--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, turquoiseb <no_reply@...> wrote: (snip) > 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 contexts. 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: http://www.tricycle.com/onpractice/zens-big-stick-the-kyosaku 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: right. "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.