Thread: Surrender (to the teacher)

  1. #1

    Surrender (to the teacher)

    A new video from Soto Zen teacher Brad warner in which he talks about the idea of surrender to the guru/teacher. Well worth listening to. (13 minutes) Comments about what he said are welcome.





  2. #2
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    It was, 'Never give up. Never surrender', but he speaks a lot of sense as usual.

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    Interesting video, which makes a lot of sense, he does cover the type of people who are looking for a replacement parent and fall pray to cults, or cult like groups where the teacher is raised on a pedestal.

    He claims Zen is immune to this, as it is a definite no no, however, I can vaguely remember more than one such abuse scandal associated with zen.

    I would have prefered him to explain why he thought zen, and in my opinion, Buddhism should be immune to this kind of guru worship abuse.

    Why do so many respected, and some reasonably large Buddhist organisations fall into a cycle of abuse, followed by cover up and then the whole thing blowing up and bringing Buddhism into disrepute.

    Why do these organizations find it so difficult to put safegaurding the vulnerable before their own perceived self interest, I understand that it is not uncommon for such groups, when found out, to put the safegaurding into the exclusive hands of their own committee members and exclude the possibility of an external arbitrator or orginisation (http://services.ccpas.co.uk/speciali...guarding/about)

    I can see arguments about protecting their brand, however, we are talking about the Buddhist spiritual path, not a commercial organisation and so I would like to think would be held to a higher standard of behavior, however, I know of many Buddhist organisations some large, who are not dogged by these serial scandals, what makes the difference

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    I don't think he actually said Zen is immune to this. If he did, I missed it. I think his point was that we as students have an obligation to be true to ourselves and not accept abusive behavior. If one's gut says there is a problem with a teacher, there is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lisehull View Post
    I don't think he actually said Zen is immune to this. If he did, I missed it. I think his point was that we as students have an obligation to be true to ourselves and not accept abusive behavior. If one's gut says there is a problem with a teacher, there is.
    Hi Lisehull

    I think I was really talking about his assertion that if you followed the teachings of Zen then the situation would not arise, and I think you and Brad are right, if you follow the historical Buddha you will soon realise that the path is something you follow for yourself, with discrimination, I suspect the people involved in groups where this kind of abuse occurs would rather someone else took responsibility for their path and abdicate to a higher being (the guru) the way to proceed.

    I suspect if you are the type of person that is happy to do that, you are probably not the type of person who would be able to take Brad's advise.

    My question really is what if anything can we, who feel betrayed by these scandals, do to help prevent this kind of abuse.

    What can we learn from legitimate organisations whose interest is genuinely spreading the dhamma, not some perverse power play.

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