The Shimano Archive
嶋野 栄道 老師 アーカイブ

Eido Roku™ - 栄道錄
The sayings and doings of Eido Shimano – 島野栄道の言葉と行動

The "What's New?" Page: Latest Additions

Zen Studies Society Newsletter Sub-Archive

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Internal Revenue Service

This is in response to your request of October 27, 2010, regarding a copy of the application for taxexempt
status and the determination letter for Zen Studies Society Inc.

"While we were unable to locate these documents, our records indicate a determination letter was issued in May 1960 granting the organization exemption from Federal income tax under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code."

"Our records also indicate this organization is not a private foundation within the meaning of section 509(a) because it is classified under section(s) 509(a)(1) and 170(b)(I)(A)(i)."




Form 990-EZ
Short Form

Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax

Under Section 501©, 527, or 4947(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code

990-EZ forms from; 2009, 2003, 2002

·      Contributions, gifts, grants, and similar amounts received are consistently reported as zero.

·      Net assets – consistently reported as zero.

·      Compensation (wages) paid – consistently reported as zero.



A Gay Pornographic Video Entitled "In The End Zone" Found by a Kessei Student in the DBZ Video Player in the "Lounge" - At Dai Bosatsu Monsastry - circa 1977.

The names and identifying information for various people have been redacted from this document on request.

"Here is the story:

While I was at DBZ, whenever someone went into town, they would rent a bunch of movies (VHS). I think during this instance, it was Blue Velvet by David Lynch. It's a favorite of mine, and quite a few folks had never seen it.

So, our viewing room was the bunk room on the bottom floor of DBZ, the end closest to the Zendo. It had a TV and VCR set up in there, along with extra zabutons and zafus. It made for a cozy respite from the monastic 'spin.'

Well, one night, down we go with the tape and turn on the TV and VCR and try to put the movie in. Turns out there is already a movie in there. We pop it out, and it's entitled, "In the End Zone." Me, being the not-interested in football type, brush it aside until the unsui (first name [redacted], from Syracuse, went to SUNY Forestry School), says something like, "holy shit - it's a gay porn film.": On closer inspection, it *is* indeed a gay porn film. Someone said it probably belonged to [redacted], and we put in under the TV, and watched Blue Velvet, which was quite well received. It was [redacted], [myself - redacted], [redacted], I think [redacted], possibly [redacted], and possibly [redacted] in attendance.

We watched the movie, and when done closed up shop and went our merry way. 'The End Zone' movie did disappear the next day; I figured someone reminded [redacted] that it was down there and he should get it.

That is pretty much it."



Japanese Translation

2010年12月1日、ニューヨーク タイムス宛、島野本人の書いた手紙の日本語訳。

A Japanese Translation of the Alleged Shimano Letter to the New York Times Dated December 1, 2010.

この日本語の文書は、2010年12月15日、日本のウィキペディア に島野栄道として掲示されていたものです。これは編集者によって取り消され、ある個人(Realwabisabix) によって再び掲載され、二度取り消し、掲載が繰り返されたものです。

This Document in Japanese text was Posted to the Japanese Wikipedia Entry on Eido Shimano (嶋野 栄道) on December 15, 2010.  It was removed by an editor and reposted by an individual [Realwabisabix] twice more and removed each time.


(See: 08/21/1009/07/1012/01/10 )




The First Open Letter from Zogen to The Directors of The Zen Studies Society.

"Your position (as Directors of Zen Studies Society) is no less than tragic -- even more so now, when "all" has been exposed on the world-wide web. But, your Teacher's position is no less tragic than yours: Eido Shimano Roshi (嶋野 栄道) systematically destroyed everything he wanted, originally, to create and, compromised everything he was entrusted to keep and protect. His reputation, as a practicing Buddhist Teacher and Abbot, is gone; the standing of The Zen Studies Society within the American Buddhist community has been destroyed; all donors, and most of the former supporters-- any possibility of financial support from them is gone. ZSS 'membership' is a sham; and, the first Buddhist Monastery, created de novo in America, stands essentially empty."

"Nothing less will begin to restore our hope that ZSS might become, one day, what it was meant to become: a serene place of practice and learning, an oasis of Buddhist wisdom, an inspiring example of Right Living, of Precepts as a living reality."




A Letter from Merry Benezra to Kobutsu Malone.

“I was assigned to the position of Assistant Jisha at the beginning of the first 7-day sesshin of Dai Bosatsu's first kessei. This was also my first 7-day sesshin, My entire intention for that first sesshin was to experience kensho. I was sitting very diligently and with tremendous effort toward this goal. After the last sitting on the sixth day, Roshi (嶋野 栄道) asked me to meet with him in his study. I assumed (hoped) this had to do with jisha work, but when we sat [kneeled] at the table, he produced a large book of photographs of nude women. He said that a student had recently sent it to him, and proceeded to flip through the pages. He said, 'This one is really not so bad,' and showed me the photo of a nude young woman straddling a chair backwards. I said, 'I think I should go now,' and he asked, 'Why?' and then clasped my hand. I didn't argue with him - I just stood up and left. The following day, I told him that his behavior was likely to trigger another scandal.”

“Despite this, Eido (嶋野 栄道) made It very clear that he was patiently waiting for me to relent, and he made several more passes. In dokusan In the middle of my second sesshin, he told me that I had a 'special karma,' and I was so naive and so committed to practice that I took this to mean I would be his dharma heir. When I realized, and he confirmed, that it meant I was destined to be his lover, I was emotionally and psychologically devastated. I know that Eido (栄道) labels his accusers as mentally unstable, but actions like this can hardy do otherwise than to destabilize otherwise healthy but koan-stressed and sleep-deprived students in the middle of a Rinzai Zen sesshin. I was never able to complete a sesshin after that. For me, the experience of being diverted from my path and de-valued as a serious Zen student has had a lifelong impact on my relationship with Zen Buddhism. I do not trust Buddhist teachers of any sect, What I mean by this is that I understand that sexual attractions are part of human nature and that, without very clear and enforceable rules prohibiting teacher-student liaisons in Buddhist practice, this corrosive interaction is likely to play itself out again and again and again. It seems a shame that the standards that psychologists and university professors and lawyers are bound to (and the beneficial atmosphere these standards create), are beyond the scope and reach of so many Buddhist organizations.”




A Letter from Tenshin Hill to Eido Shimano.

"The following actions are the only ones that stand a chance of preserving parts of ZSS:

1. You (嶋野 栄道) and Aiho-san (愛法) must sever all connections with ZSS.

2. The Board needs to be entirely swept clean (that is, an interim Board needs to be put in place to put the house in order and elect a new permanent Board), the number of board members needs to be expanded, and all new members vetted. The new Board should also contain representatives of other religious institutions, in addition to someone from the FTI. Transparency and integrity are the only available options to save ZSS, and the clock is ticking with little time remaining to right this.

