The Shimano Archive
嶋野 栄道 老師 アーカイブ

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

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

Zen Studies Society Newsletter Sub-Archive

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Zen Studies Society Email


Loving-Kindness All Around: Introduction to the Heart Shrine Relic Tour

Saturday, September 15, 2012, 6:30 - 8:30pm, Unity Church and Spiritual Center, 300 W. Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse. Free.

“You are invited to the opening event of the Heart-Shrine Relic tour. Shinge Roshi Sherry Chayat, Abbot of the Zen Center of Syracuse and The Zen Studies Society, will give welcoming remarks, followed by a performance of classical Indian Sacred Dance by Deepa Narayanan and Lakshmi Achutha. Syracuse University professor Dr. Gareth Fisher will speak on ‘The Importance of Buddhist Relics,’ followed by a video. Babette Teich-Visco will close the evening with a Hindu Loving-Kindness chant.”

“A precious collection of sacred relics of the Buddha and many other Buddhist masters is touring the world and will be displayed in the Zen Center's Carriage House Meditation Hall. The relics were found among the cremation ashes of Buddhist teachers. They resemble beautiful, pearl-like crystals. The relics embody the masters' spiritual qualities of compassion and wisdom.”




A Letter From Roko Sherry Chayat
to Sanghas.

"I would like to begin a new jukai class combining both Sanghas. The Jukai ceremony is one in which the student receives the Buddhist precepts, which serve as the basis for how we live. While in the absolute, undifferentiated realm of true realization there is no good or bad, no right or wrong, we conduct our lives in the relative realm, in which we must have full awareness of the karmic consequences of each thought, word, and deed."




An Email From Ekyo Urzula Sapeta via
Zensho Martin Hara
to Sangha List.

"Eido Roshi kindly agreed to lead sesshin in USA in May 2013. The sesshin will be four and half days, starting Friday evening May 24th and finishing Wednesday May 29th, after lunch. We have a reservation in beautiful place Diamond Hill Monastery at Providence Zen Center 

"What we need to conduct sesshin is already there. The zendo can hold up to 30 people. Accommodations are a monastery style, sleeping on futons. We will also cook our own meals. This will keep the price of sesshin reasonable."




An email exchange between Kobutsu Malone and Jeffery Partridge,
Director, Providence Zen Center.

( Kwan Um School of Zen )


“I am writing to inquire if the Providence Zen Center has actually booked a reservation to host a sesshin conducted by Eido Shimano in May of 2013 as per the attached email?”


“Yes I'm working with Ekyo now on the details. Please let me know if I can help with anything else.”




Eido Shimano to lead sesshin at Providence Zen Center in 2013?

By Adam Tebbe

SweepingZen: the definitive online who’s who of Zen


“One must really pause to question the wisdom of any Zen institution that would offer Eido Shimano a place to teach and lead sesshin, knowing about his long and well-documented history of sexual and ethical misconduct that began when he first came to the United States in 1960. From where I am sitting, for any Zen institution to offer Shimano a place of teaching authority on their grounds is unconscionable. According to a letter from George Zournas to the Trustees of the Zen Studies Society dated 9/14/1982, one Dr. Tadao Ogura (then Senior Psychiatrist of the South Oaks Hospital) agreed, saying of Shimano: ‘Wherever he goes, he s[h]ould never again be given a position of primary authority.’ That was the opinion of a highly respected psychiatrist dating as far back as 1982!”




IRS Form 990-PF

Filed in 2011 for the Abbot Tani Foundation.
EIN # 33-0506841

Total Net Assets 2011: $1,202,640.00

[See entries of: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 ]




Email From Jason Quinn, Abbot, Providence Zen Center
( Kwan Um School of Zen )

To Adam Tebbe And Kobutsu Malone.

“Thank you for the message and respect to contact me directly. We have many people interested in renting space at both the Providence Zen Center and the Diamond Hill Zen Monastery. Our director is the contact person for exchanging information to rental groups about price and availability. After the exchange, the potential rental is discussed with the management team. The management team then evaluates each group to see if it is a good fit for the current situation. In this specific case, we decided not to rent to this group in 2013.”




An email exchange between Sherry Chayat and Jeff Shore, professor of Zen in the Modern World at Hanazono University in Kyōto, the sole Rinzai-affiliated university in the world, where he has taught since 1987.

Submitted to the archive by Jeff Shore.


"This is my vow, to cut all delusive chains, and this is what I teach my students.  If what I have been given is based on dishonesty I want to know that, and act accordingly."

"I'm afraid this organization has hidden behind 'authentic Rinzai Zen training.'   Authenticity?  If it's a charade, we need to say so, and with utter humility, make it real.   I will act from truth."

"I know I was duped along with so many others.  I have certainly been humbled by it."

"I am completely serious.  This must be aired.  The smoke and mirrors that had us believing the charade must be cleared away."

"If I am to be without title, that is fine.  I certainly don't want to be a ‘successor’ to someone who has perpetrated lies and has used people to further his lies."

"The reason we are in such a mess is that we believed in a manipulative sociopath who was anything but a true man without rank."

[ See entries of: 09/28/10, 10/01/10, and 10/01/10 ]




A Post to:

Zen Forum International

by Nonin Chowaney

“A short time ago, I spoke with Roko Shinge Chayat, and she asked me to post here that she was shocked to hear that her private e-mail exchange with Jeff Shore, which she regarded as privileged information, was published without her permission. She also said that she hadn't known that it had been published before I told her, for she doesn't read publications that would concern themselves with and publish something like this. Also, she doesn't intend to respond in any way.”



(Full Version)


Yet Another Zen Forum International Suppressed Thread on Shimano.

(Sanitized Version)


Eido Shimano's lineage...

October 25, 2012   Page 9


"This thread seems to be stirring the three fires and has needed heavy moderation since its inception. I'm closing this topic down so that I can discuss the appropriate moderation approach to this difficult subject with the other moderator (Pedestrian) who has not been involved in the topic, as well as the rest of the moderation team."

"~So-on Mann"

[See entries of 08/17/12, 08/19/12 and LINK: ]




A Sweeping Zen Post by Patricia Ivan
to Genjo Marinello Concerning
his Auschwitz "Dark Tourism"
with Bernie Glassman
and his Temple's Calendar Listing
of Shimano's Birthday.


NOVEMBER 2, 2012 AT 4:55 PM"

"Mr. Marinello,

I see on your sangha calendar that you celebrated Shimano’s birthday on October 1st. Can you tell me why you continue to honor that day? It makes me question whether Shinge and the ZSS board are alone in failing to 'sufficiently publicly repudiate and distance themselves from Shimano'.

Many who have gone to Auschwitz have reflected upon the role the German people have played in support of the lethal power of a 'narcissist of the highest caliber'. I wonder what you would think of Germans celebrating Hitler’s birthday."




genkaku-again blog

A Scathing Retort by a Survivor
to Sherry Chayat's Letters to Jeff Shore.

by "Ignored Survivor".

“The words you have so cavalierly thrown at us victims are but poison venom for our wounds.  ‘I am beyond saddened by your devastating account, which is so courageous and clear, so profound in its insights.’   We don’t care how ‘beyond saddened’ you say you are Roko; to us it’s only more obsequious, but ultimately meaningless rhetoric.”

‘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.’  Roko, we don’t care if you sob or not, we know you well enough to see your crocodile tears for public consumption and could care less how you say your heart is ‘pierced.’  We don’t care how many times you say, ‘I hear you.’  Or how many times you cajole others into to shouting out ‘We hear you!’ on your command.  Because we know full well that you don’t care and have never cared for our welfare.  We know that you were fully cognizant of Eido Shimano’s predations and for years sent women students from Syracuse to DBZ.”

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

“ ‘The complex and difficult loyalties’ Roko?  What planet are you living on?  Women and children were raped… everyone was lied to, people were defrauded, good, honest hardworking, well-intentioned Zen students were discarded on a whim.  You supported all this, you still support this as you sit and hem ‘n haw about your status in ‘the lineage.’  Where are your sobs now Roko?   Tell us again how your heart is ‘pierced’, as you go looking for personal legitimacy in the musty records of archaic temples in foreign countries.” 

“Show us just what you have done tangibly to formally address the predation of Eido Shimano in THIS country, over the past 46 years…  Show us results Roko, don’t try to shovel over ‘Samoan circles’ as tangible results… such efforts are but theatrics generated by corrupt, incestuous pseudo-organizations designed to maintain the status quo.”

“Jeff Shore outlined the sanest, most compassionate solution to the Shimano-dilemma floated so far.  Close down the organization, put it into receivership for the benefit of all those who were injured.  Take off your robes, renounce your titles, publicly apologize for everything and quietly go home.”

