There is much to recommend Nancy Mujo Baker’s new book on the Zen Precepts. And there are some passages I am concerned about. In this, the second of two posts, I want to explain why I find a few passages that touch on abuse of students by teachers to be alarming.
A Commentary on Nancy Mujo Baker’s Opening to Oneness
There is much to recommend Nancy Mujo Baker’s new book on the Zen Precepts, Opening to Oneness. And there are some things to be concerned about. In this, the first of two posts, I’ll share my concern that students may be misled about what Zen teaches about “oneness” and “suchness.”
Is it possible to cultivate a sense of “enoughness” with regard to relationships?
My teacher, Josh Bartok Roshi, gave a dharma talk at an all-day sit recently. Which I missed. (I was helping a friend move.) But although I arrived late in the afternoon, Josh shared with me a set of reflections he had handed out. These were lists of “Values based on” various precepts, vows, and liturgical pieces. One stood out for me: A meditation on the 2nd Grave Precept.
In our liturgy book, the second of the Ten Grave Precepts is worded, in its longer form, as
Self-nature is inconceivably wondrous. In the realm of the unattainable Dharma, not having thoughts of gaining is called the Precept of Not Stealing. The self and the things of the world are just as they are. The gate of emancipation is open. Being satisfied with what I have, I vow to take up the Way of Not Stealing. (p. 48)