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February 12, 2013


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I haven't been around as long as the zennist, but I've been into this stuff for awhile (15 years). I've seen it happen with multiple Buddhist teachers, zen and non-zen. It used to bother me a lot. Now I just assume that all so-called dharma teachers are up to sexual shenanigans. They're NOT special superior people, although there is often pressure from institutions and students to portray themselves as such. It's a scandalous world. Just don't put people on a pedestal.


My friend would sit on Sasaki's lap every time she went into his room to try an answer her koan. He was like an old sweet Teddy bear. They were both consenting adults and that is as far as it went. No harm done to anyone. As for the other allegations, I make no judgements. I have to keep in mind that Sasaki took zero in the way of typical monk's vows.

Edict number 133 issued by the Meiji government in 1872 decreed that all Buddhist monks in Japan should be free to “eat meat, take wives, and shave their heads” as they chose. As early has the Heian period (794–1185) examples are found of Buddhist monks marrying. In fact, there has been hardly a period in Japanese history where Buddhist monks did not marry.

Let's be clear, "having sex like any Christian minister" is not the same thing as serially sexually assaulting your students. Sasaki is 105 and this will likely have no real impact on him. Eido Roshi, on the other hand, just sued his sangha in NYC for 2 million dollars for "firing" him two years ago, for doing exactly the same thing. This will be in the news for some time to come, as that lawsuit is worked out. Some of Sasaki's female students may well sue his followers for hushing his behavior up, too. Obviously this has nothing whatever to do with Nagarjuna.

Jure K.

Most of what the say about the Roshi is probably true. I know of one incident. But Japanese teachers don't take the vows of a monk. So they are just like normal dudes. They can drink and have sex like any Christian minister.


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