Saturday, April 23, 2011

An Open Blog Post to the Board and Sangha of the Kanzeon Zen Center and the Successors of Genpo Merzel

To the Aforementioned:

Regarding the recent behavior of Genpo Merzel, the Board of KZC has stated in the past that you wished other Buddhists  "will extend us a little patience and allow us the time and breathing space to restore the peace and harmony of the sangha and the strength and sound practice of its members."  You also stated that, "Genpo Merzel has repeatedly reiterated his full support for all of the actions taken by the Board" in addressing the real trouble arising from Genpo Merzel's behavior.  The actions taken included Genpo Merzel's refraining from teaching for at least a year.

And yet now he is apparently back to teaching, it seems because money is an issue.  To me this is a horrible reason to allow this man back into your trust.  (Or is he in your trust?)  It seems  your sangha's Board is saying the sangha depends for its existence on  income from what to many Buddhist teachers and practitioners is a corruption of Zen Buddhism as taught by someone who abuses his position of authority, breaks the vows he has taken, and goes back on promises made when caught in the abuse.  What does this say about your own ethics? To those who have taken the precepts, what does this say about how you keep the precepts?

As a lay member of a sangha, I would encourage all lay members of the Kanzeon sangha to find another teacher.  I am sure many of you think Genpo Merzel is a great Zen teacher.  Remember, though, there are other teachers and sanghas.   And perhaps it is time to learn that there is a point at which you have to leave the teacher.  And it may be well before you've broken through that koan or well before you've fully integrated Genpo Merzel's teaching into your lives.

Finally, to the successors of Genpo Merzel: it is time to take the lead on this, and seek out other teachers yourselves if you wish to remain Zen students.  In particular, it is time to let go of attachment to "Big Mind."

I strongly wish you find peace and contentment soon by letting go of the attachment that somehow Genpo Merzel is needed by you as a "teacher."


Mumon K.

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