September 07, 2010

A message from Eido Shimano

We were sent a copy of the following message from Eido Shimano Roshi. It originally came from the office of the Zen Studies Society and was sent to Sangha members. We confirmed with ZSS that we would post it only with their approval. They gave it, and expressed the hope that it might reach readers who could not be contacted directly.

September 7, 2010

Dear Friends,

I would like to acknowledge the pain and unnecessary suffering you went through in your hearts due to my faults. I have a profound feeling of remorse for my actions.

This August marked my 50th anniversary in the United States. During this half-century I have received so much from people the world over. Over time, I took your kindness for granted and arrogance grew in my heart. As a result, my sensitivity to feel the pain of others decreased. Now, as I reflect on the past, I realize how many people's feelings and trust in me were hurt by my words and deeds. Please accept my heartfelt apology.

My mother was the person who encouraged me the most to follow Buddha's path. Tomorrow is her memorial day, as she passed away on September 8, 1986. Hearing her voice, I have decided to observe my 50th anniversary in the United States by stepping down from my position as abbot of the Zen Studies Society on the last day of Rohatsu sesshin in 2010.

Even though I carry sadness in my heart, as a Buddhist monk, my vow to practice will not end. In order to preserve the Dharma legacy, ensure the training of future teachers, and to purify my own karma, I must march on.


Eido Shimano

The 2010 calendar of ZSS activities will not be affected, the Board says in a follow-up email.

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Anonymous's picture

Dear Tricycle,

I read the introduction with great dismay "We confirmed with ZSS that we would post it only with their approval."

It seems to me and others that the editors of Tricycle have know about the Shimano problem for years and sat on the story; the introduction essentially confirms your approach.

I am now convinced that the editors of Tricycle contributed to Shimano's longevity as a teacher for possibly 30 of his 50 years.

Shame on Tricycle!

Rob Spencer's picture

Interesting how the "remorse" only appears after the evidence of mis-deeds and abuse becomes public! This is all v sad. Sad for the victims of the abuse, sad for the sincere students who mistakenly believe this is authentic Zen (it is NOT), sad for those ignorant enough to hurt others so.

Anonymous's picture

This Shimano "message" is not a proper public announcement, it is absurdly unprofessional. Shimano needs to write a letter on ZSS stationary, sign it, put his hankyo (chop to) it and have it notarized. Surely ZSS can scan the document and produce a pdf file of a real affidavit to send out instead of as an email.

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