What is a koan?
Can I have one of my own?
The Power of Koan Practice
by John Tarrant

If it turns out that koans suit you or, to put it in more koan-like language—if koans choose you, then they are a help in living with less fear and more happiness in a quite individual way.

Things to discover on our new web pages: 
PZI Member Stories

Meet some of your koanville cohorts.

Our new web pages have been a long time in the alembic. Now it’s for you to explore and find things. There are many new paths, sections, pages and links into koanville.  

Let us know what you think.

Confusion or Clarity?
10 Minutes with Jesse Cardin

Jesse Cardin talks about confusion and clarity: Where do you abide, or want to abide, and how do you move in the world? Clarity isn’t going to save you! What will?

Excerpt from Jesse’s Sunday Talk.

Jordan McConnell’s exquisite guitar – Music for Meditation from John Tarrant’s Sunday Session:

What Is Jiashan’s State of Mind? 

“What is Jiashan’s state of mind?” 
Jiashan answered,“Monkeys, clasping their young to their breasts, return beyond the green peaks: a bird with a flower in its beak alights before the blue grotto.”

No moment in meditation can be wrong. We come here to live for the vastness.


Get Info: Would you like to attend a PZI Retreat or Sesshin either online, hybrid or in-person?

Register for Zen Luminaries:
Morten Schlütter
Monday May 23

Morten Schlütter’s How Zen Became Zen examines the dispute within 12th century Chan when Dahui railed against “heretical silent illumination Chan” and strongly advocated koan meditation as an antidote.

Explore the Luminaries Archive

…a few shortcuts:
Register Sesshin
Register Open Temple

pzi teachers

From the Archives


The Quest for a Fresh Start

At some moment everyone longs to walk through a gate and leave the past behind, perhaps for an earlier time when the colors were bright and the heart carried no weight.

The quest for a fresh start is so fundamental that it defines the shape of the stories we tell each other.

—John Tarrant, Article in Lion’s Roar Magazine, July 1, 2007


Befriending the Dream

To befriend the dream, or koan, or your life, is to participate in it and enter its imagery and mood. Befriending begins with a plain attempt to listen, to give it time and patience, drawing no conclusions.

Readings from Jungian analyst James Hillman’s “Dreams and the Blood Soul,” during John Tarrant’s Sunday Talk, The Animal Heart Mind.. 

—Tess Beasley, September 26, 2021

Talk Transcript

Gifts of the Deep Journey

John Tarrant on living in an underworld time, in a descent as a culture, as a world, and as a planet.

Accepting the descent, and accepting the quality of being lost when it appears, is profoundly important. And there’s a great, strange, and interesting mystery in that.

—John Tarrant, Sunday Talk recorded April 5, 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.


The Journey Continues: Salt, Sauce & Somersaults – Sunday with John Tarrant & Friends

PZI Online Temple: 10:30am PDT
The Universe


Zen Luminaries – How Zen Became Zen with Jon Joseph & Special Guest Morten Schlütter

PZI Zen Online: 6pm PDT
The Universe


Taking Part in the Gathering – Summer Sesshin with John Tarrant & PZI Teachers

PZI In-Person: Santa Sabina
San Rafael, CA


PZI Talk LIVE! Tuesday with Gaffney & Hitchcock

PZI Zen Online: 5pm PDT
The Universe


Into Summer Open Temple Meditation Pass – Members FREE

APRIL 4th – MAY 27th
PZI Online Temple
The Universe

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