Response to Sweeping Zen

Recently a couple of posts about me appeared on the Sweeping Zen website. These were written by Grace Schireson and her husband Peter Schireson. You will have to look them up yourself. I’m not interested in sending traffic to that website. I sent a response to these articles to Adam Tebbe, the editor of Sweeping Zen, after receiving an apology from him concerning some rather unfortunate discussions between us on Facebook.

I reproduce it here for your entertainment pleasure:

Adam,

I had planned a very different response to this apology. But then I saw Grace and Peter Schireson’s latest mean-spirited, nasty and accusatory pieces that you chose to run on Sweeping Zen and I have changed my mind.

Please remove all of my material from Sweeping Zen. You may keep the comments I’ve submitted because I understand that removing them would result in making the comments after them make little sense. But please remove all of my articles from the page as well as the interview that you conducted with me. I no longer wish to be associated in any way with Sweeping Zen.

You say [text omitted because it is personal] has made this a raw issue for you. I understand that and I am sorry for [text omitted because it is personal].

But please also understand that my on-going relationship with L****** M******, whom I consider the one great love of my life and from whom I am quite thoroughly separated by circumstances I won’t go into here, is quite a raw issue for me. To see it characterized in the unfair and frankly childishly bullying way that Grace and Peter have done is extremely hurtful. They cannot possibly imagine how it feels to see that. Nor do I like the fact that L****** will probably once again get dragged into this mess (which is the last thing she needs right now) because of their posts.

Furthermore the idea that my opinions are merely the result of wanting to get as much tail as possible from students is deeply hurtful and offensive. It was interesting to see both “Stephanie” and Jundo Cohen, both of whom I have had some serious disagreements with in the past, rush in to explain that I am not at all like that. It was quite heartwarming to read at least that much in this ugly morass of mudslinging. No. My experience with L****** was nothing of the sort. Again, to see it characterized that way when I have already shared in great detail something that was extraordinarily difficult to share hurts a lot. L****** was brave enough to allow me to use her real name when doing so and it’s very troubling to see Mr. and Mrs. Schireson carelessly drag her into this. I’ll have to do some serious damage control now.

You may certainly share this email with Grace and Peter. I hope that you do. They ought to see it & I do not know how to contact them. Nor do I wish to contact them. They are not nice people. But you MAY NOT share this email on Sweeping Zen, Facebook or any other public forum.

Thank you for doing this. And I do acknowledge your apology. Acceptance may take some time, however, due to these two articles.

Try to stay warm there in Ohio this season. I know how yucky it gets there this time of year. You have my sympathies as a fellow Ohioan!

Brad

So far it seems Mr. Tebbe has not removed my contributions, for which I was neither paid nor offered any remuneration and to which I retain all copyrights or the interview, which I now regret having done. Nor has he shared this with the Schiresons. He did, however, send me their email addresses. As I do not wish to communicate with either of these people, I will not be contacting them directly. If they or Mr. Tebbe choose to respond here, their comments will be deleted. Sorry. But it’s my blog, and it’s my prerogative to do so. They can say whatever they like in the many other forums available to them. This blog will not become a place them to debate this subject. Please excuse the inconvenience.

***

Please feel free to contribute whatever revenue you think I stand to lose by having no further coverage on Sweeping Zen and probably a future of being bashed by their writers.

166 Responses

  1. Andy
    Andy December 12, 2012 at 8:36 am | |

    Brad,

    My wife read your ‘Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate’ a couple of years ago now, during a very difficult time for her. I know the passages about your relationship to your ex-wife and L. touched her and helped to her to open up a little, because while reading it, she came and gave me a hug, and we had a good chat about some stuff, some very serious stuff, that had been bottled inside her for a long while. So thanks for that and for the courage it must have taken to write it (and to those who gave their permission for the story to be told). A little courage and risk taking can be infectious sometimes.

    I think you’re quite right about it being ‘childish bullying’. Bullying is always childish and us adults can find different modes through which to behave in that way and call it by another name. Grace Schireson used the word ‘kuso’ in that polite and indirect manner (and choice of words) that can often be used to get a rise out of someone for whom the subject being addressed is raw. That the people involved used your more open response (‘pure kuso’) as justification for subsequent nastiness has that all too familiar, and insidious group pattern to it.

    No doubt Adam Tebbe is feeling upset. But I’m afraid the tearful video he has recently put up strikes me as very typically more of that kind of pattern being played out. I fear that he doesn’t have the independence of mind, self-awareness, nor the maturity to maintain the sort of editorial distance – to make and take those important editorial judgements and decisions – without being swayed by the limelight his blog affords him and the aura of authority certain people in the Buddhist world he looks up to have upon him. I think it would be much better for him, others, and the important issues his site is addressing, if he extricated his very visible persona from the character and public voice of Sweeping Zen.

    Sometimes things can get too big for certain folk to digest without gripping some of it back up – especially if one is confusing together two stomachs of differing levels of tolerance.

    *She quite enjoyed sniggering at those silly bits too.

  2. floating_abu
    floating_abu December 12, 2012 at 9:01 am | |

    Sorry, Brad, for the abuse you copped from this.

