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Thread: Banned from E-Sangha ...

  1. #1

    Banned from E-Sangha ...

    Hello All,

    I would just like to share this. It appears that I am today banned at E-Sangha for certain postings critical of their rules that "one must not question rebirth".

    Please see the email I received, and my response (below). Furthermore, you may wish to read the entire thread.

    http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index. ... opic=58952

    We have no secrets here at Treeleaf. Of course, if someone is operating a forum on Tibetan Buddhism or Soto Zen Buddhism or Catholicism, then they have the right to limit discussion to Tibetan doctrine, Master Dogen or the Trinity (I mean, Treeleaf is pretty much about 'Shikantaza' and Master Dogen as it is a Soto Zen Sangha).

    However, if someone purports to be facilitating a public forum open to all Buddhists, and to have one category within it open to discussion of "Soto Zen Buddhism", then I suggest that they may not impose their personal view onto discussion there.

    Gassho, Jundo

    Hello,

    I just received this unbelievable message from the "Voice of the Buddha" ...

    Dear Member jundotreeleaf,

    This is just a reminder to please be familiar with and abide by all forum rules, and especially note the following:

    QUOTE
    3) Membership is open to those who seek to learn and discuss Buddhist
    principles and traditions. It is not an arena for those who lack
    goodwill and those who defame the Dharma.

    4) While it is acknowledged that levels of understanding of the Dharma
    will vary among members, and that all will have their own beliefs about
    it, certain doctrines such as karma, post-mortem rebirth and not-self,
    are held to be core teachings by all Buddhist traditions. Members are
    free to privately disagree with these teachings, or to discuss and ask
    questions about them, but not to denigrate them or deny that they were
    taught by the Buddha.



    Equating that belief in rebirth is superstition or not Buddha Dharma and suggesting that Buddha was not enlightened and was merely a human and fallible teacher is not in accordance with out Board Guidelines.

    Be Well,
    DS

    Dorje Shedrub
    Board Guidelines, Today, 04:27 AM
    Delete Post Quote Post


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    Venerable Sir,

    I will remind you that I am an ordained, fully kosher Soto Zen Priest posting exclusively to the Soto Zen Buddhist board and no place else. Please keep you Honorable Personage within your own Respected Tradition. Furthermore, I am not doing anything more than professing my view of what the Buddha taught (and the view of many Soto Zen priests in the West). The Buddha taught Truth.

    You, sir, are not he final word on what the Buddha taught, nor on the tenets of Soto Zen Buddhism.

    So, if you wish to blackball, ban or censor me, please do so at this point.

    By what right do you accuse me of "Defaming the Dharma?" Who made you the Judge of the Dharma?

    You are not running a church, you are operating a public forum for civil discussion on Buddhism. If this is a discussion limited to the tenets of Tibetan and certain Ch'an sects, please change the name. I suggest you respect the tenets of Soto Zen Buddhism. If you intent to ban me, please do right now and in public.

    Fundamentalism rears its head in all quarters, and civil discussion becomes impossible.

    Gassho, Jundo Cohen

  2. #2
    Well done, Jundo. Don't let the fundamentalists get you down.

  3. #3
    I saw a lot of similar attitudes on Buddhist forums that I lurked in in the past. It always got me down. It basically says "Let's discuss religion, but don't question assumptions." Well, how in the hell can you do that intelligently?
    It is part of the reason I was so glad to find Treeleaf. I sensed a real appreciation of "being lamps unto ourselves."

    Gassho,
    Bill

  4. #4
    Wow. It seems like their tightly-held views were threatened and they felt a need to circle the wagons. Closed-mindedness is everywhere, I guess.

    Gassho,
    Keith

  5. #5
    :lol:

    making friends and influencing people all over the place eh?

  6. #6
    However, if someone purports to be facilitating a public forum open to all Buddhists, and to have one category within it open to discussion of "Soto Zen Buddhism", then I suggest that they may not impose their personal view onto discussion there.
    Agreed. That's strange. What Kieth said.

    They should of course be welcome to disagree.

