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Reply to AZI's godos (teachers)
(final text)

This letter published at http: //www.butsudo.net / AZI/Docs/ToGodos1.htm contains a great number of links clarifying its contents.

Eleven so-called "godos" (AZI teachers) of the International Zen Association, founder Taisen Deshimaru, sent a letter dated September 1st, 1999 to numerous addressees, except the one that is named, in which they claim to answer the worrying questions about the AZI

This text is a translation from French. It links to some pages in French marked with (F). The author received requests to present this text for English readers and apologizes for this minor temporary inconvenience. The original text is at Réponse aux godo de l'AZI).  Please see the questions (F) which you may put to AZI teachers and heads of dojo on their transmission, practice and teachings. (Links marked with (F) refer to pages in French.)

Subjects of the letter   Situation in the AZI,   Mythology,   New questions,
Shiho from Deshimaru to Tamaki, Sawaki's dropping,   SasakawaErrors,   AZI discredits itself,   Buddha, Dharma and Sangha taken hostages,   No time to lose,  Appendix: contacts,  Notes.

 



Brussels 08 Nov. 1999 

For the attention of: Mrs. and MESSRS. the godos of the Gendronnière temple: Roland Rech, Michel Bovay, Raphaël Triet, Philippe Coupey, Olivier Wang Genh, Alain Liebmann, Jean-Pierre Faure, Pierre Crépon, Smedt's Evelyn, Guy Mercier, Katia Robel.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Your text dated September 1st 1999 was sent to me at the beginning of October after I required it from one of its authors, Mr. Faure. Although I appear as the addressee, it was not sent to me and I indeed only discovered this letter on September 25, 1999 on the "Bouddhisme" discussion list. Numerous persons on the other hand received it in copy. Here are my comments. Your text (italic) is the full text you sent me.

Sent from Gendronnière, on September 1, 1999.
Mister Pelayo,
It is very difficult for us to understand what motivates you in the aggressive doggedness with which you have set forth to discredit the AZI by using and diverting any information suiting your project.

[] The intention in my letters and in the public debate is to ask that the AZI's speech be in accordance with the reality and that clarifications be given on the situation of AZI, an organization of which I am a member. It concerns in particular AZI's situation regarding membership of the Soto Zen School and connections with Sotoshu (Soto School), since AZI claims belonging to the Soto tradition.

You will find in the appendix, for the record, the summary of my contacts with the leaders of the AZI and what motivated them. I note that you always ask for a motivation of the demands that are sent to you, while you on the other hand do not motivate your decisions, or your lack of specific answers to precise questions.

In brief I ask that a series of facts be established, that the AZI says what it does and does what it says.

Besides, I deeply regret the authoritarian and sectarian drift of the AZI. I invite you to remedy it because it is harmful not only to its members, but also for the reputation of Zen and Buddhism. For some years indeed, the AZI has been publicly claiming it is Buddhist, in particular on television. Nevertheless a number of its leaders voice the idea that AZI's Zen is not Buddhist.

What is it then that you find so difficult to understand here?

It is evident that you try to spread doubt by absolutely trying to darken the past of the AZI and of its founder Master Deshimaru.

[Up] To spread doubt is an expression which is a part of the coded language used within AZI. There also are injunctions not to "doubt" and the practice that consists in always dismissing those that criticize with remarks on their ego, by indicating that its dysfunction would be the source of the criticism. These methods pertain to "mind control " (1) evoked in Ralf Halfmann's report. Mr. Halfmann is the former head of the AZI dojo in Bonn.

It is correct to say that I dispute the mythology that you created. You claim for example that Deshimaru "brought Zen (F) in the West" in contradiction with history (2). Zen has been taught and practiced in the United States since the beginning of the twentieth century. In Europe the arrival of various Zen traditions began in the 1950's with Karlfried Graf Durckheim. Christian monks and priests including Enomiya Lassalle also contributed to bringing the practice of zen meditation in Europe. Today the Soto Zen, Vietnamese Zen represented by Thich Nhat Hahn, Rinzai Zen, Korean Zen (Son), various forms of ch'an and Sanbo Kyodan Zen are also present on our continent. (2)

For that reason, the notion of "True Zen" (F) that you claim to possess, notably on your Internet site, is particularly revealing of a sectarian way of presenting Zen. It is also an indisputable fact that zazen (sitting zen) is practiced by all the schools stemming from the ch'an tradition and is therefore by no means the AZI's monopoly.

