Monks disrobe all the time in Buddhism.dzogchungpa wrote:I haven't read much of the OBC Connect site, but I did read some of this thread:
http://obcconnect.forumotion.net/t134-m ... -strathern
and it didn't inspire a lot of confidence in Kennett's "mastery".
Strathern introduces himself here:
http://obcconnect.forumotion.net/t119-m ... -strathern
Not everyone who becomes a monk stays a monk.
People also leave organizations all the time for personal reasons or disagreements.
This too is normal.
You can't run an organization and have everyone agree, and if people disagree passionately they will leave very upset.
That doesn't make the policy decision wrong, or not in the best interest of the organization as a whole.
Especially in a religious organization, you're going to have people who passionately disagree with a policy, because we're doing this as a religious practice.
As the head of an organization, you have to strike the best balance you can, while considering the best interests of the organization as a whole, while accepting that some people who disagree, may just leave in a huff, and there's nothing you can do about that.
There's no way to run a large organization and get a 100% agreement, of even some of the founding members.
You just have to make the best decisions you can, and move on.
Some people profoundly disagreed with some decisions, but that's just the way it is, you have to move on.
You can't just try to accommodate everybody, because then you never get anywhere.
Some people can be very unreasonable too.
Imagine trying to get everyone on Dharmawheel to agree on everything.
And when people are investing time and money and religious effort into a thing, if two people have very deep differences in views on a thing, if they don't reconcile their differences in views, then those two people will eventually part ways. It's just the way it is.
The OBC, Shasta, Throssel, and Jiyu-Kennett (in her case posthumously now), were and are all recognized and respected as genuine and authentic Soto Zen practice.
Jiyu-Kennett's qualification to teach was confirmed not only by her own teacher, Kohō Zenji, who was a highly respected Zen master himself, but also by Sawaki Kōdō Rōshi (Butsu Kojo Rōshi, 1880–1965) who was considered to be perhaps the foremost meditation master of his time in Japan.
The OBC is highly respected within the Soto Zen world, and fully recognized as genuine and authentic Soto Zen practice.
Here are Nonin Chowaney's views for instance:
http://www.zenforuminternational.org/vi ... &hilit=OBCby Nonin on Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:35 pm
I've visited Shasta Abbey more than once, and I've found the practice there genuine and authentic Soto Zen Buddhist practice. I've also found the monks and nuns (nuncs is probably a better and more inclusive term) to be, on balance, very welcoming and kind. I've also found some of them to be extremely wise and compassionate, for some have been practicing for many, many years.
I've recommended that my students either visit the place or sign up for a practice period, and a couple of them have done so and have returned for more. They agree with my assessment of the place, the people, and the practice there.
Also, guests are and always have been welcome at Shasta, and senior monks from there have participated in Soto Zen Buddhist Association events and processes, so the place is not as insular as people may think.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Shasta Abbey to anyone looking to experience authentic Soto Zen Buddhist monastic practice.
Eido Frances Carney, also shares this view, and she is a former president of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association (SZBA).
She sends her disciples to train at Shasta Abbey to do their monastic training. I know, because I've spoken with them personally on this.
Not to mention Soto Shu in Japan, also fully recognizes the OBC as being fully authentic and genuine Soto Zen practice.
So while it's certainly fair to have differing opinions about personal preference of teaching style and whether the OBC and/or Jiyu-Kennett's teaching works for everybody (which I certainly don't think it does), it is not fair, nor accurate, to accuse them, or her, of not being qualified, or authentic.
They most certainly are.
And very well respected.