Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Shakuhachi Forum Practices No-Zen

"One shakuhachi, aged and roasted if you please, but hold the

The ji-gnashing, hair-pulling and egghead-butting on the "HBIUHG*IBUT&TUYBIUB*YUGYTFFV*^&^F VF TFVUHGVHGHGHVFIYUT IGY forums" (aka the ZEN forums) at Shakuhachi Forum appear to be over and out, at least for the foreseeable future.

"Zen and Buddhism in Shakuhachi" and "Random Zen, Religion and Philosophy" have been locked down and any thread or topic in miscellaneous forums that starts pontificating, I mean, discussing the dreaded "Z" word are getting locked down as well.

Forum chiefs have even gone to the funny and frankly brilliant length of having the word-salad "HBIUHG*IBUT&TUYBIUB*YUGYTFFV*^&^F VF TFVUHGVHGHGHVFIYUT IGY" auto-substituted for the word "zen" throughout all of the forum posts.

Too much friction between upstart free-thinkers, no-thinkers, know-it-all thinkers, ad nauseum posters and at least one intractable topic moderator seems to be the cause.

Shakuhachi Forum Chief Brian Tairaku Ritchie boils it down to this: "The problem is that instead of practicing honkyoku (sacred shakuhachi music) and absorbing the ("Z" word) that way, they feel the need to talk and argue about it."

Of course the collateral damage falls to the many forum members who are quite harmlessly spiritually seeking with their flutes and get caught up in the cross-fire. (Rats, I'm mixing too many metaphors here, but you get the hologram, don't you?)

Rabid territorialism and triumphalist sectarianism are no strangers to Buddhism in general, especially on the Internet. Old Usenet Buddhist forums, Tricycle Magazine's failed "discussion" forum, among others, have all succumbed to petty sectarian bickering, flagrant name-calling and, yes, even threats of physical violence. Buddhists acting badly. "I guess that's why we need the practice," says one Buddhist forum survivor

Even the Internet forum known as E-sanga
has closed down it's Soto Zen forum.

In the meantime, Shakuhachi Forum presses on. Back to sharing information about the rich heritage, repertoire and forms of one of the most beautiful and complex musical instruments in the history of humankind.

... Kind of dull, ain't it?


Jordan said...

... Kind of dull, ain't it?

Yes. But Zen pontificators without the guidance of a decent teacher are dull too.

While I think it is kind of Orwellian[sp?] the way this was done, it is likely for the best. Perhaps folks looking for zen will now go somewhere ware there is a teacher willing and able to devote their time to seekers.

Ken LaCosse said...

Jordan said...

"While I think it is kind of Orwellian[sp?] the way this was done, it is likely for the best."

A few years ago my father was the president of a men's club of members involved in business and the arts. They entertained themselves by putting on shows, plays and musicals. Their one rule; "Be a gentleman." Most of the members in my fathers circle shared similar libertarian political views. Once I asked him if he used the same views to govern the men's club. He said, "At a large scale I prefer small government, liberty, freedom and personal responsibility. However, at a club level I prefer a benevolent dictatorship because I like to get things done!"

I can't help but think of that whenever a forum decision needs to be made!