I wish that the world would be a perfect place but it is not. Therefore, I try my best to get along as best as I can. I think for the most part that Chet was trying as best as he could to get along.
I wish that the world would be a perfect place but it is not. Therefore, I try my best to get along as best as I can. I think for the most part that Chet was trying as best as he could to get along.
Yes, I also remember the silent relationships with people who sat next to me during various retreats; often we had not even met before the start and sat a whole week in silence before finally being able to talk. And then it wasn't even important any more to talk, a hug was enough.
In ZMBM, Suzuki seems to nail this thread in his always down-to-earth eloquence, in just under 4 pages and quoting Dogen 4 times, in the one of the chapters towards the end... Attachment, Nonattachment.
Flowers/weeds, love and hate, and the acceptance of taking the bitter with the sweet. With the loving flower like opening here, once a little weed appeared, some jumped right in with some weed killing toxins (or so they felt), like sharks swarming when a little blood hit the water.
In the following chapter... Calmness, his opening says: "For Zen students a weed is a treasure."
Chet is not a weed in this sangha. He is a mature practitioner who makes his own well-considered choices about his practice and his life. I'm sure he appreciates your support, but you don't have to be hurtful to others in order to defend Chet.
And if you want to judge my intentions, be my guest. My off the mark judgement as you portray here, is your perception and that does not make it necessarily right. Chet is someone I can relate to, and he was attacked, and you have the right to defend and rationalize as you please. He has had some of the same attackers before that he has had to step up and unduly defend himself. Oh, those poor others that I have been So harmful to, of course now victimized by me, please! In your seeming high mindedness here, what gives you the right to judge me !?
Why did you not post my comment on the fact that weeds, like myself and others, are a treasure, even though you attempt to make them out to be something bad. How can one know flowers, without so-called weeds?? And where was my gassho from you, are you angry :blue:? Did you read Suzuki's chapter in full before your judgemental affront?
All be it a song that spoke to my heart in the early days of my youth, the words still speak the same truth today.
I did not post this to preach to anyone. I posted it to speak to myself.
Listen if you wish.
Thank you Alan... beautiful.
The Beatles spoke to many of us back when, and still do to day and forever.
Galen and Michael gassho2
Time to remind everyone that Sangha is often compared to the polishing of rocks in a rock tumbler, each stone with its sharp edges and rough points rubbing and bouncing against each other. "The friction of the rocks grinding and bouncing against each other is the very thing which turns them into beautiful, smooth stones. Each is rough in the beginning, each has value, and each comes to flow smoothly with the others". I think we just saw an example.
So, we learn and are changed in Sangha when we roll smoothly together, and we learn and are changed when we momentarily rub each other in ways that cause sparks.:encouragement:
If we can be tolerant of each others' faults, cracks and sharp elbows here, why not any place in life? **
** Of course, the above is not license to be intentionally disruptive or to use angry, harsh speech with each other. There is a line somewhere.
Well, being off topic. With no opinion on the subject. I had seen on FB that chet was no longer with us here. So being me, I proactively sent him a message (with non-specifics), and let him know that folks here do miss him and mention it's a shame because they benefit from his pressence.
So ,at least he knows the extremely short version .
Hi, reading back through this thread I feel it is really only about one thing.
Chet was an important member of this community and he has decided to leave. We are all sad about this.
I don't believe Chet left because he felt attacked - because he has often expressed the thought that Tree Leaf is 'damaging' for him. This thought has caused him to leave on several occassions. Chet is a deep thinker and I doubt the thought behind his decision could ever be based solely on feeling attacked.
It is perhaps easier on our own perceptions to go with the narrative that Chet was driven away rather than Chet decided he is better off without this community. I would stress the latter is a neutral statement. Chet - I feel - discussed most eloquently the view that we may be holding to a certain comforting narrative in assuming that Sangha is best.
I am not dismissing the point that Chet may have felt attacked - he has also shared with us the extremes of reaction he has to cope with as a result of borderline personality. I also feel concern that this may also have contributed to his decision.
