Page 5 of 7 FirstFirst ... 34567 LastLast
Results 61 to 75 of 95

Thread: Buddhists behaving badly

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Canada!
    Posts
    23,101
    Even within Christian churches, a lot of this stuff is cosplay and money grubbing.
    I personally find the overtly religious to be somewhat off-putting and of not much actual use to themselves or society.
    But, I can only watch my own little square of the world here.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,033

    More on Xuecheng

    Police probe sexual misconduct claims against Chinese monk
    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    BEIJING — Aug 23, 2018, 4:28 AM ET


    FILE - In this July 3, 2015, file photo, Abbot Xuecheng of the Beijing Longquan Temple poses for a photo in one of the temple buildings in Beijing, China. According to a statement issued Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, Chinese police have opened an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against one of the country's best-known Buddhist monks whose case has highlighted the growth of the #MeToo movement in China. (Chinatopix via AP, File)

    Chinese police have opened an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against one of the country's best-known Buddhist monks whose case has highlighted the growth of the #MeToo movement in China.

    A statement issued by the State Religious Affairs Administration on Thursday said police were investigating claims of sexual assault by Xuecheng. It said he also faces censure from the official government-backed Buddhist Association on suspicion of "violating Buddhist precepts."

    Xuecheng has denied the claims but earlier this month resigned as head of the Buddhist Association.

    Fellow monks accused him of harassing and demanding sexual favors from nuns at his monastery in the outskirts of northwestern Beijing, as well as embezzling funds. Their accusations, including testimony from alleged victims, were posted online, prompting a public outcry and unusual coverage by state media.

    A small but increasing number of academics, civil society activists and one of China's best-known television hosts have been called out for inappropriate sexual behavior.

    In addition to heading the Buddhist Association, Xuecheng was an influential political adviser to the central government. His monastery, Longquan, is popular with educated Chinese, including many who give up high-paying jobs to devote their lives to religious study.

    China has roughly 250 million Buddhists whose religion has suffered varying degrees of repression under the officially atheist Communist government. That number is likely growing fast as some young Chinese turn increasingly spiritual and retreat to temples and monasteries.

    Not all is so Zen-like, however. Some leading monks have been criticized for embracing China's rampant commercialism, among them Shi Yongxin, abbot of the Shaolin Temple famed for its fighting monks.

    Shi was accused by subordinates in 2015 of keeping mistresses and embezzling monastery funds while he jet-setted around the world seeking sponsorship and real estate deals for the 1,500-year-old cradle of kung fu.

    The religious affairs bureau statement said Xuecheng's temple is also under investigation for putting up buildings without construction permits. Authorities are also looking into the issue of "the whereabouts of a large amount of funds," it said.
    Quote Originally Posted by David Jamieson View Post
    Even within Christian churches, a lot of this stuff is cosplay and money grubbing.
    I personally find the overtly religious to be somewhat off-putting and of not much actual use to themselves or society.
    But, I can only watch my own little square of the world here.
    Well, sure. That's true about any position of power, and especially poignant in lieu of the Pope's recent response to sexual abuse within the Catholic church. As you know, David, I was just in Italy too, and I was actually inside the Vatican when this statement was released this week. There was a terrific thunderstorm as I was in the Sistine and the Basilica. It was awesome, in the true meaning of the word.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,033

    Suphachai Suthiyano

    "So much for the notion that all Buddhists are extraordinarily peaceful…" <- This is exactly what I'm on about with this thread. There's this weird Western stereotype about Buddhists that they are somehow more peaceful than other organized religions, but in truth, Buddhism is as old a Christianity and suffers from similar issues of corruption, just like any longstanding powerful institution.

    Regardless, this is a pretty horrible story.

    Buddhist Monk Beats 9-Year-Old Boy to Death During Prayer Session
    BY DAVID G. MCAFEE
    AUGUST 25, 2018

    A Buddhist monk from Thailand killed a nine-year-old boy by beating him after the child was disruptive during a prayer session.

    So much for the notion that all Buddhists are extraordinarily peaceful…



    The monk, 64-year-old Suphachai Suthiyano, reportedly “flew into a rage” during a prayer gathering when the child, Wattanapol Sisawad, disrupted the ceremony by being “playful.” The monk used a bamboo stick to assault the boy several times before slamming his head into a pillar, killing him.

    The child fell into a coma and passed away late Thursday, a hospital worker at Kanchanaburi provincial hospital told AFP on Friday, requesting anonymity.

    The incident comes as Thailand, a majority-Buddhist country, grapples with multiple other scandals among its clergy, including cases of extortion, sex and drug use.

    The suspect, who was defrocked on Sunday following his arrest, was charged earlier this week with assault.

    Police Captain Amnaj Chunbult said the charge will be revised to “assault resulting in death” once he receives official confirmation.
    This isn’t the only scandal involving Buddhist monks, according to AFP. Other incidents have dealt with extortion, sex, and drugs. In Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), for example, there is a long history of Buddhist violence against the Rohingya Muslims.

    There’s also an ongoing effort by social media companies to tamp down hate speech in Myanmar, much of which comes from extremist Buddhist monks.

