Covid Dreams

Audio: Dreams appear nightly reminding us not to chase shadows, and lose sight of our lives. They are the lives we are telling and showing.

Dreams

Tonight I want to talk about another aspect of the koan about who’s hearing, who am I, what am I. There’s a spectrum I’ve been talking about so far for all of one previous talk. And I wanted to get at it slightly at an angle by going in through dreams, and the idea of is there a difference between what we’re doing and dreams anyway, which is certainly relevant to who we think we are. 

Dreams Q & A

So I’ll take any comments or questions. So how’s it going? How are your demons doing? How are your elephants? What are you noticing in your meditation?

Dreams of Our Fathers

From the 2018 October sesshin. 10-16-18.

This Twilight World of Dreams

Jon Joseph gives a talk on the twilight world – Sambhogakaya and the three bodies at the 2017 Summer sesshin.

Dreams, Drama & Horses

Steven Grant gives a talk during Summer retreat: July 1, 2015.

Every Day Is a Good Day

What is the journey for? What is it to have this life? We’re in it—it’s so marvelous, so overwhelming and so incomprehensible. You’ll find, I think, that you can’t stand back from it and answer that question. So the “good day” is just how it is. It’s like the gift of the universe, and you’re in the universe, having received the gift. Transcript of John Tarrant’s dharma talk in Winter Sesshin 2020.

Sudden Awakening

“In even the simplest life, pain and disappointment accumulate—and 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.” Article by John Tarrant published in Lion’s Roar magazine on July 1, 2007.

Enlightenment Is Something We Do Together

Conversation is itself a kind of meditation, a way we can accompany each other through life. We can share errors, painful mistakes, dreams, losses, discoveries, or just the ordinary glowing things. That’s a good day. Article by John Tarrant published in Lion’s Roar magazine February 18, 2014.

How to Defeat the Enemy

Turning your thoughts upside down is almost always progress, especially with conflicts that seem old and full of certainty. Article by John Tarrant published in Lion’s Roar magazine June 9, 2009.

Self and Ox Forgotten

Jon Joseph Roshi, Director of San Mateo Zen, considers the 8th Ox-herding picture along with a verse from 12th century poet Kuon Shihyuan. What happens if Ox and Self disappear? PZI Zen Online. As recorded May 3, 2021.

One Day, My Child, All This Will Be Yours

Australia’s ancient forests were burning in September 2020. In the face of unfathomable loss John Tarrant writes, “It’s too early to despair, it’s always too early to despair. The world itself is a mystery school and teaches us what it needs. It gives us impossible tasks and impossible journeys, and all we can say is that we love the world without knowing outcomes, because it is the only world we have, and because we never do know outcomes.” Article for Lion’s Roar magazine, published September 14, 2020.

Freely I Watch the Tracks of the Flying Birds

Everybody, every time, has its own difficulty and crisis. This is ours. We can trust our own lives that brought us here, and perhaps we have something to do here. And we don’t know what that is but we’ll find it as we keep walking. The thing about the meditation path is, I don’t have to think a lot about what’s mine to do. You just give yourself to the meditation, and it’s produced for you. It’s given to you. The path opens by itself, you know. Transcript of PZI Zen Online Sunday Talk with John Tarrant, recorded March 29 2020.

A True Person of No Rank, No Color, No Gender: Seeing Through All Distinctions

I was thinking about history and beauty and what an old old thing human suffering is, and how intrinsic it is. And we keep making things better and then they keep getting worse, and we’re making them better and they get worse. I guess I just wanted to say that it’s really good to have a practice at any time. Meditate—it will help. You will come from a position of peace rather than just fighting yourself. Being yourself, the true person, no rank. Transcript of PZI Zen Online Sunday Dharma Talk with John Tarrant Roshi, recorded June 7, 2020.

The Everlasting Body Runs Deepest Indigo: Meditation for Troubled Times

PZI Zen Online Transcript: It’s a very strong thing to be human, you can be subjected to all sorts of great forces. And sometimes you can win through, and sometimes you die. But we’re all of us doing that, all the time. So I was thinking about friendship and how good it is to love each other and how good it is to have friends and to make peace in our hearts to meet each other. Sunday talk with John Tarrant, recorded June 14 2020.

Dream Creatures – The Zenosaurus Course on Koans

Zenosaurus: Dreams play an essential part in the current of life—while I’m not paying attention, my dreams turn the lumps, details, and meetings of the day into art, giving them depth and a warm amber light.

8 I Don’t Know – The Zenosaurus Course in Koans

Zenosaurus Curriculum 8: Most problems come from “knowing” things that might not be true. If we stop insisting on certainty we might feel anxiety at first, but then an exhilarating freedom might arrive.

5 Running Things Backwards – The Zenosaurus Course In Koans

Zenosaurus Curriculum 5: What’s it like when we don’t enter the worlds that come with the thoughts? Who owns my thoughts? They don’t have to be mine, they could be anyone’s.

The Journey, the Reaching, & Luopu’s Last Words

There was a teacher called Luopu, a Chinese teacher, and he said this interesting thing. He said, “You have to directly realize the source outside of the teachings.” That’s the whole thing about it. That’s Bodhidharma’s thing, the direct realization outside of scriptures. The scriptures are nice and the teachings are nice, but really, the direct understanding—the direct meeting with life—the direct meeting with awakening is the thing.

