People go to wild places to search for their true nature.
When you do this, where is your true nature?

—Pacific Zen Miscellaneous Koans

Zen Online

SUNDAY ZEN with John Tarrant
September 25, 10:30–12 pm PDT
Koans That Give You Vertigo—
The Sound of the Temple Bell


For the next few weeks, John Tarrant takes up a series of predicament koans on Sundays: a class on predicaments, making a small path into the Dao.

Stop the sound of the distant temple bell.

When autumn begins, some things dissolve, and space appears even inside predicaments. 

September rhymes with memory, piled up gold and blue distances appear together, sometimes the spiritual life helps you out of difficulties.

You can become one with the flow of events.

That bell has been ringing since before the beginning of the stars, outside of all our calculations and measurements, and perhaps we see that we are all interconnected and interwoven.

Join us on Sunday?

—John Tarrant

Video now online:
Predicament Koan 1, 
The Goose in the Bottle

Videos coming soon:
Predicament Koan 2,
Hanging from a Branch
by Your Teeth

Predicament Koan 3,
The Great Kalpa Fire

Notes from Summer Sesshin 2022

Here is our curation of full-length Summer Sesshin dharma talk audios on a single page, for easy finding and listening.

A Sesshin is more than the sum of its parts or recorded talks—there are personal interviews and deep meditation, teaching talks and conversations, old friends and new, ceremonies, brilliant teachers, music, great enlightenment, mistakes, and delight. The play of the universe.

All for You, Honored One!
VIDEO Clips on the PZI YouTube Channel


6 days & 5 nights
October 4–9
PZI Online Temple

Door After Door Opening Inside
with John Tarrant & Friends 

Meditations, dreams, and the deepest teachings under the October moon  

Registration closes October 1st, 

with Jon Joseph

Water, Water Everywhere
Monday, September 26



Upcoming Events

Upcoming Luminaries

October 24th
Poet Jane Hirshfield

December 12th
Translator David Hinton

February 27th
Author Lewis Hyde

Coins in the River


Dreams of Awakening

In the deep thick dark, past midnight, 
a face from long ago emerges.

—Dongshan’s 1st Rank

With dreams, whatever part touches your heart, that’s the part you want. The universe is providing these personal and archetypal myths in the perfect formulation for your awakening.

Dreams help us because we can’t control them. The gold is wherever you are. 

—John Tarrant, Sunday Talk given on December 5, 2021

Talk Transcript

Moonlight on the Path

There is another point of view; it goes something like this:

When you really step into the now, when you really meet today, all the ideas about should have, could have, would have, disappear, and we‘re all participating in this universe.

There’s just the flow of things in the mind, and there’s not a lot of other arrangement around them happening.

I suppose the moonlight is beautiful, but it’s not even beautiful moonlight, although there might be an Ah! quality.  

—John Tarrant, Dharma Talk given on retreat in October 2011


Fortunate Encounters with Unexpected Guests

Tess unleashes demons: Demons abound, and they can be helpful!

We have a protective psychic immune system—what triggers a response? Demons tend to employ certainty and cultivate a life-or-death field of response.

What are they protecting? 

—Tess Beasley, Sunday Talk given on March 20, 2020

New at Pacific Zen Institute


New to Pacific Zen Institute? – Welcome!

WELCOME! At PZI we’re creating a culture of transformation through meditation, koans, conversation, and the arts. Explore and connect in PZI Zen Online events, our extensive Koans and Liberation Project Archive (KALPA), and more.


Koans That Give You Vertigo: Stop the Sound of the Temple Bell – Sunday Zen with John Tarrant & Friends

PZI Online Temple: 10:30AM PDT
The Universe


Fall Sesshin with John Tarrant & Friends – Door After Door Opening Inside

6 DAYS: OCTOBER 4th–9th
PZI Online Temple
The Universe


Water, Water Everywhere – Monday Zen with Jon Joseph Roshi

PZI Zen Online: 6PM PDT
The Universe


Open Temple: Late Summer 2-Month Meditation Pass

PZI Online Temple
The Universe


Sounds of September – Candelight Meditations with Atwill, Beasley, Cardin & Riddle

PZI Online Temple: 8PM PDT
The Universe