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.
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: Oct. 2 Musical opening interlude for evening session with Jordan McConnell. ‘Four Green Fields’ – Celtic Ballad. As recorded October 2, 2020.
PZI Fall Sesshin: Evening words with David Weinstein – Relaxing on the raft and finding the ferryboat. As recorded Oct. 2, 2020.
PZI Zen Online Audio: Fall Sesshin – Evening dharma talk with John Tarrant. If you are chasing about, “Where will you meet today?” We forget we are free in every moment. The image of a withered tree. When we let everything come to rest, we hear the dragon murmurings. As recorded October 2 2020.
PZI Zen Online: Fall Sesshin – Gathering in the Valley of Our Time. Evening talk and entire session with John Tarrant. Music by Jordan McConnell. As recorded October 3, 2020.
PZI Fall Sesshin: Allison Atwill asks – What is “my” first principle? A question that does not need an answer but furthers our chasing about! The Emperor in us asks this again and again. But, like Huangbo, we have come “Not for anything else!” – just this perfect life. As recorded October 3, 2020.
PZI Fall Sesshin: The Koan Raft – with Jon Joseph Roshi. What is a koan? A koan is a “public case” in Chinese. Koan practice develops a resonance with all things. Any section or word in a koan is a gate. As recorded October 2, 2020.
PZI Fall Sesshin: Gathering in the Valley of Our Time – John Tarrant’s evening words. Why did we come here? “Not for anything else.” Huangbo’s response on his arrival. Trusting your own experience in sesshin. Any moment of noticing is oneness with emptiness. The Valley Spirit holds us. Whatever arises in meditation is for you, and not wrong. October 1, 2020.
PZI Fall Sesshin: Audio Excerpt – Opening the evening with Heads of Practice Jan Brogan & Chris Gaffney welcoming the group. As recorded October 1, 2020.
PZI Fall Sesshin Audio Excerpt: John Tarrant Roshi’s opening talk. As recorded October 1, 2020.
PZI Zen Online: Audio excerpt from Tess Beasley Sensei’s opening talk at Fall Sesshin. Harvest Moon, and leaning into the images that hold us for sesshin, the ancient vessel. Moon haikus. “What Is Your Light?” As recorded October 1 2020.
PZI Fall Sesshin: Jordan McConnell’s beautiful rendition of the the Four Boundless Vows. As recorded October 2, 2020.
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.
Dharma Theme: Fall Sesshin 2020 – Gathering in the Valley of Our Time. All audio sessions, opening and closing ceremonies, sutra services, and excerpts of talks. October 1-4 2020
Yunmen said, “Before or 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. Our whole lives opening to now. You can’t bully the Dao, it’s bigger than you! Not getting in the way of life. Also: Dreams, Linji’s death, and more. Video recorded in Winter Sesshin 2020.
The whole thing about Chan is that it’s an improvisational culture. Because we love it? No, because that’s what life is! That’s the good day. Not-knowing is intimately tied to the good day. It’s not an achievement—it’s the gift of the universe, and you are in the universe having received the gift. Poetry, dreams, Linji’s death, and more. As recorded in Winter Sesshin 2020.
John Tarrant walks us through the ancient forests he knew as a child. Fire sirens, the Queensland Magpie singing, and Linji’s Solitary Brightness. How do we live the life we have in the face of vast change? Audio recording from Winter Sesshin 2020.
Deshan is determined to prove his scholarly certainty. He encounters two teachers who help him see the light. John talks about refuge; What is it? Why take refuge? What is the rakusu? PZI’s approach—working with refuge vows as koans. Zen ultimately rests in mystery and uncertainty. Linji says, “Have confidence in the light always working inside you.” Music with Jordan McConnell. Sunday talk as recorded Feb. 28th, 2021.
John Tarrant talks about living in an underworld time, in a descent as a culture and as a world, and as a planet. Accepting the descent, and accepting the quality of being lost when it appears, is profoundly important. And there’s a great, strange, and interesting mystery in that.
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.
Day two of 2018 Winter Sesshin. John Tarrant introduces the great koan “No,” a gift from the ancestors. The gift is what happens when we hang out with the koan. “No” as the purest gate. When we step through, we find out we’re here! It’s not personal, you’re harmonizing with the universe. Transcript from a recording on January 17, 2018.
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.
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.
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 how good it is to love each other, to meet each other, and to make peace in our hearts. Sunday talk with John Tarrant, recorded June 14 2020.
PZI Zen Online 1-Day Retreat: On the Banks of the Ghost River, afternoon session. Reflections on the koan and the story of Tam Lin and brave Janet. Comments. Tess Beasley & John Tarrant reflect. Sesshin closing. As recorded Oct 31 2020.