You Know Nothing (of Zen) – The Woman at the Inn

You can trust that the thing that you are doing is going to work. It’s underground. There’s a growth happening in the dark. You don’t even have to see it. But, after a while, you start to notice it. It’s kind of a cool thing, actually. You think, “God, even me! Even I have some part in this.”

Predicament Koans – John Tarrant 2013

So, rather than thinking a predicament is something we’ve got to get rid of, it’s just life—and it has its own dynamism. Maybe we have to walk through it, not run the other way. It’s all right to weep about it, or be frustrated and angry. You can’t be someone else, you are who you are. The gateway is yours, not someone else’s. From recording at Summer Sesshin, July 11 2013, Santa Sabina.

Emptiness in the Role of Host

PZI Zen Online Audio: Our culture needs to renew its old dreams. And it is good when the bottom falls out. We are still held by vastness— our job is to work in harmony with the universe. Take the role of host for everything that appears. Allow “not knowing.” If you know who you are, you can not take a step! Nothing before us, and only a wake behind. The empathic nature of emptiness. Blessings of the goddess. As recorded July 26th 2020.

From the Very Beginning, Nothing Has Been Withheld – Text from Tess Beasley

Addendum for AUDIO: Stinginess & the Storehouse of Treasures. Tess begins the talk with the below quote from Marie-Louise von Franz, underscoring the way holding the bodhisattva vows as koans is not about adhering to the rules but discovering the appropriate response one moment to the next.”

Stinginess & the Storehouse of Treasures

PZI Zen Online -‘From the very beginning, nothing has been withheld.’ See Audio: Stinginess & the Storehouse of Treasures. The covid prompted hoarding, the contagion of ‘not enough’, but there are subtle ways our responses change and generosity appears. Without withholding, we allow even ‘disaster’ to unfold in a project as the universe in flow & at play. As recorded. (Tess begins with reading from Marie L. Von Franz -see text file)May 26, 2020.

Before There is Moonlight – First Rank of Dongshan’s Five Ranks

PZI Zen Online – We are in a time ‘before moonlight’ with covid and massive unemployment that has resulted- with great unknowns ahead. Dreams in zen are not so different from waking life. We make up stories about what will happen. But we are passing through a gate of meeting and not recognizing. How do you make your way? Step by step. As recorded May 25.

No Rank! – Or the Wild Path of Awakening

So…tonight I want to talk a little bit about the course of the inner work […]

The Heart Sutra and Koans

The Heart Sutra in the context of its relationship to koans and what koans are. I want to pursue that line a little bit.  And the first thing to say about – probably the first attitude people have to koans is that they are a sort of tool, a gadget of some kind, and you use them and you concentrate on them, and you use them – a can opener for the mind

Heart Sutra Variations

The Heart Sutra, like any koan, contains the universe, and so you have to go in somewhere.  I want to go in through the “Mantra of Great Magic.”  Even the word “mantra” is, in a certain way, a reference to magic, a sort of portable access to reality that you can carry around with you. And the word “magic” is also used for the word “mantra,” so where we use “mantra” to produce magic, there’s a transformative quality about the mantra so that, when you repeat it, when you keep company with it, you end up in its world.

The Stone Woman Gives Birth in the Middle of the Night

PZI Zen Online Audio: Wondrous images of our uncertain ‘gestational time’ in coronavirus lockdown. The children of night; doom, destiny, dreams, and lamentation among them. Eros born of Nix’ (Goddess of the Night) a silver egg laid in the lap of darkness. Rawness of love in out dark time. Includes Tess’ intro, silent meditation, participant insights. As recorded April 14 2020.

Every Day Is a Good Day

Yunmen said, “Before or after the full moon, every day is a good day!” The light of sesshin infuses us. In a “good day” the light is in you, just how it is—this is not an achievement, you are in the gift of the universe. The tenderness of the good day. Our whole lives opening to now. You can’t bully the Dao, it’s bigger than you! Not getting in the way of life. Also: Dreams, Linji’s death, and more. Video recorded in Winter Sesshin 2020.

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Noppera-Bo by Denise Fujiwara, William Yong: Fujiwara Dance Inventions, W Zento Production

PZI Member Denise Fujiwara has choreographed a haunting new dance piece: Noppera-bo (Faceless Ghost) in collaboration with filmmaker William Yong, presented by National Arts Center of Canada. All those hands and eyes! Facing the fears of our time.

Audio Recording

Dragons of the Blue Cliff Retreat: Hands & Eyes Everywhere, Parts 1&2

How does the bodhisattva of compassion use all those hands and eyes? How do I express Guanyin? How is Guanyin showing up in my life? John Tarrant’s morning & afternoon sessions in our 2-part Dragons of the Blue Cliff 1-Day Retreat, June 6 2021.

Audio Recording

Put Out the Fire! A Panel on Koan Practice & Pain

Roshi Jon Joseph in conversation with an assembled panel of 4 PZI meditators, who deal with various experiences of chronic and severe pain. Koan meditation helped all of them find a way to allow the pain – not to exclude it, and to see it as a profound teacher and ally. PZI Zen Online, as recorded May 31, 2021.

Audio Recording

Free & Easy Wandering Series: Knock on Any Door – with Allison Atwill & Tess Beasley

Allison Atwill & Tess Beasley on being at a threshold—knocking on doors not knowing who will answer, and how the gifts of the universe appear. PZI Zen Online: recorded May 30, 2021.

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