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

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

Meditation: Put Out That Fire across the River

An 18-minute guided koan meditation with Jesse Cardin Roshi of PZI & Awakened Insight in San Antonio, Texas.

10,000 Kalpa Fire

Morning dharma talk by Allison Atwill in Winter Sesshin. As recorded January 16, 2018.

Audio Excerpt: The Great Temple Fire & Nothing Destroyed with Allison Atwill

PZI Zen Online: Audio excerpt from Guanyin in the Pavilion Under the August Moon. Fire & Radiance with Allison Atwill Roshi. As recorded Aug 30 2020.

10,000 Kalpa Fire!

PZI Zen – Winter Sesshin 2018. Allison Atwill on her narrow escape from Fire in Montecito CA.

Audio: Music for Guanyin’s Pavilion of Fire – Michael Wilding on Sax

Audio: Michael Wilding on Saxophone playing his original composition during Allison Atwill’s meditation and dharma talk on Guanyin as fire. This is a new recording sans the variables of bandwidth. A gift from Michael to PZI. Thank you!

Ancestors and Fires

John’s monthly talk at SRCZC, November 2019. The time of year for ghosts, memories.

Fire…Living at the Corner of Lucky and Unlucky

“Koan: Two monks roll up the blinds in exactly the same way. The teacher looks at them and says, ‘One gains, one loses.'” October 17, 2017.

Stop the Fire Across the River

Allison presents a talk on another miscellaneous Koan, “Stop the fire across the river.” This is like stopping the war within ourselves: where does this fire arise within us and what form does it take? Passion, anger, demons, delusions all take form within us.

Allison demonstrates the possibility of working with the fire of anger through humor and diligent practice and attention to what flares up within the body. January 22, 2014.

Serenity on Fire

“Two swords are crossed, there’s no way to retreat; you’re a lotus in the fire, you can’t help it – you’re determined to go higher.”

John talks about the concept of enlightenment and serenity, and managing to love and appreciate the inner life of the mind.

Free & Easy Wandering Series: Knock on Any Door

Allison Atwill & Tess Beasley are guest hosts in John Tarrant’s Free & Easy Wandering Series. They each tell a story of being at a threshold—knocking on doors not knowing who would answer, and how the gifts of the universe appeared. PZI Zen Online, as recorded May 30, 2021. Vows with Jordan McConnell. Music for meditation from Michael Wilding archived separately.

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.

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 Names and Shapes of Things

Bandicoots, wombats, and numbats surely do look as you would expect anything with such a name might, and there’s something wondrous about that. Musings and poem on how the world appears from silence, John Tarrant Roshi.

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.

Dharma Theme: Immensity is Tapping – Zen Tuesdays

PZI Dharma Theme: Four PZI Guanyins reappear for Zen Tuesdays in October. They marvel at the immensity in all things from various perspectives. Drawing inspiration from Jane Hirshfield’s poem, “Tree,” The Doors’ “Light My Fire,” a golden crowned sparrow, a remarkable brother’s life, and more. Excerpts and complete audio sessions as recorded in October 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.

Zen Tuesdays: Doors of Perception with Allison Atwill

PZI Zen Online: Allison Atwill Roshi’s Zen Tuesday dharma talk. The immensity of sound as it permeates all barriers. Cracks showing in our traditions and conventions, trying to get back to the old imperfect life. Jim Morrison and The Doors offer up “Light My Fire” as rendered on the Ed Sullivan show. As recorded Oct 12 2020.

14 When Something Confronts You, Don’t Believe It – The Zenosaurus Course in Koans

Zenosaurus Curriculum 14: The dark, charged moments endure in us and they bless us. “This,” they announce, “is your life—here it is.” What you have always longed for has arrived.

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.

Following the Scent of Flowers

So, there’s a spaciousness inside all situations, is what I’m saying. We’re walking through them, and underneath our feet there’s space and light around us—and we’re walking through space and light. And knowing that then is the source, I think, of empathy and love—but we accompany each other. And we don’t have to take ourselves or each other so seriously. We don’t have to advocate for the direness of the human condition, which is something we find a lot of. [laughs]

Secret Fidelity & One Finger Zen, Even in the Bardos

I think this is a time when things are kind of changing and incredibly uncertain, and that fidelity to what’s really true to us is important and valuable. And we don’t have to pretend that when difficulties are here, they’re not here. But also, we don’t have to pretend that they cancel the illumination, because nothing does, really. Even if we’re dying, the brightness of life is still there. And after we’re dead, we’ll worry about that later, [laughs] when the time comes in the bardos.

What is Your Light? – with John Tarrant Roshi

PZI Zen Online – Hanging Lanterns at the Gate of the Autumn Temple: Orange skies, unhealthy air, apocalypse week in CA and the west. The old agreements are fragile—climate change a long gathering storm, fire a consequence. Having a practice—the simplest thing—a conversation with the vastness. Being lost is an opportunity, as old attitudes fall away. Don’t take yourself too seriously! “Each step along the way is of equal substance”—Hirada. Musicians: Amaryllis Fletcher, Cantor & Jordan McConnell, guitar. As recorded September 13 2020.

Dharma Theme: Guanyin In the Pavilion Under the August Moon

PZI Dharma Theme: “Guanyin Manifesting in the Elements: Space, Earth, Water, Air, Fire.” A Dharma Theme? It’s a gathering, a curation of events from our vast KALPA library, based in a theme that is current in our online sessions and practice. We’re offering a compilation of various types of files: transcript, audio, art, music, and video—all from PZI teachers.

Audio Excerpt: Saving Houses – Fiery Guanyin, with Allison Atwill

PZI Zen Online: Audio excerpt from Guanyin in the Pavilion Under the August Moon: Saving houses from fire. Allison Atwill Roshi’s stories of fiery compassion and radiance. As recorded August 30 2020.

Everyone Has Their Own Light with John Tarrant Roshi

PZI Zen Online – Hanging Lanterns at the Gates of the Autumn Temple – As old agreements fall apart, practice is a kindness to yourself. What is the image of our time: A lamp that lights another without losing any radiance. It carries a moment of change with the warmth of fire. What is meditation: Any moment of sanity. As recorded, Sept. 6 2020. Michael Wilding Flute, Cantor Amaryllis Fletcher, violin prelude and Jordan McConnell 4 vows.

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

OPEN TEMPLE: Meditation Temple Pass – Daily Practice & June Saturday Intensives

DAILY, JUNE 1-30
PZI Digital Temple
The Universe

Events

Register: The Lion with Golden Hair – Sunday Meditation & Talk with John Tarrant

SUNDAY JUNE 13th
PZI Digital Temple: 10:30am 
PDT The Universe

Events

Register: The Three Pure Vows as Enduring Koans of Everyday Life – with Atwill, Beasley & Cardin: Part 2 of 3

MONDAY JUNE 14
PZI Digital Temple: 5:30pm
PDT The Universe

Events

Register: PZI Talk LIVE! To the Rescue! Fixing the Fan – with Gaffney & Hitchcock

TUESDAY JUNE 15th
PZI Zen Online: 5pm PDT
The Universe

News

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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