seeker242 wrote:From an article on the subject: Mr. Martin, now a Zen abbot in Victoria, British Columbia, accused Mr. Sasaki of a “career of misconduct,” from “frequent and repeated non-consensual groping of female students”
Consensual and non-consensual sexual conduct are two completely different things! The whole issue has nothing to do with sexual conduct. It is entirely about sexual mis-conduct.
Indeed, it sounds like he may have broken the Precept on sexual misconduct.
And, he still deserves compassion, and may be, may have been, and may continue to be a very good Zen Teacher for some people.
That doesn't stand against that.
Richard Baker seems to have matured quite nicely since the days of the controversy in the SFZC.
He seems to have done some deep sitting with that and turned into quite a fine Buddhist Master.
They don't stand against each other.
Me personally, I'm not defending sexual misconduct.
But I am saying it's not the end of the world, nor needs to be the end of someone's Teaching career, nor is it ok for other people to break the Precepts in reaction to it.
There is no damnation in Buddhism Someone can pick themselves up from something like that and be a very find Buddhist afterwards, having learned from his mistakes.
This is what Richard Baker had to say years later in '94:
I don't think that the gossipy or official versions of what happened are right, but I feel definitely that if I were back in the situation again as the person I am now, it wouldn't have happened. Which means it's basically my fault. I had a kind of insecurity and self-importance, which I didn't see for a long time, that was a bad dynamic in the community.
He really did some sitting with that, really saw something in himself.
It's made him a better person, and other people too by his example of being able to learn from his mistakes.
He realized something about himself that he didn't see before, and realized that he needed to address it and change it. That's a good thing, not a bad thing at all.
Sometimes people only see something when they make mistakes. That doesn't make them a bad person, or a bad Buddhist.
It means the Eternal's given them the opportunity to learn something.
We don't need to damn them for it.
We can have compassion.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil Singer
" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy