Lost a teacher due to sexual misconduct

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ivory, modified 2 Years ago.

Lost a teacher due to sexual misconduct

Posts: 199 Join Date: 9/11/14 Recent Posts
Sigh, it saddens me to say that my meditation teacher was recently asked to resign due to sexual misconduct allegations. Apparently the board voted unanimously to relieve him of his position after a thorough investigation from a third party. I'm a bit disappointed because I felt he was very experienced, wise, and articulate. The thing I won't miss is that he was a bit of a dick and, in my opinion, often times too dark. I guess there are tradeoffs.

Oddly, this is the second time this has happened to me in three years. Both were in the Zen tradition (American Zen). The first one was pretty serious. The teacher was a clinical psychologist and in addition to being relieved of his position as a teacher, he lost his license to do therapy with clients.

It's been a struggle finding a teacher that I resonate with, and while I do think this path can be walked alone, having an experienced teacher is like a godsend. Anyways, suffice it to say that I'm back on the forum and I look forward to engaging with you guys.
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Mista Tibbs, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Lost a teacher due to sexual misconduct

Posts: 81 Join Date: 8/17/18 Recent Posts
That's tough but why does it sadden you? I look around and see everyone as a teacher. In your life do you surround yourself with others that meditate, that you can have open discussions with? It's no doubt much more fruitful face to face.
emoticon Proverbs 27:17, "iron sharpens iron..."
If you believe your "truth" to be the "truth" than you would have no issue debating it! Even if you don't learn anything, you're still refining your own ability... and I like to nitpick other's practices in order to find anything I can add to my own arsenal. 
The path that worked for the buddha worked for him because he created it. The buddha walked across the land and allegedly attended eighteen hundred different schools for doing eighteen hundred different methods. 
Be like a sponge that indiscriminately soaks up all information just to pick and choose to build on your own philosophy. You never know how knowledgeable a person is
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ivory, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Lost a teacher due to sexual misconduct

Posts: 199 Join Date: 9/11/14 Recent Posts
Mista Tibbs:
That's tough but why does it sadden you? I look around and see everyone as a teacher. In your life do you surround yourself with others that meditate, that you can have open discussions with? It's no doubt much more fruitful face to face.

It's helpful to surround myself with others but a teacher can really save you months or even years of trial and error.
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Mista Tibbs, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Lost a teacher due to sexual misconduct

Posts: 81 Join Date: 8/17/18 Recent Posts
ivory:
Mista Tibbs:
That's tough but why does it sadden you? I look around and see everyone as a teacher. In your life do you surround yourself with others that meditate, that you can have open discussions with? It's no doubt much more fruitful face to face.

It's helpful to surround myself with others but a teacher can really save you months or even years of trial and error.

For what reason are you in such haste for and what are you rushing towards?
Would you climb a ladder with stakes placed at stretching lengths? that is too risky. How one person interprets a state is through their own examination. A teacher is just a master of their own perspective. Progress has no location, it just happens. If you are prepared to learn then just sit, that volition is enough. Lemme tell you a story that was inspired by an enlightened being.

You are just a life. So you want to understand life.
So you go, sit in front of your kindergarten teacher. Do you know how knowledgeable this person is...? You don't.
But this person knows the ABC's and you don't.
So you learn the alphabet. With this understanding of the scripture, do you know life? No.
So you go to the university to meet with your college professor. Do you know how knowledgeable this person is...? No.
All you know is that they know the X,Y,Z's and you don't. 
So they give you the equations, and now you can formulate the spiral of this galaxy.
With this do you understand life? Still, you don't.
So you go on your retreat and listen...
Well, this yogi is saying it is this form, but the other guru tells you no no, its like this...
oh, If only there was such a way to ask just a life

Trial and error means learning through your own experience. It is the most efficient way to learn. Be your own teacher and fill in every single gap yourself. You'll cherish those months and years..
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Kim Katami, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Lost a teacher due to sexual misconduct

Posts: 700 Join Date: 2/5/13 Recent Posts
Hi Ivory.

Oh, that's heavy, sorry to hear that. Hope you find a good teacher swiftly!

If you don't mind, who are these two zen teachers?
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Griffin, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Lost a teacher due to sexual misconduct

Posts: 181 Join Date: 4/7/18 Recent Posts
ivory:
Sigh, it saddens me to say that my meditation teacher was recently asked to resign due to sexual misconduct allegations. Apparently the board voted unanimously to relieve him of his position after a thorough investigation from a third party. I'm a bit disappointed because I felt he was very experienced, wise, and articulate.

I am the only one getting the feeling of déjà vu? emoticon
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Kim Katami, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Lost a teacher due to sexual misconduct

Posts: 700 Join Date: 2/5/13 Recent Posts
ivory:
Sigh, it saddens me to say that my meditation teacher was recently asked to resign due to sexual misconduct allegations. Apparently the board voted unanimously to relieve him of his position after a thorough investigation from a third party. I'm a bit disappointed because I felt he was very experienced, wise, and articulate. The thing I won't miss is that he was a bit of a dick and, in my opinion, often times too dark. I guess there are tradeoffs.
I don't know the specs of this case but if you like the teacher, despite of him being a dick, why don't you ask him if he still could teach? Just because he was fired by the board doesn't make his valuable knowhow disappear. If he is up for it maybe you can still train with him. Also, we can and should learn from other's mistakes.
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Jim Smith, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Lost a teacher due to sexual misconduct

Posts: 1030 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
I agree with Kim.

Why do you have to stop studying with your teacher? Doesn't he have e-mail or a telephone? Surely you can reach him by mail?

Other people have taught Zen through the mail:

https://selfdefinition.org/zen/Seung-Sahn-Only-Don't-Know-selected-letters.pdf
ONLY DON'T KNOW
SELECTED TEACHING LETTERS OF
ZEN MASTER SEUNG SAHN
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ivory, modified 2 Years ago.

RE: Lost a teacher due to sexual misconduct

Posts: 199 Join Date: 9/11/14 Recent Posts
Thanks guys, I never thought to reach out to him. I will give it a shot.

As for revealing the identities of my teachers, I'd rather not.

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