You claim belonging to Soto Zen but say no word of Ryotan Tokuda's (Kaikyoshi for Europe) and Fumon Nakagawa's presence, as well as that of your fellow disciples (F) who did finish their monk curriculum with other zen masters in Japan: Denis Robert, Francisco Villalba, Fausto Guareschi and Ludger Tenbreul. These monks are official teachers of Sotoshu, the Japanese Soto School (kaikyoshis or dendokyoshis). What are your relations with these representatives of the Soto School? Could you conceive to invite these teachers to lead sesshins or zazen days in the AZI dojos?

You present Deshimaru as Kodo Sawaki's successor (F), although Sawaki had very important disciples in Japan and Uchiyama became his successor at his temple, Antaji. As a matter of fact Kodo Sawaki did not give dempo, dharma transmission (shiho) to Deshimaru. At the moment of his death in 1982, Deshimaru had not appointed a successor among his followers of European origin.

According to Mr. Rech (phone conversation, July 1999) it was not conceivable that Deshimaru's succession should be overtaken by the Japanese monk Horyu Tamaki to whom Deshimaru had given the shiho, a "family secret" overshadowed until July 1999. Three successors, Roland Rech, Stéphane Thibaut (pushed aside in 1995, according to his letter of dismissal) and Etienne Zeissler (deceased) were co-opted among the elder European followers.

In the same way as Deshimaru had no monastic training, none of the signers of your letter, the teachers of the AZI called godos, pursued and ended Zen training in Japan. Thus there is no Minister of cults in the AZI. Nevertheless, Sotoshu aware of the difficulties encountered, created special training courses for foreigners called "tokubetsu sesshin", which were attended by some former disciples of Deshimaru's (F), who are, since and without exception, outside the AZI.

 

Here are some clarifications:

[]  Frankly, your answer only gives vague and partial answers to specific questions and arouses more questions than it brings answers. You totally evade the following questions.

1) When will the Committee of the AZI be elected according to truly democratic modalities (cf. Halfmann Report, the Committee)?

Who is the AZI? You? The Committee? The members? Who possesses AZI's patrimony?

How do you justify Olivier Wang-Genh's "temple" financing based on levies imposed on the dojos of the Southwest of Germany? Who owns this "temple"? Why was one of the heads of Heidelberg's AZI dojo expelled from the dojo? Were there other reasons than his questioning of the opportunity of this financing?

2) Why do you give instructions to your "heads of dojos" not to let criticism set in (Guy Mercier's 1998 letter to the heads of dojos, Mr. Mercier being one of the signers of your letter)? Is it not possible to organize an open debate, allowing for criticism in the dojos of the AZI?

Why do you expel or do you let expel (F) those that ask the questions that I put here, question the doubtful financing procedures or organize sesshins with Stéphane Thibaut?

3) You say Gendronnière is a temple. Can you present a valid Soto temple certificate? You know that some rules must be respected: an abbot is needed for example, as head of temple. Please refer to the Sotoshu Statutes.

Are the lineages indicated on the family trees of the transmission of the dharma (ketsumyaku) correct? How can Deshimaru and Sawaki appear there since the ligneage of the transmission of the dharma does not pass through them?

4) What are you doing to remedy the sectarian drift of the AZI confirmed by the listing of the International Zen Association (IZA) on Steve Hassan's list of "cults and groups of concern" on Freedom of Mind? In your letter, some modalities of mind control (1) appear, emotional or resulting from the use of coded language intended to terminate any reflection.

