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New International Version (NIV): Since when did you become the big cheese who gets to tell us what to do? KJV [speaking very loudly]: Translations these days have no sense of history, no sense of tradition.
As for the jot and the tittle, that’s the dot on an i and the cross on the t, which are some of the smallest penstrokes in English. AV [speaking very loudly]: Translations these days have no sense of history, no sense of tradition. The book is at its weakest, perhaps unsurprisingly, when it hazards theoretical guesses as to why Zen teachers have this problem with their sexual appetites. What Oppenheimer clearly gets right, however, is the way in which power, charisma, and authority create an environment in which leaders (religious or otherwise) become “too big to fail.” Followers want the project – whether it’s Buddhism, Boeing, or the Boy Scouts – to succeed, and they hush up any accusation that might shine an unkind light. Perversely, the whole sad tale, and the publication of Zen Predator itself, might be good for American Buddhism. Giovanni Montuori, a graphic designer and illustrator from Genova, Italy, created flyers and posters for the Zero Festival 2010. But, you don’t just want to go like a typical tourist, and you don’t want to be restricted to a retreat. If you want to deepen your understanding of all things Eastern, without emptying your bank account or giving up creature comforts, what follows are great alternatives. Run by a pair of Western Indiaphiles, they strive to provide “very comfortable, exceedingly lovely accommodations” at reasonable prices.  Beyond the yoga classes and guided meditation that are included, you can learn a great deal from the tour leaders, who combined, have spent more than 40 years in India. Given the dedication of the Batchelders to service projects, and Amma’s worldwide charitable endeavors, tours include opportunities for travelers to do good deeds. If you want a thrilling spiritual and historical adventure, consider this 15-day journey that immerses you in the beauties of many religions.
If your work schedule doesn’t allow you to spend two full weeks in India, pick up on “Awesome North India,” joining them on day six. Ram Das describes, “Our time there will be blessed with visits to the ashrams of Ramana Maharshi and the living saint, Shivashakti Ma, and meditation in the caves on the holy mountain where Ramana Maharshi lived for many years. The journey continues to Madurai’s legendary Meenakshi Temple and Thirumalai Nayak Mahal palace, and the house where Ramana Maharshi attained Enlightenment. This tour, the first ten days of “Light of South India,” is highly focused on Hindu spirituality.
My son, The Message Remix, is competing in the X-Games, and I’m trying to watch on my phone. I talk a lot, say a lot of words, run my mouth when I get nervous, anxious, stressed, worried, so please ignore, deny, pay no attention to me. I think that by the time this dinner is over, we can predict the return of Christ to within 24 hours. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page.
The founder and leader of New York’s Zen Studies Society—among the largest Western Buddhist communities in America, with prominent CEOs and celebrities among its members—Shimano carried on clandestine affairs with over a dozen women in his community over the course of thirty years, according to Oppenheimer’s provocatively titled Zen Predator of the Upper East Side. Other Zen roshis with similar allegations against them include Richard Baker, Joshu Sasaki, Taizan Maezumi—the list goes on, really.


