Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tangled Web

The Buddha’s teaching was very simple, “Always do good, never do evil, keep your mind clear.”
[this post was published without this first line above--apologies]
By failing to follow these simple guidelines, and instead by following the way of Machiavelli, one tends to contrive and strategize. Walter Scott wrote, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave / When first we practice to deceive!” But “murder will out.” Eventually, the failure to follow the Buddha’s injunctions will be exposed. The failure to follow what one learned in kindergarten will be revealed.


  1. This post makes me think of Pai-Chang's fox.

    "Not falling under the law of cause and effect."
    "Not evading the law of cause and effect."

    Even Ajatasatru got to join the congregation on Vulture Peak.

  2. "Injunctions", sounds moralistic until you remember that this teaching is not at all about abiding by the status quo. This is not about moral adherence, it's something much deeper. I prefer the attitude of recalling what we learned in kindergarten sitting in a circle learning to give each other respect and honor. To lose such basic foundation markers is a disaster!

  3. That's not what I was taught in kindergarten at my school.

  4. So, what is Roshi pointing to? Some very essential learning that even children respond to naturally?

  5. Vast emptiness. Nothing Holy.

  6. That must have been quite the kindergarten!

  7. Yeah. You should see what they teach in High School!

  8. Dear Aitken Roshi,

    Nine Full Bows: in grateful thanks for all your guidance!

    Beings are numberless, I vow to save them
    Greed, hatred, and ignorance arise endlessly, I vow to abandon them
    Dharma-gates are countless, I vow to wake to them
    The Buddha Way is unsurpassed, I vow to embody it fully

    Ted Biringer

  9. Dear Roshi, Today is your birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! It is many years since we've spoken. I think of you often, and wanted to e-mail you (but could not find your e-mail anywhere online or elsewhere). I will continue to think of you. Gassho, Mellie

  10. SeaSpray said [reposted by the blog manager]:

    Where does good and evil arise with clear mind?

    Which brings us full circle.

    Back to the precepts.

    originally posted June 11, 2010 8:36 PM

  11. I am sure everyone here has heard this by now.... but I felt that it should be known here...

    Does everyone remember Eido Shimano's letter of apology after his most recent scandal where he "apologizes"...?

    This one:

    September 7, 2010

    Dear Friends,

    I would like to acknowledge the pain and unnecessary suffering you went through in your hearts due to my faults. I have a profound feeling of remorse for my actions.

    This August marked my 50th anniversary in the United States. During this half-century I have received so much from people the world over. Over time, I took your kindness for granted and arrogance grew in my heart. As a result, my sensitivity to feel the pain of others decreased. Now, as I reflect on the past, I realize how many people’s feelings and trust in me were hurt by my words and deeds. Please accept my heartfelt apology.

    My mother was the person who encouraged me the most to follow Buddha’s path. Tomorrow is her memorial day, as she passed away on September 8, 1986. Hearing her voice, I have decided to observe my 50th anniversary in the United States by stepping down from my position as abbot of the Zen Studies Society on the last day of Rohatsu sesshin in 2010.

    Even though I carry sadness in my heart, as a Buddhist monk, my vow to practice will not end. In order to preserve the Dharma legacy, ensure the training of future teachers, and to purify my own karma, I must march on.

    Eido Shimano

    Well, turns out that it was a hollow apology - because THIS was just added to the archive. It is a letter of complaint basically denying everything... he sent it to the New York Times, and he signed it. It is dated December 1st, 2010.
    Here is an excerpt:

    "I do not want this article and my retirement to be linked. One has nothing to do with the other - there is no cause and effect."

    "When I returned to the United States, many people brought this article to my attention. The effect has been profound. Many people are hurt and confused. As an aside, minutes from our Board of Directors meetings are private documents. If they wound up in Hawaii or in Mark Oppenheimer's possession, they were improperly obtained andor delivered. Did anyone question why Mr. Aitken would write about a Buddhist monk for 50 years, when I have had contact with him only twice since 1964? I shall look forward to hear what your journalist, Mark Oppenheimer. has to say about the contents of my letter.'

    And here is the actual letter - fresh on the archives...

    Shimano is traveling on the Way of the Sociopath...:(

  12. ZSS must be dissolved, its assets sold, and donated to some organization connected with women's sexual abuse.

    Shinge "Roshi" must be fully discredited. She has been recently backing off her denial of fooling around with Eido Roshi in the past. Victim though she may be, having her as abbot only perpetuates the dysfunctional karma of the ZSS. She has no realization at all and is just an opportunist.

    I have personally read several of Shinge's emails to the ZSS board of directors. They show a disturbingly dark and sinister side to her.

    I am asking a director or a former director to publish these on the internet in full. If someone did that it would RUIN Shinge "Roshi"--which in turn, would ensure that the ZSS can NEVER recover.

    For the gods' sake, she is still claiming that Eido Roshi is "ever at home in the Absolute." What a crock!

  13. Here we are some three years later and nothing has been done.... Shinge "Roshi" still prevails. What has happened?