The Shimano Archive
嶋野 栄道 老師 アーカイブ

Eido Roku™ - 栄道錄 The sayings and doings of Eido Shimano – 島野栄道の言葉と行動

The "What's New?" Page - 新情報索引。

This is a collection of the most recent archive additions, modifications, and amendments for existing documents, in the shimanoarchive. This is only a simple courtesy listing of the most recent additions and changes to the main database arranged sequentially with the most recently added and modified entries first. This is an ancillary work to the main archive and may not be as complete, timely or as accurate as the main database. This "What's New?" index was initiated on April 14, 2011 in response to popular demand to enable people to easily find the newest entries in the shimanoarchive.

Names and identifying information of certain individuals have been redacted on this site for privacy.

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Comment by Genjo Marinello
posted to Zen Forum International
November 23, 2015

"One of the most interesting revelations coming out of this event is Eido Shimano admitting, apologizing for and warmly remembering his past affair with the current abbot and Roshi of DBZ and the Zen Studies Society, Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat. Shinge was hand selected to be the next abbot by Eido Shimano and now I better understand why. Shinge has repeatedly denied that she ever had an affair with Eido Shimano. She told this lie to me on multiple private occasions, in public on multiple occasions, and shamed other women when she denied to them that she had told them at one time the truth about a previous affair with Eido. Shinge said that she was starting her new administration with honesty and transparency. I could care less that she had an affair with Eido Shimano, but to lie to the sangha and the public is inexcusable, and I believe she now has no credibility to lead DBZ or ZSS. She could have used the truth for healing, instead she choose to protect herself and be loyal to Eido Shimano."

Abbot of Dai Bai Zan Cho Bo Zen Ji (Chobo.Ji) temple, Scanlc, USA; psychotherapist and certificated spiritual director.



Shimano Apology A1.mp3

Shimano Apology A2.mp3

Raw recordings of above meeting.

Source Anonymous




( 7 pages )

"Having served on the Board of the ZSS (2006-12) before and during the crisis that started on June 21, 2010, as of today, I’ve never gone public on the Internet or blogs or the infamous Shimano Archives in any way. It didn’t seem right. There were too many people opining who had no real knowledge of the facts, plus others with axes to grind. "

"The last time the entire ZSS sangha was called to a special meeting like this was in July of 2011 to hear 'an important announcement' from Eido Shimano. (see attachment, #1). The problem with this statement is that it was proven totally false. After announcing his retirement, Mr. Shimano left and went directly to Europe to hold sesshin, and since then he has actively cultivated a group of student followers (many of whom were at the July 2011 meeting and heard this announcement.) This fact alone would make me skeptical about another special meeting of the Sangha, but there is more."

"The real reason for that meeting quickly surfaced. Mr. Shimano, along with his supporters who were a vocal majority, tried to force those directors of the ZSS Board in attendance to have an immediate public vote on amending a recently adopted Board Access Policy. That July day the Board ultimately decided there would be no vote. It was against the ZSS By-laws to have a meeting with no prior notice and not all directors were there to waive that provision. In addition, as president, I felt it was totally out of bounds for anyone to try to coerce the Board this way. That’s when homophobic slurs and threats of violence started. Someone grappled with Kanze (R.I.P.) who was trying to protect others. A video recording of this chaotic scene was taken by Zensho Martin Hara."

"Thus, we need to be wary of what will transpire on the 21st. We can’t let Mr. Shimano control the agenda or his followers to pack the meeting. So I urge all who want the Zen Studies Society to flourish to come to All Soul’s Episcopal Church on Saturday afternoon."

"We also can’t allow Mr. Shimano to give another generic apology. (See attachment, #2) To regain our credibility in the contemporary Buddhist community and the wider cyber-connected world the Society needs to totally clear the air of past cover-ups, lies and downright dishonesty (e.g., Roshi-letter 2/1). There will be no healing and no real peace until Mr. Shimano comes clean and rectifies as much as he can of the hurt he has caused the present and historical sangha. If he remains stuck in the belief that he himself is simply one of the injured parties with no attempt at taking responsibility for specific things he did and said; then there’s no hope for real reconciliation. Making amends means talking to real individuals, apologizing in private, not uttering generalities in open meetings."

"Some will say, hey Soun, it’s time to forgive and forget. Yet we know those who ignore the past are certain to relive it. Of course, I’d like to see a final peace descend over our still active sangha. But not at the cost we will incur if we let Mr. Shimano get by with a general apology, skipping over all particulars.  There are some specific names and dates I know I’d like to ask him about. Maybe Mr. Shimano is planning on holding private meetings with those he has used and hurt; perhaps he already has. I hope to hear that at the meeting."



Facilitation for Nov 21 Meeting.pdf

"Dear Sangha and Dharma Friends,

As many of you are aware, Eido Roshi wrote a letter to our Zen community wishing to create an opportunity to speak from the heart and to offer his sincere regret.

This meeting is an important step toward the possibility of healing for those who have experienced harm and for the community as a whole."

"Recognizing the sensitivity of the issues, the need for candor, and the need for creating an emotionally safe environment to have these conversations, the Zen Studies Society has engaged a professional facilitator for the meeting, Christine Hickey, who has taught mediation and conflict resolution for 10 years at Syracuse University College of Law, and has given seminars for a variety of professional organizations in the area of conflict resolution and associated topics. Chris is not a member of the Zen Studies Society or a student of Zen Buddhism, and has no connection to either Eido Roshi or to any current or former members, other than being invited to participate as a facilitator.

You will have an opportunity to speak to Eido Roshi in the presence of supportive friends and members.

Eido Roshi will also have opportunities to express his thoughts and feelings both by way of addressing the topic and in response to those who attend.

Chris will help everyone listen deeply to one another by paraphrasing or clarifying when necessary, and by maintaining a respectful structure throughout the afternoon."




Eido Shimano 110215.pdf

From: Xxxxxxxx <xxxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxxx.xx>
Subject: Fwd: A Letter from Eido Roshi
Date: November 2, 2015 at 1:12 PM
To: Kobutsu Malone
Begin forwarded message:
From: The Zen Studies Society <>
Subject: A Letter from Eido Roshi
Date: 2 Nov 2015 18:13:47 CET
To: xxxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxxxxxx..xx

Forward this email
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Zen Studies Society | 233 Beecher Lake Road | Livingston Manor | NY |

Dear Sangha and Dharma Friends:

Eido Roshi has written a letter and has asked that it be made available to you.

To read the letter, click this link .

Koge Louise Bayer
Board of Directors
The Zen Studies Society



Eido Shimano 110215.pdf
November 2, 2015

Dear Dharma Brothers and Sisters,

We never know when our departure day will come. Now, at the age of 83, I am more aware than ever of the transiency of life.

In addition, Aiho has been seriously ill for over a year.

I would like to meet with you face-to-face on Saturday, November 21, to speak openly from the heart. I know that many of you discontinued your practice at the Zen Studies Society, but I hope you will participate in the meeting, from 2 to 5 p.m.

Judy Chang, minister at All Souls Unitarian Church, is kindly making her chapel available to us for this. The address is 1157 Lexington Avenue (at 80th St.), New York City.

My wish is to express my ignorance and sincere regret for hurting the hearts of the Sangha. It is my hope that through this face-to-face meeting, our heavy burden can be laid to rest, for you and for us all.

Gempo Roshi said again and again, "Human beings are emotional beings." I now understand this golden teaching at last.

Eido Tai Shimano

"My wish is to express my ignorance and sincere regret for hurting the hearts of the Sangha. It is my hope that through this face-to-face meeting, our heavy burden can be laid to rest, for you and for us all."




"Project Reason is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. The foundation draws on the talents of prominent and creative thinkers in a wide range of disciplines to encourage critical thinking and erode the influence of dogmatism, superstition, and bigotry in our world."

"I can remember decades ago an argument between Eido Shimano and Taizan Maezumi before they were given the title Roshi that happened in a back room of Zenshuji Temple in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. Both of them were arguing which one of them should be given the title Roshi first from the two teachers Yasutani Roshi and Nakagawa Roshi. This gave me a clear indication that neither one should be given any kind of transmission until they got their act together. You have to remember that most of these guys came over to the United States in the 1960s when sexual promiscuity, drugs and all other sorts of things were involved. Most of the cases I knew, almost all of them of sexual involvement with Zen teachers was fully mutual. Everyone was also aware of several of the teachers having very serious alcohol abuse problems. It is interesting to note and something that I brought up over 25 years ago that some of the female Zen teachers of today were intimate with the Roshis who gave him [sic] transmission. One of them was perfectly happy to look the other way until the teacher got his grubby little hands on her 16-year-old daughter. Then she became horrified at the terrible situation and renounced her relationship with them [sic] but kept the title. In this case she didn't have relations with them, [sic] but there are several others who did."




From: Zen Studies Society

Subject: An Urgent Message From Shinge Roshi

Date: March 7, 2015 at 1:25 PM

"Last week, one of our two 35-year-old wood-burning boilers dramatically and abruptly ceased functioning. The other is not dependable. Daytime temperatures on the mountain hover around -5 degrees even in early March; despite how carefully we have tried to baby these old boilers, parts are failing, and quick action must be taken. We knew this time would come, but we had hoped to get through another season."

"During the past year, our Sustainable Energy Committee, guided by professional energy consultants, reviewed a wide array of options to determine the best environmentally sound, sustainable boiler to meet our needs far into the future. We decided on a woodchip biomass boiler manufactured in New York State. With the quote in hand ($163,000), we obtained leadership gifts from long-time Dharma friends for half that amount, and had planned to continue using the current antiquated boilers through this spring. We knew we would need to raise $150,000 more to cover the remaining cost of the boiler, rebuilding the main chimney, necessary insulation of the building, reengineering the boiler room area, and retrofitting our wood shed for storing wood chips. We had hoped we could accomplish the fund raising over the course of the summer."

"However, with this breakdown, we must raise the additional funds now, so that the new system can be installed as soon as possible. The manufacturer has offered to discount the price by $10,000 if the equipment is ordered by March 21."


Biomass Energy Resource Center

Wood-Chip Heating Systems

A Guide For Institutional and Commercial Biomass Installations


By Timothy M. Maker

A 93 page book originally prepared for The Coalition of Northeastern Governors Policy Research Center Washington, D.C. 1994

The book points out:

"The Importance of the System Operator"

"The person who will actually be responsible for keeping the biomass system operating every day is a very important player. The long-term success of the biomass project depends in large part on how well this person likes the system, and how comfortable he/she feels running it. If the operator finds the system an imposition, a hassle, or a burdensome responsibility, it is unlikely that the system will function well. With an uninterested or hostile operator, systems tend not to get cleaned regularly - resulting in ash buildup and increased fuel consumption. If an oversized wood chip jams an auger, the operator plays a key role in restarting the fire. An uninterested operator may leave the system idle and let the backup fuel system take over. In either of these scenarios, the value of the investment in the wood system is degraded, and the anticipated energy savings may not materialize."

"The potential system operator should be involved at the earliest point. It is particularly important that the operator be included in site visits to existing biomass-fired facilities and have the opportunity to talk to the system operators. The operator or chief of maintenance should be consulted by the project team on issues related to the daily operation and convenience of the biomass system.”




Junpo Denis Kelly

Retreats & Events

Hollow Bones

8-Day Silent Zen Sesshin - led by Jun Po Roshi - Dai Bosatsu Zendo, NY June 13-20, 2015

Starting Date: 13-Jun-2015

"Jun Po Roshi and the Hollow Bones sangha will be returning to Dai Bosatsu Zendo for a traditional, silent sesshin."

"You are invited to return home with Jun Po to Dai Bosatsu Zendo in the Catskill Mountains of New York state to attend the sesshin that Jun Po will be leading from June 13-20, 2015."

     "The room and board fee is $750." 

"You will be asked for a donation at the end of the retreat to support the teaching."


Myōshin-ji (妙心寺 Myōshin-ji ) is a temple complex in Kyoto, Japan, and head temple of the associated branch of Rinzai Zen Buddhism. The Myōshin-ji school is by far the largest school in Rinzai Zen, approximately as big as the other thirteen branches combined: it contains within it about three thousand five hundred temples throughout Japan, together with a handful overseas, of the approximately six thousand total Rinzai temples, and also has nineteen associated monasteries, of the total of forty monasteries and one nunnery.


Myoshin-ji school of Rinzai Zen Buddhism.

December 19th, 2012

“Myoshin-ji has received many inquiries regarding its relationship with the Zen Studies Society in New York ever since the publication on 20 August 2010 of an article in the New York Times regarding the behavior of the Society's former director, Eido Shimano.”

“On the occasion of establishing the Zen Studies Society, Eido Shimano stipulated that the Society was to have no relation to Myoshin-ji or any other branch of Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhism.”

“As far as Myoshin-ji is concerned, all along it has had no connection with Eido Shimano, his activities or organizations, including Dai Bosatsu Zendo and all affiliated Zen Studies Society institutions, nor is Eido Shimano or any of his successors certified as priests of the Myoshin-ji branch of Zen or recognized as qualified teachers.”




Posted By Patricia Ivan, PhD, MSW
on the
"Connections" blog at
on Sunday February 8, 2015 at 8:48 PM EST

“In 2008 the instrumental Western Zen teacher Robert Aitken unsealed documents indicating that as early as 1964 the ‘Zen Master’ and main teacher at the Zen Studies Society, Eido Shimano, had sexually violated two women resulting in their psychiatric hospitalization. In 2010 the Shimano archive went online with this and other powerful evidence for five decades of sexual predation.”

“In 2013 Sherry Chayat, ‘Shinge Roshi,’ the ‘dharma heir’ of Eido Shimano wrote, ‘we…remain grateful for…his five decades of inspiring teaching.’ ”

“One student reported that when Sherry informed ZSS students of Shimano’s abuse in May of 2010, she explained that he still had the ‘true dharma eye’ and ‘lived in the absolute.’ ”

“But then, in 2012, right before she thanked her teacher for his inspiring teaching, Sherry had told Professor Jeff Shore that her teacher was a ‘manipulative sociopath.’ ”

“What’s going on here?”

“It seems as if Sherry is alternating masks. She puts on the mask of the wronged victim, concerned lest others share her fate, when that mask ‘saves face.’ But she puts on the mask of the ‘Zen Roshi’ and devoted disciple when she wants to assert her continued authority. When that mask became problem again, because it associates her with the man who gave it to her (a man who used his mask to rob others of their dignity and sanity), she switches masks once again.”




Soen Nakagawa with "Jishu" - 1982

A seven page document from “Jishu” a long time Zen Studies Society student entitled:


Received unsolicited and unannounced
by U.S. Mail on February 4, 2015.

“So in whatever way we have participated in the unfolding of Zen in America, whether through enmeshment with unscrupulous teachers, or lack of compassion for fellow members of the Sangha, or ill will, or any other way, being in proximity to false teachers is a potential cause for the ‘decline in wholesome states’ which the Buddha warns is harmful to us. While we cannot change the past however much we may lament our errors, he tells us that through effort we can see through and abandon what is wrong. He reminds us that forgiveness within the Sangha is essential ‘for growth in the Dharma’. We can practice lovingkindness (metta) right now for the benefit of all beings. He was not born a saint. He had to abandon ignorance through an intensive noble search himself before becoming the Fully Awakened Buddha.”

“In contrast, ordination in Eido Shimano's regime came down to issuing a certificate of completion to monks and nuns after one thousand days. No matter what the level of their understanding or what kind of life they chose to lead afterwards, they were free to go off into the world as representatives of Buddhism with their robes and titles. Similar loose standards are rampant in other communities. No wonder the world is mystified as to what Buddhism actually is!”

“When someone who purports to be a teacher of the Dharma has a callous disregard for the welfare of others, deceives many, refuses to see and repent, cannot go beyond a sense of self, cannot be compassionate, cannot be generous, cannot let go – we have devastation and destruction. This is what he has unleashed on the world and cannot be undone. This is his legacy. The future is unclear in large part because of the choices he has made and continues to make. Even in this lawsuit, he not only wants fulfillment of a contract (drawn up under obvious undue influence and while acting as an unpurified, unrealized teacher) but is willing to destroy the Zen Studies Society through provoking its financial collapse. Does this reveal a noble, spiritually lofty mind; one without ill will; one who has completed the ‘higher training’ of the Buddha; one who has fulfilled the goal of the holy life?”

“What is certain is that he has broken the unwritten contract he had with the Sangha to teach the true Dharma. Dai Bosatsu Zendo and Shobo-ji were built with the hard work, vision, idealism and spiritual hope of many. It would follow that the funds rightfully belong to the Sangha, who donated them for the GOOD OF ALL, not for the self-indulgence of one usurper.”

“Whatever the outcome of the lawsuit, Eido Shimano's karma is his alone. As is ours. We can abandon our faults as the Buddha suggests, turn to the true teachings and practice, and by our own efforts attain emancipation, without any further sense of loss.”