5) Why are beginners not clearly informed about AZI's situation in terms of religious affiliation, about your exclusive use of Deshimaru's teachings and about what AZI monks really are, i.e. laymen with jobs and ordinary lives in society, with the exception of some so-called "permanents" staying at the Gendronnière?

6) How do you justify AZI's control through the UBF, an organization whose list of members is not communicated, on the programming of the television broadcast "Voix Bouddhistes" (Buddhist Voices) on France 2? How do you explain that AZI, 2.000 members and 8.000 practitioners according to your figures, obtains about 25 % of the airtime of the only Buddhist TV broadcast, when there is an estimated 650.000 Buddhists in France?

I return to the details about which your letter attempts to set the record straight in its own way:

Horyu Tamaki never received Master Deshimaru's transmission. In order to put him on an equal footing with the other Japanese monks who followed him in France, Master Deshimaru gave him a formal shiho which he took back some weeks later, because of bad behavior. The certificates of this shiho are in our ownership at the temple of Gendronnière.

[] On the question of shihos generally, I kindly request you to publish a statement to all members of the AZI and not only to the heads of dojos, clarifying the value of shihos and the exact situation of the Sawaki-Deshimaru transmission.

The AZI's answer voiced by Roland Rech consisted first in denying that Deshimaru had passed on the shiho to Tamaki. Later, because of the confrontation with easily verifiable information, Mr. Rech admitted, during a secret meeting open only to the heads of dojo in July 1999, that this shiho had indeed been given. In your letter, while you recognize that this shiho was transmitted, you try to minimize its importance by presenting it as a shiho which is not a transmission.

You also create the distinction between what you dub a "formal shiho" (?) and a shiho, which is a pure invention intended to weaken the impact of your recognition of a shiho that was hidden with care during years. Nevertheless, Horyu Tamaki was Deshimaru's pupil AND received his shiho.

On the other hand, Roland Rech, Michel Bovay and Raphaël Triet received their shihos from Japanese masters who were not their personal master and whom they hardly knew. This does not prevent you from speaking of "menju" in this respect (cf. Dogen's Shobogenzo, Menju) nor to present Roland Rech's shiho as a recognition of succession to Taisen Deshimaru.

The Soto school's doctrine concerning dempo (shiho) was modified in 1703 at the instigation of Manzan Dohaku and in 1875. Today, the shiho is not any more a certification of enlightenment but only one of the first stages of the Soto monks curriculum. It is normally conferred three years after the ordination. Non-enlightened disciples may inherit dharma ligneages and some 90.000 Japanese monks have received shiho. (3)

This does not prevent you from letting understand that shihos given to AZI godos constitute a recognition of mastery. According to Roland Rech, (phone conversation, in July 1999) they would by nature be different from those given in Japan. Michel Bovay explains for example that shihos are "valid through each individuals itinerary" (F).

The AZI which is proud of teaching "True Zen", does not hesitate neither to run the risk of over-extending itself by both slandering the Japanese Soto Zen, presenting it as "degenerated", and at the same time looking for its confirmation through (formal?) shihos conferred by its representatives.

Is this coherent? You will certainly understand that your presentation of the situation on this point invites questioning and doubting the validity of your comments.

There has never been any financing of Master Deshimaru by Sasakawa. The only meetings with Master Deshimaru were visits of diplomatic order, which Japanese visiting Paris often paid him.
As regards Michel Bovay's conference given at La Gendronnière, it was not Sasakawa but Mr. Yamada who had come to participate in the creation of a Zen center, that did not succeed. The money that he left was simply a little fuse (donation) which is customary when visiting a temple according to the Japanese tradition.

[]  According to the testimonies I received, Deshimaru had Sasakawa's photo on his night table and Sasakawa would have financed the beginnings of Deshimaru's mission. According to testimonies, Michel Bovay did explain how Deshimaru would have forced Sasakawa's hand and obtained 1.4 million French francs intended to finance the purchase of "La Gendronnière".

