Zen

  • Buddha Buzz: Warm and Fuzzy with Ram Dass Paid Member

    Well, boys and girls, the discussion ain't over. (As it shouldn't be.) Soto Zen priest and author James Ishmael Ford has added his voice into the mix of American Buddhist teachers who are remarking on the Joshu Sasaki Roshi sex scandal. Unlike some of the other commentaries, which read with more passion than careful analysis, Ford takes a helpful step backward to look at the American Zen picture as a whole. As he writes, "Sex isn't the problem." In his view, the problem is our glamorization of our spiritual teachers, as well as the lack of institutional and personal accountability. He writes, More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Joshu Sasaki Roshi Scandal Goes Viral (Kind of) Paid Member

    The news of the Joshu Sasaki Roshi and Rinzai-ji scandal has officially broken into the mainstream media. Joshu Roshi's decades-long pattern of sexually abusing his female students, and the Rinzai-ji association's long coverup of it, was first exposed on Adam Tebbe's site Sweeping Zen back in November—although by many accounts, it was an open secret in Zen circles for quite some time. More »
  • Sexual Misconduct in the Rinzai-ji Community Paid Member

    Yesterday the New York Times picked up on the sex scandal currently swirling around the Rinzai-ji association of Zen centers, and more specifically, around their teacher, Joshu Sasaki Roshi. More »
  • Straight Outta Kapilavastu Paid Member

    One day, long after he became a teacher, the Buddha went to give his daily sermon to the monastic community. He climbed on the dais but didn’t speak. Instead, he held aloft a single flower. He waited in silence. The monks and nuns looked back at him as the minutes passed. Finally, a single monk, Kāśyapa, looked at the Buddha. Kāśyapa smiled. As ancient scripture records it, the Buddha said, “I possess the true Dharma eye, the marvelous mind of Nirvana, the true form of the formless, the subtle dharma gate that does not rest on words or letters but is a special transmission outside of the scriptures. This I entrust to Mahākāśyapa.”[i] In other words, “Great Kasyapa is enlightened.” The Buddha got offstage and called it a day. This is the origin story of Zen. Amen, Brother. More »
  • We Love Getting Mail Like This Paid Member

    We love getting mail like this! This letter arrived from an anonymous Zen practitioner this morning: More »
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    Does a Cow Go "Mu"? Paid Member

    Dick Allen is the current poet laureate of Connecticut, a position he’ll hold until 2015. Allen has studied Buddhism for over 50 years, since meeting Alan Watts one quiet autumn afternoon at Syracuse University, where Allen took the country’s first undergraduate credit course in Zen Buddhism in 1960. Allen is most drawn to “crazy Zen,” and many of his Buddhist poems are written, he says, to “Americanize Buddhism and Zen Buddhism through the use of American landscapes, American icons like Coca-Cola, and Apple computers placed alongside cloudy mountains and brooms sweeping Buddhist temple floors.” More »