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

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Hanazono University International Research Institute for Zen Buddhism, Zen Centers of the World Listing.

Listing for 1939 W. 162nd Street, Gardena, CA. This Address is Given in the Abbot Tani Foundation 990-PF Forms Above for Two Recipients of Funds, Taiu Ogura and the Rinzai Zen Temple of LA. (Here referred to as Zen Temple of California. The telephone number is no longer in service.)




An Email from the Zen Studies Society.

"Our weekend gathering with facilitators from An Olive Branch is just three weeks away, August 26-28. It is being held because Sangha members have requested a forum, a safe place to be heard, to heal, and to express their hopes for the future. We have all experienced a lot in the past year or so, and many positive changes have already been made. This important meeting will be a chance for us to face the past with courage and honesty, grateful for the Dharma gifts we have received, but also cognizant of the difficulties, challenges, and pain we have experienced. It will be an opportunity to acknowledge the present in all its complexity with discernment and sensitivity. And it will offer us all a way to work together to ensure a future that is healthy, strong, and responsible, manifesting the Four Great Vows."

"After lunch and a brief rest period, an adapted 'Samoan Circle' will take place: an inner circle consisting of myself, the Board president, facilitators, and three open chairs, within an outer circle of Sangha members. Everyone will have an opportunity to take an empty chair in the inner circle when she or he wishes to speak. This will ensure that every person's views and feelings are heard and acknowledged, and will encourage deep listening by all. By honoring each other's different experiences, we can promote understanding and compassion. This will help us heal, and create a healthy new community."

"The gathering is free, but dana (contributions) to defray costs will be gratefully accepted. This weekend is for all of you who care about the Zen Studies Society and want to move forward in a positive direction."

"Be sure to make your reservation now, since space is limited; email [email protected] or call 845-439-4566. If you can't attend, and would like to contribute your thoughts, please send them by email to that address, and they will be shared with the group. For more on An Olive Branch please click here. If you would like to speak with the facilitators from An Olive Branch before the weekend, please contact [email protected]."

[ Note: the address provided does not work, the correct address is ]




Letter from Adam Fisher to the Zen Studies Society.

“On Aug. 4, 2011, a letter was sent to sangha members and those concerned about Zen Studies Society and its proprietor, Eido Shimano. The letter invited them to a meeting at Dai Bosatsu Zendo to speak out and be 'healed.'  While the setting and the format do not convince me that the Aug. 26-28 meeting will provide much more than yet another defensive and self-serving arena in which to make nice and sweep the difficulties under the carpet, still it is hard not to hope -- to applaud those who have worked so hard, been so confused, felt so apprehensive or outraged about the past and future ... who squirmed and wriggled and mustered what courage they could in a daunting situation. Thank you for what courage you managed to muster. And thank you to the extent you are capable of extending that courage into the future: For too long, too many have relied on cowardice.”

“The truth is, I would like to say something to that group. I would like to say something and yet do not trust that I could be coherent based on the long and convoluted history that needs to be honestly addressed if Zen Studies Society is to live something other than a hobbled and misshapen life. I will not be able to take part in the meeting, not least because I am old and try to steer clear of events for which I simply do not have the energy.”

“I am fortunate (some may say unfortunate) enough in the given circumstances, to belong to no established Zen institution. My reputation and income and food and clothing are not dependant on making nice when things are palpably not nice. I am not afraid to lose my job or have my livelihood diminished. I love and owe a debt to Zen practice and acknowledge that openly. But I respectfully decline to be shackled -- to be bamboozled by idiot talk of an "unconditioned realm" which turns a truly blinded eye to what is by its very nature conditioned. I will not support or suborn sweet talk and other perjury.”

“Eido Shimano was my first Zen 'teacher.' Later, I was fortunate to find a Zen teacher in Kyudo Nakagawa Roshi. Mr. Shimano taught me a lot. I am grateful for that teaching, but I would not, after 40 years of practice, wish that teaching on my worst enemy. And I do not agree with those who maintain that Shimano's shame does not touch and sully the entirety of whatever 'Zen in America' might be. His activities -- and the unwillingness to admit them openly -- have been appalling and deserve to be acknowledged and addressed as such. His lineage, to the extent that he has any, has been sullied and demeaned ... and with it, every other lineage. This is not just hyperbole.”

“Over and over and over again, Mr. Shimano was given the opportunity to act the part of a true man, to admit his missteps and malfeasances, and to seek forgiveness. Over and over and over again, he disdained the opportunities offered by the very people who fed and clothed and often loved him. Instead, he chose to maneuver and manipulate and lie outright. Never was it a specific wounded individual to whom he admitted his missteps and sought forgiveness. Always there was reference to 'this matter' or some other vague, face-saving device, a device that his supporters often bought into and supported and encouraged ... and with which they sullied themselves in hopes that, really, things weren't all that bad and those who questioned Mr. Shimano were vindictive enemies or revenge-seekers and ... well, it's nice to make nice; let's do nice Zen, compassionate Zen, profound Zen, unified and unifying Zen ... phony-baloney Zen, smiley-faced Zen, corrupt and corrupting and 'authentic' Zen... the kind of Zen that may punch endless ladder-climbing tickets but skirts what was and is in front of our noses.”

“In the past, Mr. Shimano has addressed the various eruptions and sorrows with a well-walled contrition. This 'matter' was deeply troubling to him, he said. And on more than one occasion he also asserted that his sexual predations were ‘none of your (sangha's) business.’ None of my business?! The very brothers and sisters who supported and comforted and encouraged my practice in the deepest possible ways were wounded and it was ‘none of your business?!’ Well, divide and conquer may be an acceptable tactic among the power- and money-hungry, but it is not acceptable in any sangha I want to be part of. Put bluntly, the suggestion that it's ‘none of your business’ is obscene.”

“From the beginning of the latest round of accusation and counter-accusation, offense and defense, debate and analysis, I have had only two hopes:

1. That Mr. Shimano would be cut off cleanly and completely from any access to or participation in whatever Zen Studies Society might hope to be. No more maybe's, no more just-but's, no more wishy-washy evasions. No more self-serving equivocations. Cut ... off ... cleanly ... and... completely. Mr. Shimano has proven himself worthy of this action -- an action advocated by the Faith Trust Institute among others. 'No!' means no ... end of discussion. If the Americans Mr. Shimano was so willing to disdain as barbarians over the decades are too much for him to stomach, perhaps he will find a more civilized culture in which to elevate his sparkling self-image in Japan.

2. That Zen Studies Society would find a way to apologize specifically to the individuals who were, and in some cases continue to be, ravaged by Mr. Shimano's activities. This apology would, by its nature, include the specific, in-person admission that past and perhaps present boards of directors had been complicit in denying, lying about, camouflaging or papering over those activities. Everyone would like to save face or find 'reasons' for why they did what they did. But how can anyone save face without admitting to the face they have, through their actions, proved they already have?”




A Letter from Roko Sherry Chayat to “Dear Zen Studies Society Sangha.”

This Letter is Posted on the Zen Studies Society Web Site and is a Duplicate of the Email Letter of 08/04/11 with a BIO Page on The Olive Branch Facilitators Added.

"An Olive Branch has been hired to lead the Facilitated Sangha Discussion by the current Board of Directors of ZSS, which has legal decision-making authority for the Society. It is our understanding that the ZSS Sangha has been deeply wounded by the events of the past year. In order to facilitate healing within the Sangha and move past the fractures in the community, we intend to create a space in which the voices and feelings of all Sangha members can be heard and honored. In the true spirit of Sangha, we invite you to participate in this effort. Toward that end, we encourage each of you to bring two “gifts” with you: FIRST, a desire to share your heartfelt feelings about being a member of the ZSS Sangha, and SECOND,a capacity for deep listening to others whose experiences may have been very different from yours. We in An Olive Branch believe this is the best way for you to move forward as a community, and we will do our best to help. We will work within the context of the ground rules that we all set at the beginning of the discussion. Please note that this Facilitated Sangha Discussion is not an organizational meeting in which Sangha or Board business will be conducted."




Genjo Marinello, Osho - Shimano's Fifth and Most Recent Dharma Heir

Post to Zen Forum International.

“I wish I could say that I had high hopes for this meeting in NY, where all view points could be heard and the focus could be on a positive healthy future for the organization, but given the fact that Eido Roshi is still welcome on ZSS property during this time of transition (all be it highly restricted access with no teaching), I fear the organization as a whole is still too attached to the past. I fear no one who has been abused or injured by that past will be willing to participate in this upcoming meeting. We shall see.”

“In order to really turn a corner for a healthy future, I wish Eido Roshi would volunteer to stay away from both ZSS properties for a year or more. As he is far from willing to do so, I think it falls to the ZSS Board to insist on at least some moderate hiatus. It was because the majority of this Board would not insist on taking this step that I could no longer continue to participate as a ZSS Board member myself.”

“In the course of investigating Eido Roshi's ethical breaches over the years it became clear to me that in addition to having many 'affairs' with students, he at times actively and aggressively pursued some of the most psychologically vulnerable and vastly younger female students.”

“As I have said in a previous post, ‘given that the power dynamic can often be great between a spiritual teacher and their students, and if it is the case that the teacher is pursuing aggressively a much younger vulnerable student, such actions are so lopsided as to border on rape. I wish I had not heard stories like this and worse concerning Eido Roshi, but I have. If they are true, and I personally believe they are, then indeed the scars from such encounters can easily last a lifetime.’ "

“As I see it, the organization bears some responsibility to address these wounds directly. Even though I suspect Eido Roshi greatly assisted many more people than he harmed; nevertheless, to move forward, I believe the ZSS administration must do more than restrict his presence on campus for healing and growth to be possible.”




Genjo Marinello, Osho - Shimano's Fifth and Most Recent Dharma Heir

Post to Zen Forum International.

"The important point that I don't think you are hearing is that I too think Eido Roshi's exclusion from coming on campus is necessary. I don't see how the organization will do anything but limp along without this step. I felt so strongly and so estranged from the majority of the board on this point, that the only recourse left to me was to leave the board and publicly make a case for this position. Despite Eido Roshi's September 2010 apology, 'I would like to acknowledge the pain and unnecessary suffering you went through in your hearts due to my faults. I have a profound feeling of remorse for my actions.' he has since implied that this apology was forced and said in my presence that 'if I did not accept the advances of these women, worse karma would be created than by accepting their overtures.' First of all, there is a mountain of evidence that more often than not he made the first advances, secondly his overall lack of understanding of the harm he has done is nearly inconceivable. Furthermore, one of the believable stories I've heard, includes a woman who says in the 80's she was plied with alcohol and then forced into having sexual relations with him. Given known facts and mountains of circumstantial evidence that have piled up over decades, there is no way to justify the fact that Eido Roshi still has rooms reserved for his use on both properties, and in my mind he should be excluded from setting foot on either campus. I hope with his exclusion and other good efforts of the organization that the women who were manipulated or abused one day soon feel safe enough to give their first person accounts. I want to hear them, I want the organization to hear them, I want them to have a chance to find some closure and be fully affirmed that it was not their fault."




Kobutsu Malone

Post to Zen Forum International.

"I wrote an essay back in September 2003 and shared it in confidence with Roko Sherry Chayat who advised me not to publish it, warning me that if I published it, it would damage my reputation. I had lost the document until this afternoon when I found a copy on an archive disk made from a hard drive of an old computer that crashed six years ago. I have put it up in html format and it has been added it to the archive in pdf format."


Inka Stinka Doo.html




Letter from Genkaku Adam Fisher to Kobutsu Malone Concerning a Post to His genkaku-again Blog About His Exchanges with Barbara Gray of "An Olive Branch"

“For all I know, the future of Zen in America is destined to be little more than a squishy circle-jerk. I honestly don't know but I do know that such a destiny, if true, leaves me sad ... and a bit cranky.” 

“In the lead-up to the Aug. 26-28 meeting planned at Dai Bosatsu, I and others have been in contact with members of An Olive Branch, the agency hired by Zen Studies Society to help 'facilitate' that meeting. Since I cannot be at that meeting, I had thought such contact was a hopeful sign that serious/multiple points of view about the difficulties at ZSS would be considered. My contacts were pleasant, if dutifully non-committal.”

“But a little at a time, as the brief of An Olive Branch grew clearer in my mind, I came to regret my participation. As I understand it, there is to be no recording of the meeting, no after-action report except that which ZSS may choose to cherry-pick, and An Olive Branch sees its role as purely one of 'facilitator' -- a 'facilitator' unwilling to inform itself of a decades-long history (and who could blame them?) ZSS will have to do the actual work, I was told. And what is not resolved during the Aug. 26-28 meeting in a venue that does not favor open discussion by a wider constituency can easily be addressed at ‘future meetings,’ I was told.” 

“The Faith Trust Institute made very specific recommendations in the past -- recommendations that went largely ignored by ZSS. The Aug. 26-28 meeting is thus a ‘future meeting.’ And I suspect its outcome and fruit will be much the same as that which befell the Faith Trust recommendations ... little or no transparency, little or no straight-forward addressing of honest issues ... just a mad, if 'compassionate,' scramble to preserve and maintain the organization and property under ZSS control. However ill-founded my suspicions may be, still I suspect the intentions of the Aug. 26-28 meeting and prefer not to think that a compromised organization might represent my opinions at that meeting.” 

