appropriate manner. The Zen Studies Society Ethics Committee can be reached by emailing zssethicscom@gmail.com."

The Ethics Committee has the following three members:

Yuho Carl Baldini, School Counselor, ZSS Board member,
Keiun Clare Dacey, Social Worker
and myself Genjo Marinello, psychotherapist and ZSS Board member

In addition, during our association with FaithTrust Institute all ethics correspondence is shared with Rev. Marie Fortune and Rabbi Dratch for their analysis and input.

If a new ethics violation is found it is brought to the full Board for appropriate action. If an old ethics violation is affirmed and requires some kind of remedy beyond the scope of the committee, this is also brought to the full board. Any request for anonymity will of course be respected. If a wounded party wants to deal directly with FTI they may write Rev. Marie Fortune at mfortune@faithtrustinstitute.org; FTI will then summarize the content of the correspondence for consideration by the ZSS Ethics Committee. We do request that all correspondence be submitted in writing in such a way that ZSS or FTI can verify that we are dealing with a real person.

More often than not the "remedy" is just to be acknowledged and heard with assurance that appropriate action has been instigated; in other instances, the wounded party may suggest something more, or our consultants may suggest something more. If an apology or some sort of reconciliation is sought we will try to facilitate this.

There is no statute of limitations on feeling wounded. If you have been wounded by an ethical breach as outlined in our Ethics Guidelines (www.daibosatsu.org/ethical.html) please write us. Of course the Ethics Committee and the full Board is particularly interested in hearing any first hand accounts that have not already been "published" in some way, especially anything in the last fifteen years since the last known lapse by Eido Roshi.

If you are someone or know of someone who has been wounded by an ethical breach by anyone at ZSS we encourage you or them to write us. Not only do we need to know, we want to know. A summary of what we find and any remedies taken will be made public, when we think we have received what we can from the current and former ZSS Sangha.

In addition if you are a current or former student of Eido Roshi, I know the board wants to here from you any considered comments or analysis you would like to make, no matter how critical. The ZSS Board will be meeting soon with Eido Roshi and FTI and we are compiling a dossier of the most well thought out and considered responses; so this would be a particularly good time to share what you have to say with us. The ZSS Board can be reached by emailing zssboard@gmail.com.

With a sad heart and bow,

Genjo Marinello

Jack

"For the benefit of The Three Treasures, Shimano needs to be permanently removed from contact with students immediately."

This is the only route to credibility for the board.

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