    I will no longer choose to patron Sweeping Zen – it is a sad site for a Zen Buddhist resource. It is more tabloid and anger mongering, than honest and reflective.

    One of the posters in the comments section, River, who had tried to clarify that she had not been sexually abused by Sasaki, was openly called a “whore” and this behaviour was allowed until someone called on it.

    The amount of hypocrisy etc is mindblowing…except of course it is not.

    As to the efforts to witch hunt and moderate the spiritual fold, it is a very typical but poor-sighted development, and God help any genuine Zen teacher of the future. Especially if the moderators are psychotherapists and the like. Only a Zen master can evaluate a Zen master IMO, but of course abuse can be seen by nearly everyone, we have that instinct.

    gniz – I also have no problem with the topic that was discussed, but how it was presented by Eshu (a highly questionable character and past) and then subsequently jumped on by Adam Tebbe and presented – was what I and many commentators rallied against. The unfortunate reality as I came to see it though was that any dissenting opinion of “No I was not sexually assaulted/abused” was immediately discarded as ‘one of the Rinzai-ji gang’, or ‘stupid’ or most recently, branded ‘a whore’. These are people who have done very hard, very serious Zen practice and to be just branded a whore for her efforts..well my heart is very sorry to have seen that happen.

    That type of environment is neither balanced, realistic or deeply committed to the subject at hand. I am happy that Rinzai-Ji is actively looking at this matter, and the black and white portrayal of them by Eshu and Adam has been a disservice to the Zen community in my opinion. A balanced, realistic examination of the issues would never have been a problem – and that is what I had said from the start.

    FWIW.

    Abu

  3. boubi
    boubi December 12, 2012 at 12:42 pm | |

    hi

    sorry introducing another subject, but i think this could be a buddhism related matter.

    “Psychiatry’s New Rules Threaten to Turn Grieving Into a Sickness”
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/12/dsm-5-bereavement/

    “A controversial change to official psychiatric guidelines for depression has raised fears that grief over the death of loved ones will be classified as clinical depression, turning a basic part of what it means to be human into a recognized sickness.”

  4. Fred
    Fred December 12, 2012 at 2:22 pm | |

    Job loss or death of a spouse, parent or child can trigger a depression, which is
    a biological change in brain chemistry.

    And some people are very sensitive to loss. They just don’t recover.

  5. SoF
    SoF December 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm | |

    I seriously doubt that Brad’s behavior was illegal, immoral, or unethical.

    There IS a difference between a clinical psychologist and a Buddhist Monk!

    From a strictly philosophical point of view, there may have been a ‘boundary violation’ in the example of Brad’s behavior we are bantering about.

    But even THAT is not my contention.

    I $upport Brad – that’s no secret. He provokes THINKING in the people who read his blog. IMO, that is a good thing. And, he reveals a facet of Buddhism to a younger group of people. IMO, that is a very good thing.

    Reasoning is based not on mere “facts” but rather on information in context.

  6. Wedged
    Wedged December 12, 2012 at 6:24 pm | |

    Man, I’ve been wanting to post something for the last few days but it just sounded negative so I didn’t bother. Like some other posts I was also wondering what would eventualy be the point of all this. But funny enough a few ppl here have posted some killer posts. Some true gems even from people who don’t normally post. People were able to express very articulately what Zen means to them and what Brad’s work means to us and – without knocking anyone. There’s a sense of an online “HardcoreZen” community that emerges (insert cheese, i know). Maybe it’s time to branch off Soto and form our own “HardcoreZen Zen”? ShoboHardCoreZenzo Vol I

  7. Proulx Michel
    Proulx Michel December 13, 2012 at 2:38 am | |

    I have long felt a good many psychs of all sorts belonged to the funny farm…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-lJZiqZaGA

  8. Fred
    Fred December 13, 2012 at 6:20 am | |

    “Boundaries are mutually understood, unspoken physical and emotional limits of the relationship between” the client and the caregiver, the service receiver and the provider, the child and the parent.

    A man born at around 1910 in Japan would reflect the culture where he was created, not the culture that exists now, nor the ideal culture that people carry
    around in their heads.

    The world changed in the last 50 years. If you spent those years in a monastery,
    would you know what the current laws, customs and social mores were.

    If you were no self upon the Absolute and could play out the every day self in
    the every day world, where would your boundaries be?

  9. A-Bob
    A-Bob December 13, 2012 at 8:08 am | |

    Bingo Fred..

  10. Jundo Cohen
    Jundo Cohen December 13, 2012 at 10:18 am | |

    Dear Brother Brad,

    Your sex life is yours to live, and nobody’s business. You need not answer to anyone. However, I was asked a question tonight by a member of our Sangha questioning your sudden description on your Facebook page , given the recent hoo-hah with the Schiresons on teachers/clergy sleeping with students and parishioners, that you are not clergy (that it was a mistake on your part even to act such at times this past year), and thus not bound by such restrictions.

