Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Tolerance of crime in the Sangha: idiot compassion?

ESZ123ESZ123 Explorer

I was one of 12 Staff at a residential Retreat Centre in 2014. It hosts around 1,000 guests annually. My role was as Health, Safety and Security Officer, on the physical, emotional and spiritual levels. The position was senior management. In investigating a Water Boil Advisory, the person responsible for wilfully supplying officially non potable water to over 600 guests and Staff over a period of 56 days became convinced that I should lose my job as I was acting beyond my remit. She had well recognised, unaddressed mental health concerns, by her own admission. She had been responsible for the departure from Staff of four others in that year alone.

I became the victim of attempted murder following a three month campaign of bullying at the hands of three of the Staff and, more subtly the "psychoemotionally deaf" Centre Director, in the words of my former Supervisor. This bullying included five physical assaults, two of them witnessed and an almost hourly litany of noises at night, doors slammed in my face, verbal abuse in front of participants, improperly witheld pay etc. etc.

In one of them, the Assistant Director removed my assailant from my person. The assailant was the one responsible for the non potable water. She has a somewhat co-dependent relationship with the Centre going back 20 years or more. However, the Assistant Director denied witnessing the assault, and does so to this day. A week later, my vehicle was twice sabotaged, once with life endangering consequences to myself and unknown others.

The Sangha is unwilling to discuss either the demon, or the actions of the people who appear to have perpetrated these crimes. I feel the Sangha is unsafe, its integrity compromised and its residential intensive programmes unavailable to me. My Guru is inaccessible to myself as he is surrounded by self-serving administrators who are covering up crime.

After many failed internal conflict resolution processes the Administration advises that I approach the Police, practice, study and get counselling. Some of those processes are elaborate. In one, the information I shared with the Panel at their request and "in confidence" was shared with undisclosed people and without explanation despite my repeated requests. That information contains my sources for monitoring the activities of the alleged perpetrators.

Having fled the country I am unable to fully engage in the Police enquiry which I have begun. It is compromised on the other end by silver tongues who skillfully apply the Dharma to create an appearance of fairness on their part and madness on my own. For instance, the Assistant Director told the Police that the Centre is safe for me because my assailant and I had attended mediation on one occasion. I am unable to muster support for my case in the community around the Centre, if only because nobody wants to admit that such activity may have occurred and I am conveniently on another continent. Such a discussion necessarily casts a poor light on the Sangha which it seems everybody in it wants to avoid as it reflects on them personally in many ways. As such, the Police concluded in 2015 that the Sangha is safe, despite much documentary evidence from within that it is not. They failed to interview the Director concerned prior to their conclusion, which was prepared while he was being fired.

I have spent 7 years cultivating a relationship with my Guru. I married a Sangha member in 2015 whose best friend is intimately associated with the core of our Sangha's Administration, for instance in, among many other activities, hiring the Director's replacement after he was removed for, "...failing to resolve conflict between Staff". I am unable to attend the annual summer residential intensive programmes for fear of my life.

While I alone am responsible for my enlightenment, and having taken many vows including "The Bodhisattva Vow", I am curious how to act. I have seen much benefit in my own life and others' lives from these Teachings and wish to propogate them for the sake of sanity. However, to continue to practice in my Guru's Sangha is to face more slander, and my unresolved attempted murder and the threat of further violence.

I have had a rich experience here which I would like to see benefit others. Primarily, my concern here is for those Sangha members, indeed Centre Staff who felt that sabotaging a vehicle was a reasonable response to an investigation into the wilful serving of non potable water to hundreds of people, including the Sangha's leader and his pregnant wife. Further, there may yet be some benefit to the Administration in pursuing this discussion as they clearly feel that the two vehicular sabotages should not be reported to the Police even though they are aware of the overhelming possibility that they were conducted by Centre Staff. Indeed, the Assistant Director at the time advised me to cease my investigation due to the violence and to allow the continued illegal removal of the Boil Water Advisory Notices despite the Director's view that doing so compromised his personal liability.

The Director recognised that a threat to my life had occurred in this case and sent out an email to 14 of the most senior Administrators appealing for help in making the Centre "safe" for me, without response. In fact, since that email in December 2014 I have received no recognition of the disruption this has caused my life or assurance that this behaviour has been investigated by the Sangha's Administration. To my mind, this is what our leader's father and the Sangha's founder referred to as, Idiot Compassion.

