The Alternative Zen Teachers Association (AltZTA) is an international peer-group organization founded by Tutteji Wachtmeister Dai Osho, and representing the cutting edge of inventive, entrepreneurial and transintegral Buddhist teachings.
AltZTA offers support and exchanges among radical, free-thinking and genuinely awakened Zen teachers operating outside the suffocating vallations of stagnant, mainstream, politically correct Zen. It has been called ”The Tea Party of Spirituality”, and, despite its non-conformist stance, has already made a lasting impact on the spiritual scene in North America.
The AltZTA Membership Committee has formulated an application process based on specific criteria to determine prospective members’ eligibility. So, all of you Zen teachers reading this, if you think you have what it takes, feel free to send in your application. The organization also issues honorary memberships and awards to individuals and organizations contributing to the the evolution of a transintegrally informed Zen Buddhism.
While AltZTA represents a new and daring spirit of spirituality, it also honors the efforts of the first and second generations of North American Zen teachers to commodify and market the teachings of the Buddha. Many of these teachers transmitted their entrepreneurial spirit and skills to their disciples, and AltZTA now consists of one hundred members from all major lineages.
Once an applicant has become a member of the AltZTA (becomes a ”made roshi” or a ”wiseguy without rank”), he or she is given a hand-made, impressive rakusu, and may attend our annual meetings. Discussion topics and presentations – some by members, some by outside professionals – at past meetings have included:
- Enlightened Despotism
- Mass Marketing Spirituality
- Online enlightenment Services
- Legal Issues and the Precepts
- Sex with Students who exhibit Psychological Problems
- Zen and Quantum Neurology, Chrystal Healing, and Other Profitable Superstitions
- Why Not Only Laypersons should get Laid
- Stylish, Impressive Robes
The AltZTA wishes to maintain itself as a peer group, so it can provide an opportunity for mutually beneficial contacts. Therefore, the group seeks to insure that the backgrounds and activities of prospective members are similar to those of current members. To insure these aims, the AltZTA has instituted the following procedure for determining membership eligibility.
People wishing to join AltZTA are encouraged to consider the criteria listed below. If they feel they satisfy a significant number of these criteria, they are encouraged to contact us and request a detailed membership application. Completed applications will be evaluated by the membership committee, a standing committee created and empowered by decision of the AltZTA membership as a whole.
The major criteria are:
- Has the candidate shown sufficient entrepreneurial skills? Is s/he a regular attendee at Buddhist Freaks/Buddhist Geeks/Integral, and/or Transintegral conferences and other events? Has s/he received a hyperbolic endorsement from Ken Wilber or Jack Kornfield? Has s/he exchanged scarves with Tibetan lineage holders? Has s/he been made fun of at any SNB websites?
- Does the candidate devote a significant portion of time developing and promoting web services or DVD:s?
- Before authorization, did the candidate appear on the cover of Tricycle/Shambhala Sun/BuddhaDharma magazines?
Before being inducted, a potential made roshi is required to carry out an enhanced seduction of a disciple. Any seduction/rape of a female student committed for personal reasons does not count. However, under certain circumstances it is sufficient for a candidate to have particiated in a cover-up operation in order to fulfill this requirement.
Questions on the membership application are designed to give a detailed picture of the ways in which a candidate meets these criteria.
EDIT: Read the enthusiastic response from the Soto Zen Community here.