Eido Shimano Roshi will be stepping down as abbot of the Zen Studies Society, a decision he explained in a letter that went out to his sangha yesterday.
Eido Roshi also previously agreed to resign from the Zen Studies Society’s board of directors amid allegations that he had an inappropriate relationship with a female student (See our report from last month). The full text of his letter follows here.
I would like to acknowledge the pain and unnecessary suffering you went through in your hearts due to my faults. I have a profound feeling of remorse for my actions.
This August marked my 50th anniversary in the United States. During this half-century I have received so much from people the world over. Over time, I took your kindness for granted and arrogance grew in my heart. As a result, my sensitivity to feel the pain of others decreased. Now, as I reflect on the past, I realize how many people’s feelings and trust in me were hurt by my words and deeds. Please accept my heartfelt apology.
My mother was the person who encouraged me the most to follow Buddha’s path. Tomorrow is her memorial day, as she passed away on September 8, 1986. Hearing her voice, I have decided to observe my 50th anniversary in the United States by stepping down from my position as abbot of the Zen Studies Society on the last day of Rohatsu sesshin in 2010.
Even though I carry sadness in my heart, as a Buddhist monk, my vow to practice will not end. In order to preserve the Dharma legacy, ensure the training of future teachers, and to purify my own karma, I must march on.