I was thinking about blogging about how the "Rinzai-ji Witnessing Council" released its "findings" but couldn't find the right way to express it, and perhaps I still can't. I'm still ambivalent about it, though I think the text I've read about it seems rather impartial, and the regarding the findings, who can disagree with that?
On the other hand, this is still stuck like flypaper. It may be this Council has done some good. I don't know. The good that it might do can only be expressed in the future actions of others, taken on motivation at least in part of what that Council reported.
Is that going to be so?
That's a lot of conditions for that to be the case. So I have my concerns otherwise about this - I think Rinzai-ji might have found these findings out via other methods.
My concerns are underscored by the news of Eido Shimano suing the Zen Studies Society. I've got to give credit to Adam Tebbe for only putting in some of the aspects of Shimano's complaint relating to compensation. But I think other aspects of the complaint speaks to the larger aspect I'm alluding to here. In particular:
- A 4% cost of living adjustment? In 1995? What were they thinking? Inflation hasn't been at 4% in decades, and certainly wasn't in 1995.
- Have you any idea what a co-op at 333 E69th St. goes for? Now Shimano's sangha was, at the time, quite well off, to be sure, but this is quite valuable.
- Both of the above points seem to include no provisions for what might happen if the finances of the Zen Studies Society went south. It is possible, that like everything else, there was an attitude of paying minimal attention to the nuts and bolts of things like this.
Still, one might imagine that perhaps Shimano might not mind, given all that's happened, that the details of his "outstanding" leadership of the ZSS might come to light in a court of law, but I don't think it's about that at all.
Huge loss of face. It's about that, but really what would anyone expect?
That's why I am concerned. I think there needs to be a certain amount of cynicism to balance out kumbayasity.