    Facebook has identified and removed several hate figures and groups from the platform, including the extremist Buddhist monks Ashin Wirathu, Parmaukkha and Thuseitta, known for hate speech against Rohingya. It has also deleted pages linked to the monk-led nationalist group Ma Ba Tha — the Association for the Protection of Race and Religion.
    Outside of Myanmar, Thailand has its own issues. In the case of Sisawad, the young boy who was killed by an angry Buddhist monk, his mother has said she “will not forgive” the killer. Sisawad was a Buddhist novice, a popular role for many of the men and boys who spend time in a monastery of some sort.

    This isn’t even the only crime committed by a Thai Buddhist monk in recent history.

    Earlier this month, Thailand’s infamous “jet-set monk” — so-called after footage emerged of him carrying a Louis Vuitton bag on a private jet — was sentenced to 114 years in prison for money-laundering and fraud.

    In May the abbot of the popular “Golden Mount” temple in Bangkok surrendered to police after $4 million was found in bank accounts in his name.

    The case came on the heels of an ongoing investigation into whether the National Office of Buddhism had misused millions of dollars under its control.

    Authorities last year floated the idea of introducing digitised ID cards to better track monks with criminal convictions.

    Move over Catholic Church. You’ve got company.

    As we’ve seen far too often when religious leaders hold power in a particular country, corrupt individuals representing that faith continue to break laws. In this case, the crime led to a young boy’s death.

    (Thanks to Jeff for the link)
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,033

    Professor Bradley Steven Clough

    UM Buddhism professor charged with assault
    Ryan OConnell Sep 14, 2018


    Bradley Steven Clough
    Photo courtesy Missoula County Jail Roster

    A professor at the University of Montana was charged with assault and booked into jail last Saturday after allegedly punching a bouncer in the stomach at a Jason Isbell concert.

    Associate professor Bradley Clough, who currently teaches classes on Buddhism and yoga, pleaded not guilty to one count of misdemeanor assault on Sept. 12, stemming from a Sept. 8 altercation at the Kettlehouse Amphitheater when, according to court documents, a security guard asked Clough to leave a private booth.

    According to the affidavit, Clough “became agitated and began screaming vulgarities” at the security guard. The bouncer reportedly attempted to grab Clough, and Clough “punched [him] in the stomach” before attempting to flee. Clough was apprehended by the same guard.

    Clough, when approached twice in his office on campus, declined to comment, and instead referred the Kaimin to speak to his attorney, Brian West. After the Kaimin left a voicemail and sent an email to West, the lawyer declined to comment “on a client’s pending case” through an email.

    The misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in jail and up to a $500 fine. According to the Missoula County Jail Roster webpage, Clough was also charged with felony probation violation when booked, though documents elaborating that charge were not immediately available.

    Clough’s next hearing is scheduled for Nov. 21.

    Clough is a professor in the Global Humanities and Religions department, and has worked at UM since 2008, according to his curriculum vitae. According to Academic Planner, he is teaching two 3-credit courses this semester: Buddhism and A History of Yoga East & West.

    On May 24, in a separate case, Clough pleaded guilty to felony criminal endangerment and received a 10 year suspended sentence. According to court documents related to that case, a bystander saw Clough’s vehicle driving erratically on Nov. 8, 2017, and called 9-1-1. An officer observed the vehicle and initiated a stop. Clough was unable to perform a field sobriety test, but a preliminary breath test showed there was no alcohol in his system, according to a court affidavit.

    Clough told the officer he may have taken too much Clonazepam, according to charging documents, a prescription drug used to treat seizures, anxiety and panic disorder.

    Stipulations of that sentence included complying with all laws and prohibited use or possession of alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs, as well as not visiting bars or casinos, according to court documents.

    Documents from the criminal endangerment case stated Clough had previous DUI convictions from June 1997, November 2001, November 2008 and August 2015.

    Paul Hamby contributed reporting to this story.
    Many of us gravitate to religion for therapy. Doesn't always work.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,033

    Wirapol Sukphol

    Thai monk sentenced for raping teen girl he impregnated
    By KAWEEWIT KAEWJINDA Associated Press OCTOBER 17, 2018 — 5:55AM

    BANGKOK — A Thai court on Wednesday sentenced a former Buddhist monk known for his jet-set lifestyle to 16 years in prison for raping a young teenage girl who he also impregnated.

    Wirapol Sukphol became infamous when he appeared in a 2013 YouTube video in his monk's robe aboard a private jet wearing aviator sunglasses with a Louis Vuitton carry-on by his side.

    He was defrocked amid accusations that he had sexual relations with women — a major violation of the precepts guiding monks' behavior — and had impregnated one. Because of the furor, he fled to the United States, where he was arrested in 2016 and extradited last year.

    On Wednesday, the Ratchada Criminal Court in Bangkok handed Wirapol two eight-year prison terms, one for abducting a minor under 15 and another for rape.

    Wirapol is already serving a lengthy prison sentence. In August, the same court sentenced him to 114 years in connection with funds he fraudulently raised from followers. He was found guilty of fraud, money laundering and violation of the computer crime act for spending money he had solicited for Buddhist statuary and temple improvements instead on cars and luxury goods.

    Legal technicalities capped the 114-year sentence at 20 years, meaning he will now serve a 36-year prison sentence.

    Wednesday's court ruling said prosecutors charged that Wirapol abducted a 14-year-old girl and sexually assaulted her from January 2000 to the middle of 2001, during which time she also became pregnant.