Sasakawa was classified as a class A war criminal (most serious crimes). Will you agree that the "diplomatic visits" of this Japanese billionaire to a simple monk can be explained by an old friendship within the Japanese ultra-nationalist circles? General Mazaki was another war criminal and a friend of Deshimaru's. Deshimaru himself mentions in his autobiography that at the end of the war his relation with Mazaki with regard to Zen practice was a real koan, without explaining how this koan was solved.

Master Deshimaru (martial arts or not) was declared unfit for army service due to his shortsightedness.

I take note of that.

After Master Deshimaru's death, the AZI kept the real estates of La Gendronnière and Avallon and liquid assets were distributed legally and fairly among the Deshimaru heirs.

Is it correct that "legally" makes reference to a rather delicate procedure of distribution of the inheritance between the AZI and the Deshimaru family's heirs? What about the "Deshimaru war treasure"? Are Stéphane Thibaut's criticisms on the waste of AZI funds justified?

From 1946 till 1965, Master Deshimaru resumed his professional activities in Japan to meet the necessities of his family, while continuing the practice of zazen. Upon his arrival in France in 1967, what mattered for his disciples was the great Zen monk he had become and the invaluable teachings he passed on.

A less advantageous but more well-balanced presentation would be for you to also say: Deshimaru was ordained as a monk in 1965 at the age of 51 years, an immoderate alcohol drinker and the father of four children, two of them illegitimate. He was also connected to ultra-nationalist circles. We, his disciples, consider he was a great monk when he arrived in France in 1967, although he did not follow a monk's training and he did not receive Kodo Sawaki's transmission (shiho). Numerous testimonies, among which that of Stéphane Thibaut, relate Deshimaru had authoritarian and manipulative sides. But, Taisen Deshimaru also said quite honesty: "do not imitate my bad sides".

Our president did answer your letter of April 19, from the point of view of the Dharma, but you do not want to take it into account. Apparently, the Dharma interests you little, and you'd rather look for dirt where it does not exist.

This last assertion is an impolite, peremptory and false projection. Mr. Bovay's answer (F) ordered me not to ask questions anymore by resorting to an out of place quotation of the Buddha. It was entitled "Last letter to Pelayo" and did not answer the questions any more than this letter of the godos.

You go to war against everybody: at first the Brussels dojo, then the AZB, then the AZI and now Master Deshimaru, without counting those you threatened to sue. Kodo Sawaki liked using this image of a man who, having a dropping on his nose, says "Oh, it surely stinks here!" everywhere he goes.

[] Is your world reduced to the AZI, its dojos, its Belgian satellite (AZB) and Deshimaru? "To go to war" seems a rather caricatural expression. It is naturally easier to laugh at or to slander through attacks ad hominem than to answer in a poised, specific and argued way. Charging your contradictors with accusations is now a well-established tactic of yours, isn't it?

See appendix contacts taken since October 1998.

I never threatened to sue anyone nominally. Your assertion is a lie. Roland Rech forbade me to participate in his sesshins (retreats) if I did not promise that I would not sue AZI. It is clear that I shall not make any promise restricting my rights as a citizen.

It is exact that I declared that I will sue if necessary and that libel is punished by penal sanctions. Mrs. Nicole de Merkline (a member of the Brussels' dojo Committee) declared that "the letter that I sent to practitioners is libel". This sentence appears in the report from the "conciliation" meeting of February 13, 1999. Mr. Bovay asserts in his letter of April 1st, 1999 that Ralf Halfmann defames the AZI. Would you be able to defend these assertions in front of a court?

Tell us, how do you cope with your errors (voluntary or not)?

[]  Is this an attempt at finding errors from my side while recognizing yours?

You declare yourself appointed by the AZB in your request of information against the AZI, while this is false.

What exactly is a "request of information against the AZI"? I've only asked questions to which I would like to have your answers.

What you state is only Konrad Maquestieau's version, President of the AZB. He told me aside while the debate was going on during the AZB General assembly on April 17, 1999 that questions would be put to Mr. Rech during the Belgian May sesshin and that meanwhile, I could send a letter to Mr. Rech with the questions aired at this meeting. I asked him if I could do that in the name of the General assembly of the AZB. He answered yes, adding that these questions would be put to Mr. Rech in May anyway.

The credibility of Mr. Maquestieau would be larger if decisions written down in the report of the AZB General assembly of April 17, 1999 were carried out. It was decided to organize a conciliation between Mrs. Rolin (head of the Brussels AZI dojo) and me together with a mediator. The General Assembly also decided that a study group should draw up a project of reforms for the AZB with the cooperation of two non-members of the committee, one of them being myself. These decisions have not been implemented. Konrad Maquestieau hangs up the telephone when I call him.

You say that your letter of April 19 was not answered although it has been done.

This is false. I said or wrote that the AZI did not answer the questions I put or that answers to these questions were awaited. As a matter of fact, Mr. Bovay's first letter dodges questions. His second letter (F) is a sermon.

You quote persons on your list (Butsudo) without their authorization.

Who are these persons and since when is it necessary to ask for an authorization to report somebody's comments, in particular when this person has a public role? Where is the error?

You misquote Master R. Rech, notably when mentioning the absence of validity of ordinations, while he only said they were not registered with Sotoshu Shumucho, which does not take away anything in their validity.

"Notably" implies that I misquoted several comments. I would be grateful if you could mention precisely which.

The question of the validity of ordinations is put in the more general context of a demand for coherence. If you maintain that your ordinations are valid, it will be necessary to admit that you constitute a new school because the ordinations of the AZI are not registered by Sotoshu, a fact which was recognized Mr. Rech.

This is due amongst other things to the fact that no one in the AZI has quality to confer ordinations according to the Sotoshu's rules. Thus you have to assume the consequences of your refusal to bring your training to an end in Japan: you are not Zen priests of a recognized school, you can not ordain anyone as a Soto monk.

My opinion is that the AZI is in a breakaway situation regarding the Soto school (F) and that it does not represent an authentic tradition (F). This situation is nevertheless reformable and I hope sincerely that appropriate solutions will be found, for example by establishing closer ties with Sotoshu and by AZI godos (teachers) finishing their Soto training.

Etc., etc.

Etc. etc. does not bring forward a valid argument. It is an insinuation that there would be other "errors". In view of the previous paragraphs, "etc" seems rather lightweight.

For Buddha, one of the most serious faults was to depreciate the Dharma and sow doubt in the sangha. Therefore you should think about the consequences of your acts and keep in mind the spirit of your commitment as a monk.

[]  Who depreciates the AZI? The one that raises the questions or those that created the situation of hidden truths, authoritarianism, abuse of power and breakaway from Sotoshu (F)? As you know I base the morality of my action, which consists in publicly denouncing what you did not want to settle internally, on the "Letter to the Buddhist Community".

This letter, signed by 22 Western Buddhist teachers following a seminar with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1993, deals in particular with the attitude to adopt with people claiming they teach Buddhism, but disregard Buddhist ethic precepts despite their pupils' warnings. The letter recommends to publicly denounce such abuses. A follow-up to this seminar will take place in the United States in 2000.

Your teachings amount to "Zen is zazen", and according to what is spread out in AZI dojos, these teachings would allegedly be beyond Buddhism. In the letter to the heads of dojo already quoted, Mr. Mercier reminds that the teachings given by people in charge of dojos and zazen shall consist "in reading kusen [talk during meditation] by Deshimaru or the godos".

In such "kusen" and other AZI publications one can learn that zazen would be the source of all religions and would allow to save humanity. According to Mr. Rech, Buddhism is not incompatible with the idea of a creator God (4) and according to Taisen Deshimaru, Dogen was not a Buddhist (5). Since those are your teachings, the only ones taught at AZI, I hardly see how I would have been able to criticize the Buddha's Dharma by criticizing the aforementioned teachings.. Since those are your teachings, the only ones taught at AZI, I hardly see how I would have been able to criticize the Buddha's Dharma by criticizing the aforementioned teachings.. Since those are your teachings, the only ones taught at AZI, I hardly see how I would have been able to criticize the Buddha's Dharma by criticizing the aforementioned teachings.. Since those are your teachings, the only ones taught at AZI, I hardly see how I would have been able to criticize the Buddha's Dharma by criticizing the aforementioned teachings.

Therefore it is not justified to say that I depreciate the Dharma when speaking about your teachings. Is it not time that you stop taking the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha as hostages of your acts and words and that you put your act together?

We do not wish to maintain a correspondence with you because we do not have time to waste.

[] Please allow me to think that you do not wish to answer your members' legitimate questions because they embarrass you. It is undoubtedly not easy to justify the abuses, fabrication of myths and doctrinal confusions mentioned above. Nevertheless, according to Article 12 of the AZI statutes (F), the President is accountable to his members.

There are better ways for us all to help others. It does not seem to be your case, we regret it and can only feel compassion for you, and we pray for the peace of your spirit.

One more projection which casts a serious doubt on your claims to mastery. I feel that your mentioning of compassion clashes with the rest of your speech. Thank you nevertheless for your prayers, which I hope will also contribute to your peace of mind.

It is regrettable that you have so little consideration for those who, having put their faith in you as Masters and/or heads of a religious association, were excluded from your dojos and from your associations as well as all those that do not manage to understand why you do not tell them the truth.

Do you conceive that some of them can be shaken in their faith and their practice? May I ask you to also let them benefit from your prayers and compassion?

The godo (teachers) of the temple of Gendronnière:
Roland Rech, Michel Bovay, Raphaël Triet, Philippe Coupey, Olivier Wang Genh, Alain Liebmann, Jean-Pierre Faure, Pierre Crépon, Smedt's Evelyn, Guy Haberdasher, Katia Robel.
 
P.S. We naturally ask to you to publish this letter on your sites in its entirety.

This order, without any mark of courtesy, will be respected to contribute to dissipate doubts, since I understand you are dedicated opponents of doubts.

Best regards,

Jean-Charles Pelayo

 

Appendix: contacts 
with the leaders of the Brussels AZI dojo, the AZB and the AZI

[]  

1) My first letters followed the elections irregularly organized at the AZB (Zen Association of Belgium, antenna of the AZI) in October 1998. I asked for your intercession because of Mrs. Rolin's (head of the Brussels AZI dojo) abuse of power.

Without ever communicating with me directly, Mrs. Rolin indeed subjected me during the Fall of 1998 to several weeks' harassment, after my direct questioning by mail on the situation at AZB. She obtained that I would not be allowed any more to participate in the beginners first contact session, that I get notified "to close" the Belgian Buddhist Union's internet site that I had created as a courtesy with the agreement of its President and finally my eviction from the Brussels AZI dojo. Mrs. Rolin also spread the senseless rumour that I would have threatened her with death.

It is in absentia that my eviction (F) from the Brussels AZI dojo was decided. It was motivated with lies on the basis of Mrs. Rolin's testimony only. This has been acknowledged by Mr. Rech. At least one of the members of the Brussels AZI dojo Committee voted my eviction without being capable of identifying me.

Besides, I was insulted orally by a member of the Brussels AZI dojo Committee who carries the title of dendoshi. I was repeatedly called a liar or cheat and accused of slander by your as well as Deshimaru's "followers", orally as well as in writing.

2) None of my interventions with the Brussels dojo, the AZB or the AZI ended in a rectification although I sent some ten letters, faxes and E-mails as well as five copies of a file of more than twenty pages to Messrs. Rech and Bovay, with a copy to the AZI (International Zen Association) between October 1998 and December 1999. The AZI "bureau" first dealt with these issues in November 1998.

In February 1999, my reintegration in the Brussels AZI dojo was proposed. Mr. Rech and Mr. Bovay had indeed, according to J.P. Faure, given instructions to Mrs. Rolin to reintegrate me, but she invented the precondition that I first should recognize that I had not respected the dojo rules. I still have the hope that you will recognize that this condition creates an inadmissible "double bind" in complete disregard of basic lay precepts by a person who claims to teach zen and enjoys a head of dojo's prerogatives.