But Chet has to live with the trials of this condition and he knows what is best for his sense of well being.
On a personal note - I wish members would bid farewell when they leave - even if resolved, happy, sad, or angry - I feel it's the respectful thing to do having been part of a community that goes beyond being a mere message board.
Chet has his own demons to wrestle with (one of them may just be that he refers to himself as disatermouse). We can only hope that he will somehow be able to let them go. Meanwhile, in retrospect, it is wonderful to know that we all have tried as best we can to help him with that.
Thank you to this my Sangha, gassho, Shokai gassho2
Willow pointed out the elephant in the room. All this hand-ringing only gratifies that elephant, as it closely follows this thread. How to help? Don't feed it. Move on
..just an opinion.
Taking Refuge in Sangha, in Community, has been fundamental to Buddhist Practice since the start, from the Buddha's time. Of course, some may decide to seek their Sangha elsewhere, and that is fine. Not every community is right for everyone. Others may decide that they wish to Practice on their own, emulating the Buddha himself who found his own tree to sit under. That is fine too.
I feel that we have a warm, deep, diverse, wise, helpful, balanced, compassionate and caring Community in this place ... but it might not be right for all.
If someone feels that this particular Community, and the Practices, Teachings, Teachers and Dharma-friends found here, are not right for them, they should consider to go. They should not stay. It has also been that way for century upon century, as people wandered here and their seeking the place which resonated in their hearts.
In this Community, the door is always open and we make our presence known to anyone for whom it may be helpful. But we do not proselytize, neither chasing people into the doorway, nor chasing after them if they elect to leave. No fire and brimstone is threatened.
Of course, for those who stay here, we do expect and insist them to Practice as we Practice here, and to put into Practice the ways of Practice taught here. They should not stay if they do not plan to do so, any more than one should stay in a hospital if one does not plan on following the doctors' advice there. The person should return home, or seek their cure elsewhere.
The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Life certainly has all three.
It is nice sometimes to have a balance.
Nothing perfect and certainly nothing imperfect.
Perhaps just a middle way.
I am not the same as you and you are not the same as me.
Friendship, perhaps, as it was meant to be.
Willow, I agree with you more or less. I thnk we all have to determine when we need time to ourselves. Sometimes it's simply not best to stay for the individual or the community,regardless of what that community is.
For me personally, I never "intentionally" left the sangha and definitely had no problem with it, or anyone in it. But during our first Ango and following Jukai I simply have had a rough time in life. I ended up withdrawing without realizing I was withdrawaing then the years start to go by. But I'm glad I am back, at least for this moment. Nice to see new faces too. Funny thing, it was usually Chet who would say " So are you sitting still? Have you blown off Treeleaf totally?"
I can understand why folsk would want people to say goodbye for whatever reason they are leaving. But sometimes life is just not like that.We should learn to accept that as ell. Sometimes even good friends drift apart until there is no more contact, with no reason or rhyme. Sometimes they just pop back in one another's life with no thought of "Hello"'s.
But that's just my view, for whatever it's worth.
Thank you Dave and Willow,
Why is Shikantaza such as such is, thorough searching-non-searching, radical giving up of the race?
Simply to break through that such is such all along, you are such all along ... the Holy Whole Whirling Interpenetrating is what we are.
Yet folks run away, saying "this is not powerful enough" "this is not the doorway" "this is not what I imagine I need".
Fools. Dogs chasing their tales. Perhaps they will find it with the next book or fancy teaching.
Just sit, AS RIGHT THROUGH AND THROUGH what one is all along.
Holy Whole Whirling Interpenetrating.
Jundo, your arrogance and gall continue to astonish me. I resisted posting anything here - despite feeling an injustice had been done to a dear friend - out of wanting to 'let it be' and not wanting to inadvertently muddy the waters further. But this is too much. Insulting and diminishing someone who cannot publicly defend himself here because you took away that option.