“We recently discovered that Eido Shimano is not on record as a legitimate lineage holder in Rinzai Zen. In addition to this, once we understand that Eido Shimano is not truly enlightened (based on our own sober reflection and reading what the Buddha actually taught) it doesn't take a great leap to question the legitimacy of the dharma successors. Holding on to this 'transmission' despite all the revelations detailed in the archive, and both heard and witnessed through the years, leaves them in a bizarre limbo. It seems an uncomfortably false position to be in not only to accept a misguided, illegitimate man's view that they are enlightened(!), but to derive their status and livelihood from that basis. The Zen Studies Society and the 'heirs' have been oddly silent on this matter.”

“After all the lies and secrecy during Eido Shimano's tenure, there is a particular need for transparency and integrity in the leadership of the Zen Studies Society. Unfortunately this has not been the case under the new abbot. In the only conversation I ever had with Roko, [Shinge Roshi] sometime in the early 1990's at DBZ, she said to me, I had an affair with Eido Rōshi 18 years ago’. She did not tell me this in confidence, but simply announced it out of the blue very openly, which I found odd but refreshing given the more usual secrecy. Now she denies any affair, claiming to a reporter that she had only a ‘passionate embrace’ with him in the summer of 1974. What prompted her to change her story? Considering the fact that she has been presiding over a Sangha devastated by the numerous sex scandals of her predecessor, this failure to truthfully disclose her history with him is a major breach of trust. In an interview for a recent article in Buddhadharma magazine on ‘abuse of power,’ she said, ‘If a teacher is no longer trustworthy, everything is up for examination’. It seems clear that the Board of the Zen Studies Society is remiss in its fiduciary duty to the Sangha in allowing misguided teachers and impure teachings to continue under its watch.”

[Red emphasis added.]


[ In an interview conducted by Mark Oppenheimer with Chayat that appeared in the book “The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side” ]:

Opp: “You didn’t have sex with him?” I asked.

Chayat: “No, it never turned into an affair.”

Opp: “Because people have said …”

Chayat: “No. I had physical contact with him.”

Opp: This was in the summer of 1974, she later told me.

Chayat: “There was a passionate embrace. But it didn’t — I guess I was surprised, but it wasn’t something that harmed me in any way … I was married, he was married, we were both at the monastery. For some reason it never went any further. If I had been given the choice to go further, I probably would have. Everybody was in love with him.”




Michael Kieran and Nelson Foster's response to Atlantic article about Eido Shimano

"Aloha Kobutsu,"

“In case this hasn't found its way to you yet, below is a letter Nelson and I recently sent Mark Oppenheimer detailing some errors of fact regarding Aitken Roshi in his ‘Zen Predator of the Upper East Side’.”

“We thought you'd want to know and to possibly include this in the Shimano Archive.”

[See: ]

“We want to thank you [Oppenheimer] for what you've done to expose Mr. Shimano's gross misconduct. Tawdry and sad as the story is, we feel that it needed to come to light and, in the long run if not the short, will serve the interests of Zen in the United States. We strongly concur with your overall assessment that the American Zen sangha has failed to come to grips effectively with unethical and destructive conduct on the part of teachers, and we feel sure your work bolsters the chances that instances of future misconduct will be handled more promptly and successfully. Please read what follows in light of this agreement.”

“We're writing you (not the Atlantic) in hopes of clearing up errors of fact or interpretation with respect to our late teacher and friend, Robert Aitken. We're obviously interested parties in this matter, feeling indebted to him as we do and wanting to preserve his good name, so you have every reason to doubt the view of events we'll offer below. Still, we hope you'll give the points we make careful consideration and, if you tell the tale again, take them into account.”

“In your initial paragraph about Robert Aitken, you speak of ‘his charisma’ as though it were simple fact. But charisma lies partly, if not mostly, in the eye of the beholder, and we wonder what sources described him to you as having a charismatic appeal during the period you're referring to here, when the Diamond Sangha was still in its formative stages. In later years, after he came to be known as Aitken Roshi, we agree, some audiences did perceive him as charismatic. People were likely to do so especially if they knew him only at a distance, looked up to him as a proponent and exemplar of lay Zen practice, enjoyed his progressive stance on ethical and political matters, and relished his books.”

“But when Shimano lived with the Aitkens, all that was far in the future. As you report in the article, his attempts in 1964 to ‘drum up interest’ in Zen practice came to little, if anything, while Shimano in the same period attracted people merely by strolling around Manhattan in monk's robes. If Robert Aitken had perceptible personal magnetism at that time, somehow it had vanished by the early Seventies, when we first got to know him. By then, he was starting to emerge as a Zen teacher yet felt deeply uncertain of himself in that capacity (a fact he later acknowledged publicly, more than once in print) and seemed conspicuously stiff and awkward in social settings. He had no books to his name (the first wasn't published until 1978) and no prominence in Zen circles, either in Japan or in the U.S."




“Featured Presenter
on January 27, 2015”

“Shinge Roshi, Abbot of the Zen Studies Society, will participate in an interview on January 27, 2015, from 2:00 - 3:00p.m. Eastern Time. Shinge Roshi will share her first-hand experience living through a sangha's pain and confusion caused by misconduct and then leading the re-building of that sangha and its board.”

“Shinge Roshi is also the Abbot of the Zen Center of Syracuse, Hoen-ji. She was the first American woman to receive transmission in the Rinzai School of Zen Buddhism. The Zen Studies Society ( is based at Dai Bosatsu Zendo Kongo-ji monastery near Livingston Manor, NY and at the New York Zendo Shobo-ji in Manhattan.”

[It needs to be pointed out and strongly emphasized, that “An Olive Branch” has been directly employed by The Zen Studies Society and receives remuneration for their involvement in ZSS business. The group cannot be seen as ‘impartial’ toward parties claiming injury by ZSS since “An Olive Branch” derives income directly from the Society for their involvement in these matters.

“Follow the money trail....”

In a letter to the Zen Studies Society Sangha, Sherry Chayat states on August 5, 2011:

"An Olive Branch has been hired to lead the Facilitated Sangha Discussion by the current Board of Directors of ZSS, which has legal decision-making authority for the Society.”

 See: 20110805_ZSS_Mediation.pdf ]

January 25, 2015

“I am very surprised to learn that, as your first ‘prominent’ spokesperson from the community, you have chosen Sherry Chayat, a long-time student and dharma successor of Eido Shimano.”

“In 2012 she told Jeff Shore, ‘The reason we are in such a mess is that we believed in a manipulative sociopath.’ In 2013 she signed a letter containing these words: ‘While we fully acknowledge and are deeply saddened by this incident [singular!] and allegations of other ethical breaches on Eido Roshi's part, we do remain grateful for his visionary work in founding New York Zendo and Dai Bosatsu Zendo and for his five decades of inspiring teaching.’ "

“I would like to hear Ms. Chayat explain how she could make such seemingly contradictory remarks within a matter of months before she shares her wisdom on rebuilding a sangha ravaged by unchecked sexual predation facilitated by the complicity of members like herself. I think the community would benefit more from Ms. Chayat modeling integrity by owning and explaining her blindspots and denial over decades, and from her stepping down from her all leadership positions.”

Patricia Ivan


January 26, 2015

“Based on the glowing announcement of Tuesday's (tomorrow's) 'webinar' with Shinge Roshi (transmitted Zen Buddhist heir of Eido Shimano and abbot of Zen Studies Society) and her willingness to share her 'first-hand' appreciations of ‘living through a sangha's pain and confusion caused by misconduct and then leading the rebuilding of that sangha and its board,’ I thought the following might be relevant to an open and honest discussion since an authenticated lineage often touted as critical in Zen Buddhism:”

"Myoshin-ji has received many inquiries regarding its relationship with Zen Studies Society in New York ever since the publication on 20 August 2010 of an article in the New York Times regarding the behavior of the Society's former director, Eido Shimano.”

“On the occasion of establishing the Zen Studies Society, Eido Shimano stipulated that the Society was to have no relationship to Myoshin-ji or any other branch of Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhism.”

“As far as Myoshin-ji is concerned, all along it has had no connection with Eido Shimano, his activities or organizations, including Dai Bosatsu Zendo and all affiliated Zen Studies institutions, nor is Eido Shimano or any of his successors certified as priests of the Myoshin-ji branch of Zen or recognized as qualified teachers.”

Adam Fisher


January 26, 2015

“I have received information on your upcoming Webinar from numerous people. I must say that I am stunned and deeply disturbed by your choice of Roko Chayat as a featured presenter.”

“You are obviously very poorly informed about the real situation in selecting Ms. Chayat for this position. I, and many, others (particularly injured survivors of Eido Shimano) are deeply disturbed and profoundly offended by your action in this matter.”

“I have been approached by a number of people asking about my perceptions surrounding your efforts. In all honesty, I have informed people that I can in no way support the efforts of your organization along these lines.”

“I would urge you to become better informed about Ms. Chayat's involvement with Mr. Shimano and her erratic, dishonest, immature, and irresponsible handling of it.”

Kobutsu Malone


January 27, 2015

“First, I am a woman who had to leave residency at Dai Bosatsu Zendo for all the reasons many other woman had to leave. That leaving was layered in slandering of myself and other such typically cruel strategies used by Eido Shimano to disempower such students. This was regardless of having taken vows which include the three refuges of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. I have had long and continued conversations with others so abused within ZZS. Such women (and men for other forms of exploitation) were not essentially more vulnerable than many other students. How vulnerable, for example, must a person feel in order to deny repeated reports of abuse? It is incorrect to say in your description of the webinar that ‘even victims themselves remained silent.’ Every ‘victim’ I have talked to went to great personal length to make known what happened to them.”

“There is a strong tendency to pathologize women who were for the most part in the wrong place at the wrong time. Women have carried the burden of such categorization for long enough. It continues to be interesting to me that even now there is an over emphasis on the ‘victimized women’ over the extreme sociopathic behaviors of Eido Shimano. This continuous labeling of vulnerable, weak, mentally unstable women is only consistent with Shimano's legacy of slander. It includes slandering of men as well.

“Second, choosing Shinge Sherry Chayat for your lead webinar is bothersome. Shinge was one of the last of Shimano's students to take a stand for removing Shimano from ZZS. In fact, back in the 90's [1993] a retreat was offered for women and women victims of Eido Shimano. That retreat was scheduled to take place in a neutral location. However, it was changed by Shinge back to Dai Bosatsu while Shimano was in residence in his upstairs apartment. Several women declined to participate.”

Olivia Perrine





Received in email on January 14, 2015


(52 page documernt)

The MU News

by "Jushin" Ted Seaman


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Eido Shimano and the ZSS Cult

Fujin Attale Fromhals

"[Most of this was written years ago, but I have added to it now and then.  Because it is so long, here is the same post in pdf and epub formats.]"

"I lived at DBZ for three and a half years. I wrote about Mr. Shimano before, on an old blog I used to have (also called The Mu News). This was years ago -- before the most recent scandal broke. I had found Mr. Shimano to be a man of dangerous and remarkably deceptive character."

"This had come as a complete surprise, to me. I had been witness to a number of serious abuses -- including what I considered criminal behavior – a woman had been instructed to lie to a donor for scholarship money. I had assumed, at the time, such abuses were the machinations of the nuns -- two women of volatile personalities who were in charge of the day-to-day operations at DBZ. In times of crisis or controversy, this was a widely held view. The idea that Mr. Shimano might be the source of such malevolent notions had never crossed my mind."

“A short while before I left, I had started to attempt to remedy such abuses by bringing them directly to Mr. Shimano. Further, I had suggested, to him, some simple protocol (e.g. documented monastery guidelines, issue escalation procedures) to ensure that such abuses might not recur – or that there would, at least, exist a path toward remedy.”

“I was surprised by Mr. Shimano's reaction. My fees were raised (twice). False, and damaging rumors were spread about me. In dokusan, Mr. Shimano, himself, would occasionally erupt in volcanic rage – sometimes over trifling incidents. My ideas were resisted, and Mr. Shimano, instead, made every effort to ensure that the controlled, secretive atmosphere would remain intact.”

[ "Fujin" Reference : Click Here ]




genkaku-again blog

Commentary on the Winter 2014 Buddhadharma
magazine article (below).

“Like a lot of such 'concerned' Buddhist articles, it's a bit like reading Israel's latest press release about one of their rocket attacks on Palestinians: One point of view is apparently enough when engaging the subject ... what the Palestinians say is irrelevant in the spotlight of righteous and rightful indignation: Not one victim of Buddhist power abuse seems worthy of being included in this concerned forum.”

“ ‘We care,’ the title topic implies, but not enough to include anyone who was victimized. We'll be happy to take the additional sales that are likely to evolve from the topic. We'll be happy to be known as fair-minded and caring Buddhists ... but we will steer clear of the painful core: The victims may be lying after all and we wouldn't like to open ourselves to a lawsuit. We prefer to admit the situation exists and ask the talking heads for their viewpoints within the wondrous construct called Buddhism ... but we will refrain from anything like a gritty compassion.”

“It is a bit like putting a very pretty bandage on a very large shrapnel wound together with the warning, ‘let's not get the bandage dirty.’ ”

“Strange to see -- or maybe not -- institutions and their minions doing what individuals do in tight situations ... excuse their lapses based on sincerity when sincerity that is complicit in some heavy bleeding hardly matters much. Honesty goes begging but ...”

“ ‘We can only do our best,’ the snivelers assert.”

“No one says ‘bullshit!’ because that's not a nice word.”

“But someone's bound to swallow it, I guess.”






Abuse of Power

“SHINGE CHAYAT: We couldn't do anything until he was no longer holding all the power. People tried many times. In the seventies, many of us left because there was no way to make any change happen. When I came back in the nineties, it seemed changes had occurred for the better. But really, he still had all the power. When all the power in a community is in one person's hands and that person is supported unconditionally by others, including board members and senior students, there's no way you can say, 'Hey! This is wrong. We have to make some changes here.' It can't happen. Prior boards had tried their best. In 2010, when the revelation of a new relationship came to light, one of the first things we did was ask Eido Roshi to step down as a member of the board. He was the head of the board as well as abbot. With both secular and spiritual dimensions held by the same person, there was no balance of power. The board basically rubber-stamped whatever Eido Roshi said. So the first thing we had to do was ask him to submit a letter of resignation. That happened very quickly, within three weeks after that revelation of the affair. Then we worked with the Faith Trust Institute and asked them to help us get through the next stages, which included not just dealing with the problems that had accrued over decades but also looking at how to avert problems like that in the future.”

[And yet – two years after the alleged "resignation" at a Sanmon Gate Ceremony at Dai Bosatsu Zendo on August 12, 2012 Chayat appears with Shimano, smiling and in full regalia, conducting a public dedication. ]




This article is an abridged version of an Atlantic ebook. To purchase the full book, click here.

The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side
- The Atlantic -

Nearly 50 years ago, a penniless monk arrived in Manhattan, where he began to build an unrivaled community of followers—and a reputation for sexual abuse. The ongoing accusations against him expose a dark corner of the Buddhist tradition.

By Mark Oppenheimer

DECEMBER 18, 2014

Kobutsu Malone & Mark Oppenheimer
Sedgwick, Maine - September 13th, 2012

"It is a matter of much debate how sexually chaste or continent a Buddhist is supposed to be. The Buddha probably had many lovers, but he is said to have counseled against 'sexual misconduct,' a vague prohibition that is open to wide interpretation. Whether or not Shimano’s behavior ran contrary to Buddhist ethics—and most Buddhists would say that it clearly did—it surely corrupted, and ultimately may have destroyed, his sangha.Yet his community is partly to blame. Shimano’s womanizing was never a secret, but his followers pretended not to see. Then forgave him. They believed him when he promised to change. They made excuses when he did not. When, several times, his behavior got so bad that board members resigned and monks abandoned residential life at Dai Bosatsu, Shimano endured, stayed at the helm, found new recruits. He paid no price."

"The important question for any religious community is not why there are scoundrels—they will always be with us—but how they are dealt with. Not why there is a Shimano, but why his leadership lasted so long. From the first inkling of Shimano’s problem to his final expulsion, the sangha failed for nearly 50 years to confront a sexual predator in their midst. For lethargy and indifference, it is a record to rival that of the Catholic Church toward its pedophiles. There are many reasons for this failure, some of which may be present across religious communities, while others are unique to Buddhism. The case of Eido Shimano can help us understand why religious communities generally, Zen Buddhism in particular, and Shimano’s sangha especially have been so powerless to stop sexual misdeeds."

"There’s little doubt that Shimano was the beneficiary of his own charm and shrewdness. He benefitted from the fear that his power instilled—a fear that silenced critics and even journalists who tried to discover the truth. But he was also protected by factors beyond his control. Zen Buddhism in the United States is a young tradition, with no recognized authorities to provide oversight or discipline. Many practitioners have proved eager to cover for leaders, to protect the reputation of a still-growing tradition. Shimano was also protected at times by a simplistic and sexist opinion that if the sex was 'consensual,' the women he slept with had nothing to complain about. Of course, he was also fortunate to find himself in the company of the kind of people—both women and men—who were attracted to Zen Buddhism. Desperately seeking something, hopeful that they had found it, they proved extremely, perhaps uniquely, willing to forgive."





A newly organized Rinzai Zen Koan system for Western students

(Not Final)

Compiled by:

Muishitsu Eido Sotai Roshi

Dai Bosatsu Zendo Kongo-ji

Livingston Manor, New York

"Again and again I say that there is only one koan. In the Rinzai Zen tradition, Joshu's 'Mu' is considered that one koan. However, one koan has many aspects. Hakuin Zenji divided these aspects into five categories."

"Genuine insight is no other than the realization of zeroness of our being--that is sunyata [Hosshin--Dharmakaya, Category I]. One of the aspects of sunyata is to see the dynamic activity of Dharma [Kikan--Dynamism, Category II]. Still another aspect of sunyata is to appreciate the dialog through verbal expression [Gonsen--Verbal Expression, Category III]. The other aspects of sunyata are so near, hence, easy to miss; consequently, difficult to pass [ Nanto--Difficult to Pass, Category IV]. The last category is Kojo--Endless Integration [Category V], which includes Goi, The Five Ranks and The Ten Precepts."

"Here I have selected about 100 koans but did not categorize them. I am planning to add about 10 more koans from The Transmission of the Lamp in the near future. Also, it is my intention to ask the students to present Jakugo, or 'capping phrases,' for selected koans. At any rate, I am convinced if these are thoroughly digested and looked into with genuine insight, one by one, we can cultivate the perspectives of our vistas. Thus, insight and ordinary life will be, and must be, intermingled."

"Also, as you see, I added Miscellaneous Koans, both East and West (p.2- p.6). I present this to you as an incomplete, experimental  compilation. It is not particularly secret but just to avoid its misuse by a person who either does not have deep understanding in koan practice or does not have enough training with his or her teacher, do not make any photo copies or spread around. I only made ten copies for the monks and nuns ordained by me."

"It is my sincere wish that by the beginning of the 21st Century the final Dai Bosatsu Roku will be compiled for Rinzai Zen practice in the West."

"Muishitsu Eido Sotai Roshi

May, 1990"




Paula Tursi, Founder, Reflections Center of Conscious Living, Midtown Manhattan

"Tursi teaches you to engage with your surroundings on the sensory level. Focusing on 'really listening and feeling' is meant to 'pull us out of our minds and into our bodies.' Tursi says 'meditation is not about shutting off thoughts; that would be like asking your heart not to beat. It's about allowing thoughts, but not giving them energy, and instead noticing sensations.' "




An email from Genjo Marinello-Osho


Reflections Yoga Center

“I am writing with a concern for your organization and patrons.  Do you realize that there is a teacher renting your space, Eido Shimano Roshi, who is considered by many to be a sexual predator?  He rented space at the Reflections Yoga Center for a public event on October 25th of this year and is scheduled to lead a second event there on Sunday, November 23rd.”   

“If you are unaware of Eido Shimano’s predatory history, please read the book devoted to exposing his behavior titled:  ‘The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side’ written by New York Times reporter Mark Oppenheimer: It is an accurate account of some of his misdeeds, but I can attest that it does not fully represent the extent or depth of his misuse of power, trust and respect given to him as a Zen Master.  I can say this because I was in a position to listen to first hand accounts from former female students who he had cajoled, manipulated, and occasion forced to meet his sexual needs.  I heard these accounts when investigating his behavior as the head of the Ethics committee at his former monastery Dai Bosatsu Zendo (DBZ) Kongo-Ji.  The accounts I was exposed to sickened me and caused me to lose all faith in his capability to rightly continue to teach.  In fact he is no longer allowed to teach in the very monastery he helped found.”




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Zen Meetings with Eido Shimano Roshi (New York and the world)


"Thanksgiving Zazen-kai | Sunday November 23rd 2014 | Led by Eido Shimano Roshi"

"Location: Reflections Yoga Center of New York City located at 227 East 24th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues"

"Dharma talk by Eido Shimano Roshi"

"Suggested Contribution: $60. Vegetarian Lunch. Program: 9:00AM-6PM"

"RSVP required"




Rinzai Zen Sangha ZazenKai

The Rinzai Zen Sangha <>

Reply-To: The Rinzai Zen Sangha <>

To: Sangha

"Rinzai Zen Sangha



Reflections Yoga Center, NYC

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014, 9am- 6pm

Ven. Eido Shimano Roshi

Honored Guest to Lead this Special Sangha Event.

Sun, Nov 2, 2014 at 12:59 AM"

"On Sunday, November 23rd, 2014, the Rinzai Zen Sangha will host an ALL DAY THANKSGIVING ZAZEN-KAI with Ven. Eido Shimano Roshi who will be our honored guest to lead this Sangha occasion. We will be hosted by the Reflections Yoga Center of New York City located at 227 East 24th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues."




Martin Hara <>

Mon, Oct 27, 2014 at 7:02 PM

To: "Zensho Martin Hara ("

"...attached is the group photo for your momento [sic] as a thank you for your participation."

Click on the above thumbnail to view full image.

"Thank you for making the Golden Wind Zazen-kai at Reflections Center a beautiful experience."

"Everything worked out as intended. A video copy of Eido Roshi’s Teisho on the website very soon. I will keep you posted when this happens."




“Paula Tursi is the Founder and Director of Reflections Center Yoga and the internationally renowned Reflections Yoga Teacher Training Program. She has been working with alternative healing practices in New York City and internationally for over twenty years."

"Paula developed Reflections Yoga as a way to integrate what she found most inspiring in other practices with her own personal truth. She began her training at Integral Yoga, where she studied Hatha and restorative Yoga. She went on to work with esteemed teachers such as Angela Farmer and Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen in the art of asana and movement, breath work and meditation. Paula has been voted one of the top ten meditation teacher in NYC.”

“Paula’s work focuses on the alignment of mind and body, understanding that we move not only from our muscles and joints, but also from the support of our inner body.”

“Paula holds a Masters degree in Psychology from Columbia University and a Masters degree in Education from Hunter College. She did her clinical post-graduate training at the Milton H. Erickson Society for Psychotherapy and Hypnosis. Paula conducts biannual Teacher’s Trainings in New York City and Latin America, teaches workshops nationwide and in Europe. She teaches on going classes, holds corporate workshops and offers individual instruction in breath awareness, partner yoga and yoga for body ailments.”

“The Reflections Yoga Teacher Training program is fully registered at the 200 & 500-hour level with Yoga Alliance.”




emali from Kobutsu Malone
Paula Tursi,
Founder and Director of Reflections Yoga

"Followers of the discredited Zen teacher Eido Shimano have publicized that they have rented your facility for a public event on October 25th, 2014."

"Can you confirm their assertion?"

"Are you aware of Mr. Shimano's extensive history of sexual predation with specifically targeted vulnerable women?"



Click on image to enlarge.


"The Rinzai Zen Sangha will host the GOLDEN WIND Zazen-Kai at the Reflections Yoga Center with Ven Eido Shimano as our honored guest."

"Saturday, October 25th, 2014, 9am- 6pm"

"On Saturday, October 25th, 2013, [sic] the Rinzai Zen Sangha will host an ALL DAY GOLDEN WIND ZAZEN-KAI with Ven. Eido Shimano Roshi who will be our honored guest to lead this Sangha occasion."

"This will also be our first Sangha occasion to do our Zazen-kai as Dharma guests at the Reflections Yoga Center of New York City. The address is 227 East 24th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues."




Click on the above thumbnail to view full image.

"Thank you for participating in our O-Higan Zazen-Kai this Saturday, Sept 27th, 2014. It was a very special teisho when Eido Roshi spoke about O-Higan as 'Reaching the Other Shore'. As a memento of this day, here is the photo of our group standing on the Shore with Roshi. Although many of our Sangha friends could not be there for this photo, just remember that were standing there with everyone. There is no separation between us all when we do Zazen."

"Our next Zazen-kai is being worked out for October. As I had mention to you before, we may be doing our next zazen-kai in another facility in the same neighborhood sometime after Oct 15th. Please stand by as we prepare more details for our next announcement very soon. Meanwhile be well and stay in touch. We look forward to seeing you again very soon. Thank you."

[Martin Hara]


Aiho Yasuko Shimano is released from
the hospital on September 29, 2014.




The Buddhist Channel

Sesshin in Switzerland with Eido Shimano shut down

by Adam Fisher

"After having been informed of Eido Shimanos coming to our centre and being aware of the fact that he is a publicly controversial figure regarding issues of misconduct, I informed him personally, that he had to leave our centre which he did a day after the sesshin had started."




An email from Tobias Karcher SJ, Direktor Lassalle-Haus
Kobutsu Malone

"The retreat of Eido Shimano was not part of our program. The European Rinzai Sangha had rented our guest house and our staff was not informed about the coming of Eido Shimano."

"Being a catholic retreat centre we have very strict rules regarding misconduct."




An email from Kobutsu Malone
Lassalle-Haus, bad Schönbrunn.

"I am writing to confirm the claim made by the few remaining followers of the disgraced Japanese/American Zen teacher that your organization is hosting their group and Eido Shimano for a Zen Retreat this month as described in their publication here ( ) ? "

"Can you confirm that Mr. Shimano's group has booked the Lassalle-Haus facility for a retreat? If indeed such a booking was made, can you inform me if the Lassalle-Haus staff were aware that the group planned on having Mr. Shimano as their 'honored guest' for such a retreat? "

"Was Lassalle-Haus staff aware of Mr. Shimano's extensive history of sexual misconduct involving highly susceptible female Zen students as documented in the 'Shimano Archive' ( )? "




Lassalle-Haus, bad Schönbrunn

(Bing Translation from German into English)

The Lassalle-Haus is a Centre for interreligious encounter with a focus on spirituality, dialogue and responsibility. The non-profit Bildungshaus with the biggest own program under the ecclesiastical houses of Switzerland is located in Edlibach Menzingen in the Canton Zug. Over 80 course instructor and course instructors teach in the Lassalle-Haus. 5500 guests annually visit the various offers 22,000 training days. According to the demands of national heritage policies of the Canton, the building belongs to the protected objects of the modern.

"Every year about 150 courses, seminars, conferences, training courses and travel are available. They are aimed at a broad-based, adult audience aiming to convey traditional spiritual paths in a mostly performance oriented world, and to promote the interreligious competence in an increasingly multicultural society. Content is for example Interreligiöser dialogue, encounter of religions, Zen, retreats, contemplation, meditation, dance, ethics, mysticism & spirituality, fasting and healing, liturgy, art, etc. mediated by around 50 speakers. The House is also open to external educational institutions and organizations and offers a professional infrastructure with room for 82 people and conferences for up to 250 persons. In addition the Centre also offers options for timeout, spiritual guidance and advice."

(Bing Translation from German into English)




Translations (from the German) of an email exchange
between a European Zen Practitioner and Lassalle-Haus.

European Zen Practitioner:

"I am contacting you in regard to the planned sesshin with Eido Shimano. I am quiet shocked that it is allowed in Lassalle-Haus and I don’t know how to react.

Eido Shimano is a well-known sex-addicted Roshi, who never took a whit of responsibility for his actions … In case you don’t know about any of this, please check:

I was happy to see, that at least one of the Centers in the US cancelled a sesshin they had planned to host and ask of you to consider doing the same.

That the Lassalle-Haus plans to host a sesshin with him means to me:

·       An additional slap in the face of his victims

·       It raises the question of how you want to protect the participants of this sesshin?

·       A slap in the face for all those who work to uncover his past honestly and who already experience enough resistance from those who work on covering his actions.

·       A slap in the face of all Catholic victims who will get to know about this, because it shows that even an institution as Lassalle-Haus puts someone with robes and titles on a throne an leaves them there. For them it will show that the stated will for reform in the Church is not meant honestly.

·       A slap in the face of all those who seek the path of Zen as an ethical path and now must face, that teachers and organizations still put titles and robes above ethics, even here in the West.

I ask you to let me know your final decision, if you still plan to host this sesshin."

Answer from Tobias Karcher SJ,
Direktor Lassalle-Haus:

"First of all I want to inform you that the sesshin with Eido Shimano is not a part of the official Lassalle-House program, but a guest retreat, for which they rented the 'Old Villa'. The Leaders of the house were not informed about his coming."

"After proofing your feedback and that of others, I realized that there is a public controversy around Eido Shimano in regards of allegations about sexual abuse." 

"Because of this background I asked Eido Shimano to leave Lassalle-Haus during this Monday."  




The Rinzai Zen Sangha <>

Reply-To: The Rinzai Zen Sangha <>

To: The Sangha

Eido Shimano

Written by Zensho Martin Hara

As dictated by Eido Shimano

“ I came back from Los Angeles last week after attending Sasaki Roshi’s funeral service. Because of their SHŪMEI SHIN (Spirit of Dharma Alliance) or Sasaki Roshi’s last will, about 15 Japanese Roshis and priests came from Japan and conducted authentic Rinzai style funeral service. As soon as the service was over, they went back.”

“After O-bon at DBZ, I met with Roko and the treasurer of the ZSS, explaining the fact that we owe Sasaki Roshi. Now time has come for us to express our gratitude for his SHUMEI SHIN. I told them that this has nothing to do with the litigation and was a completely separated matter. I must go to Los Angeles but that you, ZSS, should pay my travelling expenses and lodging. They agreed to do so. Two days later, however, they changed their minds. Alas, they have no idea of the value of the Spirit of Dharma Alliance!”

“Also, I received an email from Fujin in Japan, one of the paragraphs said, ‘Take good care of your bodymind in this hot season. Drink a lot of water and exercise. Now that you are the only one left, you got to work still harder! Your bodymind is the only authentic Zen temple left in the US.’ ”

“Litigation. From time to time, my students and friends ask how things are going with ZSS. It’s not easy to state it briefly but it is quite a frustrating process. In 1995, I signed and Aiho signed separately legal documents with ZSS regarding Deferred Compensation Agreement (DCA). We retired from ZSS in 2010 and then until August 2012, they paid our pension. Then, all of the sudden in September 2012, they stopped all payments without notice or explanation, not even any attempt to renegotiate the circumstances with us. We asked ZSS for a response to our inquiries without success, so after 4 months, we had no other choice but to ask our lawyer to file a lawsuit in January 2013.”

“In March, 2014, a non-binding arbitration was arranged with Judge Harris as the arbitrator. Judge Harris made a judgment in our favor saying that the DCA was valid. The ZSS lawyer, who said that the DCA was invalid, then left his function as lawyer of ZSS. Although I assume that no lawyer wants to lose a case, I feel that we cannot go on in this way, year after year, interrupting our lives and our mission to the Dharma. And now recently, my lawyer filed a motion for a summary judgment and according to my understanding the appointed Judge, my lawyer and the new lawyer of ZSS are going to meet some time very soon.”

"Swiss Sesshin and Ordination. During the second week of September, at the invitation of the European Sangha, I will conduct sesshin in Lasalle-Haus in Switzerland. "




Further developments in the Zen Studies Society lawsuit

Posted by: Adam Kō Shin Tebbe
February 16, 2013


Comment Number: 11

"I was a member of the original group at Zen Studies Society in 1965, which was co-founded by Dr. Bernard Phillips chairman of the Religion Department at Temple University. Bernard was my mentor while I was at Temple and also introduced me to retreats with Yasutani Roshi. Yasutani was the original teacher at ZSS so the attempt by Eido Shimano to portray himself as the founder is a complete fiction. It was, in fact a very active Center before he arrived and he did not become the 'leader' until much later. I am writing to ZSS to give them some accurate information regarding the early years and to point out the misleading statements that Eido Shimano has been making about his initial role there."

hugh j curran

July 31, 2014 at 10:04 pm




ZazenKai Event

The Rinzai Zen Sangha <>

Sun, Jul 20, 2014 at 8:59 PM

To: Sangha

The Rinzai Zen Sangha will host the OBON Zazen-Kai at Kips Bay Community Center on August 3rd, 2014, with Ven Eido Shimano as our honored guest.

"On Sunday, August 3rd, 2014, there will be an O-BON ZAZEN-KAI from 9am to 6pm at Kips Bay Community Center, New York. Ven. Eido Shimano will be our honored guest to lead this special Sangha event."

"Some of you may think that Obon and Segaki are equivalent. Segaki is the event when we commemorate our ancestors and Dharma brothers and sisters which can be done in any month.Obon on the other hand is the abbreviation of URABON, which literally means 'being hung upside down'. Adding honorific 'O' before 'BON', it becomes 'OBON'."




 Dai Segaki Zazen-Kai

Kips Bay Community Center, New York City
Sunday, July 13th, 2014, 9am to 6pm

On Sunday, July 13th, 2014 the Rinzai Zen Sangha will host an all-day DAI SEGAKI ZAZENKAI at the Kips Bay Community Center in New York City. Ven. Eido Shimano Roshi will be our honored guest to lead this special Sangha event.