    G,W

  7. #7
    Eh... you expect me to be impressed by that, Jundo? You're not even the first monk to have been banned from e-sangha! It's quite an odd little place. :roll:

    It's funny, but I've attended a few different temples in the years since I became interested in Buddhism. And re-birth was never a big topic for discussion at any of them (at least, not when I was there). I think all my teachers had fairly conventional (for China/ Japan anyway) views on rebirth, other realms, etc, but they all said "That's OK" to anyone with a different opinion. (They've also all said that it's "no problem" to practise Zen and another religion - another topic that gets emotions very stirred up on the nutty Buddhist webternet.)

    I've met a few Chinese and Vietnamese Buddhists who can remember the Communist "purges" (not sure if that's the right word). They've given me some perspective on the idea of "protecting and defending the Dharma." Seems to me that Buddhism's pretty damn resilient. Richard Dawkins and a bunch of New-Age crystal gazers ain't going to destroy it.

    People need protecting, and I'm so happy to see Jundo (and many others) speaking out against harmful "Eastern" cults.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Thanks Guys,

    I am glad that most of you (not some of the newbies) have now known me long enough to know that I may be crazy, but I'm not crazy (at least, not in any threatening way)! I thank you, Paige, for making the situation at E-Sangha a bit clearer ... I thought it was just a place to discuss "Soto Zen Buddhism" because the chat room is named "Soto Zen Buddhism".

    Beware the Spanish Inquisition!

    A very nice comment was just posted on the Leaf Blog ... I want to repost it here.

    Gassho, Jundo the

    Dear Namdrol,

    I am the one who started the thread on "Rebirth" from the Soto Zen perspective. You recently banned a poster jundotreeleaf for posting dissenting views from the traditional view of Rebirth. I posted the question with honest intentions to uncover the views of other Soto practitioners and obtain a deeper understanding of Rebirth. I feel I have received that from this thread, and I also feel jundotreeleaf contributed to that understanding.

    In my opinion, he never violated any board rules - he only posted his own personal view, while remaining respectful of others. He did not denigrate the views of other or that of the Dharma. I don't have an opinion on the issue of Rebirth, but I appreciated jundotreeleaf's postings as it contributed to the multi-perspective of that thread.

    I ask respectfully that you un-ban jundotreeleaf from e-sangha, and open the thread for further discussion.


    Thanks for the consideration,

    dharma84

  10. #10
    Hi Jundo,

    It looks like tradition and religious identity appears to be more important than anything else. So much so that common sense just gets crushed because of it.

    I was a member of E-Sangha quite some time back, it helped me when I was really new to Buddhism, but I got so confused looking round the forum with all the conflicting ideas and traditions that I didn't bother posting anymore and just viewed the forum ocassionally instead, everyone seemed to get on ok though. I looked again a while back and came across some posts which suggested there had been fallings out, I'm not sure if I'm remembering correctly, my memory isn't great, but I'm almost certain I read a post by someone speaking out about someone getting banned for disagreeing with a moderator's decision over some matter. Maybe similar to what you've just experinced yourself. Sadly, just because someone calls themself a Buddhist, it doesn't mean they're a wholesome person.

    All the best!

  11. #11
    Beware the Spanish Inquisition!
    hey, Just remember where some of us live :wink:








    plankton and friends last weekend

  12. #12
    Treeleaf Unsui Shohei's Avatar
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    I read the e-sangha rules when i first visited... 4 hours later... Just kidding there of course... it made me kind of feel nervous to post anything :/


    Gassho
    Dirk

    Edit:

    Nice goggles plankton1!!

  13. #13
    I read the entire thread. Jundo, you not only didn't say anything wrong, you helped to solidify the decisions I've been making toward a more Soto Zen approach to my beliefs.
    What struck me particularly was this line from another poster:
    "Without rebirth buddhism is not more then a set of ideas to feel better. "
    To which I thought in reply, "Well, duh!"
    Having no memory of the experience of any other lifetime, and no clear indication of its' nature; having no idea where, who, or what I'll be, having no hope other than that I may live THIS life to its fullest potential and do all in my power to help other beings do the same, and with the only certainty being that I WILL one day be a pile of ash scattered to the wind, then, yes... it's no more than a set of ideas to feel better. More important, it's no LESS than that, which is a wonderful, joyous truth.
    Very GOOD ideas. Truth always is.
    As another belief system teaches: "Dust thou art and to dust thou shalt return." And it is only what happens in between that we ought to concern ourselves with.
    A nodding bow in your direction, Jundo.