3. The Society's bylaws need to be re-written so the Board is elected by the Sangha and that (a) the Abbot serves purely at the discretion of the Board and (b) the Abbot either has no voting rights or is not a member of the Board.

4. ZSS needs to make public, annually, a full set of audited financial statements. This is commonpractice for not-for-profit organizations, and will help regain the trust of the community.

5. ZSS needs to make a fund available to support the survivors (possibly through the sale of NYZ, the parsonage, and the pension/retirernent fund, all of which are ZSS assets). There are people who have undoubtedly suffered heavily and likely have expended significant emotional and financial resources to deal with this ongoing trauma.

Unfortunately, the Board ignored numerous opportunities, the most recent being in ignoring the recommendations of the FTI. The only survivable path is one of TRUTH. Eido
(嶋野 栄道), this situation could very well spiral into a criminal investigation, an IRS investigation, an I.N.S. investigation, to name but a few. Time is running out, and relying on a Board that is unprofessionally muddling through this, and which does not recognize the business and legal risks they face, is asking for failure."




An Email Response to Zogen's Entry of 12/16/10.

"Thank you for your strong letter.  I appreciated your sensitive introduction which expresses the complex 'loyalty trap' experienced by the directors of the Zen Studies Society Directors while they try to protect a 'beloved teacher' from whom they 'derive authority from Zen training, ordination, and for some of you, Dharma Transmission from Eido Shimano Roshi.' " 

"This is, and historically has been, the 'outstanding dilemma' blocking a just resolution to the 40 + years of outrageous abuses to students by Eido Shimano and the ZSS Board’s complicity. You wisely and rightly suggest  that ALL contributors to ZSS, past and present, should have a  voice in the future and renewal of the ZSS."

"Dharma Heir Genjo Marinello recently related that he has 'always done what he thinks is best for the Dharma', and some are genuinely moved by the struggle and difficulty he is having in resolving his own mixed issues.  But while Genjo uses this process of introspection to straddle a fence, caught in the 'loyalty trap', time passes.  We wait. We wait and watched resignation turn to retirement, recommendations from the Faith Trust Institute largely ignored, and plans for his future residence at both DBZ and Shobo-ji "

"Years of experience, clear and equally introspective such as yours, Zogen, and that of other former ZSS members who are now disenfranchised, go unheeded and  brushed aside."

"Somehow, at the end of the day, Genjo, you have to act.  By straddling the fence you can keep the convenience of being able to shift to whatever side presents you in the most favorable light. If you can do it long enough all the commotion may pass and nothing too major really has to change."




An Apparent Public Pronouncement by Genjo Marinello-osho (Shimano's Fifth Dharma Heir) Concerning Eido Shimano. Made on the Tricycle Blog.

"I am sorry to report that Eido Roshi (嶋野 栄道) has yet to get past his denial. Just yesterday I read a letter dated December 1st, 2010, directed to the editor of the New York Times signed by Eido Shimano Roshi (嶋野 栄道). I can only say that I was shocked, disturbed and offended by what I read. In this letter he claimed that the New York Times article that appeared August 21st was not factual and said that, 'I have not resigned because of these false accusations.' In my mind, this statement makes a mockery of Eido Roshi's (嶋野 栄道) public apology of September 7th. This letter to the NYT is a clear attempt to rewrite history and is a pure and simple example of denial."

[See entries of: 09/07/10 - 12/01/10 ]



Japanese Translation

1. ゲンジョウ・マリネロ(Genjo Marinello)の、嶋野氏による署名入りの、12月1日付けのニューヨーク・タイムス抗議文に対する、嶋野氏の行動へ公の非難。トライしクル
(Tricycle Blog.)に投稿される。

2. ゲンジョウ・マリネロは、嶋野氏の法嗣の一人であり、禅スタディー・ソサエティーの理事の一人。

悲しい事ですが、栄道老師が [未だ過去を清算できず] 否定を続けている事をお知らせしなければなりません。昨日、2010年12月1日付けで、ニューヨーク・タイムスの記者に宛てられた、嶋野栄道老師の署名入りの手紙を見ました。それを読んだ時、私は、只々、衝撃を受け、混乱し、憤りを覚えました。この手紙の中で、彼は、8月21日に掲載された記事は事実に基づいていない、と述べ、更には、「私は、これらの、虚偽の申し立ての為に引退するのではない。」と言っています。私の見る限り、これは、9月7日に、栄道老師の行った、自らの公の謝罪を、反故にするものです。このニューヨーク・タイムスへの手紙は、明らかに、過去を書き換えようとする試みであり、単純明快な全面否定です。

従って、私は、栄道老師(12月8日付けで住職から引退)と、ZSS [禅スタディー・ソサイティー] の同僚の理事達に手紙を送り、この [嶋野氏の] 否定は、[嶋野氏の] 引退に関する[年金等の]処遇に関する、現在進行中の交渉の精神に反し、それを害するものであることを述べました。更に、 [嶋野氏との師弟関係が長い] 弟子から要請があった場合には、時に応じて、栄道老師に、ZSSの敷地内で独参を行う事を許す、という理事会の方針は、彼が、過去の行動と、己のもたらした [他への] 被害を真摯に認め、反省している、という理解に基づいたものである事にも言及しました。

このような現状下、私は、理事総会を開催し、[嶋野氏に関わる] 過去の諸審議を、再吟味する事を求めました。
ここへの以前の投稿にも有ったように、私は、ZSSの理事会は、この組織の潜在力を発揮させ、純粋な修行と学びの場、すなわち、種智 [仏の知恵:Buddhist wisdom)の楽園、そして凛然たる正道 [Right Living] の範となすことが出来る、という確信と決意を持っています。

[See entry of: 12/01/10 ]




An Open Letter from Tenshin Hill to Eizen Goto, Roshi - Abbot of Ryutaku-Ji Monastery.

"I have worked for years in Japan, and understand that what I ask you to do is very difficult. That said, I believe answering Kobutsu's (古佛新道) questions is in-line with Soen Roshi's (中川 宋淵) wishes. I personally have heard Eido Shimano's (嶋野 栄道) denigrating comments about Soen - about his senility, drunkenness, and unstable mental health, and believe these comments to be an attempt by Eido (嶋野 栄道) to discredit an incredibly honorable man (Soen 中川 宋淵) who did so much by bringing the spontaneity of Hakuin's (白隠 慧鶴) teachings to America. The seeds that have been sown here by Eido's (嶋野 栄道) actions are more than just small problems. They exhibit extreme behaviors that are not acceptable in any society, and may potentially border on criminal behavior."

