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 [email protected].
F E A T U R E D
Sunday Zen: John Tarrant on February 12th
Wait List Only: Spring Open Mind Retreat, March 16–19
Zen Luminaries: Lewis Hyde in conversation with Jon Joseph on February 20
- This event has passed.
THURSDAY ZEN: A True Meeting with David Parks
January 26 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pmFree – $10
Our practice is one of finding resonance: a true meeting. It happens all the time—it can happen in dokusan, or on the sidewalk when they smile and I smile back.
The other day, my German Shepherd Fritz started bouncing in my direction—his front paws hit the ground, inviting me to play. The impulse to play resonates as I grab his ears and give him a shake. The universe is calling to be known and my heart-mind resonates and I know who I am. The universe as it comes to me, as it calls, resonates in my heart-mind, and there is no separation between myself and that which calls: none.
Over these last weeks, we have been looking at the traditional Zen Ox Herding Series. Each picture, each verse, is an invitation to resonance. As I study the series, I approach each picture, preface, and verse from the inside.
In the first picture and verse, I feel the hopelessness of the herder, the feeling of being lost in jumbled mountains alongside roaring rivers and deep woods: the despair of the jungle, the overgrown paths. The verses describe the chaos that I sense in my own life.
As the heart-mind resonates, something opens and I am on a path. Approaching each picture, preface, and verse from inside my experience, the possibility of resonance presents itself, an awakening to the heart of things. In this way, each stop along the path, each picture, preface, and verse is a gate for your awakening.
Catching the Ox, Picture and Verse #4
This week we take up the fourth in the series, “Catching the Ox.” Here, the herder gets the Ox on a tether. For me, this means to double down, to work hard and then you might be able to hold on. This is the kind of Ox Herd I am in this fourth in the series.
Today one comes upon it,
long hidden in distant places.
Because it rules these regions
it is not easy to chase after.
Its love for sweet foliage
has left it untamed.
Its stubborn mind is still strong,
its wild nature still lively.
If you want true domestication
you really apply the whip.
There it is, a wild ox—hiding, wild in its pursuit of the sweet things in life, untamed. And that last line, “If you want true domestication, you really apply the whip.” I work hard, I suffer for this harmony that I believe is at a distance.
He must hold the rope with all his might
for the Ox is two-thousand pounds of old habit.
One moment it runs to the high meadows,
the next it is lost in a fog-bound river bottom.
Theses are the sprains and strains that come with holding a rope with all my might. The Ox is huge, the habits weightier still. The Ox runs off. Gotta keep him on track—keep myself on the straight and narrow. “If you want true domestication, you really apply the whip.”
The question that comes for me: Do I really want true domestication? For that and picture and verse #5, come back next time on February 9.
Come join us Thursdays, for koan meditation, a dharma talk, and conversation. Register to participate. All are welcome.
I hope you will join us.
—David Parks Roshi, Director of Bluegrass Zen