Talk:Joko Beck

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Please post at the bottom[edit]

This page is rather difficult to follow as some users have been posting to the top. All new talk page comments should be posted at the bottom.--MichaelMaggs 14:07, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for this suggestion.

Just the Facts[edit]

 :D Apparently, the Adminstrator who removed the material about Joko Beck's letter says that the Wikipedia foundation received letters of complaint. I have asked if these letters are a matter of public record. It seems ironic that on the one hand the adminstrators of Wikipedia demand that Joko Beck's letter be sourced, while on the other hand relying on secret letters to the foundation that are not sourced.--Backtrack7 22:28, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

The administrator who has protected the Joko Beck article makes two claims: 1)that there has been a "OTRS complaint" and 2)that the material referring to Joko Beck's letter recinding Dharma Transmission for Ezra Bayda and Elizabeth Hamilton is "unsourced."

1) What is an OTRS complaint? I cannot find a definition of this term on the Wikipedia site.

2) The source for the reference to Joko Beck's action is the letter itself. This letter was posted several times to the discussion page (and then removed by other parties). It is a public doucment that can be obtained by contacting the Zen Center of San Diego or Shambala Publications.

I understand the administrator's concern up to a point. My question is: what if Joko Beck had held a press conference to make the same announcement --would the administrator claim that a reference to it was unsourced? There is no dispute that Joko Beck sent this letter to the San Diego Zen Center (and students and teachers across the country) as a very public statement about her decision.

What would serve as a source other than the letter?--Backtrack7 19:54, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Please stick to facts that are in the public domain. I have removed the comments of the person below because they express only his/her opinion. Also, please sign your comments with the signature button.--Zenster11 14:47, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

my apologies if i don't enter this correctly (fist time). interesting discussion. take care.

Your point is well taken. However the higher level "editors" of Wikipedia may or may not pay any attention to your point. In fact they may delete it altogether. The higher level editors encourage participants to comment only on the article, not the claims surrounding the article. I think this is a good idea.
Also, they insist that you provide verification for anything that you add to the article (or the disccusion page). So, you have violated two of their rules. I sympathize with your concern but don't be surprised if you find your input deleted.--Backtrack7 18:40, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

I don't think we are dealing with the "guardians of political correctness" so much as a hidden bureaucracy of editors. Apparently these guys know all the rules and they can just show up and rework (delete) an article. All in the name of maintaining editorial standards of Wikipedia. Bureaucrats run most of the world, I suppose it shouldn't come as a surprise that they run Wikipedia.--Backtrack7 17:09, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

I have added back material that is verifiable by any reasonalbe standard of editorial consideration. However, it appears that someone is removing the source material from the discussion page. Please let me know if it should be posted somewhere else. --Backtrack7 01:09, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Letter redacted again. Angus McLellan (Talk) 11:38, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

The fact that Joko opened the San Diego Zen Center and served as its head teacher starting in 1983 can be found in an article by Amy Gross in the Summer issue (1998) of Tricycle Magazine.

Each and every Dharma Heir (with the exception of Anna Christenson) currently listed maintains a web site on which they describe themselves as a Dharma Heir of Joko Beck. Anna Christensen is listed on a number of other web sites maintained by Joko's Dharma Heirs.

The fact that Joko Beck recinded the Dharma Transmission for Ezra Bayda and Elizabeth Hamiliton can be verified from the text of the letter below. This letter was written by Joko Beck amd mailed directly to many students and teachers throughout the world. PLEASE NOTE: This letter was sent to the students of the center, as well as Shambala Legal counsel. It is clearly a public document.--Backtrack7 01:52, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

July 9 Letter from Joko Beck. (Notarized copy sent and received by the San Diego Zen Center.)

