In an answer to the question if his sangha is recognized by Sotoshu in Japan, Master Kosen Stephan Thibaut put forth negative judgements on the attitude of the masters of the AZI and mine in particular founded on erroneous information. I thus request the publication of the following statement which will be done in the first person since in this spiritual field each one must take his responsibility.
I did not betray the line of Master Deshimaru which is always reproduced on the ketsumyaku that I give at the time of ordinations. I believe more than ever in the universal value of his teaching. Besides, the AZI is preparing a conference for the fortieth anniversary of his mission in June 2007 in Gendronnière.
As Sensei Deshimaru wished it, we harmonized ourselves with the Sotoshu while following the sesshin which enabled us to be officially recognized as Dendokyoshi: Zen Soto masters out of Japan. At any time, it was requested from us to follow "Japanese Zen", nor to adopt all their rules and rites. The two representatives of Shumucho who have come to Europe since 2002 encouraged us to create our own rules and this is what we do while being inspiring by the tradition as Sensei did. As for Kodo Sawaki, he belonged to the Sotoshu and even had functions as a teacher within the framework of this school. He ordered many monks recognized by Sotoshu.
Master Deshimaru requested the Sotoshu to adapt its rules to take into account the Western reality and this is what we are obtaining.
But for that it is necessary to dialogue and not to withdraw oneself in an attitude of contempt. Let us announce that Sotoshu Shumucho is not an official organization created at the end of the Second World War on the request of the fascistic government. It was founded about the year 1870 by the zenji of Eiheiji and Sojiji to harmonize the two branches of Zen Soto in Japan. Sotoshu did not impose its rules to us nor took control of the Gendronnière.
There would be much to say still to rectify the allegations of Stephan. But to come from there to what worries him concerning the ordinations, I never questioned their value nor suggested the need for being reordered. I agreed to reorder some monks and nuns who thus wished to confirm that they had become my disciples and being recognized as such by the Sotoshu. This new ordination expresses their faith in the Dharma transmitted in a true relation of Master and disciple.
Roland Yuno Rech
Answer from Master Kosen
Mondo On the same theme : Dialogues with Roland
The shiho looks to me to be something intimate and to make a celebration of it does not look right to me.
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