    The victim, now 32, said she was satisfied with Wednesday's sentencing. She said she would present the ruling to the Sisaket Juvenile and Family Court, where she has filed a lawsuit against Wirapol requesting 40 million baht ($1.2 million) in child support in a case the court had put on hold pending Wednesday's ruling. She said Wirapol had initially provided her 10,000 baht per month to take care of their child but he gradually stopped the payments.

    According to Thailand's Department of Special Investigation, Wirapol at one point had accumulated assets estimated at 1 billion baht ($30.1 million). During a shopping spree from 2009 to 2011, he bought 22 Mercedes Benz cars worth 95 million baht ($2.9 million), the department said.

    An earlier civil court ruling ordered the confiscation of 43.5 million baht ($1.3 million) from Wirapol.
    Should've kept it at 114 years. That would've spilled over into his next life.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,033

    Master Kaihung

    Taiwanese Buddhist monk caught doing drugs, throwing sex parties
    Monks gone wild: Buddhist monk caught making porn videos, throwing sex parties, taking drugs in western Taiwan
    By Keoni Everington,Taiwan News, Staff Writer
    2018/11/21 17:06


    Master Kaihung. (Image from buddhistcompassion.org)

    TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- News has surfaced of a Buddhist monk in western Taiwan caught breaking every monastic vow in the book, including allegedly taking drugs, filming pornographic videos, and throwing sex parties.

    Police in Miaoli County yesterday (Nov. 20) arrested a 29-year-old Buddhist monk identified as Master Kaihung (開泓法師), who's birth name was Hsieh Jen-hao (謝仁豪), for possessing illegal drugs, among other suspected crimes. The list of alleged impious acts committed by the monk has been described by Liberty Times as one of the biggest scandals within Taiwan's Buddhist community in many years.

    When Miaoli police arrived at the Chongfo Temple (崇佛寺) yesterday with a search warrant, they were blocked from entering by four monks, who shouted to Kaihung to hide in another room. Kaihung then locked himself inside the room, but it was not long before a man surnamed Chen (陳) unlocked the door.

    Once police entered the room, they first encountered a startled-looking Kaihung playing with a smart phone. Inside his wardrobe they found 19 grams of amphetamines, pipes, erection medication, anal relaxants, ultra thin condoms, and a container of Tapeijou holy water (大悲咒水) filled with sexual lubricant, reported Liberty Times.

    In addition, police found two USB flash drives which contained "male-on-male sex videos," drug use, nude photos of men, and footage of sex with men, according to the report. All told, the flash drives are believed to contain over 200 GB of pornographic material.

    Because Kaihung and Chen were in the room where the amphetamines were found, both were brought in for questioning on suspicion of violating drug laws. After questioning the men, police transferred them to the Prosecutor's Office on charges of violating the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act (毒品危害防制條例).

    After a court hearing, the judge ordered that Kaihung be released on NT$100,000 bail, while Chen was released without bail.

    According to Liberty Times, Kaihung converted to Buddhism at the age of 14 and followed the late Master Chihhai (智海法師) in the Tongshan Temple. At the time he was considered "talented and intelligent," but after the death of his master, his behavior started to change.

    As he grew older, he became involved in drugs and started bringing back other monks to engage in sexual acts, and eventually he was asked to leave the Tongshan Temple. Over two months ago, Monks at the Chongfa temple took him in. However, he again began to stray from the path and started to abuse drugs and hold "sex parties." Eventually, the monks at Chongfa had had enough and informed the Miaoli police.


    Police searching temple for evidence. (CNA image)
    But was he eating meat?

    Too soon? Come on, it's Thanksgiving tomorrow. The American anti-vegetarian anti-native holiday.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,033

    More on Kai Hung

    Explicit videos of up-and-coming Buddhist monk’s meth-fueled gay sex parties at temple leaked
    The 29-year-old Buddhist youth leader is said to have lured other monks back to his room with drugs and seduced them into having sex
    by Alex Linder November 22, 2018 in News



    For one prominent Buddhist monk in Taiwan, life in the temple wasn’t all meditation, prayer, and self-sacrifice.

    Footage has been published online showing 29-year-old Master Kai Hung cavorting in ways not typically associated with one who has donned the monk’s robe. In one clip, Kai Hung is seen tumbling around naked with another nude man in a bed and smoking meth. In another, he rambles, obviously stoned out of his mind, to the camera, babbling incoherently about how much he loves his “husband.”



    The shocking footage was published on Tuesday morning by Taiwan news outlet Mirror Media. Later that day, police arrived at the Chongfo Temple in Miaoli county where Kai Hung was residing. According to a report from Liberty Times, other monks tried to prevent officers from entering the temple, talking loudly to give him a chance to hide.

    However, Kai Hung was eventually discovered hiding out inside of a room that also contained 19 grams of amphetamine tablets, smoking pipes, aphrodisiacs, anal relaxants, condoms, and a bottle of holy water which was filled with lube. Police also found a pair of USB flash drives which contained over 200 GB of pornographic material including photos of nude men and gay sex videos, some of which were homemade and starred Kai Hung himself.



    Afterward, Kai Hung was arrested and charged with drug crimes. He was later released on NT$100,000 ($3,200) bail.

