It seems that we now have another spinoff of ASZC, starting up with the folks who recently resigned from the BOD, and others who have joined them since.
Please know that there are no hard feelings here, and that I welcome the addition of another sitting group, one that you may wish to visit. The members of this group (and all others) are always welcome to come and practice with us at ASZC or any other of our affiliated Sanghas. And I hope that you will lend them your support. I know from hard experience how difficult it is to start up and maintain a practice community.
Their approach may tend toward the ecumenical, which has its attractions, but as long as I have anything to say about it, my practice will follow the lineage-driven model of traditional Zen. I really have no choice in this, as my struggle in the last decade has been to revive the Matsuoka lineage, succeeding with the help of my two contemporary teachers, and older and wiser heads of the SZBA. We will work toward taking advantage of that connection (our larger dharma family as Okumura Roshi puts it) in future, to establish stronger linkage with the Suzuki and Uchiyama lineages. STO actually represents a unique blend of three respected ancestral lines from Japan to America.
The status of my former students, regarding practice path, wearing of robes, etc., is unchanged as far as I am concerned. It is their choice, as it always has been, whether they wish to wear the vestments and proceed with formal training, either with myself or another recognized teacher. I will do all I can to preserve the merit of their practice commitment to the Three Treasures.
Let us all continue to practice together as a harmonious sangha, following Dogen Zen with magnanimous, nurturing, and joyful mind.