Dharma Theme: Summer Sesshin 2021 in the Palace at the Blue Cliff

Here is a curation of 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, with each other. As recorded in the PZI Digital Temple, June 22-27, 2021.

Opening Eve of Summer Sesshin

John Tarrant and Tess Beasley welcome everyone to Summer Sesshin. Participants add their voices, forming the vessel of sesshin. Music from Jordan McConnell, Cantor Amaryllis Fletcher, and closing words from Jon Joseph.

End of Sesshin Dedication

PZI Sesshin Dedication, generally read (or sung) at the end of sesshin to send participants on their way, in joy.

Refuge Ceremony in Winter Sesshin

Evening refuge ceremony with PZI Teachers, in Winter Sesshin. As recorded January 20, 2018.

Spring Sesshin: The Interwoven Journey of Sesshin and Life

Tess Beasley invites our voices into the room, acknowledging the interwoven yet not-interwoven vessel of sesshin. We are each a unique presence, yet it is when personal identity and ambition recede that feeling and empathy emerge. PZI Digital Temple. As recorded April 11, 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.

Spring Sesshin: Peach Blossoms & a Russian Boy

Jon Joseph Roshi gives a dharma talk in Spring Sesshin. PZI Digital Temple. As recorded April 10, 2021.

Spring Sesshin 2021: Peach Blossoms & The Journey Is It!

Spring Sesshin 2021: The Lostness & Wandering on the Pilgrim’s Path

PZI’s Jesse Cardin, Director of It’s Alive Zen in San Antonio, Texas, reminds us that lostness is part of peach blossoms, and explores how that might appear on the second day of a retreat—or whenever. As recorded April 9, 2021.

Spring Sesshin 2021: Four Boundless Vows with Jordan McConnell

Jordan McConnell sings and plays the Four Boundless Vows with Amaryllis Fletcher on bells and violin. As recorded April 7, 2021.

Spring Sesshin 2021: Evening Words with David Weinstein

David Weinstein, Director of PZI’s Oakland Zen, delivers the evening words during Spring Sesshin. As recorded April 7, 2021. 5 minutes.

Spring Sesshin 2021: Evening Words with Tess Beasley

Tess Beasley sends sesshin participants off to dream on April 8, 2021. As recorded x minutes.

Spring Sesshin: Morning Dharma Talk with John Tarrant

John Tarrant’s morning dharma talk on meditation practice and what it is to be in retreat. As recorded April 8, 2021.

Dharma Theme: Spring Sesshin 2021 – After the Dark and the Cold, Come the Blossoms

Curated links to Dharma talks, guided meditations, music, art, closing words, and more from Spring Sesshin 2021.

Spring Sesshin 2021: Music for Meditation

Michael Wilding enhances the opening meditation for Spring Sesshin with his innovative original composition for flute.

Guided Koan Meditation: Peach Blossoms at Spring Sesshin

A guided koan meditation with John Tarrant to begin the Spring Sesshin. Koan: Peach Blossoms. 7 minutes as recorded April 7, 2021.

Spring Sesshin: A Donkey Sees a Well, Well Sees Donkey

John Tarrant’s first evening talk during Spring Sesshin. Does the well also see the donkey? As recorded April 8, 2021.

Spring Sesshin 2021: Welcome & Talk with Michelle Riddle

Michelle Riddle welcomes all Spring Sesshin participants and gives a dharma talk. See summary. As recorded April 7, 2021.

Spring Sesshin 2021: Opening Talk

John Tarrant’s opening dharma talk for Spring Sesshin 2021. As recorded April 7, 2021.

Navigating The Voyage of Sesshin

Audio Excerpt: PZI Winter Sesshin – A short excerpt from Allison Atwill’s longer dharma talk recorded Jan. 16th, 2021. A solo journey around the world begins with your hand on the tiller of you vessel as you set off into the unknown. What falls away? 3 minutes

Kanzeon Chanted by PZI Sesshin Sangha

PZI Sesshin- Kanzeon, chanted by the whole group led by Richie Domingue during sesshin Sutra Service.

Dedication at Close of Sesshin – Song Version

PZI Zen Online: The dedication recited as we leave sesshin, here it is sung by Michelle Riddle Sensei. As recorded Sunday Jan 24 2021. 3 minutes.

Sesshin Closing Ceremony: Dedication & Thanks to Ancestors with Richie Domingue

PZI Sesshin Dedication and thanks to our Ancestors. Music written & performed by Richie Domingue.

Sesshin Ceremony: Dedication – We Remember You with Rachel Boughton Roshi

PZI Sesshin Closing Ceremony: Dedication for Remembrance chanted by Rachel Boughton Roshi.

Sesshin Ceremony: Dedication of Remembrance with Richie Domingue

PZI Sesshin Closing Ceremony: Dedication of Remembrance. Music written and performed by Richie Domingue.

Fall Sesshin 2020: Closing Ceremony

PZI Fall Sesshin – Sunday evening closing ceremony. Sarah Bender chants, music from Jordan McConnell, Amaryllis Fletcher reads – Joy on the Roads, teacher summations and goodbyes. As recorded October 4, 2020.

Fall Sesshin 2020: Music for Meditation with Michael Wilding

PZI Fall Sesshin: Music from Michael Wilding on Alto Sax, Oct 1, 2020. As recorded.

Fall Sesshin 2020: Sutra Service with Amaryllis Fletcher & Jordan McConnell

PZI Fall Sesshin: Sutra service in the afternoon during sesshin. Featuring Amaryllis Fletcher – cantor & violin. Jordan McConnell – vocals & guitar. As recorded October 4 2020.

Fall Sesshin 2020: There You Are! with David Weinstein Oct 4

PZI Fall Sesshin: There You Are – Dharma Talk with David Weinstein, as recorded Oct 4 2020.

Fall Sesshin 2020: Afternoon Sutra Service Oct 3

PZI Fall Sesshin: Sutra Service Oct 3. Amaryllis Fletcher & Jordan McConnell.

New at Pacific Zen Institute


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.


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

PZI Digital Temple: 10am PDT
The Universe

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.


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

PZI Digital Temple
The Universe


Register: Monday Meditation & Talk with Jon Joseph Roshi

PZI Zen Online: 6pm PDT
The Universe


Register: PZI Talk LIVE! with Gaffney & Hitchcock

PZI Zen Online: 5pm PDT
The Universe


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.

Audio Recording

4 Teachers, 4 Boundless Vows

Four talks on the 4 Vows are included in this audio of the complete Sunday session. Listen to each teacher—vow by vow—in the KALPA. Don’t miss the second audio: Sino-Japanese chanting of the vows by John Tarrant, followed by call-and-response with Jon Joseph & Michelle Riddle.

Support Us

Through your generosity, you help people find their own path into awakening, keep our doors open to everyone regardless of means, support our teachers, and help our systems run smoothly.

Give Dana

The PZI Scholarship Fund

Your contributions to this fund go directly to help us offer generous scholarships for attendance at PZI Zen Online 1-day & 2-day retreats, and at our three annual 4-day sesshins in the PZI Digital Temple. There is no replacement for this generosity.

Join our Mailing List


Stay in touch with news from: