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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Rochester Zen Center
adopted by the Center’s Members at the
May 25, 1991, Annual Corporate Meeting
adopted February 1991 by unanimous written consent of the
Center’s Board of Trustees, effective May 25, 1991
As amended by the Board of Trustees on November 2, 1991;

This entry is provided as an example for comparison.

Adopted January 30, 1993
As of March 23, 2003



BYLAWS of The Zen Studies Society, Inc.

(Captured 09/02/13)

20130902_Bylaws_ZSS.pdf ]



The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side

Book Description

Publication Date: November 12, 2013

A powerful story of secrets and sexual exploitation perpetrated under the guise of religion—a cautionary tale of the dark side of Zen in America. 

"Nearly 50 years ago, a Zen Buddhist monk—fleeing a cloud of suspicion—arrived in Manhattan, penniless and alone. Eido Shimano would quickly build an unrivaled community of followers: Zen students he culled from the heights of New York society to form arguably the most prestigious Japanese Buddhist organization in the country. Authors, entertainers, and scions of vast fortunes, all questing for spiritual enlightenment, flocked to study and live in his spacious compound. But always there were whispers that things were not what they seemed." 

"With sexual-abuse allegations against Zen leaders in the U.S. now stunningly common, The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side examines a dangerously complicated corner of the tradition—and shows how aspects of Buddhist practice may actually facilitate abuse. Featuring exclusive reporting and interviews, the book is a powerful true story of secrets and sexual exploitation perpetrated under the guise of religion—and a cautionary tale of the dark side of Zen in America." 


"An essayist, reporter, and critic, Mark Oppenheimer is one of the country’s leading investigators of religion. He writes a religion column for The New York Times and also writes for The New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, Slate, The Forward, and Tablet, among other publications. Oppenheimer has a doctorate in American religious history and directs the Yale Journalism Initiative. The author of three previous books, he lives with his family in New Haven, Connecticut."




An Email From Banko Randy Phillips, Former ZSS Board Member, To Kobutsu Malone.

"In one aspect - all of this recent history really comes down to Fujin. She was instrumental in killing Jiro off and she was the one who drafted the letter that dissed you at a time that you really needed help. If Roshi had reservations ordaining you (and I have no knowledge at all that he did) to mention that to a 3rd party in the circumstances that unfolded was a breach of ethics that is as bad as anything he has done to anyone. Fujin never liked you - for whatever reasons - and considered you a poseur and pretty much spread this around. I thought that the activism that you were attempting was refreshing. I eventually got into hospice as my own form of activism."

"But all of this would have unfolded so differently if you had not made it a quest to get all of the information out. It would have gotten out but slower and I doubt that 'Daphna' would have dropped the bombshell that she did when she did. I believe it was the archives that informed her that she was just one more in a long list of Shimano's dalliances."

"But of course I am glad that is is all out - and we all have you to thank for that. At this point I have hopes that somehow the two Zen centers can continue - but if they fail that is OK too. I left the board because of Roko. She was well meaning but caught up in beliefs that I had no chance of shaking at the time. When Shimano lied to the board just days before 'Daphna's' revelation I realized that this guy was not at all who I thought he was. Eventually I was at a moral impasse - I felt strongly to force Shimano to take a leave of absence at least - I let her and the board know - got nothing back (but barbs from her) and so resigned."




The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side

An Excerpt From
The Atlantic

“Eido Shimano, the Japanese Zen Buddhist monk whose exploitative relationships with female followers over a fifty-year period were to tear apart the American Buddhist community, arrived in the United States in August 1960, at the age of 27, to study at the University of Hawaii.”

“Tormented, Robert Aitken saved his correspondence with and about Shimano. He must have made it known that he was keeping the definitive dossier on Shimano, because over the years insiders leaked to him copies of private letters to the Zen Studies Society board, minutes of board deliberations, and other documents that helped complete the story of Shimano’s predations. In 2003, Aitken gave the papers to the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and in 2008, just after his 90th birthday, he agreed to allow public access to the papers he had been saving for 45 years.”

“The papers might have just sat in boxes at the university archives in Manoa had not a former Shimano follower, a Zen priest named Kobutsu Malone, requested that photocopies of the entire archive be sent to his home in rural Maine. By 2008, when he was able to get the papers, Malone had developed an obsessive grudge against Shimano. An engineer by trade, Kevin Malone—he would take his dharma name, Kobutsu, as his legal name in 2010—had begun in 1977 to sit, or meditate, at Shimano’s New York Zendo, where he was soon volunteering his handyman skills, doing carpentry, electrical wiring, and other tasks. In 1979, he moved to Dai Bosatsu, Shimano’s country monastery, with his future wife. They took up residence in the gatehouse, from which Malone superintended the campus, ‘running the buildings, all the vehicles, logging, everything,’ he told me last year. He got married there in July of 1979, and had a son, Sean, in 1980. The next year, the family left for California, where Malone had a job offer. He and his wife divorced in 1990, and many years later he learned that his ex-wife, who had slept with Shimano before marrying Malone, had continued a casual affair with their teacher during their marriage—as his ex-wife confirmed for me.”

“I heard this story in October 2012, when I visited Malone at his one-bedroom apartment in a forgettable development in coastal Maine. When I arrived, I was greeted at the door by Malone, a short, blunt, white-haired, heavy-lidded, chain-smoking, double-wide bruiser of a man—and by his enormous Newfoundland, Harley-Bear."

"Malone’s small living room was crowded with files and a large computer—tools in his daily fight to expose Shimano, a task to which he says he has dedicated tens of thousands of hours.” 




The Daily Beast

The Shocking Scandal at the Heart of American Zen

By Jay Michaelson

November 14th 20135:45 AM

"As with many religious sex scandals, this is old news to insiders. Other Zen roshis with similar allegations against them include Richard Baker, Joshu Sasaki, Taizan Maezumi—the list goes on, really. The pattern is disturbingly familiar from Catholic, Ultra-Orthodox Jewish, and similar systematic abuse scandals: insiders made aware, positive values of spiritual teacher stressed, abuse hushed up, abuse repeated."

"Yet in Shimano’s case, the facts are murkier. First, all of his 'victims,' if that’s even the right word, were adults; this was not a case of predation of teenagers, as in the Catholic Church. Second, none were raped, in the narrowest (and legal) sense of the term. And while some sexual acts are alleged to have been coerced, most of Shimano’s reported liaisons were consensual—that is, if there can ever be consent within a power relationship such as that between guru and disciple, which perhaps there cannot. Finally, while Shimano was married, it’s not known what his wife made of the allegations, or when she knew of them." 

"Then there’s the matter of culture. Shimano’s actions are inexcusable by Japanese, American, or any other cultural standard. Yet they did take place within a system of power and patriarchy that includes male sexual philandering within it. How different was Shimano’s behavior from that of a typical Japanese businessman? This is neither to excuse his conduct nor make generalizations about other cultures – but it is to recognize that Western terms such as 'sex offender' may not completely fit."