For anyone who may want to know the truth - Chet did not choose to leave without saying goodbye. Jundo pressured him to leave and deactivated his account before he had time to fully respond. Why did Jundo have Chet leave? Because he hadn't done and would not yet do Jukai? Because he didn't participate in anything other than the forum? Unless I am mistaken and something very recently changed, there are many others here who have not done Jukai, some of whom have been here a while. Many have stated they never intend to do so (Jundo has refused to deactivate my account despite my long ago declaration I will not join Treeleaf; if you see this as an invitation, Jundo, go right ahead). And Chet may not have participated in every single thing at Treeleaf but he certainly did more than post to the forum; he was one of the most regular G+ sitters and a regular member of the Tea Party, and i believe also studied the Precepts. As far as i can tell there are currently people posting here who do nothing more than post.
The reason I believe Chet was given the boot was because he criticized Treeleaf. Understandable, but sad, as I see getting rid of dissenters as not something a wise or 'balanced' person does. Critique can keep a community on its toes and keep it from sinking into stasis or complacency. I think Chet provided a valuable service here and truly did feel a part of this community - though as far as i can tell seems to be at peace with what happened as it confirmed some of his concerns about TL.
No one is a greater advocate of seeing the perfection of 'just this' than Chet. That is his constant reminder to me. But he also has something most other Treeleafers don't seem to have - a living Question, a fire that keeps him looking at everything and asking 'What is this?' There is nothing particularly special or heroic about this - a lot of practitioners have this. But Treeleaf seems to have a unique capacity for weeding them out, turning them off or turning them away. The culture here rewards complacence and passivity. I see so many here so full of answers, some of their own and some spoonfed by Jundo. Do any of you feel that slight anxiety of having made a nest too soon? That is your own Question urging you not to tranquilize it. It is not a matter of 'not enough,' it is a matter of not letting oneself fall asleep. It is no more self-centered to question than to not question a community. The self very much loves the false reassurance of being a member of a group, having some safety and status. I see people all too eager here to be the ones with 'the answers.' People who become priests far too easily, people who seem to compete to be the first yes man or yes woman. That's death to a living community and death to truth, the accretion of dogma and political ambition. False humility is a very comfortable hidey hole for ego.
It can help to get some outside perspective. I believe the more people like Chet who are turned away, the deader Treeleaf becomes. No one will question the legitimate concerns that face any community limited by its identity and 'brand.' My experience here - and I DID do zazenkai, Precepts study, and many other things here - made me deeply question the problems of teaching Zen online. I think making a forum the central mode of communication encourages people to stay in their heads and identify with ideas far more than in a 'brick and mortar' sangha where other more subtle forms of communication are a major part of the dynamic. Without people like Chet who value(d) Treeleaf for what good it had to offer but question and critique its limitations, it is only a matter of time before the Dharma soil grows infertile.
I think that mean and untrue about my treatment of Chet. I will stake any credibility and reputation assigned me in the many years of this Sangha, and all the people here who know me, to say that. Why are you making up a story?
I never pressured Chet to leave, and he is always welcome back. I never pressured him to take Jukai, but thought it good for him, and bad to be afraid of commitment.
Master Hakuin might have simply said "Is that so?" when presented with a false accusation. I am not the type.
Thank you for saving us here at this community, as you pop in every few months to do. I hope you find your way, and please don't be so angry.
PS - As I posted when it happened in this thread ...
Chet (Disastermouse), against my recommendation that he stay, has said he needs to "step away" from participation here. I am sorry to hear that, and encouraged him to stay. I also wrote him that he is welcome back at any time. I believe that, over the years he has been a member here, this is not the first time. I deactivated his account, so he cannot receive PMs at this time (should anyone wish to write him, I will take the liberty of passing on his email if you write me).
I honestly want what is best for Chet and told him my feelings directly at the tea party on Sunday. He told me he holds no ill will towards Treeleaf, believing it just isn't for him. I told him I thought it was exactly the place for him to be, but that I respect his decision. Even Chet said Jundo giving him the boot might finally make him choose a path and whether that's here or elsewhere, I wish him the best.