"Dai Segaki is a traditional ceremony dedicated for all known and unknown Dharma brothers and sisters, deceased as well as alive, who need the acknowledgement and support by those living today. We acknowledge that we are all 'hungry ghosts' who travel our paths with greed, anger, folly, jealousy, insecurity, and fear. As human beings, we are all so thirsty waiting to receive a drop of Dharma Nectar as if we face a barren desert that has no end. Please prepare a list of the names of deceased ones, as well those who are alive yet in trouble. Have it ready as you enter the center for registration."

"The suggested contribution for this ALL DAY ZAZEN‐KAI including lunch will be $40 per person which will be collected at the door. Seating will be very limited so please confirm your RSVP as soon as possible."




Zen Predator

Published by Brad on June 16, 2014

On the recommendation of my friend John Graves, I recently read a Kindle Single called Zen Predator of the Upper East Side by Mark Oppenheimer.

It’s about the sex scandals involving Eido Shimano Roshi, a Japanese Zen teacher who has been living and teaching in New York since the mid-1960s. Before reading this book, all I knew of Shimano’s scandals was what I read in the article I linked to above and this one from Huffington Post.

"A story like Shimano’s appears to fit the bill almost perfectly. Oppenheimer tells us that Shimano selected his conquests carefully, targeting insecure young women searching for spiritual fulfillment. Oppenheimer paints Shimano as a master of manipulation, who preyed upon his victims’ insecurities and used his other followers’ desire to protect the dharma, which was then new to America and thus fragile, to cloak himself in virtual invulnerability."

"To suggest that any of these women may have been anything other than nearly helpless victim of a master manipulator seems callous and lacking in compassion. To even imply this would seem to be to agree with Shimano’s accusations that these women were the real aggressors, or even crazy people who blame him for seductions that never really happened. I do not agree with Shimano’s lame excuses."

"A complex system formed which both provided Shimano with fodder for his overwhelming appetite for sexual conquest and a legion of co-conspirators who protected him even when they knew he was doing harm. This, in turn, made him seem even more powerful and therefore more attractive. Thus his seductions were even more successful. He must have been hard to resist, even though it’s difficult for me to see him as a very handsome guy. He should have behaved better."

"The implication throughout Oppenheimer’s piece is that perhaps there is something intrinsically wrong with Zen which leads to the kind of abuses Shimano indulged in. But it’s not about Zen. It’s about how power-hungry sociopathic megalomaniacs gravitate towards careers as spiritual teachers in order to have a perfect place to operate."






Kips Bay Community Center, New York City 

Sunday, June 15th, 2014, 9am to 6pm 

 "The Rinzai Zen Sangha will host Gempo Roshi Memorial Zazen-Kai at Kips Bay Community Center on June 15th, 2014, with Ven Eido Sotai Roshi and Ven Zenrin Chido Roshi as honored guests." 

 "Dear Dharma Friend,

The Rinzai Zen Sangha will host the Gempo Roshi Memorial Zazen-Kai at Kips Bay Community Center, New York City on Sunday, June 15th, 2014, 9am to 6pm. We are honored to have both Ven. Eido Sotai Roshi and Ven. Zenrin Chido Roshi to co-lead this all-day Zazen-Kai.  

The suggested contribution for this ALL DAY ZAZEN‐KAI including lunch will be $40 per person which will be collected at the door. Seating is limited so confirm your RSVP as soon as possible." 




Dodgy buddhist ratbags rooting their followers

by Cameron Slater on November 18, 2013 at 9:00am

“At least it is better than buggering little boys.”

"The Daily Beast looks at the dodgy rooting buddhist ratbags in the US."

"A new ebook by New York Times religion columnist Mark Oppenheimer alleges what many in the American Buddhist community have known for years: that some of its most revered teachers were also serial sex offenders."

"Case in point: Eido Shimano Roshi. 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' The book is a devastating indictment of Shimano Roshi, filled with hard evidence of the affairs and the cover-ups, the testimony of several victims, and occasionally lurid details.  It even includes Shimano’s own confession to having sex with some students, though, he says, 'far fewer' than his accusers allege."





Eido Shlmano, the 'Zen Predator" of New York February 06, 2014

Sexual abuse in religious institutions is often committed by the people a community trusts most- its priests, ministers, rabbis, imams. And the Zen Buddhist community is no different. A religion columnist for The New York Times tells the story of Eido Shimano, a Zen master who sexually harassed his female disciples for decades.

Mark Oppenheimer, author of The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side interviewed by Sr. Maureen Fiedler.

Maureen Fiedler

8:16   "How did you find out about this story to begin with? Who tipped you off?"

Mark Oppenheimer

8:20   "I don’t remember exactly who tipped me off.  In 2010 when Daphna as I called her, stood up at the Catskills monastery, Dai Bosatsu, as its called, and dropped her bombshell, it very quickly leaked to the blog of Tricycle Magazine, which is the number one, or one of the top two magazines in the Buddhist world."




Chayat & Shimano DBZ Gate Ceremony - 8/12/12

Sweeping Zen

Enabling ~ by Genjo Marinello

January 25, 2014

“The practice at Blue Mountain Zendo is strong, sincere and openhearted and attracts many Dharma ‘orphans’ who once trained at DBZ.  At the conclusion of this sesshin there was a ceremony where I affirmed Joriki Baker, who started the group, as a full temple priest. During this and every sesshin that I lead I offer dokusan (one on one Dharma dialogue). In dokusan, I’m reminded of just how intimate and deep the relationship can be between so called student and teacher and what a severe betrayal of trust it would be to in anyway take advantage or manipulate a student for my own selfish purposes. I very well understand that if the manipulation included sexualizing the student in some way it would be a violation tantamount to incest.”

“Including Joriki and myself there are many other ordained and lay sangha members from around the nation who no longer feel comfortable training at DBZ. Of course it was principally Eido Shimano ‘Roshi,’ who has multiple times been disgraced for preying sexually on female sangha members for decades and otherwise abusing his power and authority, who founded this organization. The latest wave of sangha members to leave came about when it was revealed in May 2010 that Shimano had been caught once again with his pants down.  I was on the ZSS board and head of the ZSS Ethics committee at that time, and immediately asked Eido Roshi to resign from the board while the most recent transgression was investigated.  Eventually, I was the last of five ZSS board members to leave the organization because of continued excuses, allowances and out right enabling provided to Shimano by the remaining ZSS board led by Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat.”

“Furthermore, as late as August 2012, Eido Shimano, who Shinge privately calls a ‘manipulative sociopath,’ was invited to DBZ as an honored guest to help lead the ‘Sanmon Gate Ceremony.’ "

“Moreover, the most recent issue, January 2014, of the ZSS newsletter features a lead article by Eido Shimano’s newly elevated Dharma Successor, Zenrin R. Lewis.” 

“It seems clear to me that ZSS by featuring an article by Zenrin and continuing to list his organization on their web site as a related Zen center is offering implicit approval of Zenrin and Eido Shimano’s continued teaching of students.  This boggles my mind to say the least.  It is offering this kind of support, indirect as it may be, that is a real slap in the face to those directly harmed by Eido Shimano.  Why does Shinge Chayat and the ZSS Board continue to enable a man who has little to no understanding of the harm done to American Zen?”




Zenrin Robert Lewis, "Roshi"


Zenrin Robert Lewis

"Living your Buddhanature with calm wholehearted intensity, you see what’s actually happening here the way it is. Calm intensity is a contradiction in terms, but dedicated zazen goes beyond words: it naturally leads to the calm intensity that breaks through koan barriers. Those breakthroughs are what koans are for: clearing away impediments to your seeing it like it is."




January 18, 2014 - In This Issue:






"To live, to realize, to actualize, who you are by nature this is the point of effective Zen practice. Called your Buddha-nature, it is who you already are and always have been."




Screengrab [complete] of the Exclusive AZTA Public
Website AZTA Membership List. "Database of Zen Practice Centers with AZTA Teachers" Removed from public scrutiny on January 1st, 2014.

Captured on January 12, 2014.

"Notice To Site Visitors Wishing to Access the AZTA Member Database:"

"The AZTA public listing of Zen teachers and centers has been temporarily suspended while the organization considers options for restructuring."

[Reference Screengrab
of the Exclusive AZTA Public Website
AZTA Membership List.]

[Captured on December 27, 2013.]


[Complete Listing]




ICSA Today
International Cultic Studies Association Magazine
Volume 4 | Number 3 | Pages 18-19

Zen and the Art of  Student Abuse

By Christopher Hamacher

About the Author:

Christopher Hamacher, LLB, graduated in law from the Universite de Montreal in 1994. He has practiced Zen Buddhism in Japan, America, and Europe since 1999 and has run his own Zen meditation group since 2006. He currently works as a legal translator in Munich, Germany.

“When the first Zen Buddhist teachers began arriving in America from the Far East in the 1950s and 1960s, many liberals and intellectuals were immediately drawn to them as models of enlightened and rational behavior, selflessly showing their students the Buddhist Way without any hint of esoterism or scandal. This idealized picture has lost much of its sheen in the past 20 years, however, since the conduct of numerous Zen teachers has unfortunately not lived up to such exalted standards. Rumors of adulterous relationships with students, or of alcohol abuse, for example, began to suggest that these mysterious Zen masters might be merely human after all.”

“Furthermore, a few particular cases uncovered only within the past few years have been even more problematic: Teachers such as Eido Shimano or Joshu Sasaki have been accused not just of one-time ethical failings, but rather of sexual and/or financial abuse of dozens of students over decades, in some cases without any evidence of remorse. Moreover, other students apparently were aware of what was going on but still were either unwilling or unable to leave the respective group. In my opinion, these cases do not constitute merely unfortunate personal failings of a few errant teachers; rather, they are the natural outcome of the continued application of many entirely accepted Zen Buddhist practices.”

“The teachings of Zen Buddhism itself are also not without problems. For example, Zen typically places very little emphasis on justice or morally correct conduct. As one scholar has put it, . .. if we search for evidence of substantive interest in morality in the two dimensions of the Zen tradition where we would most expect to find it- in the vast canon of Zen sacred literature and in the full repertoire of Zen practices- we discover t hat it is largely absent. And although ethical principles such as wisdom and compassion do exist in the broader Buddhist literature, Zen typically rejects the scholarly study thereof. Even the interpretation of the Third Buddhist Precept against misusing sexuality has been left deliberately vague in Japanese Zen. Thus, much teacher behavior that one could quite reasonably qualify as morally wrong can still be spun as acceptable in Zen.”




Leaked Email on the Exclusive AZTA Secret Listserve
from Eido Frances Carney

January 3, 2014.

“At that time, about 50 maybe 60 or so teachers participated.  One of the topics of that meeting nearly 15 years ago was sexual misconduct.  I barely spoke because I had to listen to find my way into the culture of the organization. There were two awful and unforgettable moments.  The first was when someone during the large discussion referred quite loudly and tauntingly to Xxxxxx Xxxxx Xxxxx as a 'concubine' and many men teachers fell into pointed and mocking laughter.  Xxxxxx sat quietly with a sick look on her face staring back at them.  She couldn’t seem to respond apparently because of the derisive attitude toward her.  I know that I was shocked that she would be called out and insulted as a woman.  The feeling was that she was the only one to be in a relationship with her teacher, which had been made public, was a committed relationship and was agreed to by the XXX Sangha. Xxxxxx was clearly made a spectacle of.  To my knowledge, Xxxxxx, a very fine teacher, never returned to participation in any organization nor do I know of her appearance in the American assembly of teachers since that day.  As a woman teacher myself, this was my first inkling of the state of our community dialogue and attitude.”  

“The second moment occurred further into the discussion when someone in the group asked: 'How many teachers here have married one of their students?'  To my astonishment, about three quarters of the room, all men, raised their hands in response to this question.  One would have to be quite naïve to suppose that the teachers and students had had no sexual activity prior to the marriages.  The realization was that so many teachers had committed sexual misconduct with a student.  The fact that they had married afterwards had nothing to do with it.  They had, by all ethical precepts, committed sexual misconduct.  Most of the teachers agreed in a further chuckle that none would actually advise it.  The suggestion was not that they didn’t advise sex with a student, but that the marriage was not the most favorable because of issues of trust resulting from the beginnings of the relationship.  Others who were there may remember what they will, but this was my experience.”

“It occurred to me that I might not want to be part of this assembly.  After all, I was raised to understand that a priest should not have sex with a parishioner, a doctor should not have sex with a patient, a teacher should not have sex with a student, etc., etc.  This was actually not just the Buddha’s teaching, but it was state law.  I wondered whether the teachers considered themselves priests, teachers, or professionals.  I wondered what they thought about the dignity and sacred nature of Zen and Zen practice, themselves as leaders, and whether they had realized what they had been given and what they would be called upon to influence in the future.  A tremendous hopelessness fed through me and I could not easily imagine a clear road for us all.”

“This was not a question of judgment of the people, but a feeling that our collective beginnings were initiated on spiritually undeveloped ground as teachers who would be called upon to live and model the best of the Buddha’s wisdom.  One person’s behavior affects all of us so we have the karmic remnants on which we stand.  Through these years, it would seem understandable that we might take so long to come to ethical guidelines because of such wide earlier immature beginnings.”

“I further questioned my participation on the list serve because of numerous bullying and gender related putdowns directed at me personally that were of little use to me in my life.  It disappointed me that teachers would deal in such attacking speech as to cripple and poison the atmosphere of the list serve.  It further disappointed that when gender putdowns arose, men did not speak out against and to other men publicly to put a stop to such discrimination.  Male privilege seemed to prevail.  Perhaps many voices began to drift away when it was no longer an act of sharing but an area to beware of.”

“And it seems to me now, like it or not, that we have a collective task to atone for and to make restitution for our lack of responsible restraint and lack of response to our collective activity, which includes all of us including the current Japanese teachers under discussion.  We are peripherally responsible.  We are in this soup together one and all.  It seems to me that the issues of the AZTA in our decisions to go forward must rely upon a responsible future and not seek to satisfy what our personal needs are at this time and place.  We must think for us all and must make mature spiritual decisions, bigger than our own small selves, that will do the best we can to insure the continuation of our Transmissions in the Dharma in the strongest possible direction for the future.  Our task is to protect the Dharma by applying the most favorable and mature pathway ahead for the next generations.  I am not able to understand why, having a set of ethics in place to which we are all accountable, could possibly dampen collegiality.”




Leaked Document on the Exclusive AZTA Secret Listserve
from Mary Mocine

January 2, 2014

“If it becomes a professional organization, we will need to incorporate in order to protect the Board and ourselves from direct liability. We will need to figure out standards. How a Korean zennie does that for a Rinzai, much less a Soto teacher, I don’t know. We are having a difficult time just trying to figure it out in SZBA. We would need by-laws and a grievance process along with an ethics statement. We would have to have dues.”

"I am not saying that we should not consider this. I am saying that it is a very big deal. I cannot see making such changes without a great deal of conversation. This is painful to me because it represents the potential for basically doing away with an organization and process that I love. I love the wildness of AZTA. I love the simplicity and freedom of it. I think this is painful to Genjo as he is hurting for all the people that Eido and Sasaki have harmed, along with others for that matter. I imagine he feels alone because he doesn’t see a Rinzai organization coming into being in the near future. It would take a lot of conversation to convince me that I should agree to be part of yet another professional organization. Perhaps it is impossible to convince me. My sense now is that if AZTA goes that way, I will not go with it. One is enough for me. Actually I am part of two already. This thought of losing something that has been of great support to me is not easy for me. I know it is not easy for Genjo. My point here is that it matters on a heart level and a poll will not reach it."

“Deciding by majority vote is offensive in this kind of situation. Note, too that there could be 20% for the professional organization, 70% for collegial with a requirement that one be subject an ethics process and 10% for 'as-is' and we’d still have to discuss the matter. But, again, I think we should discuss it so that those in Genjo’s shoes and those in mine could at least feel they received a full hearing. I get lost in all the threads of our email discussions. This will be hot and difficult. There is no moderator. I dread it, frankly.”

“BTW, just so you know, I think we should opt for requiring folks who belong to AZTA to be subject to an ethics policy and procedure. We can offer some guidelines as to what is required in such a policy and procedure. This is called a ‘Safe Harbor’ in the law. In other words, if you meet some minimum, you can’t be successfully sued for not having offered enough of a due process. SZBA requires something like this and so far as I know, it works. Note that it is the procedure for grievances and appeals that is the most important and difficult and that is why I don’t want AZTA to have its own ethics statement and procedure (An ethics statement without a procedure is meaningless.)” 




A Screen Grab of the Exclusive AZTA Public Website

AZTA Membership List.

Captured on January 1, 2014.

"Server Error
The server encountered an internal error and was unable to complete your request."

"JRun Connector Protocol Error."




