Tuesday, March 02, 2010

THE ALLEGED "ASSAULT" IN TOKYO

I didn’t really want to get into the allegations Jundo Cohen has been raising in the comments section. But I feel it now may be necessary.

First, the short version: After the alleged “assault” that Jundo claimed occurred in Tokyo at a meeting of Dogen Sangha, I read all of Mr. Cohen's claims. I then spoke personally face-to-face with Peter Rocca, the Dogen Sangha teacher Jundo alleges assaulted him. I have known Peter a long time and I trust him to tell me the truth (Peter’s version of events appears in the email below). Furthermore, I spoke with two other people who were present when the so-called “assault” occurred and their versions of events concurred with Peter’s.

If I had had any reason to believe that Peter Rocca actually assaulted Mr. Cohen, I would have taken appropriate action as the head of Dogen Sangha International. However, I could find no compelling reason to believe he had.

Now the long version: At the time all of this was going on and Mr. Cohen was threatening lawsuits and so on, I found it necessary to explain in writing my take on the incident in question to someone I trusted. The following was never intended to be made public. But now I am doing so.

Please also be aware that I am not doing this in an attempt to convince anyone to believe some particular version of this story. I am making this public to make it clear how I came to the decision I came to and why.

Here is the email:

Between August 21st and September 9th 2009 Jundo sent me 15 emails (I just counted) first inviting me to meet him and escalating quickly into demands for a meeting backed up by threats to disrupt the retreat I was to lead at Tokei-in Temple in Shizuoka Sept. 19-22 with picketing and protests if I did not agree to the meeting. I told him I would not meet him. I did not state my reasons, because I do not need to do so. I am a free human being who can choose who he does and does not wish to spend time with. That has been one of only 3 emails I've sent to him.

One of his many demands was that all members of Dogen Sangha (DS) should meet with him every 6 months (Jundo is not a member of DS). He cc'd almost all of these emails to a list of 29 people, some of whom were Nishijima's dharma heirs and others who were just members of DS. One of those members (not an heir) suggested Jundo should come to one of DS's weekly meetings on Saturday Sept. 12. Jundo said he would. I was in England at the time & very busy.

On September 16th (4 days later) I heard from Peter Rocca, who leads the Saturday sittings, that he had met with Jundo in Tsukuba, the town where Jundo lives, on September 15th and they'd had "a frank discussion for about 40 minutes" about DS etc.

Also on Sept. 16th I received yet another invitation from Jundo to meet for a cup of tea. I had already said no to his previous request, so I did not bother to answer. But when he posted that same note as a comment on my blog I deleted it. I had only sent that one email to him by this point, saying I would not meet him.

On Sept. 17th (5 days after the 12th) I got a long email from Jundo (cc'd as usual to 29 others) describing that he had been punched by Peter Rocca when he attended the DS meeting on September 12th. This email described Jundo as merely trying to sit peacefully with the group. It also included more threats of future protests in front of the building where the meetings are held in Tokyo unless we gave in to his demands for twice annual meetings (please realize that DS members are scattered all over the world & none are wealthy, this is simply impossible even if we wanted to).

On Sept. 18th Peter sent out an email to those same 29 people describing a completely different version of the events on Sept. 12th. He said Jundo came into the room, was being disruptive and had an extremely unpleasant attitude. He was asked to leave. When Jundo refused to leave Peter physically pushed him from the room. He pointed out that Jundo had stayed after the supposed "assault" and they (Peter & Jundo) had had a discussion that day in which the "assault" was not mentioned. Nor was it mentioned in Tsukuba on the 15th. Nor was it mentioned in several emails Peter had received from Jundo between the 12th and the 15th.

I met & spoke with Peter on Sept. 23rd and was satisfied he was telling the truth about the events of Sept. 12th. My opinion was that it was unfortunate Peter had physically pushed Jundo from the room. But it didn't sound like a major thing. It's quite common for people to enter Zendos in an agitated state of mind/body and be asked or even forced to leave. I suspect that Peter possibly reacted more strongly than he needed to. But I wasn't there to judge, so I don't. In any case it didn't strike me as a very big deal. Besides that, Peter's account of events combined with what I knew about both Peter and Jundo made Peter's version of events sound far more plausible than Jundo's.

Since that exchange I have received 30 more emails from Jundo on this subject (mostly cc'd to that big list). These are always very unpleasant, mean-spirited, and full of sarcasm and accusations. Most contain threats of legal action either for assault or defamation of character (because Peter told his version of events to those 29 people on Jundo's mailing list). His story of what happened on the 12th has changed several times. There were various demands. One of these was a demand that I meet him at Nishijima Roshi's apartment the day before I left Tokyo (and was incredibly busy). If I did so, Jundo said, his threats against Peter would be dropped.

This was supposedly an assault by Peter Rocca. How does my meeting with Jundo figure into it? This makes no sense at all. It seemed to me the entire matter was being used as leverage to force me into meeting with Jundo.

I did not want to have this meeting because I felt that to meet with Jundo under threat would be to send the signal that this type of behavior works. I felt he would press his demand for bi-annual meetings and use legal action as a threat. At the last possible minute Nishijima agreed with me (we really argued over this) and canceled the meeting. I was prepared to have the meeting up until Nishijima canceled. But, quite honestly, I am extremely glad Nishijima canceled.


There you have it. That is how I saw things, and, rereading this in light of the recent comments and so forth see no reason to change my mind.

I have an 11 hour drive ahead of me today, so that's quite enough for now.

137 comments:

alan said...

First.

And hope this all blows over soon.

Cheers.

Anonymous said...

"I was prepared to have the meeting up until Nishijima canceled. But, quite honestly, I am extremely glad Nishijima canceled."

How does this square with the email that was posted here in which you (Brad) threatened to resign as head of DSI if Gudo insisted you meet with Jundo? Wasn't it your threat to resign
that actually caused Gudo to change his mind?

Oh, I just saw that you must now approve all comments. I wonder if you'll allow this question? I guess it's back to gniz's house.

Jason said...

This makes the post on gossip all the more interesting to me. I don't know any of the players in this drama personally, yet I couldn't resist the urge to read this blog post with it's tantalizing title. What's up with that? If Brad were telling a story about doing his laundry or grabbing his mail, I would have skipped it. Both the alleged assault and Brad's laundry habits have about as much relevance in my life as each other, yet I don't give a crap how Brad keeps his socks white. Ponderous.

Nathan said...

It's been very odd as someone with no connection to all of this, and not much interest in joining in on all the debating and arguing, to watch this stuff unfold in the comments section. There seems to be many opportunities to take learning points from all of this, the first of which for me is to just keep doing zazen and kinhin as the waves of praise and blame slosh on the ocean's surface.

Anonymous said...

hello

Mumon said...

I'm number 1

Mumon said...

Seriously sorry for your trouble.

It's quite common for people to enter Zendos in an agitated state of mind/body and be asked or even forced to leave.

Umm...I only saw it once in the 18 years I've been practicing.

Mumon said...

Seriously, I hate to say what's on my mind, but Mr. Cohen's words seem to have "stalker" written on them, based on my interpretation of his own justifications for his behavior.

Brad Warner said...

I think I'm doing something wrong in this comment moderation thing. I thought I'd approved all but one comment. But now I don't see several of the ones I thought I approved. If your comment did not appear, I'm really sorry. Try again later & I will too.

Brad Warner said...

As for forcible zendo ejection... the stories I've heard are myriad. Tassajara alone must have enough to fill a book. And historically it has been quite common.

Brad Warner said...

"How does this square with the email that was posted here in which you (Brad) threatened to resign as head of DSI if Gudo insisted you meet with Jundo? Wasn't it your threat to resign
that actually caused Gudo to change his mind?"

I do not believe so. The context of what I said was entirely different from what you appear to assume. Besides that, the email itself was not intended to be made public, so I do not care to comment any further.