3) This case and the situation in AZI have been discussed on the "Butsudo" E-mail discussion list since March 1999. This list focuses on Zen Buddhism and, by extension, on the AZI. Messages exchanged on Butsudo were partially followed by Mr. Rech and Mrs. Maïté X. from the Paris AZI dojo. You certainly know that my points of view are shared by numerous contributors, witnesses, academics, psychiatrists and observers and that the publication on September 25 of your letter that I comment here aroused unopposed indignation.

Thanks to the messages exchanged on Butsudo, I was able to notice that evictions and abuse of power were not an isolated case but corresponded to an usual modality of functioning of the International Zen Association (AZI). This is also apparent in the "Letter to heads of dojos" drawn up for the AZI by Mr. Guy Mercier.

4) You complain that the sites "Butsudo" and "Buddhist practice in Belgium", as well as the archives of the Butsudo list which are only accessible to members, contain texts and comments on these questions.

As I said several times on the telephone and verbally to MESSRS. Rech, Bovay, Faure and Maquestieau, it is because the AZI leaders do not wish to engage in a dialogue, which they clearly indicate in their letter of September 1st, 1999, that I chose to publish information and questions in order to provide evidence on the functioning of your associations, to warn the public and to ask for reforms.

 

Notes

[]  

(1) Cf. Steve Hassan's book "Combating Cult Mind Control" and the criteria that he develops there. (Return)

(2) See the bibliography on the history of Zen in the West (Return)

The AZI goes beyond the mere claim to "true zen" 

 

 " governments, philosophies, modern education, old or new religions make a mistake .../ we who know Hishiryo are the only ones to have the distance and wisdom necessary to clearly see the errors of our time and to formulate the principles which allow to transform it. " It is necessary to find a new principle for humanity. Our group can do that, because you really come back to the normal condition " ". 

Quotations extracted from AZI's bulletin " Zen "  n° 37, 1st 1982, article " 1982 year of the non-fear " p. 1. In the same issue, p. 20, appears a honors list (classification) of the followers by categories (Diamond, Golden A, Golden B, Golden C, Blue A, B and C, category men and category women). The publishing of this ranking classification was always very much awaited.

(3) Shiho: Cf. Bodiford, "Dharma transmission in Soto Zen: Dohaku's Manzan reform movement" in "Monumenta Nipponica", Volume 46, number 4, winter 1991 and Kenneth Kraft, "Zen tradition and Transformation" (Return)

(4) In AZI's bulletin "Zen" (no 70 / on 1995), Roland Rech wrote about the Pope's book "Enter Hope" (1994):

"Buddhism is not atheist. It does not deny God as creator of the universe, it leaves each one absolutely free in his beliefs on this topic, holding itself away from the assertion as from the negation".

For an analysis of Roland Rech's point of view with regard to the criteria of definition of a Buddhist doctrine, apply the seals of Dharma (impermanence, suffering, selflessness, nirvana).

The following article by Jérome Ducor, "Methodes de l'exégèse bouddhiste" at http://www.villege.ch/musinfo/ethg/ducor/cpe2 .htm also deals with this issue. (Return)

(5) Maître Deshimaru, enseignement oral, édition intégrale, Tome 7, "Le zen de Dôgen, neuf textes" p. 47 (Master Deshimaru, oral teachings, complete edition, Volume 7, "Dôgen's Zen, nine texts" p. 47)

"Dôgen's religion differs from Buddhism and from all religions according to which God and we are completely different, separated and in duality. They are relative. Certainly they are not identical; but Dôgen thought that after all, at the level of satori, they are not different. Why? In satori there is no substance, ku. Ku soku ze shiki. From nothing, ku, phenomena appear. There is no noumenon, no substance. Buddha has no substance. Sentient beings have no substance. So in the end they are similar. Buddha can become a sentient being. Everything becomes Buddha. When sentient beings do zazen, they are Buddha. Sometimes Buddha drinks too much alcohol…" (Return to the text)

 

Created 99-11-07    Last update:17 Mar 2004