Leaked Email on the Exclusive AZTA Secret Listserve
from James Ford

December 27, 2013

"In the meantime we feel we should remove the membership list at our website for the time being. We feel this will allow us time to resolve our status issues without the sense of emergency."

"We will ask our webmaster, Genjo to temporarily pull the list as of January 1st, unless there is an outpouring of objection."




Screengrab of the Exclusive AZTA Public Website
AZTA Membership List.

Captured on December 27, 2013.

Full capture of the public
"Database of Zen Practice Centers with AZTA Teachers" Allegedly to be removed from public scrutiny on January 1st, 2014.





Audio segments may take some time to load.

Episode Description:

BG 304: Zen Predator

by Mark Oppenheimer

Mark Oppenheimer is an essayist, reporter, critic, and one of the United States' leading investigators of religion. His new book, The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side, is an investigation of the decades of sexual scandal surrounding Japanese Zen teacher Eido Shimano.

Mark joins host Vincent Horn to discuss the book and the impact his writing  has had on the Zen community. Mark reports a brief history of the situation, they discuss the conditions that led to the problems, and they examine why the problem of sexual misconduct is not as common in other Western Buddhist traditions.



An essayist, reporter, and critic, Mark Oppenheimer is one of the country's leading Investigators of religion. He writes a religion column for The New York Times and also writes for The New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, Slate, The Forward, and Tablet, among other publications. Oppenheimer has a doctorate In American religious history and directs the Yale Journalism Initiative.





An Undated Communiqué From
The Zen Studies Society Board
Apparently Signed by Jikyo Bonnie Shoultz

(Listing Date based on document filename.)

"The Board has continued its work of recreating Zen Studies Society as a fully functioning organization whose practices conform to the highest standards for a nonprofit. We have been guided in this effort by An Olive Branch and by our own research into best practices for boards of directors."

"Our accomplishments have included the revision and adoption of new bylaws, establishing operating committees (such as Governance, Development, Membership, and Publicity and creating a membership protocol, soon to be announced) for the organization as a whole. This year we have retooled our information systems, taking advantage of software that automates processes, and revising the structure of record-keeping."

"Reporting is now more easily available for the two temples and for the Endowment Fund, and processes that have been carried out by outside vendors can be performed in the DBZ office at lower expense. Both the year-end 2013 fundraising appeal and the upcoming membership drive will be easier on all sides because of improved automation."

"Also, this year, the 2012 financial data was reviewed, prepared, and submitted to Citrin Cooperman, a nationally recognized accounting firm, for an audit. The preparation portion of this project helped us to standardize and improve our accounting practices. The audit results will be available on our web site soon."

"In November (the morning after the close of Harvest Sesshin!), the Board met to discuss strategic planning for the near and long-term. The discussion and planning sessions included fund-raising, membership, and critical issues such as energy conservation and engagement with local communities."




Sweeping Zen

Eido Shimano names new dharma successor

with fallout at AZTA.

Posted by: Adam Kō Shin Tebbe 

December 13, 2013

"The case raises an interesting dilemma for the AZTA. The association presents itself on its website as a peer group, providing 'an opportunity for expanded peer contacts and exchanges.' There is a membership committee in place for admitting individuals in to its membership, but there appears to be no mechanism in place for one’s removal — this due to the nature of the association itself (considering applicants based on their credentials alone). This results in what appears to be a lifetime membership. In all fairness, that process is under consideration (a process for grounds for removal)."

"At best, in this respect, when one sees that a Zen teacher is a member of the AZTA on their respective websites, it means that they have been recognized by their peers as another Zen teacher based on their credentials. Nothing more, nothing less. The membership appears unconcerned with matters of ethical breaches (as a body), with questions for prospective applicants revolving around matters of authorizations, length of time teaching, and length of time training. There are no questions regarding ethical issues, as there is no ethical statement on behalf of the AZTA itself."

"As always, I’m afraid, it is 'buyer beware' when entering the practice in a North American Zen center. Based on comments that have come in here at the website and elsewhere on the web, there are some individuals out there wholly willing to continue their practice with someone lax in their ethical judgment (Shimano being a more pronounced example of this)."

"As of today, there are no standardized ethical guidelines for American Zen teachers. Some centers have their own guidelines, with some being stronger than others. Burden therefore rests on the backs of those entering the practice to gauge the conduct of a prospective teacher. While taking responsibility for ourselves in this fashion is a good thing, and while we should be doing this with or without ethical guidelines or oversight in place, it is disconcerting that we ask those entering the practice, often at very difficult points in their own life, to be in a place where they are even interested in asking these very important questions."

"We also have a situation here where individuals who might find more appropriate help in a mental health setting come knocking at the door of a center, instead. In some of these ethical breaches like that involving Shimano, it is alleged, these same people were those most vulnerable to his advances."




A pertinent entry from The Sasakiarchive pages:

Facebook posting and link by Eshu Martin-osho.

"In effect, Rinzai-ji, with the help of An Olive Branch, has created a process which is of absolutely no benefit to victims, in fact exposes them to further risk, and ensures that the result will be 'we offered to listen but there weren't any complaints, no one came forward. Clearly this is behind us now.' "

"An Olive Branch is a contracted employee of Rinzai-ji, and therefore the mandate is set by Rinzai-ji, and nobody else. There are still several Oshos at the top of Rinzai-ji that firmly believe that no wrong was done, that Joshu Sasaki's sexual sanzen is a legitimate teaching, and that all of the complaints are just ignorant fools who don't understand Zen."

"Please don't stop applying pressure, don't stop demanding better. Keep talking about this, and keep spreading the word. This issue will not be resolved by silence, or by allowing it to creep back into the darkness."




"A Nun's Faith is Smashed"

An excerpt from the above dissertation by a woman identified only as "ARIAKI". Pages 189 - 193 of the original with annotations [in RED].

"It really hit me that something was very wrong when one day Roshi [Eido Shimano] suddenly turned on me for no reason. I was getting transmission about how to do ceremonies, weddings, and funerals needed in a career as a priest. During one of those teaching meetings, Roshi [Eido Shimano] misunderstood a statement I made-and went ballistic. In a rage he turned on me, shouting in his huge Zen voice. I was stunned. In that moment it all came together for me that something was terribly wrong. For a person to speak this way to someone they were having sex with no longer seemed like something Zen, but just very sick behavior. I went to my room where I cried for 3 days, unable to stop or leave the room. I realized that everything was destroyed. The unthinkable had happened. The relationship with my teacher [Eido Shimano] and the zendo [Dai Bosatsu Zendo] was over."

"I finally gave up trying to reconcile after a phone conversation in which Roshi [Eido Shimano] spewed out such hatred that, when I hung up, I vomited. After that, I would sometimes wake up in the night and start crying. I would cry until I began gagging and vomiting. I know this sounds extreme, but four different people have reported bouts of vomiting after being sexually abused by this teacher. One student vomited right in the street in front of the zendo [New York Zendo Shobo-ji] after an encounter with him."

"Attempts at change have been futile. Roshi [Eido Shimano] was even investigated by the sex crimes division of the office of District Attorney [New York City], but nothing could be done because, in our state, if there is no 'forcible rape' there is no criminal offense. For decades, attempts by the sangha to oust Roshi [Eido Shimano] have been unsuccessful. A unanimous vote of the board is needed for that, and Roshi [Eido Shimano] is a member of the board."



Caryl Reimer Gopfert Ph.D.
December 13, 1942 - May 8, 2009
Photo by Sharon Hoffman


Caution: This file is quite large, consisting of over four hundred pages, comprising 15.5 MB disk space. Be prepared for possibly lengthy download times.



by Caryl Reimer Gopfert

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Transpersonal Psychology

Institute of Transpersonal Psychology

Palo Alto, California

March 21, 1999.

The entry beginning on page 189 entitled "A Nun's Faith is Smashed" by a woman using the pseudonym "ARIAKE" concerns her relationship with Eido Shimano.

“This study examines the long-term personal and spiritual effects of betrayal experiences on students and investigates the complexity of teacher/student relationships: issues of power, authority, and idealization influenced by cultural, societal, and familial norms and mores. Using a blend of Organic, Heuristic and Transpersonal (Sympathetic Resonance, Intuitive Inquiry) methods, eight Zen practitioners were interviewed in-depth and their stories with both American and Japanese teachers presented. Interviewees read and responded to each other's stories. Seven sympathetic resonators read and responded to the stories and held a discussion. The researcher responded to the stories, responses, and discussion. Thus there were three rounds of validity checks applying the non-traditional approaches of intuitive inquiry. Affects similar to those of post-traumatic stress were shown (low self-esteem, self-doubt, trust issues). There was general agreement that the potential permanent harm in spiritual betrayals lies in the disruption of personal connection to the Divine. The study describes the dependent co-arising nature of betrayals and the distribution of both responsibility and pain among teacher, student, and community. The ultimate responsibility of teachers is discussed. The dance between spiritual insight and understanding, and its corresponding ‘shadow’ is depicted. Contributing structural difficulties in Zen practice are defined and discussed. The study suggests areas for change. It also uncovers and illumines the need for a deep, moral shift in attitude effecting how both teachers and practitioners manifest as they live their lives.”



As of 8:30 PM EST on December 2, 2013

The AZTA Website Has been Restored

The website has been restored without the entry for Zenrin Robert Lewis' Jacksonville, Florida Zen group.




Audio segments may take some time to load.

The Hugh Hewitt Show

with Mark Oppenheimer

November 22, 2013

Oppenheimer speaks about his new ebook; "The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side"



Audio segments may take some time to load.

The Dark Side of Zen


With Dr. Brian Victoria, Dr. Jay Michaelson
and Dr. Mark Oppenheimer

The Colin McEnroe Show

TUE NOVEMBER 26, 2013  - 10:27 AM 

"Today's show delves into some instances of good teachings being used to do bad things, ranging from a sex scandal that tainted one of America's most influential Zen communities, to the role Zen played in the militarism of Japan in World War II."

"We're not here to roast Buddhism on a spit. We also talk about the ways Buddhism has evolved to make some of these stumbles less likely in the future."




Official AZTA Listing for Zenrin Lewis
and the Jacksonville, FL Group.

Screen Grab of 11/09/13

Teacher(s) Rev. Zenrin Lewis

Address 2014 Perry Street


Lineage Rinzai Zen

City & State Jacksonville, FL




AZTA Website is Disabled

A Screengrab from the AZTA Website

December 2, 2013 – 6:22:13 AM EST

"Under Construction"

"The site you are trying to view does not currently have a default page. It may be in the process of being upgraded and configured."

"Please try this site again later. If you still experience the problem, try contacting the Web site administrator."



Click arrow button above to listen.

The Wright Show

Conversations with a series of people who have nothing in common except that program host Robert Wright is curious about what they’re thinking.

Robert Wright and Mark Oppenheimer 

Meditation and sociopathy   4:00

Mark meditates with the predatory Zen master   4:22

The double injury of abuse by a spiritual teacher   5:24

The addictive appeal of meditation   5:53

Is Buddhism particularly susceptible to sexual predators?   6:33

Mark's new e-book, "The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side"   7:20 




Leaked Emails on the Exclusive AZTA SecretvListserve
from Genjo Marinello and Nonin Chowaney

November 27, 2013

Genjo Marinello:

"Eido Shimano agrees that a Zen teacher should not be sexual with students; however, this has never stopped him from being a pathological liar and sexual predator of his own sangha. Zenrin accepts that Eido Shimano has done the best he can and supports his continued teaching and actively continues to train with him."

"I don't care if Zenrin is a member of AZTA or not, we have no way to say if a member is in good standing or not. Nevertheless, I am in charge making additions and changes to the AZTA database, and I will not tolerate any longer the use of our database to refer people to a teacher and organization that continues to train with Eido Shimano. So hearing no objection I have deleted his listing from our public database."

"If there is a vote to return him to our database, I will not implement it; however, I will resign from this organization and someone else may then restore it."

Nonin Chowaney:

"This is unacceptable conduct. Genjo was not given the power to delete members from our list, so he has self-righteously overstepped his bounds."

"Can someone agree to take over our database, and if Genjo resigns from AZTA, that would be fine with me."




An Email From Genjo Marinello Roshi to the ZSS Board

November 26, 2013 10:56 AM

“I am uncomfortable that the Zen Studies Society is listing The Jacksonville Zen Sangha, that Eido Roshi’s newly transmitted Dharma Heir Zenrin Roshi runs, as a related Zen Center. It certainly gives the impression that ZSS is still intimately linked to Shimano's ongoing teaching efforts, even though ZSS has been clear for sometime that Eido Shimano is not welcome to teach on their own properties.”

“I believe ZSS now fully believes that Eido Shimano should not be encouraged to teach anywhere, then it seems reasonable that ZSS should drop its affiliated status with the Jacksonville Zen Sangha.”




An Email From a Nick Patterson
to Kobutsu Malone

"I'm a Zen student observing the Shimano train-wreck with appalled fascination."

"I think that DBZ need to have their feet held to the fire about their current relationship with Shimano."

"For instance Robert Lewis has just been made 'Roshi' by Shimano."

"On looking at the Jacksonville Zen center web site, Jacksonville (where Lewis is the teacher) claim to be affiliated with DBZ.  Is this OK with DBZ and Shinge?"

"If so, they are obviously comfortable with Shimano continuing to practice and give out 'transmission'."




A Screen-grab from the Jacksonville (Florida) Zen Sangha Website.


“We have no dependency on any other organization, but we have a long-term and strong relation with DBZ (, Dai Bosatsu Zendo Kongo-ji, a Rinzai Zen Buddhist monastery in New York State. Zenrin, our Zen 'teacher,' trained there for 12 years under Eido Tai Shimano Roshi (the title 'Roshi' means Zen Master) , whose lineage goes back through the 8th Century Chinese Zen Master Rinzai all the way to the Buddha, nearly 2500 years ago. Thus we are able to offer Zen training in the Rinzai tradition here in Jacksonville and, through 'scholarships,' at DBZ itself.”




A Screen-grab from
the Zen Studies Society Website.


"the zen studies society"

"Related Zen Centers"

"The Jacksonville Zen Sangha

Zenrin Chido Zenji Robert Lewis, Director

2014 Perry Street

Jacksonville, Florida 32207

(904) 398-6905"




Sunday, November 24, 2013


Deep Zazen at "Hidden Zendo"

November 8th to 14th, 2013

By Zensho Martin Hara

"On the first day, Zenrin Robert Lewis was given Dharma Transmission, through a special ceremony conducted by Eido Roshi. Zenrin was bestowed the title of Roshi and was given the name Sōryu-Kutsū which translates as ‘Blue Dragon Cave’. The name was taken from the Blue Cliff Records ‘For over 20 years, I have had fierce struggles, descending into the blue dragon's cave for you!’ "




New Haven Independent

Zen Sex-Abuse “Single” Kindles An E-Revolution


NOV 18, 2013 3:27 PM

"I initially found out about Eido Shimano and his misdeeds because (if I remember correctly) someone forwarded me a blog post from a Buddhist website. This would have been Summer 2010. Shimano had just been called out publicly, at a Buddhist dinner, for his abuse, and he was stepping down. I wrote a column about it, then thought I was done with it. But then I began getting emails from victims of his, and also from Kobutsu Malone, a former monk of Shimano’s who had been collecting a dossier on the guy’s screwing around. He’d been tracking him for over 10  years. So as I began poking around, I realized there was so much more to the story. I drove up to Maine a year ago to meet Kobutsu and look at his archives, and was off to the races…
The original column was for the NY Times, where I write a biweekly column."

"A lot of victims of sex abuse in tight-knit worlds like Zen sanghas (communities) just drop out, disappear, want nothing more to do with the community, ever. So they aren’t around to see that another woman goes through the same thing a year later, and another five years later. They are isolated. But in this case, the web helped them find each other. Of course, the guy I am writing about, Shimano, was alleged to often have many women at once — so this really was an open secret. But yes, a couple victims became the keepers of the knowledge. The main keeper, Kobutsu Malone, created an incredibly useful website, Shimano had slept with his ex-wife while they were married."




The Daily Beast

The Shocking Scandal at the Heart of American Zen

By Jay Michaelson

November 14th 20135:45 AM

"As with many religious sex scandals, this is old news to insiders. Other Zen roshis with similar allegations against them include Richard Baker, Joshu Sasaki, Taizan Maezumi—the list goes on, really. The pattern is disturbingly familiar from Catholic, Ultra-Orthodox Jewish, and similar systematic abuse scandals: insiders made aware, positive values of spiritual teacher stressed, abuse hushed up, abuse repeated."

"Yet in Shimano’s case, the facts are murkier. 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. Second, none were raped, in the narrowest (and legal) sense of the term. 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. Shimano’s actions are inexcusable by Japanese, American, or any other cultural standard. Yet they did take place within a system of power and patriarchy that includes male sexual philandering within it. How different was Shimano’s behavior from that of a typical Japanese businessman? 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? Here, too, the situation is more complex than it may first appear. 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. Actually, enlightened Zen monks are often worldly, engaged, and sexually voracious. 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."