As for you, I don't think you are doing anything here constructive for Chet and, in my opinion, you may actually be hurting him. Once again you have composed a multiple paragraph diatribe that basically boils down to the following: Jundo is bad, Chet approves of my practice, so that makes all my views valid. Chet has obviously been a good friend to you and I applaud that, but don't use him as a crutch for trying to prove your points. The last time you and I spoke was at the tea party where you were talking over everyone and I asked you to stop. I haven't seen you back since.
If you have something constructive to say, that's fine. Otherwise, find the path that rings true for you and leave the rest of us out of it. You may say that I'm being spoonfed by Jundo, but actually the opposite is true. He taught me to stand on my own two feet and not to let people walk all over me, him included. I honestly wish you the best, but please hear what I was trying to say that day at the tea party: Stop spouting so many opinions and actually listen to others, especially the ones who disagree with you.
I feel Stephanie that you should take sometime and look at why you feel the need to attack for the sake of yourself and others ... the old saying, "fight fire with fire" is not always the best. For me, I find Chet to have a great understanding and really tries hard to understand why things are they way they are ... but sometimes spends too much time thinking/analyzing and not enough time just doing.
I agree that we all should be able to ask the hard questions and it is evident that this IS ALLOWED here at Treeleaf ... I have seen it time and time again. But let me ask this, but please know this comes from the heart and nothing more ... "If it is so bad here and you dislike the teacher here, then why do you stay?" "Why do you just pop in here and there to attack and put people down with little or one-sided information?" Here is an example ... I have a wonderful friend who was in a bad relationship, but I supported her, listened to her, and gave advice when asked ... but there comes a time when I had to say, "If you are so unhappy, why do you stay?".
And just for the record Stephanie ... Jundo is a wonderful teacher with great patience, compassion, dedication, and I have the utmost respect for him! :)
And these are just my thoughts, from my heart. :)
a lot of the points you make are actually very important in a general sense IMHO and we do indeed have to take care in the West that we don't end up with a dead and complacent form of meditation that we just happen to label Zen for marketing purposes. Jundo and Taigu are big boys and definitely need no defending, and guess what, even Unsui don't always agree with everything their teachers say.
Since you felt the need to personally attack Jundo on Dosho Port's blog on the 25th of November (please correct me if I am wrong), a few days before Chet left this forum, I cannot but think that you saw this thread as yet another opportunity to tell the world what an asshole you think Jundo is.
"It sickens me that people like Jundo Cohen ride in on their high horse on ‘scandals’ like this and use the opportunity to promote their neutered version of Zen. Is that what we’re headed toward – a Zen where fewer teachers have sexual peccadilloes and alcohol problems but also have less insight, power, and life-and-death intensity?"
So I guess most of us got the message, most of us are adults, and most of us are capable of deciding with whom to practise and in what kind of environment we want to do that. In case you really care about us practitioners I do wish to thank you for your concern, I really do, but it's kinda hard not to see your last posting as yet another ad hominem attack. If you ever want to exchange views on dharma related topics, by all means send me a PM or an email.
Hans Chudo Mongen
I have nothing more to add except that I think Treeleaf has the room for the more docile members as well as the ones perhaps with more of an edge. That, to me, is what Sangha is all about. I hope Chet returns.
I do not accept that people are openly invited to Jundo and Taigu's kitchen and criticize their cooking. Not simple questioning, but disparaging what has been offered. It's hard to ask a member to leave, but as Kojip explains above, I doubt behavior like that is tolerated in any sangha.
I wasn't aware of the Dosho Port post so I had a look. I was so very, very tired by the end of it - and that was just skim and scan.
The first few months of joining Tree Leaf I realised there were so many blogs out there - people on the left, people on the right, people in the middle. Most of it with an American slant - Zen is pretty thin on the ground in the UK.
After a while I decided it was not only information overload - but pretty repetitive and at times pretty petty.