"This is why I implore you to ease Soen Roshi's (中川 宋淵) distress by issuing a clarifying statement from Ryutaku-ji (龍沢寺), so that we in America can begin the difficult task of cleaning up this 50 year situation by allowing the truth to flourish and also to finally be able to help those who have survived his abuse."

"This is about honor, and about keeping others from soiling Soen Roshi's (中川 宋淵) reputation and spirit. Ryutakuji (龍沢寺) is, at the heart of this matter, the only entity that can once and for all clarify this situation and put it to rest. It is indeed a grave matter, but one that you can help bring closure to, thus allowing Soen Roshi (中川 宋淵) to truly rest."




An Email Exchange Between Kobutsu Malone and New York Times Reporter Mark Oppenheimer Concerning the Alleged Shimano Letter of 12/01/10.

"I can only say it's total nonsense; I left numerous messages at the Manhattan and Livingston Manor phone numbers, and spoke to somebody at Livingston Manor [Tenrai Fred Forsythe] who promised to give him the message. I reported on the story for over a week (it was closer to two weeks), so he had ample opportunity to return my calls. Furthermore, I spoke to several of his own board members. So I simply don't believe he didn't get my messages. Of course, if he wants to talk now, I'd be more than happy!"

[See entries of: 09/07/10 12/01/10 ]



Japanese Translation

(Kobutsu Malone)とニューヨーク・タイムス記者、マーク・オッペンハイマー(Mark Oppenheimer)間の、12月1日付け嶋野氏のからと言われる、オッペンハイマー氏への抗議文に関する、イーメールの交換。

[この手紙の内容に関しては、] 荒唐無稽だとしか言い様がありません。
[記事掲載のタイミングにしても] 嶋野氏が、私へ電話を折り返しかける時間が十分に持てるよう、一週間以上も(ほぼ2週間)掲載を控えました。更には、私は、嶋野氏自身の理事会の理事、7,8人(several)とも、実際に、話をしました。そのため、嶋野氏が私から伝言を受け取っていない、と言う事は全く信じがたいことです。勿論、今、嶋野氏が私とお話ししたい、ということならば、喜んで[お話しましょう]!





A Second Open Letter from Zogen to The Directors of The Zen Studies Society.

"The Board had been appointed and received its delegated authority from their Teacher and has no other claim at legitimacy."

"What was that meeting with Sangha members, referred to in the Board's documentation? How many people were present? How were they selected? Was this meeting announced in advance & how was it publicized? Why can't we have an unexpurgated list of supporters and other interested people – who are prepared to make or renew commitment to ZSS - and poll them on fundamental questions of ZSS survival? In any mainstream non-profit organization, Boards represent the avowed mission and will of its members. Members of the Board are entrusted with a fiduciary obligation to carry out this will on behalf of all the members and in a spirit of the organization's core mission."

"Whose will does ZSS Board of Directors carry out? Whom do they represent, at this point? Do we have to wait for a joint legal action by people aggrieved by Eido Shimano Roshi (嶋野 栄道)? Should we wait for an injunction from the Court to put a stop to the unseemly maneuvers to grant Eido Shimano Roshi (嶋野 栄道) the spiritual status and position he clearly has forfeited? Remember Jack Welsh and the GM Board. Why do we have to live with this never-ending scandal?"




The Mark Oppenheimer Blog:

Captured: 4/10/11

"Apparently NYC Zen Buddhist leader Eido Shimano Roshi (嶋野 栄道) has been circulating a letter that he says he sent in reply to my article of a few months ago about his alleged sexual indiscretions. I do not know if his letter ever made it to the Times (if he sent it, he sent it four months after the article appeared). I do know that in it he alleges I never spoke with him. What he does not say is that I left numerous messages at both his zendoes, on answering machines and with people who answered the phone, asking to speak with him. I also spoke with at least three of his board members."

[See entry of: 12/01/10 ]



Japanese Translation

マーク オッペンハイマー ブログ:

”ニューヨーク市 禅仏教徒指導者 島野栄道老師は、私の二三ヶ月前の記事、所謂彼のセックス不行跡の記事に対する返答を送ったと言う手紙を配布しているようです。 私は彼の手紙が、タイムスに実際に届いたのか否か知りません(もし、彼が投函したのであるならば、記事掲載の四ヶ月後に投函したことになる)。 私の知っている事は、手紙の内容に私は彼と話をした事が無いと言っている事です。 彼が言及していないことに、私が数えきれない程、彼の禅堂の留守番電話や、私の電話に応対した人に伝言を残している事です。 私は少なくとも、三人の彼の理事会のメンバーと話をしているのです。”





An Open Letter to the Board of the Zen Studies Society Regarding Eido Roshi From James Ishmael Ford, Roshi.

"And, the repeated and frequently shocking accounts of his abuse of his position of authority, if true, are evidence Eido Roshi (嶋野 栄道) should not be sanctioned as a teacher anywhere in any capacity. And, at this point in time I find it near impossible to believe these accounts are not true. It is surprising his behaviors have not led to criminal prosecution, or at least civil action."

"I was among those who counseled Shinge Roshi and Genjo Sensei to seek outside intervention this past year. I was heartened that you chose to go with the FaithTrust Institute and specifically the Reverend Dr Marie Fortune. I was less sanguine to learn you, the Board, were not willing to follow their counsel precisely. At the same time I wasn’t there and again I felt my task was to support Roko (露光) & Genjo as they sought a way through that could bring healing to Eido’s many victims while allowing your sangha and its important mission to go forward."

"With Eido Roshi’s (嶋野 栄道) letter* it is no longer possible to seek a compromise."
[* See entry of: 12/01/10]

"I counsel you as strongly as I can to dismiss the Reverend Eido Shimano (嶋野 栄道) from any position of authority in the Zen Studies Society or its affiliates."

"For the sake of his victims, for the sake of your sangha, for the sake of the Zen Dharma, I hope you will take this action."




An Open Letter to the Board of the Zen Studies Society Regarding Eido Shimano From Myoan Grace Schireson, Sensei.

"Covering up harm, versus publicly acknowledging and witnessing the survivors’ suffering, has occurred in many cultural settings (political and etc)—it always results in more harm. Covering up, saving face, and denying wrongdoings will neither protect the Zen transmission in the West, nor will it nourish the Dharma. The Dharma thrives on our humility, ethical action and courage to each be a lamp unto ourselves."




An Open Letter to the Board of the Zen Studies Society Regarding Eido Shimano From Jiko Sallie Tisdale, Sensei.

"His students and sangha have collaborated for many years in excusing and covering up this misconduct. This situation must stop for ZSS to have any credibility in the American Zen community. I know Genjo and Roko (露光) and feel respect and compassion toward the integrity of their practice and qualities as leaders in your community. This does not, unfortunately, relieve the sangha of ZSS and, especially, its board from responsibility to completely remove Mr. Shimano (嶋野氏) from power, including contact with senior students. I can’t imagine Roko (露光) or any other ethical teacher could succeed in a community which continues to minimize, hide or otherwise ignore such serious acts."