I feel that my Guru's Lineage and its Teachings are being co-opted by charlatanism. Do I not have a responsibility to act? Is it as simple as pursuing the Police investigation by presenting more evidence in different ways? Or, as I have been informally advised by a senior Judge and friend, should I, "Leave those nasty people behind with the shame they must, at some level feel" ?

While I have approached my Guru on this directly, his response directed me to request the conflict resolution process which in turn shared my reports without my consent, contrary to its solemn undertakings and without explanation. That Panel's findings were found, on Appeal, to be remiss with respect to its Policies: it had failed to attempt to resolve the conflict which by then existed between myself and the Director. Both the Panel's and the Appeal's findings failed to make any mention of attempted murder (perhaps unsurprisingly), vehicular sabotage, physical assault or mob bullying. However, when I interviewed with the former President of the Organisation, he was very clear: I should NOT refer to these acts as "wilful or negligent sabotage" but distinctly as "attempted murder".

On the issue of the resulting uncompensated redundancy which I experienced, at one day's notice shortly after the final physical assault, the Appeal by the leader's Secretary found that no compensation is due. I had moved my entire life to serve three years at this Centre, bringing with me an 11 ton container of a 30 year collection of woodworking tools to set up a business in Joint Venture with the Centre. My moving costs were in excess of $10,000.

I am unable to revert to my Guru as he resides on another continent. His Secretary, through whom ALL requests for access to my Guru go has recently closed the file on this issue. While he emphatically stated that he is unable to make a "binding decision" on the issue of my compensation, after I presented evidence of the Director's slander against me he stated that his decision is in fact binding and the discussion, closed.

Any comments will be most appreciated. Many thanks in advance.

«134

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Let Go.
    I know it sounds trite, but you're now in a different county with little or no possibility of being able to rectify or change the way things have gone. This is no longer anything you can do anything about.
    Your only option is to Let Go.

    Please believe me when I tell you: I know what I'm talking about.

    Cinorjerupekka
  • ESZ123ESZ123 Explorer

    Let go my Guru?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Let go the whole damn shebang. Extricate yourself from the situation, abandon any connection, leave the Past behind and move on. Your Guru does not sound entirely dependable anyway.

  • ESZ123ESZ123 Explorer

    As regards, affecting outcomes: I have secured the firing of two employees and a seismic shift in the energy of the Centre through my appeals for justice, so far. However, I cannot reasonably attend summer intensives with this criminal attitude unmet - it is simply unsafe. One issue here is of my samaya with my Guru, which is profound and shared by my wife and many of our friends. There is no "walking away" from that. It obliges me to practice with my Sangha on an ongoing basis and the Administration, for all of it's flowery words, has shown itself incapable of providing for my protection.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    You asked my opinion. In my opinion, it would be better, more wholesome and distinctly more logical for you to abandon any connection with this Sangha and leave them to their own fate.
    Your Guru is, when all is said and done, a person, just like you. Your connection to him is simply a terrestrial one; that is to say, he's not the only marble in the box.
    You have a choice. Either disconnect and practise Compassionate Wisdom for yourself - or remain connected by believing you cannot abandon certain things when all logic clearly indicates the opposite to be true.

  • ESZ123ESZ123 Explorer

    Thanks Federica, Clearly our understandings of Guru are very different, with all due respect.

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    I vote with @Federica. Anyone who takes so much time and puts forth so much effort to describe a complex and faceted situation clearly wants to salvage something from it ... not least so that what went before won't dissolve into a "complete and utter waste."

    When I flunked out of a Zen monastery -- actually I just recognized I wasn't monk material -- I felt bereft and empty and as if I should be doing something 'compassionate' or 'wise' and not just feeling trapped and isolated and somehow wrong.

    I wasn't wrong to leave ... but it took some time to acknowledge and nourish that understanding. I suggest, if you can afford it, that you take a small vacation to some place you have never been before, preferably with a language you do not speak spoken by people who live in ways you might not choose to emulate. A week or two won't cure anything, but it will help to shrink the size of your belly button.

    Just my take. Best wishes.

    SpinyNormanupekkalobsterDeformed
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @genkaku said: I wasn't wrong to leave ... but it took some time to acknowledge and nourish that understanding. I suggest, if you can afford it, that you take a small vacation to some place you have never been before, preferably with a language you do not speak spoken by people who live in ways you might not choose to emulate. A week or two won't cure anything, but it will help to shrink the size of your belly button.

    Yes, a complete break can be a good way of getting things in perspective.

  • ESZ123ESZ123 Explorer
    edited July 2016

    Thanks Genkaku. I really appreciate your feedback. I did the vacation thing for two months, in South Africa. All I could see was how necessary it is to speak to corruption. Mandela's example was overwhelmingly inspiring. I came home to my mother. Then I found a new place and moved in a year after I left the Centre. I unpacked my books...excellent books that I used to relish and now cannot open, and the realisation that there are many people in that Sangha of whom I feel quite fondly, not least of which is my Guru.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Your very thread title asks whether this is "idiot Compassion" Pardon me for saying so, but you state that -

    ...Clearly our understandings of Guru are very different...

    I would concur. That does not, however, make me necessarily wrong.

    Sometimes, when the rats desert a sinking ship, it's worth considering the rats may well have a point.
    There are times when you have to seriously weigh up whether sticking with it, is worth the tenacity, or whether you're not just holding onto the end of a rope, believing the horse is still there.

    It ain't. It's bolted....

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @ESZ123, I'm further puzzled by the fact that in having pretty unanimous responses, you argue and dispute the logic therein.
    I have a feeling you are somehow attached to this situation, and are overwhelmed by an excessive righteous desire to see some kind of Justice done.

    It doesn't always go our way.
    However much it is socially, legally, logically proven that some awful crime/INjustice/wrong has been committed - sometimes, the guilty DO get away with it.
    And there's nothing we can do to rectify the matter, no matter how hard we try, no matter how right we believe ourselves to be.

    Although I can honestly say nobody ever tried to do me physical harm, I - and my husband, who does not follow a Buddhist path - found ourselves victims of a person who deliberately, wilfully and persistently did their best to absolutely ruin our lives and destroy everything we had.
    And they pretty much succeeded. We were left with nothing. Less, than nothing.

    But here I am.
    I left it all behind because - well, you know why?
    Because it was either leave it behind or become obsessed, driven and propelled by a reckless, impulsive desire to Do Harm.
    And I could not let that happen.

    I would suggest that you think carefully about this.
    Not so much the evolution and outcome of the whole incident, but why you are so determined to continue pursuing a connection with it.

    Your Guru is not immortal. He will die.
    He has already proven himself to be fickle and impressionable.
    That our opinions of what a Guru is, are at what seem to you to be at opposite ends of the spectrum, is one thing.
    That you consider remaining connected to him via some misguided sense of loyalty (when he clearly has no same sense for you) is something you seriously need to review.

    upekkapossibilitiesRuddyDuck9lobster
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    If you really want to stay I think you should ask yourself if you are really in danger anymore or if its that you can't let go of past harms because you want to "win". Maybe there is a genuine danger and you can't go back the way things are or maybe you can give the victory to others, eat any sense of rightness or justice you may want and humble yourself for the reason of working your way back. There could be a way to get justice and find a home again but I'm at a loss to see it, you seem to have covered all the proper channels.

    upekka
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @ESZ123 said:
    Let go my Guru?

    What you think dukkha and attachment is a good thing? Tsk, tsk, obviosly you are not a follower of the Buddha (PBUH ... eh wrong religion) :3

    Strangely enough [spoiler alert] it is not our job to sort out the world ... just ourselves. We do not go back to abusive relationships, cults or similar ... unless we are semi-masochists. Plenty of great gurus, teachers and centres ...

    Take care of yourself. Yourself! YOURSELF (did I just shout - oops) ... iz dharma!

    Then you might be of some eventual use to those requiring advice and help, me for example. ... Yep, looking out for myself as usual ;)

    silverupekkaRuddyDuck9Steve_B
  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    OP, some sanghas are corrupt, that's just the way it is, and you can't "fix" them. How to deal with your samaya with the guru, I don't know. But at some point you have to ask yourself if staying with your guru is worth the aggravation. Peace of mind is precious.

    upekkaCinorjerpossibilities
  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
    edited July 2016

    @ESZ123 I'd like to ask you, what do you want to do now? The Sangha is just a family, like families anywhere. Some are more dysfunctional than others, but none are anywhere approaching perfect. It's what I tell people who think becoming a monk means they are eliminating all those stresses and distractions in life that you get attached to. You get just as attached to the Master, the Temple, the job, your position in the Sangha, etc.