Anonymous said...

"I" would love to be forcibly ejected by going to a zendo. Alas, not that easy.

Blake said...

Sometimes it's good to be at the bottom.

Mysterion said...

generic reposting:

"Playing the Victim: This involves portraying oneself as an innocent victim of circumstance and/or someone's behavior in order to gain sympathy, evoke compassion and thereby get something from others. One thing that covert-aggressive personalities count on is the fact that less calloused and less hostile personalities typically find it difficult to see anyone suffering consistantly. Therefore, the tactic is simple. Frequently (or at least intermittently) remind your targets that you are suffering in some way, and enlist their support in the relief of your distress when ever you have or create the opportunity to do so.

The individual who plays 'the Victim' attempts the manipulation of his/her targets because, in his/her distorted perspective, those targets should believe what he believes and that supposed pool of belief serves as an excuse for his undisciplined aggression."

Belief in and of itself - by any party - exacerbates the problem.

Fluidity of thought should be maintained in all matters when ever possible.

Anonymous said...

Brad
Please take off Sock Monkey's seat belt and let him give an observation or two of the trip he is on.
Sock Monkey at Death Valley, Sock Monkey at the Grand Canyon etc.

He is with you, isn't he?

Don't tell me you shipped him ahead in a box?!!

Harry said...

...I see over on his Treeleaf Forum that he's balming me for his having to write his 'Affidavit': jeeeeeezus, is there no end to this guy's dreamworld!?

He'll probably be blaming me for his having to make it all up when it turns out to be the complete load of bull that it very much seems to be.

I only blew up the World Trade Centre, shot Kennedy, and banned Santa Claus for god's sake... are you going to hold it against me for the rest of my life?

Regards,

Big Bad Scary Harry.

Anonymous said...

I think all you children be kicked out of the Zen sandbox.

Emile Sorger said...

"brush that dirt off your shoulder"

-jay-z

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PhilBob-SquareHead said...

I consider myself punk/redneck as fuck. If someone pisses me off in REAL life, as opposed to the "blog/troll" life on the Internet, I'll say it to their face. But for a serious practice that I try to incorporate into my life, I'm really starting to see a BIG waste of time.
Some of you guys have got years and years on me in zazen practice. But you all act like supreme douche-bags! And yes, I include myself.
About the same time I became interested in zen Buddhism, I started reading UG Krishnamurti too. I think I'm gonna have to finally agree w/ UG that this "spiritual/meditation/golden rule" BS is just that.....BS!
But I'm alright w/ it. Things are as they are. PERIOD

Bought Elvis' "Million Dollar Quartet" today. E, Carl, Jerry and maybe Cash have more "dharma (lol)" than these bozos commenting here.

ron said...

Brad, you have far more patience than I do and you are far more tolerant than I am. With regards to Jundo, he sounds legitimately crazy. And I'm not using that word colloquially; based on your description of recent events, he seems to be a dangerous sociopath. Can't everyone agree to just ignore him? Is that a realistic option or possibility? Why would anyone in DS give him the time of day? Why does Nishijima think listening to him is a good idea? (I don't know the whole history here, so I apologize if these questions are ignorant or naive.)

And, with regards to your blog and its commenters: I can see why you've alternately blocked and moderated responses -- until people decide to pull their heads out of their asses, the internet (and the world?) will continue to be a frustrating place for those with even the best intentions.

I wish you the best of luck with your move and the aforementioned troubles.

John said...

Crazy shit man, I didn't know folk could get so riled up about this stuff. 'To sit or not to sit?' I thought was the question. I guess the answer for some is to fight. I sit zazen Because I didn't want to get into a bunch of hoopla and argue and tussle with people, otherwise I would have taken up a contact-sport.

Brad Warner said...

Socrates Q. Monkey is with me in the passenger seat, of course!

Where are the trolls? All gone to Gniz's site? I promise I'm only trying to keep the utterly inappropriate stuff off.

I won't say this as any kind of absolute. But I think the thing that tipped the scales was this:

In the past I've allowed a lot of people to trash me on this comments section. I've also allowed them to trash each other. However, what was happening recently was that a third party -- namely Peter Rocca -- was being trashed on the blog. He was not involved in the discussion and there was no legitimate reason at all for him to have been brought into this. At least not here.

Apuleius Platonicus said...

Given Jundo's very high profile on teh internets I think you are doing a public service getting this out there, Brad.

Mumon said...

Mysterion & Brad:

Ah. The Sixties...that explains it.

Most of my practice has been in NY, pre-post Yuppie phase, and in the wonderful NW.

I did see it in NY; at NY Zen Studies Society.

But most folks, by the late 80s, did not go into Zen temples thinking they were good places to trip in.

All the trolls said...

Hey Brad, You suck! But it's nice to be missed.

Dōkō said...

Brad, I hope you have a safe and sane trip and can forget for a few days what seems like a totally ridiculous and tiresome situation. Many of us here in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area are excited about you visit. We don't get many zen masters 'round these parts.

Best,

Dustin (that grad student who sat with your group in Malibu a few years ago and then tagged along for some go-cart riding fun in Long Beach.)

Harry said...

"...he seems to be a dangerous sociopath."

Well, that's a bit harsh. What is clear is that there is the sweetness-and-light Jundo of the Treeleaf website/e-Zendo who is nice and reasonable and watches his Ps and Qs and all... and then there is the Jundo who intimidates people with threats of legal action and who comes here to vent his disgust at people whose values and lifestyles he does not approve of and to aggressively 'push' his own brand of Buddhism (while blasting other peoples' take on things)... I think we've pretty firmly established that.

Brad's post here has countered the 'Affidavit' account posted by Jundo, and I think that this and Jundo's conduct here has more than proved any point I was trying to uncover.

So I would like to humbly request that the acrimonious words against Jundo stop. It's just a request, you are your own person, but I think a flame fest is in nobody's interest at all.

Respectfully & with Regards,

Harry.

Eric the Troll said...

However, what was happening recently was that a third party -- namely Peter Rocca -- was being trashed on the blog.

I don't know Brad, I seem to recall you trashing several third parties on your blog. I guess that's ok since it's your blog or something, right?
Happy now?

Anonymous said...

Brad, I think you should mention in fairness that Jundo is giving his take on this over at Treeleaf

http://www.treeleaf.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=33053#p33053

Can I also ask why you didn't just meet with the guy as the head of Dogen Sangha and make the peace?

Mysterion said...

Yes, you sit.

And you sit with your normalized sangha. And that sangha is dynamic with people fading in and out of regular attendance. The schedule may change, the venue may change, the leader may change, but the sangha is the group, not the individual.

If you ever hit peaks of 35 or 40 and drop to no fewer than 12, you are doing GREAT. If you hit peaks of 12 and drop to no fewer than 1, you are doing well.

Don't look for Zazen with 200. I have never heard of that kind of massive Zazen happening.

It takes 80 to keep one small temple alive and about 200 members to grow the temple. That is extremely rare.

When all is said and done, Les sums it up well.

"Our main emphasis should be on our effort, not its results."

"In Zen practice, we don't ignore confusion when it appears; we actually welcome it. When confusion arises in our practice, it means that we have discovered something new. The feeling of confusion is an indication that we are trying to understand something. So welcoming confusion is actually an expression of wisdom."

"Instead of putting limits on seeing, hearing, or thinking capacities, we should settle ourselves on the quiet that is inherent in the busyness and noisiness of daily life. It is necessary for us to face the world, to fully embrace it, so we can see it as it really is."

john e mumbles said...

Thanks, Brad. Peter is not trashing other zen teachers making a living writing books and doing retreats making more money than he is, or making any claims to be a sex expert, he's not cashing in by writing sensationally titled books, not exploiting his legitimacy as a zen master, not "on tour" and begging for gigs in order not to get a real job, and not being a big poser in general, so there is no legitimate reason to trash the dude. So thanks: thanks for the opportunity to continue to trash you and get trashed in the process. Yeah, I'm back. & Free this comment section: Bring back Jundo! LOL.