"I could not possibly recommend that any student study at ZSS until the Board acts firmly, publicly and irrevocably to dissociate from Mr. Shimano (嶋野氏) and work to repair as much as possible the terrible injuries he has done. His recent letter proves that he has not accepted the situation and will not protect the community."




An Open Letter to the Board of the Zen Studies Society Regarding Eido Shimano From Hozan Alan Senauke, Roshi.

"I truly support Shinge Roko (露光) Chayat, along with Genjo Marinello, as they strive to provide principled leadership for the Zen Studies Society. But at last it is time for the ZSS board to step up to its responsibilities. I urge you to remove Eido Shimano Roshi (嶋野 栄道) from all positions of teaching and authority at ZSS immediately. He needs help. Strongly and skillfully, the board must make this clear to him. It is also essential for the board to let the wider Buddhist community know that you understand your responsibility to uphold the dharma. Please, no more half-truths, no more painful public idealizations of Eido (嶋野 栄道). If you fail to take decisive and public action, as each successive board over the last thirty years has failed, then I fear for the future of Zen Studies Society, Shobo-ji, and Dai Bosatsu. Please take care of your community so the flame of dharma can at last burn clear and bright."




An Open Letter to the Board of the Zen Studies Society Regarding Eido Shimano From Kyogen Carlson, Roshi.

"First, how this is handled will affect not just Eido Roshi (嶋野 栄道) and Zen Studies Society. It will affect how the whole Zen tradition is viewed in this country. That is why so many of us are compelled to address this. Buddhism has gained too high a profile for things like this to go unnoticed."

"Next, I realize that Eido Roshi (嶋野 栄道) and other Japanese teachers view matters from a 'public face' and 'private face' perspective. While we can respect this and personally work with our teachers allowing for this, the Zen tradition must adapt to the American cultural landscape. That means bringing the public and private into harmony. Anything else will not do. That will be difficult for Eido Roshi (嶋野 栄道), but the transition from west to east demands sacrifices from all who take up the work."




An Open Letter to the Board of the Zen Studies Society Regarding Eido Shimano From Dosho Port Sensei.

"Eido Shimano’s (嶋野 栄道) recent letter to the NY Times disappointed and saddened me. I concur with my colleagues on the many points that have already been expressed.

The one point I’d like to emphasize is that for the future of Eido Shimano’s (嶋野 栄道) dharma lineage, and immediately for the sake of Roko (露光) Chayat’s tenure as abbot, please remove Eido Shimano from all teaching venues and from residence in your centers.

Any other action at this time is likely to set-up Roko (露光) for failure, reflect poorly on your own integrity and that of American Zen.

Your best chance to redeem the past now appears to lie in a clean and definitive break with Eido Shimano (嶋野 栄道)."




An Open Letter to the Board of the Zen Studies Society Regarding Eido Shimano From Nonin Chowaney, Roshi.

"I have been privately offering my support to Roko (露光) and Geno since the latest sexual scandal involving Eido-roshi (嶋野 栄道) broke a few months ago. I felt that the ZSS Board addressed the issue positively and productively, especially by engaging the services of the Faith/Trust Institute and following most of their recommendations. However, I was dismayed that Eido-roshi (嶋野 栄道) was still allowed to teach at your practice places. For if the allegations of his sexual misconduct and his abuse of authority are true, he should not be allowed to teach anywhere."




An Open Letter to the Board of the Zen Studies Society Regarding Eido Shimano From Joan Halifax, Roshi.

"Somehow, many of us in the Zen mahasangha thought this situation at your center was moving toward a decent resolution under the aegis of the Faith/Trust Institute. I need to tell you that, among many others, I am shocked and dismayed by the seeming lack of real remorse and understanding on the part of Eido Shimano (嶋野 栄道) as per his recent letter to the NYTimes. His behavior verges on sociopathy, or a total lack of feeling, of shame, and of regard for others."




An Open Letter to the Board of the Zen Studies Society Regarding Eido Shimano From Genkaku Adam Fisher.

"There are those who would like to imagine that compassion fills their hearts when they excuse or explain or find meaning in the actions of a man like Eido Tai Shimano (嶋野 栄道). But when the evidence spans decades, when the endless offers of help are consistently met with lies and evasions, and when the depredations continue unabated, the case becomes very simple. No more yes-but's, no more 'compassionate understanding' that simply masks a lack of will. Under the circumstances, the response deserves to be an unmitigated, 'No!' Whatever the cost -- 'No!'"

"Please do your best to bring Zen Studies Society back into a credible -- rather than 'unconditioned' -- realm. Please sever all connection with Eido Tai Shimano (嶋野 栄道). As there is no such thing as being 'a little bit pregnant,' so there is no compromise in this situation that will do anything more than assure a continuation of what has been both painful and malicious."




An Open Letter to the Board of the Zen Studies Society Regarding Eido Shimano From Jion Susan Postal, Sensei.

"It seems essential that Shimano Roshi (嶋野 栄道) resign from all positions of authority at ZSS. If there are some senior students who really want to continue their studies with him, then they can find another location and do this on a private basis, not under the umbrella of Zen Studies Society. Charismatic and powerful teaching without strong holding of the Precepts is dangerous. From the time of the Buddha, not causing harm is the primary vow. I can only urge you to take firm action now – for the sake of your own sangha, the victims of abuse, and the future of this most precious Dharma."




An Open Letter to the Board of the Zen Studies Society Regarding Eido Shimano From Rev. Taigen Dan Leighton, PhD.

"His ongoing damaging transgressions over many years and his unrepentant attitude now continue to damage all of American Zen, as well as the Zen Studies Society. I feel deep sympathy for all of you, and for how difficult all this must be. But I believe that the Zen Studies Society can only become a worthy support for Dharma and practice now if you find the courage to sever all ties with Eido Roshi (嶋野 栄道)."




An Open Letter to the Board of the Zen Studies Society Regarding Eido Shimano From Dr. Barry Magid, Sensei.

"In addition to making clear that Eido's (嶋野 栄道) misconduct is the direct cause of his stepping down, I would hope that both the Board and the new Abbot would now do what Eido Shimano (嶋野 栄道) has never done - take personal responsibility. This should include publicly acknowledging their own past reluctance to recognize the legitimacy of the charges repeatedly brought against their teacher by so many women and that their own failure to act has made them complicit in Eido's (嶋野 栄道) misconduct. Like the parent who refuses to recognize their partner or relative has been abusing their child, the Dai Bosatsu community - as well as the larger Zen Buddhist community of which I am a part - must accept that they have been 'failed witnesses,' guilty bystanders who through their own denial have enabled a pattern of abuse to continue unchecked."




