On Jan. 3, 2013, Eido T. Shimano filed a $2-million-plus lawsuit against Zen Studies Society in the Supreme Court of the state of New York. The suit, which demands a jury trial, seeks to retrieve money and artifacts which Shimano and his wife Aiho claim were wrongfully withheld by the society.
With the support/donations of a willing sangha (community), Shimano helped to build Zen Studies Society starting in the mid-1960's. ZSS now has a New York City center (Shobo-ji) and a monastery in Livingston Manor, N.Y. (Dai Bosatsu). In the decades since Shimano helped to shape ZSS, he has been was widely accused (see the Shimano Archive among others) of sexual and fiduciary improprieties, which may now make it into the light of day in a courtroom.
It is not clear at the moment whether ZSS will fight the Shimano suit. As the suit itself makes clear, ZSS is not only disinclined to pay the Shimanos under their rich pension package, but is also seriously strapped for funds, whatever their inclinations may be. It is hard not to speculate that in order to fight the lawsuit, ZSS might be forced to sell one or both of its properties and thus, in effect, destroy the institution itself.
Zen in America ... and you thought "Dallas" was gone forever.