Sunday, November 14, 2004

Prominent American Buddhists: Richard Baker

Today's post is probably not going to be what some readers would expect. Anyway, Richard Baker, the successor to Shunryu Suzuki, was involved in financial and sexual scandals at the San Francisco Zen Center in the 70's until after his departure in 1983.

Richard Baker is prominent because his tale is cautionary to all practioners of any religious or political or social path: be sure to kick the tires before you buy that shiny new path.

By the way, the link above is also interesting because it references Brian Victoria's Zen at War, which notes the fact that Haku'un Yasutani Roshi was quite an anti-semite back in WWII. It should be noted that the sect has formally apologized, and that Bernard Glassman is a Dharma heir, among others, of Yasutani. The apology is a good step, but again people need to be careful and do reality checks about any path in life they take.

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