A Greeting Card from Shinge Roko Chayat to ZSS Sangha.

"Dear Friends in the Dharma,"

"As the year 2010 draws to a close, it is with deep appreciation
and profound gratitude that I write to you.
Because of your dedication and caring support,
Dai Bosatsu Zendo is entering its 35th year."

"Sitting together, feeling our awareness expand
'far beyond upside-down views'
and small-minded concerns,
we live in this dynamic and creative moment--
and we extend this present and compassionate mind to all."





An Open Letter to the Board of the Zen Studies Society Regarding Eido Shimano From Chozen Bays, Roshi & Hogen Bays, Sensei.

“We are writing to ask that Zen Studies Society and Dai Bosatsu Zendo take strong action regarding Eido Shimano (嶋野 栄道). We strongly recommend that as soon as the new Abbot is installed, that both the Zen Studies Society and Dai Bosatsu Zendo formally disassociate themselves from Eido Shimano (嶋野 栄道), as recommended by the Faithtrust Institute in their consultation, and not allow him any further teaching role under your auspices, or in your buildings.” 

“In other professions Eido Shimano’s (嶋野 栄道) behavior would result in removal of a professional license (medicine, law and psychotherapy) and criminal and/or civil prosecution. Legal prosecution may still happen, particularly if current survivors feel that Zen Studies Society has not acted appropriately to prevent misuse of power and victimization in the future.”

“We cannot recommend strongly enough that ZSS and DBZ dissociate themselves completely from Eido Shimano (嶋野 栄道), and specifically not let him use any of the ZSS or DBZ facilities for any purpose.”




An Open Letter to the Board of the Zen Studies Society Regarding Eido Shimano From Wendy Egyoku Nakao, Roshi.

"I am writing to voice my support for terminating Roshi Shimano’s (嶋野 栄道) presence and teaching at the ZSS in light of his sexually predatory and unrepentant behavior."

"I urge you to facilitate the ongoing and thorough education of everyone at ZSS and DBZ on all facets of why this behavior has been so devastatingly harmful for the women involved and frankly, for everyone in your Sangha and the Maha Sangha, and why it is not to be tolerated in any way."

"I urge you all to fearlessly stand in the fire of directly looking at the organizational-and-sangha-culture structures and behaviors that have protected this dynamic and enabled it to exist for far too many years. Perhaps this will be the most painful part, but I know, from my own experience, that when you stand in the fire and are unflinching in your investigation leaving no stone unturned, a path of liberation emerges and a vista comes into view for a deep and broad maturing in the Dharma."




Clear View Blog

Turning the Wheel at Zen Studies Society?

Posted on January 1, 2011

by Hozan Alan Senauke

“This afternoon, ushering in a new year, a new decade, and—I hope—a new turning of the dharma wheel in America, Shinge Roshi Sherry Chayat was installed as abbot of Dai Bosatsu Zendo in upstate New York. I celebrate her new position. And I hope that with the collaboration of her dharma brother Genjo Marinello, and support from many friends in the Western Buddhist community, Shinge Roshi is able to guide Dai Bosatsu and the Zen Studies Society far from the sexual opportunism and manipulation that have discredited the organization and defaced the career of their founder Eido Shimano for more than forty years.”

“This matter has troubled me for the last sixteen years, having spoken with women who were abused and psychologically harmed by Eido Shimano’s addictive misogyny. For some of the details—tip of the iceberg, to tell the truth—see Mark Oppenheimer’s August 20, 2010 article in the New York Times, ‘Sex Scandal Has U.S. Buddhists Looking Within.’ <> ”

“Some of my friends have called for a 'truth and reconciliation' process at ZSS.  Not a legal proceeding, but a setting in which victims and perpetrators meet face to face.  This is a step toward restorative justice, which seems to me a proper Buddhist response to harm.”

“Kobutsu Malone says:
January 3, 2011 at 2:24 pm”

“ ‘Some of my friends have called for a ‘truth and reconciliation’ process at ZSS. Not a legal proceeding, but a setting in which victims and perpetrators meet face to face. This is a step toward restorative justice, which seems to me a proper Buddhist response to harm.’ “

“I have heard from a number of ‘survivors’ who are appalled at the above suggestion. The three ‘survivors’ in my family will publicly refuse to take part in such a process. I know of four other 'survivors' who want no part of any such endeavor.”

“While it may seem to be a ‘proper Buddhist response’ it indicates that the people putting forward such a suggestion do not fully understand the nature of the problem. ‘Survivors’ will refuse to be used by Roko Chayat and the ZSS spin-doctors by taking part in any such charade.”

“Maybe in five years, maybe after court proceedings, maybe after a lot of things. The American (and Japanese) Zen community has consistently failed to deal with this issue, the ZSS leaders have been consistently wrong in their perceptions of this whole business, unable to deal with the reality of the damage done and largely remained in denial. Why should such grievously injured people be subjected to further humiliation by such individuals?”

“Mr. Shimano is still in control of ZZS and Roko…. this is not the time for bringing up ‘truth and reconciliation’ matters. I stand in adamant opposition to even raising the prospect of ‘truth and reconciliation’ at this point in time.”

“asenauke says:
January 6, 2011 at 3:55 pm”

“A week or so has passed, and at this point, hearing what I hear, I worry that Eido is still trying to control things. I tend to agree now that ‘truth and reconciliation’ is not called for now. I would rather see a legal proceeding that holds Eido directly accountable to those he has harmed. If that happens, then maybe someday there is basis for a restorative approach.”

“I was floating an idea. Notice this idea was not included in my letter to the ZSS board.”




On Facebook, Jan Chozen Bays, Roshi posted her letter to the ZSS board, comments ensued. One of the comments was this:

"I live in Syracuse, NY and have been a student of Shinge Roshi, who is now the abbot of Dai Bosatzu monastery as of yesterday, for the past seven years. I was her attendant on the evening that she sat us all down in our zendo this past May... to tell us about Eido Roshi's (嶋野 栄道) behaviors. Since May, I have been back to sit with the sangha twice."

"On that evening in May, we were told that, even though he has committed these heinous acts, he still has 'the True Dharma Eye' and 'dwells in the absolute.' These ideas were presented as excuses and justifications of Eido Roshi's (嶋野 栄道) behavior. Our sangha, out of loyalty to Shinge Roshi, has turned a blind eye to Eido's (嶋野 栄道) acts, and given him a pass. As far as I can tell, only one other person besides myself has stood up and said that Eido's (嶋野 栄道) behavior is intolerable, that he needs to be removed from all positions of authority, that Shinge Roshi needs to sever all ties with him, and that we won't come back into the sangha until these things happen."