    It turns out that Kai Hung had once been considered a bright and devout disciple with much promise, holding the position of secretary-general at the Chinese Young Buddhist Association. However, following the death of his master, Kai Hung’s behavior took a turn for the impious. While residing at another temple in the county, Tongshan Temple, he is said to have lured other monks back to his room with drugs before seducing them into sex.

    Kai Hung’s scandalous behavior got him kicked out Tongshan Temple back in September. He was then welcomed to Chongfo Temple where he is reported to have continued to break all the monastic vows in the book, resulting in him being expelled from the Buddhist youth association.



    For his part, Kai Hung has denied any wrongdoing, telling police that while he did drugs, he never gave them to anyone else and that the videos had been relased as part of a nasty smear campaign against him by those at his former temple.
    Pretty tough to deny when they got vids.

    So sad. Buddhism is a hard path and so many lose their way.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,033

    Vipassanā

    This isn't quite a Buddhists behaving badly or a Meditation post, but we don't have a Vipassana thread... yet.

    The Other Side Of Paradise: How I Left A Buddhist Retreat In Handcuffs
    Michael Holden went to a Buddhist retreat to find himself. Now he's off his meditation
    BY MICHAEL HOLDEN, ILLUSTRATIONS BY ANNA BU KLIEWER
    26/12/2018


    Anna Bu Kliewer

    ‘ALL OF HUMANITY’S PROBLEMS STEM FROM MAN’S INABILITY TO SIT QUIETLY IN A ROOM ALONE’ – BLAISE PASCAL, 1662

    The police stayed calm and the Buddhists were calmer, but by then there wasn’t much anyone could do. In the hours previously, I had come to believe, simultaneously and sequentially, that I was: dead, alive, omniscient, immortal, non-existent, gay, straight, telepathic, a flower, a pulse of pure energy and a nuclear bomb. And that was the good part, relatively speaking. By the time I was handcuffed and led to an ambulance, my troubles, or at least this episode among them, were just underway.

    It is not the conclusion one pictures to a meditation retreat: a shackled, ranting, middle-aged man being taken to hospital under police supervision. Ideas like mindfulness and meditation are sold largely by images of good-looking people and unfurrowed brows. Yet it wasn’t upbeat marketing that led me to a 10-day, silent sanctuary on the Welsh borders, but a man on fire.

    Forty years before flunking out of Buddhism in chains, I chanced upon Malcolm Browne’s 1963 photograph of Thich Quang Duc, a monk, sat, burning to death by his own hand in an act of protest at a crossroads in Saigon, South Vietnam. “As he burned he never moved a muscle,” said The New York Times journalist David Halberstam, a witness to it, “never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him.”

    I was young when I found the horrific image but I saw in it, also, proof that there was another way to be beyond than the swirling, self-sustaining system of hopes and regrets already established in my restless brain.

    Decades later, a collision of life crises (marital, professional, medical and familial) and a kind of emotional insurgency — a relentless sense that there was something beyond or beneath all this — propelled me first into meditation, and then to the retreat where, if enlightenment were not forthcoming, at least I would have spent some time without my phone. What could go wrong?

    A simple, contemporary definition of meditation is “a family of self-regulation practices that focus on training attention and awareness in order to bring mental processes under greater voluntary control.” Written references date back to 600BC. Techniques and traditions vary, but the most prominent associations are with Buddhist philosophy, and there are few spiritual schools of thought or religions which do not accommodate some practice which might be described as meditative.

    Meditation’s modern offspring, “mindfulness”, has its roots (as a phrase) in the 20th century. Where one begins and the other ends is the subject of much debate. Suffice to say whether you’re sitting silently in a monastery or staring at a smartphone in your sister’s spare room, if you are taking time out to observe your thought patterns and breathe in a conscious manner, one or both terms have you covered.

    What began in antiquity abided and bloomed into a billion-dollar industry in the US alone. Be it through ashrams or apps — there are over 1,300 now, and the Headspace app has been downloaded close to 35m times — meditation has been touted as a panacea for everything from childhood trauma to palliative care. There is plenty of evidence, empirical and anecdotal, that in many of these areas it does have positive results. So, I read some books, looked online, sat, and watched what my mind did.

    From 15 minutes of sitting a day I felt subtly but tangibly changed. “Mental processes” were definitely “under greater voluntarily control”. I was no Buddha, but I was demonstrably less volatile. I had a taste for it and was soon seeking ways to do more. Much more. I booked the retreat. The perceptive among you will note this is precisely the kind of desirous behaviour pattern that meditation is often deployed to break, but Nirvana wasn’t built in a day.

    Deep in the Herefordshire countryside at the tail end of June, the retreat I attended felt and looked like the apex of serenity. The discipline chosen by me and around 150 other attendees — an idealistic mix of ages, races and gender — is known as Vipassanā which, they will tell you, means “seeing things as they really are”. We decamped cheerfully from coaches and cars, gave up our phones, agreed not to speak for a week-and-a-half and wandered off to billets on the sprawling former farm. The atmosphere prior to the commencement of silence (you can talk with the retreat leaders at allotted times, if need be) was one of warm, collective anticipation, somewhere between a school trip and a festival.