“For that reason, I have written to An Olive Branch and asked them to keep my name and the views I hold out of any presentation they might choose to make at DBZ.”

“I can live with the notion that if I were present at the meeting, my ideas might be set aside or dismissed. But I would prefer not to have them presented in a manner that would allow those addressing those ideas to gloss them over in a make-nice 'healing' hug.” 

“I can appreciate that An Olive Branch would not want to involve itself in a long, intricate and distasteful history. An Olive Branch was hired, as I understand it, by Zen Studies Society and so if Zen Studies Society feels that reunification without honest and transparent examination is the job at hand, well, that's their choice. I can well imagine that ZSS would not see (or at least present) things in this way. From my point of view, any unpalatable or difficult matters that might be brought to the fore ... well, if you can't solve it with a group hug, there's the escape hatch of ‘future meetings.’ Right ... first the Faith Trust Institute whose suggestions were pointedly not adopted; and now An Olive Branch.”




A Letter from Christopher Hamacher to the Zen Studies Society.

"To move straight to the point, I no longer find the situation unfathomable. Though I still cannot imagine any other charitable organization continuing to associate with a man such as Eido Shimano, I have recently begun to make sense of your handling of the scandal. In particular, the revelation that apparently sixty students have pleaded for Shimano's return to teaching has made it clear to me that the Zen Studies Society is no longer entirely composed of emotionally healthy people."

"On the contrary, please consider the possibility that, over the course of his tenure as abbot, Eido Shimano has been able to corrupt his remaining students into becoming pathologically dependent on him and his teachings. Indeed, though Zen is ostensibly a practice of personal emancipation, Shimano's devotees are evidently willing to reconcile his transgressions with their consciences in order to ensure that he will remain in their lives for as long as possible - even at the expense of the greater good, e.g. restitution for his many victims. Since both the Society and Ms. Chayat Roshi still have not, even one year later, been able to squarely address his wrongdoing by name, let alone issue a formal apology, some irrational element must be involved. Whether this stems from some pseudo-Buddhist teaching of 'not dwelling in the past', gratitude for any perceived good Shimano may otherwise have done, or some other dependency is irrelevant. The point is that a pathological situation has come into being which no amount of discussion, however well-intentioned or expertly mediated, will remedy."




An Open Letter from "Olivia" in Response to A Letter from Roko Sherry Chayat on 08/05/11.

"When Eido Shimano made his sexual advance, he was aware of my history of being abused.  My immediate thought was, 'Oh please, not this again'.  He told me that he felt he could help me have a 'good experience' rather than a traumatic one.  All I felt was incredible anxiety.  Yet, even while my whole being shrank from him, I was unable to articulate for myself why his sentiment didn’t seem sincere.  I had no sexual desire for him and felt sickened by the complications of such a relationship with a prominent Zen teacher and a married man.  When I asked about his wife, whom I had never met, he sighed and shook his head, then said she was mentally unwell and living in Japan.  When I couldn’t think of any other 'reason' to say no to him, something in me froze,  and I felt unable to stop him from continuing with his advances." 

"That night was the first of many sexual meetings over more than a year, always initiated by Eido Shimano.  For example, he would signal me in a hallway or during Dokusan he would ask me to come up to his private apartment.  While at home visting [sic] my parents during a Christmas holiday, he called and asked me to meet him in NYC.  He also insisted that I keep these meetings a secret because it could cause him difficulties. Only many years later was I able to understand why I was incapable of rejecting his sexual advances. It was far from a consensual relationship between equals.  He exploited the spiritual trust I had placed in him and impeded my own innate ability for healing and personal strength.  He exploited my isolation from my family and outside friends, and his knowledge that I had been abused previously.  Our relationship was not 'healing' for me and the ending was very traumatic.  That ending, as well as how I became a resident at DBZ, is a story in itself and too lengthy to include in this letter."

"One important issue I have not seen in writings regarding Eido Shimano was the fact that he spread sexually transmitted diseases from his multiple relationships.  While a resident at DBZ, I had absolutely no sexual contact with any other person anywhere.  Eido Shimano, however, was simultaneously sexually active with at least two other female residents, as I later found out.  I became aware of one of these relationships near the end of my stay, and learned about the other woman after leaving DBZ.  I now know that it’s possible he had other sexual liaisons as well, with residents, students at the NYC Zendo, or nonresident students.  Eido Shimano led me to believe that our relationship was exclusive, though."

"During a sesshin I developed symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease. When I told Eido Shimano, he said he was suffering from the same symptoms.  I told him that I needed to go home immediately to a doctor who could diagnose and treat it.  Eido Shimano gave me a glass jar containing a sample of his urine and asked me to take it to the doctor.  He asked me to submit it anonymously because he needed to remain at DBZ to lead sesshin.  I thought it highly unlikely that a doctor would test the sample under such circumstances, and I was right."

"I found out that I had a fully treatable STD.  Eido Shimano later told me that he had also received medical treatment.  He said he would never forget the discomfort of that sesshinHowever, that experience did not keep him from disregarding the health and safety of other female students – or himself – at that time or in the future.  This experience caused me to begin to move toward leaving DBZ.  Although I eventually gave my entire story to members of the board (this letter reflects my partial story), nothing was done to remove Eido Shimano for the safety of his female students and their present or future partners.  His needs and self interests, and the reputation of Zen Studies Society,  continued to be the primary concern of a complicit board, at the cost of common moral integrity, the precepts, and the well being of students.  I was fortunate not to have been infected with any other STD, especially a life-threatening one."



Japanese Translation

2011年8月5日付、露光シェリー シャイアトの手紙に答えた”オリヴィア”の公開状

”嶋野栄道が私に性交渉を迫った時、彼は私の陵辱の歴史を知っていました。 私の即座の想いは“ああ、又、止めて欲しい”でした。 彼は私に悲惨な経験でなく、“楽しい経験”をさせてあげようと言いました。 私が感じたことは唯、信じられない程の不安だけでした。 私の存在全てが彼の前で竦み上がり、口をきく事も出来ず、なぜ彼の感情に真実性が見えないのであろうかと不思議な想いがしたのを記憶しています。 私は彼に対して性的関心は全く無く、唯、高名な、既に結婚している禅教師との性交渉に吐き気を催す想いでした。 未だ一度も会った事は無いのですが、彼の妻のことを尋ねると彼はため息をついて、彼女は精神的に具合が悪く、今は日本に住んでいると言いました。 私には拒絶する適当な“理由”が見つからず、私の内部が凍ったようになって、彼の性交渉を拒む事が出来ませんでした。” 

”その夜以来一年以上にわたる多くの性交渉の交際が始まったのですが、何時も嶋野栄道の誘導によって会合が計画されました。 例えば廊下で会った時、又独参の時、彼は私に合図を送り、彼個人のアパートへ来るよう指図しました。 クリスマスの休暇で私が両親の家へ帰っている時は、彼は電話で私を呼び出して、ニューヨーク市で会うよう計画しました。 彼は是等の会合を秘密にしておこうと主張しました。 なぜならば、発覚すると彼にとって困ったことになるであろうと言うのです。 なぜ彼の要求を拒否出来なかったのであろうか、何年か経た今やっと私には理解出来るのですが、私達の関係は両者同等の立場に立った合意のものとはほど遠い状態だったからです。 彼は私の彼に対する信頼を利己利用し、それによって私自身の生来の能力を阻止したのです。 過去の陵辱の経験により、家族や友達とも隔たった孤独な暮らしをしていた私を彼は見抜いて利己利用しました。 この関係は私にとって回復どころか、終わりは完全に悲惨でした。 DBZに住むことになった経緯も、悲惨な終局に至った経緯もこの手紙に書くには長くなりすぎるので省略します。”

”嶋野栄道に関して書かれた文書類の中でまだ目にした事のない重要な事の一つに、彼の性交渉の相手が多数であるため、性病を散布していた事です。 DBZ内に住んでいた間、私は誓って彼以外、いかなる場所においても、いかなる人物とも性関係を持った事はありません。 しかし嶋野栄道はこの同じ時期少なくとも二人、禅堂に住んでいた女性と性関係を持っていた事が後に明らかになりました。 私の禅堂生活も終わりに近かった頃、私は一人の女性の事を知り、DBZを去ってからさらにもう一人の女性の事を知りました。 今私は彼がこの他にもNYZの居住者、弟子、又外来の弟子達とも接触があった事も大いに可能性のある事だと推測しています。 嶋野栄道は私達の関係は完全に独占的なものだと私に信じ込ませていましたけれども。”

”接心の期間中に私は性病の徴候を感じました。 私が嶋野栄道にこの事を告げると、彼も又同じ徴候に苦しんでいるとの事、私は彼にすぐ帰宅して医者の診断を得て治療しなければならないと話しました。 嶋野栄道はガラス瓶に彼の尿を入れて私に手渡し、医者に届け診断してもらうよう指図しました。 彼はDBZの接心の指導があるため残らねばならないので、匿名にしておくように指図しました。 医者がこのような患者のサンプルをテストする筈は無かろうと私は思いましたが、私の推量通りでした。”

”私の病気は完全に治療可能なSTD(性交によって感染する病気)だと言う事が分かりました。 嶋野栄道は後で彼も又医者の手当を受けた事を私に語りました。 彼は接心中の不快感は忘れられないと言いました。 そのような経験があっても、弟子達の — 又彼自身 — の健康や安全を気使う様子は当時も、将来にもありませんでした。 この経験が原因で私はDBZを去ろうと言う気持ちになりました。 結局私の物語の全てを理事会員達に手渡しました(この手紙はその一部を語っています)が、弟子達の安全を守るため嶋野栄道を除去して善処を計る試みは当時も、現在に至っても、何も行なわれませんでした。 彼の要求と関心、禅スタデイ ソサイエテイの名望が第一重要条件であるという理事会との共謀により、一般倫理の保全、戒、及び弟子達の安全は犠牲になりました。 私の感染したSTDは、生命に危険のある他の性病ではなくて幸運だったと思っています。”




Regarding the Shimano Case

An Article by Marnie Froberg Posted on Her MADHUSHALA Blog.

– मधुशाला –

Captured: 08/23/11

“ 'Olivia', in a open letter to the new abbot and ZSS board has written some of her story in an effort to attempt to bring further results to the severance of Shimano from that organization. There seems to be a great reluctance to let go there and numerous members have even called for a continued teaching relationship with him."

"Students have left, board members have quit, outside parties have become involved yet the dependence for some is such that no amount of evidence will allow clarity of thought and vision."

"Olivia has shown great courage in revealing her story to add some perspective to the issue. These are not abstractions but human beings who have been injured, ignored and who must live with the way they have been betrayed, not only by Shimano but also by those who would not hear words against their teacher-god."




Email from Genjo Marinello Osho to "Olivia" Containing a Message He Sent to Roko Sherry Chayat.

"Dear Shinge Roshi,

I hope plans for this coming weekend are going well. I think it would be advisable and appropriate to follow Olivia's requests in this matter. It is a well thought out letter and I support both her analysis and conclusions. Even though she is choosing to remain anonymous, I believe if we are ready to follow her council we will collectively demonstrate that this organization is ready to hear the deep hurt and damage Eido Roshi has caused over these many years, I then predict we will be flooded with first person accounts of this sort. To really be ready to receive and hear these first person accounts, is the minimum we should be offering those who were abused or taken advantage of by Eido Roshi. As I see it we must be big enough to at least partially atone for the sins of our Dharma Father. I hope you will decide to read it to the group gathered this weekend, but if you decline her offer, I hope you allow me to read it to all in attendance as requested."




Email from Roko Sherry Chayat to "Olivia."

"I am beyond saddened by your devastating account, which is so courageous and clear, so profound in its insights."

"Be assured that I will read it aloud this weekend, although I can't promise to read it without sobbing; that I am listening acutely to what you say, and that my heart is pierced by it."

"You are right, the complex and difficult loyalties have not allowed a clean and strong separation. I hear you."




Email from "Olivia" to Roko Sherry Chayat.

"I look forward, as do many people, to seeing important changes that reflect your expressed sentiments."

"I am beyond saddened when I hear the accounts of other women (and men) who have also been victimized. I am infuriated, and hope to act, wisely. I don't believe it is tears we need as much as direct and affirmative action."




An Email from DaiAn to Roko Sherry Chayat c/o An Olive Branch.

"Given the courage shown by people such as Kobutsu, Genkaku, Genjo Osho , 'Olivia' and our own brother Kensei, how can I remain silent? I am here. Injustice is here. So, I must speak in solidarity with those who have been harmed directly by Eido Shimano, as well as with those who have been shunned for speaking out against the grossly inadequate leadership response to his misconduct."

"As you will recall, the specifics behind my leaving the ZCS, given its continuing association with Eido Shimano, are described in my January 5, 2011 letters to you and to the Zen Center of Syracuse Board of Trustees. In response to my letters, I did receive an apology, but was asked to keep it private while the Zen Studies Society Board of Trustees completed its difficult deliberations concerning Eido Roshi. I did honor that request. But in all of these months since then, that same apology has never been extended to those directly harmed by Eido Shimano. Furthermore, it appears that Shimano has been allowed to retire 'with honor', and continues to be allowed access to and influence over the Zen Studies Society and its affiliates. Since these concerns have not been addressed, I believe that the risk of further harm to unsuspecting vulnerable people continues to be great."

"All survivors of Eido Shimano's misconduct, including those harmed directly and indirectly, should be given a safe and appropriate opportunity to be heard by a completely neutral body, outside of Zen Studies Society premises. Then, at the very least, they should receive a detailed written apology from both Eido Shimano and those in leadership who disregarded the possibility that that his harmful behavior might continue;"

"Those heirs who would continue to teach should themselves refresh their training under another teacher; and Eido Shimano's honorific as 'Retiring Abbott'; his retirement package in lieu of compensation for his victims; and his presence and influence at the ZSS and its affiliates should all come completely and abruptly to an end."

[See entry of: 01/05/11]




A letter from Seigan Ed Glassing to The Olive Branch Facilitators to be read during an open circle.

“I scoffed at people, who seemed puritanical and snobbish, I learned elitism, I learned arrogance, I learned self-righteousness and I learned how to separate and compartmentalize. Perhaps you think, ‘Well, what’s done is done, now lets move on.’ Or maybe ‘I owe Eido Shimano my life and I am grateful to him no matter what.’ To those who think this I would ask you to think. I ask you to be curious, to ask questions, to stand up to what you believe in. Study the history of the organization, read books such as ‘Sex and the Spiritual Teacher’ and ‘Spiritual Bypassing’. Please don’t make the mistake that I did thinking that Zazen is all you need. Please don’t keep your head in the sand of the Absolute; thinking that everything is OK when it is not. I enabled this kind of thought. Now I see things in a different way.”

“The Teacher/Student was breeched repeatedly not just once…but for decades. Do not forget this. Many, many people suffered Sexual, Emotional, and Psychological abuse stemming from the actions of Eido Shimano. There was a culture of blindness regarding ‘the Teacher’. I want it known in this meeting that there was definitely an effort on the part of some Board members, and Senior Students to diminish the gravity of the abuse, to sweep it under the rug and to protect Shimano after the scandal broke. This is why I left. I could not be part of an organization that talked about Compassion, Truth and Wisdom and yet so unwilling to actually face the Truth, be Compassionate and wake up to the Wisdom of reality.”

“Part of the problem is an over attachment to the ‘Teacher’. I see the same over attachment happening again with Shinge Roshi. Given the best of intentions, the ZSS became over the years cult-like in its worship of Shimano and good people have come to believe in the myths and stories told to them for decades. Stop it, stop the manipulation, deceit and pathology.”




Genjo Marinello, Osho - Shimano's Fifth Dharma Heir.

Post to Zen Forum International.

"As for the Aug. 26-28th meeting, I was turned back by Hurricane Irene and was not able to attend, but this is what I've heard: There 30-40 people in attendance. Three were facilitators from An-Olive-Branch (see: About a half-dozen people in attendance were staunch Eido Roshi supporters, and objected to the idea that any 'intervention' was made against Eido Roshi in this last year, and also objected to the idea there had been any 'sexual misconduct' by Eido Roshi. It was also reported that evidently one ZSS Board member's car was vandalized because of his support of restrictions on Eido Roshi being on ZSS property. A collection was taken up to repair the damage. Friday was mostly taken up with a ZSS Board meeting (it is my understanding only 4 board members were present) and small meetings with facilitators so they got a good idea of the range of opinions held by those present. Saturday was taken up with presenting a time line of ZSS history, and examining significant dates with those present. Then the main event on Saturday was an 'adapted Samoan Circle' (see: where the idea was that everyone would have a chance to be heard. I believe it was during this time that 10 letters received by people who were either not able or did not feel safe to attend were read to all present, including the three posted above by Genkaku. All letters basically insisted that complete separation from Eido Roshi was necessary for any healing to be possible at ZSS."




Open Letter to:

Employees of the Rubin Museum of Art

Directors of the Rubin Museum of Art

Donors of the Rubin Museum of Art

Patrons of the Rubin Museum of Art


Hoen Sandra Jean-Pierre

Rinzai Zen Student


[All spelling and grammar in context.]

"This letter is to implore you to pray for the Rubin Museum of Art’s Employee Shoteki Chris Phelan."

"About 30 Years ago, Zen master Eido Shimano Roshi with donations from Chester and Doris Carlson and the Xerox company, was able to establish two places for Zen practice, Dai Bosatsu Zendo Monastery in the Catskills and Shobo-ji in Manhattan, together housed under the Zen Studies Society. Thereafter most important donations were from various Japanese companies and individuals with also a great amount of time, energy and money from Western Zen students. Those donations were made with the express purpose of helping Eido Shimano Roshi in his teaching, his Dharma mission, establishing an international Zendo, a zen temple."

"Last year, for the second time, Eido Roshi was the object of a sexual scandal with students complaining about alleged sexual affairs they willingly engaged in. Let me say, that I do not consider myself worthy of examining the behavior of a living Buddha."

"The 7 members of board of directors, of which Mr. Phelan is a member have decided and enforced that should Eido Shimano Roshi teach again in America and abroad, he would become homeless and destitute, not receiving his pension or enjoying the benefit of the housing given to him by Mr. and Mrs. Chester Carlson. The opposite of the purpose of the gifts given the Zen Studies Society."

Although, I can’t encourage you to donate to Shoteki Chris Phelan's cause, please investigate for yourself, it does seem that it is willing sexual touching that has fallen out of favor with him.

"Please pray for Mr. Phelan, Please pray

•    that he has faith in the Dharma to believe that if the Dharma approves it will send him moneys to start his brand of puritan Buddhism.

•    to have courage, not to have to hide to change the keys of the zendo to bar the founder access to that which he has founded.

•    to have faith and wisdom to know Dharma will support him if his efforts are pure and worthy.

•    To know that there is no need to hijack, however legally, a $25 million dollar organization from its aim, namely helping someone else, Eido Shimano Roshi, teach Zen.

•    so that Mr. Phelan has the faith to meditate until Dharma sends him his own funds

Thank you for your time and may Dharma bless you, May Shakyamuni Buddha bless you, May your God bless you"

With gratitude,


Hoen Sandra Jean-Pierre

Rinzai Zen Student

[See entry of: 02/04/12 ]




Genjo Marinello, Osho - Shimano's Fifth Dharma Heir.

Post to Zen Forum International.

"I've just learned that at the conclusion of the ZSS Sangha meeting held last weekend that Eido Roshi's staunch supporters plan to organize an effort to buy the New York Zendo, Shobo-Ji, from ZSS so that Eido Roshi can continue to teach them and others. Their first step will be to see if Eido Roshi is open to the idea. It is fine with me if his staunch supporters want to continue to meet with him at some venue of their choosing off campus, but I think the idea of selling Shobo-Ji to Eido Roshi or the Eido Roshi faction is ludicrous and morally bankrupt. It is apparent that one or more of the few remaining ZSS board members thinks this idea has some merit. If the ZSS board were to agree to sell Shobo-Ji to this faction of enablers they would become enablers themselves. I also know that if you asked the majority of those still practicing at Shobo-Ji since Eido Roshi's departure, they would be aghast at the idea of selling their center out from under them. I call on an immediate vote of the ZSS board to firmly close the door on this possibility."

"Turning any part of ZSS property over to a known serial abuser of basic ethical guidelines, who has seriously wounded many lives with his sexual misconduct with students over decades, would be a travesty beyond measure. Surely it is not asking too much of the ZSS board that assures us that Eido Roshi will not teach again on its property, that it will not sell to a faction of supporters that will encourage him to teach again!"




Tenshin David Hill.

Post to Zen Forum International.

“Genjo's point addresses the dysfunction exhibited by the one or more ZSS board members (I will call them, ‘The Attached Ones’), and how their inability to exhibit common sense and compassion is deadlocking / hanging the board. This is why this disaster has festered for so long. Until the truth about The Attached Ones, comes out into the open, nothing is going to change. ZSS will just bumble along until it ceases to exist.”

“There are likely some who, like Genjo, have taken the painful steps of opening their eyes to what has been a grand con game – and Genjo, I wish you would reconsider your resignation. I applaud them, as they are examples of the Dharma at work. Yeah, it sucks finding out you have been taken, but it certainly sucks more to let it continue.”

“Putting aside the immense suffering that Shimano has created, there is still the problem of individuals who have enabled and supported his actions over the years. A vast majority of these people have been board members of ZSS.”

“With the behavior and actions exhibited over this past weekend's meeting - and we are talking about violent and criminal behavior that in my unprofessional opinion strikes me as psychotic - one really has to ask why the board hasn't sent a unified message that, ‘Enough is enough; those who are attached to Shimano are free to call Shimano, make your own personal arrangements, and do whatever he asks of you. However, you are disruptive to the Sangha and are no longer welcome on ZSS property. Good bye.’ A half dozen people / The Attached Ones are being allowed to hijack the desires of a Sangha that consists of multiples of more individuals.”

“Even after a board member’s car was trashed in the parking lot at DBZ, the board is unable to stand in unity and state that they are putting a stop to this, now. The reason for this is The Attached Ones, who lack the intellectual horsepower, common sense, understanding, and compassion to put their needs aside for the benefit of the wider Sangha.”

“The question simply becomes how can the board be un-hung and the impasse cleared?”

“The answer is simple. Let the sun shine where it hasn’t. Let the world see the opinions written by The Attached Ones. There are enough ex-recent board members with ample documentation that clearly shows The Attached One’s cover-ups. deficient moral attitudes, scheming, and lack of ability to manage ZSS that they should simply and anonymously send that documentation to Kobutsu Malone so that the world can get the unabridged picture – THE TRUTH. The source of the materials needn’t be identified – mail it in a manila envelope with no return address. Let the WW Sangha see the statements of those Attached board members, so they can truly see who these people are underneath their robes, Kesas, and fly whisks.”




Genjo Marinello, Osho - Shimano's Fifth Dharma Heir.

Post to Zen Forum International.

"If together you can manage to quickly, 1) declare that under no circumstances will any ZSS property be sold to either Eido Roshi or some consortium that supports him, 2) exclude Eido Roshi from being on ZSS property indefinitely, 3) remind staunch supporters of Eido Roshi that they can train elsewhere, 4) offer an organizational apology to those the organization was not able to protect from serial abuses over decades, 5) adopt bylaws that allow for significant democratization of the board and the limiting of the role of abbot to conducting practice style and schedule, 6) announce that significant resources will be devoted to healing the deep wounds of those directly and indirectly harmed during Eido Roshi's tenure as Abbot, then and only then will this board be able to established the credibility it needs to chart a healthy recovery and future. Take at least the first two steps immediately and I will rescind my resignation from the ZSS Board. The construction of the new Chobo-Ji Practice Center is nearly complete, and I have confidence that the root being planted will grow even if I remain a bit distracted by events in New York. However, if you are unable to take at least these two steps, then I will be approaching Chobo-Ji's board to end all affiliation with ZSS, at least until this impasse has cleared."

"In my mind, only by taking these steps can the current board and abbot offer any evidence that the organization is capable of honoring the good Eido Roshi has done. I know many critics will say that he could not have done any good given his flaws, but I will continue to adamantly disagree and say unequivocally that anyone who thinks only in black and white or good or bad has learned nothing about what Zen Buddhism has to offer. He was for me and many others a significant catalyst in our own unfolding, and for this I will be forever grateful. However, since he has proven himself incapable of discerning the great damage he has done, it falls to the current abbot and board to do it for him. This is truly the only way the gifts he has given have any possibility of being appreciated over time. It was an error not to have any mention of why Eido Roshi retired so precipitously at his retirement Dec. 8th, at Shinge Roshi's installation Jan. 1st, at the 'special announcement' July 2nd, or even in the recently released ZSS newsletter. I completely agree with Seigan [] that there should be repeated acknowledgment of the terrible pain caused by both Eido Shimano Roshi and the organizational structure that allowed his abuses to go on for decades. "




A Letter from Lawrence Shainberg to Sherry Chayat.

 “I know that, since I’ve not been a member of ZSS, I may not be completely qualified to offer my observations on the crisis faced by the organization now, but as a member of the Ethics Committee, I was invited to Olive Branch meetings, so I had the chance to see first-hand the anger, sadness and confusion which Eido Roshi’s behavior has produced.  I am also a long-time Zen student, training primarily with Kyudo Roshi, the third of Soen Roshi’s successors and, until his death three years ago, Abbot at Ryutakuji, where I and others of his New York students often did sesshin and residencies.  It seems to me that Kyudo’s connection with Soen makes Dai Bosatsu part of my own lineage, so I can’t look at the crisis with complete detachment.  Finally, my work as a writer has often centered on Zen, producing, among other things,  a cover article for THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE on Dai Bosatsu at the time of its opening and, more recently, the memoir, AMBIVALENT ZEN.  For what they’re worth then, here are my thoughts in the aftermath of the Olive Branch attempt at mediation.”

“On the other hand, we must not forget that the world we live in is every day, thanks to media, pop-psychology and the righteous fury of political correctness, more addicted to such dualism and the simplistic moralism it produces.    It is obvious to us all, I think, that our practice requires us to find a Middle Way which avoids such moralism without denying that Eido’s behavior has had concrete effect in the relative world.  One doesn’t have to forgive his malfeasance to acknowledge that Shoboji, DBZ and the Zen Studies Society in general owe their existence to his realization, and one doesn’t deny that realization by holding him accountable for the repercussions of his behavior.  If he’s failed us as a human being, he’s not the first master whose realization did not carry over into the Relative Realm, and if we continue to revere him, we are not the first students to benefit from an imperfect teacher.  In effect, we are required to judge him and not-judge him simultaneously, practice with our response to him as we practice with our koans on and off our cushions. “

“Traumatic though it would be, ZSS could challenge Eido Roshi and his supporters to raise the money to buy Shoboji.  If he could do so, the tangible benefits of this transaction would be huge.  Those who remain devoted to him would have a chance  to continue their studies, and those who can’t forgive him would not have to cross paths with him or them.  Hopefully, the anger and conflict between these two groups would be defused.  If Eido crosses lines he’s crossed in the past, he alone would pay the price for doing so, and anyone who studies with him, knowing of his past, would have to take responsibility for any interaction that occurs.  Finally, the ZSS would not only acknowledge its debt to Eido and restore this controversy to the Zen perspective from which it needs to be seen but see itself financially stabilized and,  downsized from the unmanageable amount of property it owns, secure in its capacity to support DBZ.”

“Since sexual issues like those he’s created are close to epidemic among those with power in our culture (see Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, numerous Catholic priests, and spiritual teachers like Maezumi Roshi, Chogyam Trungpa, Baker Roshi, Gempo Merzel, and many others), the insights produced by these teachings might be profound and valuable beyond any we can imagine.  I can’t speak for anyone else of course but I know that, while I’ve not been Eido Roshi’s student, I’d make every effort to study with him at this juncture of his life.”

“I know there are those who will be enraged at this proposal but to me it seems inarguable.”




Genjo Marinello, Osho - Shimano's Fifth Dharma Heir.

Post to Zen Forum International.

“Regarding the proposal to have Eido Roshi supporters buy Shobo-Ji, Shinge Roshi assured me it was not being considered by the board, but thought the idea had merit because it demonstrated thinking out of the box.”

“In my mind, this idea is more like thinking in the box, the box that has allowed Eido Roshi to continue to abuse the most vulnerable females under his spiritual care for decades despite multiple well documented egregious violations of ethical guidelines and precepts. It was not so long ago that I too demonstrated ‘in the box’ thinking. I will forever regret not paying more attention to Eido Roshi's history and not taking care that Ethical Guidelines with teeth and the Precepts were more prominent in our practice.”

“I definitely feel that the steps the ZSS Board are taking are good and necessary, but, in my mind, so far insufficient. As Shinge Roshi admitted to Olivia, ‘You are right, the complex and difficult loyalties have not allowed a clean and strong separation. I hear you’; in other words, a clean and strong separation has yet to be accomplished and is sorely needed. The most direct way to accomplish a clean and strong separation is to include in the board's next public offering some sort of statement that reads, ‘We are greatly saddened to conclude that Eido Roshi's continued lack of understanding of the great harm he has caused this sangha and American Zen necessitates that his presence be precluded from ZSS property indefinitely.’ Such a statement would go a long, long way to abating reasonable peoples fears that the abusing grandfather is still a presence on campus.”

“I know that ER does not have a key to NYZ, I know that he is not allowed to teach, and I know that he does not visit often, but it is much more than the most radical factions who need to see a ‘clean break’ with Eido Roshi by the ZSS board. Despite his many flaws, Eido Roshi also has shown great genius, and sometimes he reminds me of other historical figures who have demonstrated both great gifts and great flaws. I believe that the organization owes Eido Roshi a lot for the gifts he has given, but I also believe that the organization owes a lot to those who have been harmed over the decades and were not adequately protected by the ZSS organization. It adds insult to their injuries, like rubbing salt in a wound, not to have Eido Roshi cleanly and completely excluded from the use of the properties. The fact that until recently ZSS Ethical Guidelines with teeth (admittedly they need additional refinement) and the Precepts were not more prominent in our practice, means to me, that the least we can offer those we did not adequately protect is to say he is around no more. This will give at least partial relief to those he abused, and I think much relief to the Maha-Sangha, which is watching carefully to see if the board can really turn 180 degrees away from the sordid past. As I see it, we must at least partially atone for the sins of our father. I know the Board is taking time to integrate the input received from the Sangha Meeting; I only hope this integration will lead to bold additional steps to help heal the ZSS sangha. To say Eido Roshi is 'fully retired' is simply not enough.”

“Over this last year, what has hurt terribly is coming to realize the full extent of Eido Roshi's serial abuse of females under his spiritual care, yet more painful was watching him dissemble, rationalize and backslide from taking responsibility for his actions. As I have said many times, if he can't take and hold responsibility for his actions, it falls to us to do it for him. Though I am no longer on the board, I still have a lot of years invested in this organization and lineage, and I want it to right itself and thrive in time.”




genkaku-again blog

A Revelatory Post by a Survivor

by "One of the seduced".

“I slept with Shimano.”

“One of the reasons I am posting this is because, from reading Genkaku’s blog for the past months, if I did not know better, I might think Shimano slept with only a few women through these fifty some years – the few mentioned on the blog. I know other posters believe this.”

“From my short time around ZSS, I know, personally, three other women who slept with him, none of which have been mentioned.”

“The more tragic thing is that I know two young women, both about 18, whom Shimano tried to seduce but they were strong enough to refuse. One was extremely traumatized by the attempted seduction. The other, with great maturity, told me she looked at it as a good thing: to never, ever trust men of authority.”

“So that was 6 attempts, 4 successes, within a few short years. Six that I know of! How many do you think he slept with or attempted to seduce through all these years?”

“I will not get into the details of my experiences. I have considered ‘telling all’ through these past months but after much consideration, have decided ‘no.’ What good would it do to tell all? Certainly would not consider talking to the ZSS board. And I don’t know who’s on this blog. Very few people (myself included) have the courage to use their real names – so I see no point in telling my story to a group of anonymous people.”




genkaku-again blog

A Post in Response to "One of the seduced".

by Tenshin David Hill

“First, I am so sorry of what you have been through. I also applaud your courage in telling part of your story.”

“As someone pointed out, there is only one first-hand account in the Eido Roku of Shimano's actions – that being Olivia’s letter to the ZSS Board of Directors. (The Robin Weston piece doesn't qualify because he failed in his attempt with her.)”

“Olivia’s account is remarkable because of the courage she displays in sharing it. For those of us who have known Shimano for years, it also includes descriptions of behavior that are very recognizable as his. This helps to convince me that her account is dreadfully true. As is often said, you can’t make this stuff up.”

“The first-hand accounts are critical for a couple of reasons. First, they are not hearsay and more difficult for people to pass off as improbable – a defense still being used by the remaining handful (and, yes, it is only a handful) of Shimano devotees. Second, they reveal the depth of his depravity and indifference to other sentient beings. Third, they lessen the unjustified stigma felt by some victims by simply reinforcing the fact that they are not alone and not to blame for what happened – they were hunted by a very skilled predator. Fourth, the more people that speak up the greater the pressure imposed on Shimano, and the more pressure there is the more people will know, which will disarm his ability to manipulate, abuse, and rape in the future.”




genkaku-again blog

A Further Revelatory Post by a Survivor

by "One of the seduced".

“From my experiences with him, I totally agree that he actually loves danger and the thrill of the possibility of being caught. I’ve often wondered at the processes of that man’s brain that manifest in such contradictory actions. On the one hand, he consistently initiated 'necking sessions' in locations that were very likely to be seen by others.”

“The first time I slept with ES, it was the result of date rape. He intentionally got me drunk. I was absolutely caught off guard, blindsided and completely devastated. The sad fact is that after the trauma of the situation and my immediate intention to leave and never return, I actually wound up sleeping with him two more times. And that is the shame I have carried with me and beaten myself up over for years.”




A Letter from Sherry Chayat to "Dear Sangha."

“Our Sangha Weekend Meeting, facilitated by three members from An Olive Branch, brought together a wide range of people with diverse points of view, and the intensity of our discussions was mirrored by the weather: Hurricane Irene raged outside, the strong winds and rain purifying our hearts (as well as washing out our roads!).”

“We had planned this meeting with the goal of deeply hearing each other, knowing that no healing can occur when wounds are untended and left to fester; that we must have the courage to uncover them, facing our pain from the past in the present, so that we can work toward a strong, healthy future. For a summary of the structure of the meeting, please see the link at the end of this email.”

“The most painful yet crucial aspect of the meeting was an adapted Samoan Circle. Soun Joe Dowling and I, together with AOB facilitators, sat in the inner circle, and participants from the outer circle took an empty chair in turn to speak.”

“First, letters were read from several people who couldn't be there; one in particular was extremely moving in its articulation of the hurt and harm experienced from an unwanted teacher-student liaison. Quite a few spoke of their feelings of betrayal, disappointment and disillusionment. Someone noted how harmful the culture of secrecy and silence in the Sangha has been, which can cause one to deny what one sees and hears–to question one's own truth.”

“Others stressed the life-changing significance of Eido Roshi's teaching, his founding of New York Zendo and Dai Bosatsu Zendo, and the need to carry it forward authentically: ‘The Dharma is like holding water in one's palm; if it's held loosely, it will drain away. Our task is to offer this Dharma water to the next generation. We have to hand over exactly the same water. We don't want to color it, or it will destroy our tradition.’ "

“A woman who suffered deep sadness over losing Eido Roshi as her teacher said she has now been able to let go, and hopes others can as well, ‘so that we can go forward in the spirit of love and acceptance of each other, not allowing our views to fragment our Sangha. My attachment is to the Dharma, and to this place.’ Concurring, someone responded, ‘This is an amazing place. I have come to understand something beyond my own thinking. It's easy to become angry, but doing zazen helps that anger go away. We can respect Rinzai Zen practice for what it is—a real treasure. In our hearts we can find compassion to forgive the person who betrays us, or who shouts at us. We're human beings. My stand is to say, I love you.’ And another said, ‘This is the only place I can go to discover what I have inside. One must judge oneself, not others. We each have stories; this practice helps me see what is much bigger.’ "

“Someone said, ‘It's clear that these board members care so much, and they've done a phenomenal job, but most have been hand-picked by Eido Roshi. The board membership should be made up of professionals, and should rotate every three years.’ Agreeing, another person said, ‘Now we need to help these women [who were harmed by relationships with their teacher] come back to the Sangha, and make this into a safe place for women.’ "

“One of the newest Sangha members said, ‘I am beyond grateful. This is a magical place. Please don't let it be lost. My generation needs this. I know more young people will come. Please, please, keep it safe.’ "

“At the end of each person's comments, one of us responded by reflecting them back to show that they were deeply heard; and then the entire group declared, ‘We hear you!’ "

“Another wrote, ‘All of us know that we are obliged to challenge dualistic moral judgment and appreciate the distinction–and lack of such–between the realm in which cause and effect are one and the realm in which they're separate. On the other hand, we must not forget that the world we live in is, thanks to media and pop-psychology, more materialistic, thus more addicted to such dualism and the simplistic moralism it produces....’ "

“In the wake of this important weekend, I have done the following:

“Instructed the board to complete its review and revision of our by-laws to rationalize our governance decisions by October 15.”

“Nominated new board members with a broad range of backgrounds and professional skill sets to replace those who are stepping down. New members will begin serving in January 2012.”

“Ordered an in-depth financial audit to clarify our strongest sources of funding, get a better understanding of our operating and capital expense needs, and examine past practices that may not have been in the best interests of the Sangha. We are looking for this audit to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2012.”

“Begun to investigate ways to broaden our sources of funding, to create reliable income streams that are in line with our mission to offer Rinzai Zen in America. I plan on implementing these in the coming year.”

“It is my intention to put the Zen Studies Society at the forefront of Zen in America once again. Our founding teacher has devoted his life to bringing the Dharma to the West. It is our job to uphold what we have received, and to improve upon the vehicle for actualizing it in our ever-changing world. I am completely dedicated to this.”




This is to summarize the structure of a facilitated discussion meeting for the Zen Studies Society, held at Dai Bosatsu Zendo Kongo-Ji on August 27 and 28, 2011.

In the wake of the Aug. 26-28, 2011, meeting at Dai Bosatsu Zendo, An Olive Branch issued this summary of the sometimes emotional gathering in its role as 'facilitator.' While the keying of one person's car and an emotional outburst that was referred to a psychologist on hand for just such events are mentioned to indicate some of the obvious heat generated, the report as a whole generally looks forward to a more fruitful future based on input gleaned and groundwork formulated at the meeting.

“This is to summarize the structure of a facilitated discussion meeting for the Zen Studies Society, held at Dai Bosatsu Zendo Kongo-Ji on August 27 and 28, 2011. It was facilitated by An Olive Branch, a group centered out of the Zen Center of Pittsburgh that is committed to, among other things, assisting organizations like ZSS arrive at facilitated resolution in difficult circumstances.”

“Informational Paper presented by An Olive Branch

The purpose of this part of the meeting was to contextualize the ZSS situation, providing an overview of sexual misconduct within spiritual communities, the impact it has on members, the particular aspects of monastic training that may influence the frequency of sexual misconduct, and ways individuals can work effectively within a fractured community.”

“Samoan Circle

This portion of the meeting was designed to allow all Sangha members (present and not present) to make a heartfelt statement of their feelings and concerns related to the events of the last year-and-a-half within ZSS (and earlier) and to have their concerns acknowledged by the Board (and, as the meeting progressed, also by the rest of the participants)."

“Participants were seated in a circle and asked to write each of their individual concerns on a 4x6 card. After completing their cards, participants were invited to move to one of three empty chairs in a small inner circle comprised of Shinge Roshi, Soun Joe Dowling (later, Larry Shainberg), and two of the facilitators. Everyone else sat in an outer circle observing those in the inner circle. After the participant presented his or her concern(s), either Shinge Roshi, Soun or one of the facilitators made a restatement to acknowledge the key points they raised and asked them if they felt heard. If so, the Sangha member was asked to place their 4x6 card in a bucket in the center of the room as a sign that they had been heard. This procedure was later revised to include a step in which the entire Sangha present voiced the phrase ‘We hear you’ to acknowledge the speaker.”

“The last step in the Samoan Circle was a small ceremony led by Shinge Roshi after dinner. During the ceremony the cards containing Sangha members’ concerns that had been deposited in the bucket were set on fire to symbolize that they had been heard by all.”

“Consensus Workshop

The activities and discussion above focused on the revelations of ethical breaches and the Sangha members’ emotions related to those breaches. The remainder of the meeting was about how ZSS could move forward. A focus question was posed: 'What issues need to be addressed in order to grow a new lotus flower from this muddy water?' Participants first worked alone to brainstorm answers to the question; then in pairs, coming up with 5 ideas per pair to share with the group.”


The Zen Studies Society has held a respected place within the larger Buddhist community for many years. This respect has been severely tested. Many strong Sangha members have felt they had to leave ZSS when their concerns were not addressed by previous boards, and during the meeting many stories were heard regarding how painful those departures have been both for those who stayed and for those who left.”

“This meeting demonstrated that there are Sangha members who are deeply committed to the future of ZSS, as evidenced by their willingness to return to DBZ despite Hurricane Irene, listen to each other’s stories, and begin to co-create a way forward. This work was emotionally exhausting, but extremely important. It established a precedent for how ZSS must interact going forward. We believe any possible rebuilding of the ZSS will require more of this kind of commitment, respect for each other, deep listening, open communication, and prompt, transparent and sustained action by the Board.”

[While the particulars of the timeline are illegible in the photo, the number of (also illegible) Post-its suggests that personal reactions were more heart-felt than the report itself.]



Japanese Translation


New Translation
(date of translation completion)

未公開の記事ー”誘惑の禅”ロビン ウェステン記者、1982年。 この記事はロバート エイトケンの期日不明の“嶋野物語”を承けて書かれた。 

Unpublished Article - "The Zen of Seduction" by Robin Westen, Dated August 1982. This is the Article Referred to by Robert Aitken in his Undated Piece "The Shimano Story."



ロビン ウェステンによる嶋野栄道エキスポゼイの全文。 エキスポゼイは嶋野栄道/禅スタデイ ソサイエテイの出版社に対する訴訟を恐れて1982年には出版されなかった。

”私は遠慮がちに、その手にすがりましたが、足の感覚が戻る前に彼はいきなり私を床から引き上げ、抱き竦めて、私の乳房を掴み、舌を私の口内に挿入して来ました。 更に私のスカートを捲り上げ、股間に手を差し伸べて来ました。”

”今私は栄道老師と茶を飲む機会を得た。 私は私の精神的進展について語る為に準備してその場に臨みましたが驚いたことに彼は、'女性は接心直後が一番魅力的で、セックスに相応しい時期だ。 もし私の自由になり、皆も解脱の真髄を理解するならば、接心最後の夜皆でセックスをし合うのだが。' と言いました。”

”内部調査で更に6人の女弟子が接心の期間中に彼に言い寄られた事を認めました。 栄道は独参室を誘惑のための本部として利用していた事が明らかになりました。”

” ’気がつくと彼は、僧衣を脱いで、素っ裸でベッドに横たわっていました。 ああ、当時の私はこれを見て、多分解脱に関する試験に違いない、と思ったのです。 今思えば馬鹿げた話ですが、禅の修行に夢中で、その人物を心底敬っていると、いかなる事態が生じても最善を尽くしたくなるものです。 そして彼が私にフェラチオを命じた時も、私はこれを演ずる事が最善なのだと信じたのです。 彼はこれが私に取っての霊性経験であると言いましたが... どうしてもそうは思えなかった。 実を言えば、良いセックスでさえもなかった。’ ”

[ See entry of: 07/26/10 ] 




An Email from the Zen Studies Society.

Bodhidharma Day All-Day Sit
led by Mitsunen Shoro Lou Nordstrom Roshi
Sunday, Oct. 9, 8 am – 5 pm"

"Nordstrom Roshi, who began Zen practice at New York Zendo in 1967, will conduct this all-day sitting."

"He received shiho from Bernie Glassman, in the White Plum lineage of Taizen Maezumi Roshi and inka from Junpu Kuroda Roshi. He was also a student of Soen Roshi and Eido Roshi, and is the former husband of Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat Roshi."

"Nordstrom Roshi has taught Buddhism and comparative philosophy at many colleges and universities, including Columbia University, NYU, Marymount, Marymount Manhattan, Syracuse University, and Bernard Baruch. He has been a non-resident teacher in Florida since 1997, and is the Abbot of two Zen centers there, Kuge-in Brevard Zen Center and Hokori-ji Lakeland Zen Center. Nordstrom Roshi was the editor of 'Namu Dai Bosa: A Zen Transmission to America,' is the author of many articles, and is also a poet."




"Buddha Realm in Everyday Western Life"

Chapter 14

Reprinted from "Zen Women: Beyond Tea Ladies, Iron Maidens, and Macho Masters"
© Grace Schireson, 2009.

Published by Wisdom Publications
ISBN 13- 978-0-86171-475-9

Available through Amazon Here.

With permission from
Wisdom Publications
199 Elm Street, Somerville, MA 02144 USA.

“We need institutions that offer us realistic training-guidelines that deepen our acceptance of how we actually live right here in this culture rather than encouraging us to look for enlightenment somewhere else. The training we receive should help us bring peace and sustenance to our communities. We need to train in ways that take Zen out of its Asian institutional containers and pour it into our own teacup: into our own working life which values and is valued by our communities. We need to develop Western Zen institutions that do not imitate ancient Asian monastic images but instead support the integration of practice into our own vernacular.”

“In Asia, monasteries have historically enjoyed a broad basis for financial support - temples have been supported by large congregations, governments and corporations. Early Western Zen aimed at building training monasteries, which were supported largely by private donors and the work of their members. Many Zen institutions now find themselves facing financial crisis with inadequate community, institutional, or cultural support for their mission. One reason for this state of crisis is the perception of Zen Buddhists as marginal or insignificant to Western culture - or even worse, as strange or harmful. These perceptions, obviously, do not encourage donations. Western Zen needs to widen its basis for support. It will not survive through just building training monasteries that serve practitioners. Large training monasteries need to redirect more of their efforts to establishing their value to the community in order to transplant Zen to the West.”

“The tendency to avoid personal development through seclusion in monastic life can result in the economic dependency of Zen practitioners. The penchant to avoid work in the world, to rely entirely on an institution that is in its infancy, is destructive of institutions and unwholesome for practitioners. If Zen centers unwittingly allow their students to devote their entire adult lives to serving only the monastic community, they will need to be prepared to support these students through their retirement years. And this is beginning to look like an unrealistic if not impossible financial task.”

“Zen students who do not develop their personal gifts, and who do not thereby mature through work in the world, are also missing an important task of adult development and adjustment. Western psychologists have emphasized the adult task of individuation, becoming more fully oneself, as crucial to finding meaning. Honing one's work abilities and friendships. one continues to develop psychologically and to feel and to be productive in society at large. Monastic seclusion and relationships confined to this specialized setting may not fully facilitate adult development. Avoiding worldly work can be seen as another type of spiritual bypass.”

“If Zen centers provide long-term residence as compensation they risk encouraging students to become financially dependent, they risk staffing their residential centers with people who are there for some of the wrong reasons-people who stay at the centers because they have lost their ability to support themselves financially in the world. Global financial uncertainty and technological change may make it even more difficult for long-term Zen students to reenter the marketplace. They may become dependent and resentful of the very institution within which they feel trapped.”

“Many students who have faithfully faced the rigors of little sleep, a low-protein community diet, and an absence of rigorous daily exercise find themselves physically and emotionally depleted and sometimes with chronic degenerative diseases related to their Zen lifestyles. Zen centers that have benefited from the long-term commitment of residential students may now find themselves unable to sustain their centers while supporting and housing large numbers of aging, students. Some older residents are being asked to leave: those that need medical attention may find their needs unmet.”

If Western Zen students examine current Asian models, they will see that monastic training requiring little sleep, early morning arising, and long periods of seated meditation is usually sustained only for a few years. In Japan monastic training is for the young monk only; it is not practiced into old age. Zen monks train for a few years in a strict monastic environment, and then return home to live in a city or village temple with a family-serving community Western Zen centers encourage practitioners to simply follow monastic training guidelines even as one ages – a practice that may create health problems and shorten the life span. Just as we should not idealize Zen masters, we should not idealize monastic training as a perfect lifestyle for all ages. Medical research suggests that getting enough sleep and a diet appropriate to one's personal needs is important for sustaining health. We should not cultivate attachment to health and fitness, nor should we waste this body that is itself a precious Dharma resource.”




Informational Paper presented by
An Olive Branch

This document is the verbatim text of a portion of the meeting presented by Rev. Kyoki Roberts from An Olive Branch. The purpose for the presentation was to contextualize the ZSS situation, providing an overview of sexual misconduct by clergy who lead spiritual communities, the impact it has on members, the particular aspects of Zen teachers’ training that may influence the frequency of sexual misconduct, and ways an individual can work within a fractured community.

“In 13 states it is a felony for clergy to have a sexual relationship with a member of his congregation.”

“These state laws recognize that just as within your doctor/patient relationship, or that which you have with your therapist, this is not a consenting adult affair. This is about the misuse of power -- of one’s fiduciary responsibility as a spiritual leader, of one’s responsibility to protect the vulnerable, and one’s requirement to have true consent before engaging in a sexual relationship.”

“Zen priests, historically, are completely untrained in transference -- the process in which a student unconsciously redirects feelings about something onto a new object, often the teacher or therapist -- and the use and mis-use of power. If a priest’s teacher did it, the priest can too, creating a Zen family norm of misconduct.”

“At the very least, a Zen teacher needs to know that a student may well fall in love with him or her, but it is always the teacher’s responsibility to maintain the boundary between student and teacher.”

“Each of you has been harmed and collectively your Sangha has been brought to its knees. Your board believes there is credible evidence that Eido Shimano had sexual relations with one or more Sangha members and the Sangha now understand this to have perhaps been going on for decades. The board has asked for and received Eido Shimano’s resignation.”

“He was removed, not because he wasn’t a great teacher and leader of this community, he was; not because he wasn’t able to help you touch what my master called the “innermost request,” he did again and again; nor was he removed for his inability to point each of you toward awakening, he did. No, the board removed him because he violated the sacred trust of the professional ethics of ministry and the victims and your community were hurt by these violations.  It is these violations that have created the quagmire; not your new abbot, not your board, and certainly not you the Sangha.

For much of this past year Eido has been trying to figure a way back into teaching. That is exactly what he has managed to do before if he could get enough angry people to leave the Sangha and then gather his supporters around to start over. This is a pattern within your community.”

“You have lost a respected and trusted leader, you have victims of sexual misconduct who need your support, you have a Sangha desperately trying to figure out what to do, you personally have lost friends and Sangha members, you have a struggling new abbot, and you have a conflicted board struggling to help their community amid dire financial straits.”

“Most important of all is whether there is a consensus here to heal—to begin a long slow process that heals each member of the Sangha, that heals the Board, that heals the abbot, and that heals the Sangha as a whole. Our experience is that you will not heal at the same pace. While one is ready to start looking at a variety of new options, another of your community is still grieving the loss of a friend and colleague.”