[ See post of: 10/21/12 ]

913 11/28/12


Buddhism and Sex: the Bigger Picture

by Stephen Batchelor

“Wherever people are in a position of power over other people, it is inevitable that some will use that power to pursue and fulfill their own sexual desires.”

“The Buddha himself was accused of having sexual intercourse with the female ascetics Sundari and Cinca.”

“The root of the power disparity between teacher and student lies in the belief that the former is ‘enlightened’ in some sense, while the latter is not.”

“As the Buddhist tradition developed over time into an organized religion, the gap between the ariya and the puthujjana grew wider and wider.”

“It is no coincidence that the majority of cases of abuse reported by students come from the Tibetan and Japanese Zen traditions, i.e. those that place greatest emphasis on submission and obedience.  This is not to say that such abuse is absent in the Theravada schools – it occurs there too; nor does it imply that there are no teachers in the Tibetan and Zen traditions who behave with ethical integrity – for there are many."

“According to the earliest texts, the role of the ariya (teacher) is not to make the puthujjana (student) dependent on him, but to enable the person to become ‘ennobled’ by entering the stream (sotapatti) of the eightfold path. Thus the role of the teacher is to help the student to stand on his or own feet as quickly as possible.”

914 12/16/12


Announcement by
Zensho Martin Hara.

"The New Year is upon us and I am happy to announce that Eido Roshi and Aiho-san have accepted our invitation to do a New Year’s Eve Zazen-Kai at the Kips Bay Community Center:"

"Kips Bay Community Center 330 East 33 Street (garden level) -
Between 1st and 2nd Avenue
on Monday, December 31st, 2012 from 2:30pm to 10:30pm
(doors will open at 2 pm)."

915 12/19/12



19th, Dec, 2012 Myoshinji School of
Rinzai Zen Buddhism.

"Myoshinji (妙心寺, Myōshinji) is a large temple complex in northwestern Kyoto which includes about 50 subtemples in addition to its main buildings. While a few of the temple halls can be entered, the majority of the subtemples are closed to the public. However, visitors are free to wander along the walking paths. In several ways the temple complex resembles Daitokuji Temple."

"Within the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism, Myoshinji is the head temple of the Myoshinji school with over 3000 affiliated temples and calls itself the largest of all Zen temples. Myoshinji was founded in 1337 when an abdicated emperor had an imperial villa converted into a Zen temple."

"Myoshin-ji has received many inquiries regarding its relationship with the Zen Studies Society in New York ever since the publication on 20 August 2010 of an article in the New York Times regarding the behavior of the Society's former director, Eido Shimano."

[ See Entry of: 08/21/10 ]

"On the occasion of establishing the Zen Studies Society, Eido Shimano stipulated that the Society was to have no relation to Myoshin-ji or any other branch of Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhism. As far as Myoshin-ji is concerned, all along it has had no connection with Eido Shimano, his activities or organizations, including Dai Bosatsu Zendo and all affiliated Zen Studies Society institutions, nor is Eido Shimano or any of his successors certified as priests of the Myoshin-ji branch of Zen or recognized as qualified teachers."

[ See Entry of 12/17/71 "Note that in 1971; Ryutaku-Ji Monastery in Mishima, Japan, is referred to as 'our parent monastery in Japan.' "]

[ See Entry of 09/15/72 "ZSS Announcement of Dharma Transmission." ]

[ See Entry of 10/19/82 "Minutes of ZSS Board of Trustees Meeting. Declaration of Independence From Any Other Zen Buddhist Organization Here or Abroad." ]

916 12/27/12


An Open Letter to Sherry Chayat, the Zen Studies Society and Other Concerned Persons.

From Jeff Shore; Published on the OBC Connect Website:


"I have done what you requested and have confirmed that Shimano is NOT listed on Sôen Nakagawa's lineage chart. Since Sôen Nakagawa has passed away, we cannot ask him why he took the actions that he did with respect to Shimano. But what is clear is that the Myôshinji establishment (from which Shimano's purported lineage derives) has with one voice repudiated any connection with Shimano or his successors, explicitly stating that neither Shimano nor his successors are certified as priests or recognized as qualified teachers. The statement, in Japanese and English, can be found on the official Myôshinji website:

It's heartbreaking, yet undeniable: you and many others have been duped. Plain and simple. With or without 'credentials.' "

917 12/31/12


GENKAKU-AGAIN (adam fisher)

idiocy and the Internet

“The posted letter is entitled ‘An Open Letter to Sherry Chayat, the Zen Studies Society and Other Concerned Persons.’ It is written by Jeff Shore, a professor at Hanazono University who has involved himself in the long-running scandal surrounding the Zen teacher, Eido Shimano. With Shore's involvement, Shimano's standing within the Zen community (whatever that may mean) and his sexual and financial predations have been brought into clearer focus ... not clear focus, mind you, just clearer focus.”

“Shore's efforts joins the efforts of others (notably the Shimano Archive), to shine a bright light into dark places of institutional Zen. His efforts, like other efforts before, exhibits some desire to be the conquering hero of the whole miasma of a situation (look ma! I've found a solution! I did what others could not! I've got a handle on a handle-less mess ... and deserve imperial applause). No matter ... everyone wants to be king of this rubbish heap and as far as I can see, no one is or ever will be ... it's a joint effort in which each contributes.”

“But my friend in Germany, the one who sent along the link to Shore's letter, added this sentence: ‘For whatever reason he [Shore] doesn't want it on the Shimano Archive.’ "

“The Shimano Archive is the go-to source for documentation surrounding Shimano's activities. It may contain opinions, but it does not express opinions. It is not some Buddhist play pen, some Internet bulletin board. It does not bow to this and disdain that. It is a collection, plain and simple. And in that role, it collects damn near everything related to Shimano's manipulations and depredations.”

918 01/04/13


New York Times


No Religious Exemption When It Comes to Abuse


Published: January 4, 2013

“Take Zen Buddhism, the paragon of open, nonhierarchical spirituality. Anyone may practice Zen meditation; you do not have to convert, be baptized or renounce your old religion. Yet leaders of major Zen centers in Los Angeles and New York have recently been accused, on strong evidence, of exploiting followers for sex. This weekend, Zen teachers ordained by Joshu Sasaki, the semiretired abbot of the Rinzai-ji Zen Center in Los Angeles, are holding a retreat to discuss sexual harassment accusations against Mr. Sasaki. The Zen Studies Society, in New York, is under new leadership after its longtime abbot, Eido Shimano, was forced out after he was accused of inappropriate sexual liaisons with students and other women.”

“Paul Karsten, a board member of the Rinzai-ji Zen Center, said the intense relationship between Zen teacher and student can be trouble. For example, in private meetings, some teachers touch students. The touching is never supposed to be sexual, but there can be misunderstandings, or outright abuse. ‘I know of stories I have heard,’ Mr. Karsten said, ‘where people feel like this experience has been very important to them, and others where they feel like it has been the opposite.’ ”

“Mr. Karsten acknowledged complaints against Mr. Sasaki — largely on the Internet, some anonymous — that the teacher went beyond what most reputable teachers would consider appropriate. But Mr. Karsten seemed torn between valuing extremely close teacher-student relationships and acknowledging the dangers.”

“ ‘People see there has been something going on with students that on the one hand has been remarkable, and on the other hand has been inappropriate in teacher-student practice,’ Mr. Karsten said. ‘And consensual, or nonconsensual?’ ”

“Questions e-mailed to Mr. Karsten for Mr. Sasaki, who is 105, were not answered.”

919 01/30/13








– against –



INDEX NO. 650025/2013

RECEIVED NYSCEF:  01/03/2013

“9.       In 1995, in recognition of the outstanding and long-time leadership of the ZSS by Shimano Roshi, and the devotion and excellent work of Mrs. Shimano as Director of the New York Zendo, two contracts were entered into on July 25, 1995 between the ZSS and Shimano Roshi and Mrs. Shimano, respectively. The contract entered into between ZSS and Shimano Roshi is attached hereto as Exhibit A and the contract entered into betweenZSS and Mrs. Shimano is attached hereto as Exhibit B.”

“10.     The contracts provided, among other things, that both Shimano Roshi and Mrs. Shimano 1) would receive pension or deferred compensation payments after their retirements for each of their lifetimes, 2) would receive the payment of health insurance premiums for each of their lifetimes and 3) that the ZSS would pay the maintenance, assessments, utilities and telephone expenses for the cooperative apartment located at 333 East 69th Street, New York, New York occupied by the Shimanos since 1984. Although not specified in the written contracts, Shimano Roshi was promised treatment as ‘Abbott Emeritus’ and full use of both the New York Zendo and DBZ for the conducting of services, retreats and classes, and for private study.”

“11.     On December 31, 2010, Shimano Roshi retired as Abbott of ZSS. On December 31, 2010, Mrs. Shimano retired as Director of the New York Zendo of ZSS.”