Dave Fisher said...

Well here's my short view. I notice there is much bashing of Jundo Cohen on this forum. Or at least the few threads I've read.
If you have never met the man...shut up.
I am one of his students at Treeleaf. and proudly so.
That being said I don't believe him to be infallable.He's huamn..humans do.... stuff.
I do find it neccessary to mention though, that it seems odd to me that Brad Sensei chooses not to comment on certain information. And Harry fails to mention he was ousted from Treeleaf for starting arguments.
I can't say I know much about this issue. I wasn't there I don't know Warner Sensei or Rocca Sensei. I can't speak for their personalities because I've never met them.
I will say , however, that Jundo is responding in defense of himself to an inflammatory comment made by Harry.
Also I do not know Harry, cannot comment on him as a person. So I won't.
Additionally, I think it's important to note that when Jundo speaks of Warner Sensei or Rocca Sensei he does so in a manner that speaks well of them or in the case of Rocca sensei seemed fairly dismissive of the fact he was "allegedly" hit by the man and summed it up as "one of those things that happens when people are upset".
And he does also claim to have others who witnessed the event as well.
But the folks at Treeleaf seem much friendlier towards the other faces in this conflict.

Anonymous said...

as much as I have always respected Brad's not moderating this blog, letting it be exactly as it undulates and morphs with our various ramblings and exchanges

I actually like that he gets to wade through and I appreciate his capping his moderation with an observation/response

hope todays 11 hr trip saw you safely to your destination

sleep well

rezat

john e mumbles said...

"Fluidity of thought should be maintained in all matters when ever possible."

Satire, Mysterion, Satire.

Lighten up. Or Light up. Whatev.

ron said...

This is a response to Harry:

"Seems like" was the operative phrase in the sentence you quoted. I wasn't at all attempting to start a "flame fest" -- I chose my words carefully and wasn't using the phrase (i.e., "dangerous sociopath") colloquially. Based on Brad's description of recent events, it seems to me like Jundo was exhibiting sociopathic behavior, which indeed can be dangerous. If manipulating people via threats and lies isn't sociopathic, what is?

Anyway, I'm not interested in debating you or anyone else; I just thought I'd attempt to explain myself a bit in case there was confusion.

Best wishes,
r.

jundo cohen said...

Would I be allowed to respond to any matter here? I think it may be appropriate. I am always polite in responding.

Gassho, Jundo

Urg said...

Man, it is like we are reading completely different things. I see in Jundo's words a man who was obviously sincere, if a little naive, on the love and "let get beyond this brother". I see somebody who kept his cool and responded with a level head to the most disgusting charges against him. Maybe he should have not mentioned Peters name, but what would you do if being called a liar? Some strange Buddhists around here who don't trust another Buddhist for making an attempt at peace and healing.

I think the same 1 or 2 people are making most of the anonymous anti Jundo comments here.

Anonymous said...

You know what I don't see many people saying on the very biased jury that is around here? What if Jundo's explanation and his very detailed story with photos of his injuries and witnesses is true? What if Brad and Peter's sometimes confused and hard to image version is false? I AM NOT TRYING TO ARGUE who is telling the truth here and who is not, because I know Brad does not want to do that. I am just saying, what if Jundo is telling the truth? Why is everybody so quick not to believe his very logical story? Why is everybody so quick to find holes in what he is saying and to believe every dirty rumor about his character, but to overlook the fact that there is no opposite story, no nothing presented about the details or any evidence at all except "a couple of Peter's friends said ... " Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

Dave Fisher:
It's worth reading Jundo's statement.

He does say that there were several people who should have seen events.

Jundo HAS NOT identified any witness who agrees with his view of events.

We have Harry's view which is hear-say. We have this email which is hear-say.

We have Brad's assurance that he checked into this and talked to the people who were there.

Many moons back before these events were going on Jundo wsa ISTR posting over here and elsewhere about his determination to do a 'peaceful-protest'. So we can see that Jundo was determined to turn up to a place where he was not welcome. His statement seems to indicate that he knew he was not welcome there.

So, potentially we have three witnesses referred to in this email - which is hear-say - who claim that Peter did push Jundo out of the Zendo.

Everyone including Jundo agrees that Peter pushed him out of the Zendo.

Now according to Jundo Peter then repeatedly punched him and punched him to the ground. The punching that Judo alleges sounds very much like a standard Martial Arts punching drill and not what an MA or anyone else would use to punch anyone.

After this it would appear that Jundo did not press charges and did remain sociable.

Now the alleged assault was in Japan. Any charges by Jundo against that alleged assault would have to be in Japan.

The problem is that with this Affidavit Jundo has now public accused Peter of a quite serious assault where there was definite bruising. In the UK this would be probably Grevious Bodily Harm rather than Actual Bodily Harm. Jundo is also alleging by his desription that Peter used Martial Arts training to perform this alleged assault.

So legally as it stands we have one monk who has sworn under oath that another monk beat the crap out of him.

Regardless of what Jundo thinks he is doing and what Jundo wants to achieve this statement is a problem.

Peter now has a primi facie case for defamation and libel. Jundo meanwhile has put himself in a position where a case for Purjury might be made.

Now Harry may have kicked this shit off with some trash-talk but it's way beyond that now.

This whole episode and the statement and Jundo's explanation of what he was trying to do just looks like Jundo wanting everyone in the world (or DSI) to see the world as he sees it and follow his rules. This would fit in with previous patterns of behaviour that Jundo has shown in his interactions with lots of people on various blogs and his relationship with various members and associates and ex-members of DSI.

Well, the world does not play by Jundo's rules and in making this affidavit he's just chosen to play by someone else's rules.

This is a strange way to go about making peace.

Fugen said...

Hi.

Second try...

This is no way for a "zenfrontperson" to act.
FRom either side i'd say...

Really, why?
Isn't there better things to do?
Is it not better to forgive and forget?
To move on?
And if posting, why not present facts?
And let the other part speak up in a mutual setting?
Is this really "refraining from malicious speech?"

Mtfbwy
Fugen

anon #108 said...

Hi Dave Fisher and any other visitors from Treeleaf. Peace, dharma-bros :)

Yes, (usually) anything goes in this wild amd woolly place, so it's not always pretty. But it is human. Different strokes...

SO much has beeen said about this, here and at Treeleaf by people who weren't there and don't know the people invlolved that there there's a very good argument for saying no more. But that's not gonna happen. FWIW, It's possible that important things might be learnt from examining our responses. Whatever....

I don't think it matters any more who hit who first, if at all (and Jundo says he agrees) - all I want to repeat here is that the "Jundo/Dogen Sangha" issue has been around for a while; probably 4 or 5 years. I think it's now clear to all, that whatever his motives, Jundo sees himself as a moral guide and arbitrator. The negative attitude towards Jundo from (many) "members of Dogen Sangha" - I mean primarily the teachers and cc'd emailers - hasn't developed just because he has different views on certain things, but because he has repeatedly insisted that others, - whom he perceives as precept breakers (DS in general), potty mouthed porno-Buddhists (Brad), or in need of psychiatric help (Mike Cross), meet with him to discuss, and adopt, his views and suggestions. He's done this over and over in the face of initially polite refusals, and finally in the face of an exasperated "fuck off" (or two?).

There is no 'crisis' in DS that needs Jundo's intervention. DS is not 'dysfunctional'. There are one or two strong, stubborn characters, who've known each other a long time - much longer than Jundo's been around - and the rest get on very peaceably and responsibly with their own thing. If there were a need for an arbitrator, Jundo has proved - for whatever reason - not to be the man for the job. But he refuses to accept, or is incapable of seeing this. How often has he said, 'I'll leave it...may you all be well and happy. Gassho J' only to restart his campaign for (totally unnecessary) reconciliation?

