PZI Teacher Archives

Tortoise Mountain Wakes Up (BCR22)


Yantou and Xuefeng were snowed in on Tortoise Mountain.

Day after day, Yantou slept while Xuefeng sat up and meditated.

On the third day, Yantou sat up too and said, “Get some sleep. What do you think you are, a roadside shrine?”

Xuefeng touched his chest and said, “My heart isn’t at peace. I can’t fool myself.”

Yantou gave a great yell. “HAAA! Don’t you know that the family treasure doesn’t come in through the gate?” he said. “Let the teaching flow out from your own breast to cover the sky and the earth.”

Xuefeng was suddenly enlightened and cried out, “Today Tortoise Mountain has finally awakened!”

—Blue Cliff Record, Case 22

Audio August 24, 2022

Secret Friendship Along the Way

John Tarrant

There is a secret quality of friendship that is very close to enlightenment. Friendship is a state of freedom—you don’t want each other to be different. You and everything you touch share the same heart mind. Deep friendship has a long arc. Buddha realized that Mara would miss him if he left. Recorded August 14, 2022.

77' 31"
Audio March 2, 2022

Winter Sesshin: My Heart Is Not at Rest

Jesse Cardin

Jesse Cardin tells the story of Zen’s favorite odd couple Yantou and Xuefeng holed up snowbound on Tortoise Mountain. Xuefeng’s heart is not at rest, he can not sleep or stop thinking about his heart not being at rest.

49' 57"
Audio February 4, 2021

Two Friends Snowbound on Tortoise Mountain

John Tarrant

On friendship—two old friends on Tortoise Mountain are snowed in. One wakes up and so does the Mountain. Audio excerpt as recorded January 31 2021, PZI Zen Online. 7 minutes.

7' 25"