PZI Events Calendar
Welcome to our new calendar of all PZI Events! Search by individual event, by day or month. The list below represents all upcoming weekend retreats, daylong retreats, sesshins and weekly meditation sessions. Links are included if registrations are open. You will be able to save events to your Google Calendar and iCal Calendars. Calendar How-to.
Our Fall Sesshin: ‘Gathering in the Valley of Our Time’ is coming up Oct. 1-4 Register now!
We still offer PZI Zen Online Meditation Sessions with PZI teachers Sunday-Thursday weekly.
No experience required to participate. For questions on registration or if you can’t find what you are looking for please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Monday Meditation & Talk with Jon Joseph Roshi – More Than Mending
September 21 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pmFree – $10
Shenshan was mending clothes with a needle and thread.
“What are you doing?” asked Dongshan
“How is that?”
“One stitch is like the next,” said Shenshan.
“We’ve been traveling together for twenty years, and you still talk like that! How can this be?” exclaimed Dongshan.
“How do you mend?” asked Shenshan.
“The whole earth is spewing flames,” said Dongshan.
—The Record of Dongshan, 30
Recently, I was sharing this koan with a friend—“The whole earth is spewing flames.” I expected a good discussion of the wildfires and their impact in our lives. But kind of waving aside the main point of this foundational koan, she said, “Of course the whole earth is spewing flames. It has always been thus.”
Instead, she wanted to visit Shenshan’s “mending.” She questioned the notion that anything at all was worn, rent, or torn. “Mending what? There is nothing to mend. It is just a word.” Then she shared a childhood story. “One day when I was little I was looking at a table, but instead of calling it a table, I decided to call it a ‘radio.’” I laughed. She said, ”From then on that table was ‘radio.’ ‘Mending’ is just a name—we can call it anything.”
My friend was making two wonderful points. What is “mending?” In Zen, words are not so helpful. To know the truth of the universe we experience it directly—we show, rather than tell. TheTao Te Ching says, “The Tao that can be spoken of is not the true Tao; the Word that can be mentioned is not the true word.” Does putting a name on things diminish their possibilities? Only in a world before names does a table become a radio.
The second point was that the world is perfect and complete, just as it is, so how could we possibly fix it? “Not one thing is out of place.” What is there to mend?
Then my friend seemed to head off in another direction: “I want to have a conversation about kensho (seeing the nature).” Dongshan had lit a match, and I could see his flames usher forth.