Edo Shonin's monkhood credentials suspect

by A Zen Monk, The Buddhist Channel, May 29, 2007

I read William John Van Gordon's response (with his referral to his mom as Mrs. Van Gordon).  From what I read there and what I see on their website, I do not disagree with the parents.

Legitimate teachers posting on line have a published lineage, this is an accepted courtesy that teachers present a clear statement of their training and lineage for those who would approach. There is not a word of Mr. Shonin's lineage on the Pine Forest website.  Mr. Shonin does not disclose his lineage because he simply does not have one.  His robes are unique to say the least, they are not Shingon, not Nyngma and not at all Korean — he doesn't properly wear the Kesa.

I am not surprised hear the following in the May 25th Daily Mail article; "Suspicions aroused, Rita turned detective. She contacted monks at the French retreat who told her Edo was not a monk, but had been so keen, as a layman, that they allowed him to wear robes and to do 'guided meditations'."

I want Mr. and Mrs. Gordon to know that there is no way most genuine training lineages would permit an un-ordained person wear the robes of the Buddha no matter how "keen" they were. That "keenness" itself is an indicator of an underlying defect.

It is unfortunate that Mr. and Mrs. Van Gordon have been exposed at least twice to so-called Buddhist clergy and have come away feeling first; lied to, and second; had to deal with incompetent monks at Plum Village.  Unlike William's assertion that his parents see: "that Buddhism is a cult and not a serious religion." I strongly suspect that Mr. and Mrs. Van Gordon's issue is not with "Buddhism" at all — but with Mr. Shonin — and with what he teaches as "Buddhism" and how her relates to their son William.

There are recent threads threads in E-Dharma list about Shonin:




The second link brings up the name: Kempo Norbu Tenzin.  It is claimed that the Pine Forest site listed Kempo Norbu Tenzin as Mr. Shonin's teacher along with someone "with and Indian sounding name" but that the references have subsequently been removed. Searching for Kempo Norbu Tenzin on Google produces no definitive results other than a reference back to the E-Dharma list. 
Mr. Shonin quite conveniently provides the logic for "spontaneous enlightenment" by stating that the Buddha along with a few other world religion founders had no "lineage" to begin with in the text on the Pine Forest site.  One assumes now that Mr. Shonin is placing himself in their august company? Or is he really this "simple monk" that he refers to with somewhat excessive zeal?

In William's letter the line: "Is that so?" is referred to. This line was used by Hakuin Ekhaku Zenji in the story of him being unjustly accused of fathering an illegitimate child.  Poor William cannot see that Shonin is simply copying the master and not responding for himself.  Either that or The Stockholm Syndrome has set in and William is now part and parcel to Shonin's deception.

External link: William John Van Gordons personal statement in response to the article published in the Daily Mail on 25th May 2007

* The Buddhist Channel neither supports or endorses external links to this site. The links are provided merely as a source of information for our readers.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Operator for Responsible Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv. Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/norbuchatbot. Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv