I’m still mulling over the significance of the abbot of Antaiji misrepresenting the sentiment of Brad’s letter, and casting aspersions on Brad’s teacher for mentioning physiology. That was quite a long diatribe about masturbation versus family life, as well; very interesting attempt to establish a Catholic norm as a Buddhist standard.
Personally I have respect for the Gautamid as a teacher of zazen, but not as a teacher of social norms. The Cannon makes clear he was a bit of a misogynist, and of course the Order split after his death over the question of whether or not an arahant could have a wet dream. Masturbation meant you went to the bottom of the food line; having children as a monk was out of the question.
I think in the West we are obliged to speak to the happiness that the Gautamid associated with meditative states; if zazen is just hard reality training, or is described that way, then the dream that I and many others have of the lotus becoming a more common practice in the West will remain unrealized. Could be that no amount of insightful description will convey how the practice is associated with happiness, and I should read more of the gentleman’s talks I suppose, but I’m guessing Brad is closer to such description than the Abbot at the moment.