“12.     Payments as specified in the contract were begun on January 1, 2011. Beginning on February 1, 2011, the pension or deferred compensation payments were reduced unilaterally by the ZSS Board by 30%, but the other terms of the contract were adhered to. This continued until August 2012, when, again unilaterally, the ZSS Board stopped making any pension or apartment related payments due under the contracts. No formal written explanation of the reason for stopping the payments was ever made to either Shimano Roshi or Mrs. Shimano.”

“13.     In addition, after their retirements, the ZSS Board of Directors changed the locks at the New York Zendo and did not get replacement keys to the Shimanos (see exhibit C, attached.)”

“14.     Over the years, Shimano Roshi and Mrs. Shimano acquired, sometimes by purchase using their own funds, sometimes by gift to one or the other or both, personally, and sometimes by purchase by or donation to the ZSS as significant collection of spiritual and artistic items which were used to decorate the New York Zendo and DBZ properties and were used in various services at ZSS New York and DBZ Zendos.  An itemization of the items belonging to the Shimanos located at the New York Zendo was prepared by Shimano Roshi and attached hereto as Exhibit D, with the items belonging to the Shimanos marked with asterisk. Shimano Roshi attempted to make a similar inventory of property located at DBZ belonging personally to the Shimanos, but was stopped from doing so by a ZSS Board of Directors member.”

“15.     On or about December 13, 2012 the Shimanos made a demand of the ZSS, through their attorney, to return to them those spiritual and artistic items which are their personal property and which are in the posseion of the ZSS. The ZSS has refused to return the items.”

920 01/31/13 20130131_ZSS_email_Letter.pdf

An Important Letter From
The Zen Studies Society
To Sangha And Dharma Friends.

“The Zen Studies Society Board of Directors would like to provide you with an update on several significant issues and challenges currently facing the Zen Studies Society.”

“As a result of this filing of a public lawsuit, confidentiality has been lost. We are now able to share more information on how we have moved to address Eido Roshi’s ethical misconduct and negotiate our financial responsibilities to him.”

“The Board made monthly payments to the Shimanos during 2011 and most of 2012, while attempting to restructure the unfunded DCA into something more manageable. In 2011, direct payments to the Shimanos and other costs associated with support of the DCA totaled $98,534.57. Note: Sangha donations were not used for those payments; they have been used only for operating costs at our two facilities. During this period, we communicated to Eido Roshi on numerous occasions our concern regarding the lack of funding for the DCA.”

“In December 2010, Eido Roshi wrote a letter to The New York Times that accused Mark Oppenheimer, the journalist who wrote an article about the teacher-student affair that Eido Roshi himself had previously openly acknowledged, of ‘obtaining his information from second and third-hand sources.’ ”

“Please be assured, however, that we are doing everything possible to insure that our centers will weather these challenges and go on to a bright and vibrant future. Despite our present difficulties, there is great enthusiasm for the practice at both New York Zendo Shobo-ji and Dai Bosatsu Zendo Kongo-ji.”

921 02/02/13


The Buddhist Channel


Former Abbot of Zen Studies Society sues for "breach of contract"

“New York, USA -- Disgraced former Abbot of Zen Studies Society (ZSS), Eido Shimano and his wife Aiho Shimano, are currently suing ZSS for damages in excess of US$ 2 million. The suit was filed in a New York court. The couple allege that ZSS breached their contract with them and claim that they have not received any retirement payments since August of 2012.”

“Among other matters mentioned in the suit is that the ZSS had withheld a significant collection of spiritual and artistic items which were used to decorate the New York Zendo and DBZ properties and were used in various services at ZSS New York and DBZ Zendos. Shimano claims that these items were purchased using their own funds and sometimes by gift.”

“Mr. Shimano had been the abbot of the Zen Studies Society ( since 1965. He resigned in December of 2010 amid a backdrop of allegations about the married abbot’s sexual liaisons with his students and with other women.”

“The rumors began to unravel when, in 2008, the University of Hawaii at Manoa unsealed some papers donated by Roshi Robert Aitken (1917-2010), a leading American Buddhist and founder of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship ( A large portion of these allegations which have been documented over at the Shimano Archive. Myoshin-ji in Japan also recently announced “no connection” to Shimano or his lineage in December. As of press time, the ZSS has made no court-legal response. The following is an open letter to the public explaining their position on the matter (issued via, Jan 31, 2013).”

922 02/08/13 20130208_Benezra_Chayat.pdf

An Open Letter From Merry White Benezra
To Roko Sherry Chayat.

“I was a resident at Dai Bosatsu Zendo from July 1976 (including the opening kessei) to February 1977, and again from January to September 1978.  My experiences with Eido Shimano are novelized and recorded in my book, Special Karma, a book I hope you will have a chance to read.”

“Yet, when I arrived at DBZ a mere six months later in July 1976, Eido was sexually involved with a resident student, Sxxxxx Jxxxxx Lxxxxx.  By September, he was relentlessly propositioning me (the subject of my book).  When I returned to DBZ in January 1978, he was sexually exploiting three new resident students.  So much for the useless promises of a sexual addict.”

“And it is my understanding that the Board was made aware of Eido's ongoing sexual activities and lies around this time.  Inexplicably, the Board permitted him to continue.” 

“I am writing to take exception with the ZSS Board's recent Dear Sangha and Dharma Friends letter, which you co-signed and which says, ‘we do remain grateful for [Eido's] visionary work in founding New York Zendo and Dai Bosatsu Zendo and for his five decades of inspiring teaching' and therefore 'wanted to provide appropriate care for our teacher and his wife, Aiho Yasuko Shimano, after their retirement.’

“Eido's nonstop sexual predations over decades and decades have caused harm that cannot be counted.  Harm to the women he lied to and abandoned and slandered after enjoying them, and harm to the cause of Buddhism in America.  This man does not have anything owed to him.  Can it possibly be that his ZSS contract does not have certain provisions, exceptions for fraudulent misrepresentation on his part?”

923 02/13/13


Eido Shimano responds to a letter issued by the Board of Directors of the Zen Studies Society on January 31st, 2013.

Letter to the Sangha From Eido Shimano

“It was with a heavy heart that I read the letter circulated to you by the current Board of Directors of the Zen Studies Society on January 31st, 2013. It contained so many distortions, inaccuracies and outright falsehoods that I could not simply let it pass without comment. However, I have no intention of honoring the scurrilous ad hominem attacks against me personally with specific responses.”

“When I became the leader of the Zen Studies Society, it had one member and no assets. With the support of my wife Aiho and members of the Sangha, I was able to grow the ZSS to the point where, by my retirement, it had become perhaps the pre-eminent center of Zen Buddhist practice and education in the United States. Not only did we establish the New York Zendo, now a beautiful and spiritual center of study in the middle of Manhattan, but we also established Dai Bosatsu Zendo, a monastery in the Catskills Mountains of New York State as a retreat for the members of the ZSS Sangha to do retreats. Both have become nationally renowned centers of Zen study and practice.”

“When I was Abbott, we had no big trouble raising sufficient funds to support these two facilities and also to meet the operating needs of the ZSS. According to the letter sent by ZSS, this is no longer the case. Responsibility for this can only be laid at the feet of the current directors, who apparently are not willing to put forth the time, dedication and ability necessary to make successful fund-raising efforts.”

“In 1995, the ZSS Board of Directors entered into Deferred Compensation Agreements, essentially pensions, with me and my wife, in recognition of our years of achievement and service. The allegations being made regarding my alleged behavior were known then, and yet the ZSS Board, an independent entity, agreed to the Deferred Compensation Agreements. During our time receiving salaries from the ZSS, my wife and I accepted far less than we could have earned in other fields of endeavor. This was because of our dedication to the Dharma, and the fact that neither of us is motivated by the need for wealth. Had we been so, we could have achieved it through a career of lecturing, writing, and doing other things consistent with placing our own needs before that of the ZSS. The Deferred Compensation Agreements reflect the same principles, and are more modest, quite frankly, than other arrangements made on behalf of similarly situated individuals.”

924 02/13/13

20130213_Not.of Appearance.pdf








– against –



INDEX NO. 650025/2013

RECEIVED NYSCEF:  02/13/2013

“PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that Shane St. Hill of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P., a member of this Court in good standing, hereby enters an appearance as counsel for Defendant, The Zen Studies Society, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation in New York in the above-captioned action and respectfully requests that all pleadings, notices, orders, correspondence, and other papers in connection with this action be served on the undersigned.”