GENKAKU-AGAIN (adam fisher)

Monday, November 18, 2013

a cultural divide -- oh really?

"With the publication of Oppenheimer's book/essay about Shimano's willingness to prey on women students, a number of reviews arose, among them, one from Jay Michaelson in The Daily Beast. Michaelson argues, with tentative asides, that there is a problem with Zen Buddhism that goes beyond Shimano. The very title of his review -- 'The Shocking Scandal at the Heart of American Zen' -- genuflects to Oppenheimer's occasional New-York-Times-esque longing to assert a wider, systemic flaw -- a flaw of which Shimano was an example, though far from the only one. This argument can certainly be made, though I'm not sure if either Michaelson or Oppenheimer are the people who can make it with more than a superficial, New-York-Times-y gloss."

"Still, making the argument at all, has the net effect of mitigating Shimano's malfeasances: What the hell -- he was just part of a wider fabric. And simultaneously, the argument tends to buy into the notion that 50 years of living in a country is not enough to inform any emigrant."

"Michaelson writes:"

"Then there’s the matter of culture. Shimano’s actions are inexcusable by Japanese, American, or any other cultural standard. Yet they did take place within a system of power and patriarchy that includes male sexual philandering within it. How different was Shimano’s behavior from that of a typical Japanese businessman? 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? Here, too, the situation is more complex than it may first appear. 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. Actually, enlightened Zen monks are often worldly, engaged, and sexually voracious. 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."

"I agree with Michaelson -- Americans are a conflicted and prurient lot when it comes to sex. And perhaps they are even more conflicted and prurient when it comes to religion and sex. 'Projecting our own Western sex negativity on non-Western spiritual teachers' may be an erroneous approach."

"But, if in fact such projections exist, how could a man of exquisite training and sensitivity and compassion not pick up on that flaw over a period of 50 years and learn to live within their confines, however misguided and second-rate the students might be? Would his training in compassion and clear-headedness lead him to work within those confines to illuminate a more sensible outlook or would that training incline him to simply flaunt the appreciations of the 'heathens' within whose numbers he found himself? And even if such a man had nothing to do with Zen or spirituality, would the questions be any different?"

"The difficulty that arises when segueing into broad-brush generalizations about Zen and culture can be seen in an email sent by Roko Shinge Chayat, one of Eido Shimano's chosen Zen-teacher successors. Posted in the Shimano Archive, the note reads in part:

"Jay Michaelson really gets it, as Oppenheimer did not in his lurid pursuit of sexual titillation."

"By crediting Michaelson's broad-brush approach -- it's the system, dontcha know -- Chayat also is able to legitimize her standing and credibility as the latest abbot of Dai Bosatsu monastery. It's the system, she can claim, and I have not been tarred by the Shimano bill of particulars. For those old enough to remember or who have read history, it sounds suspiciously like the cavalcade of pleas made by former Nazi bigwigs during the Nuremberg Trials: 'Ich bin nicht schuldig.' (I am not guilty.) Or perhaps the penitent Irishman nursing a hangover: 'The devil made me do it.' 'The system' excuses those who live within it and relieves them of personal responsibility. From the 'systemic' heights, well-wishers can hold 'Olive Branch' or 'Samoan Circle' or 'new ethical guideline' meetings that seek to 'heal' the wounds that many have suffered ... without ever really taking into account the suffering the sufferers suffered. Wouldn't it be nice if those who were part of the problem agreed to meet victims on ground that the victims chose, and there forthrightly admit and apologize for a top-lofty complicity?"

"OK ... it's the system and the culture. After 50 years of living in another culture, a (wo)man may be excused based on cultural heritage ... or if not precisely 'cultural heritage,' then something sounding suspiciously like it."

"But if the culture-made-him-do-it argument won't wash, and if the compassion argument is belied by the facts, why would an insistent Japanese man stay in a country full of heathens and cripples? What reason could be adduced?"




A leaked email from the AZTA Listserve.

From: "Sherry Chayat"


"Jay Michaelson really gets it, as Oppenheimer did not in his lurid pursuit of sexual titillation."




The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side

An Excerpt From
The New Republic

“Right now, Manhattan’s Zen Studies Society, perhaps the most prestigious Zen Buddhist center in the United States, is being torn apart by lawsuits, backstabbing, and infighting. The finances are terrible, and the beautiful carriage house on East 67th Street may have to be sold to pay legal debts—or, if he wins the lawsuit, to pay damages to Eido Shimano, the 82-year-old Zen master who built the society up but also, in a way, has destroyed it. According to revelations that have tumbled out over the past two years, and which I chronicle in-depth in a new e-book, Shimano has spent 50 years preying sexually on his students. He may have slept with dozens; I personally have identified over a dozen, and spoken to many of them. Shimano’s womanizing is of the sleaziest sort: He is married, and he has often picked for his mistresses much younger and disturbed women, the kind particularly susceptible to his twisted charisma.”

“A student was also liable to believe that her teacher was conveying the one true form of Zen Buddhism. Anybody who traveled to Japan, as many American Buddhists would, quickly learned that every monastery there had its own variations on the tradition—as with any other religious practice, there is no one true form. But the Americans didn’t know that. The teacher knew all; the American knew nothing. In this way the teacher was like a deity, a minor god.”

“Quietly or not, many people did leave. The Zen Studies Society was marked by frequent turnover. Students in their early 30s, even younger, could find themselves among the senior monks at Dai Bosatsu, in a tradition that is supposed to be ungraspable even after a whole lifetime of study. But for Schnyer this constantly refreshing membership was proof that the sangha did disapprove of Shimano’s treatment of women. ‘You won’t find anybody within the Zen Studies Society who has tolerated this stuff from start to finish,’ Schnyer said. ‘It’s waves of people who say, ‘I’m done with this, I got what I can out of it’ ... and then a new group comes in.’ “

“I finally asked Schnyer if he had said what Zournas attributed to him: He hasn’t raped anyone yet, has he?”

“ 'I suspect I probably said something like that,' Schnyer said. 'I don’t remember saying that.' ”




The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side

An Excerpt From
The Atlantic

“Eido Shimano, the Japanese Zen Buddhist monk whose exploitative relationships with female followers over a fifty-year period were to tear apart the American Buddhist community, arrived in the United States in August 1960, at the age of 27, to study at the University of Hawaii.”

“Tormented, Robert Aitken saved his correspondence with and about Shimano. He must have made it known that he was keeping the definitive dossier on Shimano, because over the years insiders leaked to him copies of private letters to the Zen Studies Society board, minutes of board deliberations, and other documents that helped complete the story of Shimano’s predations. In 2003, Aitken gave the papers to the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and in 2008, just after his 90th birthday, he agreed to allow public access to the papers he had been saving for 45 years.”

“The papers might have just sat in boxes at the university archives in Manoa had not a former Shimano follower, a Zen priest named Kobutsu Malone, requested that photocopies of the entire archive be sent to his home in rural Maine. By 2008, when he was able to get the papers, Malone had developed an obsessive grudge against Shimano. An engineer by trade, Kevin Malone—he would take his dharma name, Kobutsu, as his legal name in 2010—had begun in 1977 to sit, or meditate, at Shimano’s New York Zendo, where he was soon volunteering his handyman skills, doing carpentry, electrical wiring, and other tasks. In 1979, he moved to Dai Bosatsu, Shimano’s country monastery, with his future wife. They took up residence in the gatehouse, from which Malone superintended the campus, ‘running the buildings, all the vehicles, logging, everything,’ he told me last year. He got married there in July of 1979, and had a son, Sean, in 1980. The next year, the family left for California, where Malone had a job offer. He and his wife divorced in 1990, and many years later he learned that his ex-wife, who had slept with Shimano before marrying Malone, had continued a casual affair with their teacher during their marriage—as his ex-wife confirmed for me.”

“I heard this story in October 2012, when I visited Malone at his one-bedroom apartment in a forgettable development in coastal Maine. When I arrived, I was greeted at the door by Malone, a short, blunt, white-haired, heavy-lidded, chain-smoking, double-wide bruiser of a man—and by his enormous Newfoundland, Harley-Bear."

"Malone’s small living room was crowded with files and a large computer—tools in his daily fight to expose Shimano, a task to which he says he has dedicated tens of thousands of hours.” 




An Email From Banko Randy Phillips, Former ZSS Board Member, To Kobutsu Malone.

"In one aspect - all of this recent history really comes down to Fujin. She was instrumental in killing Jiro off and she was the one who drafted the letter that dissed you at a time that you really needed help. If Roshi had reservations ordaining you (and I have no knowledge at all that he did) to mention that to a 3rd party in the circumstances that unfolded was a breach of ethics that is as bad as anything he has done to anyone. Fujin never liked you - for whatever reasons - and considered you a poseur and pretty much spread this around. I thought that the activism that you were attempting was refreshing. I eventually got into hospice as my own form of activism."

"But all of this would have unfolded so differently if you had not made it a quest to get all of the information out. It would have gotten out but slower and I doubt that 'Daphna' would have dropped the bombshell that she did when she did. I believe it was the archives that informed her that she was just one more in a long list of Shimano's dalliances."

"But of course I am glad that is is all out - and we all have you to thank for that. At this point I have hopes that somehow the two Zen centers can continue - but if they fail that is OK too. I left the board because of Roko. She was well meaning but caught up in beliefs that I had no chance of shaking at the time. When Shimano lied to the board just days before 'Daphna's' revelation I realized that this guy was not at all who I thought he was. Eventually I was at a moral impasse - I felt strongly to force Shimano to take a leave of absence at least - I let her and the board know - got nothing back (but barbs from her) and so resigned."



The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side

Book Description

Publication Date: November 12, 2013

A powerful story of secrets and sexual exploitation perpetrated under the guise of religion—a cautionary tale of the dark side of Zen in America. 

"Nearly 50 years ago, a Zen Buddhist monk—fleeing a cloud of suspicion—arrived in Manhattan, penniless and alone. Eido Shimano would quickly build an unrivaled community of followers: Zen students he culled from the heights of New York society to form arguably the most prestigious Japanese Buddhist organization in the country. Authors, entertainers, and scions of vast fortunes, all questing for spiritual enlightenment, flocked to study and live in his spacious compound. But always there were whispers that things were not what they seemed." 

"With sexual-abuse allegations against Zen leaders in the U.S. now stunningly common, The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side examines a dangerously complicated corner of the tradition—and shows how aspects of Buddhist practice may actually facilitate abuse. Featuring exclusive reporting and interviews, the book is a powerful true story of secrets and sexual exploitation perpetrated under the guise of religion—and a cautionary tale of the dark side of Zen in America." 


"An essayist, reporter, and critic, Mark Oppenheimer is one of the country’s leading investigators of religion. He writes a religion column for The New York Times and also writes for The New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, Slate, The Forward, and Tablet, among other publications. Oppenheimer has a doctorate in American religious history and directs the Yale Journalism Initiative. The author of three previous books, he lives with his family in New Haven, Connecticut."




Rochester Zen Center
adopted by the Center’s Members at the
May 25, 1991, Annual Corporate Meeting
adopted February 1991 by unanimous written consent of the
Center’s Board of Trustees, effective May 25, 1991
As amended by the Board of Trustees on November 2, 1991;

This entry is provided as an example for comparison.

Adopted January 30, 1993
As of March 23, 2003



BYLAWS of The Zen Studies Society, Inc.

(Captured 09/02/13)

20130902_Bylaws_ZSS.pdf ]




BYLAWS of The Zen Studies Society, Inc.

(Captured 09/02/13)

From the Zen Studies Society Website at:

"4.3. Rights and responsibilities of Zen Studies Society members are as follows:

     a. Zen Studies Society members who attend sesshin may become students of the Abbot of the Zen Studies Society.

     b. Members have the right to attend the Annual Meeting of the Society, which is held in early summer of each year at a location designated by the Board of Directors. Notice of the time and location for the year's Annual Meeting will be sent to members three months before the meeting. At this meeting, officers and committees shall give annual reports and other matters may be raised and discussed.

     c. Members wishing to place an item on the Annual Meeting agenda must present their recommendation to the Governance Committee of the Board of Directors at least two months prior to the Annual Meeting. Members have the right to vote at the Annual Meeting on such recommendations as are brought forward by the Governance Committee of the Board of Directors.

d. Members receive discounts for sesshin and other programs and may be invited to serve on task groups, thereby supporting the operations of the Society.

     e. Members are responsible for paying on-going dues in an amount established by the Board of Directors. Ordained members and residents of the monastery and temple are exempt from paying dues.

     f. Members may submit names of candidates for the Board of Directors to the Governance Committee.

     g. The Board of Directors is charged with keeping members informed in matters of interest and concern and respecting their rights and responsibilities as practitioners."

[ For Reference: See
Adopted January 30, 1993
As of March 23, 2003

20030323_ZSS_Bylaws_Rev.pdf ]



From: Shinge Roshi Roko Sherry Chayat

Date: Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Subject: "Dear Sangha"

“To allocate our energies as effectively as possible, we are taking the step of canceling this fall’s Golden Wind Sesshin and holding Harvest Sesshin a week earlier, from October 26 to November 2. This will be a seven-day sesshin. Of course Rohatsu Sesshin dates are always the same: November 30-December 8. We sincerely hope that this will not cause inconvenience, and that you will be able to join us for sesshin and for our other summer and fall programs.”

“The Zen Studies Society Board will be holding another Board and Advisory Council retreat in the fall, this one to refine our vision for the future of DBZ and to explore ideas for future programming and scheduling. In that regard, it was helpful to have former Vice Abbot JunPo Denis Kelly at DBZ with his Hollow Bones Sangha for a guest sesshin in June. We were inspired by their playfulness and joy. They loved being at DBZ, and are already planning to come back next year.”

“You are also invited to come to Hoen-ji, our Syracuse temple, for my 70th birthday celebration on Saturday, October 5. The Sangha there will be sending out more information on this event soon. You are also invited to come to Hoen-ji, our Syracuse temple, for my 70th birthday celebration on Saturday, October 5. The Sangha there will be sending out more information on this event soon.”




The Rinzai Zen Sangha

The Followers of Rinzai Zen Buddhist Practice

To the Sangha from Eido Roshi

JULY 4th, 2013

"Since our retirement, there have been a number of actions taken by the ZSSB, which have influenced and altered our lives. One of which, includes the violation of our retirement pension agreement with the stopping of all payments after August 2012. Without receiving any response from the ZSSB for their actions, we had no other choice but to initiate a civil suit four months later. In May 2013, the ZSSB made an offer to enter into non-binding arbitration, if we placed our lawsuit on hold. We accepted this offer. Thus far, the choice of a mediator to provide an alternative resolution to our dispute is still pending."

"When I retired, it was my intention to continue my work for the Dharma by translating the precious foundational letters of Soen Roshi and Nyogen Senzaki. Under the current circumstances, I have resolved to continue my commitment to our Dharma legacy, by starting the translations now, with the help of Sangha volunteers. It is my intention to encourage everyone to do Zazen practice in every way you can, and have the clarity of mindfulness, to encourage others to do the same."




ZSS Email Newsletter - July 2013

Attached Documents:




“This is a time of transition. We've been challenged in many ways over the past few years, and now we want to use what we've learned to examine the best direction for the future. What is authentic for us, natural to us in the second decade of the twenty-first century in North America?”  

“We want to stay open to new possibilities to strengthen the Zen Studies Society. We want to bring in new practitioners, and we especially want to invite all the many old-timers to come and be a part of this--we value your long years of practice, your depth of insight, and your many”

“Summer at Dai Bosatsu is a time of miraculous beauty, warm friendship, and joyful practice. Here we are, surrounded by new life- baby deer and bear, geese and beavers, birds and butterflies- and we, too, are renewed each day on the banks of the highest lake in the Catskills.” 

“Caring for our environment and working with organizations like the Nature Conservancy, we are focusing on sustainability and ecology.  Everyone who comes here feels that it's a sacred space. As we know, psychological wellness is integrally tied to the healing power of nature- indeed, studies have recently been”

 “Join us for a weekend of Zen sitting and work practice on a variety of projects in and around the monastery. As much as the weather allows, Samu Weekends are devoted to outdoor work. Typical outdoor work assignments include splitting firewood, weeding, raking, and landscaping. Of course, some participants may also be asked to work indoors. Mindful work is emphasized. First-timers will need to arrive early enough on Friday afternoon to participate in an orientation. Although there is no set program fee for the weekend, donations are gratefully accepted. If you have any special talents or skills, please let us know! Everyone is welcome, but you must be registered to attend. If you make a reservation but cannot attend, please let us know so we can plan accordingly.”