    Does that mean that, in fact, you are engaging or wish to engage in the future in intimate relationships with people coming to your talks and sittings, and wish the freedom to do so, without being subject to being accused of being a “teacher” or “clergy”? Is that one of your reasons for doing this “self disrobing”, so that you do have the freedom to engage in actions like the Schireson’s (wrongly I assume) accused you of? To put it bluntly, is it a disrobing so you would have greater freedom to disrobe with people who come to you to hear about Zen? As stated, your sex life is nobody’s business, except perhaps given the current discussion in which it has become a topic raised by you. You should state unequivocably and for clarification, so that there are no misunderstandings of this, that you are not “unclergying” because you are looking for an open ticket, loophole or free pass to (pardon the pun) make passes at people who come to hear or sit Zen with you.

    Gassho, Jundo

  11. King Kong
    King Kong December 13, 2012 at 11:24 am | |

    YEAH !! KEEP IT ROLLING !!

  12. Fred
    Fred December 13, 2012 at 1:28 pm | |

    “Just for the record, I do not now, nor have I ever considered myself a “member of clergy.” I am a writer and an entertainer. It’s true that I was once ordained as a monk. That was a mistake. I apologize for the confusion.”

  13. King Kong
    King Kong December 13, 2012 at 1:37 pm | |

    GOOD LUCK WITH IDENTITY REDEFINITION !!

    http://hardcorezen.info/donate
    “Zen Teacher”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brad_Warner
    “American S?t? Zen priest”

    https://twitter.com/BradWarner
    “Monk.”

  14. Fred
    Fred December 13, 2012 at 1:38 pm | |

    “My own experience of dokusan is interesting to me. I stay as fully present as I possibly can with the person I’m speaking to. And I try to drop myself completely and act as a conduit for whatever needs to be spoken in that room. I know that sounds a bit spooky. But it’s not. It’s still me sitting there talking. I’m not channeling anyone or any thing. And yet I try to step aside and let things just come forth as they do rather than putting my personal sense of self into it.”

    Come on Brad, this is more than just entertainment.

  15. Jundo Cohen
    Jundo Cohen December 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm | |

    Thank you, Brad. That makes it clear.

    For what it is worth, I said this to folks in our Sangha who have asked about this:

    His comment (in a Facebook post) about putting his Chinese robes (not the Kesa and Rakusu) up for sale on Ebay and not considering himself clergy is not so shocking. Our whole Lineage is very much about softening and knocking down all the traditional barriers in Buddhism between “Ordained Clergy” “Lay Householders” “Male” and “Female”. I would disagree with him about whether we are “clergy”, because we function in that role in my eyes … like someone is a “bus driver” when they drive a bus on a regular basis. If one is writing books about Zen, leading sittings and writing advice columns on peoples’ personal issues in a major Buddhist magazine, then one would be functioning as “clergy”. But that is just my view, and need not be Brad’s view and, for what it is worth, I support it. Brad sometimes describes himself more as an “artist” or “Zen troubadour” or “spiritual entertainer”, the same label Alan Watts used to describe himself, and Brad may actually be a more effective voice of the Dharma in such role than leading a typical Zen Group or preaching to the same choir as all the other Zen folks.

    I wear the Chinese Robes out of respect for Tradition, and only once in awhile at our more formal Zazenkai, honoring Tradition. One can sit Zazen in a track suit or business suit or naked too.

    I wear the Kesa/Rakusu as an embodiment and symbol for the Buddha’s Teachings and this Way … but I feel I do so merely as a convention of my own heart. The magic is what I place in the threads by my sentiment. It is not unlike how Christians might stick two pieces of ordinary wood together and find the embodiment of their Teachings in doing so … And it is the same for the ordinary cloth of a Kesa. The Buddha’s Cloth is the “Robe of Liberation … Beyond Form or Formless” because we place such meaning there. Sacred, yet most ordinary cloth.

    Anyway, Brad is keeping his Kesa and Raksu it seems, so he must also see some value in such.

    Gassho, Jundo

  16. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote December 13, 2012 at 6:40 pm | |

    Bob Dylan is a song-and-dance man:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hO-83CIVKM

  17. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote December 13, 2012 at 6:58 pm | |

    “My sermons are criticized by certain audiences. They say that my sermons are hollow, not holy. I agree with them because I myself am not holy. The Buddha’s teaching guides people to the place where there is nothing special… People often misunderstand faith as kind of ecstasy of intoxication… True faith is sobering up from such intoxication.”
    (he Zen Teaching of “Homeless” Kodo (Kyoto: Kyoto Soto Zen Center, 1990), p. 72)

  18. Stephanie
    Stephanie December 13, 2012 at 10:08 pm | |

    Clergy keep the sheep in the fold, safe and comfortable in their sense of spiritual identity, ready with the answers to their perplexing questions. True Zen teachers don’t answer your questions with homilies and reassurances or help you bolster your sense of identity. A robe, a bowl, a piece of cloth can be so wonderfully full of meaning – that we add and attach ourselves to. These things can make us feel ‘part of’ or impart a sense of status. We think by wearing a robe and carrying a bowl we are closer to the Buddha or Dogen, but do we know their mind? Most people on a spiritual path want answers; and the industry of answers that Western Buddhism is rapidly becoming has a lot of market viability but not do much liberating power. Being a ‘Buddhist clergy’ has no meaning other than the extent one can use it to market oneself. The push for a Zen that has more status, more Zen ‘clergy’ officiating weddings, more family friendly holidays, has nothing to do with Bodhidharma staring at the wall for nine years.

  19. stonemirror
    stonemirror December 14, 2012 at 12:18 am | |

    When I was in Japan, whenever I’d see a monk begging — they’ve frequently got regular spots staked out in the bigger subway stations — I’d toss him a few hundred yen. My friend told me that half of them were fakes. “That’s their bad karma, not mine,” I said.

    I’ve been seriously considering trying that on Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz. Maybe with my shakuhachi and a basket over my head. I can make a sign that says, “IMPROVE YOUR KARMA, SUPPORT THE DHARMA!”

    (Or maybe one that says, “FEAR CHANGE? LEAVE IT HERE.”)

    That’s one thing I’ve consistently noted around these parts, anyway: the nicer the robes, the tattier the zen.

  20. Will
    Will December 14, 2012 at 1:24 am | |

    This is probably a bad place to poke my nose into. Still, people are getting caught up in their cultural biases. Was watching a video bout a Unitarian minister that was like 65 and finally fell in love after all that time with someone from her congregation. Also I kinda wonderHonestly I think the way it should be is that it’s your sangha and you get to decide how to run it. Any kind of board of directors or rules restricting the teacher that aren’t already present I feel is part of a disturbing trend I’ve noticed and would like to call the McDonaldization of Zen. I don’t want to be a consumer of homogenized Zen product that was voted on by committee. If ya don’t like the way it’s being done then find another teacher. Free market at work. God knows enough Christians are doing it lately with all the non denom Christian churches popping up.

  21. Will
    Will December 14, 2012 at 1:26 am | |

    Sorry bout the unfinished part in the middle. Hafta check before I post next time.

  22. Jules
    Jules December 14, 2012 at 7:34 am | |

    Depends on the sex of the teacher. If the teacher is male, that’s abuse of power. String ‘im up, no punishment is too harsh. If the teacher is female, no problem, bow-chicka-bow-wooow

  23. Andy
    Andy December 14, 2012 at 9:11 am | |

    I notice on Sweeping Zen that at least one person’s comments critical of the Schireson’s articles and comments – and of Sweeping Zen/Adam Tebbe in this regard – has had ALL their past comments removed from below every article.

    From what I have read of this person’s comments, there was nothing other than well made points made with a strong opinion – nothing abusive or libelous etc. That person’s moniker began as Stone… something.

    Now, I understand that it’s Adam Tebbe’s blog. But I find the removing of past posts already moderated and passed like this (indeed the presence of a whole comment identity and voice) suspicious to say the least, especially considering the nature of those that still remain.

    From what I remember that poster was not concerned with supporting Brad, but with taking such things to task as Grace Schireson’s open support of a quite nasty post (which still remains) that cast Brad as a ‘psychotic sexual predator’, for example.

    Tebbe himself recently wrote:

    “Just in general. I’m glad I don’t place myself in the role of suppressing speech I find offensive or hurtful as an editor. I would not sooner do it than slap duct tape on your mouth before saying something that might be misconstrued.”

    When I first discovered Sweeping Zen, I didn’t even realize it was such a personal blog. I thought it to be one of the more serious web blogs run perhaps by a group of well-established practitioners with serious journalistic and editorial integrity and capability. In other words, a place that I could trust for information, as a place for a variety of voices within and without the Buddhist community, and for a courage, sensitivity and objectivity in bringing to light serious issues.

    Whilst I still appreciate it as a hub for articles written by voices I can determine for myself to trust or not, I can no longer trust the forces which select them and shape their responses to them, nor as one which allows for balance and openness within reason into how it shapes and selects what constitutes the opinions of those who bring comment and critique from outside – that perilously, yet all too important ‘public’ presence as a force itself in shaping and interrogating what goes for opinion, attitude and understanding.

    I understand that one cannot always know the reasons or context to moderations. I also understand that a site doesn’t have to justify itself for everything it wishes not to let through its filters. But, given that on Sweeping Zen the comments section plays such an important part in shaping the views which surround articles and editorials, the dialogue between those who write the articles and the editors themselves, and that, SZ itself, has made much of its open policy with regard to these voices (often to the extent of justifying controversial and inflammatory pieces), I find this excision to have further damaged my trust in it.

    Like I say, if Sweeping Zen were some guy’s take on the world of zen, his/her own little castle, and not a site with journalistic pretensions – and responsibilities – beyond a personal take on the world, this wouldn’t bother me.

    Did the poster ask for all their posts to be removed? I doubt it. Would one bad post justify the removal of all their posts? Surely not.

    I thought I’d bring this to folks attention here, as I’m not sure it would be printed on SZ itself.

    Perhaps the poster, or any other, can enlighten me further on this.

  24. stonemirror
    stonemirror December 14, 2012 at 9:26 am | |

    I believe those were my comments that Adam removed wholesale from the “Sweeping Zen” site. Mine are certainly all vanished, as of yesterday evening.

    No, I didn’t ask for them to be removed, and Adam has not communicated with me at all about their removal — he blocked me on Facebook at roughly the same time, removing any comments I’d made to the “Sweeping Zen” page there as well.

    I’d been asking Adam some tough, direct questions about what seemed to me to be clear bias on the site for several days now, pretty much since Brad got dragged into this, and this clearly made Adam both unhappy and uncomfortable.

