Fall Sesshin 2021: Koan Practice or Not? Going Beyond Form with David Weinstein

Morning dharma talk during Fall Sesshin: When is koan practice koan practice? “Things are not as they appear, nor are they otherwise,” is the springboard for David Weinstein’s talk on the continual transformation of things. As recorded Wednesday, October 20, 2021.

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.

4 Teachers & 4 Boundless Vows – Complete Session with Allison Atwill, Tess Beasley, Jon Joseph & Michelle Riddle

On practice and path: become the Way, and illumination is always with you. A dive into the sources, history, and meaning of the 4 Great Bodhisattva Vows; how PZI teachers and students work with them towards the ceremony of Refuge and taking up the path. Each teacher takes up one of the Vows. Teachers chant and intone Vows in English and Sino-Japanese; Michael Wilding recites, Jordan McConnell singing and on guitar. Complete session recorded August 1, 2021

Bodhidharma Comes & Goes with Jon Joseph

Why did Bodhidharma come from the West, and return to the East? Why are we born, and why do we die? Emperor Wu regretted his interview, but no one could bring Bodhidharma back. We all come and go. Jon’s talk, meditations, and student comments & stories. As recorded August 2, 2021.

What Is the Mysterious?

Sunday Talk excerpt from John Tarrant’s Free & Easy Wandering Series. In uncertain times, Dalung’s koan is something to trust. The mystery of your life is endless, the mystery gives endlessly. As recorded May 23, 2021.

I Vow to Do Good: Vows as Koans, Part 2

I Vow to Do Good—the second of the Three Pure Vows. Talks by Allison Atwill, Tess Beasley & Jesse Cardin from The Three Pure Vows as Enduring Koans of Everyday Life; Part 2 of a 3-part series on the vows of our tradition. Complete session, as recorded June 14, 2021.

Dancing Teachers, Dancing Mountains – Celebrating Fathers

Fathers dancing: Caring for others, holding paths in the dharma and celebrating. Mountains, clouds, waves, birds, lions and teachers dance. The trees dance and foxes steal shoes and dance in the moonlight. Sunday Talk with John Tarrant on Fathers’s Day, as recorded June 20, 2021.

Dragons of the Blue Cliff: Hands & Eyes Everywhere

Listen to audio of John Tarrant’s morning & afternoon sessions, Dragons of the Blue Cliff Retreat. How does the bodhisattva of compassion use all those hands and eyes? How do I express Guanyin, and how is Guanyin showing up in my life? As recorded June 6, 2021. (Parts 1 & 2)

Free & Easy Wandering Series: Knock on Any Door – with Allison Atwill & Tess Beasley

Allison Atwill & Tess Beasley on being at a threshold—knocking on doors not knowing who will answer, and how the gifts of the universe appear. As recorded May 30, 2021.

Dharma Theme: Peach Blossoms – Curated Links from Spring Sesshin

Dharma Theme: Links to excerpts and full-length dharma talks and more from Spring Sesshin 2021. A compilation of talks, guided meditations, ceremonies, sutras, meditation music, visual art, and evening words from our teachers.

The Way Things Are Is Mysterious & Hard to See: Refuge Vows As Koans

Allison Atwill, Tess Beasley & Jesse Cardin lead us into the heart of PZI practice—what it means to take refuge, and how to work with the vows as koans. Jordan McConnell on guitar and vocals with variations on Refuge Vows and Purification. As recorded April 25, 2021.

Spring Sesshin: The Lostness and Wandering on the Pilgrim’s Path – with Jesse Cardin

Jesse Cardin Roshi, of PZI & It’s Alive Zen in San Antonio Texas, wanders with us into the land of demons, and includes them. Spring Sesshin Dharma Talk recorded April 9, 2021.

Beautiful Blossoms, Everything Changing: Refuge and the Bodhisattva Path

Deshan is determined to prove his scholarly certainty. He encounters 2 teachers who help him see the light. John talks about refuge; What is it? Why take it? Working with the vows as koans. Zen rests in mystery and uncertainty. Linji: Have confidence in the light always working inside you. Music from Jordan McConnell. As recorded Feb. 28th, 2021.

The Ink Dark Moon: Love Is the Mess of the World

Our Q’s & A’s of love and Zen. Turning toward everything, even what doesn’t fit with our description of reality. We long to be seen as we truly are and are equally terrified of being found. Nothing is excluded—what your heart longs for is in your life now! PZI Zen Online audio excerpt recorded Feb. 14, 2021.

The Ink Dark Moon: Love Me Tender – Music for Meditation

Jordan on guitar during meditation at The Ink Dark Moon with Atwill, Riddle & Beasley on Valentine’s Day. Music, Zen, and Love. PZI Zen Online audio excerpt as recorded Feb. 14 2021. 4 minutes.

The Ink Dark Moon: Calling Myself Beloved

Allison Atwill explores cases against life and love, the ways we block the universe’s gifts—and how we “abide somewhere” by clinging to lack. Or, we hang on to what we have like Deshan and his commentaries. We want to be included, “to feel beloved on earth.” Where is love in Zen? Included! Audio excerpt from The Ink Dark Moon. As recorded Feb. 14 2021, PZI Zen Online.

Friendship – A Thing of Special Wonder

John Tarrant on encouraging friendship with the world—koans, trees, people. How we interact with friends, from the heart. We listen to each other. We don’t have to make them anything other than what they are. Poems, stories, comments. Complete session as recorded Jan 24 2021, PZI Zen Online.

