Audio: Ryan McCoy sings and plays guitar for the Blue Dragon’s Cave Summer Sesshin – Friday eve, closing June 26th, 2020.
John Tarrant introduces the Queensland Magpie singing fire sirens and walks us through the ancient forests he knew as a child. How do we live the life we live in the face of this vast change? What is this?
A short clip from one of John Tarrant’s talks during the 2015 Fall Sesshin, held in October at the Angela Center in Santa Rosa California. Here John talks briefly about the meditation state, and “turning the light inwards” to explore what is.
Audio excerpt: Koans are much more than ‘tools’ – they do you! Your very heart mind is it, so have the intimacy of your life even into death. Friday eve. Summer Sesshin 2020.
Audio excerpt: Sesshin closing music, four bondless vows announced by Cantor Amaryllis Fletcher and sung by Ryan McCoy.
Audio- Excerpt from longer Friday morning talk on master Ma, sickness and health at Summer Sesshin.
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
In the evening dharma talk John introduces us to an ancestor in the koan tradition, Dahui Zonggao 大慧宗杲 (Ta-hui Tsung-kao, Daie Soko), 1089-1163 and his disciple Wuzhuo Miaozong (無著妙宗; 1096–1170 CE), Miaozong lived during the Song dynasty and was one of the first nuns to be included in an imperially sanctioned Zen lineage history. The conversation between Dahui and Miaozong is instructive of his early method of using only the head of the koan and become one with it. His method was formulated for his culture like we are for ours.
John Tarrant at Fall Sesshin 2019 – Being lost or between places is a fundamental human predicament. Being lost delivers you to yourself with an unknown outcomes. The teacher takes away the student’s need to know what’s unfolding on his pilgrimage. Zen likes predicaments as signs that things want to change.
John shares his interest in investigations onto reality – inquiry koans, koan types. The Watou of zen stories and more recorded at winter Sesshin January 2020.
Yunmen said – “Even after the full moon, every day is a good day!” The light of sesshin infuses us. In a “good day” the light is in you, just how it is. This is not an achievement, you are in the gift of the universe. The tenderness of the good day and our whole lives opening to now. You can’t bully the Tao! it’s bigger than you. Not getting in the way of life, dreams, Linji’s death and more.
Yunmen said – Even after the full moon, every day is a good day! The light of sesshin – how it infuses us. In a ‘good day’ the light is in you. Just how it is, not an achievement, you are in the gift of the universe. The tenderness of the good day and our whole lives opening to now. You can’t bully the Tao! it’s bigger than you. Not getting in the way of life, dreams, Linji’s death and more.
VIDEO TALK – Fall Sesshin 2019. The great Chan teacher Luopu’s deathbed story and his emphasis on the importance of a ‘direct meeting with the source’ outside the teachings – you can’t just read about it. ‘Don’t grasp principles with words’. The story features the Book of Serenity’s compassion for the whole process toward enlightenment for these wonderful teachers.
Allison Atwill takes us into the moment in Baizhang’s Fox koan when the old man finally stays and the implications for our world view. Recorded at Fall sesshin Land of Medicine Buddha, Soquel, CA.