What is KALPA?
By Rachel Boughton, Roshi
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.
Koan work is traditionally an esoteric practice not discussed outside of the meditation halls or meetings with teachers. Pacific Zen Institute believes koans have something special to offer anyone, and has made the secrets of this tradition accessible to all, especially Westerners. Interweaving psychology, art, poetry and music with koans and the traditional teachings of Rinzai Zen Buddhism, PZI is interested in transforming the hearts and minds of the those who seek the Way, to help them engage more fully with their lives and to experience more freedom and maneuverability with things as they are.
KALPA:, noun: a traditional Buddhist term, denoting duration of time covering a complete cosmic cycle from the origination to the destruction of a world-system or universe.
Case 30: Daisui’s “Kalpa Fire”
A monk asked Daizui, “When the great kalpa fire bursts out, the whole universe will be destroyed. I wonder if IT will also be destroyed or not.” Daizui said, “Destroyed.” The monk said, “If so, will it be gone with the other?” Daizui said, “Gone with the other.”
Want to get going already? See below for a user guide, or simply visit the Library homepage.
KALPA User Guide
What Is This?
Video – Video recordings of talks by teachers and other PZI members from retreats over the past 25 years
Audio – Audio recordings of talks by teachers and other PZI members from retreats over the past 25 years
Text – Articles and poems written by PZI teachers or members. Transcripts of dharma talks and other written material related to PZI
Miscellaneous – Music, artwork, etc
Contributors – Content in the archive organized by teachers and members who have contributed
Koans – Organizes content by specific koans
Tags – Organizes content by specific tags. See below for more on tags.
All – List of all the content in the Archive
What Is A Tag & How To Use Them
Content in KALPA is organized by tags. Tags are keywords or phrases that group together content based on themes, topics or other similarities.
For example, if you like a video that is tagged, ‘2015 Winter Sesshin’, you may like other videos from that same retreat. You can check them out by clicking on the tag in the video.
You can also browse different tags by clicking ‘Tags’ in the navigation bar at the top of your screen to see what content might be of interest to you (e.g., consciousness, meditation practice, art, compassion).
You will need an internet connection to stream video/audio. Library content is not downloadable.
New material will be uploaded to the library as available or curated by the PZI Team. All new content will be shown on the front page of the archive.
The date at the top of box is the date it was uploaded, not the date the text/audio/video was created (which is in the tags). For questions or technical difficulties, email email@example.com
All content in this library is 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