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In Japan, Buddhism May Be Dying Out

Thanks to Tonen for pointing this out - a nice summary of the pickle Japanese Buddhism, including Zen, finds itself in, having gambled on family succession and the funeral business to keep things going. Looks like those two horses only got so far down the road.However, I kinda doubt that Buddhism will die out in Japan for a long time. A major contraction seems to be coming, however. There are a number of quite dynamic teaching lines and I expect that these will continue. Perhaps the monastic … [Read more...]

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Coming From Zero, Face to Face: Post Modern Power

My power consultant is a post-modern guy. He even wears Italian shoes. At least I’m confident that they’re not Birkenstocks or NB’s. They look odd in a stylish way – so I like to think they’re Italian. Like my consultant’s shoes, my thoughts are a work in progress here. And I’m experimenting with this post-modern power orientation with a small group and expect that things will develop some over time. Modern power is exercised through normative theories. The post-modern power orientation is to p … [Read more...]

Inmates Running the Asylum (second of three on power – see below)

That’s how it can seem if the horizontal gets carried away. Rather than traditional power with its hierarchical, vertical orientation, the second form of power, modern power, is community-based and horizontal – but that’s good, right? Well, it is certainly a hard-won development and movement from the feudal form of authoritarianism, but modern power comes with a couple major negatives when applied to Zen that can eat away at the teacher-student relationship and the organization as well. Fir … [Read more...]

Why Teacher-Student Relationships Often Get Wacky

Power. That’s one big reason. Or more specifically, often when teacher-student relationships go south, the power relationships have either been uncleanly defined, or there is a change necessary due to whatever is happening in a person’s practice (the "teacher" being one of those people) and the other won’t/can't/don't want to go where they’d have to go to keep the relationship alive. That isn’t bad. Each person's true freedom is the important thing. I have a lot to say about this and I’m wonderin … [Read more...]

The Stadium Pal – Some Real Zen Possibilities Or What I Learn from Young People

http://youtube.com/v/YBdymtyXt8YI'm up taking my early morning turn with puppy Bodhi and he's quite happy at the moment chewing on a rope. So I read a blog I enjoy by a young person about another blog about white-people-and-their-wacky-shenanigans. He mentions someone named "David Sedaris" and I felt a lot like when I talk with African American friends, although in those conversations I first need to get some of the words translated and then ask about who the players are.Anyway, I didn't have a … [Read more...]

Crabbiness, Faith, and Lotus Roots

Report the following images as offensive. Confirm CancelThank you for the feedback.I’m crabby this morning. I’m going to a conference of Zen teachers in couple weeks and now I’m concerned that organizational issues may dominate the conversation. I’m not interested in a lot of talk about long-range plans, mission statements, volunteer burnout and the like. Helpful and important discussions, I suppose, depending on what trips your trigger. They just don’t trip mine these days. I’m all tripped out o … [Read more...]

The Goon Bible Project – Book of Job

http://youtube.com/v/jHPg3kjKBRcMy kids found this and shared it with me knowing that I like this kind of thing. I cite it in Keep Me In Your Heart Awhile in the chapter on karma and the Wild Fox koan (no Zen book is complete without one of those) but had forgotten about it until just a few minutes ago when I re-re-re(...)read that section. There is as close to no connection with Independence Day as it gets ... but you might enjoy it. … [Read more...]