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by Jangarh Singh Shyam
Into the Forest: The Life of Creatures

An Open Mind Retreat with John Tarrant
March 10–13, Bolinas, California

Inside our dreams and our imagination and inside our bodies live foxes and tigers, dragons, fish, frogs, dogs and wolves, cats and chickens, hummingbirds and passenger pigeons, butterflies and ants. How we treat these friends in our dreams and our lives is a good thing to attend to.

Cai Guo-Qiang, “Heritage,” 2013
The Linji Koans: Confidence in the Light Inside

A Summer Retreat in Santa Cruz
with John Tarrant and Friends
June 12-19, 2016

A light shines in all of us, and in all things. This light appears as appreciation, or as a sense of surprise, or just as an observation of the way things glow, when we see them clearly. And this light is available all the time, no matter who you are.

Illustration by Jackson Randall
All Of The Journey Belongs To You

A workshop on Zen and the Odyssey
with John Tarrant in Santa Barbara 
Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016 

This is a retreat in a project exploring the delight of koans and stories. Zen koans offer gateways to the deep places in the heart.

Imagine A Doorway

A Workshop with John Tarrant on Poems, Koans & Meditation
May 22–27, 2016
Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY

Koans and creative work have always gone together. In Zen koans, or parables, there’s a light underneath all things that gives each moment a particular sweetness.

The Creative Life and Meditation

A Retreat with John Tarrant
September 16 – 18, 2016
The Garrison Institute, NY

The first thing about creativity is not thinking what you are already thinking. It comes from making space, from not knowing, from playing.

Emerald Eyes - Berg
Awakening In The Midst of Chaos: An Urban Retreat

With David Weinstein and Jon Joseph
San Francisco, California
February 18-21, 2016

“Awakening in the midst of chaos is a million times better than awakening in the midst of silence.”– Hakuin

Star Trails, Lincoln Harrison
Count The Stars in the Sky: The Journey of Practice and Creative Work

An Open Mind Retreat with John Tarrant
March 31–April 3, 2016
Santa Fe, New Mexico

“Each day is a journey and the journey itself is home.” – Basho

A Zen koan is a story that changes you. It opens a door and you start on an inner and outer journey.

Featured Articles

Credit: Kim Smith Miller

I Have Always Been Here – by John Tarrant

Our minds mind do a lot of things all by themselves and are often plotting and scheming and running after shiny objects. That’s fine, but setting that aside for a minute, what’s it like to be you? This question is for you and only you can answer it. So you don’t need to reach outside what you have.

Heroine’s Journey with Sieve: All About Life and Death

Each day I have schemes, a to-do list, and problems I’m wandering along with, the way an elephant pushes a peanut around a circle. The mind of scheming lives in an everlasting future, it’s the hungry child outside the restaurant, apart from what I imagine my life is for.


The Tea Lady and the Fox

Women who ran tea houses in China appear often in Zen koans and stories. The tea lady often holds the role of the trickster, cleverly disguised as not-a-teacher, magically making certainty disappear.

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Read John Tarrant's 2015 year-end letter here.

You can view our 2015 Art Card here.

Upcoming Retreat Dates

Our annual calendars for traditional long retreats and Open Mind retreats are available at this link to facilitate advance planning: Save The Dates.


Far away from a PZI center? We use LiveStream to bring live video talks and discussions to our greater community. Archived streams are also available below.

PZI Livestream

Creating a Culture

Our PZI mission is to create a culture
for the transformation of consciousness through meditation, koans, inquiry, conversation and the arts.

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