"When I spoke privately with Shinge Roshi, she said that she had no intention of breaking their student - teacher relationship, that he was her teacher no matter what, that he served as an excellent reminder of how absolute power corrupts and she would continue to learn from him, as he has 'the true Dharma eye.'

So, now I'm looking for another teacher."




Jundo Cohen, Roshi on the Eido Shimano Crisis.

Treeleafzen's Webcam Video January 02, 2011.




An Email From Tenshin David Hill to Kobutsu Malone.

"After reading the eleven new postings (post-Ford) on the Archive, I'm astonished at how few (except for 2 or 3 of those letters) have to do w/ the actual problem at ZSS, but instead are Genjo and Roko (露光) puff-pieces concealed in the context of dealing with the problem. I mean, wake the frack up, folks!"

"Is the American Sangha so fracking naive as to take these, which are essentially form letters, as compassionate support from 'teachers' to correct a wrong? (Kensei Koji hit it on the mark in his letter.)"

(See entry for 01/02/11)

"First, where were these wise folks months or years ago? Kobutsu, Genkaku, and a few others have been beating this drum for quite a while, yet those who drafted these form letters on the eve of an abbot’s installation could not raise their concerns earlier?"

"Second, it's all the same delusional, self-promotional crap that got ZSS into the mess it finds itself. You 'teachers' dressed in your finest, parade around talking about 'it.' You are just bags of bones playing out the night of a thousand knives."




Mr Shimano, please stand down

Editorial, The Buddhist Channel, Jan 3, 2011

"The twist and turn of this saga serves to highlight the unstable psychological state of Mr. Shimano (嶋野氏). Thanks to the internet, so much information about this on-going case have been made available for public viewing. For the more discerning, the information points to a consistency of behavioral abuse of one who have been wearing the robes. And based on the latest events, there are concrete evidence of wanton, crass denial and a pattern of avoidance on the part of Mr. Shimano (嶋野氏)."

"The Zen Studies Society’s board must understand that at this moment, the issue is no longer a matter which falls exclusively within the borders of its organization. The person in question is a renowned Buddhist teacher, who is listed on the list of notable Buddhists (see: link)."

"He wears the robes, and his words still evidently do influence people. Mr. Shimano (嶋野氏) may well not have any regards for the Vinaya, but as a wearer of the robes recognized by all Buddhists throughout the world, and being a 'notable' Buddhist himself, he owes it to himself, to the Dharma and above all, to all those whom he have hurt directly or indirectly."

"And if he sincerely believes in the wisdom of Buddha Dharma, and regards the attainment of enlightenment above all else, we pray that he will for once do the right thing."

"Mr. Shimano (嶋野), as it is, Eido Roshi (栄道 老師) is spiritually dead. Mr. Shimano (嶋野氏), in the name of the Buddha Dharma, we implore you to do the right thing."

"Mr. Shimano (嶋野氏), please stand down."



Japanese Translation


ねじ曲がり、転回を続けるこの物語は島野氏の精神不安定を証明しています。インターネットのお陰で多くの情報が大衆の目に届きました。 さらに明らかな 事は、これらすべての情報は、袈裟をつけた人間による害悪の振る舞いという1点に落ち着く事です。 最近の数々の成り行き、島野氏の理解に苦しむ愚かな言 動、引退の拒否は、彼のすべてを顕著に物語っているといえましょう。

この期に及んで、これはもはや島野氏個人の論点は問題ではなく、禅教団組織内 部にこそ問題が存在するということを会員の一人一人が理解しなければなりませ ん。 此の事件の中心人物なるものが高名な仏教の師であり、彼は有名仏教徒と してその名を連ねています。 (link).

彼は袈裟を着ており、未だ彼の言葉は影響力があるようです。 島野氏は尊敬に 値する人物ではないことは明瞭でも、袈裟を着用している人物であるというだけ で世界中の人々から尊敬されます。 著名な仏教徒である事により自らに負い、達磨に負い、さらにそれ以上にすべての直接、間接に彼によって傷つけられた 人々に負い、これだけははっきりさせなければなりません。







Why Buddhism?: Violations of Trust in the Sexual Sphere

by Roshi Joan Halifax,

The Buddhist Channel, Jan 3, 2011

"Since 1964, according to the late Robert Aitken Roshi's archive (link), a Buddhist teacher, Eido Shimano (嶋野 栄道), has been engaged in sexual misconduct with a number of his female students; sometimes the sex was forceable; sometimes crude, tricky, and coercive. And it has been ongoing, for more than forty-five years. Many Buddhist practitioners have known about this for a long time, although the late Aitken's archive was closed until just before his death in the fall of this year. What was this silence about, I have asked? Why did we not act? Why are we, as Buddhists, so conflict averse?"

"On August 21, 2010, the NYTimes published an article, Sex Scandal has U.S. Buddhists Looking Within (link). This article publicly surfaced Eido Shimano's
(嶋野 栄道) long pattern of sexual violation. Sadly, On December 1, the principle figure in this article wrote a rebuttal, basically denying his culpability and blaming the NYTimes for dysinformation: (link) The Times reporter, Mark Oppenheimer, responded to this self-serving letter from Eido Shimano (嶋野 栄道): (link)"




An Open Letter to the Board of the Zen Studies Society Regarding Eido Shimano From Bodhin Kjolhede, Roshi.

"Eido Roshi (嶋野 栄道) has besmirched the name of Zen long enough, and is now an open sore to the maha-Sangha. It's high time you exercise your authority and demand that he retire."

"Enough is enough."




An Open Letter to the Board of the Zen Studies Society Regarding Eido Shimano From Eido Frances Carney, Roshi.

"I write but a brief letter to join the Mahasangha in voicing concern about Eido Shimano (嶋野 栄道) whom I have personally met only once. It’s a terribly sad thing to come to this, but many women have been injured by the sexual misconduct of Eido Shimano (嶋野 栄道), and the Mahasangha is injured if the ZSS board and the Dai Bosatsu Sangha fail to take strong action such that no further injury might occur. It is appropriate for the Mahasangha to protect women from injury and to protect the Three Treasures."




An Open Letter to the Board of the Zen Studies Society Regarding Eido Shimano From Ruben Habito, Roshi.

"Eido Shimano Roshi’s (嶋野 栄道) ethical conduct, mainly the reported sexually predatory behavior already noted during the time of his tutelage with the late Robert Aitken Roshi, and more seriously, through the years that he continued in a position of responsibility as Zen Teacher and Abbot of Zen Studies Society and Daibosatsu Zendo, is at the center of public scrutiny and furor."




An Open Letter to the Board of the Zen Studies Society Regarding Eido Shimano From Keido Les Kaye, Roshi.

