PZI Teacher Archives

Audio Library

There are 582 pieces here.

Audio November 20, 2023

Zen Luminaries: The High Sierra, A Love Story – with Kim Stanley Robinson

Jon Joseph

Acclaimed Sci-Fi writer and earth advocate Kim Stanley Robinson chats with Jon Joseph about his personal version of Zen practice, the what-ifs of writing alternative history, poetry in the High Sierras, and more. John Tarrant comments. Recorded November 15th, 2023.

88' 30"
Audio November 18, 2023

Losing Things, Finding Things

John Tarrant

In meditation things come and go, as in life. In Zen the experience of loss contains a treasure. There is gold inside the loss whether of a person, a country, or a beloved house. Grief dissolves everything. The valleys of life are important for developing empathy. Mazu gives us the path to walk through the demons: Help others cross. Make yourself a raft. An Indigenous saying: Inside the last tear, happiness is hiding. 

52' 22"
Audio November 14, 2023
60' 5"
Audio November 7, 2023

Zen Luminaries: The Half Known Life – Pico Iyer in Conversation with Jon Joseph

Jon Joseph

A lively conversation with prolific writer and former journalist Pico Iyer about his fascinating life traveling to zones of conflict, his relationship to religion, his friendship and spiritual journeys with the Dalai Lama, and his life in Kamakura, Japan, where he now spends most of his time. Recorded October 30th, 2023.

88' 40"
Audio November 2, 2023

Fall Sesshin: The Golden Wind – Autumnal Eternity

John Tarrant

The mind is an artist ceaselessly creating narrative with a need to skip out of experience into story. The Daoists encourage us to remain in the dance—not to make a plan is the Way: Remove the barriers to your life and exclude nothing! Your very heart mind is Buddha.

43' 53"
Audio November 1, 2023

Fall Sesshin: Bright Virtue – Bankei’s Awakening

Tess Beasley

Bankei’s awakening came through facing his aversion to death. His question, “What is bright virtue?” brought him to Zen early in life. Later, he became one with the field and could fully see whatever he encountered. As your life becomes more whole, everything comes to belong.

45' 2"
Audio October 25, 2023

The Smell of Fresh Toast & the Enchantment of the World

John Tarrant

“What is this?” asked the eccentric Zen teacher Budai, holding up odd objects to a crowd. The universe is an intimate net, its jeweled facets contain everything, including the smell of fresh toast. All living beings must turn toward the ultimate. This is deeper than any sorrow, horror, disgrace. The strangeness and beauty of now, of life, is beyond explanation. And this moment has always been here.

52' 52"
Audio October 25, 2023

Salt & Sauce, Trouble & Spice, Losing Things and Getting By

John Tarrant

Salt and sauce—the taste of life is complex. Even in times of deprivation, persecution and war, the flavor of life may include radical happiness. In Zen, we don’t have to know the solution, we just put the next foot forward. We ally with the capacity of life to dissolve outrage and the need to be either right or wrong. Difficulty and richness accord with each other. Walking the path is the gift of Zen, feeling the ancestors’ gifts of salt and sauce.

39' 58"
Audio October 24, 2023

Fall Retreat: Feeling the Bath

Jesse Cardin

All the ways we try to get out of awakening! It becomes a real burden, to not let some piece of life touch me or penetrate. These things become very clear in retreat; it becomes hard to ignore what’s there. And all the efforts to snare it, charm it, or steal it from someone else, including a past or future versions of oneself … despite these efforts, we can’t hold off awakening.

24' 48"
Audio October 24, 2023

Fall Retreat: Into the Bath

David Weinstein

David talks about entering baths in Japan. How do you enter a bath? What is your way? We are not just entering the bath—the bath enters us. Water added to water. It’s not about getting clean; it’s about getting free.

29' 18"
Audio October 24, 2023

Fall Retreat: Enter Here – Into the Bath Together

John Tarrant, PZI Cantor & Musicians, PZI HOPs, PZI Teachers

How does it feel to be here? The bath is that which contains us. We go in together—enter here. There is something marvelous about letting it all go and letting the imperfections of life appear. Feeling that subtle touch. The universe is at play: let’s see it playing, and let’s let it see us play.

39' 34"
Audio October 23, 2023

Fall Retreat: What Is Lost In the Bath?

Tess Beasley

What is this life? The nature of what appears is always changing—it’s something we feel together in ‘the bath. Prajna, or wisdom, is learning to recognize and see accurately. We can suddenly see that everything is okay and here, and yet it’s a dance. We find it; we lose it again. In practice, as in life, lost things return or cycle in and take their leave again.

46' 34"
Audio October 13, 2023

Not Making Sense Is Better Than Ice Cream

John Tarrant

Explaining things can put you in a bind. The humor of emptiness—a little eternity creeping in—is a panacea, and mind just undoes its problems. If we try to make sense of things, therein lies suffering. “You can’t really explain what inspires.”

39' 15"
Audio October 12, 2023

Music for Meditation: 5 Solos from Jordan McConnell

Jordan McConnell

We are fortunate to have incredible original music from talented musicians in our Sunday temple meditations and PZI retreats. Here are five guitar solos composed and performed by Jordan McConnell in 2023.

26' 4"
Audio October 12, 2023

Zen Arts: Pickles, Poems & Direct Encounter

John Tarrant

Takuan Soho, creator of the renowned golden yellow daikon pickle, was a poet, artist, calligrapher, master of the tea ceremony and Zen priest of Tokai temple—a master of the creative response. The arts of Zen are responses to our meeting whatever circumstances arise—death, war, love, loneliness, natural changes.

40' 0"
Audio September 27, 2023

The Gift

John Tarrant

What are the special properties of gifts? You can not force giving. And the Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao. Happiness is involuntary like the grass returning. Sorrow is involuntary like autumn leaves.

39' 6"
Audio September 27, 2023

Unmoving Mind Means Freely Moving

Allison Atwill, Tess Beasley

Takuan Soho—whose death poem was one character: dream—taught the dangers of a distracted mind. Son of a samurai, he understood how to lose your life. Circumstances need not be extreme. We can lose our lives any moment when we rely on devices or install veils between us and the unfixed motion of reality.

50' 24"
Audio September 21, 2023

Zen Luminaries: Ocean Vuong – Time Is a Mother

Jon Joseph

Author and poet Ocean Vuong talks with Jon Joseph about his writing, his childhood in Vietnam and the US, and his first encounter with Buddhism and its influence on his work. “As an artist, there has to be an allegiance to wonder and awe and mystery, and a willingness to quest beyond truth.”

90' 27"
Audio September 21, 2023

Belinda & the Monster aka Beauty & the Beast

John Tarrant

John Tarrant retells the mythic story of Belinda and the Monster, Italo Calvino’s version of Beauty and the Beast. The archetypal forces personified in the story are present in all of us. Can we allow ourselves to feel all that we are? What is the monster? Where do you find yourself in the story?

57' 20"
Audio September 20, 2023

Lazy Summer Afternoons Under the Rose Apple Tree, Part 4 of 4

Jesse Cardin, Tess Beasley

Even a delicious rest must end. The Dao suffers no plans but its own, and our bodhisattva path requires that we bring it back into the world. In Zen, the path goes on and on—we find more ways to grow the ways we love our lives. We are not trying to reach a place of endless tranquillity.

51' 10"
Audio August 24, 2023

Lazy Summer Afternoons Under the Rose Apple Tree, Part 3 of 4

Jesse Cardin, Tess Beasley

The care and feeding of a self is a 24/7 job. The burden of certainty constrains things and makes them heavy—even something as well-intentioned as undying love.

48' 23"
Audio August 23, 2023

Lazy Summer Afternoons Under the Rose-Apple Tree, Part 1 of 4

Jesse Cardin, Tess Beasley

We carry so much in any given moment—what if we let it go? Would we still exist without our burdens and agendas? Part of us wants to hang on for dear life. Drinking the waters of forgetfulness might be deathly!

52' 13"
Audio August 16, 2023

Lazy Summer Afternoons Under the Rose-Apple Tree, Part 2 of 4

Jesse Cardin, Tess Beasley

We can resist rest when in the thrall of the busy mind. We may even try bringing an agenda to our meditation. Fortunately, the practice will undermine any agenda you may have. But something in us wants to let our tiredness catch up with us—it might be the universe intervening.

56' 13"
Audio August 2, 2023

The Music of 10,000 Things

Jon Joseph

Jon Joseph on the sounds of the world as the music of the universe. Summer Sesshin 2019.

48' 54"
Audio July 31, 2023

Refuge – No Escape Hatch

Allison Atwill, John Tarrant

It is part of being human to have complex, multiple views. We are always communing with what is here. There is no escape hatch out of this life into another one. Where would we go? The Dao takes its own time with our intractable problems and suffering. We already know we want to live the truest, most authentic life we can, before we think refuge.

60' 0"
Audio July 25, 2023

Jiashan’s Beautiful State of Mind

John Tarrant

In the mountains, the world goes about its life without us needing to do anything. At the same time, it’s happening within us as well as outside us. It’s a marvelous thing to feel this freedom. Jiashan’s state of mind includes everything, and his enlightenment story is one of a journey between Yeshang, Dahui and a wild teacher called the Boat Monk.

37' 0"
Audio July 24, 2023

Refuge Changes You

John Tarrant, Tess Beasley

Refuge is a path that opens a way toward life and awakening. Life is paradoxical, and with refuge a new responsiveness emerges, which introduces more freedom into any given situation—it prompts a response that accords with all things. John and Tess discuss the nature of refuge, origin of rakusus, Zen names and more.

48' 12"
Audio July 14, 2023

Enjoy Yourself! Also, Enjoy Others – Awakening Together

John Tarrant

Love is a recognition of wonder; friendship, too, is a recognition of wonder. At the still center of our connections is a glimmer of the realization that we are all one seamless body. “You are beautiful,” I say to the rhinoceros, who dances and says, “Do tell me more!”

57' 13"
Audio July 13, 2023

The Nature of Buddha Nature – The Youngest Son, The Golden Bird, & The Fox

John Tarrant

Buddha nature is the thing that you see in the modest places.The one who is disvalued and ignored, the simple one, might be close to the treasure. John Tarrant tells the story of the Golden Bird, and reads Hakuin’s Praise Song for Meditation.

56' 45"
Audio July 13, 2023

Summer Sesshin: The Great Koan NO

John Tarrant

On some level, we are not human beings! Zhaozhou’s dog koan often leads off sesshins. When you throw yourself in with the dog, you make your whole body a mass of doubt. Your eyebrows are entangled with the Zen ancestors.

40' 29"