925 02/13/13









– against –



INDEX NO. 650025/2013

RECEIVED NYSCEF:  02/13/2013


28. Defendant repeat the foregoing allegations as if set forth herein.

29. Shimano Roshi was the spiritual leader of the ZSS

30. As spiritual leader, Shimano Roshi had fiduciary and ethical duties to the ZSS members who were his students.

31. On numerous occasions, Shimano Roshi engaged in sexual relationships with students of his.

32. Shimano Roshi s sexual relationships constituted an abuse of Shimano Roshi’s position.

33. Shimano Rosbi’s sexual relationships were contrary to his fiduciary duty and the ethical guidelines for ZSS that Shimano Roshi had approved.

34. Shimano Roshi’s  sexual relationships harmed the ZSS and ZSS members and students.

35. By having sexual relationships with students, Simano Roshi caused damage to ZSS’s national and international reputation.

36. After Shimano Roshi’s sexual relationships became known to members of ZSS and the wider Buddhist community, contributions to ZSS fell precipitously.

37. Shimano Roshi's actions violated his fiduciary duty, his ethical duty and fully meet the elements for liability under the faithless servant doctrine.

38. The ZSS is entitled to payment of damages in an amount to be determined at trial forth material harm to its revenue and reputation caused by Shimano Roshi's violationsof his fiduciary and ethical duties, and in particular his sexual misconduct.”


39. Defendant repeats the foregoing allegations as if set forth herein.

40. The ZSS is entitled to a disgorgement of all alary payments to Shimano Roshi during the period of his violations of his fiduciary and ethical duties and in particular his sexual misconduct.”


41. Defendant repeats the foregoing allegations as if set forth herein.

42. The Shimano Roshi and Yasuko Shimano caused the ZSS Board to enter into an unfunded Deferred Compensation Agreement ('DCA'). On information and belief, Shimano Roshi caused the same counsel to present both Shimano Roshi and Yasuko Shimano on the one hand and the ZSS on the other hand in 'negotiations' for the DCA.

43. The DCA provides, inter alia that Shimano Roshi and Yasuko Shimano receive for life 70% of their respective final year's salary, as well as a life tenancy in the ZSS's cooperative apartment, which was fully paid for by the ZSS. The DCA was entirely unfunded.

44. The DCA is not an enforceable agreement, at least because it was not entered into at alms length because it was unfunded, and because Shimano Roshi's violations of his fiduciary and ethical duties have caused the ZSS significant los of reputation membership and donations, such that Shimano Roshi s actions have left the ZSS without sufficient funds or prospects, such that payments made according to the DCA would violate the fiduciary responsibility of the ZSS Board of Directors.

45. The ZSS is entitled to a disgorgement from Shimano Roshi and Yasuko Shimano of all payments to them under the DCA.

46. Shimano Roshi and Yasuko Shimano should immediately vacate the ZSS cooperative apartment and effect a full and official transfer of title to the ZSS or its agent.”

“WHEREFORE Defendants pray that this Court grant judgment, as follows:

(a) Dismissing Plaintiff's Complaint.

(b) On the First Counterclaim, an Injunction ordering Shimano Roshi pay damages commensurate with the material harm the ZSS's revenue and reputation caused by Shimano Roshi's violations of his fiduciary and ethical duties, and in particular his sexual misconduct.

(c) On the second Counterclaim an Injunction ordering Shimano Roshi to repay to the ZSS all salary payments made to Shimano Roshi during the period of his violations of his fiduciary and ethical duties, and in particular his sexual misconduct.

(d) On the Third Counterclaim an Injunction ordering (i) Shimano Roshi and Yasuko Shimano to repay to the ZSS all payment made to them under the DCA and (ii) Shimano Roshi and Yasuko Roshi immediately to vacate the ZSS cooperative apartment and effect a full and official transfer of title to the cooperative apartment to the ZSS or its agent;

(e) An Award to the Defendant of $2 million and

 (f) An Award to the Defendant of its reasonable attorneys fees and costs incurred in defense of this action"

926 02/14/13


No pension for Eido Shimano

The Buddhist Channel, Feb 14, 2013

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

“In the ongoing suit against the Zen Studies Society (ZSS) by its previous abbot Eido Shimano – who is seeking payment of pension due to him (see here) - the ZSS needs to be clear on its spiritual and moral authority. The person who was asked to leave the organization was not asked to do so out of personal contempt or politics.”

“That person was asked to leave because he failed the fiduciary duty expected of a person of the Buddhist robe, that is to help bring peace and enlightenment to people that come to him. What transpired instead is one who had become a lustful demon disguised as a person of the robe and through it, had taken sexual advantage of people who he purports to help bring peace and enlightenment.”

“While Eido Shimano may have been the catalyst of establishing the roots of Zen within ZSS, it certainly does not mean that ZSS is obligated to support its founder for life. The crux of the matter is this: There have been allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of Eido Shimano. There are explicit evidences forwarded by victims themselves. These accounts are compiled and documented for public view via the Internet. “

“By all accounts this monk has been ‘defeated’ in the traditional sense of Dharma-Vinaya (Buddha’s teachings and his discipline).”

927 02/14/13


Buddhadharma Online

What Are You Waiting For?

Thursday, February 14, 2013 At 3:00PM

Clinical therapist Tamara Kaiser asks why Buddhist communities have not adopted ethical standards long accepted by the rest of society.

Excerpted from the Spring 2013 issue of Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly, available on newsstands and by subscription.

“What happens in your sangha if a member has a conflict with a spiritual teacher over alleged psychological or sexual exploita­tion? Is there room for open discussion about the conflict, or is any such discussion automati­cally interpreted as a violation of ‘right speech’ and suppressed? As a therapist and, for want of a better term, ‘spiritual seeker’ whose practice includes meditation, I have followed the discus­sion regarding sexual and psychological exploita­tion in the American Buddhist community for a number of years. I first became acquainted with these issues in the Buddhist community through my husband, a longtime Zen practitioner and meditation teacher. In my own profession, I have worked extensively with boundary issues in my roles as a therapist and supervisor of therapists (including those who have been sanctioned by a licensing board for violations of the profession’s code of ethics) and also as a teacher of therapists and their supervisors.”

“Some in the American Buddhist community compare their current dilemma to that of the therapeutic community in the 1970s, a time when therapists came to recognize problems of abuse and worked to develop effective means to address them. They suggest that Buddhist communities will need years, if not decades, to establish clear ethical principles and processes by which to protect members and hold teachers accountable.”

928 02/17/13


Sweeping Zen


S. Noomen

February 17, 2013 at 3:15 pm

“I am still dumbfounded that something that obvious should be 'made clear' again and again. Ah well, my mistake, for yes apparently it does. For me it doesn’t feel right to keep focussing on (other people’s!) mistakes, but yes, I agree that it must be clear that a mistake is definitely a mistake! I couldn’t agree more that a teacher should be especially nurturing an honouring and taking care about a student’s aspiration. Not betraying the trust that is given to him seems very obvious to me…”

“I am Steven Noomen from Holland, a former lay student of Mr. Shimano at Bai Bosatsu Zendo, and I write this letter to let you all know I am utterly apalled to hear about his behaviour that made him decide – clearly very much overdue – to 'retire' as abbott.”

“Mr. Shimano’s behaviour brought much shame and disgrace to himself, to his family, to Zen Buddhism in general, and to the Rinzai Zen tradition in particular. It is no longer fashionable today, but people from samurai families – like Mr. Shimano, I heard – would rather kill themselves than live with such shame and disgrace. However, much more importantly than just (!) the shame, it caused very much harm in countless ways, in the first place by obscuring instead of demonstrating the right way to live the Buddha Dharma, and thus confusing countless seekers.”

“When I was at DBZ my fellow students told me that it was nothing but an exaggeration of some sensation hungry and trigger, or rather, pen happy reporter that wanted to blow up one small thing that once had happened years ago. However, now it seems to me this means their minds were already heavily poisoned. The general attitude seemed to be something like: ‘You can think whatever you want, but Roshi is above all serious criticism, no matter what, because you know nothing and he is a roshi. And why should you judge or get involved at all? It is not your business.’ ”

“Of course it is my business! Very much so. If I’m there as a student, then I demand at the very least some sincerety of the one in charge. Nyogen Senzaki reminded us at his death bed 'minute after minute watch your steps closely.' However, for nearly forty years Mr. Shimano stubbornly refused to see and admit his mistakes were mistakes.”

“As for myself, I feel now deeply ashamed of having been part of such a deceitful tradition. And be sure all Zen groups in Holland will know about it. I will never refer to Mr. Shimano as ‘Roshi’ any more.”

929 02/21/13









– against –



INDEX NO. 650025/2013

RECEIVED NYSCEF:  02/21/2013

“Defendant the Zen Studies Society, Inc. (‘ZSS’ or the ‘Defendant’), by its undersigned counsel, for its Amended Answer to Plaintiffs Complaint and Counterclaims, states the following:

“17. Defendant denies the allegations set forth in paragraph 17 of the Complaint.”