An Email From The ZSS BOD To:

"Dear Sangha"

"No one was ever able to put a stop to what should have been stopped because of the culture of secrecy and the misuse of power. We, the Board of Directors of the Zen Studies Society, acknowledge this, and we are deeply sorry. "

"At that time, even though all of us wanted to find a way to do so, we were not able to offer an organizational apology, because of legal constraints having to do with confidentiality. We were and continue to be especially concerned about those who were directly harmed by inappropriate sexual relationships with their teacher, but we also know that many others were deeply hurt."

[Underline emphasis added.]




An Email From Genjo Marinello To Roko Chayat

June 16, 2013, 2:58 PM CDT

Re: "A Letter From Shinge Roshi"

"Open letter concerning ZSS  'Annual Ceremony for Introspection and Purification' "

"This week I read with interest Shinge Roko Chayat's, the second abbot of the Zen Studies Society (ZSS), proposal to begin this July an 'Annual Ceremony for Introspection and Purification' (see:   She proposes that at such a service the mistakes of the past, presumably around the handling of the Eido Shimano fiasco, can be owned up to and redressed."

"It is well known that the founding Abbot of the ZSS, Eido Shimano Roshi, severely abused his position of power and authority over the course of decades.  Most egregiously, sexualizing and abusing the most vulnerable and attractive female students under his care and instruction.  It is also known that his actions have disrupted and divided the sangha several times during his tenure as abbot. At each major upheaval, the most progressive members of the ZSS board would either leave in disgust at the inaction of the entire board or be forced out. Thus leaving the most conservative members to march on to reestablish a viable, but fundamentally dysfunctional, practice community.  In the most recent upheaval, that began in June of 2010, when yet another student came forward to reveal that she was tiered of keeping secret her illicit affair with Shimano, the first of the ZSS board members resigned when Roshi refused to take a leave of absence from teaching after admitting this clear ethical breach of well established policy.  I was the last of five to resign in July of 2011."

"When it was finally agreed by everyone, including Roshi, that he would no longer teach at ZSS, three days later the board received a proposal from Roshi, dated July 5th, 2011, that he be allowed to teach beginning students at NYC Shobo-Ji (ZSS City Zendo).  The board quickly declined this request, but then the rest of the board argued that this letter be kept secret.  I could not agree because the letter so clearly demonstrated the depth of his denial and narcissism; therefore, for this and other reasons, I resigned.  Of course, once again, those who remained were the least progressive and most tolerant of Eido Shimano's antics. Shinge, who has admitted to being unexpectedly physically molested by him, was in my view the least progressive of those remaining. By the way, everyone should be aware that Eido Shimano continues to teach students in New York and internationally, just not under the auspices of ZSS."




An Email Letter From Shinge


"Sangha" [Actually to a select group]

"These last few years have been a time of great challenge and change. Some people say that we must move on, and focus our attention on new growth. Yet I know there are many who feel their concerns have not been fully acknowledged."

"We have all made mistakes, those of commission and those of omission. We have hurt others through our insensitivity, our ego-centered actions, and our lack of wisdom and compassion, and we must own up to this, and ask for forgiveness."

"We need to bring restorative principles and practices to redress harm, restore peace, promote healing, and build a strong, healthy community."

"We can take up a suggestion that was made some time ago to hold an annual ceremony of introspection and purification, through which we reflect upon the shadow history of the Zen Studies Society and vow to transform our karma."

"The most appropriate time would be at the conclusion of every Anniversary Sesshin. This year's sesshin will end at noon on Saturday, July 6, 2013."

"Even if you can't come to sesshin, please join us that Saturday at 2 p.m. for a facilitated listening circle in which everyone can speak openly, without interruption, and be heard deeply. Then we will have a special Purification Ceremony in the Dharma Hall. We'll end with an informal supper."

"It is my intention to hold such listening circles on a regular basis, both at Dai Bosatsu Zendo and at New York Zendo, as well as an annual purification ceremony."




The Genkaku Again Blog


Monday, June 10, 2013

"It's a bit too precious and too convoluted as written, but since I am too lazy to rewrite it and since various recent conversations put me in mind of it, I will put it here so I'll know where to find it -- a 30-plus-year-old incident that had some impact in its time, but now is just a small shard in the mosaic of depredations of the Zen teacher Eido Tai Shimano."

As he walked south along Third Avenue, the streets were largely empty. A few trucks, a few taxis and a few buses plied their trade, but in a city as jam-packed as New York, this was an empty time and the emptiness seemed to compound his sense of fear. What if he were seen or caught red-handed breaking the law? How could he deny that the plastic bag in his right hand contained cans of spray paint and that the spray paint belonged to him?”

“The forty-two-year-old house painter and Zen student withdrew one of the spray cans from his bag, shook it until the small steel ball within rattled to indicate the paint was well-mixed, and then sprayed first one and then another of the sandstone stairs: 'SHAME.' The paint had been deliberately purchased in an oil-base form -- something that could not be washed off easily as water-base paint might be. With luck, it would be mostly dry before the sun came up and the lawbreaker's handiwork was discovered.”

“And now, today, one of his followers was drawing a line ... SHAME. On the one hand, it was just a bit of scurrilous graffiti. On the other, it was a summing up of Shimano's previous and future years as what some called a 'Zen master.' He had manipulated and abused women students ... and would again. He had manipulated and abused the finances of Zen Studies Society ... and would again. There was no pervasive Internet use at the time and so it had taken years for the evidence to accumulate and make itself felt: Shimano had betrayed is own teachings and hurt quite a lot of people into the bargain.”

“The forty-two-year-old house painter and Zen student was, of course, me. It was I who was tired and determined and scared. I was scared not just that the police might catch and prosecute me but also that I might incur some mystical wrath from the brightness of the Zen Buddhism I had followed as best I might: Not only were the cops going to hit me on the nose with a rolled up newspaper, but the Buddhist tradition itself might exact some fearsome, hell-bound, karmic price. Toe the mark or risk reprisal ... that was Shimano's teaching and I too had ingested it. But not today, not Oct. 5, 1982.”

[See: Here and Here]




The Genkaku Again Blog

the bureaucrat

"It began yesterday when a friend sent along a video of Eido Tai Shimano's concluding talk at a sesshin or Zen retreat held May 10-15. After first assessing how long the video clip was (nine minutes and change), I watched it. I can do pretty much anything for nine minutes so I watched. And it was from that point that the incredible sorrow -- molecule-deep sorrow and horror ... wracking -- kicked in."

"Eido Shimano came to America in the 1960's and helped to build a Zen Buddhist organization whose most concrete exemplars were a town-house Zen center in Manhattan and a monastery-like building in the Catskill Mountains. I studied for nine years within his precincts beginning in the 1970's. I loved Zen practice somehow -- deeply and with the sort of awe and confusion and devotion and determination that I think other students may have felt in their own ways. I remained in Shimano's bomb zone until his sociopathic depredations -- the sexual manipulation of female students being the most high-profile -- became too much for me. When I left, I was confused and angry and felt betrayed ... but those were, however painful, minor matters. Later, I would become involved in efforts to lay out Shimano's chicanery -- a chicanery best depicted, perhaps, in The Shimano Archive: This son of a bitch deserved to be brought down! And so, bit by bit, he was reduced in stature: His legend, both in his own mind and in the minds of others, was deflated ... not perfectly perhaps, but in some measure. The video attested to a hoped-for and perhaps-attainable resurrection as a "Zen master" and teacher of 'true Rinzai Zen.' "

"Watching the video yesterday, I wondered how many years Shimano had devoted to what he called 'Zen practice.' Was it 50 or 60? Imagine that! So much time, so much effort, so much accomplishment and ... and here's where the sorrow and horror overwhelmed me ... the upshot, at least in my heart and mind, was purely the most horrific and sorrowful thing I could imagine in spiritual life ... the upshot was ...

A bureaucrat."

"Teaspoon by teaspoon by teaspoon ... nothing threatening about a teaspoon, right? ... a bureaucrat. In my heart and mind, it was beyond screaming in its sorrowfulness."






“On May 10th to 15th, 2013, the Rinzai Zen Sangha hosted its Inaugural Sesshin, dedicated to the memory of Nyogen Senzaki Zenji, with Eido Shimano Roshi as its invited guest teacher.”

“We inspired the cool, crisp, lilac and magnolia scented spring air at a beautiful, secluded, historic country mansion that we fondly called the ‘Hidden Zendo.’ "

"It reminded me of the somewhat informal and improvisational sesshins, at the Daibosatsu Zendo Guest House, before the construction of the monastery.” 

“Eido Roshi gave 100% of himself, especially evident, during teisho and dokusan. The subject matter for Teisho was from the Rinzai Roku, spiced with comments and stories from the life of Nyogen Senzaki, the corner stone of our American / Japanese Zen Mandala.” 

“Dokusan was given three times per day. Since we were only 12 of us, Eido Roshi made a commitment to interview all students that came, during each dokusan session. That was three personal teaching sessions each day, with Eido Roshi! This was the most auspicious opportunity to receive, from a Japanese trained Master of Zen Masters, personalized coaching and encouragement beyond the usual horizons of our regular training and practice.”

“After serving, a most distinguished career as the founder / builder and Abbot of the Zen Studies Society, Eido Roshi was now ready to realize his spiritual dream of offering a ‘sumptuous French dinner’ to the Sangha during this extraordinary inaugural session. I assert that this vision will continue to be realized through his future encounters with the Rinzai Zen Sangha.”






“On Sunday, June 16th, 2013, there will be an ALL DAY ZAZEN-KAI with Eido Roshi. It will take place at Ungan Richard Diletto’s townhouse in the Bronx.” 

“We will only accommodate up to 15 people so please RSVPs as soon as possible.”

“The cost for the ALL DAY ZAZEN-KAI including lunch will be $25 per person. The doors will open at 9:00 am for registration and Zazen will start at 9:30 am. There will be a Dharma talk by Eido Roshi in the afternoon and a Sarei after the end of Zazen at 5pm.”




From: Shinge Roshi Roko Sherry Chayat

Date: Thursday, May 30, 2013

Subject: Mortgage Burning Special Event

"I would like to invite you to be honored at a special event we are holding on Sunday, June 23, 2013, when we will be burning our paid-off mortgage!  Thanks to all our members and friends over the years, the properties at 266, 268, and 276 West Seneca Turnpike (the Forman House, its side apartment, and the Residence) are now mortgage free."

"We’ll begin at 9 a.m. with morning service, zazen and dokusan.  A potluck picnic lunch will be held at 12:30.  At 1:30 a special program will include reflections on our history and a formal acknowledgement of you and others who helped us arrive at this momentous occasion.  Then we’ll have a ceremonial burning of the mortgage document, followed by a short annual meeting, refreshments, and time for catching up."




Sweeping Zen

Post by former ZSS Board President
Randy Banko Phillips to Sweeping Zen
Addressed to Nonin Chowaney.

“… I am Banko Randy Phillips and I was at one time president of the board of directors of the Zen Studies Society. At one time I considered myself a good friend of Eido Shimano. I traveled with him to Japan and worked on several books with him. When Robert Aitkin via the web asked for a formal reply by Eido Shimano to his charges (the first that I was aware of them) I tried to get Eido Shimano to respond. I was no longer president of the board but was still on it. It was apparent that his answer was not forthcoming.”

“The reason for this reply now is simply because of the subject of the above article. As a matter of record – you [Nonin Chowaney] – from the side-lines repeatedly cast aspersions at anyone who was ‘against’ Shimano or Shinge Roshi. You were an apologist for both – one might even say even a rabid apologist. To my reading – and I think many others – you responded often in a mean spirited manner. Almost anything that Genjo Osho said was picked apart ad nauseam – in a seemingly imperious manner as well – to what end? Shinge Roshi eventually called Shimano a 'psychopath' – nothing that either I nor Genjo Osho did. Maybe she is right – now Shimano is suing ZSS (for breaking a contract that he basically wrote himself) - ‘Let True Dharma Continue’ – indeed.”

“I wish to tell you [Nonin Chowaney] that your ‘actions’ made a very difficult time for those of us who were trying to deal with this situation from the inside much more difficult. I don’t believe that you can understand how much more difficult you made things – and what a negative drag it was dealing with your continued sniping. Was this sniping, goading, gloating, quick to anger and attack ‘unethical’ – I don’t presume to know by a long shot but there was apparently plenty of greed anger and delusion to go around. IMHO.”




Sweeping Zen

(In response to Merry Benezra’s piece above.)

Genjo Marinello

April 5, 2013 at 8:11 pm

“Overall a good summery of the tragic history of ZSS and it’s founding abbot Eido Shimano. Indeed the current Abbot, Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat has done little to reach out to those most harmed or alienated over the decades. It is true that ZSS has employed the Faith Trust Institute and An Olive Branch to good effect to start, but has never followed up with an organizational apology (such as Rinzai-Ji has made), a long overdue and promised forensic audit, or democratic reorganization of the bylaws ('new' bylaws have not even been made public). Neither has ZSS sponsored any further reaching out to those most harmed or alienated. No detailed account of Eido Roshi’s wrong doings has been investigated by ZSS, let alone made public, except as can be derived by their counter suit to his complaint that he has not been paid enough.”

“Shinge Chayat has admitted to me that she has experienced ‘unexpected physical molestation’ from Eido Shimano, and though she categorically denies having an ‘affair’ with him, many people claim to have heard her directly say otherwise, including her ex-husband. In any case, it is clear that she too has been abused and taken in by him, publicly to this day expressing gratitude for ‘Eido Roshi’s uncompromising and penetrating Dharma Eye, which reveals directly the luminous power of the unconditional mind’ while privately calling him a ‘psychopath.’ ”




Buddhadharma Online

What Are You Waiting For?

Thursday, February 14, 2013 At 3:00PM

Clinical therapist Tamara Kaiser asks why Buddhist communities have not adopted ethical standards long accepted by the rest of society.

Excerpted from the Spring 2013 issue of Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly, available on newsstands and by subscription.

“What happens in your sangha if a member has a conflict with a spiritual teacher over alleged psychological or sexual exploita­tion? Is there room for open discussion about the conflict, or is any such discussion automati­cally interpreted as a violation of ‘right speech’ and suppressed? As a therapist and, for want of a better term, ‘spiritual seeker’ whose practice includes meditation, I have followed the discus­sion regarding sexual and psychological exploita­tion in the American Buddhist community for a number of years. I first became acquainted with these issues in the Buddhist community through my husband, a longtime Zen practitioner and meditation teacher. In my own profession, I have worked extensively with boundary issues in my roles as a therapist and supervisor of therapists (including those who have been sanctioned by a licensing board for violations of the profession’s code of ethics) and also as a teacher of therapists and their supervisors.”

“Some in the American Buddhist community compare their current dilemma to that of the therapeutic community in the 1970s, a time when therapists came to recognize problems of abuse and worked to develop effective means to address them. They suggest that Buddhist communities will need years, if not decades, to establish clear ethical principles and processes by which to protect members and hold teachers accountable.”



Drinking The Kool-Aid

Sweeping Zen

Posted by: Merry White Benezra on
April 5, 2013

Merry White Benezra, author of

 Special Karma:
A Zen Novel of Love and Folly

Drinking The Kool-Aid

Posted by: Merry White Benezra on
April 5, 2013

Merry White Benezra, author of

 Special Karma:
A Zen Novel of Love and Folly

“At 44, Eido was a beautiful man, charismatic, absolutely imbued with the atmosphere of Zen and its aesthetics.  As a deeply invested Japanophile, I should have been a very easy mark.  But, perhaps because of the tip-off, when Eido began to approach me I knew it wasn’t a unique or spontaneous attraction (it was being hit up); and, frankly, his technique was poor.  'How many men?' he would ask.  'Must have been more than one hundred?'  How many humiliating heartbreaks would have been the better question.”

“Saying ‘No thank you’ did not (as I had expected) inoculate me from harm.  ‘Do you like your room?’ he asked, as I was rising to leave our first dokusan meeting.  An odd question, I thought.  I said I did.  I loved my room, my monk’s cell.  If I had said my room was too small and my futon was too hard and I was lonely, would the conversation would have moved on to alternative sleeping arrangements, such as in the Roshi’s quarters?”

“On the last evening of the first sesshin of the training period, Eido invited me to enjoy a book of pornographic photos with him in his private study. I very quickly excused myself and reeled back to my room.  Sesshin ended the following morning and I had to decide.  Dai Bosatsu’s very first training period had just started; who was I to bring it to a close?  So I let myself believe that Eido had simply made a mistake about the kind of student I meant to be.  If other women actually wanted this, that was their business.”

“In the middle of the training period’s second sesshin, Eido revealed the news in dokusan that I had a ‘special karma.’  For someone in my frame of mind, this should only have meant a great spiritual karma.  In a Zen monastery, it should only imply spiritual potential.  But I had shown so little on-demand spiritual acumen at that point that I knew, in my heart of hearts, that my spiritual karma was not what he meant.  Permitting myself to come to this realization in the pressure cooker of sesshin was excruciating.  After failing to get a straight answer from Eido about the nature of my special karma and finding myself unable to do anything but cry, nonstop, I walked out of the sesshin.  If I had not done so, I believe I could have experienced a complete mental breakdown.  I thought long and hard about suicide.  If my ‘special karma,’ wasn’t spiritual, what was left?”