  14. #14
    Hi Jundo,

    I used to have a look in there occasionally as well. At first I was impressed by the apparent diversity of traditions, topics, etc., but fairly soon came to witness the same sort of fundamentalism you've experienced and stopped going there as a result. Spooky stuff going on there, huh? :shock:

    Gassho
    Ken

  15. #15
    Senior Member Martin's Avatar
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    "The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt." - Bertrand Russell

    Gassho

    Martin

  16. #16
    I decided to "ban" myself from e-sangha today

    Slapsko

  17. #17
    From our friend Namdrol

    Quote:
    Frankly, "priests" in those Japanese Buddhist lineages that descend from Tendai merely have a formal bodhisattva ordination, something that millions of Tibetan Buddhists have as a matter of course. So E-Sangha is not terribly impressed by the word "priest". Nor are we impressed by fancy robes and titles.

    http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index. ... opic=60595

  18. #18
    Apparently, certain moderators there are rather insecure in their masculinity, or something. :lol:

    I thought I would share my experience with everyone.

    I've written posts there recently which bothered them for some reason. I don't know why. (Tongue firmly in cheek :wink: ) But they keep deleting them without a word. Of course, being the trusting soul that i am, I keep a copy of my posts whenever i post there. So maybe it will give everyone a laugh.

    My first deleted post from the same thread that Namdrol disparages all Japanese lineages:

    It seems to me that E-Sangha rules are the problem here, rather than any persons involved. Certain doctrines cannot be questioned. Bannings cannot be publicly questioned. Moderator decisions cannot be publicly questioned. Its kind of elitist, don't you think? Yes, E-Sangha is a free service. Yes, you are free to do as you will. But it seems to me that those rules are being used to eliminate free discussion and/or ideas that some may find uncomfortable. There was nothing that Jundo called into question that scholars haven't called into question long ago. We are all adults here. All capable of discussing things calmly & rationally.

    On a last note, Jundo did not ask to be banned. Jundo seemed to have asked that if he was to be banned that he be banned publicly, rather behind closed doors.

    Thats my two cents worth.

    -Kukai
    After it being deleted, I asked Damn-dull...uh, sorry, I mean Namdrol why. He responded with the following exercise in futility.

    The reason why we have the policy about not negating rebirth at e-Sangha is that people have spent written thousands and thousands of words on the issue. And it is invariably so that people who negate rebirth eventually begin to label those who point out that obvious fact that Buddha taught punarbhava as fundamentalists and so on, using exactly the same rhetoric Jundo uses here at e-Sangha and on his blog. The fact that they are incapable of reconciling their materialism with the Buddha's teaching causes them to become hostile and threatening. So we do not permit that conversation any more.

    So, there was no need for a meta discussion about why we do not permit people to negate rebirth on e-Sangha.

    N

    My second deleted post I wrote after Astus started another rebirth thread. It was rather obvious who the original post by Astus was an attack on.

    What is the purpose of this thread? Think about it. It is forbidden to argue that the Buddha did not teach rebirth as a central doctrine. So, if the counter position cannot be argued for-then this is a one way discussion. Additionally, it would appear that not all e-sangha rules are as rigidly enforced.

    Right View

    1) Treat all posters with respect. Some members may be ordained Sangha and very modest.
    Apparently, this does not apply to moderators.

    Astus wrote:

    However, there are teachers pretending to be the representatives of the Dharma who don't care about what the Buddha taught and negate the fact of rebirth or say that it is not at all central to Buddhism. That I see as a slandering of the Tathagata.
    To say that someone is PRETENDING to be a representative of Dharma is a lot of things-RESPECT is not one of them.

    But it is not only moderators who do not follow the rules in this regard.