 “19. Defendant denies the allegations set forth in paragraph 19 of the Complaint.” 

 “21. Defendant denies the allegations set forth in paragraph 21 of the Complaint.”

“23. Defendant denies the allegations set forth in paragraph 23 of the Complaint.”

“25. Defendant denies the allegations set forth in paragraph 25 of the Complaint.” 

“27. The causes of action asserted in the Complaint are barred, in whole or in part, by the doctrines of waiver, equitable estoppel, ratification, and unclean hands.”

“30. As spiritual leader, Shimano Roshi had fiduciary and ethical duties to the ZSS members who were his students. “

“31. On numerous occasions, Shimano Roshi engaged in sexual relationships with students of his.”

“32. Shimano Roshi’s sexual relationships constituted an abuse of Shimano Roshi’s position.” 

“33. Shimano Roshi’s sexual relationships were contrary to his fiduciary duty and the ethical guidelines for ZSS that Shimano Roshi had approved.” 

“34. Shimano Roshi’s sexual relationships harmed the ZSS and ZSS members and students.”

“48. On information and belief, Shimano Roshi and Yasuko Shimano repeatedly and deliberately misappropriated ZSS funds to pay off victims of Shimano Roshi's sexual misconduct, on two occasions of which Yasuko Shimano ordered payments of $8000 and $3000 to be paid directly to victims or their associates as compensation for harm caused by Shimano Roshi's sexual misconduct.”

“49. Yasuko Shimano ordered that the funds be drawn on the ZSS' operating expenses from donations and membership dues.”

“50. By misappropriating funds, both Shimano Roshi and Yasuko Shimano violated their fiduciary and ethical duties, causing harm to the ZSS.”

930 03/11/13










– against –



INDEX NO. 650025/2013

RECEIVED NYSCEF:  03/11/2013

“Plaintiffs, EIDO T. SHIMANO ROSHI and YASUKO A. SHIMANO, through their

Attorney, LAWRENCE D. GERZOG, as and or their Verified Reply to Defendant's

Counterclaims state a follows:”

"4. With respect to paragraphs 31 through 38 of Defendants Amended Verified Answer and counterclaims, denies the claims set forth in paragraph 32 through 38, and with respect to paragraph 31 thereof, denies that Shimano Roshi had inappropriate sexual relationships with anyone."



10. The counterclaims asserted in the Verifird Amended Answer and Counterckaims are barred, in whole or in part, by he doctrines of waiver, equitable estoppel, ratification and unclean hands,


11. One or more of the counterclaim arc barred by he applicable statute(s0 of limitations.

WHEREFORE, plaintiffs demand judgment against defendant:

l . On the first through fourth causes of action in an amount to be determined at trial.

2. On the fifth cause of action actual damages in the amount of $1,000,000.00;.

3. On the fifth cause of action punitive damages in the amount of $1,000,000.00;

4. Dismissal of Defendant’s Counterclaims;”




Everybody Knows

Kyozan Joshu Sasaki Roshi and Rinzai ji.

Joshu Sasaki Roshi, the founder and Abbot of Rinzai ji is now 105 years old,


he has engaged in many forms of inappropriate sexual relationship with those who have come to him as students since his arrival here more than 50 years ago.

by Eshu Martin

"His career of misconduct has run the gamut from frequent and repeated non-consensual groping of female students during interview, to sexually coercive after hours 'tea' meetings, to affairs and sexual interference in the marriages and relationships of his students. Many individuals that have confronted Sasaki and Rinzai-ji about this behaviour have been alienated and eventually excommunicated, or have resigned in frustration when nothing changed; or worst of all, have simply fallen silent and capitulated. For decades, Joshu Roshi’s behaviour has been ignored, hushed up, downplayed, justified, and defended by the monks and students that remain loyal to him."

"Based on my own experience as a student and monk in Rinzai-ji from 1995-2008 and many conversations during that time and since, it seems to me that virtually every person who has done significant training with him, the Rinzai-ji board of Directors, and most senior members of the Western Zen community at large know about his misconduct. Yet no one to my knowledge has ever publicly spoken out. Certainly, as an organization, Rinzai-ji has never accepted the responsibility of putting a stop to this abuse, and has never taken any kind of remedial action."

"For many years, I have struggled with my own part in this calamity; I have known but have not spoken out. I have watched the situations with Eido Shimano and Genpo Merzel unfold, and I have been overwhelmed by the courage of those brave Zen folk who have stood up to speak the truth, knowing that it would be painful, and would have very real repercussions in their lives, and in the lives of those around them. I have been reminded of the strength and courage that is required to speak the truth when it calls into question an individual of such high standing."

"I have decided to come forward now because to allow this kind of abuse to go unacknowledged, when so many of us know it has been happening is, in my opinion, inexcusable. I will not be silent any more. I feel that to ignore the damage caused by Joshu Sasaki and the leaders of Rinzai-ji who allowed it to continue is both a huge disservice to those who have been abused, and a lost opportunity for all of us to learn from our mistakes. I feel obliged to speak the truth about this matter, insofar as I am able to know it. I believe that only by doing so is it possible for any healing to begin. I hope that I may be an example for others, so that they may find the courage to speak out about their experiences with Joshu Sasaki and Rinzai-ji. My hope is that by being accountable to each other, and working together, honestly and transparently, we will all be able to proceed more clearly into the future."




An Unsolicitated Email from Glenn Webb to Kobutsu Malone concerning Genki Takabayashi (Genjo Marinello's teacher before Eido Shimano).

“It seems that Genki was an orphan who was raised to be a priest at Ryutaku-ji.  (Actually, Hirano had the same experience after his parents were killed in a car accident, but that is another story.)  Genki had no pressure as a first son of a priest to become a priest, and probably grew up somewhat resentful at his fate.  Apparently, when he was around 18 his teacher (his adopted father, Gempo Roshi) sent him to the grand priest-training-hall (sodo) of Daitoku-ji."

“As Morinaga put it to me, on those occasions when he could go out on the town, Genki was a womanizer and pub-crawler.  He got one woman from the neighborhood pregnant, she refused to abort the child, and Genki refused to marry her, thereby bringing shame to her family and to the temple.  So he was kicked out of Daitoku-ji.  As a favor to a friend, Morinaga Roshi took him in.  But he made Genki’s life hell:  when I met him at Daishu-in he was low man on the totem pole, relegated to menial tasks and never allowed to engage in anything important.” 

“Gradually Genki-san began to relate to SZC members personally, with sign language as well as broken English.  I encouraged him to improve his English skills.  Sometime around 1980 I remember hearing people refer to him as Roshi.  I spoke to him about it, and he again said that was not appropriate.  We talked about the term.  And I said it was alright with me if it was alright with him, because many people seemed to want to have a Roshi, and I had explained to people that at that point my Roshi was still alive and I did not feel they should call me by that title  (see my essay 'On Roshi' in FB and my blog.)“

“However, I also became aware that open sexual couplings and marijuana use were part of the scene.  Later, one of the couplings turned out to be Genki himself and a European female student.  When she became pregnant she ultimately decided with his encouragement to have an abortion.  I assumed that we would hold a traditional mizuko ceremony but he refused.  So I conducted a private one for the woman.  Most people in the house did not know about the pregnancy or abortion, and those who did never mentioned it.”

“At some point Genki-san said he wanted to live separately in a house of his own.  We found one, rented it, and gradually the entire training operation shifted to Genki’s house.  The Zen House was still in the budget, and things were tight.  But when some land near Mt. Rainier became available, Genki suggested we buy it and build a true Zendo there for our sesshins.  One member was an architect and he drew up some plans, first for the mountain retreat and another for an in-city site. The retreat was built entirely by Sangha members.  Countless hours of labor were put into the construction of the Zendo.” 

“I think we held three sesshins there before Genki dropped a bombshell:  he announced at a board meeting that he would no longer be part of SZC or Tokugan-ji.  People who wanted to stay with me were welcome to do so, but those who wanted to train in the true Rinzai tradition should follow him.  This caused a painful break, leaving my side holding the bag.  I conducted about five sesshins in the mountain Zendo, before we had to sell it (to a Tibetan-style group); we found a house near the UW to rent for some of the students who stayed with me to live and practice.”

933 03/13/13


A Posthumous Letter to Genki Takabayashi from Eido Shimano.

[ Genki Takabayashi Passed Away
on February 25, 2013 ]

“March 2, 2013”

“To Genki Zenji Dai Osho”

“Only a few days ago, I came back from Japan.”

“The first news I got at JFK was your departure. As the news was so shocking, I could not find any appropriate words to express my inner feelings. It was totally impossible to share my sadness, neither in Japanese nor in English. It was simply sad.”

