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

Search the KALPA Library

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


Poem April 9, 2021

Poem – Priceless Gifts

Michelle Riddle

A Spring Sesshin morning greeting gift from Michelle Riddle, Sensei. April 9, 2021

61 Words
Audio April 5, 2021

The Lilies of New Life: Deepest Indigo

John Tarrant

The Lilies of New Life: It is spring and John reads poetry of the season. Dalung’s koan, Pure Everlasting Body, opens the gate to joy and uncertainty in our time, and this splendid season. Poems by Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop, William Carlos Williams and winter into spring haiku by John. Original music performed by Jordan McConnell, as recorded Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021. PZI Zen Online.

41' 5"
Audio April 5, 2021

The Lilies of New Life: Everlasting Body – Music for Meditation

Jordan McConnell

Original music from Jordan McConnell, performed on guitar in response to the Lilies of New Life & Dalung’s Pure Everlasting Body. As recorded Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021. PZI Zen Online. Thank you Jordan!

5' 56"
Audio March 31, 2021

The Case for Ordinary Mind – What Makes It So Hard to See?

The PZI enlightenment firm of Atwill, Riddle & Beasley makes a case for Ordinary Mind. Stories of what gets in the way, the nearness of “It” and a season of laughter. Music from Michael Wilding & Jordan McConnell. As recorded March 28, 2021.

76' 35"
Audio March 31, 2021

If Ordinary Mind Is the Way, What Makes It So Hard to See: What Gets in the Way?

Tess Beasley

Tess Beasley’s portion of the PZI enlightenment firm Atwill, Riddle & Beasley’s case for Ordinary Mind. As recorded March 28, 2021.

15' 50"