It is becoming quite clear that this article is being controlled by self-appointed censors. Alas, Wikipedia like so many other things in our society is controlled by the guardians of political correctness. A very sad state indeed.--Zenster11 19:48, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

I have added back the material that was deleted by "Uninvited Company." I do not understand the reason for the almost total deletion of material (including autobiographical material) from the Joko Beck article. As far as I know the basic facts of the autobiography are not in dispute. Recent events are open to interpretation; however the editors who have gone back and forth on this article seem to have arrived at a consensus. --Zenster11 19:18, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Clearly they are in dispute as they wouldn't have been removed otherwise. You may wish to read the pages WP:NPOV, WP:V and - most of all - WP:BLP. These give an idea of what is expected of biographical articles. Angus McLellan (Talk) 19:44, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

I have added new material to help balance the article. Also, I have removed one sentence to help make the article as factual as possible. --Backtrack7 16:51, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

I would like to keep the material referring to the letter and controversy. Have any of you encountered situations on Wikipedia where someone was deleting your contributions. What happened? How did you stop them from repeated deletions? --Backtrack7 16:34, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

It looks like there are at least three editiors who would like to keep the material about the letter from Joko Beck. Hopefully, those editors who keep deleting the material will have the courtesy to communicate with them through the Discussion Page.

Apparently, there are one (or two?) people who are intent on removing any reference to the letter sent by Joko Beck. Also, they do not seem interested in using this page to talk to the other editors about why they are doing this. In my mind, they are playng the role of censors. If this continues, I am afraid that the we will need to appleal to the powers that be at Wikipedia. In general they discourage this sort of censorship.--Zenster11 19:52, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree, there doesn't seem to be any rational reason not to include the information on the letter other than prehaps embarasement to a popular Zen teacher. If they don't explain their actions I will keep reverting when I see it. --Qweniden 21:14, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

I have no idea why Zenbugsy removed the section about the controversy, and I disagree with the removal so I am putting it back --Qweniden 20:10, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Below is the complete and accurate text of the letter sent by Joko Beck to the San Diego Zen Center. The origignal copy was signed and notarized. I have removed the other versions of this letter from the discussion page.--Backtrack7 17:15, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

material removed. Angus McLellan (Talk) 19:45, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the person above --there needs to be something about the recent letter. Let's try to edit our way to a common agreement about what information belongs in the Joko Beck article. Deletng other people's contributions makes us more like censors than editors.--Zenster11 02:21, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Allowing people to use secret complaint letters (not posted anywhere on the site) to trump the editors who work in the open is Orwellian. At the very least there should be a page where we can see a summary of what they are objecting to. As it is, Wikipedia should be a big hit in China. The Communist Party can control every version of every article through the backdoor.So much for the democratic republic of the internet.--Zenster11 15:03, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Please use summary field, and discuss changes here[edit]

As there seems to be a dispute about what should or should not be included in this article, you should explain on this page the reasons behind your edits. This will help avoid misunderstandings and edit wars. Thank you. --MichaelMaggs 11:19, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

When editing an article on Wikipedia there is a small field labeled "Edit summary" under the main edit-box. It looks like this:

Edit summary text box

The text written here will appear on the Recent changes page, in the page revision history, on the diff page, and in the watchlists of users who are watching that article. See m:Help:Edit summary for full information on this feature.

Filling in the edit summary field greatly helps your fellow contributors in understanding what you changed, so please always fill in the edit summary field, especially for big edits or when you are making subtle but important changes, like changing dates or numbers. Thank you.


I have removed a good deal of unsourced material from the article pursuant to our policy at WP:LIVING. Editors are reminded to provide reliable sources for each assertion. The Uninvited Co., Inc. 08:19, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Just passing through[edit]

Browsing through random-articles, I came across this one. I've read the debates (here, there, and everywhere), and I was quite suprised by the power that a complaint made directly to "those above" has. Anyway, can't we at least put a tag on the article saying that it has been edited due to legal reasons? If we can't have a perfectly free wikipedia (which I understand, what with the servers being in the US), at least we should know when we are and when we aren't. yandman 21:25, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