    At 4am the next day, we were awoken by a gong. And so began an 11-hour daily programme of meditation, punctuated occasionally by vegetarian food (until midday, after which it was fruit only). In the evenings, we gathered to hear the teachings of the course’s founder, Satya Narayan Goenka, an avuncular but deceased Burmese/Indian businessman and Buddhist scholar whose posthumous addresses were screened nightly. They came to provide a kind of group release; we laughed, and not just as counterpoint to the silence. Like other spiritual teachers, and some stand-ups, Goenka walked a fine line between practical philosophical insight and observational comedy.

    After several days of silence, sermons, slender rations and pre-dawn starts, something significant shifted inside me. The inner dialogue ceased, replaced by an outbreak of peace so fundamental as to transcend what I could or can still share with language. And I could see and sense, even if I couldn’t speak to the others, that this was happening among them too.

    The power of such a revelation, that everything you might have hitherto insisted you consisted of was instead an illusory construct which can, through self-examination, vanish and be replaced by something best described as love… that can take some getting used to. The implications for your “self” (by this point a minority shareholder in that which you perceive yourself to be) and society (all conflict, and thus much of history, being by these terms an avoidable mistake) are considerable. But before I could assimilate this, or perhaps because I couldn’t, the limitless love became a gruelling fear, mutating into the conviction that I, personally, could bring about the end of everything, since the macrocosm of our universe seemed so clearly and precariously contained within the microcosm of my being. Say this like you mean it, act stubbornly on your pronouncements, and they will come for you with handcuffs too.
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,033

    Continued from previous post

    I HAD COME TO BELIEVE, SIMULTANEOUSLY AND SEQUENTIALLY, THAT I WAS: DEAD, ALIVE, OMNISCIENT, IMMORTAL, NON-EXISTENT, GAY, STRAIGHT, TELEPATHIC, A FLOWER, A PULSE OF PURE ENERGY AND A NUCLEAR BOMB. AND THAT WAS THE GOOD PART, RELATIVELY SPEAKING

    Psychosis is, I suspect, a little like falling in or out of love: something on the cusp of the personal and the universal that each of us experiences differently. Between the ambulance ride and the oblivion of sedation, I was held in a room with two police officers at the local A&E. They looked on reasonably benignly as I did my best to convey what I was feeling which, among other stark hallucinations and a roiling, primal fear, was that I was dying and being reborn every 90 seconds or so. I can’t really describe what that is “like” since the one comparable event is largely unremembered and the other unknowable, but it felt real and it was gruelling, and, in the end, I was begging them to knock me out.

    All this was much to reflect on as I recovered (to some extent) in a psychiatric hospital over the next 48 hours. How had I fallen so hard and wide of the mark of meditation, of something so seemingly benign? Others on the retreat had become emotional, openly weeping (as I had done) but no one else had begged to stop, only to refuse to leave and then been forcibly removed.

    What I did know, was that I had been “here” before. And not in a past life. In the mid-Nineties, in my mid-twenties when I was working as a journalist in London, I took enough recreational drugs to keep me awake for nine days, at the end of which I was psychotic, sectioned, sedated and held in hospital for four months. That might sound dramatic, but I did it to myself and for all I know the treatment (including drugs since withdrawn from use) and the incarceration saved my life. Certainly, it shaped it.

    The advantage of this, insofar as it had one, was that when my mind disintegrated for the second time, I had some sense of what I was in for, and I knew I could get back. Maybe. Even naked terror takes the occasional break, and the sense in those moments that there is a way out, is in some ways all you need to carry on.

    This time I was in and out of hospital in one weekend. With a month’s worth of anti-psychotic medication, I had some decisions to make. It seemed clear to me that if I could reach such an altered state through intoxication and insomnia once, and then do it again 20 years later through silence and concentration, then that state was “real” and not a figment of my imagination or the symptom of an illness per se.

    I didn’t want to stay medicated (my previous stint had lasted a decade), and I understood that the rules of the retreat meant that as I had left before the end, I could not go back. Vipassanā makes it clear in its literature regarding “serious mental disorders” that: “Our capacity as a non-professional volunteer organisation makes it impossible to properly care for people with these backgrounds.”

    I had been screened out at the initial application because of my history and then, after going into detail, accepted, as my prior issues were so long ago. I was thrilled to be admitted and delusional when I left, but barring some emails and a follow-up phone call, early exits from Vipassanā are final. Tossed from what had seemed briefly to be heaven, I went back to my elderly folks, weaned myself off the meds, and got thoroughly depressed.

    In the weeks that followed, I began to google “meditation”, “mental illness”, “mania” (as my ex-wife pointed out, I ought really to have done this beforehand). But it was then I found that far from being alone in this, I was one of many who had learned the hard way that at a certain level, for some practitioners, something like psychosis is part of the meditative programme. And that not everyone who goes through that survives.


    Anna Bu Kliewer

    Dr Daniel Ingram is a recently retired, frontline ER physician who worked in one of America’s largest trauma centres in Huntsville, Alabama. He left trauma medicine in his late forties, he says, since, “you see some extremely bad stuff in high quantities, it starts to take its toll… it is in some ways a younger person’s game.” Ingram is also the author of Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha, a seminal and substantial text which, alongside a busy online forum which he moderates, has become a resource for those for whom the vogue for meditation revealed the void. One of his contentions is that despite millennia of existing wisdom about what can and will happen when you close your eyes and follow your breath for long enough, modern versions of these practices are often mis-sold.

