I just had an interesting talk with Bhante, that western Thailand monk guy. He said he listen to all of my videos and that in his opinion that I have had a very bad experience with Zen, have never meet any true practitioners or monks, and that I am in a crisis due to my health as well as spiritual questioning.
He said that in his opinion Zen is a broken wheel, that Zen from Japan got smashed decades ago, and what was brought over was only the ‘ideas of Zen’ but not actual practice, belief and faith.
So, why do we stop practicing…
Bad experiences, that is why.
Bad teachers, bad practitioners, bad people who look to make victims out of the congregation….
The first question you ask is: Is it me? Am I the one who is the bad-apple? Am I all fucked-up and backwards getting everything all wrong and upside down? Am I the one who is too corrupted, too tainted, too blemished to redeem?
The second question is the flip-side: is society sick? Have be lost our way, corrupted what is good and pure, to only now live in this cesspool that we call modernity?
Many might say that somewhere between the two lays the truth. I believe this is what the legionary Buddha found, the sermon of the Middle-way is a path that seems reasonable.
Bhante further went on to say that if all you have is bad experiences with Zen, of course you have lost faith in Practice – and you know what I mean by Practice. Sure, I do, it has nothing to do with Performance Arts or demonstrations. What he is talking about is genuine Faith and Belief.
Yes, he is right. If all I have ever meet was troubled people pretending to be Buddhist, bad teachers who’s egos and ambitions where taught rather than Buddhas Dharma, and of course angry and violent people who intentionally hurt others (spiritually or physically) to vent their own frustration and anger at God. In that, Yes one would lose faith that Buddha can save people, that the path is real, that the teachings are medication. One would see then that Buddhism perhaps is a fraud, only a device to lure people in and make victims out of them for selfish designs.
Of course Bhante said, ‘Come to Thailand, let me show you real practitioners and monks who have real faith.” He went on to say that the people there are not weak-minded as western Christians, only to go tot church as a social event to see and be seen. He said even western Theravada Buddhism is a shadow of what you find in Thailand.
The offer is tempting, though currently a trip to Thailand is not possible due to restrictions and medical issues. Yet I wonder, I ponder what I would find there.
I ponder if we here, in the United States/Canada could build a place for people to develop a true Belief and Faith. A place free of the ego and ambitions of bad teachers, the Zen Karate Club violence that has become modern Zen, and actually offer a good experience to people to encourage them to continue with REAL practice and to develop a deep faith in Buddhas Dharma.
Or, am I just delusional?