What to do about Zen forum Moderators and controversial behavior

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clyde
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Re: What to do about Zen forum Moderators and controversial behavior

Post by clyde » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:06 pm

Dan & Linda; Thank you for your posts and ‘more grist for the mill’.

Like Linda, when I first found online philosophy, spiritual, and finally Buddhist forums I was excited to learn and share. There was so much new information and opinions. And I had so much I wanted to share and test. But change is inevitable. I wrote this recently:
I got older, not necessarily wiser,
But I have fewer questions
And even fewer answers.
- January, 2019
So I have less need and less to offer. But what is true for Linda, for me and others, is not true for the curious or those relatively new to the Zen Way.

Zen Space is a service to the Zen community, or at least that’s it’s stated objective. And I agreed to do my part as a service to the Zen community. That Zen Space is “something of an embarrassment” is both true and a sad reflection on us, collectively. This would not happen in a sangha among Zen students. Senior students would initiate and/or guide discussions. New students often fall into familiar (to senior students) misunderstandings about Zen and the Zen Way, and senior students would correct them. There would be:

- More Zen, Less Nonzense.

Zen Space isn’t a one-person forum and one person can’t change it. If we want it to be a true service to the Zen community, it’s every members responsibility. [end of lecture]
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

“The most straightforward advice on awakening enlightened mind is this: practice not causing harm to anyone—yourself or others—and every day, do what you can to be helpful.” Pema Chodron, “What to Do When the Going Gets Rough”

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lindama
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Re: What to do about Zen forum Moderators and controversial behavior

Post by lindama » Sun Feb 24, 2019 10:04 pm

Dear Ones! stand tall, embarrassment is a good teacher.

here's another red thread to weave....
Question your mind -
"When you ask yourself who the master is who this very moment sees with the eyes, hears with the ears, raises the hands, moves the feet, you realize that all these operations are the work of your mind. But you don't know why it works this way. You may say it doesn't exist, but it is clear that something is freely functioning. You may say it does exist, but then you can't see it. Now when this [inquiry] feels insurmountable and you are unable to understand anything, when you have exhausted all ideas and don't know where to turn, you are proceeding correctly. Don't let yourself fall back at this time. As you pursue this inquiry more deeply, your piercing doubt will penetrate to the depths, ripping through to the bottom, and you will no longer question the fact that your mind is Buddha. There will be no [world of] life and death to despise and no truth to seek. The world of the great void will be the one mind.

If you dream, for example, that you have lost your way and can't find the road home, though you may ask people and pray to the gods or to the Buddha, you still won't be able to find your way back. But if you wake from that dream, you will realize that you are in your own bed. Then you will see that in order to return from your dream travels, all you have to do is wake up~and there is no other way. This is called returning to your roots, going back to the source. It is also referred to as being born in the world of peace. It is obtained as a result of the power from a certain degree of religious practice."

Excerpts from Mud & Water: The Collected Teachings of Zen Master Bassui
Translated by Arthur Braverman – Wisdom Publications
http://www.dharmanet.org/wisdomweek3.htm

Clyde, thanks for your thoughtful post.... I'd make one small tweak. yes, indeedy, this kind of thing and more happens in a brick and mortar sangha... with or without senior teachers. :107: The great thing here is that transparency is brilliant ... there's no where to hide.

linda

ps, I was looking in my files for the bit about boxes and lids with no success. Perhaps someone more learned that I knows....

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Larry
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Re: What to do about Zen forum Moderators and controversial behavior

Post by Larry » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:15 am

:558:

The only box & lid that came to my mind was the Sandokai. Identity of Relative & Absolute. "Ordinary life fits the Absolute as a box & it's lid."

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lindama
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Re: What to do about Zen forum Moderators and controversial behavior

Post by lindama » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:58 pm

yep, that's it ... :558:

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michaeljc
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Re: What to do about Zen forum Moderators and controversial behavior

Post by michaeljc » Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:42 pm

Gossip can be such a cruel insidious weapon
especially when spiced with madness of crowds

So many have gone to gallows
or hung on a cross

or stoned, burnt

It is better that 100 guilty go free
than 1 innocent be trampled
beneath 100 feet

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Re: What to do about Zen forum Moderators and controversial behavior

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:01 pm

Michael,

I hope gossip will be suppressed here, or at least discouraged. And I hope more helpful topics will always be emphasized, instead. I have faith.

The rest is not "grist for the mill", but Mist for the grill. I hope!

--Joe

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Re: What to do about Zen forum Moderators and controversial behavior

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:50 pm

Clyde,

Thanks for the history, and personal reminiscences. Much appreciated.

Pardon, this is uncalled for, and probably ad hominem, ...but:
clyde wrote:But I decided that a monk’s life would be too easy for me as I had nothing to renounce and a monastic life meant my needs (food, clothing and shelter, work and relationships) would all be provided, and sitting quietly came easily to me. I thought the more challenging way for me was to find my way “in the world”. (I wonder now if I was fooling myself then.) In any case, I committed to making my way as a lay practitioner and relinquished looking for a teacher.
Yeah, I don't buy it, sir.

No one had to become a monk.

