Statement from the Boards of Rinzai-ji and Mount Baldy Zen Centers 

Much has been said about the actions of Joshu Roshi. For decades, many Zen practitioners have expressed appreciation for the Roshi’s profound teachings. The boards and many practitioners of Rinzai-ji and Mount Baldy also have acknowledged and expressed regret for the hurt reported by a number of practitioners. The Rinzai-ji and Mount Baldy Zen Centers’ Boards of Directors affirm both of these thoughts today.


During the past four years those closest to Rinzai-ji and Mount Baldy have made a strong effort to bring about healing. We continue to listen and respond to the reporters of harm. We have continued the rigorous Rinzai Zen practice taught by our founder. We have strengthened our ties to Japan. We have remained fiscally strong and responsible. And we are developing visionary plans for the future.


Now we take the following additional actions:

We re-dedicate ourselves to Unity in the Sangha. We recognize, acknowledge and express regret for the toll the controversy has taken on our sense of spiritual kinship and solidarity. We will reach out to all present, past and potential Zen practitioners who wish to participate in rigorous Rinzai Zen practice. All will be welcome at our social, educational and practice-related activities.


We re-dedicate ourselves to transparency and openness to diverse points of view. Our Boards will find new and creative ways to share information. Moreover, we will continue to seek input and suggestions from all who wish to express their ideas. These thoughts will help shape our policies and strategic direction.


We recognize, acknowledge and express regret for the hurt experienced by people who have practiced with our teacher and in our community.


We recognize, acknowledge and express regret for the hurt experienced by those who perceive that the integrity and sincerity of their practice has been demeaned by heated and unwise words that have accompanied the controversy.


We have formulated and approved Right Conduct Guidelines. The document is now posted on the Rinzai-ji and Mount Baldy Zen Center websites. The gist of the guidelines are what many of us teach our children, “People are not for hurting.” And, as Roshi taught us, “Make complete relationship!”


Thank you for reading this. We look forward to your ideas and positive suggestions concerning more ways to strengthen Rinzai-ji and Mt Baldy.