"But a Zen monk? Here, too, the situation is more complex than it may first appear. We may have an image of Zen abbots as peaceful, enlightened, and sexually abstinent, but this simultaneously parochial and Orientalist image is our problem, not theirs. Actually, enlightened Zen monks are often worldly, engaged, and sexually voracious. Likewise, most Westerners may believe that sex and spiritual teaching should be kept separate. But in what non-Judeo-Christian-Muslim book is that written?  Indeed, some of Shimano’s sexual partners regarded their physical intimacy with their teacher as part of their spiritual path. We should be wary before projecting our own Western sex negativity on non-Western spiritual teachers."




The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side

An Excerpt From
The New Republic

“Right now, Manhattan’s Zen Studies Society, perhaps the most prestigious Zen Buddhist center in the United States, is being torn apart by lawsuits, backstabbing, and infighting. The finances are terrible, and the beautiful carriage house on East 67th Street may have to be sold to pay legal debts—or, if he wins the lawsuit, to pay damages to Eido Shimano, the 82-year-old Zen master who built the society up but also, in a way, has destroyed it. According to revelations that have tumbled out over the past two years, and which I chronicle in-depth in a new e-book, Shimano has spent 50 years preying sexually on his students. He may have slept with dozens; I personally have identified over a dozen, and spoken to many of them. Shimano’s womanizing is of the sleaziest sort: He is married, and he has often picked for his mistresses much younger and disturbed women, the kind particularly susceptible to his twisted charisma.”

“A student was also liable to believe that her teacher was conveying the one true form of Zen Buddhism. Anybody who traveled to Japan, as many American Buddhists would, quickly learned that every monastery there had its own variations on the tradition—as with any other religious practice, there is no one true form. But the Americans didn’t know that. The teacher knew all; the American knew nothing. In this way the teacher was like a deity, a minor god.”

“Quietly or not, many people did leave. The Zen Studies Society was marked by frequent turnover. Students in their early 30s, even younger, could find themselves among the senior monks at Dai Bosatsu, in a tradition that is supposed to be ungraspable even after a whole lifetime of study. But for Schnyer this constantly refreshing membership was proof that the sangha did disapprove of Shimano’s treatment of women. ‘You won’t find anybody within the Zen Studies Society who has tolerated this stuff from start to finish,’ Schnyer said. ‘It’s waves of people who say, ‘I’m done with this, I got what I can out of it’ ... and then a new group comes in.’ “

“I finally asked Schnyer if he had said what Zournas attributed to him: He hasn’t raped anyone yet, has he?”

“ 'I suspect I probably said something like that,’ Schnyer said. 'I don’t remember saying that.' ”




A leaked email from the Exclusive AZTA Secret Listserve.

From: "Sherry Chayat"


"Jay Michaelson really gets it, as Oppenheimer did not in his lurid pursuit of sexual titillation."




GENKAKU-AGAIN (adam fisher)

Monday, November 18, 2013

a cultural divide -- oh really?

"With the publication of Oppenheimer's book/essay about Shimano's willingness to prey on women students, a number of reviews arose, among them, one from Jay Michaelson in The Daily Beast. Michaelson argues, with tentative asides, that there is a problem with Zen Buddhism that goes beyond Shimano. The very title of his review -- 'The Shocking Scandal at the Heart of American Zen' -- genuflects to Oppenheimer's occasional New-York-Times-esque longing to assert a wider, systemic flaw -- a flaw of which Shimano was an example, though far from the only one. This argument can certainly be made, though I'm not sure if either Michaelson or Oppenheimer are the people who can make it with more than a superficial, New-York-Times-y gloss."

"Still, making the argument at all, has the net effect of mitigating Shimano's malfeasances: What the hell -- he was just part of a wider fabric. And simultaneously, the argument tends to buy into the notion that 50 years of living in a country is not enough to inform any emigrant."

"Michaelson writes:"

"Then there’s the matter of culture. Shimano’s actions are inexcusable by Japanese, American, or any other cultural standard. Yet they did take place within a system of power and patriarchy that includes male sexual philandering within it. How different was Shimano’s behavior from that of a typical Japanese businessman? This is neither to excuse his conduct nor make generalizations about other cultures – but it is to recognize that Western terms such as 'sex offender' may not completely fit."

"But a Zen monk? Here, too, the situation is more complex than it may first appear. We may have an image of Zen abbots as peaceful, enlightened, and sexually abstinent, but this simultaneously parochial and Orientalist image is our problem, not theirs. Actually, enlightened Zen monks are often worldly, engaged, and sexually voracious. Likewise, most Westerners may believe that sex and spiritual teaching should be kept separate. But in what non-Judeo-Christian-Muslim book is that written?  Indeed, some of Shimano’s sexual partners regarded their physical intimacy with their teacher as part of their spiritual path. We should be wary before projecting our own Western sex negativity on non-Western spiritual teachers."

"I agree with Michaelson -- Americans are a conflicted and prurient lot when it comes to sex. And perhaps they are even more conflicted and prurient when it comes to religion and sex. 'Projecting our own Western sex negativity on non-Western spiritual teachers' may be an erroneous approach."

"But, if in fact such projections exist, how could a man of exquisite training and sensitivity and compassion not pick up on that flaw over a period of 50 years and learn to live within their confines, however misguided and second-rate the students might be? Would his training in compassion and clear-headedness lead him to work within those confines to illuminate a more sensible outlook or would that training incline him to simply flaunt the appreciations of the 'heathens' within whose numbers he found himself? And even if such a man had nothing to do with Zen or spirituality, would the questions be any different?"

"The difficulty that arises when segueing into broad-brush generalizations about Zen and culture can be seen in an email sent by Roko Shinge Chayat, one of Eido Shimano's chosen Zen-teacher successors. Posted in the Shimano Archive, the note reads in part:

"Jay Michaelson really gets it, as Oppenheimer did not in his lurid pursuit of sexual titillation."

"By crediting Michaelson's broad-brush approach -- it's the system, dontcha know -- Chayat also is able to legitimize her standing and credibility as the latest abbot of Dai Bosatsu monastery. It's the system, she can claim, and I have not been tarred by the Shimano bill of particulars. For those old enough to remember or who have read history, it sounds suspiciously like the cavalcade of pleas made by former Nazi bigwigs during the Nuremberg Trials: 'Ich bin nicht schuldig.' (I am not guilty.) Or perhaps the penitent Irishman nursing a hangover: 'The devil made me do it.' 'The system' excuses those who live within it and relieves them of personal responsibility. From the 'systemic' heights, well-wishers can hold 'Olive Branch' or 'Samoan Circle' or 'new ethical guideline' meetings that seek to 'heal' the wounds that many have suffered ... without ever really taking into account the suffering the sufferers suffered. Wouldn't it be nice if those who were part of the problem agreed to meet victims on ground that the victims chose, and there forthrightly admit and apologize for a top-lofty complicity?"

"OK ... it's the system and the culture. After 50 years of living in another culture, a (wo)man may be excused based on cultural heritage ... or if not precisely 'cultural heritage,' then something sounding suspiciously like it."

"But if the culture-made-him-do-it argument won't wash, and if the compassion argument is belied by the facts, why would an insistent Japanese man stay in a country full of heathens and cripples? What reason could be adduced?"




New Haven Independent

Zen Sex-Abuse “Single” Kindles An E-Revolution


NOV 18, 2013 3:27 PM

"I initially found out about Eido Shimano and his misdeeds because (if I remember correctly) someone forwarded me a blog post from a Buddhist website. This would have been Summer 2010. Shimano had just been called out publicly, at a Buddhist dinner, for his abuse, and he was stepping down. I wrote a column about it, then thought I was done with it. But then I began getting emails from victims of his, and also from Kobutsu Malone, a former monk of Shimano’s who had been collecting a dossier on the guy’s screwing around. He’d been tracking him for over 10  years. So as I began poking around, I realized there was so much more to the story. I drove up to Maine a year ago to meet Kobutsu and look at his archives, and was off to the races…
The original column was for the NY Times, where I write a biweekly column."

"A lot of victims of sex abuse in tight-knit worlds like Zen sanghas (communities) just drop out, disappear, want nothing more to do with the community, ever. So they aren’t around to see that another woman goes through the same thing a year later, and another five years later. They are isolated. But in this case, the web helped them find each other. Of course, the guy I am writing about, Shimano, was alleged to often have many women at once — so this really was an open secret. But yes, a couple victims became the keepers of the knowledge. The main keeper, Kobutsu Malone, created an incredibly useful website, Shimano had slept with his ex-wife while they were married."




The Hugh Hewitt Show

with Mark Oppenheimer

November 22, 2013

Oppenheimer speaks about his new ebook; "The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side"




Sunday, November 24, 2013


Deep Zazen at "Hidden Zendo"

November 8th to 14th, 2013

By Zensho Martin Hara

"On the first day, Zenrin Robert Lewis was given Dharma Transmission, through a special ceremony conducted by Eido Roshi. Zenrin was bestowed the title of Roshi and was given the name Sōryu-Kutsū which translates as ‘Blue Dragon Cave’. The name was taken from the Blue Cliff Records ‘For over 20 years, I have had fierce struggles, descending into the blue dragon's cave for you!’ "




An Email From a Nick Patterson
to Kobutsu Malone

"I'm a Zen student observing the Shimano train-wreck with appalled fascination."

"I think that DBZ need to have their feet held to the fire about their current relationship with Shimano."

"For instance Robert Lewis has just been made 'Roshi' by Shimano."

"On looking at the Jacksonville Zen center web site, Jacksonville (where Lewis is the teacher) claim to be affiliated with DBZ.  Is this OK with DBZ and Shinge?"

"If so, they are obviously comfortable with Shimano continuing to practice and give out 'transmission'."




A Screen-grab from the Jacksonville (Florida) Zen Sangha Website.


“We have no dependency on any other organization, but we have a long-term and strong relation with DBZ (, Dai Bosatsu Zendo Kongo-ji, a Rinzai Zen Buddhist monastery in New York State. Zenrin, our Zen 'teacher,' trained there for 12 years under Eido Tai Shimano Roshi (the title 'Roshi' means Zen Master) , whose lineage goes back through the 8th Century Chinese Zen Master Rinzai all the way to the Buddha, nearly 2500 years ago. Thus we are able to offer Zen training in the Rinzai tradition here in Jacksonville and, through 'scholarships,' at DBZ itself.”




A Screen-grab from
the Zen Studies Society Website.


"the zen studies society"

"Related Zen Centers"

"The Jacksonville Zen Sangha

Zenrin Chido Zenji Robert Lewis, Director

2014 Perry Street

Jacksonville, Florida 32207

(904) 398-6905"




An Email From Genjo Marinello Roshi to the ZSS Board

November 26, 2013 10:56 AM

“I am uncomfortable that the Zen Studies Society is listing The Jacksonville Zen Sangha, that Eido Roshi’s newly transmitted Dharma Heir Zenrin Roshi runs, as a related Zen Center. It certainly gives the impression that ZSS is still intimately linked to Shimano's ongoing teaching efforts, even though ZSS has been clear for sometime that Eido Shimano is not welcome to teach on their own properties.”

“I believe ZSS now fully believes that Eido Shimano should not be encouraged to teach anywhere, then it seems reasonable that ZSS should drop its affiliated status with the Jacksonville Zen Sangha.”




The Dark Side of Zen


With Dr. Brian Victoria, Dr. Jay Michaelson
and Dr. Mark Oppenheimer

The Colin McEnroe Show

TUE NOVEMBER 26, 2013  - 10:27 AM 

"Today's show delves into some instances of good teachings being used to do bad things, ranging from a sex scandal that tainted one of America's most influential Zen communities, to the role Zen played in the militarism of Japan in World War II."

"We're not here to roast Buddhism on a spit. We also talk about the ways Buddhism has evolved to make some of these stumbles less likely in the future."




Leaked Emails on the Exclusive AZTA Secret Listserve
from Genjo Marinello and Nonin Chowaney

November 27, 2013

Genjo Marinello:

"Eido Shimano agrees that a Zen teacher should not be sexual with students; however, this has never stopped him from being a pathological liar and sexual predator of his own sangha. Zenrin accepts that Eido Shimano has done the best he can and supports his continued teaching and actively continues to train with him."

"I don't care if Zenrin is a member of AZTA or not, we have no way to say if a member is in good standing or not. Nevertheless, I am in charge making additions and changes to the AZTA database, and I will not tolerate any longer the use of our database to refer people to a teacher and organization that continues to train with Eido Shimano. So hearing no objection I have deleted his listing from our public database."

"If there is a vote to return him to our database, I will not implement it; however, I will resign from this organization and someone else may then restore it."

Nonin Chowaney:

"This is unacceptable conduct. Genjo was not given the power to delete members from our list, so he has self-righteously overstepped his bounds."

"Can someone agree to take over our database, and if Genjo resigns from AZTA, that would be fine with me."




Official AZTA Listing for Zenrin Lewis
and the Jacksonville, FL Group.

Public Exclusive AZTA Website Screen Grab of 11/09/13

Teacher(s) Rev. Zenrin Lewis

Address 2014 Perry Street


Lineage Rinzai Zen

City & State Jacksonville, FL




Dodgy buddhist ratbags rooting their followers

by Cameron Slater on November 18, 2013 at 9:00am

“At least it is better than buggering little boys.”

"The Daily Beast looks at the dodgy rooting buddhist ratbags in the US."

"A new ebook by New York Times religion columnist Mark Oppenheimer alleges what many in the American Buddhist community have known for years: that some of its most revered teachers were also serial sex offenders."

"Case in point: Eido Shimano Roshi. The founder and leader of New York’s Zen Studies Society—among the largest Western Buddhist communities in America, with prominent CEOs and celebrities among its members—Shimano carried on clandestine affairs with over a dozen women in his community over the course of thirty years, according to Oppenheimer’s provocatively titled 'Zen Predator of the Upper East Side' The book is a devastating indictment of Shimano Roshi, filled with hard evidence of the affairs and the cover-ups, the testimony of several victims, and occasionally lurid details.  It even includes Shimano’s own confession to having sex with some students, though, he says, 'far fewer' than his accusers allege."



Click arrow button above to listen.