So - there's a lot of history to all this. It's agreed by all that he was forcibly ejected from the retreat. But why was he there? He must have been aware that his very peaceful tea and zazen sit-in would be provocative, That was the point, to insist on "peace"- to protest. Months earlier, very angry at the content of Brad's 3rd book, Jundo had threatened (I paraphrase, but don't exaggerate), "I will do all in my power to ensure that this year's Retreat at Tokei-in doesn't go ahead", or "...that you [Brad] have nothing to do with it..I will out you...I will shame you". That kind of thing. Yes, he apologised for the outburst. But Jundo does that frequently when he doesn't get his own way with DS- suggestion/outburst/threat/apology.

The primary aggravating element in this, sadly, has been Jundo. I think Treeleaf is a good thing, with lots of good people involved. I think Jundo does good things there. If he drops this business - I mean trying to correct DS - then you'll see how quickly "the problem" disappears and you'll just be left with a bunch of Buddhists. You can chose which suits you best to hang out with. Simple.


BTW, Brad was in England at the time (Sept 12th 2009), giving a talk at King's College London.

Anonymous said...

My comment seemed to be the one of the disappeared bunch.

I wanted to ask what the Head of Dogen Sangha International might consider appropriate action if a member of DSI was found guilty of assaulting another person?

I also remarked on the semantics of the word "assault" and how it can be interpreted differently in everyday life and in the judicial system (with the IANAL caveat). Theoretically any unwanted physical contact that is even partially violent in nature, such as a forceful push to eject someone from a room, is a minor assault.

Dreamingbird said...

Hi,
as Dave I'm also a student of Jundo. I just wanted to add some things to what he perfectly said.
How and why this all story suddenly came out to be in Brad's (who I strongly respect) blog now?
Who is winning something in this? No one of course...

If some people from DSI don't want to meet Jundo (and it is true he insist on his illusion to have everyone together in peace... what a monster he is for that ... *ironic*) OK that's just it.

Well, I'm sure to pollute your blog with such thoughs Brad... But I just wanted to share my point of view and that's why a comments section exist in a blog ;o)

Liuis "Jinyu" Lista
ps: Sorry if some things are not very understandable but I don't "speak" English so fluently.

Harry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brad Warner said...

Jundo, you are allowed to respond. Sure.

I have deleted a few comments that were just straight up insults to Jundo. No more Jundo bashing will be tolerated. If you have something intelligent to add, I'll allow it. This doesn't mean I agree with it, though.

As for what I'd have done if I believed Jundo had actually been punched out... I don't really know. Maybe I'd have punched out the guy who punched him! I would have done something. But I tend to not dwell on what-if scenarios very much. They're fun in science fiction but of little value most other times.

As I believe Jundo now acknowledges, he had stirred up a whole lot of ill-will in the months prior to the incident. Whether he meant to or not is another story. At the time it was happening I believed he was deliberately trying to establish control by making people angry and therefore I wanted nothing to do with him.

Could it be that he actually believed his actions would be taken as purely peace, love and good vibes? I am now wondering. I'll admit I may have misjudged his intentions. But the results of his actions were tangible and real, and that's what I had to deal with.

In any case, my view was that whatever happened in Tokyo that day seemed very minor and was probably to be expected given how angry Jundo's actions had made a lot of people (myself included).

Also, one of the reasons I did not want to meet him and was happy when Nishijima canceled was precisely because I was so angry with him. It would not have been a good meeting, I can tell you that for sure!

But you know what? I am sick of this whole thing and quite bored with it (and not in a good way). I also have a shit-ton of other things I need to be doing.

As far as I am concerned the matter is dropped. I had not even wanted to state my opinion on it. I just felt it was necessary after the affidavit appeared here. Now I've told the world what it looked like to me at the time.

If everyone promises to behave, I'll turn off comment moderation.

Rich said...

What I learned:
1.If Peter Rocca asks you to leave his zendo, best leave quickly.

2.Brad does not like Jundo and wants nothing to do with him.

3. Many people who identify with DSI feel the same as #2 but use foul language and hateful words to express it.

4. Jundo has been overly persistent in his efforts to make peace with DSI.

5. Being a zen teacher is a sucky job. they are constantly challenged, verbally abused, and die poor without health insurance.

jundo cohen said...

Thank you to Brad for allowing me to post here. It is nice of him, despite his concerns.

I just wished to address a couple of points raised.

Jundo HAS NOT identified any witness who agrees with his view of event

Mr. Hiromi Saito confirmed my general story to Nishijima Roshi during a telephone call in my presence while at Roshi's apartment (especially the point that I was polite and soft spoken the entire time). Mr. Saito, whose photo I put in my affidavit, is one of Roshi's oldest students, a friend of Peter, and an all around nice man who is everyone's friend. I will seek to obtain his written statement now, if I can (maybe Peter will assist in that?). If he just says that I was polite the entire time I was there, and didn't try to be rude or disruptive, I will be happy ... even let this go (because that was the fact). I never took a swing at Pete, which is in his claims.

I did not seek legal actions at the time as I was working for reconciliation, and to let it slide, until these nefarious stories about what happened began to re-emerge recently.

As Brad mentioned, it was suggested by someone else that I go to that meeting, and I wrote to Gerhard and Peter days before that I was coming ... nobody wrote back (as I remember) that I should not come to the Saturday meeting. I have those emails. I really thought I could talk to Peter and Gerhard there and work things out, and it would not become what it became.

Let me say that I now regret revealing Peter's name. Please understand that I experienced three days around here of trying to be civil, but being called everything from a liar to a worse liar, to a thief, rapist, the unibomber ... you name it, but liar is the worst.

May I just say one thing more in my favor, then I will get out of here? I think this one poster really said it right from my standpoint.

You know what I don't see many people saying on the very biased jury that is around here? What if Jundo's explanation and his very detailed story with photos of his injuries and witnesses is true? What if Brad and Peter's sometimes confused and hard to image version is false? I AM NOT TRYING TO ARGUE who is telling the truth here and who is not, because I know Brad does not want to do that. I am just saying, what if Jundo is telling the truth? Why is everybody so quick not to believe his very logical story? Why is everybody so quick to find holes in what he is saying and to believe every dirty rumor about his character, but to overlook the fact that there is no opposite story, no nothing presented about the details or any evidence at all except "a couple of Peter's friends said ... " Just wondering.

Thank you for writing that, and again, thank you for allowing me to post, Brad. I will use the privilege sparingly.

Gassho, Jundo

anon #108 said...

Hi Chet, over there at Treeleaf. (Lovin your work, BTW ;) however...)


You wrote on the "Brad's post" thread: "Brad and the others at Dogen Sangha are only hurting themselves and they do not seem to see it - not in the bad behavior, to which any of us are susceptible, but in holding a grudge, which is weirdly masochistic."

Just a coupla quick points:

* DS is very small thing. A few v small sitting groups dotted around the world. The vast majority of people who post here do not sit with DS and do not have a dharma-heir of Gudo as their teacher. Perhaps some of them like Gudo's and Brad's books, but...you get my point. Speaking from experience of my own group in London, "Dogen Sangha" has no views - just a bunch of people, many of whom have no knowledge of, or interest in this affair. The one or two that do have such knowledge, have different views. I'm sure the same goes for those present at Tokei-in, most of whom, it appears, were uninvolved in 'the incident'.

* My long post up there ^ - I hope - made it clear that there is history to this. "Dogen Sangha" didn't wake one morning and decide to hold a grudge against Jundo Cohen.

* ...and I can't for the life of me understand why Brad does [hold a grudge]. I trust that Brad's recent comments, the only ones he's made, despite c400 comments on the threads immediatley before this, explain any "grudge" he may have held, and make it clear that, but as of now, he does not. That's how it sounds to me.

