The White Plum Asanga issues statement regarding Dennis Genpo Merzel

After previously “accepting the resignation of Genpo Merzel from White Plum Asanga membership as well as an Elder of the White Plum,” The White Plum Asanga, whose members are leaders of in the Zen lineage of Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi Roshi, has issued the following statement regarding former White Plum Zen teacher Dennis Genpo Merzel and what the statement describes as “his abuse of his position of teacher and Abbot”:
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“The White Plum Asanga affirms integrity, honesty, and humility as central to the practice of our Dharma teaching. We affirm non-harming in our relations with all those whom we encounter. We collectively vow to maintain our lineage as a vital branch of the Dharma tree, and to keep it as clear as possible from harmful actions. We also recognize that, from the very root of our lineage, we have experienced misconduct in the areas of sex and alcohol. And, there have been occasions of abuse of power, sex and money in succeeding generations. We express our sincere apology to all those who have been harmed in any way by these actions. We resolve to act affirmatively to transform our collective karma by censure, healing and restitution. In light of the above, a delegation of WPA members met with Dennis Genpo Merzel, and together discussed the current circumstances relating to his abuse of his position of teacher and Abbot. We sought to participate with him in a process of discernment to address his issues. He has indicated that he does not want to be accountable to his peers in the White Plum Asanga, and that he will follow his own path in addressing his personal issues and their impact on the Kanzeon Sangha. Since Genpo has resigned his membership in the White Plum organization, we have no authority over him. We appeal to him to address his issues and to take responsibility for healing the harmful effects they have had on his students, successors, and Sangha.
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Signed by the Board of The White Plum Asanga
Roshi Gerry Shishin Wick, President
Roshi Wendy Egyoku Nakao, Vice-President
Roshi Anne Seisen Saunders, Secretary-Treasurer
Sensei Joan Hogetsu Hoeberichts
Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara
Sensei Michael Mugaku Zimmerman

This statement can be found on the White Plum Asanga website, here.