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Buddhists Aren’t Perfect

Here’s a news article I just stumbled upon:

105-year-old Zen Buddhist master is accused of groping female students

You can read the article if you want, but I’ll summarize: This old master, Joshu Sasaki, has been groping and touching his female students for over 50 years, and allegedly used his position to excommunicate or ban anyone who complained away from his retreat in Mt. Baldy, California.

At this stage, let’s remember that this is all just allegations; there has not been any kind of trial. I’m not entirely even sure what the crime would be if there was one. But whether or not this was a “crime,” it was clearly inappropriate if he actually did it.

Every day, I post something on this site telling what kinds of things Buddhists do or don’t do. Keep in mind that this is all “in theory.” In reality, Buddhists are normal human being who do stupid things. None of them are perfect, and even Buddhist leaders deal with daily temptations just like the rest of us.

It seems like all too often in the news we hear about Catholic priests going after little boys or Baptist Pastors having affairs with members of their congregation, or something else of the sort. We rarely hear about Buddhists misbehaving, but I suspect that’s just because there aren’t as many Buddhist leaders in America.  A long time ago, I posted a review of Sheng Yen’s Footprints in the Snow, which detailed life in a monastery back in the early 1900’s. He discussed all kinds of scandals, affairs, and the like. It goes on today as well.

What’s my point today? Don’t look to Buddhism as the perfect solution to the world’s problems. Buddhists are people, and they do stupid things sometimes too. Grasping too hard for perfection is just one more form of grasping that we should try to do away with.


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