“An Olive Branch has been working with your board since early Spring to create today’s program. We have talked with and e-mailed many of you. An Olive Branch assembled a team with over eighty years of experience helping communities just like yours. Barbara is the Director of the Center for Research in Conflict and Negotiation at Penn State and has worked at the national and international level. She is also President of her Sangha. Katheryn is CEO of CenterPoint Institute, a facilitation and board development service specifically aimed at nonprofits.  I began mediating disputes for Interchurch Ministries and the State of Nebraska starting back in the 1980’s at the same time I started Zen practice. I was ordained in 1993 and now am serving as Head Priest for the Zen Center of Pittsburgh. As a vice-chair of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association Board, I serve as chair of the ethics committee which recently developed the ethics statement for Soto Zen priests.”

“I would like to explain how we see our role. At An Olive Branch we help organizations with trainings in communication and conflict. We love to train Sanghas on how to prevent what just happened here. We facilitate boards looking at their mission statements and designing their future. We mediate individuals and organizations in dispute, and just like today, we do interventions where there has been malfeasance in an organization, especially when a leader is removed.”

“We bring our training and our experience to your organization. We will not make decisions for your organization, nor tell the Board what they should or should not do. What we bring is a process that allows you to express your feelings and ensure that at the very least you will be heard. We also hope we will capture your ideas and your hopes for going forward as a Sangha. We have asked your board to not make any formal decisions during our activities over the next two days. Sometime after we leave, your board will decide what actions to take. That is how your by-laws read and we always work within the structure of the organization. In their deliberation, I trust the ZSS board will include those ideas, hopes, dreams that arise over this weekend.”

[See entries of: 07/20/1108/05/1109/05/1109/19/1109/16/11 ]




Genjo Marinello, Osho - Shimano's Fifth Dharma Heir.

Post to
Zen Forum International.

"Recently I had the good pleasure to read the 'Informational Paper' (/PDFs/2011 ... _Paper.pdf) presented to the Zen Studies Society (ZSS) at the all Sangha Meeting held August 26-28, by Rev. Kyoki Roberts, the lead facilitator from An Olive Branch. The paper starts out by going over the fact that thirteen states, but not New York, have enacted long overdue statutes making Sexual Conduct by Clergy a felony. By these enlightened standards my own Dharma Father would probably be behind bars after his very likely conviction(s) if subject to these laws honoring basic ground rules of ethical decency. And yet he is still allowed on campus, and at times shows up when Shinge Roshi, his successor, is not present, and apparently everyone acts like nothing has changed. Of course those present find it very disorienting to say the least. I find this totally unacceptable, and again call for the ZSS Board to insist that Eido Roshi be banned indefinitely from ZSS property. Here is a man who by a reasonable estimate not only seduced and slept with dozens of vulnerable students under his spiritual care over the course of decades, but also plied some with alcoholic libations and forced himself on them. There is a first hand account of a senior student of Eido Roshi’s on the blogs that confirms just such an act. Many may not know who this student is, as she whishes to remain anonymous, but I have a good idea whom this is, and knowing this person, I totally accept her account as completely credible."

"The 'Informational Paper' goes on to say that resources need to be devoted to 'educate your Sangha on prevention of misconduct and the abuse of power within a Sangha. Get training in communication, conflict resolution and family systems… You may want to create a task force to oversee and plan the events, education, and training that your community will need to re-create itself.' In addition, the paper calls for the board to address 'structural issues' such as membership and board representation that just may help prevent future excessive abuses of power and authority centered on one person. The paper notes that there are 'victims of sexual misconduct who need your support’ and a Sangha that is 'desperately trying to figure out what to do.' "

"I ask where in Shinge Roshi’s letter to the ZSS Sangha summarizing her response to the Sangha Meeting (also posted on this page of this forum) does she move forward on these essential points presented by Rev. Kyoki Roberts? Instead of committing the organization to structural reforms that would decentralize power by making the organization membership based with a primarily elected board, we hear about how there is going to be a 'review and revision of our by-laws to rationalize our governance decisions'. Moreover, we read how new unnamed board members are being essentially appointed to board positions vacated by those who demanded more from this organization than it seems capable of giving. Since June of last year, five board members have resigned because more was not being done. Where is any kind of commitment to 'educate your Sangha on prevention of misconduct and the abuse of power with the Sangha'? Where is the needed support for the many victims of sexual misconduct perpetrated by the founding abbot and serially minimized and inadequately addressed by previous ZSS boards?'

'At one point, the 'Informational Paper' says, 'For much of this past year Eido has been trying to figure a way back into teaching. That is exactly what he has managed to do before… This time it didn’t work and on July 2nd he stated,… 'I will stop doing dokusan and giving teisho in a forma [sic] way'… With these words, Eido finished teaching and working with students.’ However, I have in my possession an email from Eido Roshi, addressed to the ZSS Board President and copied to other board members including myself dated July 5th, asking to be allowed to lead zazen at New York Zendo, teach Zen classics in a classroom format, stating, 'Thus, everyone will have the opportunity to share the enthusiasm while I am still able to teach. And when the time comes, I will send them to DBZ and they will start (like Freshman) their zazen training.' My fellow members of the ZSS Board insisted that this letter was an aberration of a desperate man. They said it should not be released because it would be confusing, embarrassing, and further damage his reputation. How is that possible? I resigned from the board because after the Board received this letter exposing Eido Roshi’s sham of stepping down from all teaching, the majority of the ZSS Board, including the Board president and current abbot were not willing to insist on even a moderate hiatus of Eido Roshi’s presence on ZSS property. I should have released the letter earlier, though I did not cover it up and publicly spoke of its content. Here is a redacted (email addresses removed) copy: "

[See next archive entry.]

'Moreover, as late as Sept. 5th of this year, a proposal by Lawrence Shainberg, who is unbelievably to me still on the current ZSS ethics committee, seriously suggests that Eido Roshi’s supporters be given the opportunity to buy the New York Zendo – Shobo-Ji, so that Eido Roshi could continue to teach there! No one can stop him from teaching if there are enough fanatics to make that happen, but for Buddha’s sake I’m glad to report the ZSS Board will not entertain this absurd but well stated argument that is also printed on this page of this forum. The point is there is no way Eido Roshi is not behind these attempts to find new venues to continue teaching and the least the ZSS Board can do is definitively restrict him from all further access to ZSS property. How can the Sangha hope to regain a solid footing while he remains present? Sadly, the founding abbot has almost no awareness of his crimes or the harm that he has done. More sadly to me, the current abbot still supports his presence on campus and doesn’t appear to understand that much more needs to be done to foster real healing within the ZSS Sangha.”

[See next entry]




Letter from Shimano to Joe Dowling and ZSS Board Members.

Dated 07/05/11

“Although I agreed not to mention about the Shoboji key matter, I did not agree to ignore Zensho's question and my response. This must be clearly transcribed and distributed to the ZSS sangha properly.”

“By my doing zazen meetings (no dokosan no teisho) rather than formal sesshins, my intention is to sit together and study the zen classics in a classroom format. Thus, everyone will have the opportunity to share the enthusiasm while I am still able to teach. And when the time comes, I willl [sic] send them to DBZ and they will start (like Freshman) their zazen training. Even Harvard university would disappear in ten years if there were no freshmen stuidents. [sic] No one in our sangha wishes THIS for the future of DBZ and Shoboji.” 

“What we all need to do is to nurture the next generation. Shoboji's Public Meetings on Thursday Night used to be the entrance gate. We seriously need to think the reactivation of Thursday Nights.”

“With the cooperation of the ZSS board, what i can do is start sowing the seeds of the plant for the next season. Right now we are too involved wtih [sic] present problems and have not been concerned about the furture [sic] ten or twenty years from now. DBZ is already 35 years old. Time flies and I am getting older.” 

“These students will grow and become the core of the next generation. Same is true in Japanese Dharma Classs. [sic] Yusen, Shinobu, Junko, Julie, and others who are regularly going to DBZ to help each weekend are all from the Japanese Dharma Class. So without their presence, DBZ will suffer a greater impact.” 

“I am not creating a new Sangha. Instead, I am hatching new eggs for the future growth of Shinge's students. Who would know? some of them will become future residents, some of them will be future monks. this is what i regard as important from my response to Zensho's question.”




A Post to:

Zen Forum International

by Nonin Chowaney

"Yes, it is profoundly sad. And from what I've heard, he's a sad old man limping his way through the morass he's put himself in. Whether he'll ever emerge from it, who knows? Will those hurt by his behavior ever receive the apologies that they deserve? Who knows? Will ZSS ever emerge from the morass that Eido Shimano and others who never productively and positively dealt with his behavior put the organization in over the years? Who knows? Will the organization re-structure itself and proceed in a positive direction? Who knows? It's going to take quite awhile for the situation to resolve in any direction."

[See entries of: 05/22/1006/09/10 ]




True Dharma Eye: Enlightenment versus Social Misconduct

By Grace Schireson

SWEEPINGZEN: the definitive online who’s who of Zen

“Fukushima Roshi taught me that the literal translation of ‘Zen freedom’ is based on living with the mind of mu (or no separate self) and it means ‘self-reliance’. Ji=self, yu= reliance. Fukushima Roshi clarified that the self we rely on is based on the mu self or becoming ‘mu,’ and living one’s life from the perspective of mushin. Mushin is living in the realm of understanding how the universal self expresses itself through and with us. Fukushima Roshi also said that Western thought interpreted *freedom* as freedom *from* oppression and unfair laws. But it must be made clear, he said, that jiyu means *freedom to.* This is a life that is “freedom to” bring creativity, love, wholeness and support *to* everything we encounter. We are not separate from those we meet by some fictitious license of Zen enlightenment.

“Currently we see several examples of Zen teachers who are confused and confusing their sanghas with this bogus ‘freedom from’ Zen– a Zen that eschews following the ethical rules that protect students. We hear of Eido Shimano, formerly Abbot of Zen Studies Society, being described as ‘living in the realm of the Absolute.’ The follow on foolish talk concludes that he cannot cause harm to others due to this so-called attainment. Teaching this mistaken, blatantly self-serving and dangerous idea reveals a teaching which has no stable understanding of what it means to be interconnected, to have no separate self. We must correct this mistaken teaching without condemning the ones who promote it. However, once we understand that someone is preaching false Dharma, it is our responsibility *to* not allow them to continue this harmful charade. This is our gift *to* them. We need to walk away, to vote with our feet, and if necessary, we are free *to* pursue legal options to stop their harm. We need to take our wallets with us and not support any further perversion of Zen understanding Zen which can only result in greater harm to individuals and to Dharma.”

“The relative world is not put on hold when we manifest Awakening or vividly experience the Absolute. There is proof that this is true; even Eido Shimano will die in this relative realm. There is not a speck of separation between the realm of the relative and the Absolute. We are relative beings existing in both realms simultaneously, we answer *to* the understandings of both realms simultaneously, and we are connected *to* all beings in these realms simultaneously. We are responsible *to* expressing our relationship to both realms at all times.”

“If we harm other people, deceive other people, denounce other people we are responsible to all of them. We have not gained through Zen freedom any *freedom from* harming others or the consequences of harming others. Zen freedom is not a free pass that liberates us from our karma. Far from it! We become all the more responsible to not causing harm, so be impeccably careful with your Zen freedom!”




by Kobutsu Malone

Post to:
Zen Forum International

"At this time, I would like to offer a formal public apology to Genjo Marinello, Roshi his family, friends, students and organization who might have been hurt by any additions to the Shimanoarchive. In addition, my apology extends to any innocent party who might have been hurt or denigrated by my actions, lack thereof, and my making available in public anything that might have been considered private on a personal level."




Genjo Marinello, Osho - Shimano's Fifth Dharma Heir.

Post to:
Zen Forum International.

“I also said, Eido Roshi's previous bad behavior was ‘not even illegal just unconscionable by our standards, still it is not like he forced, bribed, coerced or paid anyone to have sex with him.’ On this claim, I was wrong again, I have heard credible accounts that Eido Roshi did indeed coerce and even force sexual relations with students, and there are credible claims he has indeed paid for sex off campus. I also said of sexual relations with students that ‘the power dynamic is totally lopsided and his responsibility for these actions is 80% or more, but not all his.’ This too is partially in error, because it is incomplete. As I have previously said on this forum, Eido Roshi was 100% responsible for the ethical breach. If he had been adequately held responsible for these earlier breaches, many lives would have been spared great psychological damage. I've also said here, ‘age difference, depth of professional relationship, who pursues whom, and recidivism does matter in determining the severity of the ethical breach’ and ‘I completely agree that the power dynamic can sometimes be so great between a spiritual teacher and their students, that if it is the case that the teacher is pursuing aggressively a much younger vulnerable student, such actions are so lopsided as to boarder on rape.’ "

“I also said in my AZTA post which was written in June of 2009, ‘This current controversy, over old material, has been and continues to be fanned by four men with old grudges, intent to 'bring him down,' as one said directly. By the way, none of the four men I am referring to are members of AZTA, but please be aware that a man who was declined membership in AZTA, in part because Eido Roshi would not acknowledge him as a Dharma Teacher, started the current wave of vilification.’ "

“I never named the four men, but people have correctly guessed three of the four I had in mind, Kobutsu Malone, Adam Genkaku Fisher and Stuart Lachs. Many have suggested that fourth unnamed man was Robert Aitken, but he was not who I was thinking of. I never thought the release of the Shimano Archive kept at the University of Hawaii was a bad thing, in fact I said in this same AZTA post, ‘We should remember the past so that we learn not to repeat old errors. It's true that among the many transgressions of many teachers, Eido Roshi's history makes a good case study.’, which turns out to be a gross understatement.”

