Dear Friend, |
How are you?
I hope this letter finds you in good health.
I am writing to ask for your help. I am a Zen Buddhist. My teacher Muishitsu Eido Shimano Roshi has run into some cross-cultural problems. [Roshi is an honorific title meaning old teacher given to the spiritual heir of Shakyamuni Buddha ]
He came to America a poor monk and through the donations of many, he established two zendos, one temple in New York, one monastery in the mountains. There were two great scandals. Some people claimed that their sexual affairs with him endangered their spiritual practice. You might expect that students who grew up with American values would just leave. In this case, instead of leaving, they seized control of the legal entity and forced him to retire making his income dependent on his not teaching, seeking thus to end his teaching activities in America and the world. In 2012, this limitation was cleared and Eido Roshi is now free.The Cross cultural divide
Many of Roshi’s students would like to continue on. They reasoned perhaps like me, that even if the rumors are true,
The leaders of the legal entity are not bad people. I have known some for 10 years. For whatever reason, they lost all reason. They said things like “Trust me. I am wise because I studied with Eido Roshi but he is not fit to teach.” No one was able to talk to them. They are running the organization to bankruptcy as without Roshi teaching there are not enough student income. They seem to care more about pleasing outsiders then the dues paying members. The set up is such, Roshi’s faithful students would have to fight a lengthy legal battle. And Roshi is over 80 years old. Their duty to the organization is to obey Dharma. A long transition period with Muishitsu Rodaishi teaching and showing the next generation the way and the cultivation of an attitude of reverence toward the chief benefactor and teacher, namely Muishitsu Eido Shimano Roshi.
Roshi still wants to teach and his students miss him. Can you please help? I thought if a generous individual or a group of generous individuals could add to his retirement income, he would be freer to teach.
His retirement income as I understand it from one serious source is $100, 000 a year, Use of a 2-bedroom apartment in Manhattan with monthly upkeep fees of $3-8000/month, 4-6 all-expenses paid trips to Japan, Health insurance for himself and his wife. Seeking parity with the income of corporate leaders, an addition of US$500,000 a year seems a modest goal. Assuming he lives to be 120 years old, there is a formula that can calculate a sum that if deposited now in an annuity account would yield that amount yearly.
It would be great if this were a trust based out of England, a freely given trust with no strings attached. If there was no “not-for-profit” or “tax benefit” drama associated with it.
Using the present value of an annuity calculator available at investopedia (http://www.investopedia.com/calculator/AnnuityPV.aspx#axzz1dtAZJaiB). Using an interest rate of 1.30%, US $15.52 million invested today would be able to guarantee that annual payout for 40 years. Could you do donate this sum for the Dharma?
I think of the millions who tasted Zen maybe 100 , 200 students remain. They probably could with dues pay for a preaching location.
This would help Roshi be more dynamic teaching and serving Dharma. The ashes of Zen treasures Nyogen Senzaki and Soen Nakagawa Roshi as well as countless wonderful students would still apparently be hostage.
Doing this might earn you disregard. Asked if there was any merit to helping the Dharma, Zen Patriarch Bodhidharma said “None whatsoever”
Humbly begging for your help,
Roshi’s student: Mr. Zensho Martin Hara
Thank you very much for your help. May Dharma bless you.Sincerely,
With great gratitude to Eido Roshi.
This is written without his consent, approval or knowledge.