• SIT-A-LONG with Jundo: Safe Landings

    There is a saying in the news business that "IF IT BLEEDS IT LEADS". An air crash or other tragedy captures the headlines and is endlessly examined by 24 hour news coverage, while the thousands ... hundreds of thousands ... of safe landings and uneventful flights that same day never make the news (Can you even imagine the strange headline ... "BULLETIN: PLANES MAKE NORMAL LANDINGS, NOTHING HAPPENED!!"). That leads to the unfortunate misperception that flying is dangerous, when in fact there have been record low fatalities in recent years, especially given the mushrooming number of flights and millions of passengers filling the skies. Countless folks get where they are heading, safe and sound across the world, and the most perilous part of flying is probably the mad taxi ride to the airport.

    It is much the same situation in Western Zen these days, where a handful of crashed Teachers lead some to the falacious impression that there is some wide spread systemic problem in the Zen world. Critics, often foolishly shortsighted or even with an axe to grind, are quick to assert that the whole Zen adventure is dangerous or corrupt based on isolated and extreme situations. Nothing could be farther from the truth! What such doomsayers overlook is the fact of all the other teachers ... hundreds of caring, devoted, wise, compassionate, well trained, illuminating, enlightening folks ... who do not get involved in such things. who range from competent to truly gifted pilots who do not do harm to their students and, in fact, bring illumination and change lives for the better. They are out shadowed by the few (a very few) teachers who have crashed and burned.

    This is not to discount the importance of shedding light on, uncovering, openly discussing and analyzing the few cases of abuse, for to do so is the only way to address the problem, help past victims and prevent future incidents in that same Sangha or others. It is much as air crash inspectors dissect every incident with an airliner, finding the cause and proposing a remedy so that like accidents will not repeat (a system that has been very effective to making flying very safe these days). We must not fail to aid even one victim of abuse, we must not turn our eyes the other way. That is why places like Sweeping Zen have done a tremendous service for all of us by reporting these incidents in all their gory detail, tearing away the cover-ups and excuses by "see no evil" types and apologists. Honest reporting is the first step to true healing and reform. Nonetheless, doing so can be misunderstood or misrepresented by some as an attack on all of Zen that focuses only on the negatives. Such is simply not the case.

    In Zen flying, ultimately, there is no up or down, no place to fall or need for rescue. We passengers are each Buddha, riding on a jet that is also Buddha, with each engine and wheel, pilot and pillow just Buddha, Buddha, Buddha. It rises from 'Buddha International Airport', into skies and clouds just Buddha, over Buddhamountains, no place in need of going on the way to Buddha somewhere down the line. Buddha, flying Buddha across Buddha to get to Buddha all around. Nonetheless, one of the paradox-non-paradoxes of this Zen Way is that ... though there is no place to fall, no way to die ... fall and die we might! Thus we must be on our guard, careful in flying and maintaining the plane and diligent as the crew with lives in our hands. Thus, yes, there are things that need to be fixed about Buddhism, both in the West and back in the old countries. Some issues are quite serious (I am quite the vocal critic of many things in fact, calling for reform).

    But don't let folks use scattered problems and a handful of disasters to distract from all the safe landings. The skies are clear and wide open.


    This article was originally published in forum thread: SIT-A-LONG with Jundo: Safe Landings started by Jundo View original post
    Comments 17 Comments
    1. Dosho's Avatar
      Dosho -
      Thanks Jundo.

      Gassho,
      Dosho
    1. Jiken's Avatar
      Jiken -
      Gassho,

      Daido
    1. Shingen's Avatar
      Shingen -
      Thank you Jundo.

      Gassho
      Michael
    1. Yugen's Avatar
      Yugen -
      Jundo,
      Thank you for a wonderful and authentic New Year's message.

      Gassho
      Yugen
    1. Ray's Avatar
      Ray -
      Thank you so much for giving the balanced viewpoint that helps us see more clearly. Happy new year!

