All members are invited and encouraged to participate in a dialogue on the evolving well-being of our Zen Centre. The next dialogue will be held on Saturday, February 8th, from 11 am to 1 pm, immediately following the regular mid-morning sit.
The Rinzai-ji lineage is currently engaged in a process of healing and reform, arising out of the year-old disclosure of abuses by Joshu Sasaki Roshi. Judging from the experiences of other lineages that have gone through similar situations, this healing process is likely to be lengthy, and the outcome uncertain. Regardless of the outcome, we have a responsibility to address the healthy evolution of our own centre. Eshin’s return to Vancouver full time offers an ideal opportunity to move forward on this. An initial discussion was held during the January 26 AGM, and it was felt that other members should have an opportunity to share in this.
To help the discussion, please read this relevant statement from Chan Master Sheng Yen from “The sword of wisdom”
I hear stories about the questionable behavior of some meditation masters in the West. If these stories are indeed true, then these teachers are not true masters. Nonetheless, they have still served a good purpose in bringing the teachings of Buddhism to the West and have given many an opportunity they never would have had. The masters’ personal lives are their own problems, but people should be grateful to them for their contribution.
Indian mythology speaks of a special swan that can swallow the pure, nourishing cream from a mixture of milk and water, without drinking any of the water. American Buddhists should adopt a similar attitude toward questionable teachers. Study Buddhadharma with them, absorb as much good teaching as possible, and leave the bad karma where you find it”
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held at the centre
1pm, Sunday 26 January
The Zen Centre holds this meeting as required by the BC Society Act. The meeting is open to all members in good standing, a legal term in the bylaws, indicating regular zazen attendance and membership donations for the past year.
The Society Act and our bylaws require the agenda to include:
1. Zen Centre report for 2013. This will include a report on what’s happening at Rinzai-ji.
2. Financial report for 2013.
3. Selection of directors for 2014.
The agenda will include other items submitted by sangha members to the office by January 22nd.
The bylaws state any major decisions are discussed and made at Administration Meetings which are held quarterly or as needed. This AGM is also an Administrative Meeting. These meetings are open to full involvement by members in good standing.
The directors are responsible for the day to day administration of the centre, preferably people regularly involved with non-practice issues at the centre. The Act requires a minimum of three. Major decisions require the directors to call an Administrative Meeting to discuss and decide.
I have resigned my position as administrative abbot of Rinzai-ji. The appointment had come on March 27 2013. I have worked hard on the needed transformation and made a solid contribution. But it’s impossible to fulfill the responsibilities of two centres at the same time. Recently I’ve been weighing up the factors. In Vancouver the centre has been established over decades. Many students take me as their teacher. It’s impossible to leave a centre without finding a suitable replacement. None could be found. At Rinzai-ji I found circumstances limited for what I could offer. There were difficulties in moving on a permanent basis. Visa, health, and marriage among them.
I will stay in Los Angeles at least until mid-January. I greatly look forward to practicing with you after that.
Congratulations on Paula and Christian’s wedding yesterday. Paula has been with the Zen Centre over the last several years, always bringing her cheerful and warm character to all that she did. She now lives in Kenya where both her and Christian work in UN agencies. Further pictures of the wedding can be seen on Paula’s Facebook album