    However, the proximate cause might be a little odder. In the course of an exchange of comments with Adam on Facebook a couple of days ago, he produced a comment in which he referred to me as “James”, and advising that I should “back off” if I didn’t want him to “tell everyone” what he “knows about me”.

    I advised him that my name wasn’t “James”, that I hadn’t a clue what he thought he “knew”, and that he should post whatever he pleased. He responded, “Sorry, that wasn’t intended for you” and the original comment was deleted.

    I happened to mention this incident yesterday, and asked who James was, and what Adam was, from all appearances, attempting to blackmail him about. I was banned from the Facebook group and every comment I’d made on the “Sweeping Zen” site itself — as well as any comments that others had made in response to mine (!) — vanished.

    I can’t say with certainty that the two things are connected, but I have to wonder.

    1. floating_abu
      floating_abu December 18, 2012 at 3:48 am | |

      Stonemirror

      Very interesting. Adam Tebbe also started to mention real names to me, hinting this and that. I didn’t know where he was going, and I didn’t want to play that game. I’m shocked to hear what you say….and actually it’s all very odd…I think he thinks he is doing a good thing and he is probably a good bloke under pressure..I don’t know, it all sounds a bit spooky to me. Thanks for letting us know anyway.

      Abu

  25. Andy
    Andy December 14, 2012 at 9:54 am | |

    Thanks for that stonemirror. The only reason I noticed was that I’d made a post myself on an article to which you had replied. I looked again today and you were gone, which I found odd, and so looked elsewhere to find you had been disappeared. This seem very strange, because, as I’ve suggested, your only crime seemed to have been your critical stance.

    It seems a sad situation indeed if it is the case that Mr Tebbe has started to conflate and identify some of those who take certain critical stances with those he holds personal grudges against. How many people whose views he doesn’t like are going to potentially be the next ‘James’, and what does this suggest about how we can trust SZ as a site to trust when dealing with emotionally charged subjects that can affect people’s lives? Maybe these are just shadows, but considering that this site seems to have such an increasingly large gravitational pull in the Zen world, one that I think is worth examining.

  26. stonemirror
    stonemirror December 14, 2012 at 10:19 am | |

    “This seem very strange, because, as I’ve suggested, your only crime seemed to have been your critical stance.”

    You’d have to ask Adam; I can’t on either Facebook or the “Sweeping Zen” site, and my messages on Twitter have so far gone unresponded-to.

    I don’t believe I did anything other than make observations — ones that could be backed up with actual evidence — and ask questions — uncomfortable ones for Adam, I’m sure, like “How come you’re tolerating a putative ‘zen teacher’ approving the defamation of another zen teacher in terms like ‘psychopathic’ and ‘predator’ when there’s not a shred of evidence to support those claims? Why is she doing that in the first place?”

    I didn’t call anyone names, although Adam has called me “viscous” — I’m sure he meant “vicious” — and “hateful”; he’s asked me “who are you people and what do you want?” and suggested that I have some personal hatred for him in particular.

    There was the video he posted last week in which he’s clearly breaking down emotionally over the perceived lack of accolades he feels he’s getting for his latest crusade.

    There’s (still) a comment from him on the Facebook page where he says, “I want people to know I fear for my life.” A number of people have asked why, but he hasn’t responded.

    I’m not a psychologist and I don’t play one on TV, but I have to say that Adam Tebbe strikes me as someone with some serious emotional and/or cognitive disturbances going on.

    Ms. Schireson, however, is a psychologist (ask her!), and how she’s standing around nodding happily while this is going on is a mystery to me.

  27. Andy
    Andy December 14, 2012 at 10:20 am | |

    BTW I posted my original concerns on the comments section to “On Reflection by Kuzan Peter Schireson” on SZ – so I’ll be able to see if that gets through, and emailed the site directly too.

  28. stonemirror
    stonemirror December 14, 2012 at 10:30 am | |

    Curiouser and curiouser. I just went back to look, and Adam has deleted the “I want people to know I fear for my life” comment; there are however (for the moment) a couple of responses at the bottom of the comments still referring to it, see https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10150256554249981&id=69486424980

    I’m guessing those might vanish shortly as well. I took a screenshot, since I really hate being accused of making things up.

  29. stonemirror
    stonemirror December 14, 2012 at 10:32 am | |

    “I posted my original concerns on the comments section to “On Reflection by Kuzan Peter Schireson” on SZ – so I’ll be able to see if that gets through, and emailed the site directly too.”

    Be interesting to see whether Adam approves it or, alternately, disappears you.

  30. Andy
    Andy December 14, 2012 at 11:24 am | |

    “Be interesting to see whether Adam approves it or, alternately, disappears you.”

    I sent him a second email after your first response, saying that I wasn’t you or a ‘James’. I’m not really concerned if he does so, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he did, considering the remarks he sent to you when he thought you were James.

    To my mind he’s allowed his own personal issues, grudges and gripes to become entangled with not only the issues that are being talked about, but the manner in which they have been presented and commented on. I think he, his site and others, would have fared much better, if he had removed himself a while ago to a position of facilitator and moderator, rather than as persona and commentator involved in defending and justifying his own and others views. As I’ve said earlier, I just don’t think he has the maturity nor the facility to mix these roles within the same site. Maybe few have – but does he have enough to see that he may not? And I fear that he’s digging his heels in so much that he’s causing himself, and maybe even the important issues he’s helping to bring to light, much harm.

