PZI Teacher Archives

Yunmen

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 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 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 March 23, 2023

Sickness & Medicine – Deep Listening

John Tarrant

It’s all medicine, really. Everything has Buddha nature, beauty and value. Healing is the big point of view. So the point is not to panic when the big moments come. If you can move out of your own point of view it becomes clearer. Complete Sunday Zen session with John Tarrant & Friends, recorded March 5, 2023. Includes comments from PZI teachers and music from Michael Wilding.

71' 45"
Audio February 27, 2023
44' 17"
Audio February 24, 2023

What Is This? An Ancient Question

John Tarrant

What is this? is an ancient question—it holds our whole lives. That wondering is the essence of what it is to be human. If you allow wonder into a hard time, it will change it. The attempt to discover something is where the question or problem will change.

69' 3"
Audio February 22, 2023
50' 7"
Audio February 22, 2023

Carried by What Is True

John Tarrant

When we meet, as in sesshin, we create and participate in a field of knowledge. There is a necessity of being lost on the path. Yunmen wants your descent—the better to allow the whole of life in. He asks, What is your light? He trusts the field to help people find their own way. Complete talk from Winter Sesshin 2023.

43' 46"
Audio February 21, 2023

We Are Carried in the Dark – On Lostness & the Spiral Path of Practice

John Tarrant

The Dharma is a spiral path of lostness. What will happen next? It’s dark. We’re here no matter what. When you think okay, I’m lost, what’s next? Trusting in the dark is the Way—it is not our business how we awaken.

36' 15"
Audio February 14, 2023

The Project of Suffering vs The Reaching

Allison Atwill

What if, suddenly, it’s midnight? The usual navigational tools are not available. The reaching is the important component of this moment. Understanding the suffering we fabricate, which separates us, versus a fitting suffering which opens our hearts in connection. Complete talk from Winter Sesshin 2023.

55' 0"
Audio December 19, 2022

The Transformations in Things

John Tarrant

In the darkest days of the year, we tend toward year’s end assessments as a kind of emptying of heart and mind before the new year. John Tarrant tells a shaggy-dog transformation tale beginning with the koan, “Where do all the Buddhas come from? East Mountain walks on water.” There is a strange journey, a fox, carp, tiger, dragon’s cave, and a meeting with the Buddha. When we are free in the current matter, it is easier to love others, and our hearts flow out and touch each other.

36' 4"
Audio October 24, 2022

Fall Sesshin 2022: Falling Into the Well of Sesshin

John Tarrant

Falling into the well of sesshin involves dissolving the you that had the problem. In Zen we are solving things one level down. We all have this ability, though it can be hard to see. John retells Jiashan’s strange journey toward awakening: He was falling and found purchase with an unexpected teacher, the mysterious Boat Monk. Comments and “teach us!” responses from teachers and sangha are included. Complete session from October 5, 2022.

41' 20"
Audio May 24, 2022

Enlightenment & Jam – Shopping for a Rhinoceros

John Tarrant

Shopping for enlightenment. What is this? Things come at us and over us during an enlightenment experience—sometimes quite unusual. You are being carried by the Dao; it doesn’t care what else you’ve got going on. Music for meditation from Jordan McConnell and Micheal Wilding. Recorded May 15, 2022.

63' 23"
Audio April 26, 2022

Beyond Clarity & Confusion

Jesse Cardin

Jesse Cardin gets a phone call about a warrant for his arrest and enters the realms of clarity and confusion. Who can wait quietly till the mud settles? It’s not our business if we’re clear or confused. Whatever arrives carries us through. Stories and koans from the Odyssey, Daodejing, Yunmen, and a hermit who enters the jumbled mountains without a backward glance. As recorded April 24th, 2022.

92' 45"
Audio March 25, 2022

Some Treasures of the Lost Cities

John Tarrant

A quest, a treasure hunt, through cities overtaken by sands and ghosts and overwhelmed by the sea. We search for hidden teachings in scrolls, clay tablets, or dreams. Being lost is primary. In the koan lands we side with being lost when we turn toward uncertainty and wait, and whether we can bear it or not, a path opens. There is no end to this opening. 

64' 38"
Audio March 24, 2022

A Map for Getting Lost

John Tarrant

It helps to be on the side of lostness when the world goes to hell in a handbasket (Ukraine). All we have to do is be here and be lost—no usual schemes or regrets. Let the universe teach you. Accomplishing is not the deepest thing. Being lost is a promising beginning. Getting lost is good for finding personal practices.

61' 37"
Audio October 16, 2021

Zen & the Art of Meditation Series: Part 1

John Tarrant

Dharmakaya koans open the body of reality—this is one of those koans: Yunmen’s “What is your light?” The light is always happening, so it is a good thing to notice. In times like these, this koan is one to ally with. Is there an art of meditation? It begins and ends with you. Music from Michael Wilding, Amaryllis Fletcher & Jordan McConnell.

