Rinzai-ji community issues response to reports of misconduct

From Rev. Eshin Godfrey, the new abbot of the Rinzai-ji community, comes this formal statement:

“The Rinzai-ji community is addressing reports of sexual misconduct involving its teacher Joshu Sasaki Roshi, made public over the past few months through various media. [See Buddhadharma News' ongoing coverage here.]

“Members of the Rinzai-ji community met twice, with the assistance of outside professionals, at Mt. Baldy Zen Center (in January and March this year) to discuss how best to respond to these reports and other organizational concerns. With ongoing outside consultation, these members decided upon the following steps: 

“A formal public letter of apology was written and published.

“A Transitional Leadership Team was formed to guide the sangha over the next year.

“A review of Rinzai-ji’s governance procedures and policies is underway.

“To respond to these reports, the sangha has contracted with the Zen Buddhist nonprofit organization An Olive Branch to be a safe, confidential, and neutral third party. The Rinzai-ji community invites those who feel harmed to contact An Olive Branch. An Olive Branch will bring reports that require resolution to the Listening Council, a group of sangha members established to respond to these reports with compassion.”

An Olive Branch can be reached in any of the following ways:

Rev. Kyoki Roberts
An Olive Branch

124 Willow Ridge Rd. Sewickley, PA 15143
412-996-5483 (Eastern Time Zone 8am-5pm Tues-Sat)