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.

Linji’s Enlightenment & the Awakenings of Great Chan Teachers

John revisits the awakenings and koans of the great teachers, among them Yunmen and his teachings. In the layered quality of the teachings there is a common thread in our lineage: we are all in it together, all held by this great path, we put ourselves in the vessel and see what happens. Each of us holds a piece of the story—trust the piece you hold. As recorded Fall Sesshin 2019.

Bodhidharma’s Enlightenment

“No merit whatsoever!” Bodhidharma responds to Emperor Wu in Case 2, in the Book of Serenity. David follows Bodhidharma’s path, and the process of practice.

About Enlightenment

Allison Atwill at Summer Sesshin 2019 – Talks about enlightenment on July 27th.

Hoping for Enlightenment

Allison Atwill gives a talk at the 2016 Summer retreat.

Spring Equinox – Return from the Dark: Transmission – It’s Not Outside of You

Transmission happens when we let our hearts open. It comes from a free heart. Babies are transmission devices! Taking up the koan you are given—a little temple to live in. Koans do what they do without consulting anyone. The work reveals a wonderful quality, of the world coming to meet us. The great lesson: It’s not outside of you, and you can’t legislate your own enlightenment! 4 Vows: Jordan McConnell. As recorded March 21, 2021.

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.

Free & Easy Wandering Series: Following the Scent of Grass

John Tarrant begins with a wild Daoist story from the Zhuangzi, about a giant fish named Kun. The freedom is in your own breast and the koan path opens the way. Includes meditation segments, music from Michael Wilding, vows from Jordan McConnell & Amaryllis Fletcher, Cantor. PZI Zen Online. As recorded May 2, 2021.

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.

Spring Sesshin: Whatever Appears Is Part of Your Awakening

Allison Atwill talks about the experience of direct encounter in the Peach Blossom koan. Even when I am Mara, it is the treasure that is just for me. PZI Digital Temple. As recorded April 10, 2021.

The Case for Ordinary Mind – What Makes It So Hard to See?

The PZI enlightenment firm of Atwill, Riddle & Beasley makes a case for Ordinary Mind. Stories of what gets in the way, the nearness of “It” and a season of laughter. Music from Michael Wilding & Jordan McConnell. As recorded March 28, 2021.

If Ordinary Mind Is the Way, What Makes It So Hard to See: What Gets in the Way?

Tess Beasley’s portion of the PZI enlightenment firm Atwill, Riddle & Beasley’s case for Ordinary Mind. As recorded March 28, 2021.

If Ordinary Mind Is the Way, What Makes It So Hard to See: It’s Closer Than You Think

Michelle Riddle’s portion of the PZI enlightenment firm Atwill, Riddle & Beasley’s case for Ordinary Mind. As recorded March 28, 2021.

If Ordinary Mind Is the Way, What Makes It So Hard to See: Our Best Season

Allison Atwill’s portion of the enlightenment firm Atwill, Riddle & Beasley’s case for Ordinary MInd. A story of a best season when everything went wrong in the community kitchen. As recorded Mar. 28, 2021

Taking Part in the Gathering

This is 8th century Zen ancestor Shitou Xiqian’s great song, the Sandokai—or Taking Part in the Gathering, as translated by Joan Sutherland and John Tarrant. This foundational text is often read at Winter Solstice. “When you let these words in, you encounter the ancestors.” Winter Sesshin January, 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.

The Nature of Practice

Practice. The notion of practice, as something you embody, and you walk through, and you are—rather than something you add, like something added to gasoline. There’s also a sense of moving in the dark, in some way that’s positive. So that in a practice, “not knowing” is on your side.

16 A Treasure Hidden In The Body – The Zenosaurus Course In Koans

Zenosaurus Curriculum 16: There is a very old idea that the human body is itself a map of the cosmos, the fragment that contains the whole.

10 Save A Ghost – The Zenosaurus Course In Koans

Zenosaurus Curriculum 10: Why do people sit around the camp fire with flashlights under their chins telling ghost stories? As well as the shudder that takes us to another realm, ghosts bring romance and yearning—they account for incompleteness, the person you loved but who died or changed her mind, the uncontrollable residue of everything we do.

7 The True Person Has No Rank – The Zenosaurus Course in Koans

Zenosaurus Curriculum 7: The mind goes “label, label, label” until it doesn’t, and a different possibility appears. If you really show up in your own life, you don’t have rank.

6 The Moon Sets At Midnight – The Zenosaurus Course In Koans

Zenosaurus Curriculum 6: The koan shows the enormous life-changing possibility that we might be making fine decisions, and the universe might be carrying us along very nicely if we are not jostling and worrying and striving.

Full Bio: John Tarrant Roshi

Full Bio- John Tarrant Roshi

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.”

Spirit of Love, Joy & Play in Koans

Value a sort of play and see if you can break the koan—the koan will be amused. And see it and let it into your heart, and see what comes, or follow it around, or have it follow you. And finally you’ll realize, “Oh, I’m here. I’m free.”

Seeing Clearly & Otherwise

Audio PZI Zen Online: The strange and convenient mystery of our sight – our vision. A sensory foundation for exploring in our meditation practice. What does seeing clearly entail? Soetie we overlay with our preoccupations and stories of what is happening – these can obscure and also point the way to new findings. Just for you honored one. Tess introduces this sutra and the story of ‘Great Wisdom’ inquiring about enlightenment.

Class 6 Curriculum Notes: Vast Emptiness – Call & Response Koans

Class 6 Curriculum Notes: Vast Emptiness – Call & Response Koans. Please do not share, this is core curriculum. July 25 2020.

The Bodhisattva Path – “No Holes” Wisdom

Audio PZI Zen Online – ‘The Sieve’ koan – and the woman finding enlightenment. Michelle enters the nature of the Bodhisattva way and how we find ourselves on that path.

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 dharma work — in terms of this book, the Book of Serenity. And you know, it pretty much is the second case is the one we’re going to mention, about Bodhidharma meets The Emperor Wu.

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

New at Pacific Zen Institute

News

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.

Events

Register: Hearing Secret Harmonies – with John Tarrant & Friends

SUNDAY AUGUST 8th
PZI Digital Temple: 10:30am 
PDT The Universe

Events

Register: Fall Sesshin with John Tarrant & Friends – Metamorphosis

SIX DAYS: OCT 19-24
The PZI Digital Temple: 4:30pm
PDT The Universe

Uncategorized

Dharma Theme – In the Palace at the Blue Cliff – All Dharma Talks from Summer Sesshin

A curation of sesshin dharma talks on a single page, for easy finding and listening. A sesshin is more than the sum of its parts or its recorded talks—it is timeless play in the universe and with each other. As recorded in the PZI Digital Temple, June 22-27, 2021.

Audio Recording

What Is the Mysterious?

Sunday Talk excerpt from John Tarrant’s Free & Easy Wandering Series. In uncertain times, Dalung’s koan is something to trust. The mystery of your life is endless, the mystery gives endlessly. As recorded May 23, 2021.

Audio Recording

I Vow to Do Good: Vows as Koans, Part 2

I Vow to Do Good—the second of the Three Pure Vows. Talks by Allison Atwill, Tess Beasley & Jesse Cardin from The Three Pure Vows as Enduring Koans of Everyday Life; Part 2 of a 3-part series on the vows of our tradition. Complete session, as recorded June 14, 2021.

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