Anonymous said...

some kurosawa movie. the two gangs up in arms. gang leaders shouting in gruff voices while waving swords. which movie? seven samurai? no... dreams.

Anonymous said...

"I'll admit I may have misjudged his intentions."

Kudos to you Brad. Seriously. That's almost an apology of sorts.

G said...

"Could it be that he actually believed his actions would be taken as purely peace, love and good vibes? I am now wondering. I'll admit I may have misjudged his intentions."

Truly seems like the beginning of a real peaceful resolution.

Now Jundo, if you would STOP with trying to round up statements to prove your innocence, etc! This could end well still. Let this shit go.

You admit you haven't been physically hurt in a major way, that you and Peter were once friends, he got hot under the collar, etc etc.

Be the bigger man, say its done (forget about Peter and what he says). Make peace and DROP IT.

I promise you things will go far better if you can finally do that and ignore all the naysayers.

Best Wishes,

Gniz

Mysterion said...

Blogger john e mumbles said...
"Satire, Mysterion, Satire."

Not about believing v. thinking.

Where believing grows, thinking withers.

I blog to try to shatter those crystallized structures (beliefs) in brains.

Many people hold beliefs that are simply untenable. They take one to a place that can not be occupied. How useful is that?

I have, perhaps, 1,000 stories to tell - but won't. It's about waking people up to the way things are, not the way things could or should be.

jundo cohen said...

Hi Brad,

I think you are about to publish my other previous posting I sent you an hour ago, but in the meantime I wanted to say that we agree on so much here. Feels nice that we do.



As for what I'd have done if I believed Jundo had actually been punched out... I don't really know. Maybe I'd have punched out the guy who punched him!

I was not "punched out" nor "knocked to the floor" or anything like that. I was walloped pretty good in the chest with fists by someone who might just have crossed a certain line from "shoving". It was no big deal! The bruises were healed in a few days.

You know what ... call it a "push" if it will makes people feel better to do that. Just a name.



As I believe Jundo now acknowledges, he had stirred up a whole lot of ill-will in the months prior to the incident. Whether he meant to or not is another story.


I recognize this .... now. I'm kinda slow.



Could it be that he actually believed his actions would be taken as purely peace, love and good vibes? I am now wondering.
Just trust me on that much. Better said, I did not think we would ever end up "lovey dovey". I thought we could drop the mutual bullshit and maybe even eventually be cooperative and "bury the hatchet".

I'll admit I may have misjudged his intentions. But the results of his actions were tangible and real, and that's what I had to deal with.

I can understand how it looked from the other side of the ship.

In any case, my view was that whatever happened in Tokyo that day seemed very minor and was probably to be expected given how angry Jundo's actions had made a lot of people (myself included).

I think this is right, and it was a "a little hot under the collar" situation. No biggie.


I just want to say that, whatever a certain rumor might be, I never ever took "a swing" at anyone ... far from it. I just want to say again that I was bending over backwards to be the "perfect little Buddhist peacenik", soft spoken and polite. I never raised my voice, let alone a hand at anyone. Rumors aside.

Gassho, Jundo

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

What are you doing Brad? Stoppin' at every free WI-FI between home-base and your destination?

telecasterroy said...

who is jundo cohen and what are the issues here?

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking Yojimbo. But if Brad and Jundo are the gang leaders, then who is the wandering ronin?

Anonymous said...

As long as Brad has the moderation thing on I'd like to use this opportunity to ask him a question he's sure to see ( which might not be the case in the unmoderated noise ) :-).

As far as I understand the Dogen Sangha International is a loose organisation, if it can even be called an organisation as such, that has very few if any written rules or definite rules at all. What made me ponder today is the issue of succession with such an organisation with a single appointed "head".

What would happen (and does DSI have any rules/suggestions/ideas in place for such possibility) if the active head of DSI became unable to perform their "job" before naming a successor? Or would that even matter in the DSI context?

I know Brad likes to leave what-ifs to the entertainment business, but sometimes it can be useful to consider the possible futures and anyway I'd like to hear if he has any valuable insight to offer for others who might face a situation like that (a group where single leading figure becomes incapacitated without being able to name a replacement for them).

CynicalBoy said...

Sitting in Zazen
Balances body and mind
Unlike argument

James said...

This ongoing feud has always left a bad taste in my mouth.

It doesn't really matter who is right or who is wrong because the saga itself does the most damage. How much hurt could have been avoided if Party A had agreed to speak to Party B, or if Party B could respect Party A's decision not to speak.

I mean goddammit guys, whether you want it or not, you have influence in your communities - what lesson do you think you are teaching?


-------------------
As for the incident itself, speaking as a martial artist with 15 years training, the difference between a push and a punch often comes down to intent and only one person can speak to PR's intent.

feendi said...

The squeaky wheel got the grease.

JoSatori said...

Wow...this seems to be a real shit fest. I don't see why practicing Buddhists would be involved in mess like this. Can't the whole thing just be peaceably dropped?

everglade1 said...

HI Brad, glad to see you have put up a Dimensia 13 site. I played in a Psychedelic rock band in the 90's who did original stuff,however, one of our only 2 covers was Mushroom Season. The lead singer was freaky about D 13 and turned the rest of us on to it. I enjoyed your books very much.

john e mumbles said...

Is that YOU in there Peter? How'd you get to be such an old grandpa man?? ...Satire, or Wit, and prajna intuition, are exactly the same thing. Beyond logic, beyond belief, nothing to think about, just to ACT. And, dear fellow, as we have seen here (yes especially) and there and 10,000 other ways, All the world's a stage...

Mysterion said...

Blogger JoSatori said...
"Wow...this seems to be a real shit fest. I don't see why practicing Buddhists® would be involved in mess like this. Can't the whole thing just be peaceably dropped?"

Yeah, it can be.

But will it be?

Brad Warner said...

Comment moderation is now OFF. I hope things don't go nuts again any time soon...

And Everglade 1... you actually played Mushroom Season??? My God! I think we only played that one live one time that I can remember. Amazing. Do you have tapes?

Anonymous said...

Lordy Lordy !

The dust is starting to settle

time to polish the mirror!

Anonymous said...

How is the trip so far ?

We know the blog's gone a long way!

Anonymous said...

Brad - you guys - Jundo, you, etc - have been practicing Zen for many years, 20+ in some cases, yet you all seem as fucked up as the rest of humanity. Has there really been any point in spending an hour a day sitting on your ass for all those years, other than as a comforting ritual that brings some stability into your lives?

alan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alan said...

Anon @ 2:01,

As far as sitting on your ass (AKA zazen)...try it and find out for yourself.

Cheers.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R to e said...

Alan, 2.01 does have a point.
And it is not reasonable to ask him to sit on his ass for 20 years just to find out whether it is good for nothing.
I believe the phenomenon we've been witnessing is unique to this particular linage. I don't suppose you will find it in other Sanghas, and as most commentators quite clearly have not noticed - it is difficult to fathom. Perhaps extremely difficult in my view.

Ran

correction said...

Should be "R to a".

anon #108 said...

I believe the phenomenon we've been witnessing is unique to this particular linage.

Ran - you really don't read the comments do you...

I've said it before, I'll say it again -
The VAST MAJORITY of DS teachers/Gudo dharma-heirs and those who attend and sit with DS groups around the world are totally uninvolved and uninterested in this incident and get on with their quiet, peaceable lives unknown to you, me, or anyone outside the tiny group they might be involved with.

The VAST MAJORITY of the people commenting here ARE NOT "members" of DS and do not "represent it".

Brad Warner was in ENGLAND at the time of the incident, which only involved 2 people...therest of the DS "members" present were, I'm pretty sure, as distressed by the incident as you or I would have been. Everyone regrets it.

If you "don't suppose you will find it in other Sanghas", then you don't know your Buddhist history, past or present - and you don't know human nature.

alan said...