Practice as a lay practitioner was/is/ -- is/was -- always the 99-percent way. A lay practitioner is a fine qualification for practicing with a teacher, and sangha. Again, 99 percent of the teacher's students practiced in this way. And still do. Illusions or delusions you may have had about "need" to become a monk, OR NOTHING, are just some kind of cop-out, as I see it. Baloney. It doesn't wash. Never seen it wash.

Sitting with "lots" of teachers, via internet, and otherwise, is not the usual way of practicing. It's diffusing, and de-fusing. I don't recommend it to anyone. It's insufficiently concentrated to have any good effect, as I see it. Name-dropping... . To oneself and others. And not intimate. Hence, ineffectual.

Granted, we're not enjoined to criticize another's practice, here. Let this offer of information be my sole and major infraction. You'll not hear this again, nor will you need to.

--Joe
clyde wrote:For the next 30 years I studied, contemplated, and meditated, and I didn’t look to see what was happening in the “Buddhist world”. It was only about 20 years ago that I realized the Internet could connect me to other Buddhists and 10 years ago that I joined a local non-denominational peer-led sangha. (I’m slow.) And through the sangha met and sat with Reb Anderson, Ed Brown, Norman Fischer, Mary Mocine, Alan Senauke, John Tarrant, Brad Warner, and many other Zen teachers.

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Re: What to do about Zen forum Moderators and controversial behavior

Post by clyde » Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:48 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:50 pm
Yeah, I don't buy it, sir.
And I’m not selling it.

The events are as I recall them from almost 50 years ago (the early 70s) when I was in my early 20’s. I had dropped-out of college, was ‘crashing’ on a mattress on the floor of a friend’s home, without a girl friend, and without money or a job. It was then, wondering what to do with “my life”, that I considered going to Tassajara. And how, as best I recall, I thought about becoming a Zen monk. I didn’t.

And as far as the teachers I named, I mentioned those who I’ve physically sat with, often attending one-day retreats held by my local sangha. In addition, I attended about a half-dozen one-day retreats held by Norman Fischer, but his sangha is many hours away and circumstances . . . In any case, these sittings occurred in the last 10 years after practicing alone for 40 years.

I don’t recommend my path to anyone. I recommend Buddhism and add that I feel ‘at home’ with Zen.


p.s: I thought I was clear that I’m not a Zen student, merely a student of Zen.
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

“The most straightforward advice on awakening enlightened mind is this: practice not causing harm to anyone—yourself or others—and every day, do what you can to be helpful.” Pema Chodron, “What to Do When the Going Gets Rough”

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Re: What to do about Zen forum Moderators and controversial behavior

Post by Spike » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:44 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:50 pm
Clyde,

Pardon, this is uncalled for, and probably ad hominem, ...but:

. . . I don't buy it, sir.

Sitting with "lots" of teachers, via internet, and otherwise, is not the usual way of practicing. It's diffusing, and de-fusing. I don't recommend it to anyone. It's insufficiently concentrated to have any good effect, as I see it. Name-dropping... . To oneself and others. And not intimate. Hence, ineffectual.

. . .

--Joe
You're not an entitled judge of that.

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Re: What to do about Zen forum Moderators and controversial behavior

Post by lindama » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:21 am

Well now Joe, let me explain my departure from "usual ways of practicing" .... indeed, I spent 10 years where I said I did with zen practice and koans. It was a life changing experience.... before that, an introduction to dzogchen and non-dual teachings with many including Adyashanti... and towards the end discovering Chan. I never planned anything, it just happened. IAG as Guo Gu says. Before the before, my root teacher was a rare self-awakened teacher who saved me from un-examined spiritual beliefs. I bow down to it all. At the end of the day, there is no prescription. We must all find our own way knowing full well it's just right for us. Just a little confession.... I did learn how to multi-task, I often went outside the box in zen. It's just that, what ever "church" I was in, that was where I was... it was never necessary to bring up comparisons with where I was yesterday. There were many causes and conditions why I didn't stay with one or the other. My zen friends often said I was a closet Tibetan .... even tho I never told them of my experience. I struggled for years about the choice of zen or dzogchen, I finally called it a tie. I never could tell the difference anyway. Zen was what I could do, it didn't require $$ to travel all around the world with the Tibetans. I like to feel at home in all churches. At the end of the day, we go beyond our tradition.... even my precious zen teacher mused about such a thing. Controversial? in whose mind?

Spike :111: hope you are well.

linda
Spike wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:44 am
desert_woodworker wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:50 pm
Clyde,

Pardon, this is uncalled for, and probably ad hominem, ...but:

. . . I don't buy it, sir.

Sitting with "lots" of teachers, via internet, and otherwise, is not the usual way of practicing. It's diffusing, and de-fusing. I don't recommend it to anyone. It's insufficiently concentrated to have any good effect, as I see it. Name-dropping... . To oneself and others. And not intimate. Hence, ineffectual.

. . .

--Joe
You're not an entitled judge of that.

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Larry
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Re: What to do about Zen forum Moderators and controversial behavior

Post by Larry » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:34 am

:560:

As you know, I'm also a Dzennie :D

Hence my interest in Kim's thread :hide:

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