PZI Events Calendar
W E L C O M E to the PZI Events Calendar! Here you will find all upcoming events and registration links for PZI Zen Online retreats, sesshins, and weekly meditations & talks. Search by individual event, day, or month. Save to your Google Calendar or iCal Calendar. No experience required to participate. Questions? Contact Karin Pfluger
F E A T U R E D
Feb 21 Zen Luminaries: Psychiatrist Mark Epstein
Feb 24 Saturday Daylong: with Jesse Cardin
Feb 25 Sunday Zen: with John Tarrant & Friends
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MONDAY ZEN: The Old Ways – with Jon Joseph
March 6, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pmFree – $10
The Old Ways
Join us on Monday as we begin to explore the deep-ecology roots of Chan-Zen.
In our bones is the rock itself;
in our blood is the river;
our skin contains the shadow of every living thing we ever came across.
This is what we brought with us long ago.
—Ute tribal song
I have clearly realized;
Mind is nothing but the mountains, the rivers, and the great earth,
Nothing but the sun, the moon, and the stars.
Deepest ecology, shamanic sources, mystic roots: Chan-Zen has all of these, and we will explore a few of them in the coming weeks ahead of a visit by Osho Zenju Earthlyn Manuel (author of The Shamanic Bones of Zen) at the end of the month.
Calling on Gaia. When the demon Mara attacked Shakyamuni, as he sat beneath the Bodhi tree, it was the earth goddess the Buddha called upon to aid him by touching his hand to the ground. Bodhidharma, a Brahman prince, is traditionally credited with bringing Chan meditation to China in the late fifth century. His message, however, is largely Daoist, translator David Hinton believes, developed by nativist Daoist poets and artists in the centuries before the Indian prince’s arrival. And the foundation for those Daoist sages was a vibrant paleolithic wisdom, reaching thousands, if not millions, of years back in time.
The Old Ways. That is what poet Gary Snyder calls them.
What does Gaia, in this great space, think she’s doing? What she does is not really our concern. Our day-to-day concern is the shimmering network of the gift-exchange, the ceremonies of life, energy, transformation. Our concern is the kids sleeping in the back room, snow in the far hills, a coyote howling in the sagebrush moonlight. (Poem: The Old Ways, 1974.)
“Sacred” is but a name. Grasping the deepest ecology in Zen is to understand the nature of Gaia, which was in motion long before our parents were born, and is our nature. It is not in the world of good or evil, profane or sacred. It much much more alive that that. Linji says, “If you love the sacred and hate the secular, you’ll float and sink in the birth-and-death sea… sacred is no more than the name ‘sacred’…” Gaia has n name; Gaia is our name.
We find something deeply satisfying and comforting in knowing that we need not travel back to paleo time or space to simply realize the “shimmering network of the gift-exchange.” Awakening is the mud sticking to our shoes. It is the kids sleeping in the back room. The racoon snooping around the back door. The Old Ways are our ways. And they are not two with all other things. “The roots of all living things are tied together. When a mighty tree is felled, a star falls from the sky…”, says Chan K’in Viejo, a shaman from the Lacandon rainforest in southern Mexico.
by Gary Snyder
The shack and a few trees
float in the blowing fog
I pull out your blouse,
warm my cold hands
on your breasts.
you laugh and shudder
peeling garlic by the
hot iron stove.
bring in the axe, the rake,
we’ll lean on the wall
against each other
stew simmering on the fire
as it grows dark
The Ute tribal song and Chan K’in Viejo’s words are quoted in The Fruitful Darkness: A Journey Through Buddhist Practice and Tribal Wisdom, by Joan Halifax (2004)
Picture credit: Southern Ute Indian Tribe (southernute-nsn.gov)
Join us for a koan, meditation, dharma talk and conversation.
Register to participate. All are welcome.