Ran,

I understand Anon@2:01's point VERY well.

The question "Why sit?" happens to be a question that I have and will ask myself repeatedly.

So, although my answer to Anon@2:01 may sound flippant, I stand by the statement.

To find out what happens when you sit zazen, sit zazen.

Cheers.

anon #108 said...

And yet, in a sense, you're right, Ran.

To me, there's something sincere, honest and genuine about this lineage that might not be shared by some others, who go out of thier way to adopt loving,compassionate poses and phrases. All that looks and sounds very nice, and if it appeals to you, do it. But if you believe those Buddhists have 'transcended ego, greed, hatred and delusion' because they smile a lot and don't say fuck, then you might be an incurable romantic idealist with his head buried in the sand.

Don't take my word, just read any account of any sangha, from the first council to the San Francisco Zen Center.

Where does that leave 20 years of sitting?

...I defer to Alan.

anon #108 said...

EDIT

I said "...from the fist council..."
Try "...from Devadatta..."

anon #108 said...

EDIT

I said "...fist council..."

...No, I'll leave it.

Jules said...

Hi y'all.
It's been a long time since I poked my head in this corner of the interwebs. I guess some things just don't change all that much. Years and years of drama, mostly stirred up by the same few superficially "peace loving" sources.

Bye now

Jinzang said...

A rush and a push
and the zendo we stand in is ours

... but don't mention love

Ran K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jinzang said...

Has there really been any point in spending an hour a day sitting on your ass for all those years?

Try it and find out for yourself. Or not. In either case, it only matters to you. Why drag Brad, Jundo, Bodhidharma, the Dalai Lama, etc. into your decision?

R to a (previously R to e) said...

I don't ask myself "why sit".

If you'd say from your experience it follows that it is possible to find the answer by trying it, and not for 20 years, it would make sense, - but you didn’t.

R to J said...

A. Don't like Morrissey.

B. he sees those have sat and what they look like. There’re a million other things he could try. Why should he try Zazen? Note Dogen never gives the arguments you and alan give.

Mysterion said...

In this sangha one can see 'craving' as an amplification of 'desire.'

That is not a bad thing. Besides examples, contra examples are presented to induce cognitive dissonance into the casual reader of the comments section. more

Perhaps other sanghas avoid drying their laundry in the front yard, but their laundry still gets dried.

alan said...

R to a,


*** I don't ask myself "why sit".

That's fine.

*** If you'd say from your experience it follows that it is possible to find the answer by trying it, and not for 20 years, it would make sense, - but you didn’t.

The only thing that I can say about my practice so far is that I intend to continue.

When I started this silly business I decided to approach it from the point of view as an experiment.

Me and a wall.

I would try it and see what happened.

And that's what I'm doing.

I am sorry if this sounds stupid. But it is the best I can do.

For the record, I like Jinzangs answer much better.

Cheers.

R to a (...) said...

It doesn't sound stupid.

The question is whether you can advise it to others.

anon #108 said...

Ran -

Fighting Zen Masters?

Bodhidharma invented Kung-Fu. Known fact. But seriously...

What about all the references to "thirty blows"? Sure, that's a little different; a teaching method; old-school correction + reality check. But it does indicate the old Zen Masters weren't afraid to express themselves physically.

I can't believe all the philosophical and doctrinal disputes and schisms (in India, China, Korea and Japan) weren't occasionally accompanied by a punch or two. These guys were human beings, with personalities,a nd some of them HAD to be short-tempered. (I know you believe a transmitted 'Zen Master's personality' is different from an 'ordinary person's personality', but I don't).

Heated philosphical debates aside, some people just don't get on, and sometimes lose it. Or do you believe no 'Zen Master' has ever struck another in anger?

alan said...

R to a,

I just can't answer that question in any meaningful way.

I know I had huge expectations about zazen before I started.

I know that I have huge expectations about zazen right now.

And I'm very sure I will continue to have many expectations of zazen.

However, I have been read that my expectations of zazen are all irrelevant.

At this point I accept this on faith.

And once again, I intend to continue sitting.

I'm sorry if this all sounds as pretentious as crap, but it is not intended that way.

Good luck with your questions.

Ran K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jinzang said...

Why should he try Zazen?

He shouldn't. Unless he wants to

Note Dogen never gives the arguments you and alan give.

I wasn't arguing and it's not my job to persuade the world to try zazen. All I said is that whether he does or not, the decision is his and he can't make Brad the reason for it.

(i won't sit because Zennies are mean.) Fine. Then go away. Come back if and when you have a good reason to practice for your own sake, not because of someone else.

anon #108 said...

Ran -

"I don’t believe you’ll be able to find bad blood in any other Sangha. Among masters I mean"

OK Ran.

Nite Nite :)

john e mumbles said...

alan: "However, I have been read that my expectations of zazen are all irrelevant. "

"I have been read" means? Maybe a typo.

Sitting is just sitting. It has no point. It leads nowhere...

"no aims, no expectations" -Dainin Katagiri

Did you get my note on gniz's site?

alan said...

Mumbles,

Si. Yes. Typo.

I have read blah, blah, blah.

Spell check makes me somewhat intelligible, but syntax....

Cheers.

Ran K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ran K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ran K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ran K. said...

I didn't quite figure out your OK. (- 108 - that is.)

I’ll check tomorrow.

This site is back to what it was, - it seems.

Too tired to smile. :| ;) Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Good to see that after a bit of open listening (reading?) between Jundo and Brad, the comments have returned to the simple topic of the benefits of Zazen. Maybe now everything can calm down for a bit (knock on wood)

Also thanks to Cynical Boy and his well thought out little Haiku's, they always make me laugh, keep them up!!!
OzMatt

jundo cohen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Smoggyrob said...

Jundo:

It would be reasonable for you to ignore this post. For what it's worth, I promise you that I'm speaking to you directly from my heart and I'm not trying to insult you. While it's true that I don't like you, that's not the same as having zero compassion for you.

I read your affidavit last night, and that's what I'm left feeling, compassion. You seem like you're hurting and I'm sorry for adding to that hurt. I have thought that a lot of the actions you've taken that I've disagreed with were intentional, even malevolent. But your writing really impacted me. I think that you might not be everything I've imagined you to be.

Jundo, some people have suggested that you talk to a professional, I've gone further, and you've understandably made "rubber room" jokes about that. But mental health isn't neatly divided into "sane" and "rubber room". There's a whole spectrum of human experience, in a Bell curve: a few really sane people at one end, a few "rubber room" patients at the other, and most of us somewhere in the middle -- regular crazy. I've dealt with bouts of depression myself.

I think you could be happier than you appear to be. There has been quite a stigma attached to caring for ones mental health, and I guess people of a certain age still think that. But mental health, and taking care of it, isn't looked at the way it used to be. Lots of successful, respectable, people talk to someone regularly, particularly those in high-stress positions. I think these people look on it as an effective tool for good health, the same way they look at having a medical doctor, a physical trainer, or a nutritionist.

I don't believe any competent professional could read your affidavit and not see someone hurting, someone they could help. And I think talking to a professional regularly might make your life happier and more at peace.

Well, that's what I wanted to say. Do with it what you will, and good luck.


Sincerely,

Rob

P.S. And to Treeleafers and others who care about Jundo, please, read the affidavit. Not to decide who's right, but to see the man that wrote it. Helping and supporting someone not helping themselves is... not helping them. Read the affidavit.

jundo cohen said...

Hi,

Thank you again for letting me post a little on this thread. It is almost done.

First Gniz said ...

Does anyone besides me find it very, very strange that Jundo made his deposition on October 9th, nearly a full month after the alleged incident took place (supposedly on Sept 12th)?

I can't imagine being punched in the chest, then suddenly a month later deciding I simply needed to make a record of the incident.


But then Gniz said ...