    Element wrote:

    Rebirth is a hot topic for unenlightened Westerners ever since the Dharma arrived here. However, it was rarely a hot topic for Westerners who went to Asia seeking the cessation of suffering and studied and practiced with the great Masters of the 20th century. That is before Dharma became a fad in the West and ambitious Asian missionaries to the West needed to raise funds for their Dharma centres.
    This goes beyond disrespect. In fact, it has the tinge of racial bias. You know, only Asian countries have real Buddhism...not western countries. Racism is racism, however, and is equally distasteful in all of its forms.

    I'll leave it at that, since I'm fairly sure this post will be deleted.

    IMO, if these rules mean anything-then they should be enforced fully, not in a haphazard manner.

    Respectfully,

    Kukai


    p.s. For clarity sake, I am NOT asking for this post to be deleted. In fact, I am hoping that it will stand as is.

    p.p.s. My comments concerning moderators in this thread should not be construed to be a condemnation of all. For example, I have found Huifeng's comments to be very respectful & admirable. :namaste:

    I don't mean to be overly negative over this. I have been a member & moderator of various forums before and have never seen such an absence of the most basic manners. It is usual to, at least, post a notification of why a post was deleted or modified.

    Oh well. :lol:


    -Kukai

  19. #19
    I wrote one about how one can do what one feels is "right," one can act completely within one's rights, on can do the exact right thing, and yet because of pride and fear still be completely wrong and in the wrong.
    It was, of course, deleted.
    I'm done there.

  20. #20
    God and baby Jesus and Mary on toast!!! Jundo, you boat rocker you!! :roll:

    I'm going to completely withold all commentary as there seems to be enough of it swarming all over this topic and incident like the proverbial flies on....you know.

    BUT, in the interest of fairness I have to offer this correction, if I may. Jundo, on your vid you state that you were "banned from a Soto Zen Buddhist discussion site on the internet" and go on once again a bit later to say that E-sangha purports to be a Soto Zen discussion site. However, on their home page they clearly state:

    "E-Sangha Chat & Forum provides forums for participation in discussions which includes all the main traditions such as Mahayana, Vajrayana, Nichiren, Theravada and Zen. There is also a facility for general Buddhist discussion where members are able to engage in exchanging various aspects of this ancient tradition."

    Therefore, Soto Zen is a sub-forum of the larger site. This is the more correct representation which allows for the fact that the site is moderated by many different administrative types across *all* forums.

    Now, I know you got your undies in a bunch over this, but it's good to keep a cool head on the facts nonetheless, eh? :?

    Why, oh why, do I always seem to hook up with the rabel rousers? Can you saaayyyyyy.....KARMA???

    I knew you could.

    In Gassho~

    *Lynn

  21. #21
    "plankton and friends last weekend"

    Oh-Em-Geeee!!! This is such a howler!!!

  22. #22
    Howdy folks,
    If there is a clear pattern of behavior at E-sangha, then why are we even discussing it? I'm not scolding anyone, but if it appears that we are not going to be welcome there for various reasons, then I think we should view it as their loss and not get too upset by it. Their practice is their practice, our practice is our practice. They may be wrong, we may be wrong, but I think name-calling is not helpful nor is it in the spirit of Zen.
    My kneejerk reaction too is to defend our teacher (I was guilty of getting bent out of shape regarding a previous post that I felt disparaged Jundo), but Jundo is a big boy and can take care of himself. I would hate to see actions at another site create disarray and tension in our part of cyberspace or lead us to self-righteous thinking or language.

    My humble two cents . . . gassho,
    Bill

  23. #23
    Hi Kelly,

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly M.
    From our friend Namdrol

    Quote:
    Frankly, "priests" in those Japanese Buddhist lineages that descend from Tendai merely have a formal bodhisattva ordination, something that millions of Tibetan Buddhists have as a matter of course. So E-Sangha is not terribly impressed by the word "priest". Nor are we impressed by fancy robes and titles.
    Yes, this is much like a Protestant telling a Catholic that she is not Christian. Or Goldstein and Schwartz fighting about who is more 'Jewish'. So silly, so sad.

    The only point where I most assuredly agree with the comment is "Do not be impressed by fancy robes and titles". That part is true.

