Fighting for freedom, defending the truth, exposing injustice!

February 14, 2011

A zen teacher had an affair with his student. It was a long time thing, lasting for some years. During this affair he also had other mini-affairs with other students, multiple students, who knows how many students. Besides having affairs, he was teaching, developing new ways of practice, new techniques that some found difficult to accept as legitimate. He was introducing new ways of being and that does not go down easily within an old, old tradition with a structure unchanged in thousands of years. He was introducing new ways of being in all areas of life. I never practiced with him personally. He was in my lineage, I knew of him, I heard stories. I met him once, briefly, during a short workshop. I had ideas about him, wrapped in the authority of his position, created by the mystique of the one who has mastered the dharma, who is enlightened, who is the Buddha, who has all the answers. Maybe the awe lessened a bit as I was growing up myself, maybe the mystery dispersed a little, once I begun to discover the dharma and the buddha for myself, but the ideas, shoulds, concepts, still remained. And then he fell and the whole construction of my concepts and ideas fell with him. And I got angry. As I got angry the ideas of perfection, admiration and respect turned into ideas of distrust and contempt. Now I begun to judge him as strongly as I once respected him. Now he was all wrong, just like once he was all good. Now every step he took, every word he said, pointed more and more to his rotten ethics and unexisting morals. And now I begun to be concerned for others. It wasn’t just about me being angry, now it was about saving the world from this guy, freeing others from his evil influence. Now I was on the mission to save the world, I was determined to fight for freedom and to reveal his deceit and injustice. And then one of his students said to me: “Nah, don’t worry. It’s just a guy struggling with his self image, like all of us. He is still a brilliant teacher who brought an immense amount of goodness to people. So he’s imperfect. So what? “ And I realized: I don’t even know this guy! This teacher, this authority, this fallen deceitful man – I don’t even know him. I hardly met him. This is not about him, this is all about me. My ideas, my concepts, my shoulds, my standards and believes, my expectations. I have created an idol, then I have created a fallen one, then I got angry and I decided to take it out on this guy whom I don’t even know, who has nothing to do with any of this. I am going to fight this man … because I had an idea replaced by another idea, and I got angry. I would have gone off fighting the windmills because, in my mind, they were dragons. I would have gone off fighting for what I believe. And people would have gotten hurt.

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