The Wright Show

Conversations with a series of people who have nothing in common except that program host Robert Wright is curious about what they’re thinking.

Robert Wright and Mark Oppenheimer 

Meditation and sociopathy   4:00

Mark meditates with the predatory Zen master   4:22

The double injury of abuse by a spiritual teacher   5:24

The addictive appeal of meditation   5:53

Is Buddhism particularly susceptible to sexual predators?   6:33

Mark's new e-book, "The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side"   7:20 




AZTA Website is Disabled

A Screengrab from the AZTA Website

December 2, 2013 – 6:22:13 AM EST

"Under Construction"

"The site you are trying to view does not currently have a default page. It may be in the process of being upgraded and configured."

"Please try this site again later. If you still experience the problem, try contacting the Web site administrator."



As of 8:30 PM EST on December 2, 2013

The AZTA Website Has been Restored

The website has been restored without the entry for Zenrin Robert Lewis' Jacksonville, Florida Zen group.



Caryl Reimer Gopfert Ph.D.
December 13, 1942 - May 8, 2009
Photo by Sharon Hoffman


Caution: This file is quite large, consisting of over four hundred pages, comprising 15.5 MB disk space. Be prepared for possibly lengthy download times.



by Caryl Reimer Gopfert

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Transpersonal Psychology

Institute of Transpersonal Psychology

Palo Alto, California

March 21, 1999.

The entry beginning on page 189 entitled "A Nun's Faith is Smashed" by a woman using the pseudonym "ARIAKE" concerns her relationship with Eido Shimano. See excerpt below .

“This study examines the long-term personal and spiritual effects of betrayal experiences on students and investigates the complexity of teacher/student relationships: issues of power, authority, and idealization influenced by cultural, societal, and familial norms and mores. Using a blend of Organic, Heuristic and Transpersonal (Sympathetic Resonance, Intuitive Inquiry) methods, eight Zen practitioners were interviewed in-depth and their stories with both American and Japanese teachers presented. Interviewees read and responded to each other's stories. Seven sympathetic resonators read and responded to the stories and held a discussion. The researcher responded to the stories, responses, and discussion. Thus there were three rounds of validity checks applying the non-traditional approaches of intuitive inquiry. Affects similar to those of post-traumatic stress were shown (low self-esteem, self-doubt, trust issues). There was general agreement that the potential permanent harm in spiritual betrayals lies in the disruption of personal connection to the Divine. The study describes the dependent co-arising nature of betrayals and the distribution of both responsibility and pain among teacher, student, and community. The ultimate responsibility of teachers is discussed. The dance between spiritual insight and understanding, and its corresponding ‘shadow’ is depicted. Contributing structural difficulties in Zen practice are defined and discussed. The study suggests areas for change. It also uncovers and illumines the need for a deep, moral shift in attitude effecting how both teachers and practitioners manifest as they live their lives.”




"A Nun's Faith is Smashed"

An excerpt from the above dissertation by a woman identified only as "ARIAKI". Pages 189 - 193 of the original with annotations [in RED].

"It really hit me that something was very wrong when one day Roshi [Eido Shimano] suddenly turned on me for no reason. I was getting transmission about how to do ceremonies, weddings, and funerals needed in a career as a priest. During one of those teaching meetings, Roshi [Eido Shimano] misunderstood a statement I made-and went ballistic. In a rage he turned on me, shouting in his huge Zen voice. I was stunned. In that moment it all came together for me that something was terribly wrong. For a person to speak this way to someone they were having sex with no longer seemed like something Zen, but just very sick behavior. I went to my room where I cried for 3 days, unable to stop or leave the room. I realized that everything was destroyed. The unthinkable had happened. The relationship with my teacher [Eido Shimano] and the zendo [Dai Bosatsu Zendo] was over."

"I finally gave up trying to reconcile after a phone conversation in which Roshi [Eido Shimano] spewed out such hatred that, when I hung up, I vomited. After that, I would sometimes wake up in the night and start crying. I would cry until I began gagging and vomiting. I know this sounds extreme, but four different people have reported bouts of vomiting after being sexually abused by this teacher. One student vomited right in the street in front of the zendo [New York Zendo Shobo-ji] after an encounter with him."

"Attempts at change have been futile. Roshi [Eido Shimano] was even investigated by the sex crimes division of the office of District Attorney [New York City], but nothing could be done because, in our state, if there is no 'forcible rape' there is no criminal offense. For decades, attempts by the sangha to oust Roshi [Eido Shimano] have been unsuccessful. A unanimous vote of the board is needed for that, and Roshi [Eido Shimano] is a member of the board."




A pertinent entry from The Sasakiarchive pages:

Facebook posting and link by Eshu Martin-osho.

"In effect, Rinzai-ji, with the help of An Olive Branch, has created a process which is of absolutely no benefit to victims, in fact exposes them to further risk, and ensures that the result will be 'we offered to listen but there weren't any complaints, no one came forward. Clearly this is behind us now.' "

"An Olive Branch is a contracted employee of Rinzai-ji, and therefore the mandate is set by Rinzai-ji, and nobody else. There are still several Oshos at the top of Rinzai-ji that firmly believe that no wrong was done, that Joshu Sasaki's sexual sanzen is a legitimate teaching, and that all of the complaints are just ignorant fools who don't understand Zen."

"Please don't stop applying pressure, don't stop demanding better. Keep talking about this, and keep spreading the word. This issue will not be resolved by silence, or by allowing it to creep back into the darkness."




Sweeping Zen

Eido Shimano names new dharma successor

with fallout at AZTA.

Posted by: Adam Kō Shin Tebbe 

December 13, 2013

"The case raises an interesting dilemma for the AZTA. The association presents itself on its website as a peer group, providing 'an opportunity for expanded peer contacts and exchanges.' There is a membership committee in place for admitting individuals in to its membership, but there appears to be no mechanism in place for one’s removal — this due to the nature of the association itself (considering applicants based on their credentials alone). This results in what appears to be a lifetime membership. In all fairness, that process is under consideration (a process for grounds for removal)."

"At best, in this respect, when one sees that a Zen teacher is a member of the AZTA on their respective websites, it means that they have been recognized by their peers as another Zen teacher based on their credentials. Nothing more, nothing less. The membership appears unconcerned with matters of ethical breaches (as a body), with questions for prospective applicants revolving around matters of authorizations, length of time teaching, and length of time training. There are no questions regarding ethical issues, as there is no ethical statement on behalf of the AZTA itself."

"As always, I’m afraid, it is 'buyer beware' when entering the practice in a North American Zen center. Based on comments that have come in here at the website and elsewhere on the web, there are some individuals out there wholly willing to continue their practice with someone lax in their ethical judgment (Shimano being a more pronounced example of this)."

"As of today, there are no standardized ethical guidelines for American Zen teachers. Some centers have their own guidelines, with some being stronger than others. Burden therefore rests on the backs of those entering the practice to gauge the conduct of a prospective teacher. While taking responsibility for ourselves in this fashion is a good thing, and while we should be doing this with or without ethical guidelines or oversight in place, it is disconcerting that we ask those entering the practice, often at very difficult points in their own life, to be in a place where they are even interested in asking these very important questions."