"At an American Zen Teachers Association (AZTA) meeting in 1995, I met a woman who told me she was  practicing with Eido-roshi (嶋野 栄道).  She also explained that, some years earlier, she and her husband stopped practicing with Eido-roshi (嶋野 栄道) when they learned of his egregious sexual relations with his female students.  She went on to say, 'But I went back to complete my training.'  I was surprised by how casually she admitted that she placed her personal ambitions above her ethical standards."




An Open Letter to the Board of the Zen Studies Society Regarding Eido Shimano From Zenki Mary Mocine, Roshi.

"In this instance, it seems to me that the way is clear, though difficult. After reading Rev. Shimano’s (嶋野 栄道) purported letter to the Times, I felt it became straightforward and simple: he is very damaged and should not be 'sponsored' to teach in any way by any dharma organization. As Norman Fischer said, perhaps a clear break and clear message from you will be of help to him. I hope so. Nothing else seems to have gotten through his denial. Bodhisattvas are not saps, in my view. Sometimes they must set boundaries and make difficult decisions that hurt people. I think this is such a situation. I hope that you and the other leaders of the ZSS can find the strength of such vows to protect the current sangha as well as to reach out to those harmed in the past."




An Open Letter to the Board of the Zen Studies Society Regarding Eido Shimano From Zoketsu Norman Fischer, Roshi.

"Despite Eido’s (嶋野 栄道) many serious transgressions, I am sure that in your experience, and in that of others in the sangha, he still appears, at least in part, as a powerful and wise teacher, and that to cast him out may well feel like betraying your own practice of these many years."

"I think we in the West have been mistaken in imagining that in Asia teachers control their sanghas absolutely.  This is not the case.  Teacher misconduct is not tolerated anywhere in Asia, and the disciplining of teachers is not inconsistent with the necessary respect and obedience for the teacher that is essential for Zen practice. The reason teacher misconduct is not tolerated in Asia is no less true here: bad conduct that goes unaddressed weakens the entire Dharma community." 




An Open Letter to the Board of the Zen Studies Society Regarding Eido Shimano From Chikudo Lew Richmond Abbot, Vimala Sangha.

"One observation that might be of use to those who have been harmed or victimized: there is nothing that cuts through fast talk faster than a civil lawsuit. It is also worth noting that the Zen Studies Society, like all Buddhist centers, does not exist in some parallel universe, it exists in the state of New York, with its laws and courts. Of course, Buddhism has its own laws as well. Shakyamuni Buddha himself laid down the Vinaya, the standards of conduct for the Sangha, and in every sect and every school, those standards have been honored down to the present time throughout the Buddhist world. If we are true to our practice and to our lineage, we must rise to that standard, whatever the cost. Some would say that the secular courts are not the place to adjudicate spiritual matters. That is what the Catholic Church professed too. They were mistaken."




An Open Letter from a Former Student at The Zen Center Of Syracuse Hoen-ji.

"One evening this past May, Shinge Roshi called the sangha together so that she could explain what was going on with Eido (嶋野 栄道) and stop the rumor train before it had a chance to get a full head of steam.  She told us about the most recent incident with Eido Roshi (嶋野 栄道) and his student and told us that there had been other incidents in the past, but did not elaborate beyond that.  She also told us that she and several other female residents of Dai Bosatsu Monastery, in 1975, were trading stories and discovered that they had all been sexually involved with Eido Roshi.  Most of these women then abandoned him as a teacher and left the monastery."

"Only one other sangha member that I knew of at that time voiced opposition and left the sangha.  Shinge Roshi told the sangha not to sit outside of our zendo with those that had left the sangha." 

"A close friend and Dharma sister was working in the Dai Bosatsu office over New Years and commented on the great volume of correspondences from the Zen community world-wide, and how moving it was to know that there was so much support for our sangha members.  She was present when the most recent victim stood up during a meal and professed her love for Eido (嶋野 栄道).  She has told me that Eido (嶋野 栄道) is not giving up his fancy suite at the monastery, and that Shinge Roshi will be living in a regular monk's room when she is at Dai Bosatsu."




An Open Letter from a Former Student at The Zen Center Of Syracuse to Shinge Chayat.

"I am writing at last in response to an email I received from you a while back asking for the support of the Zen Center of Syracuse sangha as you take on an additional role as Abbot of Dai Bosatsu Zendo.  As you can see, it has taken me a long while to gather my thoughts and find words to express them to you."

"Early last Spring I discovered the details of Eido Shimano’s (嶋野 栄道) long history of remorseless anti-social behavior, including the sexual exploitation of his female students over a period of several decades.  I also learned that you and many of your colleagues had been aware of his conduct and dangerous propensities for many years.  You nevertheless continued as his student and sent your students to study with him at Dai Bosatsu Zendo." 

"Being a survivor myself, this information affected me profoundly.  I wish that this information could have been in some way been shared with me when I joined ZCS and became your student, rather than having to be hit with it out of nowhere.  My immediate reaction combined all of what one might expect from a survivor: Shock, anger, fear, shame and profound sadness.  It made me ill.  As an attorney who has spent almost thirty years serving abused and powerless people, my reaction was outrage."  

"I sensed immediately that I could not continue to sit at ZCS.  I wrote to you, the Board and some close sangha members with a vague description of what I was experiencing. I should have said more, but I could not find the words and was afraid of a reaction.  My heavy family and professional responsibilities allowed me to believe that I had the right to just walk away without confronting these issues head-on.  I did not want to become the center of unwelcome attention (again) by addressing the sangha directly, fearing that mine would be a lone voice crying out in the wilderness."



Japanese Translation


”貴女は大菩薩禅堂の住職というもう一つの職に付かれ、シラキュース禅センター僧伽の支持を求めるEメールを下さり、いまやっと、その返事を書いています。 貴女もお分かりのように、私の思いを整理し、貴女に対する言葉を探すことに時間がかかりました。”

”去年の早春、島野栄道の何十年にも渡る彼の女弟子に対する、蹂躙をも含む残酷な反社会的行為の歴史を細密に渡って知る事になりました。 さらに私は貴女や貴女の同僚達は彼の行為と危険な性癖を長い間知っていたという事も知りました。 貴女はそれに構わず、彼の弟子として、また、貴女の弟子達を彼のもとへ送り続けて大菩薩禅堂で修行させていました。”

”犠牲者の一人として、この情報は心に深く私を傷つけました。 私はこの情報を突然にどこからともなく打たれるように知らされるよりも、ZCSで貴女の弟子になる前に知りたかったと思います。 私の直後の反動は犠牲者の皆が多分そうであろうと思うのですが、これら全部を取り混ぜた、ショック、怒り、恐れ、恥、そして深い、深い悲しみでした。 私は病気になりました。 弁護士として、ほとんど30年近く、陵辱された、力の無い人々のため働いて来た私の反応は怒りでした。”  

”私は即座に、もはや、ZCSに坐り続ける事は出来ないと気付きました。 私は貴女に、委員会に、一部の親しい僧伽のメンバーに私の経験を書き送りました。 私はもっと発言するべきだったのですが、なんと言ったら良いのか言葉さえ見つからず、同時に人々の反響を恐れました。 家族に対する、又職業にたいする責任を思い、私は真っ向から立ち向かって戦うよりも、ただ黙って立ち去る事が正しいと思ったのでした。 私は僧伽と直接交渉して、不愉快な注目を(再び)浴びたくないと言う事と、この事件は私一人に起った事で、荒野の直中で、独り泣き叫ぶ状態を恐れたのです。”




An Open Letter from a Former Student at The Zen Center Of Syracuse to the ZCS Board of Trustees.

