According to a report by an independent council of Zen teachers assembled to hear the stories of those affected, these sexual encounters were often initiated “in the formal setting, privacy, and ‘face-to-face’ encounters of the sanzen room.” Sanzen is a ritualized private meeting between a Zen student and Zen teacher.
Their report also stated that there were reports of coercion and that Sasaki would at times frame the sexual contact as being a form of Zen teaching, or otherwise beneficial to the student.
The council did a terrific job, considering morale and support for such an endeavor sure seemed to be at a low in the Zen community at large. It felt as though we’d arrived at some snapping point for readers who were sick of the coverage. The council, in my opinion, really deserves the thanks of the community. They collectively put in a lot of hours to offer us their report.
Take a moment and read the news.