“Anyway, I hereby publicly apologize to these four men, they have done a great service in exposing Eido Roshi's miss use of power and position. I particularly apologize to Rev. Kobutsu Malone for so doubting his motives based on the information I had at the time, much of it I now know was either in error or minimally incomplete. Having some idea of what he and his family have suffered at the hands of Eido Roshi or others associated with ZSS, I am so very saddened by his experience, and have worked as hard as I can to keep Eido Roshi away from new students and to turn the organization he helped birth to a profoundly new course.”

[ See entry of 06/09/10 for original accusation. ]




by Kobutsu Malone and Genkaku Adam Fisher

Posts to:
Zen Forum International

"I wish to express my sincere gratitude for your above statement – that took real insight and courage to publish. I thank you not just for myself, but for the other three men and most of all – for the good will your statement will engender in the larger disenfranchised, exiled ZSS sangha."

"It feels like a weight has been lifted... I am delighted to be able to refer to you as my Dharma brother for I sincerely perceive that we are truly in agreement on facing the truth together as we walk side by side on the path of the awakened state of mind."

"I extend my best wishes for you and your group in establishing your new temple and wish I could have been there for your opening ceremony. I will send along a few of my rakusu rings as an opening gift for folks who take jukai in the new facility."

"Nine deep bows, Genjo Roshi."

"I believe your honesty and your willingness to reconsider matters will serve you and Zen practice in America well."




An email from Roko Sherry Chayat to "Dear Zen Studies Society Sangha".

"In the weeks since our Sangha Weekend facilitated by An Olive Branch, I have felt deeply saddened. I want to express my sorrow and regret to those harmed by affairs with their teacher, to the many who have suffered feelings of betrayal and disillusionment, and for the bitterness and divisiveness that have occurred."

"Although I cannot apologize for what others have done or have not done, what I can do is to ensure a safe and inspiring environment for authentic Rinzai Zen training and practice at the Zen Studies Society's monastery and temple."

"To that end, the current Board of Directors and I are taking many positive steps to restore trust in the Zen Studies Society. We have already revised the Zen Studies Society's By-laws, and we have created a firm framework for upholding the Precepts and ethical guidelines at Dai Bosatsu Zendo and New York Zendo."

"I have also nominated new Board members to include dedicated practitioners who have strong non-profit, law, and business careers, as well as elected representatives from both the New York Zendo and Dai Bosatsu Zendo. From January 2012, I will work with this expanded Board to ensure transparency in our communications with Sangha members, emphasizing the kind of deep listening that took place during our facilitated Sangha Weekend. To ensure that our skills as directors meet the Society's needs, I will arrange a Board training retreat with a non-profit professional on best practices for governance and communication. "





"Special Karma
A Zen Novel of Love and Folly"

by Merry White Benezra

1453887210 / 9781453887219

© Merry White Benezra 2011

Available Here.

"Special Karma is a fascinating novel, of interest to anyone who has attempted to do meditation practice or follow a spiritual discipline, to anyone who has fallen in and out of young love. In it one experiences the intensity of life deeply apprehended, the attractiveness of a character who is both honest about and just slightly amused by the events of her life. Central to the story is the theme of a spiritual teacher (the Japanese Zen Roshi) who abuses his position by initiating sexual liaisons with his female students and whose approaches to the protagonist, Iris, ultimately lead to her disillusionment about practicing Zen and living in a Zen center. Special Karma is the only novel I know of that presents the theme of the sexual misconduct of a Zen master. Benezra handles this delicate subject with an understatement and irony consistent with the thoughtful, personal tone of the whole book. I hope you will read Special Karma with as much pleasure as I have."

- Sandy Boucher, author of Turning the Wheel, American Women Creating the New Buddhism

“The Roshi produced a book of photographs which, he said, a student had recently sent him.

It was filled with photographs of nude women, as Iris had somehow known it would be. As the Roshi turned the pages, the photos struck her as remarkably cold, exposing the imperfections of bodies that conveyed an impression of use. The images had about them an atmosphere of crime—so open did these women seem to mishandling. They stood naked in their kitchens or sat awkwardly on couches, nailed by the camera and the unsavory intellect behind it. More than anything, she wished them dressed.

The Roshi seemed not entirely pleased by the images. ‘This one is really not so bad,’ he finally said after turning the page once more. It was a young woman with teased brown hair and dangling earrings, straddling a chair backward so that the bentwood back somewhat obscured her own front. The girl wore a wistful smile.

‘I should go now,’ said Iris, getting up.

‘Why!’ he demanded.

Why? bounced around in her head for several moments.

‘Iris’ purred the Roshi, and he clasped her hand. Iris felt its dry pressure, remembering the countless times she had admired the simple beauty of his hands. And now she felt nothing, no surge of arousal, but only—as it happened—impatience. She looked down at him, but he was not at all looking at her. With closed eyes, he was savoring the magic of holding her hand against her will. He let it go, and his face became rigid, angry.

She bowed to him until he bowed back, and then she left the room."

“That evening, the Roshi visited her. When he came through the door it seemed to Iris that her room might collapse in the wake of his energy—and she remembered her dream. She sat up in bed with a blanket wrapped around her shoulders, and the Roshi moved the cushion from the window-table and sat down. ‘Feeling better?’ he inquired.

‘What,’ she persisted, ‘is my special karma?’

He made an ironic cheee! noise, shaking his head and laughing at her as though she were some dear old exasperating friend. ‘Shall I tell you?’ he asked.


He took a deep breath and massaged the sides of his skull with his palms, not speaking for several moments. ‘Do you remember Sandra?’ he finally asked.

‘Yes, of course. Always by your side’

The Roshi nodded. ‘When you came to the monastery, she said, That one will be the next. So.’

Iris stared.

‘But you are so stubborn!  Why?’ he innocently wondered, with a receptive smile.

‘You’re my teacher,’ Iris breathed. ‘It wouldn’t be appropriate.’

‘Appropriate!’ He tsked and gave her a baleful look, as though she could be infinitely tiresome.

‘It would end badly.’ (It seemed fantastic to be saying all of this to God.)

‘Perhaps. Perhaps you are right, Iris. But it might be, on the other hand, quite pleasant, quite enjoyable.’ He gazed at her for several moments—and then he took her hand and squeezed it. ‘So,’ he said, ‘it shall not be’

Then he stood up.  Iris watched him shuffle out of her room, the starched obi riding on his wide hips looking tired and tight.

He had, Iris concluded grimly, both a front and a back."

[ See entry of: 12/17/10 ]




A Review of "Special Karma"
By Genjo Marinello, Osho

From the Dai Bai Zan Cho Bo Zen Ji
Newsletter "Plum Mountain News"
Autumn 2011.

“While reading this book, I was immediately transported to Dai Bosatsu, and though I wasn’t there until the 90's, I felt a palpable inner resonance with every nook and cranny of the location and the impact the place and practice had on the people training there.”

“I find myself still greatly disturbed and betrayed by the fact that Eido Roshi’s sexual advances towards students did not end more than 15 years ago, as I was assured they had, when I began to train with him. Indeed, we are all now well aware that his sexual advances, which sometimes even rose to date rape, did not stop. Perhaps the frequency diminished a bit with age, but not because of any real understanding of the harm he had done or was doing right up to the latest exposure in June of 2010 that forced his retirement last year. The book also should help everyone see just how insidious, confusing and detrimental such advances, let alone conquest, can be, not only to the one pursued, but to the whole training sangha, both those who were subtly or actually aware of what was going on, and indirectly to all those who didn’t have a clue.”

“Of course, given Eido Roshi’s lack of respect for ethical boundaries in this crucial area, in this arena he was always a poor example to his students. How tragic that such an inspired teacher and leader could have such a big gap in his training and psychological maturity.”




Genjo Marinello, Osho - Shimano's Fifth Dharma Heir.

Post to:
Zen Forum International.

“I have read and re-read your letter to the Zen Studies Society Sangha dated November 1st < /PDFs/2011 ... Sangha.pdf >, and though I see some movement to close this matter of Eido Roshi’s multiple ethical breaches over decades, I still find more absent than present in your actions to date.”

“For example, in your letter you say you ‘cannot apologize for what others have done or have not done’, but on this point, I strongly disagree. The United States apologized long after it should have for the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, but the apology was greatly appreciated by those internees still living and their decedents. As abbot of the Zen Studies Society (ZSS) I think it is your responsibility to see that the organization as a whole apologizes for its part in minimizing Eido Roshi’s earlier ethical breaches and thereby inadequately protecting the sangha. The organization also failed Eido Roshi by never insisting on any conditions that might have helped him address his obvious addiction. Please don’t hide behind legal arguments that such an admission would put the organization at financial risk; a far greater risk, as the Faith Trust Institute has told us, is further alienating both victims and the wider public by not forthrightly admitting the organizational contribution to this serial problem.”

“Your letter also reports that you have revised the ZSS bylaws and affirm that there will be ‘elected representatives from both the New York Zendo and Dai Bosatsu Zendo.’ In addition, you say that you have nominated others to be on the board with ‘strong non-profit, law, and business careers.’ I applaud the democratic reforms and your pledge for transparency, but as far as I can tell the new bylaws have not been released to the public, there has been no mention of when or how elections will be held, how membership will be determined for who can vote, how large the board will be, or who you have nominated to serve on the board. Frankly, without this information everyone is left in the dark and these steps can hardly be lauded as transparent.”

“In addition, from what I understand, only one person from each of the two ZSS properties will be elected to the board. This will certainly not constitute a majority, not even a significant minority, hardly the progress many have been waiting for to assure that the ZSS Board be independent of the authority of the Abbot. I know some Zen Centers still have non-profit boards that are not substantially elected by the sangha, but if there was ever a more convincing case of the organizational dangers that are inherent in this model than ZSS, I’m not aware of it. Moreover, it is my understanding that the new bylaws still give the abbot a vote on the board and refer to abbot as the Chief Executive Officer. I know many were hoping for some real signs of separation of secular and spiritual powers in the new bylaws, but this appears to be missing. I understand that this kind of language and organization may work for smaller Zen groups, but given the history of ZSS and the real needs of a larger organization, the abbot should be in charge of practice, and the Board should be in charge of finances and management.”

“Furthermore, there is no mention of efforts to proactively open our arms to our Dharma brothers and sisters alienated from our practice over the decades.”

“Also noticeably absent from your letter is any mention of any restrictions placed on Eido Roshi. It is my understanding that he still has rooms dedicated to his use on both ZSS properties. I know his teaching has been curtailed and that he is only allowed to visit infrequently and under supervision, but as far as I can see there has been no public codification of these restrictions by the ZSS board.”

“I hear there is still a huge picture of Eido Roshi hanging up in Shobo-Ji. Eido Roshi has proven himself to be a serial predator who has as yet only minimally understood the damage he has done to so many and has no concept of how much he has damaged American Zen. It is an affront to those he has harmed and the wider Maha Sangha that he is still so coddled by you.”

“Unfortunately, what is missing from your letter far exceeds what is present in your letter. I was hoping to feel sufficiently accepting of your positive steps to feel comfortable attending this year’s Rohatsu sesshin at DBZ, but regrettably I do not feel in sufficient communion with the reforms you have made to date. I feel such disappointment and disillusionment at the moment that I’m not sure when or if I will be able to train there again. It is such a shame to see this precious opportunity to really turn this organization around slipping away. Please stop favoring the man over the Dharma. I fear that just as others who have given so much to ZSS and the Dharma, I too will become one those who are alienated and forgotten.”




An Email from the Zen Studies Society Announcing a Thanksgiving Celebration at $250 a Head for a Vegetarian Dinner.

"Dai Bosatsu Zendo invites you and your family and friends to join us for this traditional day of gratitude. Celebrate and give thanks amid the peace and beauty of our refuge high in the Catskill Mountains. Events will include zazen, a special Thanksgiving ceremony and Dharma talk by Shinge Roshi, followed by a delicious vegetarian feast. Overnight accommodations and a festive brunch in the morning will complete the celebration. Event Contribution: $250 Adults ($225 for NYZ members), and $75 for children under 12."




Genjo Marinello, Osho - Shimano's Fifth Dharma Heir.

Post to:
Zen Forum International.

“It is certainly true that Shinge Chayat Roshi is under an incredible amount of pressure as she tries to balance a variety of sangha interests to steer ZSS back on course. I also agree that the ‘shitstorm of animosity’ currently directed towards her personally is more than unfortunate, it is mean spirited and antithetical to my understanding of Buddhism. However, I do understand the frustration shared by many and I too am forced to conclude that there is an unhealthy attachment and some enabling going on in the current governance of ZSS. Please remember that five ZSS board members, all hand picked by Eido Roshi himself, have left the organization since July 2009 when the most recent ethical breach came to light. All five, including myself, left because we were not satisfied with the pace of change. I believe Shinge Roko Chayat cannot admit to herself that her beloved teacher repeatedly sexually preyed on vulnerable female students under his direct spiritual care (which is why she still refers to these events as ‘affairs’) and repeatedly abused his rank and position in many ways during his tenure as abbot. If she could admit this to herself then in my mind there would be no way he would still be allowed on campus during this time of transition and there would be no way that one room is still reserved for him on each campus. I can only guess she is waiting for this ‘shitstorm’ to quite down so that she can invite him back as a grandfatherly figure to work openly and freely at his translation work on both campuses and perhaps even engage in a light teaching schedule, as he has made it plain he wants to do.”