    “This dream of peace and wellbeing, happiness and contentment, mental health and emotional clarity,” says Ingram, “[doesn’t recognise] that some reasonable proportion of people will also be catapulted into full-on, deep-end spiritual development by crossing what the Buddhist tradition I come from calls the ‘Arising and Passing Away’ stage. And then they’re off and running in this whole different end of development, which, as you now know, is quite a different thing than what most people signed up for.”

    An irony of finding Ingram’s work was that my own “madness”, the singularity of which I was both scared and perversely proud of, was made familiar, if not quite mundane. In a broad sense, he has heard it all before.

    “You crossed the ‘Arising and Passing’ and hit the standard ‘Dark Night’ stages, just as one would predict,” he explains. When I tell him about the birth-and-death cycling, which I had taken to be particularly troubling and profound, he just says, “Nice”. These challenging but navigable “stages of insight”, he explains, are as old as meditation itself. They have, however, been largely omitted from the modern conversation.

    The Vipassanā retreat I visited is part of a global, free-to-attend franchise run on the guidelines established by Goenka. The regime there, says Ingram, is, “absolutely perfect for getting people across the ‘Arising and Passing Away’, [but] not normalising the next stages.” These stages are often traumatic, known colloquially and historically as the “Dark Night”, and bear little or no phenomenological difference to the medical classification of mental illnesses, particularly bipolar disorder. According to Ingram, with the right expectations and support, the stages are temporary. Without it, “people crash out into the world a total wreck. I’ve had a hundred of these calls, more, I couldn’t possibly count them,” he says. “If you go online, the number of reports of this happening is thousands. So many I’ve lost track of them all.”

    Three months before I entered Vipassanā, Megan Vogt, a 25-year-old American woman left a near-identical centre in the US “incoherent, suicidal and in psychosis,” according to reports in the local news. Ten weeks after she left the retreat she took her own life. Unlike me, Vogt had no history of mental illness or drug use. She would not have presented any issue at the application stage or known what hit her on the retreat. Nor did her family, or, it seems, the medical professionals to whom she was referred.

    A spokesman for the Vipassanā Trust, which manages the network of retreats in the Goenka tradition, acknowledged that Vogt’s case was “horrendous, tragic and traumatic” but that such outcomes were “exceptionally rare”. He told me 1.2m new students have used their retreats since 2001, and they have accepted more than 200,000 since 2016. He also said that this case, and any other “serious incident”, was subject to an “incident review”, and that the Vipassanā Trust’s objective in these matters was to “check ourselves that everything is being done, and if not then make some changes and tighten it up”. He added that any student, regardless of how they exit or whether they finish the programme, is welcome to contact them for support or even to reapply.
    Meditation can be rigorous, especially Vipassanā.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,033

    Niwan Phrachakasem

    Daaaaaaaaaang. Thai monks don't mess around.

    Street seller cheats death after Buddhist monk stabs him in the neck to prove his lucky necklaces don't have magic powers
    WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
    Nai Atchawanit, 30, was slashed across the head and neck in Bangkok last Friday
    He told the monk his amulet was blessed by higher powers and repelled attacks
    Video shows a brave tourist intervening and holding him up to prevent blood loss
    The monk was arrested by Thai police while the victim remains critical in hospital
    By ROSS IBBETSON FOR MAILONLINE
    PUBLISHED: 03:40 EST, 21 January 2019 | UPDATED: 02:50 EST, 22 January 2019

    A Thai street seller cheated death after a Buddhist monk stabbed him in the neck to prove that the lucky amulets he was hawking had no supernatural powers.

    The hawker was selling 'occult' charms when he began arguing with the monk over their abilities last Friday afternoon in the popular China Town area of Bangkok, Thailand.

    Victim Nai Atchawanit, 30, is said to have told monk Niwan Phrachakasem, 54, that the lucky amulet around his neck was blessed by higher powers and could repel attacks.

    Niwan allegedly said he would disprove it and produced a 12-inch long knife from under his orange robes before slashing at Atchawanit's head and neck.


    The English-speaking tourist holds the victim up and puts pressure on his wound to try and stop blood loss

    Moments later the victim collapses on the floor after he became to weak to stand
    Video footage shows the English-speaking tourist holding the victim up (left) to try and prevent blood loss before he slumps to the ground (right)

    Harrowing video footage shows the injured man falling to the ground in a pool of blood, before a brave tourist intervened and held him up to prevent blood loss.

    With the monk a few yards away holding a knife, the tourist was heard calling for help while many locals hurried by - too afraid to intervene.

    The English-speaking man, in white t-shirt and orange shorts, has been credited with helping to save the victim's life.


    Niwan Phrachakasem, 54, stands close by while his victim bleeds

    Medics attend to the victim while the monk is arrested
    Niwan Phrachakasem, 54, (left) stands around while the English-speaking man tries to save his victim and he is detained by the police (right)

    Police arrived on the scene and arrested the knifeman monk who told police that the victim had 'encouraged him to stab him to test the power of his amulet.'

    Officers detained Phrachakasem in custody while they investigate his credentials as a monk and wait to interview the victim, who was last night in a critical condition at a nearby hospital.

