[Buddha-l] Review of a review

Franz Metcalf franz at mind2mind.net
Sat Jun 26 14:13:44 MDT 2010


Thank you for that extended reflection on war and Buddhism. I agreed  
with much of it and so won't comment on all that--agreement is so  
dull! And who wants to talk about your insight and courage in the face  
of delusion and collusion, anyway?

But I will ask you a pointed question: What do you think of the  
American Zen community's decades of non-examination of Yasutani  
Roshi's antisemitism? To me this seems a good example of what Tikhonov  
calls "see no evil" in his review. I could give other examples of this  
mentality, Buddha knows, but this one ties nicely to warfare. The  
failure of Zen practitioners, even supposedly awakened ones, to see  
this teacher's failure is not "systematic" in terms of Buddhist  
history, I acknowledge. Still, I think it does approach a kind of  
systematic and willful ignorance of Buddhist history/reality/dharma  
*as embodied in the teacher*. And that embodiment is the sine qua non  
of Zen, so such failures are central and disturbing.

But then I am a historian, not a philosopher.


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