    He has my sympathy – as both a victim and a perpetrator.

  31. stonemirror
    stonemirror December 14, 2012 at 11:28 am | |

    Me, I’m increasingly tempted to register “zenkusai.org” and spend an afternoon throwing up “Stinking Zen — The Definitive Online Who’s Full Of Horsecrap in Zen”.

    So far, I haven’t given in.

  32. RobP
    RobP December 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm | |

    You are such a hypocrite. A horrible situation comes up like the shooting in CT and you take it upon yourself to manipulate and spread your propaganda.

    I own a gun. It never has gone off by itself.

    You don’t? Thats fine. The second amendment, brought about via the blood of thousands, allow this for me.

    1. Gregory Wonderwheel
      Gregory Wonderwheel December 14, 2012 at 5:14 pm | |

      Looks like RobP got lost in the internet and posted here by mistake.

  33. stonemirror
    stonemirror December 14, 2012 at 5:32 pm | |

    Maybe his browser session “went off by itself” or something. Happily, the First Amendment guarantees him his right to look silly this way.

  34. stonemirror
    stonemirror December 14, 2012 at 7:54 pm | |

    “From what I have read of this person’s comments, there was nothing other than well made points made with a strong opinion – nothing abusive or libelous etc. That person’s moniker began as Stone… something.”

    By the way, thanks for this. Stone Mirror (??) is a reference to Nanyue’s polishing efforts, related in the Sh?b?genz?, leading me to suspect that there’s no good way to say “Runs with scissors” in Japanese or that, at least, my teacher wasn’t aware of one.

    “BTW I posted my original concerns on the comments section to “On Reflection by Kuzan Peter Schireson” on SZ – so I’ll be able to see if that gets through, and emailed the site directly too.”

    I’m coming around to the point of view that Mr. Tebbe is not inclined to share your concerns with the other readers of his web site, seeing that a number of comments have been posted onto the article mentioned, none of them apparently yours (what’s your nym on there…?)

    I would not be shocked, startled, or astounded to learn that your emails had gone without reply.

  35. stonemirror
    stonemirror December 14, 2012 at 7:55 pm | |

    Oh, dear.

    Brad: I can not haz kanji? ;_;

  36. Broken Yogi
    Broken Yogi December 15, 2012 at 4:07 am | |

    All of this is one more sign of the coming Mayan apocalypse.

    I don’t know much about Zen, but isn’t it defined as “transmission outside the scriptures?” I take this to mean “transmission outside any organized religious medium” as well. It is simply a direct, person-to-person relationship, not mediated by an organization or a body of clergy, or any set dogma or rules and so on. People seem to forget that a lot, or don’t even think that’s what it means. And maybe I’m entirely wrong. I just think that whenever people get overly organized and go around creating these sorts of official groups with all their politics and infighting, they are not practicing or teaching Zen. In my brief exposure to the Shiresons, they seem unqualified to teach Zen as Zen. I’m not sure what they are actually teaching, but it seems like some sort of religion that they like to associate with Zen, because that gives it some credibility in their eyes, and many others. But it seems like a therapeutic religion, and they like this therapeutic religion so much that they are willing to dispense with actual Zen in order to keep it that way. Because Zen is kind of dangerous and uncontrollable and not organized in the safe way they would like it to be. They think it needs people like them to make it a right religious path. And in some ways they are right, in that what they want isn’t compatible with Zen, so they try to eliminate Zen from their path. And maybe the whole tradition has tended to be corrupted by the religious impulse in a similar manner. Though maybe not by the therapeutic tendency, but by some other cultural religious inclination suited to past cultures. It’s pretty hard for Zen to survive most anywhere, because human beings like to make religions out of anything real and true. In the process, they tend to destroy that one true thing, however. We all do. So it’s hard. Just like love is.

    1. hrtbeat7
      hrtbeat7 December 15, 2012 at 9:11 am | |

      Right, Broken Yogi — this is exactly what I was getting to in my reference to the “Church of Zen”.

  37. stonemirror
    stonemirror December 15, 2012 at 10:44 am | |

    Adam posted a horrifying “non-pology” on the site this morning, as well as a notification of the posting on the Sweeping Zen Facebook page. The Facebook posting attracted a _lot_ of negative commentary very quickly, at which point Adam deleted it.

    He’s not apparently deleted the non-pology itself; I got a PDF capture of it before he did.

    Adam is now claiming that he’s in fear of his life because of me; he’s claiming that I’m a member of “Aleister Crowley’s Ordo Templi Orientis”, a conclusion he’s apparently come to based on a piece of prank artwork I made to amuse some friends who are into Crowley. I’ve encouraged him via Twitter to call the police immediately and make a report if he honestly feels that his life is being endangered.

    A friend of mine made some comments on the Facebook page, asking why my comments had been removed from the Sweeping Zen site. Adam somehow came to the conclusion that my friend was me, and banned him from the Facebook page as well.