Audio: The Firstness of Things & a Face in the Dark with John Tarrant

PZI Zen Online: Handing Things On in the Dark. The dark silent time of this year has lasted for 9 months, in COVID. “The whole meaning of your life is in the current matter happening now.” No explaining it. “To be deeply in Zen is to be deeply in how to express it.” The first vaccines are here. The mysterious freedoms of this time, welcoming the new year, and a tour of the deep thick dark of midnight. As recorded Jan 3 2021.

Audio: A Winter Tale with the Guanyins

PZI Zen Online: Four Women Zen Teachers of PZI tell a Winter Tale, the story of a vast moment that interrupted a battle in the middle of World War I. The Guanyins Allison Atwill, Tess Beasley, Sarah Bender & Michelle Riddle share the telling and teaching with meditation, poetry and reflection. Jordan McConnell on guitar. As recorded Dec 27 2020.

Audio: The Journey Into Awakening – The Most Marvelous Thing with John Tarrant

PZI Zen Online: “What is the most marvelous thing, a matter of special worth?” a student asks Baizhang. “Sitting alone on Mt. Courage Peak,” he answers. The importance of an imaginative response to any time of change. The wisdom of an indigenous storyteller who embodies a much longer timeline of radical earth changes. Music by Michael Wilding posted separately. As recorded Dec 13 2020.

Audio: The Journey Into Awakening – Kindnesses In Your Wild Temple with John Tarrant

PZI Zen Online: Why do people go to wild places to find their true nature? The wild is here, right now, in your own wild temple. Anything can happen in the wildness of now. The Universe is so rich in destinations that you are always already at one! The beauty of joining in meditation in difficult times. With music from Jordan McConnell, Amaryllis Fletcher. As recorded Nov 29 2020

Audio Excerpt: Story of An Impossible Task with John Tarrant

PZI Zen Online: The Journey Into Awakening – John Tarrant tells a koan story in which a woman gets a task that seems impossible and which she must practice without fail for a year. As recorded Sunday Nov 22 2020. 17 minutes.

Audio Excerpt: The Ballad of Tam Lin – On the Banks of the Ghost River, John Tarrant Reads

PZI Zen Online: John Reads the Ballad of Tam Lin, in which a brave girl helps her lover, caught in the Faery Queens’s caterhaugh (boggy fen), transform. As recorded on retreat, Oct 31 2020. 13 minutes.

PZI Dharma Theme: Zen Tuesdays – Immensity is Tapping

PZI Zen Online: Four Guanyins reappear online for Zen Tuesdays. They marvel at the immensity in all things from various perspectives. Drawing inspiration from Jane Hirshfield’s poem “Tree,” The Doors’ “Light My Fire,” a golden crowned sparrow, a remarkable brother’s life and more. Excerpts and complete audio sessions. As recorded Oct 2020.

PZI Dharma Theme: Fall Sesshin 2020 – Dharma Talks, Ceremonies & Audio Excerpts

PZI Zen Online: Gathering in the Valley of Our Time – All talks, music, sutras and excerpts included. As recorded Oct 1-4 2020.

Audio Excerpt: What is Your Light? Part 4 – Opening the Dream

PZI Zen Online- Audio Excerpt – John Tarrant opens the dream with the koan: ‘What is your Light?’. Huangbo’s insights on Buddha Nature as ‘calm mysterious joy’, and also touches on the frequent call and response in koan practice and ‘the silent bond in which all things are you and your family’. Recorded Sept. 27 2020 12 minutes.

Audio: Setting Endless Heartache to Rest with John Tarrrant

PZI Zen Online – Meditation, the vessel in difficult times. Our in upheaval from Covid quarantine and riots over racism. Chan took on difficult times with stories and Zen’s encounter with Daoism & ‘The Chuang Tzu’ with strange characters like ‘crooked carriage’ and his friends. Who’s hearing? Who’s concerned about the world? Who’s sad? We are in it together so let’s vow first to: ‘Set endless heartache to rest!’ Koans & stories are ‘ancient vials of life’ to help now. As recorded May 31 2020

Audio: What is Your Light? The Smallest Things – with John Tarrant Roshi

PZI Zen Online: Hanging Lanterns at the Gates of the Autumn Temple. You have your own light. Life and hard times of an apple tree. Marking Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s passing. Music: Michael Wilding, Amaryllis Fletcher, Jordan Mc Connell. As recorded Sept 20 2020.

Audio: What is Your Light? Hanging Lanterns at the Gates of the Autumn Temple – with John Tarrant

PZI Zen Online: Orange skies, unhealthy air, Apocalypse week in CA and the west. The old agreements are fragile: Climate change a long gathering storm, fire a consequence. Having a practice – the simplest thing – a conversation with the vastness. Being lost is an opportunity – as old attitudes fall away. Musicians Amaryllis Fletcher, Cantor & Jordan McConnell. As recorded Sept 13 2020

Audio: Fiery, Radiant Guanyin in the Pavilion Under the August Moon – Allison Atwill Roshi

PZi Zen Online – Fire is an ancient symbol of transformation but also shows itself through Gunayin as the inner radiance of all things. Every appearance has its own brightness. The koan: The great temple fire of Kinkakuji in which everything was burned and yet nothing was destroyed. One of the 100 Samurai Koans. As recorded – Michael Wilding on flute. Aug 30, 2020