"We also have a situation here where individuals who might find more appropriate help in a mental health setting come knocking at the door of a center, instead. In some of these ethical breaches like that involving Shimano, it is alleged, these same people were those most vulnerable to his advances."




An Undated Communiqué From
The Zen Studies Society Board
Apparently Signed by Jikyo Bonnie Shoultz

(Listing Date based on document filename.)

"The Board has continued its work of recreating Zen Studies Society as a fully functioning organization whose practices conform to the highest standards for a nonprofit. We have been guided in this effort by An Olive Branch and by our own research into best practices for boards of directors."

"Our accomplishments have included the revision and adoption of new bylaws, establishing operating committees (such as Governance, Development, Membership, and Publicity and creating a membership protocol, soon to be announced) for the organization as a whole. This year we have retooled our information systems, taking advantage of software that automates processes, and revising the structure of record-keeping."

"Reporting is now more easily available for the two temples and for the Endowment Fund, and processes that have been carried out by outside vendors can be performed in the DBZ office at lower expense. Both the year-end 2013 fundraising appeal and the upcoming membership drive will be easier on all sides because of improved automation."

"Also, this year, the 2012 financial data was reviewed, prepared, and submitted to Citrin Cooperman, a nationally recognized accounting firm, for an audit. The preparation portion of this project helped us to standardize and improve our accounting practices. The audit results will be available on our web site soon."

"In November (the morning after the close of Harvest Sesshin!), the Board met to discuss strategic planning for the near and long-term. The discussion and planning sessions included fund-raising, membership, and critical issues such as energy conservation and engagement with local communities."





Episode Description:

BG 304: Zen Predator

by Mark Oppenheimer

Mark Oppenheimer is an essayist, reporter, critic, and one of the United States' leading investigators of religion. His new book, The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side, is an investigation of the decades of sexual scandal surrounding Japanese Zen teacher Eido Shimano.

Mark joins host Vincent Horn to discuss the book and the impact his writing  has had on the Zen community. Mark reports a brief history of the situation, they discuss the conditions that led to the problems, and they examine why the problem of sexual misconduct is not as common in other Western Buddhist traditions.



An essayist, reporter, and critic, Mark Oppenheimer is one of the country's leading Investigators of religion. He writes a religion column for The New York Times and also writes for The New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, Slate, The Forward, and Tablet, among other publications. Oppenheimer has a doctorate In American religious history and directs the Yale Journalism Initiative.





Leaked Email on the Exclusive AZTA Secret Listserve
from James Ford

December 27, 2013

"In the meantime we feel we should remove the membership list at our website for the time being. We feel this will allow us time to resolve our status issues without the sense of emergency."

"We will ask our webmaster, Genjo to temporarily pull the list as of January 1st, unless there is an outpouring of objection."




Screengrab of the Exclusive AZTA Public Website
AZTA Membership List.

Captured on December 27, 2013.

Full capture of the public
"Database of Zen Practice Centers with AZTA Teachers" Allegedly to be removed from public scrutiny on January 1st, 2014.




A Screen Grab of the Exclusive AZTA Public Website

AZTA Membership List.

Captured on January 1, 2014.

"Server Error
The server encountered an internal error and was unable to complete your request."

"JRun Connector Protocol Error."




Leaked Document on the Exclusive AZTA Secret Listserve
from Mary Mocine

January 2, 2014

“If it becomes a professional organization, we will need to incorporate in order to protect the Board and ourselves from direct liability. We will need to figure out standards. How a Korean zennie does that for a Rinzai, much less a Soto teacher, I don’t know. We are having a difficult time just trying to figure it out in SZBA. We would need by-laws and a grievance process along with an ethics statement. We would have to have dues.”

"I am not saying that we should not consider this. I am saying that it is a very big deal. I cannot see making such changes without a great deal of conversation. This is painful to me because it represents the potential for basically doing away with an organization and process that I love. I love the wildness of AZTA. I love the simplicity and freedom of it. I think this is painful to Genjo as he is hurting for all the people that Eido and Sasaki have harmed, along with others for that matter. I imagine he feels alone because he doesn’t see a Rinzai organization coming into being in the near future. It would take a lot of conversation to convince me that I should agree to be part of yet another professional organization. Perhaps it is impossible to convince me. My sense now is that if AZTA goes that way, I will not go with it. One is enough for me. Actually I am part of two already. This thought of losing something that has been of great support to me is not easy for me. I know it is not easy for Genjo. My point here is that it matters on a heart level and a poll will not reach it."

“Deciding by majority vote is offensive in this kind of situation. Note, too that there could be 20% for the professional organization, 70% for collegial with a requirement that one be subject an ethics process and 10% for 'as-is' and we’d still have to discuss the matter. But, again, I think we should discuss it so that those in Genjo’s shoes and those in mine could at least feel they received a full hearing. I get lost in all the threads of our email discussions. This will be hot and difficult. There is no moderator. I dread it, frankly.”

“BTW, just so you know, I think we should opt for requiring folks who belong to AZTA to be subject to an ethics policy and procedure. We can offer some guidelines as to what is required in such a policy and procedure. This is called a ‘Safe Harbor’ in the law. In other words, if you meet some minimum, you can’t be successfully sued for not having offered enough of a due process. SZBA requires something like this and so far as I know, it works. Note that it is the procedure for grievances and appeals that is the most important and difficult and that is why I don’t want AZTA to have its own ethics statement and procedure (An ethics statement without a procedure is meaningless.)” 




Leaked Email on the Exclusive AZTA Secret Listserve
from Eido Frances Carney

January 3, 2014.

“At that time, about 50 maybe 60 or so teachers participated.  One of the topics of that meeting nearly 15 years ago was sexual misconduct.  I barely spoke because I had to listen to find my way into the culture of the organization. There were two awful and unforgettable moments.  The first was when someone during the large discussion referred quite loudly and tauntingly to Xxxxxx Xxxxx Xxxxx as a 'concubine' and many men teachers fell into pointed and mocking laughter.  Xxxxxx sat quietly with a sick look on her face staring back at them.  She couldn’t seem to respond apparently because of the derisive attitude toward her.  I know that I was shocked that she would be called out and insulted as a woman.  The feeling was that she was the only one to be in a relationship with her teacher, which had been made public, was a committed relationship and was agreed to by the XXX Sangha. Xxxxxx was clearly made a spectacle of.  To my knowledge, Xxxxxx, a very fine teacher, never returned to participation in any organization nor do I know of her appearance in the American assembly of teachers since that day.  As a woman teacher myself, this was my first inkling of the state of our community dialogue and attitude.”  

“The second moment occurred further into the discussion when someone in the group asked: 'How many teachers here have married one of their students?'  To my astonishment, about three quarters of the room, all men, raised their hands in response to this question.  One would have to be quite naïve to suppose that the teachers and students had had no sexual activity prior to the marriages.  The realization was that so many teachers had committed sexual misconduct with a student.  The fact that they had married afterwards had nothing to do with it.  They had, by all ethical precepts, committed sexual misconduct.  Most of the teachers agreed in a further chuckle that none would actually advise it.  The suggestion was not that they didn’t advise sex with a student, but that the marriage was not the most favorable because of issues of trust resulting from the beginnings of the relationship.  Others who were there may remember what they will, but this was my experience.”