    Lieutenant General Satit Mitrak from the Phlap Phla Chai Road Police Station said: 'He (the street seller) came to talk to the public about the power of the occult, spirituality and the amulets worn around his neck. He was then challenged to prove their strength.'

    Lieutenant General Mitrak said the injured man had a 20cm (8in) long wound in his head and a large knife was recovered from the scene.


    The monk can be seen holding what looks like a foot long blade while his victim is bleeding on the ground


    Paramedics and police rushed to the scene to takeover from the brave efforts of the English-speaking bystander

    He added: 'The foreign man was very brave to help the victim. His courage helped to save him from losing more blood until paramedics arrived.

    'Witnesses at the scene have described an argument between the monk and the victim.

    'We do not know if the attacker was a real monk or his background.

    'We will check CCTV and interrogate both parties to find the full story and prosecute the attacker.'
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,033

    Sugar Babies

    There's a big difference between "exposed by Chinese media" and actually busted. Despite accusations, the Abbot has yet to be found guilty on any charges. Note that this is Epoch Times, the publication from Falun Gong, which is in direct opposition to Shaolin.

    Shi Yongxin, abbot of the Shaolin Temple, walks out of the monastery premises in in Dengfeng City, Henan Province, China, on April 7, 2005. (Cancan Chu/Getty Images)
    Shi Yongxin, abbot of the Shaolin Temple, walks out of the monastery premises in in Dengfeng City, Henan Province, China, on April 7, 2005. (Cancan Chu/Getty Images)

    Chinese Monks Become ‘Sugar Babies’ for Wealthy Women
    BY FRANK FANG, EPOCH TIMES
    February 15, 2019 Updated: February 16, 2019 Share

    In ancient China, monks lived a celibate spiritual life and devoted their time to Buddhist studies.

    But in modern-day China, some monks have led a sordid life at night while pretending to be religious practitioners during the day.

    Song Zude, a well-known Chinese entertainment critic, recently wrote on his Sina Weibo account, a platform similar to Twitter, that some Chinese temples have begun contracting out a unique service.

    A group of businessmen make special arrangements for monks—only those who are good-looking—to become male “sugar babies” for wealthy Chinese women.

    Song wrote that some of these monks have come to earn as much as several million yuan a month (1 million yuan equals $147,650) from money and gifts that their female clients give.

    Some monks have bought expensive sports cars and houses, while some have amassed enough wealth to become “sugar daddies” themselves and engage in relationships with younger women.

    These monks continue to put on their monastery robes during the day, but put on a suit at night to meet with women.

    On WeChat, a social media account with the name “Tian Ya Lian Xian” put up an article in response to Song’s claims.

    The WeChat article stated that Song’s claims were not surprising, as it is widely known in China that businessmen take out such contracts with temples. In other words, monks are simply hired by these businessmen to provide sexual services.

    According to the WeChat article, the businessmen also hire the monks to do fortune telling and carry out fake religious rituals to generate income for themselves.

    Several well-known Chinese monks have engaged in similar promiscuous behaviors.

    Shi Yongxin, abbot of the famous Shaolin Monastery and vice president of China’s state-controlled Buddhist Association of China, was exposed by Chinese media in 2015 to have fathered two illegitimate children. He was also accused of having illicit relationships with several women, including nuns and believers, as well as embezzling funds from the monastery.

    According to Chinese state-run media The Paper, Shi was also a former member of China’s rubber-stamp legislature, the National People’s Congress, from 1998 to 2018.

    In August last year, Xue Cheng, president of the Buddhist Association of China, quit his position after he was accused of sexually assaulting his female disciples and psychologically manipulating them. According to Reuters, he was also allegedly involved in a corruption scheme involving 10 million yuan ($1.64 million).

    Xue was a Communist Party member who was part of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a political advisory body.

    On Weibo, some Chinese netizens were stunned upon learning about Song’s claims.

    A netizen from coastal China’s Zhejiang Province sarcastically wrote, “You can sign a contract with a temple? What a strange country.”

    Meanwhile, a netizen from Beijing had a suggestion: “Let’s get some pieces of evidence and drive these monks out of the temples.”
    THREADS
    Buddhists behaving badly
    Abbot scandals
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,033

    Sugar Babies

    There's a big difference between "exposed by Chinese media" and actually busted. Despite accusations, the Abbot has yet to be found guilty on any charges. Note that this is Epoch Times, the publication from Falun Gong, which is in direct opposition to Shaolin.


    Shi Yongxin, abbot of the Shaolin Temple, walks out of the monastery premises in in Dengfeng City, Henan Province, China, on April 7, 2005. (Cancan Chu/Getty Images)

    Chinese Monks Become ‘Sugar Babies’ for Wealthy Women
    BY FRANK FANG, EPOCH TIMES
    February 15, 2019 Updated: February 16, 2019 Share

    In ancient China, monks lived a celibate spiritual life and devoted their time to Buddhist studies.

    But in modern-day China, some monks have led a sordid life at night while pretending to be religious practitioners during the day.

    Song Zude, a well-known Chinese entertainment critic, recently wrote on his Sina Weibo account, a platform similar to Twitter, that some Chinese temples have begun contracting out a unique service.

    A group of businessmen make special arrangements for monks—only those who are good-looking—to become male “sugar babies” for wealthy Chinese women.

