PZI Teacher Archives

Zen Luminaries: A Fire Runs Through All Things – Jon Joseph in Conversation with Filmmaker, Writer & Zen Teacher Susan Murphy

Description

Writer, filmmaker, and Zen teacher Susan Murphy joins host Jon Joseph to talk about koans for facing the climate crisis. About her recent book, John Tarrant writes: “As in a fairy tale, we have the impossible task of saving the earth. We know there are sensible things that are good to do but we must also do what we haven’t thought of—seeing our lives and the earth with fresh eyes.”

Summary

Susan Murphy Roshi is the founding teacher of Zen Open Circle in Sydney and has served as guiding teacher for two decades. She also guides Melbourne Zen Group and Mountains and Rivers Zen, Hobart, in Australia. Susan has been affiliated with Pacific Zen and its associates since the mid-1980s. She received transmission from John Tarrant in 2001. She works as a writer, freelance radio producer and film director, and previously served as a university lecturer in film studies.

In addition to several books on film, Susan’s books include Upside-Down Zen, A Direct Path into Reality; Minding the Earth, Mending the World: Zen and the Art of Planetary Crisis; and Red Thread Zen: Humanly Tangled in Emptiness.

Her most recent book is A Fire Runs Through All Things: Zen Koans for Facing the Climate Crisis.

As in a fairy tale, we have the impossible task of saving the earth. We know that there are sensible things that are good to do but we must also do what we haven’t thought of—seeing our lives and the earth with fresh eyes.

Susan Murphy is steeped in Zen and the indigenous understanding of the Australian bush. She is an artist who can turn toward the dark forces and find a golden path. This alchemical skill makes her the right guide for the impossible tasks and inconceivable problems we face. She’s a true and terrific guide. The Red Queen said to Alice, “It’s jam yesterday and jam tomorrow, but never jam today.” Susan’s book is jam today. May you read it with joy.

—John Tarrant

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