Welcome to the PZI KALPA Library!
KALPA—Koans And Liberation Project Archive—the online Zen koan library of Pacific Zen Institute, was conceived as a way of providing a wider circle for today’s far-flung seekers to sit together, to enter the same timeless questions, and to receive the teachings. For access to the entire collection, and for downloadable audio of meditations and talks, join us as a PZI Member.
Visit the KALPA Guide for more info. To get you started, check out curated topics in the dropdown from the menu bar. Explore the PZI koan universe by searching for teachers, topics, koans, or file type—audio, video or text file. Consider the adventure of searching by using a tag.
Enjoy browsing the stacks in the KALPA!
Featured KALPA Files & Archives
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Zen Koan Meditation Practice
Koan practice is at heart a practice of intimacy with life itself. For over twelve centuries, koans have drawn people bearing urgent inquiries of life, death, beauty, and becoming. The tradition began as a way of carrying the discoveries of those willing to enter these questions together, and evolved into a vivid lineage of awakening encounters, still echoing centuries and continents away.
Quickly—without thinking good or evil,
What was your original face
Before your parents were born?
—Zen Ancestor Huineng’s Original Face Koan
Introduction to Koan Practice: John Tarrant on Working with Koans
A koan is a piece of old wisdom in a very concise form. I think of it as a vial of ancient light that has been passed down to us. It’s the same light that was in the heart of the teacher who invented the koan. Read on
Image above – Tang dynasty scholar, Xuangzhong carrying scrolls on his back.
Image below: John Tarrant Roshi December 2020.
PZI Teacher Archives
New to the Library
Meditation offers a path out of the burning house, without abandoning the promise and good-heartedness of being human. Practice is the last best hope of living up to that good-heartedness, the only thing that never hurts and usually helps. And even at the beginning of the meditation path, on a good day it’s exciting. It actually makes you happy.
We are exhausted by our own agendas – In Chan the Bodhisattva of Great Mercy vows to stay until all beings are awakened. Her primary bond is with uncertainty. Your recipe for awakening is only for you.