Indeed, one of the most fascinating passages in Zen Predator is when Oppenheimer himself meditates with Shimano, and feels proud that Shimano approves of him. For example, Oppenheimer misstates Zen teaching as holding that good and evil do not exist because everything is one.
Leading groups to India since 2009, Nirvana figured out the right balance of spirituality, tourism, culture, studies and even fun. Once you’ve received a deep understanding of the symbolism of the various aspects of Hinduism, your experience of India will be much richer, and your tour becomes a journey into inner awakening,” says Ram Das.
The trip begins and ends in New Delhi, for a visit to one of the largest and most beautiful Hindu temples in the world, a Sikh Gurudwara (temple), and one of the Bahai landmarks. Sites include the spot where Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment, and where he gave his first sermon. This tour focuses on the famous “Golden Triangle” of Jaipur, Agra and Delhi.  The Treasures of North India starts with the tantric temples in Khajuraho and then the colossal Taj Mahal. Located in a lush tropical region of Kerala, Amritapuri is home to a large community of people dedicated to Amma’s charitable service endeavors.
A great itinerary for dedicated seekers, but fine for beginners also, it is primarily in the south central and eastern region of the Indian subcontinent.
A perfect tour for spiritual beginners – and an ideal honeymoon vacation,” suggests Ram Das. Wallpaper and background images in the Bridget Regan club tagged: pretty confessor kahlan seeker bridget regan craig horner.
Thou goest hither and yon, getting makeovers every three years.  NIV, in the last ten years thou hast gotten plastic surgery and thou hast begun dressing like a metrosexual. Old Man James over there has more errors than Derek Jeter, and The Message is practically having a rave. I think if you would just let me speak, talk, hold forth a bit more, you would see that I have wonderful, extravagant, delightful ideas. I long for the good old days when a man protected his family with both the broadsword and the Bible.
Anyone who has been in the presence of a powerful boss, guru, or other father-figure knows how toxic this dynamic can be. While in Delhi, pray or meditate in the largest mosque in India, pay respects at a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi and relish the sounds and sights at Qutub Minar, the tallest brick minaret in the world. Next is the unforgettable Vrindavan, before finishing up with more tourist attractions in Delhi. This option focuses on some of the most beautiful temples in the south, set amid majestic natural beauty of the mountains and sea. Travelers will receive the blessings of the Goddess in the Amman Kumari Temple, and take a boat to the Vivekananda Rock Memorial. Not far away are pristine backwaters where trip-goers will relish a six-hour houseboat ride. It basically covers highlights of the southwestern quadrant of India, including special moments and learnings at Kanyakumari, the Kerala backwaters, Marari Beach, the gorgeous green hills of Munnar and special attractions at Fort Cochin.
First, all of his “victims,” if that’s even the right word, were adults; this was not a case of predation of teenagers, as in the Catholic Church.


Zen Predator often reads like a soap opera, complete with lurid emails, shady financial dealings, and betrayals. At Amma’s ashram, they will help prepare meals in the kitchen that serves as many as 2,000 people daily. All tours offer great opportunities to absorb knowledge about the spirituality, culture(s) and philosophy. But on the relative plane, Zen is this-worldly and does not deny ethics, or ontology for that matter. From the backwaters, guests spend a full day at the beach time before heading up to the “Himalayas of the south” in picturesque Munnar.
And while some sexual acts are alleged to have been coerced, most of Shimano’s reported liaisons were consensual—that is, if there can ever be consent within a power relationship such as that between guru and disciple, which perhaps there cannot.
Finally, while Shimano was married, it’s not known what his wife made of the allegations, or when she knew of them. Then there’s the matter of culture. Zen centers may be no better than churches, corporations, and congresses, but they are surely no worse.Oppenheimer also gets that philosophy quite wrong. Swinging back north and west, the tour ends in Cochin, the spice capital of India, and also site of a former Jewish Indian colony. Yet they did take place within a system of power and patriarchy that includes male sexual philandering within it. This assessment would come as news to most Buddhists, since the Buddha’s own awakening came only after he defeated Mara, the arch-demon of Buddhism who – like Satan in The Last Temptation of Christ – sought to tempt him with an array of challenges and tricks. To be sure, most Western Buddhists regard Mara (and other demons) as personifications of psychological states. This is neither to excuse his conduct nor make generalizations about other cultures – but it is to recognize that Western terms such as “sex offender” may not completely fit.But a Zen monk? We may have an image of Zen abbots as peaceful, enlightened, and sexually abstinent, but this simultaneously parochial and Orientalist image is our problem, not theirs. Likewise, most Westerners may believe that sex and spiritual teaching should be kept separate. But in what non-Judeo-Christian-Muslim book is that written?  Indeed, some of Shimano’s sexual partners regarded their physical intimacy with their teacher as part of their spiritual path.
We should be wary before projecting our own Western sex negativity on non-Western spiritual teachers.Of course, the Zen Studies Center didn’t advertise this in its brochures – and here, as Oppenheimer relates, the scandal is inescapable. Shimano wove a web of deceit around him, and his associates added layers of obfuscation and denial.
Whatever the sex may have been like for some of the women involved, the hypocrisy, secrecy, and lies are indisputable.



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