I'm really glad that I decided to place my energy here. I really do believe that nothing further needs to be added. Tree Leaf provides a reading list that is a source of in-depth study for years. Why waste time on the fragmented opinions of dozens of people when there is a whole library of study sharing in the thoughts of individuals who have given their life to the study/practice and dissemination of the dharma.
Why not build up relationships here with a few people who are commited to this Sangha and helping each other rather than endlessly searching elsewhere? I try to avoid categorising people - because what does it mean to be 'rough around the edges' or docile and sweet? We all have many edges to our personalities here - and sometimes - in practice - none at all. A single word can cut with a sharper edge than a thousand if uttered with integrity.
Just a few thoughts - and probably too many.
I quite like what you posted.
Let's just keep it simple: I agree that I shouldn't be posting here and have tried to keep myself from doing so, but cannot. I think it would be doing the community a service to delete my registration, as I cannot do so myself. The truth is I have had a bad taste in my mouth about Jundo ever since I found my own spiritual practice done such a disservice here and after I was labelled mentally ill, condescended to, and booted for struggling with sincere spiritual questions. I am not sure what fuels my ongoing irritation with Jundo / Treeleaf because all that stuff is so far in the rearview. I think it just registered so strongly how what I got at Treeleaf was the opposite of what I needed spiritually at the time. I must feel that there is something 'wrong' about all this on some nonverbal level as when I think about it intellectually it seems so quaint and quixotic. As I've found far more in the Zen world that speaks to me than what doesn't. But it certainly doesn't help that wherever else I go on the Internet to connect with the online Zen world is, there Jundo is with his ten cents - Zen Forum International, Hardcore Zen, Wild Fox Zen, Sweeping Zen, often popping up to chastise or call out another Zen figure. I wonder if I was not constantly exposed to Jundo on blogs and forums if I would still retain this level of irritation. I was really excited to find Dosho Port's blog as he was expressing something I found inspiring, but there Jundo is in the comments with the usual. Always making the case for how Treeleaf and his style is exactly what is needed, especially when there is another scandal. I don't agree, and I am not alone in that. Anyway, I know it is a silly, quixotic thing. And I agree I have become an unintentional troll here. A foolish Quixote driving everyone into their defensive positions. People either want to wake up, or not; people either have questions, or don't. I can't make anyone else other than what they are just as they cannot make me other than what I am. Jundo really does push my buttons and probably always will. If I could de-Jundofy the blogs I read, I would. But I can't. Jundo can, however, de-Stephaniefy Treeleaf, which I think would be best for all. Otherwise I can't guarantee I won't be back here to vent the usual next time Jundo does or says something that bugs me. And as far as Chet goes - he does not need me to defend him and didn't ask me to post, but did talk to me about his frustration with what happened, and it bugged me, and I reacted. My report is exactly what Chet told me. It seems Chet has softened his take since it happened, and I agree it's probably for the best.
Isn't one of the main aspects of our practice to let go of attachments?
There are forums with an "Ignore" button. I've always wondered what the sense of this is. IMHO it is quite easy to just ignore/skip posts or persons one doesn't like.
PS: In your above statement you almost seem to beg to be taken out of Treeleaf. However, wouldn't it be easy to just re-register with a different name? What would be the sense of it?
I really don't want to insinuate anything, but I have the impression that you want this to happen so you can say in other places on the net that Jundo threw you out (who need martyrs nowadays?). If I am wrong with this, I want to apologize - this is just my impression.
Unfortunately, I believe you carry some baggage into Treeleaf that you refuse to unpack. If you choose (or choose not) to detach yourself from this cycle of whatever it is between you and Jundo, I wish you well.
What a roller coaster ride this thread has been but then that is what everyday life is. The thread begins with words of spiritual friendship but quickly dissolves into a frenzy of words that brings reality back in place. When I first arrived here I detected the reality of the real world that existed here and that is what helped me decide that maybe this was a place to learn and practice. I noticed the occassional battle of minds with words that were a bit abrasive in tone. I admit that it made me question myself as to if I had made the right choice in a desire to be a part of this Sangha. The reason I am still here is because I look upon life as a teacher. Each person that posts words here is a teacher and for me each person is a student. It does not make me a robot that inputs data and makes me mindless. It just makes me look at the value of what each person has to say. It matters not if I thought it right or wrong, it only matters that I place value on the person who said it.
