I recently started writing for the Examiner as the Montreal Buddhism Examiner, and as part of this position I thought it would be a wonderful idea to visit the various centres and temples in Montreal, and write about them. Until today I have had nothing but very pleasant experiences, and a warm reception. And then I apparently mistakingly decided I should visit the Montreal Zen Centre next. When I wrote them to enquire about visiting this is all I got in response:
"Sorry but the Zen Center of Montreal is a private house and our activities are for members only."
Is it just me or does that sound incredibly unbuddhist? I wasn't even extended an invitation to become a member or informed of how I could become one. It was basically a - go away.
I'm really taken aback. I have visited too many centres and temples to count, but never have I received this kind of treatment. It seems to me that they have entirely forgotten the philosophy of religion they supposedly follow.
It was perhaps very unbuddhist of me, myself, to respond to the e-mail "How very Unbuddhist of you. Thank you for taking the time to return my e-mail" - I was really just shocked.
I have been to temples thousands of years old, and have certainly been requested to refrain from certain areas where the ordained monks engage in practice, but never have I been entirely shooed away like I was trying to encroach on some sort of secret society.
Did you explain what you were doing when you originally wrote them, and that you were in fact Buddhist? Maybe they misunderstood, and thought you were just a journalist or media rep.
I did explain. I even linked them through to both my profile with the examiner: http://www.examiner.com/x-47909-Montrea … er?showbio , and the last article I wrote about the temple I visited: http://www.examiner.com/x-47909-Montrea … n-Montreal .
This is the e-mail I initially sent them:
"Good day, I hope this e-mail finds you well.
My name is Christie. I am the Montreal Buddhism Examiner for Examiner.com, and my goal for the next two months is to visit the various Buddhist temples and centres in Montreal, and provide a personal experience of the temple/centre, and an introduction to their denomination of Buddhism. This week I would like to focus on Zen Buddhism, and am interested in visiting the Montreal Zen Centre throughout the week as a participant. I have lived in Montreal for three years now, but have to as yet explore the Buddhist community here. Now that I have more time on my hands, it would be nice to be in the company of fellow Buddhists, and share in their experiences.
I wanted to inquire as to how I could proceed for the next week to get a sense of what your centre has to offer. The last experience I wrote on was of the Tibetan Buddhist Temple. You can find the article here to get a sense of what I'm going for. It is difficult to sum up such spiritual experiences in 300-400 words, but I do my best
Enjoy the rest of your weekend,
Well, that's odd. The only thing I can think of is that they may have based their response solely from your inquiry without clicking any links. The letter doesn't really address the fact that you practice Buddhism. I guess you could always just show up at the front door.
I'm no longer interested. Regardless of what they may have believed my intentions were, it is very Unbuddhist to turn someone away just like that. I'm writing an article on Buddhist organizations, not organizations pretending to be Buddhist. I won't waste my time trying to convince them otherwise, and in my article on Zen Buddhism I'll mention their existence, but nothing more.
It is disheartening though I did expect it to happen eventually, just not with the second only centre I contacted lol - all belief systems eventually tangent until they have no resemblance to the original message. Bleh.
you may have been dealing with a specific personality that does not reflect the whole.
Yes, it's true. This response came from one person of the organization, the Secretary Treasurer to be specific, and one person does not represent a whole at all. Perhaps I will call on Monday, and maybe get somebody else.
It is in situations like this that my greatest failing is most obvious - I have a very difficult time having patience with the parts of people I don't care for, and prefer to just leave the room never to return than sort things out. I have a very escapist personality if I'm not particularly attached to the results.
sorry crm your going through this unnecessary childish and more so judgmental havoc. You have support here and I do indeed look forward to reading some of your upcoming work you are working on.
*hugs* it SUX to return to the room, sometimes, eh? But that feeling will only last a moment!
I'll say this, pretending to be a journalist is much more difficult than writing hubs! haha
Heck, you'll be in fine form for your new position in no time and will probably be having a blast a month from now!
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