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!
KALPA Admin

Featured KALPA Files

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

Audio November 30, 2021

Our Own True Lives: Thank You Very Much!

Thanksgiving weekend dharma talk on the many-layered and mysterious qualities of gratitude: aspirational, strategic, innocent, etc. The act of giving is pure —any gift is good. A koan story: A teacher gives a student a yearlong task on feeling gratitude. Music for meditation from Michael Wilding and Jordan McConnell, Cantor Amaryllis Fletcher on violin introducing the Four Vows.

68' 11"
Audio November 23, 2021

On Being the Worst Horse, the One Buddha Loves

John Tarrant

Who wants to be the worst horse? No one. But Buddha loves the worst horse. John Tarrant on worst horse experiences and the merits of not striving to go beyond where we are. If I am the worst horse then my Buddha nature is there. Music from Michael Wilding, Todd Geist sings vows.

68' 11"

*

Dharma Theme November 4, 2021

Dharma Theme – Zen Luminaries: A Series of Conversations with Jon Joseph Roshi

Jon Joseph

Modern Zen Luminaries—a series of Zen Buddhist scholars, writers, poets, translators, and practitioners—join PZI’s Jon Joseph Roshi for lively discussions online, with a focus on our Chan lineage. Recordings from the 2021 September 27th & November 1st Monday Zen Online meetings.

811 Words
Audio November 4, 2021

Zen Luminaries: A Conversation with Peter Hershock hosted by Jon Joseph

Jon Joseph

As recorded Monday, November 1st, 2021, as part of a series of conversations with important Zen (Chan) voices: translators, writers, scholars, and practitioners.

78' 6"
Audio November 3, 2021

Fall Sesshin 2021: The Stone Drenched With Rain – Your Own Awakening

Allison Atwill

Whatever conditions you find yourself in are your own awakening appearing, not something you need to “get over.” This is the key: We can let experience soak us without knowing what will come of it. As recorded Saturday evening, October 23, 2021, at Fall Sesshin.

41' 24"