Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Zen Master Scandal

For quite some time now I've had it in the back of my head to parody the recent revelation by the Zen Master himself, Phil Jackson, that he had sought the advice of a psychiatrist last season to aid him in dealing with Kobe Bryant. There is perhaps no greater material for parody than the Zen Master laying prostrate on a leather couch complaining to a psychiatrist about his difficulty dealing with a guy who is not even liked by his parents. As a parent, I could see where having a kid you cannot stand could lead to guilt feelings that find you seeking the validation of a shrink. But a coach doing the same? I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at his shrinks weekly poker game with his fellow psychiatrists, recounting in detail the trials and tribulations of his "client", whose name he is prevented from revealing due to confidentiality concerns, though he can say that he is the head coach of a prominent and successful "LA basketball team."

But unfortunately the desire to parody the situation has given way to anger over the scant attention paid to this whole sordid mess by whatever institution it is that acts as the Vatican of Zen. What degree of patheticness does a so-called Zen-Master have to admit to before the Zen powers that be come down hard on the guy and excommunicate him? Can a Zen-Master, for example, admit to being a big fan of Paris Hilton without censure? Doesn't psychiatric therapy sully the image of a Zen-Master with shaved head, sitting in the lotus position in a comfortable robe, forever contemplating a meaningless koan? How to deal with a gazillionaire prima-donna basketball player is no koan that can lead to any real enlightenment. And yet there he was - Phil Jackson, the tallest Zen Master ever - talking about his subjective feelings!, an exercise that is the antithesis of the Zen goal of tapping into the oneness of creation.

And of course the godless Zen-loving media establishment has ignored the whole story.


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