Thursday, December 15, 2011

I seem to have triggered Ven. Warner for another Genpo Merzel rant

And I think that is good (see here and here). It's kind of why I originally flagged it in a comment on one of Warner's posts.  Warner has a bit  or substantially more authority to speak on Merzel's antics than I do, but I basically agree with him.

Zen priests and monks have to eat, no doubt about that.  And it's reasonable to expect that with exposure to America that there be some kind of fee based structure used with teaching - but not rigidly used.  In fact there must always be the possibility of giving  it away free. As I've noted numerous times,  my teacher - and heck, even Eido Shimano - had the possibility to support themselves by means other than teaching.

Warner's also right about the term "Zen Master."  Where I go, the services are chanted in a mixture of Pali, English, and Japanese; with the chanting, in Japanese, of the Great Compassion Heart Dharani (Dai Hi Shin Gyo) the dedication is made to various ancestors in the lineage, invariable ending with 禅師大和尚 - that is, "Zenji Daiosho," or "Zen Master Great Priest."  To refer to one's self that way, as Warner notes, is beyond absurdity - it's simply unseemly for a living person to refer to one's self that way.

Also to tie one's desire for complete and perfect enlightenment to being in a "close" relationship with a's not quite that way.  If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him and all that. So even though there's the disclaimer about "heart relationships which do not imply ownership or obligation in either direction" it's clear that this relationship is tied to one's progress in helping all beings transcend suffering.

There are myriad issues with what Merzel's doing.  And as I write this, and look over the various types of bilge on his site, and Warner's reactions to it, I'm struck by the fact that my head is completely congested. Perfectly, completely congested.   I'm amused at this blog post, and by the first comment, who (approvingly) connected it to Ayn Rand in screaming caps.

I think that says it all.

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