    He’s now ranting about how all of this negative feedback is clearly being “orchestrated” by a “network” (of who? dunno).

    I have no idea what to make of this at this point.

  38. zenisthedirtiestword
    zenisthedirtiestword December 17, 2012 at 7:19 am | |

    Not having read all comments I might be covering the same ground, but I’d just like to say that I have long found Sweeping Zen to be a terrific annoyance. I guess you could say I’ve been practicing Zen for 25 years, more than half my life, though I just look at it all and think I was just banging around clueless most of that time. I’ve practiced in different traditions, had a few teachers, and did pretty well to not have any of them try to fuck me or any of my friends. I count that as lucky, or maybe my instincts were pretty good. I walked away from many more teachers who didn’t pass my so-called smell test. I got caught up in some projections and fantasies, but who doesn’t, and in the end no real harm was done.

    This is just to say, I’ve been around the Zen block once or twice. And for this guy Adam Tebbe to call his site “definitive” anything has always been gross to me. HE DOESN’T PRACTICE. His whole site is from the perspective of a tourist. And now he’s all up in arms about the degradation of something he doesn’t have the first clue about or real relationship to in the first place. Not to mention he seems to have the emotional and intellectual maturity of a not very gifted teenager. Argh! I hate Sweeping Zen!

    I will also mention that I recently attended the SZBA meeting in Oregon, a first for me (I’m a Soto priest these days, or so I’m told). I generally found it most folks there amazing and cool – about the most negative response I had was to Grace Shireson, who I found way too eager to have the definitive opinion on pretty much everything. She struck me as the biggest proponent of a kind of watered down protestant up with people kind of community Zen, driven more by her charisma and opinions about things rather than zazen and contemplative inquiry into one’s individual experience. And I think this latest round of witchhunting on her part is in keeping with that.

    I generally think that all these so-called Zen teachers who in round after round are most prominent at Sweeping Zen aren’t necessarily the cream of the crop. For instance, early on Tebbe relied on the totally fraudulent Paul Lynch and many of his equally ridiculous cronies. Alerted to a laundry list of Lynch’s lies (including that he never received transmission in the first place, though claims to), Tebbe refused to respond because Lynch and crew were his friends. There are other similar cases. So you see who is attracted to making SZ their megaphone, and I think it should generate questions about what is motivating their supposed Zen teaching. it does for me.

  39. Jack
    Jack December 24, 2012 at 7:36 am | |

    Sorry to get old topic again but feel i must warn about Adam Tebbe’s conduct also. Iposted on the sweeping zen website 2 comments days ago. One showed a link here and his behaviour, second was to refer to first comment, saying adam is not always who he says.

    I then now notice he only approved the second, making it look like i was questioning poster floating-abu naive, when i was not. I was saying naive to believe adam is so honest.

    Have posted another comment now to correct, will see if he publishes,or if he keeps hiding some commments which not favor him and twist my words for his pirposes??

    Here it is but no right to pretend to be so honest when so sneaky and even running a buddhist website?? I hope he publishes rightly from now or i will post elsewhere also.

    ————————

    See adam tebbe only posted part of my comment, putting this one out of context. Adam, why dont you show the full story or r u now editing posts to make yourself look good?

    Abu , newerwords – the comment read in context was adam is not who he makes himself out to be. Read http://hardcorezen.info/response-to-sweeping-zen/1526/comment-page-1#comments

    See if this comment is shown on sweeping zen or if he starts hiding all of them to make him look good. Shame on you adam for not showing last one.

  40. Jack
    Jack December 24, 2012 at 7:41 am | |

    Also posted:

    Abu, i meant naive to believe adam. He twist my comments to you by publishing one and not other. Very dishonest site, will see if he changes, lucky i notice. Sorry to cause u confusion,

    ——-

    If he soesnt then clear what he is doing

  41. Adam Tebbe
    Adam Tebbe January 5, 2013 at 11:25 am | |

    Hey everyone. Just a few thoughts, as I see my name being brought up a lot here.

    To begin, I was out of town beginning December 22, so some of those complaining they did not see comments appear were making a right observation, but coming to the wrong conclusion. It was an intentionally technology-free vacation, one I did need. So, no comments were approved during that time and for about a week after that. I approved them when I returned.

    David “Lefty” Schlesinger, aka Stone Mirror (The Great and Terrible) is also right to say I was not in a very good mental state at the time of all of this. He came to a lot of faulty conclusions about what all was transpiring in reference to James. First of all, obviously I wasn’t addressiung David when addressing James. So, without going in to it all, it literally had nothing to do with you David. So, that’s that.

    In my apology post to Brad, which admittedly was not an apology so much as a look at what Brad has written and restating how I edit at Sweeping Zen, namely allowing Zen teachers to post their writings, I did take it down. It’s nothing that crazy. I understand David has a PDF if anyone wants it. I’m sure he could supply you with it if asked. I took it down because I just didn’t want to continue reopening the thing. It is what it is, it’s out there for folks to look at, and that’s that. I didn’t write the pieces by Grace or Peter Schireson. So I didn’t much know what to apologize for in regards to that, to be candid.

