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Thread: Whoopin' on Jundo and Taigu

  1. #1

    Whoopin' on Jundo and Taigu

    I'd just like to say that there's been a lot of malicious content lately about the teachers we have here and a lot of back and forth about it. I simply wanted to remind everyone, and echo what Chet said in another thread, that nobody's perfect, and if they were, we'd never be able to relate to them. Every body has an off day, every one stumbles, and if the stumble was unintentional (as most are) everyone should be forgiven. This whole subject reminded me of a movie I watched, Fallen, with Denzel Washington (by the way, this move is great and terribly underrated for what it was, the story line alone is simply masterful) where another cop asked him if he took any "cream" or money on the side, and when he replied "No" the other cop asked him what he thought about other cops who felt like they needed to take money and his reply was:

    John Hobbes: You take any cop on the force, cream or no, ninety-nine percent of the time they're doing their job, aren't they?
    Jonesy: Ninety-nine five.
    John Hobbes: Point five. So he or she, cream or no, is doing more good out there every day than any lawyer or stockbroker or president of the United States can ever do in their lifetime. Cops are the chosen people
    That's the part I wanted to share. Even if our teachers (perfect mintings of Dogen and Bodhidharma though they may be :lol: ) may fall from time to time, they still do far and away more good for the dharma, our members, and our lineage then make mistakes. There has always been a long and illustrius tradition of lambasting those in positions of authority especially where teaching and religion are concerned, and, well I don't know, I guess I just wanted to say that it's not cool, but since it's going to happen then I'll just say "Sorry you have to listen to the nay sayers, Jundo."

  2. #2

    Re: Whoopin' on Jundo and Taigu


    thank you for your post.

    Btw. A funny coincidence you should mention that scene...since I never saw the full movie, but when I was staying at a hotel a month ago, I channel hopped accidentally to exactly that scene (went to bed soon after).


    Hans Chudo Mongen

  3. #3

    Re: Whoopin' on Jundo and Taigu

    Thanks, Christopher. You said some things I've been trying to formulate myself.

    This situation resonates with a lot of personal stuff for me. I've worn three of the several hats that Jundo and Taigu wear around here: I've been a teacher in many contexts, am responsible for a delicate community of learners and their families (a preschool), and have been director of operations for an online forum for years. Doing each well is challenging, but I cannot imagine trying to do all of these things at once.

    Lay atop that the challenges of realizing a Soto Zen teaching style for an internet-based sangha... the mind reels. It's a testament to Jundo and Taigu's commitment that this place didn't fold up its tents a few years ago simply from the weight of it all.

    Now, the kicker: the whole sheebang unfolds for all the world to see! Unbelievable. Honestly, I don't think I'd have the spine to do it all in public; if this were my little fiefdom, I'd be sorely tempted to do all the dirty work behind closed doors. "Praxis? What Praxis? Move along folks... nothing to see here...." The courage -- and, sure, chutzpah -- of J&T to show us/everyone how the sausage gets made is pretty hard to fathom, as is the irony that such courage makes them vulnerable to those who cannot even tell us their names.

    And, yeah, sure, they're vulnerable. Jundo's right to say he did some dumb things. They were really dumb. Mega-dumb. But who among us can say otherwise?!? Surely not me. I assure you, "dumb" would not be the adjective y'all would use to describe my worst moments if we had the videotape ready for replay! :shock:

    Every year my preschool's board of directors conducts my performance review, which includes surveys of every teacher, parent, and board member. Anyone can air their grievances about a stray, informal comment, about my mishandling of their refusal to follow rules, about a glance or a tone presumed to be sarcastic instead of sincere, you name it.

    I'm lucky: my board is able to sort the information into dominant positive themes, some less dominant but important concerns to work on, and the outliers, and we focus our attention on the first two categories. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have the outliers treated as The Priority; I cannot imagine what it would be like to have that outlier conversation/confrontation aired publicly, over days and weeks; I cannot imagine having that outlier conversation recorded in an online archive that could be accessed at any time so that, once again, we could slog through the muck whenever anyone decides to have a bit of fun at my expense.

    One last reaction for now. Throughout the Zen community, there's a lot of agita about teachers, teaching, and the teacher/student relationship, and as Christopher notes, lambasting teachers has become something of a hobby lately, particularly in the US. Several people around the internet and in person have commented on the complexities of transmitting the Zen teacher/student relationship into the West, where authority is suspect from the start and few believe they have something to learn from someone else that they can't learn from their own egos. (It's my guess that, in the US at least, this anti-authority/pro-ego tendency is, paradoxically, particularly prevalent among those who seek religious or spiritual guidance outside of the Judeo-Christian mainstream. But that's fodder for another post. )

    That foundational suspicion of teachers and teaching means that those of us who admit to having been taught by J&T are automatically up for ridicule: among the snarky and cynical, the very idea that one submit to another's teaching is a sign of weakness and idiocy, particularly if those teachers are, you know, pimply, farting skinbags like the rest of us. And, in a world where Genpo, Eido Shimano and others can quite literally fuck things up without losing their flock and its fleece, it's truly bizarre to see Jundo called out for a dozen or so sentences. 99.5% indeed....

    Human, the lot of us, all too human. I've been thinking about this a lot and find it quite perplexing (and at 3a local time, you'll note!). I'm grateful for the opportunity to write some of it out. Sorry for the long post and thanks for reading it.

  4. #4

    Re: Whoopin' on Jundo and Taigu

    Well, at least I can assure you that Taigu and I are not takin' any "cream". 8)

    Gassho, Sargent Jundo

  5. #5

    Re: Whoopin' on Jundo and Taigu

    Sorry to hear that, Jundo. Maybe it's time to take that April Fools Genpo idea seriously, get a few tips. I mean, really, you're not getting any younger, dude.

  6. #6

    Re: Whoopin' on Jundo and Taigu

    That's the thing for us in the West. I want it bigger, faster, and cheaper! I don't just want a cheese burger, I want a cheese burger with a bun made of Crispy Cream Doughnuts! I don't just want a fast car, I want a car so fast that I get to where I'm going before I even start the damn thing! I don't just want a Zen teacher, I want an infallable, floating-on-the-power-of-his-own-sanctity, Buddha himself reincarnates to ask HIM questions, sits zazen upside down WHILE performing the tea ceremony Zen teacher.

    You know what Jundo? I take it back. It IS your fault. I have high expectations for my religious teachers and somehow you get off thinking you can be human? What the hell? When you fart, I wanna hear the Heart Sutra!!!!

    :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

  7. #7

    Re: Whoopin' on Jundo and Taigu

    When you fart, I wanna hear the Heart Sutra!!!!
    No, not enough. I want more. I want to see it as a youtube video.

    Knob :wink:

  8. #8

    Re: Whoopin' on Jundo and Taigu

    I'm thankful for an Internet tool called 'Urban Dictionary'--I've clearly been playing the ostrich for way too long. I had to look up both 'whoopin' and 'knob' to follow this, and see what was meant either by positive or negative context. At the end of the day it's all pretty funny in a way.

    I'm a die-hard loyalist...whether I post or lurk, and whether J & T are perfect or fallible...I love this sangha and the teachers wholeheartedly. Without them and y'all, I would not have any sort of community whatsoever, so I'll take this quick moment just to say, once again, thanks for being there.

    Gassho, Ann

  9. #9

    Re: Whoopin' on Jundo and Taigu

    Dosho posted something on another thread today that could describe me too ...

    John mentioned how he noticed that words directed to him don't upset him anywhere near as much as those directed towards his wife and children and that, as Treeeleaf is something he has taken into his heart, he found himself reacting strongly to criticism directed at any member of the sangha like it was attack on his family...because it is his family!
    I am very protective of this place ... and that may cause me to react too strongly to criticism of this place that I see as unfair, malicious or untrue. I think I need to ignore such things more too.

    On a 'lighter' note ...

    When you fart, I wanna hear the Heart Sutra!!!!

    Ya know, Dogen wrote two whole chapters of Shobogenzo on procedures for the bathroom ... but he sure wasn't into "bathroom humor". We have the Koan "Buddha is a used sh-tstick" ... but that's not really "bathroom humor." Zen teachers can be quite earthy though, as much as we appreciate "tea and flower arranging" and the other "high arts" ... they can be quite "low brow" too (beyond "high or low").

    Still, I hesitated to post this link, because it has to be the strangest "semi-serious" Zen book ever written. I say "semi-serious" because, whoever wrote it ... beyond all the cheap "eat beans" jokes ... actually seems to have been trying to make some kind of "funny" :roll: semi-serious Buddhist book (I mean, some of the "lessons" in the book are actually pretty good ... like his teachings of the emptiness of "Fart No Fart")! It has absolutely NO TASTE ... and though our way is, well, beyond all tastes ... this is certainly the most tasteless Buddhist book ever written ..

    The book is --NOT-- on our "recommend reading list". ops:

    THE ZEN OF FARTING ... &q&f=false

    Gassho, J

  10. #10

    Re: Whoopin' on Jundo and Taigu

    I don't have much to add, but I need to chime in anyway. hahaha I agree with everyone else who's posted here pretty much. We're all adults here, we all make mistakes. Your life is your own.. It also impacts mine, but I don't live your life for you, so it really is impossible for me to judge it. I swear, sometimes too much. I swear at work, when my dog claws into my foot. I get pissed in traffic. Sometimes I drink too much, although I have been good this Ango with drinking. I eat too much sometimes. Sometimes I think really bad thoughts. I took the precepts. I make mistakes. We're human. At the same time, I take responsibility for these things which I think we all do here. This practice helps us reflect on how we are losing balance. It's a great practice, and we have some really solid teachers here.

    I'm not stupid. I don't need someone to save me from someone else. I'm here of my own accord; I'm an adult and I'm not naive. I know when someone is bsing me and I know when I'm hearing the truth, even if it hurts. So if Taigu smokes or Jundo swears, who cares? They are human and they still practice the Dharma, and they illustrate a good example to me.

    I've read Jundo's posts and the history and the back and forth. Man, this thing wouldn't be here unless it weren't for Jundo and Taigu; if they didn't take it personally that would be crazy! I mean there's a lot of effort that goes into this place. It astounds me the amount of Teisho's that are here... the Zazenkai's, Jukai, sewing the Rakusu. Holding down a full time job, having a family and still putting hte effort into keeping this place running and answering questions from some newbie like me never ceases to impress me.

    I really love this Sangha. It helps keep my practice strong, the dharma candle burning when sometimes I'd rather not think about the important things and just get attached to something to forget about my life. (I love mylife, sometimes there are stresses that you just want to escape).

    I really love this place, and an indebted to Jundo, Taigu and this Sangha. So I really don't give a crap about the drama, just the dharma (oo new bumpersticker )



    EDIT: I know Taigu quit smoking; the example is for illustrative purposes.

  11. #11

    Re: Whoopin' on Jundo and Taigu

    Thanks to Heitetsu for this thread and all who have contributed to it. It is one other example of the bond we share here; even though none of us are attached to any :lol: :roll:


    p.s. Jundo, you dog, that book is now in my library at Google :lol:

  12. #12

    Re: Whoopin' on Jundo and Taigu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    I am very protective of this place ... and that may cause me to react too strongly to criticism of this place that I see as unfair, malicious or untrue. I think I need to ignore such things more too.
    Ah, man, Jundo, I'm glad you said that, because I've been trying to think of a way to say it for a while. I believe you said something on ZFI recently:

    In fact, looking at the response many of my postings get from Zen Buddhists around ZFI ... it looks like I am doing a very excellent job of reducing folks' attraction to our Sangha! eace:
    This is insightful and, if I may be so bold, absolutely true. I have no idea how I would react to the amount of cyber-bullying you receive, and I don't want to be judgmental about the way you handle it, but I think ignoring it / letting some arguments go may be the best thing to do. Otherwise, you're just dumping water on a grease fire. Well-intentioned, but totally counterproductive. :wink:



  13. #13

    Re: Whoopin' on Jundo and Taigu

    Great work draws great criticism. Deep Gassho to Jundo Sensei and Taigu Sensei who work their butts off to make Treeleaf the marvel that it is! Thank you!!! _/_

    P.S. Just for the record, I think Jigen is awesome too!

  14. #14
    Member Martin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Wherever the next mediation is. Every now and then I make it back to Norfolk, England.

    Re: Whoopin' on Jundo and Taigu

    Treeleaf Sangha is a wonderful place to its members. Nothing that anyone posts elsewhere will change that for those who choose to be here.

    As for some of the stuff posted elsewhere, leave them to it. They’re presumably having a good time.



  15. #15

    Re: Whoopin' on Jundo and Taigu

    Quote Originally Posted by Risho
    I mean there's a lot of effort that goes into this place. It astounds me the amount of Teisho's that are here... the Zazenkai's, Jukai, sewing the Rakusu. Holding down a full time job, having a family and still putting hte effort into keeping this place running and answering questions from some newbie like me never ceases to impress me.
    Exactly...that is what amazes me most, and why I think Taigu and Jundo can be so curt with those who show no real interest in being part of Treeleaf.

    Gassho to all

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