Featured Koan: The Buddha's Enlightenment

The Buddha looked up and saw the morning star and awakened.
He cried out, “Now, at last, I see that all beings have the nature of the one who comes thus. Only their delusions and attachments keep them from realizing this."

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The Way Is Beyond Words: with Guest Teacher Eduardo Fuentes

December 6 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Free – $10

Register here for Eduardo’s Monday Meditation & Talk

The Way Is Beyond Words: Not About Affirmation or Negation

This koan brings together two apparently unrelated aspects of our lives. On the one hand, is our “ordinary mind,” our infinitely varied daily lives. On the other, it addresses the Way, or the Dao—something for which we have the highest respect and for which we have been searching all our lives; that which we hope will give sense and direction to our lives and free us from the chaotic minds we frequently experience. Where is the Dao? The Daodejing says, “The Dao that can be spoken of is not the real Dao.”

We usually think of the Way, or the Dao, as something specific—including some practices while excluding others. I imagine Zhaozhou expected specifics from Nanquan, like “Do this, and don’t do that.” But Master Nanquan said, “If you truly reach the genuine Dao, you will find it as vast and boundless as space. How can this be discussed at the level of affirmation or negation?”



Zhaozhou asked Nanquan, “What is the Way (the Dao)?”
Nanquan said, “Ordinary mind is the Way.”
Zhaozhou asked, “Should I turn myself toward it or not?”
Nanquan said, “If you try to turn yourself toward it, you turn away from it.”
Zhaozhou asked, “How can I know the Way if I don’t turn toward it?”
Nanquan said, “The Way is not about knowing or not knowing. Knowing is delusion; not knowing is blank.
If you actually reach the Way, you’ll find it as vast and boundless as space. How can you talk about this in terms of right and wrong?”
With these words, Zhaozhou had a sudden realization.


Spring comes with its flowers, autumn with the moon,
summer with breezes, winter with snow.
When useless things don’t hang in your mind,
that is your best season.

—Gateless Gate Case 19, with Verse

Zen Teacher Eduardo Fuentes


All are welcome to join us on this special Monday night. Register to participate.

Eduardo Fuentes, Zen Teacher is a koan teacher based in Santiago, Chile and a new teacher at PZI. He has worked as an academic ecologist and as a principal technical advisor in an international organization funding conservation initiatives in developing countries. Eduardo is especially interested in how koans can help people become intimate with nature and learn what and who they are.



December 6
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Free – $10
Event Category:
Register Here:


PZI Digital Temple


Jon Joseph Roshi