John revisits the awakenings and koans of the great teachers, among them Yunmen and his teachings. In the layered quality of the teachings there is a common thread in our lineage: we are all in it together, all held by this great path, we put ourselves in the vessel and see what happens. Each of us holds a piece of the story. Trust the piece you hold.35' 46" January 11, 2020
The great Chan teacher Luopu’s deathbed story and his emphasis on the importance of a ‘direct meeting with the source’ outside the teachings – you can’t just read about it. ‘Don’t grasp principles with words’. The story features the Book of Serenity’s compassion for the whole process toward enlightenment for these wonderful teachers.39' 36" January 11, 2020
So we’ve been talking about old poems that are also a map of the path, but they’re a map of the kind where you have to see what rises in your meditation to meet them to find out how useful they are to you. Today we’re on the fifth of the ranks, the fifth poem. Five ranks by an old Zen teacher, and this is the final one, so you now know conclusively that there are only five stages to the path. And it goes:8817 Words November 13, 2019
Welcome to KALPA, the Koan and Liberation Project Archive!
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Koan practice is at heart a practice of intimacy with life itself. For over twelve centuries, koans have drawn seekers bearing urgent questions 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.
Now the world’s largest online koan library, KALPA was conceived as a way of providing a wider circle for today’s far flung seekers to sit together, to enter the same timeless and urgent questions, and to receive the teachings.
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New to the Library
Uncertainty allows us to enter life more fully. Zen likes predicaments. The koans are allies in this. The unexpected questions are often those that help the most. All the strategies defend against life – ‘Become more lost’ – a zen entreaty.
John’s SRCZC talk on impermanence and rawness of feeling after the great fires in CA and Queensland. He reflects on the importance of internalizing the teachings and the nourishment of our ancestors within us- outside of our normal paths. Teachings after the great Engakuji fire in Chan koan history. The practice of talking to the ancestors – human or otherwise a source of great knowledge.
John revisits the awakenings and koans of the great teachers, among them Yunmen and his teachings. In the layered quality of the teachings there is a common thread in our lineage: we are all in it together, all held by this great path, we put ourselves in the vessel and see what happens. Each of us holds a piece of the story. Trust the piece you hold.
John talks about the warm intimacy of the ‘the dark’ – the uncolonized zone where koans work with us. Intimacy in teachings is used often as an equivalent for enlightenment. Koans open gates and bring us inside that mystery. Some categories of koans: Predicament koans, Heart Changing koans, Inquiry koans and more.