KALPA, noun: a traditional Buddhist term for a complete cosmic cycle, from the origin to the destruction of a universe.
A very long time.

A monk asked Daisui, “When the great kalpa fire bursts out, the whole universe will be destroyed. I wonder if IT will also be destroyed or not.”
Daisui said, “Destroyed.”
The monk said, “If so, will it be gone with the other?”
Daisui said, “Gone with the other.”

—Daisui’s Kalpa Fire: Book of Equanimity Case 30

Want to get going already?

Go to the Library homepage or have a look at our user guide below:

What’s in the Library?

Search by category:

VIDEOS: Clips and complete video recordings of talks by PZI members and teachers, from retreats over the past 25 years

AUDIOS: Audio recordings of talks by PZI teachers and members, from retreats over the past 25 years

DHARMA THEMES:  Curated collections around a theme, with links to texts, audio and video

TEXTS: Articles and poems written by PZI teachers and members. Transcripts of dharma talks and other written material related to PZI

MISCELLANEOUS: Music, artwork, and etcetera by PZI teachers, members, and others

CONTRIBUTORS: Content in the archive is organized by the teachers and members who have contributed

KOANS: Show you dharma talk and other content related to a specific koan

TAGS: PZI indexes the KALPA by using keywords called ‘tags’ to show shared themes, topics, or other similarities. Read more about using tags to navigate the library, below

EXCERPTS: Offers you curated content from the archive

ALL:  List of all the content in the archive

EXPLORE:  Try it, you’ll like it! A randomized response from the library stacks

Expand your search by using tags:

Use TAGS to navigate the library:

1. Start from where you are and wander.

If a video you’re watching speaks to you, look at the tags.

Clicking on a tag will retrieve other items with the same tag. For example, if you like a video that is tagged ‘Winter Sesshin 2020,’ you may want to see more videos from that same Sesshin. If the video is tagged ‘Koan Practice,’ you can click on that tag and find other materials that address koan practice. Or, try entering through koan names, or a random subject like ‘the Moon.’

2. Look at the map and decide where you want to go. 

Click ‘Topics’ in the menu bar at the top of your screen. You’ll get a dropdown that shows a selection of topics. Click on whatever interests you—consciousness, meditation practice, art, compassion, etc.

3. Get familiar with abbreviations for buddhist texts and koan compilations:

GG = Gateless Gate,
BCR = Blue Cliff Record
MK= PZI Miscellaneous Koans
BS = Book of Serenity
CT = Chuang Tzu (pinyin: Zhuangzi)
WK = Warrior Koans

4. And, explore a selection of Topics from the menu bar dropdown. 

The same is true of our selection of Koans. Click ‘Explore’ and get a random result search. Have fun.

What else?

You will need an internet connection to stream video and audio, your PZI Member login email and password.

Library Audio files are downloadable for PZI members. You will see a cloud icon below the ‘play’ arrow. That’s the spot!

New material is uploaded to the library as it becomes available or is curated by the KALPA Team. New content is shown on the front page of the archive, near the bottom, and may also be featured above or on the PZI main page.

The date at the top of the box in each file is the date it was uploaded, not the date the content was created. You can find that date (creation of text, audio, or video) in the tags.

Questions? Try our KALPA Search FAQs

Other questions or technical difficulties, email [email protected]

What Is KALPA?

Meditation likes companionship. The KALPA library is a way of supporting people in the project of meditation and awakening.

You get to have a Zen teacher in your pocket, a way of seeing things differently, of noticing how something difficult or tedious or confusing may be all right just as it is, and may be more full of light or humor or warmth than you’d really noticed before.

In old Zen stories that kind of teaching was called a “turning word,” when somebody said something—and a door opened. This is a library full of turning words.

John Tarrant has been writing and giving talks about Zen and koans for over 35 years, and his students and successors at Pacific Zen Institute also have a body of work here. There are audio recordings of talks going back decades, and videos and writing and art and music spanning a quarter century.

You can curl up with your favorite electronic device and remember the way the world can come to meet you, that your own life is a thing of wonder, just as it is.


All content in this library is the intellectual property of Pacific Zen Institute and the Koans and Liberation Project Archive. Reproducing material from this library without the consent of PZI is prohibited.

Enjoy exploring the KALPA!