“It is my understanding that the current ZSS Board is still negotiating the terms of an extravagant Deferred Compensation Agreement (DCA) that was rubber stamped by a pervious ZSS Board, another clear example of Eido Roshi's abuse of power and authority. This 1955 agreement agrees to pay all costs associated with living in his condo on the Upper East Side, pay 70% of the Shimanos' annual salaries with a 4% annual cost of living adjustment and cover health insurance. This means that since Eido Roshi's and Aiho-san's (Eido Roshi's wife and former Shobo-Ji Director) retirement, they have been paid well in excess twice the salary each month Shinge Roshi herself receives. I don't know, but under the circumstances this just seems absurd and boarders on obscene. In hindsight, I believe they both should have been fired for cause thereby negating these agreements and allowing the ailing society to reach a reasonable settlement. I have no wish to throw Eido Roshi or Aiho-san out on the street, but I see no reason to coddle them either.”

“If Shinge Roshi could get past her attachment to the man, and her own fears of losing legitimacy, power and authority, I believe she could lead the organization to a healthy future, but in my mind she is still acting like a casualty of Eido Roshi's charisma and powers of persuasion.”




Genjo Marinello, Osho - Shimano's Fifth Dharma Heir.

Post to:
Zen Forum International.

“I just finished reading Merry White Benezra's novel Special Karma today. I was immediately transported to DBZ, and though I wasn't there until later decades, I felt a palpable inner resonance with every nook and cranny of the location and the impact the place and practice had on the people training there.”

“I find myself still greatly disturbed and betrayed by the fact that Eido Roshi's sexual advances towards students did not end more than 15 years ago. I remember being deeply assured by Shinge Roko Roshi and all those who trained with him longer and more intimately than I did that he had reformed. Indeed, we are all now well aware that his sexual advances, which sometimes even rose to date rape, did not stop. Perhaps the frequency diminished a bit with age, but not because of any real understanding of the harm he had done or was doing right up to the latest exposer in June of 2010 that forced his retirement last year. The book also should help everyone see just how insidious, confusing and detrimental such advances let alone conquest can be not only to the one pursued, but to the whole training sangha, both those who were subtly or grossly aware of what was going on, and indirectly to all those who didn't have a clue. Of course given Eido Roshi's gross lack of respect for ethical boundaries, he was always a poor example to his students in this crucial area of practice.”

 How tragic that such an inspired teacher and leader could have such a big gap in his training and psychological maturity. Clearly his great gifts were repeatedly used to excuse or minimize his great gaps.

“I know that Shinge Roshi has made real progress changing the ethos of the practice at DBZ, but it feels so tragic and a kind of personal betrayal to me and others that there has not been a clear edict from her and the board excluding Eido Roshi from the properties. He has demonstrated repeatedly that he doesn't get the harm he has done and therefore unquestionably remains an active sexual predator, the fractured sangha needs his removal to begin to heal, so why hasn't this step been taken? Moreover, given that such harm was perpetuated by the lack of a strong enough board where the Abbot held too much power, why is there such resistance to a fully democratic board where the Abbot is no longer the CEO? An organizational apology has not been forthcoming either, but such an apology would be meaningless, if these two concrete steps have not been taken. Moreover, given the undisputed fact that this severely wounding behavior with inadequate response was continuously going on for decades, where is the outreach and commitment of funds to care for those harmed? Instead the board continues to pay the Shimanos' 70% of their income and fully support their plush condo on the Upper East Side. Yes, there are legal issues, but is it right action? It seems to me the administration could at least it admit that under the circumstances that both Shimanos' should have been fired for cause. I know I was a part of letting them "retire," and I now fully regret my participation in this decision.”

“I completely understand the frustration, anger, and sense of betrayal felt by many that more has not been done, as I readily admit to feeling all these things myself. In my own case, this frustration and anger is amplified by the fact that I was abused by my biological father when very young, and even though this was very well known to my mother, she was unable to protect me or stop the abuse until after much psychological damage had been done. I must work to be more careful not to project my anger and sense of betrayal at not being protected back then on Shinge Roshi and the current board. Nevertheless, when Shinge Roshi took on the mantle of Abbot of ZSS, she accepted by default the truth that the 'buck stops here.' Please no more delays and excuses, the only way to save any of Eido Roshi's gifts is to let the man go, embrace fundamental organizational restructuring, and actively reach out to those harmed and alienated (which won't really be possible until the first two steps are taken).”




Thoughts and Observations on “Special Karma”
at the Zen Studies Society

by Philip Benezra

”My name is Philip Benezra, I am the ex-husband of Merry White Benezra, whose recent book Special Karma appears in a post above. I was a resident of Dai Bosatsu Zendo from the fall of 1975 to the summer of 1977; around the same time Merry was there. I want to thank Merry, Carol Spooner, Genkaku Adam Fisher, Kobutsu Malone , Stuart Lachs, Genjo Marinello and others who have written and spoken out, for their courage to try to help those who were victimized by Eido Shimano and by the cooperative culture at the Zen Studies Society. I wonder why there have not been more former residents of Dai Bosatsu who have posted on this site? The posts are almost entirely by outsiders with no actual experience at Dai Bosatsu. I personally found it impossible to write about my own experience at Dai Bosatsu for over 30 years. The following are nothing more than my own thoughts, observations and speculations.”

“In some of the early archives from the Aitken letters back in Hawaii, Eido Shimano is quoted as saying that he felt he could not control what he was doing to women. Eido used to tell us about his father who was an alcoholic: ‘He used to drink a bottle of sake a night’. Does Eido have his own sexual addiction? The 12th Century Korean Zen Master Chinul speaks of sudden awakening—someone having a brilliant enlightenment experience—and gradual cultivation—but still needing to practice to work out the bugs and purify ones karma until one is a true ‘saint’ (Stuart Lachs has written about this in much more depth.) Eido, enlightened, but with an addictive, predatory habit in his karma  still to work out. At least Soen Roshi told us at one point, “We are very poor teachers. Eido Roshi and I are very poor teachers.”

“Eido Shimano is also of samurai lineage. A samurai who fails or who is disgraced is obligated to commit hara kiri. I remember worrying that Eido might actually do this, and being amazed that he was able to survive the seemingly hopeless disgrace of the repeated scandals over the years. I also remember hearing that after one of these low points he showed a Japanese samurai film with the name Hara Kiri to his students at Dai Bosatsu. And this tradition of hara kiri and suicide is not just talk. I know I toyed with sticking a knife in my belly while being a (failed) student of Eido’s; and did make an unsuccessful attempt at suicide after I left. Soen Roshi told us the story of Japanese novelist Yukio Mishima  (Who had a mysterious tie to Soen and Eido’s home Ryutaku monastery). When Mishima formally and publicly committed hara kiri in the traditional fashion--Soen Roshi explained in teisho--how admirable his conviction was, as witnessed by how deeply he was able to plunge his own knife into his belly before his “second” cut his head off. I remember going back to my cushion, after that teisho, trying to sit with that kind of intensity! Later, after Soen Roshi had gone back to Japan, I was one of the resident students who found another resident student in his room sitting in lotus posture with his shirt off, blood spilling from his belly and a knife in front of him. The student was hospitalized and survived. An agent was sent up to investigate the incident and talked with a couple of us residents while we were working in the kitchen at Dai Bosatsu.”

“So Eido had no special fondness for America or Americans. I get more of a feeling that there may have been some deep underlying feeling of anger with all Americans for the horrors committed to Japanese people during WWII. (And this is admittedly speculation on my part) The whole tenor of Dai Bosatsu Zendo may be said to be a payback to America for the loss, humiliation and horrors of WWII. The unseen ‘atomic’ power of this most powerful of Japanese religions exploding on the American scene on July 4th 1976, the 200th anniversary of the birth of the United States, was Japanese retribution!”

“Dai Bosatsu monastery, when I was there in ’76-’77 was an American Zen monastery in which Japanese culture was emphasized and Eido Shimano was the absolute authority ruling over obedient American students many of whom revered him as almost a god. Most all of the chanting was done in Japanese.”

“I cannot help but feel that there was an underlying anger in Eido Shimano to ‘stick it’ to Americans. (This is also my personal speculation, and not necessarily even Eido’s ‘fault’) Is this part of the uncontrollable passion Eido has had to dominate, have power over and ‘stick it’ to young, vulnerable American women students? their expense.”

“Jerry Sandusky allegedly had his unending pool of vulnerable underprivileged boys through his Second Mile charity. With the huge population of the greater New York City area as a draw, Eido also had an unending resource of troubled, distraught students looking for freedom from their suffering in a beautiful exotic Japanese Zen temple high in the Catskill Mountains. Many of them, sadly, ended up jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Many, I imagine, left with more trauma in their lives than they came with, feeling all along, like I did, that they alone failed again.”

“I personally take full responsibility for my own choices and for my own karma that I brought to Dai Bosatsu. But I remember one conversation with Eido, after I had become sick, when he actually opened the door a bit and asked me if I felt the he had done anything to make me feel the way I did. When I began to open my mouth and say ‘Well, yes…’ he jumped on me and exclaimed ‘It was you who had the egotistical practice! You who would not speak !’…etc., etc… which sent me back into my crazy shell for the time being.”

“To the extent that the attitude of Eido Shimano is that he is in an ‘absolute realm’ and has done nothing wrong, and to the extent that the culture of the Zen Studies Society and their leadership facilitates this attitude, that is, in my opinion, criminally wrong. Once again, I appreciate people like Kobutsu and Genjo who are trying to take practical steps to protect vulnerable students at the Zen Studies Society. If nothing else I hope that these long overdue revelations and this change in events can bring a catharsis for people like Merry Benezra and others, many of whom, if their experience was anything like mine, were victimized to the point of depression and potential suicide”




This is a memoir from 1980 when I served as the gatekeeper / zomu at Dai Bosatsu Zendo, in the Catskill Mountains at Hardenburgh, New York, and lived in the DBZ Gatehouse with my wife.  This account is but one of many experiences that occurred at DBZ during our tenure.  In view of Merry White Benezra’s and Phil Benezra’s recently published accounts of their experiences I am adding this piece to the archive to fill in the down-to-earth experiences that many of us went through up there. 

"Suddenly the outside door to the courtyard burst open and the young woman from the night before came reeling into the building wearing riding boots.  She deliberately stomped her boots on the polished Tasmanian Oak floors.  My first reaction was to say, 'Take those boots off!'  She ignored me and clomped down the hallway to her room as the sangha was leaving the zendo.  The young woman began shouting and some other students tried to calm her down."

"Morning meeting was cancelled and I went into the meeting room with Shimano.  I told him if was time for the young women to leave the monastery.  He told me I had too little faith in the power of zazen…  The woman’s shouting continued, becoming quite loud and abusive.  Shimano then left the meeting room, entered the dokusan room next-door and shut the door behind him.  After a brief encounter with the head monk, a delightful mid-western farm boy with a fondness for plaid shirts and jeans over robes, I opened the door to the dokusan room and again told Shimano that it was time for the student to go home.  He closed his eyes, began to shake his head… at that instant, the distressed young woman yells out at the top of her lungs,

'I’ve got Roshi’s cum dripping down my legs!' ”

"Shimano suddenly opens his eyes and immediately said, 'You know Kobutsu, I think it’s time for her to leave…' ”




Genjo Marinello, Osho - Shimano's Fifth Dharma Heir.

Post to Zen Forum International.

“ ‘genkaku wrote:

Here is another recollection which is posted on the Shimano Archive:

Time To Leave…

I opened the door to the dokusan room and again told Shimano that it was time for the student to go home. He closed his eyes, began to shake his head… at that instant, the distressed young woman yells out at the top of her lungs, “I’ve got Roshi’s cum dripping down my legs!”

Shimano suddenly opens his eyes and immediately said, “You know Kobutsu, I think it’s time for her to leave…” ‘

“It was after hearing this account and a separate credible account of date rape from a different source the first weekend in June, while I was at Shobo-Ji in NYC, that I moved from the view that Eido Roshi had an untreated sexual addiction, to the view that he was a sexual predator, serially preying on the most vulnerable females under his spiritual care for decades. It was also this same weekend that there was a mediation between Eido Roshi and the ZSS Board. At this meeting I heard Eido Roshi say something to the effect, "If I didn't accept the sexual advances of female students, I would be creating worse karma than if I agreed to their propositions." Hearing these two separate accounts and this statement of Eido Roshi, convinced me that he was and is still a sexual predator that must be banned indefinitely from being on either ZSS campus. However, even this simple step has not been taken by the ZSS board.”

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