“You came to DaiBosatsu a few times and gave me many tea bowls of which you made. Even though we didn’t speak with each other over the phone every month or write so often, there was strong support knowing that there was another Japanese Rinzai teacher who gave his life for the transmission of Buddha Dharma to the West. Three of us, namely you, Sasaki Roshi and myself were like the legs of a tripod, and you were the youngest. Now only two of us are left. No Japanese Rinzai monk or teacher is interested to come to America, at least for now. Your departure made me feel extremely lonely. However, this too must be the arrangement of the Dharma. So I have no choice but to accept it.”

“I have been chanting Daihishu for you. I understand that on April 21st, Daibosatsu Mandala Day, there will be the 49th day memorial service for you in Seattle. On that day, I will be in Istanbul, Turkey, doing Sesshin. I will mention this during Teisho and together, with all participants, we do a special ceremony for you."

[See Entries of: 11/16/12 & 08/16/10 ]

934 03/28/13


Ven. Eido Shimano will conduct an all day Zazen Kai at Kips Bay Community Center April 27, 2013.

All Day Zazen-Kai at Kips Bay Center April 27th, 2013

"On Saturday, April 27th, 2013, after his return from (The East Meets West) Sesshin in Turkey April 22, Ven. Eido Shimano Roshi will lead an all-day Zazen-Kai in honor of the Buddha’s Birthday at the Kips Bay Community Center in New York City."

"Kips Bay Community Center"

"330 East 33 Street (garden level) - Between 1st and 2nd Avenue, NYC"

"Saturday, April 27th, 2013 from 9am to 5pm (Doors will open at 9am)"

935 04/04/13


An Email From The ZSS
Board of Directors
Dear Sangha and Dharma Friends

“In our last letter, we provided you with information about the lawsuit that Eido and Aiho Shimano filed against the Zen Studies Society this past January, as well as the circumstances surrounding their retirement and the history of our financial negotiations over their retirement pension. (To review this letter, click here.) We are writing to you today to keep you informed about our legal response and countersuit, and other related developments.”

“We first wish to make it clear that we never intended to end up in this antagonistic legal situation; our hope was to negotiate a reasonable and appropriate retirement pension for the Shimanos in a compassionate and harmonious manner. We wanted to heed the words of Soyen Shaku Roshi: 'We are not born to fight one against another. We are born to enlighten our wisdom and cultivate our virtues according to the guidance of truth.' Over a period of two years, we tried in good faith to arrange for arbitration or mediation to find an equitable solution. However, all those efforts were rejected. Instead, the Shimanos brought a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against the ZSS.”


This lawsuit contains erroneous and unfounded claims. Further, it poses a serious threat to the survival of our centers and our organization itself. We therefore had no choice but to answer the Shimanos' lawsuit with a strong countersuit (to learn the details of our countersuit, please click here). This countersuit was filed on February 21, 2013. On March 11, 2013, the Shimanos delivered a response through their lawyer that not only denies that Eido Roshi failed to uphold his fiduciary and ethical responsibilities to the ZSS and its members and students, but “denies that Shimano Roshi had inappropriate sexual relationships with anyone.” In fact, there are many who will testify to the contrary, and further testify that Eido Roshi's actions have repeatedly and significantly harmed individual students and our sangha as a whole. We still hope for a change of heart on the Shimanos' part and an arbitrated or mediated settlement out of court. However, if this is not possible, we must do what is needed to preserve the precious community that is the Zen Studies Society, and we are prepared to defend our legal position vigorously.”


As we move forward, we remain deeply committed to maintaining an atmosphere of honesty, transparency, and encouragement within our organization, and to making our beautiful centers safe and welcoming places of practice for all students.”

936 04/05/13


Drinking The Kool-Aid

Sweeping Zen

Posted by: Merry White Benezra on
April 5, 2013

Merry White Benezra, author of

 Special Karma:
A Zen Novel of Love and Folly

“At 44, Eido was a beautiful man, charismatic, absolutely imbued with the atmosphere of Zen and its aesthetics.  As a deeply invested Japanophile, I should have been a very easy mark.  But, perhaps because of the tip-off, when Eido began to approach me I knew it wasn’t a unique or spontaneous attraction (it was being hit up); and, frankly, his technique was poor.  'How many men?' he would ask.  'Must have been more than one hundred?'  How many humiliating heartbreaks would have been the better question.”

“Saying ‘No thank you’ did not (as I had expected) inoculate me from harm.  ‘Do you like your room?’ he asked, as I was rising to leave our first dokusan meeting.  An odd question, I thought.  I said I did.  I loved my room, my monk’s cell.  If I had said my room was too small and my futon was too hard and I was lonely, would the conversation would have moved on to alternative sleeping arrangements, such as in the Roshi’s quarters?”

“On the last evening of the first sesshin of the training period, Eido invited me to enjoy a book of pornographic photos with him in his private study. I very quickly excused myself and reeled back to my room.  Sesshin ended the following morning and I had to decide.  Dai Bosatsu’s very first training period had just started; who was I to bring it to a close?  So I let myself believe that Eido had simply made a mistake about the kind of student I meant to be.  If other women actually wanted this, that was their business.”

“In the middle of the training period’s second sesshin, Eido revealed the news in dokusan that I had a ‘special karma.’  For someone in my frame of mind, this should only have meant a great spiritual karma.  In a Zen monastery, it should only imply spiritual potential.  But I had shown so little on-demand spiritual acumen at that point that I knew, in my heart of hearts, that my spiritual karma was not what he meant.  Permitting myself to come to this realization in the pressure cooker of sesshin was excruciating.  After failing to get a straight answer from Eido about the nature of my special karma and finding myself unable to do anything but cry, nonstop, I walked out of the sesshin.  If I had not done so, I believe I could have experienced a complete mental breakdown.  I thought long and hard about suicide.  If my ‘special karma,’ wasn’t spiritual, what was left?”

“And, a week or so later, Eido confirmed that my special karma was, after all, to have won the lucky ticket that gave the winner a night (or more!) in bed with a real Zen master.  It was a ticket I never redeemed.”

“I am watching the unfolding of Eido’s denouement with interest.  Finally, at the age of 81, a sexual criminal is being publicly unmasked.  But, shouldn’t this have happened in 1964, when his first victims were hospitalized?  Or during one of the many Fuck Follies (as we called them) in the 1970′s, 1980′s and 1990′s—when evidence of Eido’s unremitting and unapologetic sexual pathology was brought, again and again, to the attention of the ZSS Board?”

“Recently it has come to light that Eido’s teacher, Soen Roshi, either failed to add Eido’s name to the list of lineage holders (the one that includes Bodhidharma) at Myoshinji, his home temple in Japan—or later removed it.  There are many ways to look at this, and how it impacts Eido and his successors.  One way is to ask, What is a piece of paper, anyway?  But to my mind, Soen’s act is the one clean moment in this whole terrible affair.”

937 04/05/13


Sweeping Zen

(In response to Merry Benezra’s piece above.)

Genjo Marinello

April 5, 2013 at 8:11 pm

“Overall a good summery of the tragic history of ZSS and it’s founding abbot Eido Shimano. Indeed the current Abbot, Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat has done little to reach out to those most harmed or alienated over the decades. It is true that ZSS has employed the Faith Trust Institute and An Olive Branch to good effect to start, but has never followed up with an organizational apology (such as Rinzai-Ji has made), a long overdue and promised forensic audit, or democratic reorganization of the bylaws ('new' bylaws have not even been made public). Neither has ZSS sponsored any further reaching out to those most harmed or alienated. No detailed account of Eido Roshi’s wrong doings has been investigated by ZSS, let alone made public, except as can be derived by their counter suit to his complaint that he has not been paid enough.”

“Shinge Chayat has admitted to me that she has experienced ‘unexpected physical molestation’ from Eido Shimano, and though she categorically denies having an ‘affair’ with him, many people claim to have heard her directly say otherwise, including her ex-husband. In any case, it is clear that she too has been abused and taken in by him, publicly to this day expressing gratitude for ‘Eido Roshi’s uncompromising and penetrating Dharma Eye, which reveals directly the luminous power of the unconditional mind’ while privately calling him a ‘psychopath.’ ”

938 04/13/13


Sweeping Zen

Post by former ZSS Board President
Randy Banko Phillips to Sweeping Zen
Addressed to Nonin Chowaney.

“… I am Banko Randy Phillips and I was at one time president of the board of directors of the Zen Studies Society. At one time I considered myself a good friend of Eido Shimano. I traveled with him to Japan and worked on several books with him. When Robert Aitkin via the web asked for a formal reply by Eido Shimano to his charges (the first that I was aware of them) I tried to get Eido Shimano to respond. I was no longer president of the board but was still on it. It was apparent that his answer was not forthcoming.”

