Not Knowing Is Most Intimate – Delight in the Chaos of Life

John Tarrant in Fall Sesshin 2019. Being lost or between places is a fundamental human predicament. Being lost delivers you to yourself with an unknown outcome. The teacher takes away the student’s need to know what’s unfolding on their pilgrimage. Zen likes predicaments as signs that things want to change.

Not Knowing Is Most Intimate

PZI Zen Online Audio: Sarah Bender Roshi reflects on the intimacy of not knowing, the nearness of all of us in this dreamy emergent time. Wandering and not knowing are allies now. Includes Sarah’s intro & dharma talk, silent meditation segments, and sharing. As recorded April 3 2020.

Not Knowing Is Most Intimate – Delight in the Chaos of Life

John Tarrant in Fall Sesshin 2019. Zen likes predicaments, uncertainty allows us to enter life more fully. The koans are allies in this. The unexpected questions are often those that help the most. To all the strategies that defend against life, a Zen entreaty: “Become more lost.” John Tarrant in Fall Sesshin 2019.

Not Knowing Is Most Intimate

Not Knowing Is Most Intimate

Using the koans Not Knowing is Most Intimate and Taking the Form of Guan Yin Find Shelter for the Homeless Person, John Tarrant talks about the intimacy that comes when we turn toward vulnerability and no longer need to defend against life.

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.

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.

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.

Unicorns of Happiness

Everyone knows happiness is A Good Thing, more desirable than say, vacuum cleaners or eye shadow. The founding fathers of the United States offered happiness as part of a mission statement for a people coming together in a nation, encouraging you to pursue, and perhaps to go so far as to chase, harry, hunt down, subdue and corral happiness. Even the Dalai Lama has said that happiness is the point of Buddhism.

Awakenings of Linji & the Great Chan Teachers

John revisits the awakenings and koans of the great teachers, among them Yunmen and Linji. The love, and attention, and faithfulness at the heart of the stories and teachings of the Chan ancestors is their gift to us. And everything we bring to it is an addition into this great heritage, and is part of the layering. Transcript from a video talk in Fall Sesshin 2019.

Placebo, Chronic Fatigue & Dormitive Principles

I’m getting used to the thought that many things that seem as if they belong in the realm of the body are also influenced by the mind. Placebo studies indicate that even surgery can be a placebo. In medical school the faculty will sometimes say to students that they should use a drug a lot when it first comes out while people still believe in it. There is a Zen koan that goes “The whole world is medicine,” and the joke is that it could go, “The whole world is placebo.”

13 No – The Zenosaurus Course In Koans

Zenosaurus Curriculum 13: The link between the koan and the transformation of your life is real, but since the process isn’t linear you might not notice it at first. The link might seem to be in a black box—invisible.

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.

How Many Times Have I Gone There for You?

Just at this moment, the whole universe is holding us up. It’s nice for it to have a good job like that. That’s the thing that Master Ma said, the great master Mazu, “At a certain stage you have to make yourself a raft and a ferry for others if you want to go forward from the place you cannot go forward from.” This letting yourself feel—feel the moment and how it spreads out. There is no other moment. There is this, this, this, the Blue Dragon moment. It goes out through the galaxies.

Çaoshan’s Dharma Body

Sarah Bender Roshi reflects on a koan: Wisdom has no knowledge, but there is nothing it does not know. Therefore, purity pervades with abundance. This is a purity of inclusion and intimacy, not exclusion and definition. That’s abundance. You are this abundance. As written April 17 2020.

Dongshan’s Five Ranks: Poem 4

Two swords are crossed (like in the movies, which actually I don’t think happens in real life, but it’s very popular in the movies. It was popular in the movies like 1200 years ago.) 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. Farther, higher, up , further, more. So 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. 

Goblins Q & A

Hakuin would paint that as a demon. This is demon number three. Which number demon is that? And the other things is that thing about how the thing we thought was the problem can transform, there is that real sense of what’s wrong with being a demon? If I think there’s a demon obviously I’m it.

How to Welcome the End of the World

“How to meet the times we are in is a real question, and everybody feels the force of it. It is an ancient question. It comes with being human.” Article by John Tarrant published in Lion’s Roar magazine, November 2, 2016.

john tarrant

Five Reasons

“I was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the beginning of November and here is what I’ve noticed.” February 21, 2006.

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News

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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.

Audio Recording

Befriending Your Own Heart Mind with John Tarrant

Befriending your life, your koan, your own heart mind—not using your meditation for anything: no intentions to improve yourself; no getting on board with the mind. Linji says, “Wherever you are, just take the position of host and that will be a true place.” (MK 38d) As recorded October 17,2021.

Events

Register Now: October Meditation Pass – Daily Morning Meditation in the Digital Open Temple

DAILY, OCTOBER 1-31
PZI Digital Temple
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Events

Register: Calling In the Ancestors, A One-Day Retreat with John Tarrant & Tess Beasley

SUNDAY OCTOBER 31st
PZI Digital Temple: 10am PDT
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Events

We’re in Fall Sesshin with John Tarrant & Friends: Metamorphosis and the Miscellaneous Koans

SIX DAYS: OCTOBER 19-24
PZI Digital Temple: 4:30pm
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Events

Register: Monday Meditation & Talk with Jon Joseph Roshi

MONDAY OCTOBER 25th
PZI Zen Online: 6pm PDT
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Events

Register: PZI Talk LIVE! with Gaffney & Hitchcock

TUESDAY OCTOBER 26th
PZI Zen Online: 5pm PDT
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Articles

Where Do You Go, Oh Where Do You Go When You Die? – John Tarrant in Lion’s Roar, November Issue

“The entire meaning of your life is contained in the current matter,” said Mazu, the grand Chan master. Sooner or later, death is that matter. John Tarrant on sorrow, death, and eternity.

Audio Recording

A Spell for Passing Through Danger: Turning Into the Difficulty – with John Tarrant

“A person on a raft flows on the stream by throwing themselves away.” Not fighting the difficulty of things; you have to go through it. John Tarrant on immersion, and orienting yourself to the infinite.

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