    Hi Lynn,

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn
    Jundo, on your vid you state that you were "banned from a Soto Zen Buddhist discussion site on the internet" and go on once again a bit later to say that E-sangha purports to be a Soto Zen discussion site.
    Well, if I may offer a correction to your correction :-)

    Whether it is a forum or "sub-forum", it is the largest “Zen Buddhist” and “Soto Zen Buddhist” forum/sub-forum, a place of tremendous influence maintained by “E-Sangha”. Because of its size and influence, it has become one of the major online sources of interchange for those seeking information on Zen in all forms and Buddhism in general. In fact, it is perhaps one of the first places that people look when seeking information on our Practices.

    You know, if one is hosting a Catholic sub-forum meant for Catholics, and one of is oneself Catholic, then it may be proper to ban members who persistently denigrate the Pope on the Catholic site. If one is a Tibetan who has a Tibetan forum, then one might ban a “Soto Zen” fellow who intruded to criticize Tibetan doctrine there. However, when one is a Tibetan teacher who is hosting the largest “Soto Zen” discussion group on the Internet, but bans Soto Zen priests and others for discussing Soto Zen doctrine there … and does so while imposing one’s own views to the readers on what “Soto Zen” and “Zen” stands for (all while not fully disclosing this fact to readers) … well, I believe that there is a serious problem. (I hope you see that the foregoing is not meant as a criticism in any way of Tibetan doctrine, but merely of the fairness of the widely read and influential sub-forum).

    That's the only reason my britches are in a bunch! ;-)

    Okay, we can let this drop now. The matter has been exposed as well as it can be.

    Gassho, Jundo

  24. #24
    I found Treeleaf through browsing E-sangha. I have never posted there. Why do they have a Soto Zen "subtopic" when certain aspects of Zen philosophy offends them? I forgive them for what they are doing, but they should realize they are intolerant and I hope they reflect on that.

  25. #25
    Hi,

    I've just started a new topic titled 'Freedom of speech in Soto Zen Buddhism' in the Soto Zen forum on E-Sangha with the following post:

    Dear Moderators:

    Since you have prematurely closed the original topics (i.e. 'Rebirth' as well as 'Jundo's Reaction'), I have opened a new one. For your information, I accept under no circumstances any restrictions of free speech on the topic of reincarnation in the Soto Zen Buddhist forum, whether it be argumentation for or against it. Should you have a problem with this, feel free to ban me. However, understand that this action is your decision, not mine.

    Cinaed
    I just feel that people who participate there should know what they're getting involved in and realize what rights they must give up to do so. Let's see what happens.

    Gassho
    Ken

  26. #26
    So that was you? :lol: Bravo. Its good to know there are other Socratic gadflies over there. :wink:


    p.s. Bill, I agree with your points & they're good ones. Specifically, that we should not let this affect the community here. I let my own anger at being silenced get the better of me. My apologies. Gassho.

  27. #27
    That was you, Kenneth?

    I've posted at e-sangha but very infrequently. To be honest, that place really didn't help me learn about Buddhism especially since rigorously discussing what they consider 'core doctrine' appears to be verboten if it is perceived that by discussing you are disregarding. Jundo's posts in that thread were thoughtful and funny at the same time. Which got him the - NO SOUP FOR YOU!

    There was one thread on atheists and how they threaten Buddhism. Well, someone got into bashing Richard Dawkins and lumping him in with Christopher Hitchens (whom I don't like at all), calling them nihilists, etc. So I posted that Dawkins is a secular humanist like Bertrand Russell which is in contradiction to nihilism. Someone responded to me that, according to Buddhism, if you only believe in the material world, you are a nihilst. So I responded back saying that I was only familiar with the generally defined nihilist philosophy and was unfamiliar with a Buddhist definition of nihilism. I was interested in hearing more. Then I was told that I was going off topic and the moderators may insist that I stay on topic. Well, alrighty then. :lol:

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth
    Hi,

    I've just started a new topic titled 'Freedom of speech in Soto Zen Buddhism' in the Soto Zen forum on E-Sangha with the following post:

    Dear Moderators:

    Since you have prematurely closed the original topics (i.e. 'Rebirth' as well as 'Jundo's Reaction'), I have opened a new one. For your information, I accept under no circumstances any restrictions of free speech on the topic of reincarnation in the Soto Zen Buddhist forum, whether it be argumentation for or against it. Should you have a problem with this, feel free to ban me. However, understand that this action is your decision, not mine.