    It's not supposed to be easy, to let go of relationships and a life we've invested in. To the extent you learn how to do so, you will be comprehending impermanence. The troubles you recount do not make the people including your old Guru evil or bad, just human.

    upekkalobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    In this thread,

    @£Z123 said: So by what logic do you say I have neither the power nor responsibility? I alone am responsible for my enlightenment and having taken many vows, including "The Bodhisattva Vow", I am curious how to act.

    Simply because you have 'vowed to save all beings' it does not meant that they either can be, or WANT to be...

    I have seen much benefit in my own life and others' lives from these Teachings and wish to propogate them for the sake of sanity.

    Whose sanity. Other peoples'...or yours?

    I feel that my Guru's Lineage and its Teachings are being co-opted by charlatanism.

    And it seems your Guru us compliant. I know you wish to believe he might have been manipulated, but I think he has a mind of its own, is playing it safe and is joining them, because he can't beat them. Face it. Your Guru isn't the Guru you desperately want to believe he is. He - IS the Charlatan.

    Do I not have a responsibility to act?

    No. You presume or believe you have, but you've done enough already and it landed you in hot water. No, you do NOT have the responsibility to act, because you are at a disadvantage and lack the "firepower" to do so. You are under no obligation to act.

    Is it as simple as choosing between pursuing the Police investigation by presenting the evidence in different ways or, as I have been informally advised by a senior Judge to, "Leave those nasty people behind with the shame they must, at some level feel" ?

    Yup. That's one perceptive Judge you had, there.

    DavidCinorjerWalker
  • ESZ123ESZ123 Explorer
    edited July 2016

    In looking at biographies from which a hint of wisdom may be drawn. Naropa and Marpa keeps coming to mind, from the Kagyu Lineage. Marpa came to teach Milarepa, in much the same way.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    You may have to elaborate on that a little because to some, that comment may seem completely disconnected. Care to expand...?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Milarepa mended his ways. If you are implying that you could emulate the teaching skills of both Naropa and Marpa, and assist those who you frame as Milarepas, the crunch comes in that they are already allegedly practising Buddhists with a wealth of Dhamma knowledge at their fingertips, and don't therefore look sufficiently prime and innocent for turning.

  • ESZ123ESZ123 Explorer

    Just that when Marpa approached Naropa, he rejected his gifts of gold in a move which he repeated three times after Marpa had journeyed from Tibet to India, somewhat arduously. Marpa persisted nonetheless and became his respected dharma heir and the next Kagyu Lineage Holder. Similarly, Marpa had Milarepa build his famous towers and then deconstruct them, much to his exhausted student's chagrin. Nevertheless, Milarepa succeeded Marpa in the same way as Marpa had succeeded Naropa. Gampopa succeeded Milarepa, after being consistently rejected as a disciple by Marpa. In a similar way, Milarepa sent Gampopa far away as a final gesture. However, as the story goes, he called Gampopa back as he reached the horizon. Apparently their last exchange consisted of Milarepa turning his back on Gampopa and lifting up his robes to reveal his wizzened, leathery arse. The Four Noble Truths hold: Life is Suffering, meditation is the Path. Perhaps I'm cherrypicking here, but this is my understanding nonetheless.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited July 2016

    @ESZ123 said:
    Apparently their last exchange consisted of Milarepa turning his back on Gampopa and lifting up his robes to reveal his wizzened, leathery arse.

    I recognise that wizened, leathery arse ... it is me :3

    ... meanwhile ... as a notorious back turner and lame lama roaster (I feed them to pet demons on my journeys to the hell realms) I would advise again, listening to the considered and experienced advice. We are here for you. Many have been through similar Tantra Tantrums ... Don't facilitate/excuse/sort out abuse. Does not work in domestic abuse or dharma or Islam gone mad ... You know that?

    Hard as it may be @zenff in the following post is being harsh/kind

    ... Existence sure is suffering as someone once said ... <3

  • zenffzenff Veteran

    You said you have been the victim of attempted murder in your Sangha.

    In my humble opinion that’s sufficient evidence that something is very wrong there.
    So get the hell out and find professional help in undoing the years of brainwashing you’ve been thru. The brainwashing that makes you say you cannot break the relationship with your Guru and that makes you come up with rubbish stories about Naropa and Marpa.