    Song wrote that some of these monks have come to earn as much as several million yuan a month (1 million yuan equals $147,650) from money and gifts that their female clients give.

    Some monks have bought expensive sports cars and houses, while some have amassed enough wealth to become “sugar daddies” themselves and engage in relationships with younger women.

    These monks continue to put on their monastery robes during the day, but put on a suit at night to meet with women.

    On WeChat, a social media account with the name “Tian Ya Lian Xian” put up an article in response to Song’s claims.

    The WeChat article stated that Song’s claims were not surprising, as it is widely known in China that businessmen take out such contracts with temples. In other words, monks are simply hired by these businessmen to provide sexual services.

    According to the WeChat article, the businessmen also hire the monks to do fortune telling and carry out fake religious rituals to generate income for themselves.

    Several well-known Chinese monks have engaged in similar promiscuous behaviors.

    Shi Yongxin, abbot of the famous Shaolin Monastery and vice president of China’s state-controlled Buddhist Association of China, was exposed by Chinese media in 2015 to have fathered two illegitimate children. He was also accused of having illicit relationships with several women, including nuns and believers, as well as embezzling funds from the monastery.

    According to Chinese state-run media The Paper, Shi was also a former member of China’s rubber-stamp legislature, the National People’s Congress, from 1998 to 2018.

    In August last year, Xue Cheng, president of the Buddhist Association of China, quit his position after he was accused of sexually assaulting his female disciples and psychologically manipulating them. According to Reuters, he was also allegedly involved in a corruption scheme involving 10 million yuan ($1.64 million).

    Xue was a Communist Party member who was part of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a political advisory body.

    On Weibo, some Chinese netizens were stunned upon learning about Song’s claims.

    A netizen from coastal China’s Zhejiang Province sarcastically wrote, “You can sign a contract with a temple? What a strange country.”

    Meanwhile, a netizen from Beijing had a suggestion: “Let’s get some pieces of evidence and drive these monks out of the temples.”
    THREADS
    Buddhists behaving badly
    Abbot scandals
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,033

    Huiyen

    Buddhist master blesses temple by spinning around over 150 times, throws up on carpet
    We are all truly blessed by this video
    by Alex Linder February 16, 2019 in News



    A Buddist mater blessed a temple in Taiwan on Tuesday by spinning around some 152 times while sprinkling holy water. She then came to a stop and made a different kind of offering.

    In video posted to the Facebook page of Master Huiyen, the master is seen twirling around in her robe on a long red carpet at a temple in central Nantou county. As she rotates, she spills out water from bottles handed to her by attendants. When a bottle runs out of water, she simply tosses it to the ground and takes the next one.

    Over an impressive period of nearly four minutes, Huiyen never stops spinning, however, when she finally does come to a stop, it doesn’t take long for her body to react as she pukes all over the red carpet.

    Huiyen herself appears unashamed by her vomiting, posting numerous messages of peace and prosperity in the comment section below. Meanwhile, netizens playfully wondered if the barfing was a usual part of the ritual and holy as well.
    Here's the facebook vid.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,033

    Shi Yongxu

    Gang led by former Shaolin monk busted
    By Zhang Han Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/31 20:33:56


    Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng, Central China's Henan Province Photo: VCG

    Police in Central China have caught 16 gangsters led by a former monk reportedly from Shaolin Temple and will invite the public to share their insights into the gang's crimes at a public meeting on Thursday.

    Police in the city of Yanshi, Henan Province issued a notice Tuesday, saying they had busted a gang led by Shi Yongxu. The police invited residents to come and identify their crimes at the meeting.

    A police officer responsible for this case told the Global Times Wednesday that serious criminals had been detained including Shi.

    "The meeting aims to encourage residents to provide more clues as some insignificant figures in the gang are still at large," the officer said. He declined to be fully named and refused to disclose what kind of crime the gang members had committed.

    Shi was born in Henan in 1969 and has attended events as the deputy head of Buddhist Association of Yanshi and member of the Yanshi committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, according to The Beijing News.

    In a report by China News Service in 2017, Shi is the 33rd generation of Shaolin discipline and was in charge of kung fu monks.

    Shi used to run a shop in the temple after becoming a monk, but he was not a master, a staff member at Shaolin Temple told The Beijing News. The article did not name the staff member.

    Shi left the temple in the 1990s. No other monks followed him, said the staff member.

    China launched a three-year campaign in early 2018 against gangs and organized crimes, which also targeted officials who shelter criminal organizations.
    THREADS
    Shaolin Scandals
    Buddhists behaving badly
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    355
    framed!! nothing tarnishes Shaolin!! .....smh I wont say what "monastic clergymen" need their asses exposed and punished, they arent from Denfeng, or any part of Asia at all though..... and Buddha's Sangha is Pure. this stuff makes for good movie scripts, "monk flees temple for abusive gongfu sparring, becomes brutal (OG H.A.E.S.) gang leader who advises agains guns, after losing his gang to guns, goes back to the temple to repent and teach qi gong." right?

    Dang it , I came here to post something nice about Shaolin too lol
    now I have to remember.

    Amituofo
    "色即是空 , 空即是色 " ~ Buddha via Avalokitesvara
    Shaolin Meditator

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •