PZI Teacher Archives

Ancestor Ma's Duck Flies Away (BCR53)


Once Ancestor Ma and Baizhang were taking a walk when a wild duck flew by.
“What’s that?” asked the Ancestor.
“A wild duck,” said Baizhang.
“Where did it go?”
“It flew away.“
The Ancestor twisted Baizhang’s nose, and Baizhang cried out in pain.
“When did it fly away?“ asked the Ancestor.

—Blue Cliff Record Case 53

(transl. by John Tarrant & Joan Sutherland)

Audio December 14, 2020

The Journey Into Awakening: The Most Marvelous Thing

John Tarrant

A student asks Baizhang, “What is the most marvelous thing—a matter of special worth?” He answers, “Sitting alone on Mt. Courage Peak.” The vastness is always there, inside and outside. The possibility of imaginative responses in times of change. The wisdom of an indigenous storyteller who embodies a much longer timeline of radical earth changes. The freedom of not being you. PZI Zen Online, as recorded Dec. 13, 2020. Music posted separately.

55' 25"