    This may not be what you want to hear; but I suppose that’s because brainwashed people have difficulty with accepting the truth.

    lobsterRuddyDuck9
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited July 2016

    @ESZ123 said:
    Just that when Marpa approached Naropa, he rejected his gifts of gold in a move which he repeated three times after Marpa had journeyed from Tibet to India, somewhat arduously. Marpa persisted nonetheless and became his respected dharma heir and the next Kagyu Lineage Holder. Similarly, Marpa had Milarepa build his famous towers and then deconstruct them, much to his exhausted student's chagrin. Nevertheless, Milarepa succeeded Marpa in the same way as Marpa had succeeded Naropa. Gampopa succeeded Milarepa, after being consistently rejected as a disciple by Marpa. In a similar way, Milarepa sent Gampopa far away as a final gesture. However, as the story goes, he called Gampopa back as he reached the horizon. Apparently their last exchange consisted of Milarepa turning his back on Gampopa and lifting up his robes to reveal his wizzened, leathery arse. The Four Noble Truths hold: Life is Suffering, meditation is the Path. Perhaps I'm cherrypicking here, but this is my understanding nonetheless.

    I still don't quite get your insistent comparison. What, are you saying you fulfil the role of these tenacious Disciples?
    Forgive me for putting it this way, but - what makes you think you're so special?
    You seem very fixated on the fact that you're some kind of persistent saviour and it's your job to salvage something from all this crap?

    No, from outside perspectives, all of which you can read in this thread, sometimes, the stronger, braver and WISER thing (re: your term 'idiot' in the thread title) is actually to drop it all, walk away, Let Go, and Let Be.

    lobster
  • zenffzenff Veteran

    One issue here is of my samaya with my Guru, which is profound and shared by my wife and many of our friends. There is no "walking away" from that.

    Yes there is.
    Many people have gone through the painful process of leaving a group or an organization, or a cult if you like, which seemed to form the very essence of their identity. But they did it successfully and they re-invented who they are. They see the organization they were in with new eyes.

    You may need to have some deep conversations with your wife. You may lose some friends.
    Finding professional help could still be a good idea.

    lobsterSteve_B
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited July 2016

    @zenff said:> Many people have gone through the painful process of leaving a group or an organization, or a cult if you like, which seemed to form the very essence of their identity. But they did it successfully and they re-invented who they are. They see the organization they were in with new eyes.

    Yes, sometimes you just have to walk away from something. I remember a difficult time in the 1980s when I had to extricate myself from FWBO/Triratna, due to my concerns about their cultish tendencies ( see "FWBO Files" ). I'd become deeply involved in it, and literally had to build a new life when I came out.

  • possibilitiespossibilities PNW, WA State Veteran
    edited July 2016

    @ESZ123, your peace of mind has been destroyed and you are not helping yourself to regain it. Instead, you are trying to find a strategy to set things right. Is that really up to you?

    I too am struggling - and have been for the past 15 years - with a terrible wrong that I have endured and that I am helpless to correct. I have to let go or else it is going to make me bitter and will control my life. I don't want to be bitter. There are so many people out there who are not like the ones that have hurt me (<family no less!!). I have to cut my losses and move on. In our western ideology this would be construed as being the loser - I see it as taking the high road for the sake of sanity and dignity. So many people are in this position, yours is not unique.
    I am still dealing with the horrid mess, but have to think of my own well-being first. Seeking vengeance (in the guise of righteousness) FEELS wrong.

    I suggest you look inside and try to determine what feels right and good for you, now and in the future. What will give you peace and allow you to contnue on the path that you had chosen?

    I agree with others that the sangha does not sound like a place that actually follows the teachings of the Buddha. Don't you see that?

    Edited to add: This might be food for thought: Alan Watts, and the story of the Chinese Farmer:

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited July 2016

    @ESZ123 said: .... The Four Noble Truths hold: Life is Suffering, meditation is the Path. Perhaps I'm cherrypicking here, but this is my understanding nonetheless.

    Talking of "Cherrypicking", you summarise the 4NT as 'Life is suffering' and that 'Meditation is the Path'.

    You appear to cherrypick by omitting the WHY 'Life is Suffering'.

    It's suffering because we cling, grasp and choose to attach ourselves to factors and phenomena which are both impermanent and self-defeating.
    You DO see, don't you, that you are in fact perpetuating your OWN Suffering by persisting in your tenacious and relentless refusal to Let Go?

    I get that you've taken a step back from this thread, probably - or possibly - because you're not getting the feedback you want to hear, or the support you believe you deserve.
    But actually you are.
    You're getting it in spades.
    Perhaps you're digesting the food for thought we have laid before you.
    Either way, nothing here is going to change no matter how much you say black is white.

    Please don't think we are not embracing or welcoming you. Quite the opposite. I can assure you, that if we were the uncaring and callous bunch you have hitherto been used to, we wouldn't even be devoting the time to respond and support you.

    RuddyDuck9Steve_Blobster
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    As @zenff pointed out, I think the best approach is to focus on the relationships you wish to save. You are not only personally wrapped up in that sangha, but also have friends and family tied up in them. It's easy for people to advise you to leave, but the how is perhaps more difficult.

    You say you have had a conversation with your Guru. He is the authority in the sangha, if he refuses to acknowledge the seriousness of what happened to you and correct the behaviour of the other people involved - including potentially making changes to the leadership - then he is not truly aware of important matters in the sangha. If that avenue is closed, you really should consider leaving, for your own good, because the sangha lacks good governance.

    But I would make it really clear to those you consider friends how this all went down. Perhaps a long letter which you duplicate 20 times. It will take a lot of compassion to write that without violating Right Speech and causing divisive speech, but I think you should try, you owe it to them and yourself. I think that is in practical terms as close as you can come to addressing the issues.

    ESZ123personpossibilities
  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    @zenff said:
    You said you have been the victim of attempted murder in your Sangha.

    In my humble opinion that’s sufficient evidence that something is very wrong there.
    So get the hell out and find professional help in undoing the years of brainwashing you’ve been thru. The brainwashing that makes you say you cannot break the relationship with your Guru and that makes you come up with rubbish stories about Naropa and Marpa.

    This may not be what you want to hear; but I suppose that’s because brainwashed people have difficulty with accepting the truth.

    Tough love, OP!

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited July 2016

    I'm going to PAUSE this thread, until the OP drops me a Private Message and asks for it to be re-opened.
    I think it's pretty clear that we are of the same opinion, but it's a lot for the OP to take in and digest. It may have the effect of making him metaphorically sit back on his haunches and think a bit....
    In any case, thanks to all who contributed support and counsel So Far.

    @ESZ123 , please drop me a short PM to request re-opening the thread. We'd all love to know how to support you further, and walk with you on the path, with this one...

    lobsterRuddyDuck9
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited July 2016

    As @ESZ123 has 'touched base', as it were, I'm taking this opportunity to re-open the thread.
    Business as usual. And let's please stick to topic.

  • zenffzenff Veteran
    edited August 2016

    While I have approached my Guru on this directly, his response directed me to request the conflict resolution process…

    That doesn’t really sound as if he cares does it? Don’t you think that the Guru – if he had any real interest – would have been alarmed about attempted murder amongst his senior staff? Wasn’t his response alarmingly missing… compassion?

    RuddyDuck9
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited August 2016

    Grateful to @possibilities for sharing. Many thanks. Emotional investment takes time to heal. <3

    @ESZ123 I would like to hear the other side of the story. Who do we invite? Any other dissenting voicing or pro-centre voice?

    “Whenever exploitation, sexual abuse or money abuse happen,” the Dalai Lama says, “make them public”

    federicaTara1978personRuddyDuck9
  • Tara1978Tara1978 UK Veteran
    edited August 2016

    Stay strong @ESZ123, it is a tough path to follow when leaving a sangha means loosing friends and loved ones, but it is the only way and trust me when I say you will come through this a stronger, more contented person.

    I know from personal experience how it is to be part of a sangha/cult, those in authority will twist the teachings and manipulate vulnerable people in order to quieten those who question their authority. For me leaving meant ending my relationship, moving house and loosing many friends, but I can't tell you the sense of relief and freedom one feels by admitting the truth and moving on.

    Blessings to you.

    lobsterperson
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited August 2016

    @lobster said:
    Grateful to @possibilities for sharing. Many thanks. Emotional investment takes time to heal. <3

    @ESZ123 I would like to hear the other side of the story. Who do we invite? Any other dissenting voicing or pro-centre voice?

