A curation of Winter Sesshin dharma talks on a single page, for easy finding and listening. A sesshin is always more than the sum of its parts or its recorded talks. There are morning rituals, greetings, incense passed magically through the screen, the changing light, rich silences, moments of humor, tech gremlins, tears, synchronicities, dogs barking, dreams, and awakenings that we share. It is the timeless play of the universe. As recorded in the PZI Digital Temple, February 1-6, 2022.
Our Q’s & A’s of love and Zen, from The Ink Dark Moon Sunday session. In Zen nothing is excluded. Turning toward everything, even what doesn’t fit with our description of reality. We long to be seen as we truly are and are equally terrified of the possibility of being found. What your heart longs for is in your life now! Audio excerpt, as recorded Feb. 14 2021, PZI Zen Online.
Allison Atwill explores cases against life and love, the ways we block the universe’s gifts—and how we “abide somewhere” by clinging to lack. Or, we hang on to what we have like Deshan and his commentaries. We want to be included, “to feel beloved on earth.” Where is love in Zen? Included! Audio excerpt from The Ink Dark Moon. As recorded Feb. 14 2021, PZI Zen Online.
Tess Beasley asks, “What is it to meet things?” as she introduces The Ink Dark Moon – stories on Meetings, Love, and Zen. Love brings something forth in us. We stop into noticing and find ourselves within the vast, strange territory of love. Poems from Kyoto’s Golden Age. The beauty of longing, missing, loss. Dokusan, the meeting without barriers between student and teacher. Audio excerpt from The Ink Dark Moon. As recorded Feb. 14th 2021, PZI Zen Online.
Atwill, Riddle & Beasley give us The Ink Dark Moon – stories of Zen and Love on Valentine’s Day. Complete session with music and The Four Boundless Vows. Jordan McConnell plays Love Me Tender. As recorded Feb. 14th 2021, PZI Zen Online. 59 minutes.
Music for meditation during Atwill, Riddle & Beasley’s The Ink Dark Moon. A Valentine’s Day day gift from musician Jordan McConnell. Audio excerpt as recorded Feb. 14 2021, PZI Zen Online.
Audio Excerpt: PZI Winter Sesshin: Jon Joseph reads poems and reminds us that even deep in jumbled mountains the cuckoo is calling us home. 2 minutes.
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.
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 from Guanyin in the Pavilion Under the August Moon. Tess Beasley Sensei and the winged pavilion of summer. The various ways compassion can manifest. Water offers compassion at unfathomable depths and in reflections. As recorded Aug 16 2020.
PZI Zen Online – Audio: Fiery Guanyin in the butterfly tent with open wings. Allison reminds us of all the elemental manifestations of Guanyin as Space, Earth, Water, Air, and finally Fire. Guanyin manifests solutions from unseen space in any situation that is deemed unfixable. Fire is an ancient symbol of transformation but also shows itself through Gunayin as the inner radiance of all things. Every appearance has its own brightness. The koan of the great temple fire of Engaku-ji Temple in Kamakura, in which everything was burned and yet nothing was destroyed. One of the 100 Samurai Koans. As recorded, with Michael Wilding on flute. Aug 30, 2020
Audio: PZI Zen Online – Guanyin in the Pavilion Under the August Moon with Sarah Bender Roshi manifesting Guanyin as air with ‘Breath Sweeps Mind’ and the call and response we employ meeting her compassionate nature. Appropriate response is Guanyin’s territory. Fayan’s …’the fresh breeze that arises when the great burden is set down.’ Sarah presents her field notes on Guanyin as wind, breath, release, and the Sutra of Endless Life. Michael Wilding on flute, Ryan McCoy on 4 vows, vocals and guitar. As recorded August 23 2020
Audio: Guanyin in the Pavilion with Tess Beasley. Guanyin’s watery nature. Water: ‘the softest compound that can overwhelm the hardest’. Compassion dissolves and connects us. The ‘call and response’ of our relationship to Guanyin. A force greater than any striving. Like Buddha at the brink of starvation opening to the offering of milk. We can’t know how she will call us or what our response will be. The great intimacy & spaciousness of abiding nowhere together. She enters when we need a new path. Michael Wilding on flute, Jordan McConnell guitar, Amaryllis Fletcher, Cantor on violin. Aug.16 2020.
Audio – PZI Zen Online – Guanyin in the Pavilion with Michelle Riddle Sensei -Touching earth as Guanyin. Falling – Layman Pang and his daughter Ling Zhao fall together. The subtle and varied flavor of Guanyin’s manifestations – her/his shape/form/gender shifting qualities. As recorded August 9 2020. Michael Wilding on flute, Jordan Guitar. Amaryllis Fletcher, violin.
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.
Allison relays the story of the encounter between Manjushri and Vimalakirti. Manjushri, among the 32,000 Bodhisattvas sent by Buddha to Vimalakirti’s , and asks him on his sick bed: ‘How do the Bodhisattvas enter the gate of non-duality?’ The response is an intimate silence. Allison’s story includes the karmic path that his daughter, Moon Like Beauty bore on her way to enlightenment.
We have such a passion to know and to be certain but, in practice, much of what we think of as knowledge is just untested thoughts. As the Heart Sutra says, even thoughts are empty, and if we are willing not to know, willing to walk through life without believing every thought that rises, then we’ll find a path out of suffering.
Roshi John Tarrant gives the third of three koans for Bare Bones retreat. The head of the koan is: “What is the sharpest sword or the sword which will cut even the finest piece of hair in two?” The response to the question is, “Each branch of coral holds up the moon.” February 22, 2013.
Allison Atwill Sensei describes the making of her amazing art piece inspired by the koan, “Each Branch of Coral Holds Up the Moon.” January 24, 2013.
One of the places I think this really appears for me that I find interesting is, if I take that koan view of there’s not really a ground for this, it’s all coming up out of the vastness, it appears like the moonlight, it’s just there. I didn’t make it appear.
John Tarrant on a meeting past midnight with an old familiar face that you may or may not recognize right off. When there is no moon and you can’t find your way in the usual way, you are bound to have some unusual encounters. Stories, readings, comments, and music for meditation from Michael Wilding and Jordan McConnell. Complete Sunday Session VIDEO, recorded on June 12, 2022.
John Tarrant on a meeting past midnight, with an old familiar face you may or may not recognize right off. When there is no moon and you can’t find your way in the usual way, you are bound to have some unusual encounters. Stories, readings, comments, and music for meditation from Michael Wilding and Jordan McConnell. Complete Sunday Session audio. Recorded June 12, 2022.
A quest, a treasure hunt, through cities overtaken by sands and ghosts and overwhelmed by the sea. We search for hidden teachings in scrolls, clay tablets, or dreams. Being lost is primary. In the koan lands we side with being lost when we turn toward uncertainty and wait, and whether we can bear it or not, a path opens. There is no end to this opening.
It helps to be on the side of lostness when the world goes to hell in a handbasket (Ukraine). All we have to do is be here and be lost—no usual schemes or regrets. Let the universe teach you. Accomplishing is not the deepest thing. Being lost is a promising beginning. Getting lost is good for finding personal practices.
The bare bones structure of a PZI Funeral Service begins with the koan, “Where do we go when we die?” and includes the Heart Sutra and the Kanzeon Sutra of Endless Life.