    Cinaed
    I just feel that people who participate there should know what they're getting involved in and realize what rights they must give up to do so. Let's see what happens.

    Gassho
    Ken
    I would partake in this thread Kenneth, but yesterday I received a 3 day suspension from E-Sangha for respectfully disagreeing with the administration and requesting free speech. It would seem that any attempt to protest is also unacceptable.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by TracyF
    That was you, Kenneth?

    I've posted at e-sangha but very infrequently. To be honest, that place really didn't help me learn about Buddhism especially since rigorously discussing what they consider 'core doctrine' appears to be verboten if it is perceived that by discussing you are disregarding. Jundo's posts in that thread were thoughtful and funny at the same time. Which got him the - NO SOUP FOR YOU!

    There was one thread on atheists and how they threaten Buddhism. Well, someone got into bashing Richard Dawkins and lumping him in with Christopher Hitchens (whom I don't like at all), calling them nihilists, etc. So I posted that Dawkins is a secular humanist like Bertrand Russell which is in contradiction to nihilism. Someone responded to me that, according to Buddhism, if you only believe in the material world, you are a nihilst. So I responded back saying that I was only familiar with the generally defined nihilist philosophy and was unfamiliar with a Buddhist definition of nihilism. I was interested in hearing more. Then I was told that I was going off topic and the moderators may insist that I stay on topic. Well, alrighty then. :lol:
    Hmm, we must be a real band of shit disterbers eh? Haha. What with all the independent though and the dangerous ideas. Perhaps the official treeleaf robes should be millitary fatigues with red barrets.


    Jundo? :lol:


    Ok ok, as Jundo has suggested, we should probably drop the topic. As he would probably say, it is neither Helpful nor Healthful to entertain such negativity.

    My apologies Jundo for posting here.
    Gassho,
    KElly

  30. #30
    a talking llama telling me all the secrets to life? *shiver*

  31. #31
    Hi Guys,

    Okay, maybe we should let it drop now.

    The Dalai Lama and Ven. Thich Nhat Hahn would likely approve of a little civil disobedience (Actually, I wonder what they really would think in this case?). But, now things have been made open that needed to be openned, some good things may come of it yet, and we need to avoid resentment in our words, thoughts and actions (who says I don't believe in Karma?? :shock: ) So, let's let it be.

    Anyone who disagrees will be suspended for 5 days from Treeleaf.

    Gassho, Jundo

  32. #32
    Hmm, we must be a real band of shit disterbers eh? Haha. What with all the independent though and the dangerous ideas. Perhaps the official treeleaf robes should be millitary fatigues with red barrets.

    LOL Honestly, I've spent enough of my life in a camo uniform and a beret.
    However, in the interest of compassion and humility, and in accordance with Jundo's post, perhaps our uniform for our next Zazen ought to be to wear upside down sunglasses and a pair of underwear on our heads.

  33. #33
    Hi Tracy,

    That thread (or a similar one) really made me nervous. I don't at all like seeing Buddhist discussion boards borrowing phrases like "scientism" and "(scientific) materialist" from our friends in the Intelligent Design community. But IDers give me the heebie-jeebies to a ridiculous degree!

    I haven't kept up with Dawkins' writing... read The Blind Watchmaker and The Selfish Gene, don't think I quite finished The Ancestor's Tale. I do consider myself a humanist.

  34. #34
    Hi guys,

    Just for the record: I felt the need to express my opinion on E-Sangha, because although I’m an infrequent visitor/poster, I am a registered member there and the situation is, for me personally, simply too absurd to be acceptable. I’ve voiced my protest in that single post and now have no intention to pursue the matter further. I don’t expect things to change there, so the consequence for me is simply not to visit that site any more. I apologize if I’ve ruffled any feathers which didn’t deserve ruffling.