"I have spent many months investigating, studying, discussing, sitting and reflecting, asking the question: What is right action in this case? I also waited and watched to see what action you and Shinge Roshi would take, but was disappointed not to hear your voices among the many who have called for Eido Shimano’s (嶋野 栄道) removal.  If there is something that you have done that I am not aware of, I do apologize."

"I understand that many believe that Eido Shimano (嶋野 栄道) has a rare gift as a teacher. That seems like a doubtful proposition to me, given all the harm he has inflicted, without remorse. But even if he has a rare gift, how can that overshadow the harm he has caused or justify the risks that have been taken?  As an Assigned Counsel criminal defense attorney and an Attorney for the Child in New York, I have encountered many people with anti-social personalities in my practice.  I have learned much of value from them, but cannot fathom holding out such a person as a trustworthy leader and teacher."

"If this lack of understanding is my failing, then so be it.  But I have learned that other ZCS students have expressed serious misgivings, as well. So now I realize that I should speak in solidarity with them, and with all of those who have been harmed by Eido Shimano (嶋野 栄道), by writing this long-overdue letter and unequivocally telling you where I stand: 

I cannot support or remain a member of the Zen Center of Syracuse while Shinge Roshi continues as Eido Shimano’s (嶋野 栄道) student and no action is taken to sever your association with him."




An Email from Jiro Andy Afable to Kobutsu Malone.

"As of today, January 6, 2010, the fallout from the 'Shimano Scandal' continues. As more letters come in from students and teachers of Dharma, I hope the Archive you have set up continues to be an unimpeachable source of information on Eido Shimano’s (嶋野 栄道) 'sayings and doings' and how they affected the Zen Studies Sangha as well as the maha-Sangha."

"Please post this letter on the archives. It is dated August 30, 2010. It has some bearing on many of the recent letters from many teachers, and I hope it can be posted with the current documents dated January 2011."

"Nothing Eido Roshi (嶋野 栄道) has done, including inspiring many students over the years, can mitigate the sheer enormity and historical depth of the accusations against him. Because he has been so identified with the Society, the reputation of the Zen Studies Society has been equally besmirched. If you think this is an exaggerated response, please take the time to reflect on the archives available on the internet. If you do not ask the abbot to step down, you are clearly applying ethical standards to him that are exceedingly below the professional standards used to judge clergy, doctors, and therapists. In a manner of speaking, Roko (露光) and Genjo participate in a group practice (as dharma teachers) with the abbot being the third and primary member of the group sponsored by the Zen Studies Society. I am disturbed that the two dharma heirs on the board, who I’m sure have done a good measure of pastoral counseling when called for, are evading their professional responsibility in allowing the abbot to continue his position and duties as the spiritual head of the Society."

“I am also disturbed by the way the ethics committee has been set up.  Please give me a contact person at Faith Trust institute where I can have a person I can express my concerns to without going through the filter of the ethics committee. At this point the ZSS is claiming it can investigate itself.  Many people think otherwise.  You need an ethics committee or ethics inquiry committee that can proceed without review or oversight from the board to have any kind of credibility, especially from those who consider themselves victims.  Do you honestly believe that anyone with serious grievances will approach the ethics committee the way it is set up?”

“Because you were all handpicked by Roshi (老師) to be on the board it is difficult to imagine that any of you has much credibility. Your most pressing task is to assure the survival of the Zen Studies Society.  If you feel you are in over your head and cannot contribute to assuring the survival of the Society as you try to deal with numerous agendas that have to be dealt with (governance, ethics, financial re-structuring) please stay on to help in the effort of finding more suitable board members before you leave so that the Society has a chance to continue.  My fear is that as more problems and situations accrete that are focused on the Zen Studies Society the board will continue to be at a loss simply because it does not have the credibility, practical resources, and clarity to proceed.” 

“In the past I suggested to the abbot the names of potential board members from the Society’s sangha that could serve the Society well because of their maturity and their professionalism.  My suggestions were laid aside.  Just imagine, Fujin was asked to be on the board, this admirable nun who had absolutely no experience and no thoughts on how an organization should run. I mention this to make the point that in being handpicked, you were not picked because you were the best and most mature people to help the Zen Studies Society.  You may be the very people who, lacking independence, can lead the Zen Studies Society to its final dissolution.  There are people in Shoboji who can be called upon, but I suspect at this point you will have to turn to the larger Buddhist community as well to seek competent help.”

“The refusal of the abbot to address the Aitken summons (of May, 2010) [See entry of: 05/20/10] has turned countless people against him and the Society.  The board has done the Society great damage with the phrase “unconditional realm”, and has communicated to many practitioners that the teaching of the abbot (and the Society) is extremely solipsistic. “Practice in the midst of activity is infinitely more difficult than the practice of stillness” (Hakuin - 白隠 慧鶴)”

“I will close by suggesting that Roko (露光) publicly deny the allegations that she had an affair with the abbot.  I will be happy if the allegations go away.  I am not a rumor monger. The (alleged) affair was reported to me many years ago by women who were present in that women’s meeting in the guest house in 1993.  I have never alluded to it except in my last letter to you, since it seems pertinent to the recently published ethics guidelines of the Zen Studies Society.  I consider these women honest and unimpeachable as well, so I give credence to their account of what happened in that meeting.  (By the way, I have never intimated that Roko’s (露光) marriage broke up because of the alleged affair.)  There were not many women in that meeting, so it should be fairly simple for Roko (露光) to write them a letter denying any affair, with the view that that same letter can be made public with the women’s responses.  This will end the rumors.  Otherwise, Roko’s (露光) silence will be interpreted—not as Vimalakirti’s noble silence—as tantamount to an admission and as well an inability to face ethical scrutiny.  Her ability to face scrutiny at this time is important since she is in line to be the spiritual representative and public face of Dai Bosatsu Zendo, and as it is, the Society is already under siege.”

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