Now Jundo, if you would STOP with trying to round up statements to prove your innocence, etc! This could end well still. Let this shit go.

Perhaps, my Gniz, because there are some (shall we say) pervayors of rumor and stirrers of pots around (they may not realize that they have that effect) who make very serious stink and innuendo like that, yet decry (from the other side of their mouth) any moderate and logical attempt to disprove the stink and innuendo.

And on another point, someone noted:

Brad - you guys - Jundo, you, etc - have been practicing Zen for many years, 20+ in some cases, yet you all seem as fucked up as the rest of humanity.

Oh, we would be much much worse without the Zen practice. Frankly, it is all that keeps my dangerous psychotic nature in check.

One serious point ... there is one small section of Peter's story that he circulated several times that I kindly request he would say was perhaps, let's say, his dream in the heat of the moment. Really, it is the heart of the matter for me. This is said to have occurred in the doorway to the Zendo, and it would have been obvious to all in that tiny room, yet Mr. Saito does not (he has stated) recall this. It would be good to man up and say that the mind can, "play tricks", for the following is a fiction:

Some other people came into the zazen room. At that point there were about five people including myself doing zazen in the zazen room. Then Jundo came to the door of the zazen room. I stood up and told him that he was not allowed to enter. He tried to come in and I pushed him away from the zazen room. I asked him to leave. At that point he tried to punch me. When he did that I pointed to my cheek and said that he could hit me if he wanted to. I walked away from him and he followed me and said “I’m sorry, I’m sorry”. I went into the zazen room and started to do zazen again. He stopped at the entrance to the zazen room and went down on his knees in gassho. There was someone there watching what happened.

It is a strange tale, and a very specific description and claim of events in a very tiny room. It should be a simple matter to produce 2 or 3 people who say they saw that (in such a small room, with so many people sitting). Mr. Saito does not recall any such events. I have heard of no witness statement confirming it. It is that claim and that claim more than all, subsequently re-circulated by others, that caused me to draft my version.

It would be nice (just 'nice'), if I could suggest, if someone put up some evidence of that incident, or admit it was perhaps a figment of the imagination, shall we say. Then it is a little easier to let this go.

Gassho, Jundo

anon #108 said...

Ozmatt, anon at 6.01 pm, you bloody trouble-maker!

SEE WHAT YOU DONE!!!

Harry said...

Just a little while ago you were havin a little cry about what good friends you have over in Treeleaf... Maybe you were crying too loud to hear those good friends?

Regards,

Harry.

jundo cohen said...

I think you could be happier than you appear to be. There has been quite a stigma attached to caring for ones mental health, and I guess people of a certain age still think that. But mental health, and taking care of it, isn't looked at the way it used to be.

Thank you, Rob, for your concern. I assure you that I am thinking clear as a bell, my mood is good and suffering no delusions.

How are you doing yourself? I wish you the best.

Gassho, Jundo

jundo cohen said...

and suffering no delusions.

I should say, no delusions ... except in the samsaric sense that we are all suffering ...

gniz said...

Hey Jundo. So I guess now I'm one of those people (like Harry, Smoggyrob, etc?) who you see as enemies and pot-stirrers that cause you to have to clear your name?

How absurd. I said I found it very odd that there was a month in between the incident and your statement. Well, I do. Sorry. There's NOTHING you will ever do, no amount of witnesses you can bring, nothing that will ever change my mind.

You must know this to some extent and yet here you continue to push. Brad and others (including myself) have said that we feel compassion for you. I wrote a few posts on my own site reaching out to you and saying I do feel for your situation, even if I choose to disagree with some of the ways you chose to handle everything. Even as I continue to doubt some of your version of events.

But Jundo only sees people being against him. All you seem to see are adversaries. And yet I see a possibility for real healing if you'd just let things go.

I was also struck, similarly to Smoggyrob, when I read your deposition...but also on my comments section of my blog when you kept saying "Just hear me..." "Just let me say this last thing..."

You so clearly were dying to be heard and believed and understood. I do know how that feels. I relate.

I'm sorry that I'm a pot-stirrer. But you don't have anything to prove here. Most people believe this was a big mess and that it's unfortunate. You can still inspire us by showing us you're strong enough to let the naysayers exist and spout off because YOU know the truth for yourself.

Anyway, I really hope you'll stop making jabs at me because I really am not doing that to you and I let you speak freely on my blog even when it might not have been something I was comfortable doing at the time.

gniz said...

And when I say that I feel similarly to Smoggyrob, I don't mean about you being "troubled" or needing therapy or something. I meant that reading what you've been posting recently brought home how deeply painful this all has been for you. And that you are truly trying to do the right things.

That does not mean, however, that I have to agree with your methods, nor do I have to believe every single detail of every event you've discussed.

Is it okay if I have my own opinion about things? Thanks!

jundo cohen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jundo cohen said...

Hi Guys,

Well, you are right. Given the impossibility that any witnesses could or will ever come forth to confirm Peter's tale I mentioned that was of some small concern ... and as it is a mountain in a molehill ... and as time flows like a river, and we are already way downstream ... we can let it go right NOW.

So long as nobody brings anything up again worthy of mention (I will hope that others will join me in that) ...

GONE!

Thank you for your time.

Gassho, Jundo

Anonymous said...

"...we can let it go right NOW."

Very wise, mature decision, Jundo :)

"So long as nobody brings anything up again worthy of mention..."

...Oh Well :(

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jundo cohen said...

Jundo, seek professional counseling.

Please.

Seriously.

You need help.


No I do not. I have been telling the truth on events.

Shall we honor the "gone" part now?

Gassho, Jundo

Anonymous said...

Jundo is terrified of not having the last word.

2/2 "it is 2am here, but I feel I must make an urgent posting because of something on Brad's blog. I will add more details tomorrow when I awake, but I ask you to take the following as my personal word ..."

gniz said...

Oh well that lasted all of three seconds...

haha...gotta laugh lest we cry instead

Michael James Gibbs said...

Reading about this dispute reminds me of that Kurosawa film, Roshamon, in which three people involved in the same incident tell their side of the story honestly but each of them tell a completely different story. The sense faculties can be deceptive. We all have are own karma to face, deal with, and not to let snow ball into further difficulties (much easier said than done).

I'm kind of out of the loop on this whole dispute which fortunately seems to be settling down now. What comes to mind is that teaching about not shaking the glass and stirring the dirty water in relation to playing with are thoughts and stirring are up the dirt in are minds. This often seems true in conflicts among people as well. When we sit the glass down and let it sit, still, on the flat table, all the dirt begins to settle, and the water become clear again.

Dave Fisher said...

Thanks to all who peacefully replied. I notice a severe change in the tone of this thread since last night when I decided to speak my bit ( for whatever it was worth)

*deep gassho to all*

Just to say I said it, I harbor no ill will towards any of the aforementioned teachers or students.

And I think it's a great reminder that even after 20+ yers of zazen we're still human.

And a special thanks to Warner Sensei ( Brad if ya preferr). I thought it was awesome that he let Jundo have some say. that was not only polite but a bit beyond given the circumstances. I think you two should have tea *shrugs* But it's not my battle, i'd like to see two Zen teachers "kiss and make up" so to speak. Gives a rejuvenation to the rest of us in our illusions and expectations of our teachers.

But yeah there's folks i'd reather piss upon than sit in a room with, so who am I to fault others in their decisions?

Peace Dharma Family. _/\_

Zen Master (never hit anybody in same lineage) said...

You can't make other people "honour the GONE part."
All you can do is GO. ©

Deep huh?

anon #108 said...

Gasshos back atcha, Dave

gniz said...

Going is hard. I still have urges to comment on Mike Cross's blog and say something really nasty cuz he hurt my little feelings so bad....but so far I've managed not to.

However, if he and other kept referencing my name, i probably wouldn't fare much better than Jundo at keeping quiet...