It was mentioned that some forums have an ignore feature. If I don't read the words that someone posts then I have ignored that person but for me if I don't read the words then I will not learn from them. I admit this thread has raised a bunch of questions for me but I hope that I will learn from everyone the answers.
Something that I was pondering last night, if we as a sangha could secretly vote someone off for whatever reason from the Sangha if I would still be a member. (There is no need for anyone to answer this for I did not mention this in a way to boost my ego.)
As to the comment directed towards our teacher Jundo, I learned from that. I learned that Jundo is not perfect and neither am I. Jundo is my teacher and I am grateful to him for accepting me as his student.
I hope you find the way of Practice right for you, and what you are seeking. You are always welcome here, but of course, you would be expected to Practice as we Practice here.
I must disagree with you on one point. You wrote ...
Treeleafers don't seem to have - a living Question, a fire that keeps him looking at everything and asking 'What is this?' ... The culture here rewards complacence and passivity. ... it is a matter of not letting oneself fall asleep.
All of us come to this Practice because of living Questions, and all through this Practice we sit with the Questions, the Doubt ... birth, death, war, peace, the beauty and ugliness of this world. Zen provides no answers, nor do we ever stop questioning. We sit with the Questions. Life will always be birth, death and all the rest.
All that Buddhist Teachings point to is Liberation, something beyond, in, as and shining through-and-through all the divisions and friction of birth and death, beauty vs. ugliness, "me" and "you". There is a Peace at the heart of the terrible war that leaves us shattered. The Questions drop away, and all that remains is Holy Whole Whirling Interpenetrating. In order to reach such state, our Practice is to recognize and drop the mental "soap opera", the tail chasing self-flagellation of our constant divisive thoughts and judgments and verbal diarrhea.
Yet, far from numbness or sleep ... far from staying there, in some still still state ... we must rise up from the cushion to live vibrantly, wholeheartedly in the world of birth-death, war, peace, beauty, ugliness ... constant Questions. Zen Practice is actually a way of existential living on the razor's edge of now, embracing the unknown and constant Questions & Doubt dividing this moment from the next.
How dare you accuse the people here of being complacent and passive ... the cancer survivors, those struggling to recover from addictions or trauma, those who have lost a parent or child, the folks just trying to get 'er done at honest work each day or raise a family! They are here precisely because of the "Question" that never leaves us .... what is THIS all about?
A monk asked Master Kaku of Roya,
"If the essential state is pure and clear, then why do mountains, rivers and the
great earth arise?"
"If the essential state is pure and clear, then why do mountains, rivers and the
great earth arise!"
Sometimes what appears a QUESTION is truly an AFFIRMATION!
Please do not let me bother you if you stumble across me here and there. Just another of life's little ugly, I suppose, that you should sit with. gassho1 I will wait for a few days and, if I do not hear from you, Stephanie, I will also remove your account as requested, our way of taking your Zafu and eating bowls out of our sitting hall, and wishing you well as you head on your way. However, you too are always welcome back, or to remain in our sitting hall, if you would like to sit as we sit here.
And I agree I have become an unintentional troll here.
. Few people set out to troll. ... it is just a dysfunctional attachment that won't end, and can't develop .... it is very "borderline". Even making a huffy exit is way continuing the attachment (been there ,done that, :rolleyes: ). My point about what would get the boot in B+M sangha is very true in most places. Though people can be afraid to say anything because they don't want to be judgmental or non-accepting (which is odd because they are plenty judgmental and non-accepting about any number of things on a given day).
Any way. Treeleaf is the trailblazer.. of online Sangha.. This all in the growing. I am very grateful for the whole thing.