PZI Teacher Archives
Freely I watch the tracks of the flying birds.
—PZI Miscellaneous Koans, Case 23b
From Crossing the Brook:
a. Slowly I cross a brook and extinguish its sound.
b. My lazy gaze follows the tracks of the flying birds.
—PZI MK Case 23: Xuedou’s verse following Yunmen’s Good Day koan, Blue Cliff Record Case 6
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!
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.
John remarks on being freed from the hospital after a brush with Covid and more, and feeling our ties to the birds, symbolizing freedom through their ability to take off at will. Also: The legend of the painter who disappeared on the back of a painted crane, and the Zhuangzi’s fish named Kuhn who becomes a bird. Recorded April 23, 2023
As recorded on October 22, at PZI Fall Sesshin 2021. Bird tracks and a crane story from long ago in China. Four vows are sung and played by Amaryllis Fletcher & Jordan McConnell. Allison Atwill gives a closing poem.
What is the gift of the universe? We receive unexpected help when we are “living down a level,” living things before we construct them. Not constantly consulting your “me,” you open to the invitations and gifts that appear; trusting in the Dao.
PZI Zen Online Audio: Includes John’s intro and koan, a long meditation segment with Jordan McConnell on guitar. John gives the koan and other guidance throughout the meditation segment followed by a talk and comments. Closing bells, violin, & 4 vows with PZI Cantor Amaryllis Fletcher. As recorded March 29, 2020.