--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, turquoiseb <no_reply@...> wrote:
> Let us also not be taken in by the attempt of one Robin
> Apologist to compare what he did to a Zen master swatting
> students during their practice.

As Barry knows, it was actually Robin who made the 
comparison in his Open Letter.

> I was hoping I wouldn't have
> to deal with such rank ignorance, but it appears that I do.
> In traditional Zen practice, such "swatting" is voluntary, mean-
> ing that each student has the right to say, "Don't ever do that."
> If they agree to it, it is done with a "shinai," which looks like
> this ( with subtitles in German for Nabby, even :-):

Barry's gotten a little confused here, between the shinai
used in martial arts as a "safe" sword, and the stick used
in Zen practice. The latter is used in two different

One is to strike students who request it as a means of
restoring their focus (or to wake those who have fallen
asleep) during meditation practice. The stick and the
method of application are designed to avoid doing the
meditator any damage.

The other context is when it is used by the roshi during
private consultation with a student, when the roshi deems
the student's responses to questions to be inadequate, or
as a spur to awakening (but again, without doing any 
physical harm to the student). This is the parallel Robin
had in mind.

Here are several short essays from Tricycle from various
scholars and Zen experts/masters on the various uses of
the stick:


An excerpt on the latter use of the stick:

"In contemporary Rinzai Zen, the master receives disciples for
dokusan consultation holding a stick called a nyoi (Sanskrit
chintamani, 'wish-fulfilling gem'). Chiefly an emblem of
spiritual authority, the nyoi may be used on occasion to strike.
Such blows are interpreted in the context of Zen's heritage in
legal rhetoric, and indeed may be seen as a kind of ritual
citation of it. Any blows given in dokusan are also regarded as
'skillful means,' aimed at helping the disciple cut attachment
to deluded concepts."

Here Barry describes the "safe sword" used in certain martial
arts practices (as opposed to Zen meditation practices):

> Basically, it's a bunch of strips of bamboo tied together loosely
> so that when you whack something with it, it makes a big noise,
> but the bamboo strips collapse, absorbing the force. It's like
> being hit with a child's "nerf bat." You could probably whack
> someone with a shinai with all your force and do no harm.
> This is NOT the same thing as pushing, shoving, or striking
> someone with your hands, sufficient to make them suspect
> that he had broken their -- what Robin was doing.

(I think Barry meant to write "jaw" after "their" above.)

Don't know where Barry got "pushing" and "shoving." Nobody
has mentioned anything of that nature that I can recall.

To suggest that a blow sufficient to make someone think
their jaw had been broken is "what Robin was doing" in
the private gatherings, however, is to assume facts not
in evidence (one of Barry's standard tactics).

Since Robin hasn't commented on the single incident where
a confrontee was struck and felt he was physically harmed,
we don't know what Robin's intention might have been--
whether it was the same as in the earlier private
gatherings or something else. As Barry knows, Robin assured
us in his Open Letter that the four or five blows he
administered in the course of these many private
gatherings were not delivered in anger and were not
designed to do harm or to constitute punishment.

Moreover, Robin wrote:

"...Whenever this event happened, no one so much as winced.
Not because they were brainwashed, but rather became everyone
present sensed the intelligence and inspiration behind this
act. The act, then, simply occurred with a complex process
which made itself understood as being inevitable and salutary
in the extreme. It was harrowing, it was exhilarating, it was
dangerous, it was mysterious, it was terrifying. But for
everyone present it was very very real. And, I have to say it:

"Although of course everyone realizes in retrospect it was wrong."

> Don't be stupid enough to believe apologists when they try
> to excuse his actions as claiming that it is the same thing.

Don't be stupid enough to believe Barry when he makes claims
about what his "enemies" have said. They are almost always
false, as this one is.

None of Robin's supporters has tried to excuse what Robin
described in his Open Letter (other than the as-yet-
unidentified cultist I quoted in an earlier post). Robin
himself says it was wrong.

How *about* that one cultist I quoted, Barry? Haven't you
figured out who the writer was yet? Or are you just
reluctant to say? You know *I* will eventually, so you're
just postponing the Moment of Truth.

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