“It occurred to me that I might not want to be part of this assembly.  After all, I was raised to understand that a priest should not have sex with a parishioner, a doctor should not have sex with a patient, a teacher should not have sex with a student, etc., etc.  This was actually not just the Buddha’s teaching, but it was state law.  I wondered whether the teachers considered themselves priests, teachers, or professionals.  I wondered what they thought about the dignity and sacred nature of Zen and Zen practice, themselves as leaders, and whether they had realized what they had been given and what they would be called upon to influence in the future.  A tremendous hopelessness fed through me and I could not easily imagine a clear road for us all.”

“This was not a question of judgment of the people, but a feeling that our collective beginnings were initiated on spiritually undeveloped ground as teachers who would be called upon to live and model the best of the Buddha’s wisdom.  One person’s behavior affects all of us so we have the karmic remnants on which we stand.  Through these years, it would seem understandable that we might take so long to come to ethical guidelines because of such wide earlier immature beginnings.”

“I further questioned my participation on the list serve because of numerous bullying and gender related putdowns directed at me personally that were of little use to me in my life.  It disappointed me that teachers would deal in such attacking speech as to cripple and poison the atmosphere of the list serve.  It further disappointed that when gender putdowns arose, men did not speak out against and to other men publicly to put a stop to such discrimination.  Male privilege seemed to prevail.  Perhaps many voices began to drift away when it was no longer an act of sharing but an area to beware of.”

“And it seems to me now, like it or not, that we have a collective task to atone for and to make restitution for our lack of responsible restraint and lack of response to our collective activity, which includes all of us including the current Japanese teachers under discussion.  We are peripherally responsible.  We are in this soup together one and all.  It seems to me that the issues of the AZTA in our decisions to go forward must rely upon a responsible future and not seek to satisfy what our personal needs are at this time and place.  We must think for us all and must make mature spiritual decisions, bigger than our own small selves, that will do the best we can to insure the continuation of our Transmissions in the Dharma in the strongest possible direction for the future.  Our task is to protect the Dharma by applying the most favorable and mature pathway ahead for the next generations.  I am not able to understand why, having a set of ethics in place to which we are all accountable, could possibly dampen collegiality.”




ICSA Today
International Cultic Studies Association Magazine
Volume 4 | Number 3 | Pages 18-19

Zen and the Art of  Student Abuse

By Christopher Hamacher

About the Author:

Christopher Hamacher, LLB, graduated in law from the Universite de Montreal in 1994. He has practiced Zen Buddhism in Japan, America, and Europe since 1999 and has run his own Zen meditation group since 2006. He currently works as a legal translator in Munich, Germany.

“When the first Zen Buddhist teachers began arriving in America from the Far East in the 1950s and 1960s, many liberals and intellectuals were immediately drawn to them as models of enlightened and rational behavior, selflessly showing their students the Buddhist Way without any hint of esoterism or scandal. This idealized picture has lost much of its sheen in the past 20 years, however, since the conduct of numerous Zen teachers has unfortunately not lived up to such exalted standards. Rumors of adulterous relationships with students, or of alcohol abuse, for example, began to suggest that these mysterious Zen masters might be merely human after all.”

“Furthermore, a few particular cases uncovered only within the past few years have been even more problematic: Teachers such as Eido Shimano or Joshu Sasaki have been accused not just of one-time ethical failings, but rather of sexual and/or financial abuse of dozens of students over decades, in some cases without any evidence of remorse. Moreover, other students apparently were aware of what was going on but still were either unwilling or unable to leave the respective group. In my opinion, these cases do not constitute merely unfortunate personal failings of a few errant teachers; rather, they are the natural outcome of the continued application of many entirely accepted Zen Buddhist practices.”

“The teachings of Zen Buddhism itself are also not without problems. For example, Zen typically places very little emphasis on justice or morally correct conduct. As one scholar has put it, . .. if we search for evidence of substantive interest in morality in the two dimensions of the Zen tradition where we would most expect to find it- in the vast canon of Zen sacred literature and in the full repertoire of Zen practices- we discover t hat it is largely absent. And although ethical principles such as wisdom and compassion do exist in the broader Buddhist literature, Zen typically rejects the scholarly study thereof. Even the interpretation of the Third Buddhist Precept against misusing sexuality has been left deliberately vague in Japanese Zen. Thus, much teacher behavior that one could quite reasonably qualify as morally wrong can still be spun as acceptable in Zen.”




Screengrab [complete] of the Exclusive AZTA Public
Website AZTA Membership List. "Database of Zen Practice Centers with AZTA Teachers" Removed from public scrutiny on January 1st, 2014.

Captured on January 12, 2014.

"Notice To Site Visitors Wishing to Access the AZTA Member Database:"

"The AZTA public listing of Zen teachers and centers has been temporarily suspended while the organization considers options for restructuring."

[Reference Screengrab
of the Exclusive AZTA Public Website
AZTA Membership List.]

[Captured on December 27, 2013.]


[Complete Listing]




January 18, 2014 - In This Issue:






"To live, to realize, to actualize, who you are by nature this is the point of effective Zen practice. Called your Buddha-nature, it is who you already are and always have been."




Zenrin Robert Lewis, "Roshi"


Zenrin Robert Lewis

"Living your Buddhanature with calm wholehearted intensity, you see what’s actually happening here the way it is. Calm intensity is a contradiction in terms, but dedicated zazen goes beyond words: it naturally leads to the calm intensity that breaks through koan barriers. Those breakthroughs are what koans are for: clearing away impediments to your seeing it like it is."




Chayat & Shimano DBZ Gate Ceremony - 8/12/12

Sweeping Zen

Enabling ~ by Genjo Marinello

January 25, 2014

“The practice at Blue Mountain Zendo is strong, sincere and openhearted and attracts many Dharma ‘orphans’ who once trained at DBZ.  At the conclusion of this sesshin there was a ceremony where I affirmed Joriki Baker, who started the group, as a full temple priest. During this and every sesshin that I lead I offer dokusan (one on one Dharma dialogue). In dokusan, I’m reminded of just how intimate and deep the relationship can be between so called student and teacher and what a severe betrayal of trust it would be to in anyway take advantage or manipulate a student for my own selfish purposes. I very well understand that if the manipulation included sexualizing the student in some way it would be a violation tantamount to incest.”

“Including Joriki and myself there are many other ordained and lay sangha members from around the nation who no longer feel comfortable training at DBZ. Of course it was principally Eido Shimano ‘Roshi,’ who has multiple times been disgraced for preying sexually on female sangha members for decades and otherwise abusing his power and authority, who founded this organization. The latest wave of sangha members to leave came about when it was revealed in May 2010 that Shimano had been caught once again with his pants down.  I was on the ZSS board and head of the ZSS Ethics committee at that time, and immediately asked Eido Roshi to resign from the board while the most recent transgression was investigated.  Eventually, I was the last of five ZSS board members to leave the organization because of continued excuses, allowances and out right enabling provided to Shimano by the remaining ZSS board led by Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat.”