Anonymous said...

I have these sorts of difficulties too. How to work with this? Know when feeling amped agression towards another then do nothing? Wait three days then do something with a cooler mind? Say that my feelings are hurt? Confusing area for me. For example, in this case, what would you have recommended that Mr. Cohen do?

Anonymous said...

naah, bad question. best for me to just keep looking at my own situations and working with them. g'nite.

108 the merciless said...

Haha.. Great timing mysterion.. I don't think you wanted to see him go.

108 the merciless said...

Mysterion, This has to be said.

You need psychological treatment.

You have serious mental issues.

Please.

For the love of Brad.

Get some help for yourself.

Uku said...

It's impossible to please everybody. It's impossible to agree with everyone. And there's no need to be friends with everyone. It's really big (romantic though) illusion that we human beings are able to be friends with everyone. No way, never. But we can respect everybody.

General in Buddhism (also) it seems that there's somekind of "dilemma on being a saint". We tend to think that being a Buddhist is being a saint who is a friend with everyone, smiling all the time, never say f-words, being holy and looking like a saint and talking with a gentle Zen Voice (tm). No way. That's IMPOSSIBLE all the time. Even Dalai Lama said in one of his interviews that he probably wouldn't be a good father because he is so short-temper guy. And he is getting pissed off when hawks are trying to eat his little birds he's feeding so he starts to scare those hawks with his air rifle (this is true interview and in Finnish it's in here: http://www.kolumbus.fi/paavo.hiltunen/teemoja/dalailama.htm). Being a holy saint is just an illusion and when we're thinking that we can be friends with everyone, there's going to be problems. I know it because I have (also) trying to be a saint. I have gain quite a lot of criticism in Finland because I have told that for example I have killed a worm to be able to fish a fish to my wife's parents' cat and because I don't believe in rebirth like Tibetan Buddhists do although I respect a lot of Tibetan Buddhist's beliefs and teachings (heck, one dude sent me an private email and told me that when I'm about to die, I'm gonna notice how wrong I have been and I should then start to consider again Tibetan Buddhist's teachings). I tried to control that criticism but it was just making it worse. Now I don't care if someone doesn't like me, I don't respond to their criticism at all. Being a "public" figure in Zen and Buddhist scene in Finland it's impossible to please everyone. People can come to sit with us in our sangha or they can choose not to come. No need to argue, no need to say anything, just to decide not to come. Very simple.

[to be continued]

Uku said...

[continuing from my previous post]



Buddhism is a realistic path, it accepts all the faults and mistakes. There's no need to be saint or holy guy/girl. That's just an illusion when wanting to be something else you're not. Practice is about to let go of those illusions, not increasing them. But we can truly be better human beings who are taking care of each others and when seeing that someone doesn't like you, then it's better to back off. Forcing other people to become friends is very aggressive and naiive and it doesn't matter if it's wrapped around gasshos and smiles and compassionate talk. We're all doing mistakes all the time and we have an opportunity to learn from them.

Harry, my butt-buddy, wrote wisely in one of his posts (http://longriverzen.blogspot.com/2010/03/right-and-wrong.html):

Nobody is perfect, everybody makes mistakes... please bear in mind that Buddhism is essentially not a philosophy/religion of lofty, abstract morals and sitting in judgement of others. It's about us. It's about our own personal actions/conduct right here-and-now. That's what we can change, that's what we can control.

I would like to also add some wise words from Dogen:

In this country today, many students worry about the good and evil, and right and wrong, of their own speech and actions and wonder how others will react to what they see and hear. They are concerned about whether something they do will draw censure or bring praise now or in the future. This is a very bad state of affairs. What the world considers good is not necessarily good. It does not matter what other people think; let them call you a madman. If you spend your life with your mind in harmony with Buddhism and do nothing to offend against it, the views of other people do not matter in the least.

My two cents. I'm glad to notice this whole issue is getting more stable. I'm sure the truth will come out eventually IF necessary. (yeah, I was also one of those 29 who received those emails and all and there's been a lot more behind the scenes. But enough of that.).

Be well everyone.

Ran (you Know, - WLO and the guys …) said...

Dave fisher uses the phrase “kiss and make up” on 7:39 PM.

I’ve really read almost nothing (I wish for Myterion that stupidity is as curable as mental diseases are, but one has to see the groundlessness of his own confidence in some cases, I’ll quote the Buddha another time; - haven’t really had the time to see what he was referring to though, - yet - that is) but clearly Brads favorite band has been unable to fathom the true meaning of that common phrase throughout their whole career.

They never released an album by the name of “Faces of Evil”, did they?

Whatever.



Couldn’t do without a song but it wouldn’t take my HTML:

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=8I1wv4pwtFc

This is really a good one. I’d say.

- not me, I haven't said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=iqekgCTvwes .

but what tf - see for yourself.

I'm not there.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ran K. said...

I have made the following inquery to SFZC:

"Brad Warner has made the following comment on his blog: "As for forcible zendo ejection... the stories I've heard are myriad. Tassajara alone must have enough to fill a book." (https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=17340756&postID=6389397293457674075)

I wondered whether you could confirm or negate.

I have found this somewhat hard to believe.


With best wishes,
--- -------.".


I received the following answer:

"I am not aware of any "forcible zendo ejection" events at Tassajara or other practice locations of San Francisco Zen Center. I'm not even sure what this expression refers to. I am aware of sometimes cases where individuals who act out inappropriately being kindly asked to amend their ways or otherwise not come back, but this doesn't seem like a forcible ejection.

Give me a call if you want to speak about this.

----- -----
for SF Zen Center
------------". (The last is a telephone number.)

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Anonymous said...

"there is the sweetness-and-light Jundo of the Treeleaf website/e-Zendo who is nice and reasonable and watches his Ps and Qs and all..."

Can't agree with that.

The guy is very, very passive-aggressive with the way he seeks to exert control on that site.

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Anonymous said...

this is all absolutely shameful. I am a Soto priest, and this makes me embarrassed of my family. Brad, at times I have understood and been amused by your comments and blog posts. I am glad someone is questioning Merzel and Wilber et al.

But I do not understand how this type of silliness perpetually surrounds you and your sangha. Actually, I think I do somewhat. We are roughly the same age. I too played in punk bands once. But even as a kid I thought the whole posture essentially childish, and quickly moved on. All good punks grow up and do more nuanced things (see 'Joe Strummer.')

None of this is becoming. The reporting of it, the endless commenting about it, the back and forth, the harboring of ill will; worse when it is all masked by justifications and excuses and righteousness on both sides, ad nauseum.

Some teachers will pass the baton on to many students and just hope some will do it justice. There are often many disappointments and embarrassments among these seeds. I think Nishijima is one of these kind of teachers.

Beware becoming what you loathe - embattled engagement with it often reflects its strength as your own shadow.

ps: let me also say that in over 20 years of Zen practice including 10 years of monastic living in a few centers and traditions, I have never seen a single physical incident occur, never so much as an argument in the hall itself, and no one EVER physically thrown out of a zendo. The blase' attitude you take to this is almost the most concerning. It all saddens me almost more than I can say.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I don’t speak good English, but I would like say something about this story. I practice and study Buddhism for 20 years, with Thai-Theravada masters and Soto Zen Japanese masters. I study zen in Japan for 6 months each year.
Sincerely…more than a story about “zen-practitioners” this seems a perfect story about some modern “buddhist-fanatics-sect”
I totally agree with the last comment written by the soto priest.
The affidavit is embarrassing .... "Zen master" a person who has written such a document ??! And embarrassing are the reactions to the whole affair.

Please, someone SAVE THE BUDDHISM FROM THE “BUDDHIST”

Orientalism in the West has done a lot of damage, and some respectable masters of the East should be careful in choosing their heirs, because the line between "wisdom" and "neurosis" can be very subtle.

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