      Gassho
      Ray
    1. Myoku's Avatar
      Myoku -
      Thank you
      Gassho
      Myoku
    1. Taikyo's Avatar
      Taikyo -
      Wise Words Jundo - many thanks


      Gassho

      David
    1. Hoyu's Avatar
      Hoyu -
      Thank you Jundo!

      Gassho,
      Hoyu
    1. Shohei's Avatar
      Shohei -
      Thank you Jundo, well put!

      Gassho
      Shohei
    1. Nengyo's Avatar
      Nengyo -
      Thank you Jundo
    1. KellyRok's Avatar
      KellyRok -
      _/\_

      Kelly/Jinmei
    1. Koshin's Avatar
      Koshin -
      Thank you

      Gassho
    1. Risho's Avatar
      Risho -
      Gassho,

      Risho
    1. Toun's Avatar
      Toun -
      Heartfelt thanks for such an important message.


      Gassho
      Mike
    1. Byokan's Avatar
      Byokan -
      Thank you Jundo

      Gassho
      Lisa
      sat today
    1. Jundo's Avatar
      Jundo -
      By the way, since that time, I found out that the "Buddha Air" company in the photo does not exactly have the best safety record among world airlines. Not unexpected for little planes flying around the Himalayas. You may actually hope Buddha is in the cockpit when boarding!

      Gassho, J

      SatToday
    1. Theophan's Avatar
      Theophan -
      Thank You Jundo.
      Gassho
      Theophan
      Sat Today
  • Recent Blog Posts

    Shokai

    67/108 Gates of Dharma Illumination

    The Sixty-seventh Gate
    The power of wisdom is a gate of Dharma illumination; for [with it] we depart from the two extremes

    Power of Wisdom :
    great or marked ability to know what is...

    Shokai Today 02:53 AM
    Shokai

    66/108 Gates of Dharma Illumination

    The Sixty-sixth Gate
    The power of balance is a gate of Dharma illumination; for [with it] we discontinue all thoughts.

    Power of balance :
    great or marked ability to maintain mental...

    Shokai Yesterday 04:25 AM
    Shokai

    65/108 Gates of Dharma Illumination

    The Sixty-fifth Gate
    The power of mindfulness is a gate of Dharma illumination; for [with it] we do not [blindly] go along with others.

    Power of mindfulness :
    great or marked...

    Shokai 02-24-2017 01:51 AM
    Shokai

    64/108 Gates of Dharma Illumination

    The Sixty-fourth Gate
    The power of effort is a gate of Dharma illumination; for [with it] we do not regress or stray.

    Power of Effort :
    great or marked ability to make an earnest...

    Shokai 02-23-2017 03:30 AM
    Shokai

    63/108 Gates of Dharma Illumination

    The Sixty-third Gate
    The power of belief is a gate of Dharma illumination; for it surpasses the power of demons.

    Power of Belief :
    great or marked ability to have confidence in the...

    Shokai 02-22-2017 03:34 AM
  • Recent Forum Posts

    Kyonin

    PRELIMINARY PLANNING: DHARMA TRACKS Across AMERICA WEST (August-Early September 2017)

    I am very happy for this year's Dharma Tracks adventure.

    If things go well with US-Mexico relationships, I may be able to join Jundo at some

    Kyonin Today, 01:00 PM Go to last post
    Kyonin

    The Case Against Empathy

    Hi all,

    This is a very timely topic for me. Going to hospices and hospitals to help out and to talk to patients (cancer and diabetes mostly)

    Kyonin Today, 12:55 PM Go to last post
    Enjaku

    The Case Against Empathy

    I find this perspective interesting but two issues arise for me.

    Firstly, I think there a danger in assuming a "cool and practical

    Enjaku Today, 08:52 AM Go to last post
    Tom

    The Case Against Empathy

    Isn't avoiding burnout or compassion fatigue one of the points of Upekkha? I wonder if there isn't a Pali or old text somewhere that says exactly the

    Tom Today, 07:03 AM Go to last post
    pthwaites

    The Case Against Empathy

    Hello all. Thanks for this interesting discussion. I enjoyed the interview. There were a couple of thoughts that arose while listening.

    pthwaites Today, 04:54 AM Go to last post