There is someone out there who claims "you will have in one day — before lunch actually — the clarity and experience that a Zen master has. But Zen is seen as the school of sudden enlightenment. And we're just making sure it remains sudden."
I find it troubling that someone can package enlightenment as if it were a lunchtime Botox session, with no down time.
By "sudden enlightenment" I'm sure no one ever meant that sartori should come about without the necessary time spent on a cushion or in a chair meditating. A seed does not produce a tall and steady tree in just a few days—it takes a good deal of time and a confluence of proper conditions ranging from good soil to light and adequate hydration. When and if it does come, I'm told, it can seem quite sudden indeed, but to promise people that your patented "Big Mind" process will provide them with a shortcut to enlightenment is irresponsible and even dangerous.
Anyone can be part of the Big Heart Circle plan and go on a 5 day retreat in Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley, Utah on May 18 for only $100,000! If that's out of your price range another option is to go to Hawaii in June for only $50,000. And for if you can't afford that, you can take advantage of the $10,000 weekend in Utah this July. I'm not joking, you can see all of this HERE.
Just as I was about to publish this piece, I got a spam email from a website with the name "Sartori" in it that peddles psychic readings for up to $7.99 per minute. I'm an astrologer and I'll be the first one to tell you that while a reading can be very helpful and insightful, it isn't going to give you enlightenment. That is something we all have to discover within ourselves after a lot of hard work and time on the cushion.
As our practice matures, we move from a place of wanting to get something out of it to simply doing it. And over time, if we're really practicing well, we aspire to practice so that we can be of better service to others rather than being preoccupied with what practice can do for us. (The JFK speech comes to mind about what we can do for our country vs. what it can do for us.)
So it is very disturbing to hear Genpo Roshi packaging Zen Buddhism as if it were instant oatmeal.
Let's face it, very few things that are lasting and meaningful in life come about without at least some degree of effort and struggle and patience. And those things that do fall onto our laps easily are the very things we end up taking for granted in the long run.
We all want stuff to happen quickly and easily, and promises like these are very tempting. In fact, during my early days of practice I started watching Genpo Roshi clips on Youtube but fortunately something told me I wasn't hearing authentic Zen Buddhism and with very little research was able to see why.