“The reason for this reply now is simply because of the subject of the above article. As a matter of record – you [Nonin Chowaney] – from the side-lines repeatedly cast aspersions at anyone who was ‘against’ Shimano or Shinge Roshi. You were an apologist for both – one might even say even a rabid apologist. To my reading – and I think many others – you responded often in a mean spirited manner. Almost anything that Genjo Osho said was picked apart ad nauseam – in a seemingly imperious manner as well – to what end? Shinge Roshi eventually called Shimano a 'psychopath' – nothing that either I nor Genjo Osho did. Maybe she is right – now Shimano is suing ZSS (for breaking a contract that he basically wrote himself) - ‘Let True Dharma Continue’ – indeed.”

“I wish to tell you [Nonin Chowaney] that your ‘actions’ made a very difficult time for those of us who were trying to deal with this situation from the inside much more difficult. I don’t believe that you can understand how much more difficult you made things – and what a negative drag it was dealing with your continued sniping. Was this sniping, goading, gloating, quick to anger and attack ‘unethical’ – I don’t presume to know by a long shot but there was apparently plenty of greed anger and delusion to go around. IMHO.”

939 05/28/13




“On Sunday, June 16th, 2013, there will be an ALL DAY ZAZEN-KAI with Eido Roshi. It will take place at Ungan Richard Diletto’s townhouse in the Bronx.” 

“We will only accommodate up to 15 people so please RSVPs as soon as possible.”

“The cost for the ALL DAY ZAZEN-KAI including lunch will be $25 per person. The doors will open at 9:00 am for registration and Zazen will start at 9:30 am. There will be a Dharma talk by Eido Roshi in the afternoon and a Sarei after the end of Zazen at 5pm.”

940 05/30/13


From: Shinge Roshi Roko Sherry Chayat

Date: Thursday, May 30, 2013

Subject: Mortgage Burning Special Event

"I would like to invite you to be honored at a special event we are holding on Sunday, June 23, 2013, when we will be burning our paid-off mortgage!  Thanks to all our members and friends over the years, the properties at 266, 268, and 276 West Seneca Turnpike (the Forman House, its side apartment, and the Residence) are now mortgage free."

"We’ll begin at 9 a.m. with morning service, zazen and dokusan.  A potluck picnic lunch will be held at 12:30.  At 1:30 a special program will include reflections on our history and a formal acknowledgement of you and others who helped us arrive at this momentous occasion.  Then we’ll have a ceremonial burning of the mortgage document, followed by a short annual meeting, refreshments, and time for catching up."

941 06/02/13




“On May 10th to 15th, 2013, the Rinzai Zen Sangha hosted its Inaugural Sesshin, dedicated to the memory of Nyogen Senzaki Zenji, with Eido Shimano Roshi as its invited guest teacher.”

“We inspired the cool, crisp, lilac and magnolia scented spring air at a beautiful, secluded, historic country mansion that we fondly called the ‘Hidden Zendo.’ "

"It reminded me of the somewhat informal and improvisational sesshins, at the Daibosatsu Zendo Guest House, before the construction of the monastery.” 

“Eido Roshi gave 100% of himself, especially evident, during teisho and dokusan. The subject matter for Teisho was from the Rinzai Roku, spiced with comments and stories from the life of Nyogen Senzaki, the corner stone of our American / Japanese Zen Mandala.” 

“Dokusan was given three times per day. Since we were only 12 of us, Eido Roshi made a commitment to interview all students that came, during each dokusan session. That was three personal teaching sessions each day, with Eido Roshi! This was the most auspicious opportunity to receive, from a Japanese trained Master of Zen Masters, personalized coaching and encouragement beyond the usual horizons of our regular training and practice.”

“After serving, a most distinguished career as the founder / builder and Abbot of the Zen Studies Society, Eido Roshi was now ready to realize his spiritual dream of offering a ‘sumptuous French dinner’ to the Sangha during this extraordinary inaugural session. I assert that this vision will continue to be realized through his future encounters with the Rinzai Zen Sangha.”

942 06/03/13


The Genkaku Again Blog

the bureaucrat

"It began yesterday when a friend sent along a video of Eido Tai Shimano's concluding talk at a sesshin or Zen retreat held May 10-15. After first assessing how long the video clip was (nine minutes and change), I watched it. I can do pretty much anything for nine minutes so I watched. And it was from that point that the incredible sorrow -- molecule-deep sorrow and horror ... wracking -- kicked in."

"Eido Shimano came to America in the 1960's and helped to build a Zen Buddhist organization whose most concrete exemplars were a town-house Zen center in Manhattan and a monastery-like building in the Catskill Mountains. I studied for nine years within his precincts beginning in the 1970's. I loved Zen practice somehow -- deeply and with the sort of awe and confusion and devotion and determination that I think other students may have felt in their own ways. I remained in Shimano's bomb zone until his sociopathic depredations -- the sexual manipulation of female students being the most high-profile -- became too much for me. When I left, I was confused and angry and felt betrayed ... but those were, however painful, minor matters. Later, I would become involved in efforts to lay out Shimano's chicanery -- a chicanery best depicted, perhaps, in The Shimano Archive: This son of a bitch deserved to be brought down! And so, bit by bit, he was reduced in stature: His legend, both in his own mind and in the minds of others, was deflated ... not perfectly perhaps, but in some measure. The video attested to a hoped-for and perhaps-attainable resurrection as a "Zen master" and teacher of 'true Rinzai Zen.' "

"Watching the video yesterday, I wondered how many years Shimano had devoted to what he called 'Zen practice.' Was it 50 or 60? Imagine that! So much time, so much effort, so much accomplishment and ... and here's where the sorrow and horror overwhelmed me ... the upshot, at least in my heart and mind, was purely the most horrific and sorrowful thing I could imagine in spiritual life ... the upshot was ...

A bureaucrat."

"Teaspoon by teaspoon by teaspoon ... nothing threatening about a teaspoon, right? ... a bureaucrat. In my heart and mind, it was beyond screaming in its sorrowfulness."

943 06/10/13


The Genkaku Again Blog


Monday, June 10, 2013

"It's a bit too precious and too convoluted as written, but since I am too lazy to rewrite it and since various recent conversations put me in mind of it, I will put it here so I'll know where to find it -- a 30-plus-year-old incident that had some impact in its time, but now is just a small shard in the mosaic of depredations of the Zen teacher Eido Tai Shimano."

As he walked south along Third Avenue, the streets were largely empty. A few trucks, a few taxis and a few buses plied their trade, but in a city as jam-packed as New York, this was an empty time and the emptiness seemed to compound his sense of fear. What if he were seen or caught red-handed breaking the law? How could he deny that the plastic bag in his right hand contained cans of spray paint and that the spray paint belonged to him?”

“The forty-two-year-old house painter and Zen student withdrew one of the spray cans from his bag, shook it until the small steel ball within rattled to indicate the paint was well-mixed, and then sprayed first one and then another of the sandstone stairs: 'SHAME.' The paint had been deliberately purchased in an oil-base form -- something that could not be washed off easily as water-base paint might be. With luck, it would be mostly dry before the sun came up and the lawbreaker's handiwork was discovered.”

“And now, today, one of his followers was drawing a line ... SHAME. On the one hand, it was just a bit of scurrilous graffiti. On the other, it was a summing up of Shimano's previous and future years as what some called a 'Zen master.' He had manipulated and abused women students ... and would again. He had manipulated and abused the finances of Zen Studies Society ... and would again. There was no pervasive Internet use at the time and so it had taken years for the evidence to accumulate and make itself felt: Shimano had betrayed is own teachings and hurt quite a lot of people into the bargain.”

“The forty-two-year-old house painter and Zen student was, of course, me. It was I who was tired and determined and scared. I was scared not just that the police might catch and prosecute me but also that I might incur some mystical wrath from the brightness of the Zen Buddhism I had followed as best I might: Not only were the cops going to hit me on the nose with a rolled up newspaper, but the Buddhist tradition itself might exact some fearsome, hell-bound, karmic price. Toe the mark or risk reprisal ... that was Shimano's teaching and I too had ingested it. But not today, not Oct. 5, 1982.”

[See: Here and Here]

944 06/13/13


An Email Letter From Shinge


"Sangha" [Actually to a select group]

"These last few years have been a time of great challenge and change. Some people say that we must move on, and focus our attention on new growth. Yet I know there are many who feel their concerns have not been fully acknowledged."

"We have all made mistakes, those of commission and those of omission. We have hurt others through our insensitivity, our ego-centered actions, and our lack of wisdom and compassion, and we must own up to this, and ask for forgiveness."

"We need to bring restorative principles and practices to redress harm, restore peace, promote healing, and build a strong, healthy community."

"We can take up a suggestion that was made some time ago to hold an annual ceremony of introspection and purification, through which we reflect upon the shadow history of the Zen Studies Society and vow to transform our karma."

"The most appropriate time would be at the conclusion of every Anniversary Sesshin. This year's sesshin will end at noon on Saturday, July 6, 2013."

"Even if you can't come to sesshin, please join us that Saturday at 2 p.m. for a facilitated listening circle in which everyone can speak openly, without interruption, and be heard deeply. Then we will have a special Purification Ceremony in the Dharma Hall. We'll end with an informal supper."

"It is my intention to hold such listening circles on a regular basis, both at Dai Bosatsu Zendo and at New York Zendo, as well as an annual purification ceremony."

945 06/13/13


An Email From Genjo Marinello To Roko Chayat

June 16, 2013, 2:58 PM CDT

Re: "A Letter From Shinge Roshi"

"Open letter concerning ZSS  'Annual Ceremony for Introspection and Purification' "

"This week I read with interest Shinge Roko Chayat's, the second abbot of the Zen Studies Society (ZSS), proposal to begin this July an 'Annual Ceremony for Introspection and Purification' (see:   She proposes that at such a service the mistakes of the past, presumably around the handling of the Eido Shimano fiasco, can be owned up to and redressed."

"It is well known that the founding Abbot of the ZSS, Eido Shimano Roshi, severely abused his position of power and authority over the course of decades.  Most egregiously, sexualizing and abusing the most vulnerable and attractive female students under his care and instruction.  It is also known that his actions have disrupted and divided the sangha several times during his tenure as abbot. At each major upheaval, the most progressive members of the ZSS board would either leave in disgust at the inaction of the entire board or be forced out. Thus leaving the most conservative members to march on to reestablish a viable, but fundamentally dysfunctional, practice community.  In the most recent upheaval, that began in June of 2010, when yet another student came forward to reveal that she was tiered of keeping secret her illicit affair with Shimano, the first of the ZSS board members resigned when Roshi refused to take a leave of absence from teaching after admitting this clear ethical breach of well established policy.  I was the last of five to resign in July of 2011."

"When it was finally agreed by everyone, including Roshi, that he would no longer teach at ZSS, three days later the board received a proposal from Roshi, dated July 5th, 2011, that he be allowed to teach beginning students at NYC Shobo-Ji (ZSS City Zendo).  The board quickly declined this request, but then the rest of the board argued that this letter be kept secret.  I could not agree because the letter so clearly demonstrated the depth of his denial and narcissism; therefore, for this and other reasons, I resigned.  Of course, once again, those who remained were the least progressive and most tolerant of Eido Shimano's antics. Shinge, who has admitted to being unexpectedly physically molested by him, was in my view the least progressive of those remaining. By the way, everyone should be aware that Eido Shimano continues to teach students in New York and internationally, just not under the auspices of ZSS."

946 06/21/13


An Email From The ZSS BOD To:

"Dear Sangha"

"No one was ever able to put a stop to what should have been stopped because of the culture of secrecy and the misuse of power. We, the Board of Directors of the Zen Studies Society, acknowledge this, and we are deeply sorry. "

"At that time, even though all of us wanted to find a way to do so, we were not able to offer an organizational apology, because of legal constraints having to do with confidentiality. We were and continue to be especially concerned about those who were directly harmed by inappropriate sexual relationships with their teacher, but we also know that many others were deeply hurt."

[Underline emphasis added.]

947 06/30/13


ZSS Email Newsletter - July 2013

Attached Documents:




“This is a time of transition. We've been challenged in many ways over the past few years, and now we want to use what we've learned to examine the best direction for the future. What is authentic for us, natural to us in the second decade of the twenty-first century in North America?”  

“We want to stay open to new possibilities to strengthen the Zen Studies Society. We want to bring in new practitioners, and we especially want to invite all the many old-timers to come and be a part of this--we value your long years of practice, your depth of insight, and your many”

“Summer at Dai Bosatsu is a time of miraculous beauty, warm friendship, and joyful practice. Here we are, surrounded by new life- baby deer and bear, geese and beavers, birds and butterflies- and we, too, are renewed each day on the banks of the highest lake in the Catskills.” 

“Caring for our environment and working with organizations like the Nature Conservancy, we are focusing on sustainability and ecology.  Everyone who comes here feels that it's a sacred space. As we know, psychological wellness is integrally tied to the healing power of nature- indeed, studies have recently been”

 “Join us for a weekend of Zen sitting and work practice on a variety of projects in and around the monastery. As much as the weather allows, Samu Weekends are devoted to outdoor work. Typical outdoor work assignments include splitting firewood, weeding, raking, and landscaping. Of course, some participants may also be asked to work indoors. Mindful work is emphasized. First-timers will need to arrive early enough on Friday afternoon to participate in an orientation. Although there is no set program fee for the weekend, donations are gratefully accepted. If you have any special talents or skills, please let us know! Everyone is welcome, but you must be registered to attend. If you make a reservation but cannot attend, please let us know so we can plan accordingly.”

948 07/04/13


The Rinzai Zen Sangha

The Followers of Rinzai Zen Buddhist Practice

To the Sangha from Eido Roshi

JULY 4th, 2013

"Since our retirement, there have been a number of actions taken by the ZSSB, which have influenced and altered our lives. One of which, includes the violation of our retirement pension agreement with the stopping of all payments after August 2012. Without receiving any response from the ZSSB for their actions, we had no other choice but to initiate a civil suit four months later. In May 2013, the ZSSB made an offer to enter into non-binding arbitration, if we placed our lawsuit on hold. We accepted this offer. Thus far, the choice of a mediator to provide an alternative resolution to our dispute is still pending."

"When I retired, it was my intention to continue my work for the Dharma by translating the precious foundational letters of Soen Roshi and Nyogen Senzaki. Under the current circumstances, I have resolved to continue my commitment to our Dharma legacy, by starting the translations now, with the help of Sangha volunteers. It is my intention to encourage everyone to do Zazen practice in every way you can, and have the clarity of mindfulness, to encourage others to do the same."

949 07/23/13 20130723_Shinge_Sangha.pdf

From: Shinge Roshi Roko Sherry Chayat

Date: Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Subject: "Dear Sangha"

“To allocate our energies as effectively as possible, we are taking the step of canceling this fall’s Golden Wind Sesshin and holding Harvest Sesshin a week earlier, from October 26 to November 2. This will be a seven-day sesshin. Of course Rohatsu Sesshin dates are always the same: November 30-December 8. We sincerely hope that this will not cause inconvenience, and that you will be able to join us for sesshin and for our other summer and fall programs.”

“The Zen Studies Society Board will be holding another Board and Advisory Council retreat in the fall, this one to refine our vision for the future of DBZ and to explore ideas for future programming and scheduling. In that regard, it was helpful to have former Vice Abbot JunPo Denis Kelly at DBZ with his Hollow Bones Sangha for a guest sesshin in June. We were inspired by their playfulness and joy. They loved being at DBZ, and are already planning to come back next year.”

“You are also invited to come to Hoen-ji, our Syracuse temple, for my 70th birthday celebration on Saturday, October 5. The Sangha there will be sending out more information on this event soon. You are also invited to come to Hoen-ji, our Syracuse temple, for my 70th birthday celebration on Saturday, October 5. The Sangha there will be sending out more information on this event soon.”

950 09/02/13


BYLAWS of The Zen Studies Society, Inc.

(Captured 09/02/13)

From the Zen Studies Society Website at:

"4.3. Rights and responsibilities of Zen Studies Society members are as follows:

     a. Zen Studies Society members who attend sesshin may become students of the Abbot of the Zen Studies Society.

     b. Members have the right to attend the Annual Meeting of the Society, which is held in early summer of each year at a location designated by the Board of Directors. Notice of the time and location for the year's Annual Meeting will be sent to members three months before the meeting. At this meeting, officers and committees shall give annual reports and other matters may be raised and discussed.

     c. Members wishing to place an item on the Annual Meeting agenda must present their recommendation to the Governance Committee of the Board of Directors at least two months prior to the Annual Meeting. Members have the right to vote at the Annual Meeting on such recommendations as are brought forward by the Governance Committee of the Board of Directors.

d. Members receive discounts for sesshin and other programs and may be invited to serve on task groups, thereby supporting the operations of the Society.

     e. Members are responsible for paying on-going dues in an amount established by the Board of Directors. Ordained members and residents of the monastery and temple are exempt from paying dues.

     f. Members may submit names of candidates for the Board of Directors to the Governance Committee.

     g. The Board of Directors is charged with keeping members informed in matters of interest and concern and respecting their rights and responsibilities as practitioners."

[ For Reference: See
Adopted January 30, 1993
As of March 23, 2003

20030323_ZSS_Bylaws_Rev.pdf ]

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