    “Whenever exploitation, sexual abuse or money abuse happen,” the Dalai Lama says, “make them public”

    Well, yes. The DL has said to go to the police. Attempted murder is a crime, a felony, in fact. Physical assaults are crimes. When women complain of sexual abuse in a sangha after the fact, the first thing people ask is, "Why didn't you report it to the police". Some people refuse to believe it unless it's documented via a police report.

    Why is there so much criminal activity in the sangha, and why does the guru tolerate it? What kind of a guru is that? I was going to ask about that earlier, but held my tongue. However. zenff's post has emboldened me. American Zen has certainly seen its share of crimes and gross misconduct in the sangha. By keeping silent, one is not only protecting the perpetrators, one is failing to stop a problem that could harm others in the future. This is why the Buddha said in a teaching, essentially, that remaining silent in the face of wrong-doing is "wrong speech".

    One of the problems here, though, is that a witness has refused to acknowledge witnessing one of the crimes, so an investigation by police might not get anywhere. Or maybe the police are smart enough to discern when there's a cover-up. Is there proof of the vehicular sabotage? Any corroboration for any of it?

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Mod. Note: Sad to say that after having shown up again, and 'lurked' for a while (during which time I'm sure the OP DID read the thread), he has since again left without further commenting, and not returned. So, again, I'm closing it up UNTIL SUCH A TIME AS HE MAY WISH TO COMMENT. I would add he did request account closure and deletion, which I frankly told him we don't do.
    Not sure a return visit is impending.

    Thanks, all.

    Swaroop
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Re-opened by OP request.
    Moderator notice: Please refrain from posting until they have had the opportunity to respond. Thanks, all.

  • ESZ123ESZ123 Explorer

    There's a litany of crimes been committed at this Centre in this case, and then covered up by the most senior Administrators. This medium is insufficient for a balanced presentation of those events, or even the consequent trauma suffered by a number of people. So I request the benefit of the doubt from the reader and temperance in jumping to conclusions, as with the basic tenet of buddhist enquiry.

    My basic question is whether I should go back to the Police or walk away silently. The Dalai Lama purportedly says go public, depending on how you interpret his alleged statements. With all due respect, I did not personally hear him say this and have not seen such a statement referenced anywhere. Others say just turn your back and let others suffer as they may, even though by not remaining silent I have effected the removal of two employees and an edited employment policy which now more explicitly discusses the need to report unethical behaviour.

    That rewrite predated the most senior administrator's recent use of slander to justify my breach of contract, so it is as weak as I predicted. It also predates the majority of the Organisation's silence which followed the Centre Director's broad call for help in making the Centre "safe" following the "threat to [my] life" and my flight from the country. So if anything, it speaks to a coverup of crime.

    Now, knowing that it is a crime to not report a crime, what is the Right View here, to use a bit of jargon? How do you justify walking away silently, knowing that you hold a volume of evidence which if further documented could continue to alleviate suffering and delusion?

    person
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @ESZ123 said:

    Now, knowing that it is a crime to not report a crime, what is the Right View here, to use a bit of jargon? How do you justify walking away silently, knowing that you hold a volume of evidence which if further documented could continue to alleviate suffering and delusion?

    You've answered your own question....

    SpinyNormandhammachickkarasti
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited August 2016

    I think the consensus of opinion has been, throughout the thread, for you to 'walk away silently'. Everyone has basically advised that. With much empathy and compassion, nobody has suggested you remain embroiled, or perpetuate your connection to this situation, one moment longer.
    There are certain Karmic shifts you can have absolutely no control over. The best thing is to follow the 5 precepts, and look at the first one, which states that you should do no harm. First and foremost, this is an indication to the practitioner themselves, and all others follow in line.

    You cannot for certain know that all the evidence you hold WILL "alleviate suffering and delusion".
    In fact, based on evidence hitherto, it will do little good, and may not be paid attention to.

    The best thing you can do, is as advised by everyone. Walk away. Without exception, this is the overwhelming advice from the overwhelming majority. I'm at a loss as to understand why you are continuing to ask the question, given the responses you've received already.

    I realise the situation is highly emotionally-charged for you.
    That's also what you need to practise detachment from.
    There's only so much flogging a dead horse will take.
    But bear in mind that Social/national Law has nothing to do with Buddhism.
    AT ALL.

