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 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 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 Fall Sesshin Audio Excerpt: Tess Beasley Sensei’s opening talk. Harvest Moon and leaning into the images that hold us for sesshin, the ancient vessel. Moon haikus, “Where is Your Light?” As recorded October 1, 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?
Audio session – Opening the Cave of the Blue Dragon retreat with John Tarrant & Michelle Riddle. John talks about meditation at sesshin. Stories: District Mistress Fan & Yuan Wu -‘so near at hand’. Tabor’s poem. So easy to think I am not enough. Xing Quin ‘One drop just ink – 2 drops a dragon is born’. We are each in community and discovering together. Yunmen’s ‘Talking to a rock’. Alan Watts – Letting go – ‘Dont prevent the world from falling apart’. Be a tiger at home in the mountains. Closing prayer: Cantor Amaryllis Fletcher, Jordan McConnell – the four vows. Jon Joseph, Roshi evening words. Thursday June 25, 2020
Audio: Ryan McCoy sings and plays guitar for the Blue Dragon’s Cave Summer Sesshin – Friday eve, closing June 26th, 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
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.
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.
So, there’s a spaciousness inside all situations, is what I’m saying. We’re walking through them, and underneath our feet there’s space and light around us—and we’re walking through space and light. And knowing that then is the source, I think, of empathy and love—but we accompany each other. And we don’t have to take ourselves or each other so seriously. We don’t have to advocate for the direness of the human condition, which is something we find a lot of. [laughs]
I think this is a time when things are kind of changing and incredibly uncertain, and that fidelity to what’s really true to us is important and valuable. And we don’t have to pretend that when difficulties are here, they’re not here. But also, we don’t have to pretend that they cancel the illumination, because nothing does, really. Even if we’re dying, the brightness of life is still there. And after we’re dead, we’ll worry about that later, [laughs] when the time comes in the bardos.
PZI Zen Dharma Theme: “Your Light.” In Zen, one lamp lights another but is never extinguished. We want these themed selections to work that way, as you explore the KALPA. 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.
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.
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.
So, value the sort of play, and as I said, see if you can break the koan—the koan will be amused. And see it, and let it—let it into your heart. And see what comes, or follow it around, or have it follow you. And finally you’ll find, you’ll realize, “Oh, I’m here. I’m free.”
So, whatever your condition is, you can see the “I have joy.” Out of that emptiness, out of what seems unpromising—the dark material, the valley spirit, the enigma, out of the mystery, out of what I don’t understand—it just appears. The joy just appears.