“Furthermore, as late as August 2012, Eido Shimano, who Shinge privately calls a ‘manipulative sociopath,’ was invited to DBZ as an honored guest to help lead the ‘Sanmon Gate Ceremony.’ "

“Moreover, the most recent issue, January 2014, of the ZSS newsletter features a lead article by Eido Shimano’s newly elevated Dharma Successor, Zenrin R. Lewis.” 

“It seems clear to me that ZSS by featuring an article by Zenrin and continuing to list his organization on their web site as a related Zen center is offering implicit approval of Zenrin and Eido Shimano’s continued teaching of students.  This boggles my mind to say the least.  It is offering this kind of support, indirect as it may be, that is a real slap in the face to those directly harmed by Eido Shimano.  Why does Shinge Chayat and the ZSS Board continue to enable a man who has little to no understanding of the harm done to American Zen?”





Eido Shlmano, the 'Zen Predator' of New York February 06, 2014

Sexual abuse in religious institutions is often committed by the people a community trusts most- its priests, ministers, rabbis, imams. And the Zen Buddhist community is no different. A religion columnist for The New York Times tells the story of Eido Shimano, a Zen master who sexually harassed his female disciples for decades.

Mark Oppenheimer, author of "The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side" interviewed by Sr. Maureen Fiedler.

Maureen Fiedler

8:16   "How did you find out about this story to begin with? Who tipped you off?"

Mark Oppenheimer

8:20   "I don’t remember exactly who tipped me off.  In 2010 when Daphna as I called her, stood up at the Catskills monastery, Dai Bosatsu, as its called, and dropped her bombshell, it very quickly leaked to the blog of Tricycle Magazine, which is the number one, or one of the top two magazines in the Buddhist world."






Kips Bay Community Center, New York City 

Sunday, June 15th, 2014, 9am to 6pm 

 "The Rinzai Zen Sangha will host Gempo Roshi Memorial Zazen-Kai at Kips Bay Community Center on June 15th, 2014, with Ven Eido Sotai Roshi and Ven Zenrin Chido Roshi as honored guests." 

 "Dear Dharma Friend,

The Rinzai Zen Sangha will host the Gempo Roshi Memorial Zazen-Kai at Kips Bay Community Center, New York City on Sunday, June 15th, 2014, 9am to 6pm. We are honored to have both Ven. Eido Sotai Roshi and Ven. Zenrin Chido Roshi to co-lead this all-day Zazen-Kai.  

The suggested contribution for this ALL DAY ZAZEN‐KAI including lunch will be $40 per person which will be collected at the door. Seating is limited so confirm your RSVP as soon as possible." 




Zen Predator

Published by Brad on June 16, 2014

On the recommendation of my friend John Graves, I recently read a Kindle Single called Zen Predator of the Upper East Side by Mark Oppenheimer.

It’s about the sex scandals involving Eido Shimano Roshi, a Japanese Zen teacher who has been living and teaching in New York since the mid-1960s. Before reading this book, all I knew of Shimano’s scandals was what I read in the article I linked to above and this one from Huffington Post.

"A story like Shimano’s appears to fit the bill almost perfectly. Oppenheimer tells us that Shimano selected his conquests carefully, targeting insecure young women searching for spiritual fulfillment. Oppenheimer paints Shimano as a master of manipulation, who preyed upon his victims’ insecurities and used his other followers’ desire to protect the dharma, which was then new to America and thus fragile, to cloak himself in virtual invulnerability."

"To suggest that any of these women may have been anything other than nearly helpless victim of a master manipulator seems callous and lacking in compassion. To even imply this would seem to be to agree with Shimano’s accusations that these women were the real aggressors, or even crazy people who blame him for seductions that never really happened. I do not agree with Shimano’s lame excuses."

"A complex system formed which both provided Shimano with fodder for his overwhelming appetite for sexual conquest and a legion of co-conspirators who protected him even when they knew he was doing harm. This, in turn, made him seem even more powerful and therefore more attractive. Thus his seductions were even more successful. He must have been hard to resist, even though it’s difficult for me to see him as a very handsome guy. He should have behaved better."

"The implication throughout Oppenheimer’s piece is that perhaps there is something intrinsically wrong with Zen which leads to the kind of abuses Shimano indulged in. But it’s not about Zen. It’s about how power-hungry sociopathic megalomaniacs gravitate towards careers as spiritual teachers in order to have a perfect place to operate."




Zen Predator of the Upper East Side | Mark Oppenheimer

Buddhist Geeks

Published on Jun 19, 2014

"Join host Vincent Horn for an interview with New York Times journalist and author Mark Oppenheimer as they explore his investigative writing on the decades of sexual scandal--and the conditions that made it possible--surrounding Japanese Zen teacher Eido Shimano Roshi."




 Dai Segaki Zazen-Kai

Kips Bay Community Center, New York City
Sunday, July 13th, 2014, 9am to 6pm

On Sunday, July 13th, 2014 the Rinzai Zen Sangha will host an all-day DAI SEGAKI ZAZENKAI at the Kips Bay Community Center in New York City. Ven. Eido Shimano Roshi will be our honored guest to lead this special Sangha event.

"Dai Segaki is a traditional ceremony dedicated for all known and unknown Dharma brothers and sisters, deceased as well as alive, who need the acknowledgement and support by those living today. We acknowledge that we are all 'hungry ghosts' who travel our paths with greed, anger, folly, jealousy, insecurity, and fear. As human beings, we are all so thirsty waiting to receive a drop of Dharma Nectar as if we face a barren desert that has no end. Please prepare a list of the names of deceased ones, as well those who are alive yet in trouble. Have it ready as you enter the center for registration."

"The suggested contribution for this ALL DAY ZAZEN‐KAI including lunch will be $40 per person which will be collected at the door. Seating will be very limited so please confirm your RSVP as soon as possible."




ZazenKai Event

The Rinzai Zen Sangha <[email protected]>

Sun, Jul 20, 2014 at 8:59 PM

To: Sangha

The Rinzai Zen Sangha will host the OBON Zazen-Kai at Kips Bay Community Center on August 3rd, 2014, with Ven Eido Shimano as our honored guest.

"On Sunday, August 3rd, 2014, there will be an O-BON ZAZEN-KAI from 9am to 6pm at Kips Bay Community Center, New York. Ven. Eido Shimano will be our honored guest to lead this special Sangha event."

"Some of you may think that Obon and Segaki are equivalent. Segaki is the event when we commemorate our ancestors and Dharma brothers and sisters which can be done in any month.Obon on the other hand is the abbreviation of URABON, which literally means 'being hung upside down'. Adding honorific 'O' before 'BON', it becomes 'OBON'."