    While you may wish to view this situation' from a Buddhist standpoint', Religion has no place when legal matters come into question.
    For example, you will find that when Moderating this site, The Admin/Moderation team do not base their actions on anything Buddhist. They base them on common-or-garden, basic, social-interaction etiquette, and the standards required by any socially-interactive group.

    You have to separate Buddhism from this, notwithstanding the sangha and its protagonists. THis isn't about Buddhism, it's about breaking the Law. And if you have failed to make any impact up to now, continuing on this quest is simply going to hurt you more than it will hurt them, and it will hurt you first.
    Work - under a Buddhist premise - on yourself, first, foremost and alone.
    With regard to the remainder, it pays to know when to quit.

    Cinorjer
  • ESZ123ESZ123 Explorer

    I'm asking the question because I have made an impact in doing so thus far. I have also been advised by a senior and highly decorated Police Officer that I should proceed to the region's Attorney General. As for temporal law and natural law (dhamma), I choose to be guided by the latter in everything.

  • ESZ123ESZ123 Explorer

    And as for the majority opinion, the Buddha jumped the Palace wall to challenge the majority view.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @ESZ123 said:
    I'm asking the question because I have made an impact in doing so thus far. I have also been advised by a senior and highly decorated Police Officer that I should proceed to the region's Attorney General. As for temporal law and natural law (dhamma), I choose to be guided by the latter in everything.

    That may be the case, but unfortunately the Statute books don't work that way. This is why there is a separation of Powers. Constitutional Law trumps religious law, every time. There is no reason why you should not practise Compassion and all that Buddhism teaches YOU. Bit don't expect that to hold any sway in a Court.

    @ESZ123 said:
    And as for the majority opinion, the Buddha jumped the Palace wall to challenge the majority view.

    Yes, but that was then; this is now. Times have moved on, and as The Buddha said:

    1. A fool who knows his foolishness is wise at least to that extent, but a fool who thinks himself wise is a fool indeed.

    2. Truly, an evil deed committed does not immediately bear fruit, like milk that does not turn sour all at once. But smoldering, it follows the fool like fire covered by ashes.

    You have to determine just how foolish this is getting to be.

    dhammachick
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @ESZ123 said:
    I'm asking the question because I have made an impact in doing so thus far. I have also been advised by a senior and highly decorated Police Officer that I should proceed to the region's Attorney General. As for temporal law and natural law (dhamma), I choose to be guided by the latter in everything.

    One thing you could try is writing down the choices available, and then listing the possible outcomes for each choice, and also the pros and cons.

    From everything you've said, I reckon the best choice for you is to just walk away from a destructive and untenable situation.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Shoshin said:

    @ESZ123 said:

    Now, knowing that it is a crime to not report a crime, what is the Right View here, to use a bit of jargon? How do you justify walking away silently, knowing that you hold a volume of evidence which if further documented could continue to alleviate suffering and delusion?

    You've answered your own question....

    Not only that:
    having stated -

    @ESZ123 said: I have also been advised by a senior and highly decorated Police Officer that I should proceed to the region's Attorney General.

    Why ask us?

    I fear the OP is persisting enough to hear what he wants to hear, and in the words of S&G, 'disregard the rest'.... :frown:

    dhammachick
  • ESZ123ESZ123 Explorer

    The question is about natural, not religious law. It concerns the Dharma, not doctrine. In my view, the Dharma applies to everything by definition. There is nothing it cannot neutralise.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @ESZ123 , let's ask this another way:

    How much good would it do for you to pursue this?

    To/for you and to/for others?

    What reasons can you think of (which outweigh anything else) that confirm you should NOT remove yourself from this?

  • ESZ123ESZ123 Explorer

    @federica I am here because I have been getting conflicting advice, and continue to experience that incidentally. If you find that troublesome, I am sorry. I cannot know the reason for that.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited August 2016

    It's not troublesome to me. That's what we're here for. But clearly, you are troubled, because you have a problem.

    I would suspect that conflicting advice has been to do with your own perception of the situation, vs. the logic and practical course to follow.

    You actually have a "Buddhist" view which conflicts with a "Legal" view. Give or take some assumption, how right am I? On balance, is that the crux of the matter?

    What is Right, Buddhist-wise, against what is right, legalese-wise?

«134
This discussion has been closed.