    Gassho
    Ken

  35. #35
    Sangha of the Damned
    Is that Brad Warner's knew book?

  36. #36
    One thing to keep in mind, is that there's at least as much drama on, say, Harry Potter fan-sites as we're witnessing on some Buddhist bulletin boards.

    Or so I've heard. I'm nowhere near brave enough to take a first-hand look!

  37. #37
    Or so I've heard. I'm nowhere near brave enough to take a first-hand look!

    LOL Check out some of the religious debate boards on AOL.

  38. #38
    Not to worry Jundo, I was also banned from e-sangha a number of years ago for calling into question the belief in rebirth.

    E-sangha is representative of a "fixed" dharma, a fossil incapable of self-expression or interpretation - Buddhism the religion with a capital "B."

    I find that many of the "priests" and "monks" on E-sangha are intolerant of the views of others.

    And the whole "rebirth" thing is contentious, my own little group in Australia is refused membership of the State Buddhist Council for the very same reason.

  39. #39
    Hi Jun,

    Good to here from you, man. It was actress Barbara Stanwyck in the 1929 production of "Mexicali Rose" who said ...

    "I've been kicked out of better places than this."

    Stop by once in awhile.

    Gassho, Jun-do

  40. #40
    I've never liked e-sangha, I just thought it was due to the clunky interface . . .

    Jundo, more of their loss than yours. Interesting that you could be banned for expressing what is essentially the mainstream Soto Zen viewpoint.

    Oh well, people tend to be afraid of what they don't understand.

    The belief that Buddhism becomes nothing but a "feel good philosophy" without rebirth, is a little puzzling to me, I think any body who has stuck with a Zazen practice realizes there is a whole lot to it! Belief in reincarnation does not necessarily enrichen one's practice in a spiritual sense.

  41. #41
    I think the thing that is missing is a real definition of consciousness. That's the thing that's supposed to be passed on, right? No one can define it without using allegories and metaphors. Which is exactly what is in many of the writings, right? Just like the Bible, those weren't supposed to be taken literally. Especially since Buddha knew where babies came from. :lol:

    Speaking of karma and rebirth, NOVA had a cool show about the epigenome. The epigenome is basically the passing of information from parent to progeny (parent organisms or parent cells to progeny) through means besides the DNA. The DNA can get 'marks' on it and these marks are subject to the person's environment. Differences in these marks can change your personality, cancer susceptibility, development of autism, etc. One example was really cool. Swedish scientists found that grandsons of boys that were exposed to times of record harvests during their early teen were more likely to get diabetes. If the boys were exposed to famine, their grandsons would have a lower rate of cardiovascular disease. They found this likely correlates with marks on the boys DNA during spermatogenesis. This is like Lamarck revisited. I read something similar with schizophrenia. See? Circumstances in one life can affect the mental and physical health of someone generations later. If that ain't karma, I don't know what is. I suppose that's not REALLY rebirth. Even worse, thinking like this makes me a materialist/nihilist sort. :wink:

    A man goes into a bar and the barman greets him most civily saying: "Good evening sir, and what will you have."

    "That's very good of you my good man, I'll have a whisky." replies the fellow.

    The barman pours the drink and then says, "There you go sir, that will two pounds."

    "I beg your pardon, sir," comes the reply, "but I don't owe you for this!"

    The barman just stared, mystified, until a lawyer who happened to be sitting at the end of the bar bursts out laughing.

    "He is perfectly correct, I am afraid. When you asked him what he wanted, in this contract you made, you made no implication that the drink he desired was in any way other than an offer of a gift. If he took you to court, I reckon he'd have a case"

    The barman was upset, but very impressed with the sagacity of the man so he said, "Well, you got me there, have the drink on me for being so clever. But, after this, YOU'RE BARRED!"

    Next day the man returns to the bar and the barman says, "Hey, you, I barred you yesterday, now get out."

    "I beg your pardon!" responds the man, "this is the first time I have ever set foot in these premises."

    "Oh, I am sorry" replies the barman, "you must have a double."

    "Thank you very much," the man responds, "Make it a whisky."
    :lol:

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