“And, a week or so later, Eido confirmed that my special karma was, after all, to have won the lucky ticket that gave the winner a night (or more!) in bed with a real Zen master.  It was a ticket I never redeemed.”

“I am watching the unfolding of Eido’s denouement with interest.  Finally, at the age of 81, a sexual criminal is being publicly unmasked.  But, shouldn’t this have happened in 1964, when his first victims were hospitalized?  Or during one of the many Fuck Follies (as we called them) in the 1970′s, 1980′s and 1990′s—when evidence of Eido’s unremitting and unapologetic sexual pathology was brought, again and again, to the attention of the ZSS Board?”

“Recently it has come to light that Eido’s teacher, Soen Roshi, either failed to add Eido’s name to the list of lineage holders (the one that includes Bodhidharma) at Myoshinji, his home temple in Japan—or later removed it.  There are many ways to look at this, and how it impacts Eido and his successors.  One way is to ask, What is a piece of paper, anyway?  But to my mind, Soen’s act is the one clean moment in this whole terrible affair.”




Ven. Eido Shimano will conduct an all day Zazen Kai at Kips Bay Community Center April 27, 2013.

All Day Zazen-Kai at Kips Bay Center April 27th, 2013

"On Saturday, April 27th, 2013, after his return from (The East Meets West) Sesshin in Turkey April 22, Ven. Eido Shimano Roshi will lead an all-day Zazen-Kai in honor of the Buddha’s Birthday at the Kips Bay Community Center in New York City."

"Kips Bay Community Center"

"330 East 33 Street (garden level) - Between 1st and 2nd Avenue, NYC"

"Saturday, April 27th, 2013 from 9am to 5pm (Doors will open at 9am)"




A Posthumous Letter to Genki Takabayashi from Eido Shimano.

[ Genki Takabayashi Passed Away
on February 25, 2013 ]

“March 2, 2013”

“To Genki Zenji Dai Osho”

“Only a few days ago, I came back from Japan.”

“The first news I got at JFK was your departure. As the news was so shocking, I could not find any appropriate words to express my inner feelings. It was totally impossible to share my sadness, neither in Japanese nor in English. It was simply sad.”

“You came to DaiBosatsu a few times and gave me many tea bowls of which you made. Even though we didn’t speak with each other over the phone every month or write so often, there was strong support knowing that there was another Japanese Rinzai teacher who gave his life for the transmission of Buddha Dharma to the West. Three of us, namely you, Sasaki Roshi and myself were like the legs of a tripod, and you were the youngest. Now only two of us are left. No Japanese Rinzai monk or teacher is interested to come to America, at least for now. Your departure made me feel extremely lonely. However, this too must be the arrangement of the Dharma. So I have no choice but to accept it.”

“I have been chanting Daihishu for you. I understand that on April 21st, Daibosatsu Mandala Day, there will be the 49th day memorial service for you in Seattle. On that day, I will be in Istanbul, Turkey, doing Sesshin. I will mention this during Teisho and together, with all participants, we do a special ceremony for you."

[See Entries of: 11/16/12 & 08/16/10 ]












-against –



INDEX NO. 650025/2013

RECEIVED NYSCEF:  03/11/2013

“Plaintiffs, EIDO T. SHIMANO ROSHI and YASUKO A. SHIMANO, through their

Attorney, LAWRENCE D. GERZOG, as and or their Verified Reply to Defendant's

Counterclaims state a follows:”

"4. With respect to paragraphs 31 through 38 of Defendants Amended Verified Answer and counterclaims, denies the claims set forth in paragraph 32 through 38, and with respect to paragraph 31 thereof, denies that Shimano Roshi had inappropriate sexual relationships with anyone."



10. The counterclaims asserted in the Verifird Amended Answer and Counterckaims are barred, in whole or in part, by he doctrines of waiver, equitable estoppel, ratification and unclean hands,


11. One or more of the counterclaim arc barred by he applicable statute(s0 of limitations.

WHEREFORE, plaintiffs demand judgment against defendant:

l . On the first through fourth causes of action in an amount to be determined at trial.

2. On the fifth cause of action actual damages in the amount of $1,000,000.00;.

3. On the fifth cause of action punitive damages in the amount of $1,000,000.00;

4. Dismissal of Defendant’s Counterclaims;”









Nyogen Senzaki

Soen Nakagawa

Eido Shimano


with an Introduction by

Louis Nordstrom


Pages 179 – 180

[October 1958]

“The shock of Senzaki' s death, together with the strain of years of overly intense practice, had made me weak; there was something wrong with my heart. That November, I entered a hospital, where I spent a difficult half year.”

“When I was discharged, I went back to Ryutaku Ji. Soen Roshi and I discussed the proposal to go to Hawaii. I had lost my enthusiasm for going to America. There no longer seemed to be any point in doing so. Also, I was too young to be the leader of a Zen group. But Soen Roshi suggested that there were at least two reasons to go: First, some recuperation was needed, and the Hawaiian climate would be very beneficial; second, I could continue my academic education at the University of Hawaii.”

Eido Shimano

[ – "Shin" –This word would often be translated as "heart". However, because it was believed in Chinese culture for thousands of years that your consciousness and thoughts came from the big red organ in the middle of your chest, it also means "mind" or "spirit" and sometimes even "soul". ]











– against –



INDEX NO. 650025/2013

RECEIVED NYSCEF:  02/21/2013

“Defendant the Zen Studies Society, Inc. (‘ZSS’ or the ‘Defendant’), by its undersigned counsel, for its Amended Answer to Plaintiffs Complaint and Counterclaims, states the following:

“17. Defendant denies the allegations set forth in paragraph 17 of the Complaint.”

 “19. Defendant denies the allegations set forth in paragraph 19 of the Complaint.” 

 “21. Defendant denies the allegations set forth in paragraph 21 of the Complaint.”

“23. Defendant denies the allegations set forth in paragraph 23 of the Complaint.”

“25. Defendant denies the allegations set forth in paragraph 25 of the Complaint.” 

“27. The causes of action asserted in the Complaint are barred, in whole or in part, by the doctrines of waiver, equitable estoppel, ratification, and unclean hands.”

“30. As spiritual leader, Shimano Roshi had fiduciary and ethical duties to the ZSS members who were his students. “

“31. On numerous occasions, Shimano Roshi engaged in sexual relationships with students of his.”

“32. Shimano Roshi’s sexual relationships constituted an abuse of Shimano Roshi’s position.” 

“33. Shimano Roshi’s sexual relationships were contrary to his fiduciary duty and the ethical guidelines for ZSS that Shimano Roshi had approved.” 

“34. Shimano Roshi’s sexual relationships harmed the ZSS and ZSS members and students.”

“48. On information and belief, Shimano Roshi and Yasuko Shimano repeatedly and deliberately misappropriated ZSS funds to pay off victims of Shimano Roshi's sexual misconduct, on two occasions of which Yasuko Shimano ordered payments of $8000 and $3000 to be paid directly to victims or their associates as compensation for harm caused by Shimano Roshi's sexual misconduct.”

“49. Yasuko Shimano ordered that the funds be drawn on the ZSS' operating expenses from donations and membership dues.”

“50. By misappropriating funds, both Shimano Roshi and Yasuko Shimano violated their fiduciary and ethical duties, causing harm to the ZSS.”




Sweeping Zen

S. Noomen

February 17, 2013 at 3:15 pm

“I am still dumbfounded that something that obvious should be 'made clear' again and again. Ah well, my mistake, for yes apparently it does. For me it doesn’t feel right to keep focussing on (other people’s!) mistakes, but yes, I agree that it must be clear that a mistake is definitely a mistake! I couldn’t agree more that a teacher should be especially nurturing an honouring and taking care about a student’s aspiration. Not betraying the trust that is given to him seems very obvious to me…”

“I am Steven Noomen from Holland, a former lay student of Mr. Shimano at Bai Bosatsu Zendo, and I write this letter to let you all know I am utterly apalled to hear about his behaviour that made him decide – clearly very much overdue – to 'retire' as abbott.”

“Mr. Shimano’s behaviour brought much shame and disgrace to himself, to his family, to Zen Buddhism in general, and to the Rinzai Zen tradition in particular. It is no longer fashionable today, but people from samurai families – like Mr. Shimano, I heard – would rather kill themselves than live with such shame and disgrace. However, much more importantly than just (!) the shame, it caused very much harm in countless ways, in the first place by obscuring instead of demonstrating the right way to live the Buddha Dharma, and thus confusing countless seekers.”

“When I was at DBZ my fellow students told me that it was nothing but an exaggeration of some sensation hungry and trigger, or rather, pen happy reporter that wanted to blow up one small thing that once had happened years ago. However, now it seems to me this means their minds were already heavily poisoned. The general attitude seemed to be something like: ‘You can think whatever you want, but Roshi is above all serious criticism, no matter what, because you know nothing and he is a roshi. And why should you judge or get involved at all? It is not your business.’ ”

“Of course it is my business! Very much so. If I’m there as a student, then I demand at the very least some sincerety of the one in charge. Nyogen Senzaki reminded us at his death bed 'minute after minute watch your steps closely.' However, for nearly forty years Mr. Shimano stubbornly refused to see and admit his mistakes were mistakes.”

“As for myself, I feel now deeply ashamed of having been part of such a deceitful tradition. And be sure all Zen groups in Holland will know about it. I will never refer to Mr. Shimano as ‘Roshi’ any more.”




No pension for Eido Shimano

The Buddhist Channel, Feb 14, 2013

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

“In the ongoing suit against the Zen Studies Society (ZSS) by its previous abbot Eido Shimano – who is seeking payment of pension due to him (see here) - the ZSS needs to be clear on its spiritual and moral authority. The person who was asked to leave the organization was not asked to do so out of personal contempt or politics.”

“That person was asked to leave because he failed the fiduciary duty expected of a person of the Buddhist robe, that is to help bring peace and enlightenment to people that come to him. What transpired instead is one who had become a lustful demon disguised as a person of the robe and through it, had taken sexual advantage of people who he purports to help bring peace and enlightenment.”

“While Eido Shimano may have been the catalyst of establishing the roots of Zen within ZSS, it certainly does not mean that ZSS is obligated to support its founder for life. The crux of the matter is this: There have been allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of Eido Shimano. There are explicit evidences forwarded by victims themselves. These accounts are compiled and documented for public view via the Internet. “

“By all accounts this monk has been ‘defeated’ in the traditional sense of Dharma-Vinaya (Buddha’s teachings and his discipline).”



20130213_Not.of Appearance.pdf








– against –



INDEX NO. 650025/2013

RECEIVED NYSCEF:  02/13/2013

“PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that Shane St. Hill of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P., a member of this Court in good standing, hereby enters an appearance as counsel for Defendant, The Zen Studies Society, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation in New York in the above-captioned action and respectfully requests that all pleadings, notices, orders, correspondence, and other papers in connection with this action be served on the undersigned.”











– against –



INDEX NO. 650025/2013

RECEIVED NYSCEF:  02/13/2013


28. Defendant repeat the foregoing allegations as if set forth herein.

29. Shimano Roshi was the spiritual leader of the ZSS

30. As spiritual leader, Shimano Roshi had fiduciary and ethical duties to the ZSS members who were his students.

31. On numerous occasions, Shimano Roshi engaged in sexual relationships with students of his.

32. Shimano Roshi s sexual relationships constituted an abuse of Shimano Roshi’s position.

33. Shimano Rosbi’s sexual relationships were contrary to his fiduciary duty and the ethical guidelines for ZSS that Shimano Roshi had approved.

34. Shimano Roshi’s  sexual relationships harmed the ZSS and ZSS members and students.

35. By having sexual relationships with students, Simano Roshi caused damage to ZSS’s national and international reputation.

36. After Shimano Roshi’s sexual relationships became known to members of ZSS and the wider Buddhist community, contributions to ZSS fell precipitously.

37. Shimano Roshi's actions violated his fiduciary duty, his ethical duty and fully meet the elements for liability under the faithless servant doctrine.

38. The ZSS is entitled to payment of damages in an amount to be determined at trial forth material harm to its revenue and reputation caused by Shimano Roshi's violationsof his fiduciary and ethical duties, and in particular his sexual misconduct.”


39. Defendant repeats the foregoing allegations as if set forth herein.

40. The ZSS is entitled to a disgorgement of all alary payments to Shimano Roshi during the period of his violations of his fiduciary and ethical duties and in particular his sexual misconduct.”


41. Defendant repeats the foregoing allegations as if set forth herein.

42. The Shimano Roshi and Yasuko Shimano caused the ZSS Board to enter into an unfunded Deferred Compensation Agreement ('DCA'). On information and belief, Shimano Roshi caused the same counsel to present both Shimano Roshi and Yasuko Shimano on the one hand and the ZSS on the other hand in 'negotiations' for the DCA.

43. The DCA provides, inter alia that Shimano Roshi and Yasuko Shimano receive for life 70% of their respective final year's salary, as well as a life tenancy in the ZSS's cooperative apartment, which was fully paid for by the ZSS. The DCA was entirely unfunded.

44. The DCA is not an enforceable agreement, at least because it was not entered into at alms length because it was unfunded, and because Shimano Roshi's violations of his fiduciary and ethical duties have caused the ZSS significant los of reputation membership and donations, such that Shimano Roshi s actions have left the ZSS without sufficient funds or prospects, such that payments made according to the DCA would violate the fiduciary responsibility of the ZSS Board of Directors.

45. The ZSS is entitled to a disgorgement from Shimano Roshi and Yasuko Shimano of all payments to them under the DCA.

46. Shimano Roshi and Yasuko Shimano should immediately vacate the ZSS cooperative apartment and effect a full and official transfer of title to the ZSS or its agent.”

“WHEREFORE Defendants pray that this Court grant judgment, as follows:

(a) Dismissing Plaintiff's Complaint.

(b) On the First Counterclaim, an Injunction ordering Shimano Roshi pay damages commensurate with the material harm the ZSS's revenue and reputation caused by Shimano Roshi's violations of his fiduciary and ethical duties, and in particular his sexual misconduct.

(c) On the second Counterclaim an Injunction ordering Shimano Roshi to repay to the ZSS all salary payments made to Shimano Roshi during the period of his violations of his fiduciary and ethical duties, and in particular his sexual misconduct.

(d) On the Third Counterclaim an Injunction ordering (i) Shimano Roshi and Yasuko Shimano to repay to the ZSS all payment made to them under the DCA and (ii) Shimano Roshi and Yasuko Roshi immediately to vacate the ZSS cooperative apartment and effect a full and official transfer of title to the cooperative apartment to the ZSS or its agent;

(e) An Award to the Defendant of $2 million and

 (f) An Award to the Defendant of its reasonable attorneys fees and costs incurred in defense of this action"




Eido Shimano responds to a letter issued by the Board of Directors of the Zen Studies Society on January 31st, 2013.

Letter to the Sangha From Eido Shimano

“It was with a heavy heart that I read the letter circulated to you by the current Board of Directors of the Zen Studies Society on January 31st, 2013. It contained so many distortions, inaccuracies and outright falsehoods that I could not simply let it pass without comment. However, I have no intention of honoring the scurrilous ad hominem attacks against me personally with specific responses.”

“When I became the leader of the Zen Studies Society, it had one member and no assets. With the support of my wife Aiho and members of the Sangha, I was able to grow the ZSS to the point where, by my retirement, it had become perhaps the pre-eminent center of Zen Buddhist practice and education in the United States. Not only did we establish the New York Zendo, now a beautiful and spiritual center of study in the middle of Manhattan, but we also established Dai Bosatsu Zendo, a monastery in the Catskills Mountains of New York State as a retreat for the members of the ZSS Sangha to do retreats. Both have become nationally renowned centers of Zen study and practice.”

“When I was Abbott, we had no big trouble raising sufficient funds to support these two facilities and also to meet the operating needs of the ZSS. According to the letter sent by ZSS, this is no longer the case. Responsibility for this can only be laid at the feet of the current directors, who apparently are not willing to put forth the time, dedication and ability necessary to make successful fund-raising efforts.”

“In 1995, the ZSS Board of Directors entered into Deferred Compensation Agreements, essentially pensions, with me and my wife, in recognition of our years of achievement and service. The allegations being made regarding my alleged behavior were known then, and yet the ZSS Board, an independent entity, agreed to the Deferred Compensation Agreements. During our time receiving salaries from the ZSS, my wife and I accepted far less than we could have earned in other fields of endeavor. This was because of our dedication to the Dharma, and the fact that neither of us is motivated by the need for wealth. Had we been so, we could have achieved it through a career of lecturing, writing, and doing other things consistent with placing our own needs before that of the ZSS. The Deferred Compensation Agreements reflect the same principles, and are more modest, quite frankly, than other arrangements made on behalf of similarly situated individuals.”