We don't have "a completely free Wikipedia", we have an encyclopedia. The Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons page explains the requirements in this case. They aren't, in fact, any different from any other articles: controversial statements need references, see Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. Angus McLellan (Talk) 23:32, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
I think that Wikipedia needs to create a more transparent process for deciding editorial disputes. Complaints should not be made in secret; instead they should be posted on a page similar to the discussion page used by editors. If privacy needs to be protected they could be posted with a pseudonym such as "JB Objection 6." Otherwise you are encouraging the worst sort of disinformation and maniputlation.--Backtrack7 00:00, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Also, in reference to the comment Angus McLellan made about the use of a "private" letter (protection discussion page). I agree that having a published source for Joko Beck's letter is a valid point from the standpoint of editorial fairness on the part of Wikipedia. However let me assure you that the letter was not a private letter. Also, let me assure you that whoever is hidding behind secret complaints would not accept its validity even if it were published in the New York Times. The letter was mailed to people around the globe precisely because there are those who would like to pretend that the events that led up to Joko writing the letter never happened. There is a controversy, but the controversy is not about the existence of the letter, the controversy is about the events that led up to it. As editors we were trying our best to reach a balanced/neutral account of the letter and the events that generated it. It is only a matter of time before the letter and the events surrounding it will be completely sourced.--Backtrack7 00:00, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
When there are reliable sources that verify the claims, is when wikipedia can cover those claims. Verifiability, not one person's (or even many people's) truth, is the standard we aim for. If a reliable source is not prepared to publish, neither should we. There are some things that are not at an appropriate level of verifiability for an encyclopedia to cover. --Siobhan Hansa 01:51, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree that saying "Joko has these clients: bla bla" needs a 3rd party reliable source. But if the sentence was "Joko claims to have these clients : bla bla bla", Joko's press releases is a reliable source for that statement. Even the policy page says that 1st party sources can be used in this way. yandman 07:03, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Citation Refernces[edit]

Could someone more experienced (an admin maybe) please tell me if this is an exceptable form of citation? I thought that footnotes to the articles were the best... not just a mention of the book. Thank you Killerbeez 17:06, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Zen Centre of Los Angeles.[edit]

If one changed the spelling of "Centre" to the American useage "Center", then it would be possible to link to a Wikipedia article on Zen Center of Los Angeles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:42, 18 July 2008 (UTC)


"Shortly after Beck’s departure in 2006, she revoked Dharma transmission from two senior students: Ezra Bayda and Elizabeth Hamilton. "

The above sentence does not describe the events in a clear and understandable fashion. Most of the entry (as with most of wikipedia) is not written clearly and concisely. Without making any comment about the correctness of an issue in the article, is it not possible for better quality writing so that the facts can be conveyed to the reader. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:28, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

The sentence seems perfectly comprehensible to me. What do you think is wrong with the English? --MichaelMaggs (talk) 21:56, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps the OP is angry about the term "Dharma transmission"(?). If so, sorry IP, but that's the standard Zen term, composed of two English words (dharma and transmission), for the ritual in question, and no synonyms for this ritual exist in English. On the other hand, the coy evasiveness of the contested statement is most unbecoming an encyclopedia, particularly when someone is standing on the insistence that Joko herself is somehow not a verifiable authority on Joko's motivations and intent, when she's published clear statements, including one famous mass-mailed letter, of her motivations and intent.
This article as it stands is insufficient. This is a major controversy in American Zen, there is nothing secret about it (although I gather from this exhaustive ping-pong discussion that some shadowy party wishes it were), and until the paragraph that contains the "inadequate English" above is expanded into a whole section, this entry will not be encyclopedic. Laodah 04:56, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Removing text[edit]

The article currently states that "Beck was responsible for a number of important innovations in Zen teaching. In particular, she taught students to work with the emotions of everyday life rather than attempting to avoid or escape them". The second sentence describes not an 'important innovation' but rather an absolutely basic tenet of all schools of traditional Zen Buddhism. The sentence is plain wrong, and I have deleted it. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 21:52, 30 May 2015 (UTC)