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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Sex Scandal Finger Wagging: I want to wag my finger, not just at the Zen teachers caught in scandals recently (although at most of them too), but at the reactions of some folks to the scandals. Particularly, I want to call out:

Those folks ... some of them fellow Buddhist pr...

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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Sex Scandal Finger Wagging: I want to wag my finger, not just at the Zen teachers caught in scandals recently (although at most of them too), but at the reactions of some folks to the scandals. Particularly, I want to call out: Those folks ... some of them fellow Buddhist pr...

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I want to wag my finger, not just at the Zen teachers caught in scandals recently (although at most of them too), but at the reactions of some folks to the scandals. Particularly, I want to call out:

Those folks ... some of them fellow Buddhist priests or moderators of Buddhist forums ... who would seek to ignore, hide or explain away some of these scandals, like sweeping dirt under a rug. Shame on them, shame on all of us, and we are contributing in part to these things if we do not look them square on.

But at the same time, I wish to question those folks who would lump all these so called "sex scandals" together ... both the few (very few!) true predators, date rapists, serial seducers and other abusers who misuse their role, trust and influence as "teachers" and clergy ... and those other folks who may have fallen into a very ordinary intimate affair between grown, mature consenting adults. All are not cut from the same cloth, and the second group should not be treated the same as the first. I most certainly agree that a teacher should almost never commence a sexual relationship with a student ... much as a psychologist should never have a sexual relationship with a patient ... because of the potential disparity in power, reliance, psychological influence and vulnerability between the parties. I also agree that those married clergy who fall into extra-marital affairs have cause to reflect on their actions in light of their marriage vows and the Precepts on honesty. But the fact of the matter is that Japanese Lineage clergy are not generally celibate, and there will be cases truly between consenting adults with no misuse or important trigger in the power, position or influence of the teacher as teacher or serious moral offense beyond someone breaking their marriage vows. While I see every reason to criticize ... and suspend or punish or defrock ... the real predators and power abusers, I see little reason to treat the same way every case of sexual doings, and let's be careful in distinguishing which is which.

I also wag my finger at those folks who profess to have lost their trust in all Zen or Buddhist Teachers because of the missteps of a few. Baloney! A few bad apples do not spoil the whole apple orchard, and the fact is that most ... the vast majority of ... Buddhist Teachers I know are sincere, honest, dedicated, committed folks who generally would not hurt a fly.

I also tisk tisk those folks who think that, because a Zen Master shows any failing at all ... from losing his cool from time to time, showing some weakness in personality, having some vice ... that completely disqualifies the teacher from all right and entitlement to teach (let along teach well!). Such a view is typical of the ZEN IDEALISTS AND ROMANTICS out there, looking for perfect Zen teachers without a fault or failing, who think that "Enlightenment" means never making a mistake in the words out of one's mouth, and never having a "bad hair day" again. TIME TO COME DOWN FROM THE CLOUDS! I would say that, if you are looking for a good Zen guide, find a man or woman who sometimes falls down, makes mistakes, makes a donkey's ass of him or herself... and observe closely what happens, watch how he or she does it. Oh, don't get me wrong... probably you do not want as a teacher someone who falls down each and every day, nor someone who falls down too BIG (robbing banks, lying profusely and intentionally starting fires, for example ... nor the few aforesaid predators or serial seducers). No, I mean someone who... every so often, now and then, like everyone... makes a fool of him/herself, loses his Zen Master cool, over-indulges, yields to temptation, does a real face-flop, says something she regrets, breaks some (hopefully not too big) Precepts in some very human way. Observe how does this person recover their balance? With what grace do they fall and, more importantly, get back up on their feet? Do they profoundly reflect on their mistakes, learn from them
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