Further developments in the Zen Studies Society lawsuit

Posted by: Adam Kō Shin Tebbe
February 16, 2013


Comment Number: 11

"I was a member of the original group at Zen Studies Society in 1965, which was co-founded by Dr. Bernard Phillips chairman of the Religion Department at Temple University. Bernard was my mentor while I was at Temple and also introduced me to retreats with Yasutani Roshi. Yasutani was the original teacher at ZSS so the attempt by Eido Shimano to portray himself as the founder is a complete fiction. It was, in fact a very active Center before he arrived and he did not become the 'leader' until much later. I am writing to ZSS to give them some accurate information regarding the early years and to point out the misleading statements that Eido Shimano has been making about his initial role there."

hugh j curran

July 31, 2014 at 10:04 pm




The Rinzai Zen Sangha <[email protected]>

Reply-To: The Rinzai Zen Sangha <[email protected]>

To: The Sangha

Eido Shimano

Written by Zensho Martin Hara

As dictated by Eido Shimano

[email protected]

“ I came back from Los Angeles last week after attending Sasaki Roshi’s funeral service. Because of their SHŪMEI SHIN (Spirit of Dharma Alliance) or Sasaki Roshi’s last will, about 15 Japanese Roshis and priests came from Japan and conducted authentic Rinzai style funeral service. As soon as the service was over, they went back.”

“After O-bon at DBZ, I met with Roko and the treasurer of the ZSS, explaining the fact that we owe Sasaki Roshi. Now time has come for us to express our gratitude for his SHUMEI SHIN. I told them that this has nothing to do with the litigation and was a completely separated matter. I must go to Los Angeles but that you, ZSS, should pay my travelling expenses and lodging. They agreed to do so. Two days later, however, they changed their minds. Alas, they have no idea of the value of the Spirit of Dharma Alliance!”

“Also, I received an email from Fujin in Japan, one of the paragraphs said, ‘Take good care of your bodymind in this hot season. Drink a lot of water and exercise. Now that you are the only one left, you got to work still harder! Your bodymind is the only authentic Zen temple left in the US.’ ”

“Litigation. From time to time, my students and friends ask how things are going with ZSS. It’s not easy to state it briefly but it is quite a frustrating process. In 1995, I signed and Aiho signed separately legal documents with ZSS regarding Deferred Compensation Agreement (DCA). We retired from ZSS in 2010 and then until August 2012, they paid our pension. Then, all of the sudden in September 2012, they stopped all payments without notice or explanation, not even any attempt to renegotiate the circumstances with us. We asked ZSS for a response to our inquiries without success, so after 4 months, we had no other choice but to ask our lawyer to file a lawsuit in January 2013.”

“In March, 2014, a non-binding arbitration was arranged with Judge Harris as the arbitrator. Judge Harris made a judgment in our favor saying that the DCA was valid. The ZSS lawyer, who said that the DCA was invalid, then left his function as lawyer of ZSS. Although I assume that no lawyer wants to lose a case, I feel that we cannot go on in this way, year after year, interrupting our lives and our mission to the Dharma. And now recently, my lawyer filed a motion for a summary judgment and according to my understanding the appointed Judge, my lawyer and the new lawyer of ZSS are going to meet some time very soon.”

"Swiss Sesshin and Ordination. During the second week of September, at the invitation of the European Sangha, I will conduct sesshin in Lasalle-Haus in Switzerland. "




Translations (from the German) of an email exchange
between a European Zen Practitioner and Lassalle-Haus.

European Zen Practitioner:

"I am contacting you in regard to the planned sesshin with Eido Shimano. I am quiet shocked that it is allowed in Lassalle-Haus and I don’t know how to react.

Eido Shimano is a well-known sex-addicted Roshi, who never took a whit of responsibility for his actions … In case you don’t know about any of this, please check:

I was happy to see, that at least one of the Centers in the US cancelled a sesshin they had planned to host and ask of you to consider doing the same.

That the Lassalle-Haus plans to host a sesshin with him means to me:

·       An additional slap in the face of his victims

·       It raises the question of how you want to protect the participants of this sesshin?

·       A slap in the face for all those who work to uncover his past honestly and who already experience enough resistance from those who work on covering his actions.

·       A slap in the face of all Catholic victims who will get to know about this, because it shows that even an institution as Lassalle-Haus puts someone with robes and titles on a throne an leaves them there. For them it will show that the stated will for reform in the Church is not meant honestly.

·       A slap in the face of all those who seek the path of Zen as an ethical path and now must face, that teachers and organizations still put titles and robes above ethics, even here in the West.

I ask you to let me know your final decision, if you still plan to host this sesshin."

Answer from Tobias Karcher SJ,
Direktor Lassalle-Haus:

"First of all I want to inform you that the sesshin with Eido Shimano is not a part of the official Lassalle-House program, but a guest retreat, for which they rented the 'Old Villa'. The Leaders of the house were not informed about his coming."

"After proofing your feedback and that of others, I realized that there is a public controversy around Eido Shimano in regards of allegations about sexual abuse." 

"Because of this background I asked Eido Shimano to leave Lassalle-Haus during this Monday."  




Lassalle-Haus, bad Schönbrunn

(Bing Translation from German into English)

The Lassalle-Haus is a Centre for interreligious encounter with a focus on spirituality, dialogue and responsibility. The non-profit Bildungshaus with the biggest own program under the ecclesiastical houses of Switzerland is located in Edlibach Menzingen in the Canton Zug. Over 80 course instructor and course instructors teach in the Lassalle-Haus. 5500 guests annually visit the various offers 22,000 training days. According to the demands of national heritage policies of the Canton, the building belongs to the protected objects of the modern.

"Every year about 150 courses, seminars, conferences, training courses and travel are available. They are aimed at a broad-based, adult audience aiming to convey traditional spiritual paths in a mostly performance oriented world, and to promote the interreligious competence in an increasingly multicultural society. Content is for example Interreligiöser dialogue, encounter of religions, Zen, retreats, contemplation, meditation, dance, ethics, mysticism & spirituality, fasting and healing, liturgy, art, etc. mediated by around 50 speakers. The House is also open to external educational institutions and organizations and offers a professional infrastructure with room for 82 people and conferences for up to 250 persons. In addition the Centre also offers options for timeout, spiritual guidance and advice."

(Bing Translation from German into English)




An email from Kobutsu Malone
Lassalle-Haus, bad Schönbrunn.

"I am writing to confirm the claim made by the few remaining followers of the disgraced Japanese/American Zen teacher that your organization is hosting their group and Eido Shimano for a Zen Retreat this month as described in their publication here ( ) ? "

"Can you confirm that Mr. Shimano's group has booked the Lassalle-Haus facility for a retreat? If indeed such a booking was made, can you inform me if the Lassalle-Haus staff were aware that the group planned on having Mr. Shimano as their 'honored guest' for such a retreat? "

"Was Lassalle-Haus staff aware of Mr. Shimano's extensive history of sexual misconduct involving highly susceptible female Zen students as documented in the 'Shimano Archive' ( )? "




An email from Tobias Karcher SJ, Direktor Lassalle-Haus
Kobutsu Malone

"The retreat of Eido Shimano was not part of our program. The European Rinzai Sangha had rented our guest house and our staff was not informed about the coming of Eido Shimano."

"Being a catholic retreat centre we have very strict rules regarding misconduct."

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1995-2003 2003-2010 2010-2010 2010-2011 2011-2011 2011-2011 2011-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014
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1001 - 1050