    Now, regarding David, I felt things were getting way too personal in his postings about me. It was like every single post was a personal dig and, if one is open-minded here, they will see that trend continuing. I don’t know why I’ve captured his imagination so much, but he does seem taken with me. Multiple posts here about me from him, and all in the most negative of terms one can imagine. David and I don’t know one another. We’ve never met. Our conversations always took place on Facebook at Sweeping Zen. He just made me very uncomfortable, and I explain why here:

    http://sweepingzen.com/honesty-or-just-plain-aggression/#comment-7320

    There you will find some Google search links speaking to an alleged history of trolling and harassment. Now, I’m not saying he has never asked a valid question ever. I am saying that it began to feel like harassment to me, and we know that trolling takes many forms on the web. I just don’t have the energy for going at it with him personally. He can spend his days saying whatever he wants about me but I’ve chosen to not engage him anymore. That’s my decision to make. Be well all.

  42. Jackagain
    Jackagain January 8, 2013 at 10:56 pm | |

    This is a message for Adam: Your post is a lie. You posted one of Jack’s comments, and not the other, intentionally warping the original message intent (as they went together).
    After complaints you published the other one.
    In other words, your claim that you didn’t publish comments simply because you were on leave is a lie, and a sad one at it.
    Sweeping Zen is not the honest site you say it is. This is not about stonemirror so please don’t even try to make it all about him.

  43. Jackagain
    Jackagain January 8, 2013 at 10:57 pm | |

    The above is for Jack. Good luck, Mr Tebbe.

  44. Adam Tebbe
    Adam Tebbe January 9, 2013 at 7:08 am | |

    If it satisfies your dislike for me, go ahead and believe it then. I said my bit and there is no lie. Take good care.

  45. J
    J February 1, 2013 at 8:11 pm | |

    You are really deluding yourself if you think those facts were born out of a ‘dislike for you’.

    What a pity, a site which had potential ruined and honed by your biases, and personal censorship. Saw your frequent attacks on people and the naming of people and private converations .. as if people are harmed, no it only shows your own imaginative accusations, MO and truth – no matter how you now try to brandish it now as just ‘misunderstandings’..we see, I see.

    Take care2.

  46. Adam Tebbe
    Adam Tebbe February 16, 2013 at 6:26 am | |

    Actually, David and I never had a single “private communication.” On Facebook, he posted as himself. On Sweeping Zen, he posted as Stone Mirror and linked back to promote his own personal website, which included his name and bio on the front page. So, if he expected to comment in privacy, it was a very interesting way of going about it.

    Of course I’m going to start looking in to someone when I feel harassed and trolled by them, as would anyone else in that situation. A few very simple Google searches confirmed to my satisfaction what I had suspected in my own encounters — that there was an alleged history of trolling and harassment of individuals. I have no room for that bullshit in my life.

  47. Let’s Talk About Sex… March 6, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
  48. Jack
    Jack March 9, 2013 at 8:08 am | |

    You lied about my comments, Adam Tebbe, posted one then other only when i show it…now it is there but ur first actions are ones of lying, I see what happen myself then, saw you moderate it out, and leave one..no holiday! Why do you want to say stonemirror stonemirror every time. more of us have seen u..and how u run your webpages..I speak fact for above..also spilling confidensial and privatenames, talks etc is bad ethic…just admit what you do.

  49. stonemirror
    stonemirror March 9, 2013 at 8:38 am | |

    Adam is indeed quick to make up things, and to rely on extremely questionable “evidence” that has nothing to do with the matter at hand, when he’s in “a bad state of mind” or feeling “harassed” (by straightforward questions).

    He made up this, for example: “First of all, obviously I wasn’t addressiung David when addressing James. So, without going in to it all, it literally had nothing to do with you David. So, that’s that.”

    Except that there was no one named “James” participating in the conversation, Adam, and the comment was in direct response to one of my own. So, there’s that. (Here’s a clue for you: if you must lie, lie plausibly.)

    He’s also demonstrated, with his Google searches — and let’s note that he hasn’t shown any instances of my “trolling” or “harassing” anyone on his site, so at best, he’s indulging in “prior restraint” — that he’s happy to share in spreading gossip and slander when it suits him to.

    He’s failed to demonstrate that I’ve actually harassed anyone, himself included, in comments on his web site. He — in contrast — has claimed that I “hate” him, and that I’m part of some sort of “network” conspiring to make him look bad (as though he weren’t doing an excellent job all on his own).

    He went so far as to ask whether my nickname “Lefty” — I’m left-handed, and every Tom, Dick and Harry is named “David”, in fact — had anything to do with the “left-hand path”, i.e. Satanism or “black magic”.

    And that’s simply nuts. There’s no other way to describe it, I’m sorry.

    Adam writes: “A few very simple Google searches confirmed to my satisfaction what I had suspected in my own encounters — that there was an alleged history of trolling and harassment of individuals. I have no room for that bullshit in my life.”

    It doesn’t take much to satisfy you, clearly. If you don’t have room for the “bullshit” of being critically challenged in your life, then you’ve taken up the wrong vocation, particularly given the tabloid-like bent of “Sweeping Zen” to act as self-appointed Dharmic Muckraker and Grand Inquisition.

    For what it’s worth, Adam has still not clarified why he claimed that he was “in fear of [his] life”. Adam…?

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