69' 45"
Audio July 19, 2021

The Great Collaborators at the Blue Cliff

John Tarrant

John Tarrant introduces us to the great collaborative group of teachers, including Yunmen, who gathered at the Blue Cliff with Yuanwu to develop The Blue Cliff Record.

43' 20"
Audio June 29, 2021

The Lion with Golden Hair

John Tarrant

The tip of each hair on the golden-haired lion is itself a whole world, an image of all the galaxies, all piled together. This lion is warm-hearted, delighted with everything, having a generally good time no matter what kind of time we’re having.

72' 18"
Audio February 10, 2021

Guided Meditation with Jon Joseph: Falling into a Well

Jon Joseph

Jon Joseph Roshi gives an overview, then the koan “What is the Way?” leading into meditation with Baling’s “A clearly enlightened person falls into a well.” Or does a well fall into that person? Audio excerpt as recorded Feb. 1 2021, PZI Zen Online. 28 minutes.

29' 4"
Audio December 8, 2020

The Importance of Leftovers with Jon Joseph Roshi

Jon Joseph

At PZI we say that every bit of awakening is all of awakening. In fact, the barrier for awakening is so low that our sutra dedication says that “ants, sticks, and grizzly bears can easily jump over.” The bar is low, the gate wide open, the invitation given and never rescinded!

38' 1"
Audio November 3, 2020

Hanging Lanterns: A Ceremony of Light

John Tarrant

Hanging Lanterns Series with John Tarrant. John reflects on life as a ceremony—dawn every day, the turning of the earth toward winter and back again. Everyone has their own light. Practice asks us to not refuse the eternal, nor the poignant daily awakenings and noticings. Music from Amaryllis Fletcher & Jordan McConnell. PZI Zen Online, as recorded Oct. 25, 2020.

45' 7"
Audio October 12, 2020

Fall Sesshin 2020: Gathering In the Valley of Our Time: One Treasure Hidden in the Body

John Tarrant

PZI Zen Online: Fall Sesshin – Gathering in the Valley of Our Time. Evening talk and entire session with John Tarrant. Music by Jordan McConnell. As recorded October 3, 2020.

58' 27"
Audio September 30, 2020

Audio Excerpt: What is Your Light? Part 4 – Opening the Dream

John Tarrant

PZI Zen Online: Audio excerpt from Sunday session. John Tarrant opens the dream with the koan, “What is your Light?” and recounts Huangbo’s insights on Buddha Nature as calm mysterious joy. Also touches on the frequent call-and-response in koan practice, and more. As recorded September 27 2020.

12' 43"
Audio September 27, 2020

Hanging Lanterns at the Gates of the Autumn Temple: What Is Your Light?

John Tarrant

Hanging Lanterns at the Gates of the Autumn Temple: John continues working with Yunmen’s koan, What is your light? Huangbo’s calm mysterious joy. Music on saxophone by Michael Wilding. PZI Zen Online, as recorded Sept. 27, 2020.

90' 10"
Audio September 10, 2020

Audio Excerpt: One Lamp Lights Another – Yunmen

John Tarrant

Audio excerpt from John’s Sunday Talk. A lamp as an image to sit with. “Yunmen has a light and so do you.” A koan for September and end of summer. The dharma is one lamp that lights another but is never extinguished. That lamp is yours. Meditation is any moment of sanity when I am not caught by demons of delusion. As recorded September 6, 2020.

23' 7"
Audio September 10, 2020

A Guided Meditation on Yunmen’s Light with John Tarrant

John Tarrant

Guided meditation with John Tarrant Roshi reciting Yunmen’s formative Zen koan, which asks the question: “What is your light?” Excerpted from a Sunday Meditation & Talk recorded on September 6, 2020.

26' 41"
Audio September 9, 2020

Hanging Lanterns: Everyone Has Their Own Light

John Tarrant

As old agreements fall apart, practice is a kindness. What is the image of our time? A lamp that lights another, without losing any radiance. It carries the changes, in the warmth of fire. What is meditation? Any moment of sanity! Michael Wilding on flute, Amaryllis Fletcher on violin, and Jordan McConnell on guitar for the 4 Vows. As recorded on Sunday, September 6, 2020.

85' 43"
Audio August 24, 2020

Guanyin’s Breath in the Pavilion Under the August Moon with Sarah Bender Roshi

Sarah Bender

Audio: PZI Zen Online – Guanyin in the Pavilion Under the August Moon with Sarah Bender Roshi manifesting Guanyin as air with ‘Breath Sweeps Mind’ and the call and response we employ meeting her compassionate nature. Appropriate response is Guanyin’s territory. Fayan’s …’the fresh breeze that arises when the great burden is set down.’ Sarah presents her field notes on Guanyin as wind, breath, release, and the Sutra of Endless Life. Michael Wilding on flute, Ryan McCoy on 4 vows, vocals and guitar. As recorded August 23 2020

88' 48"
Audio June 11, 2020

What Is Your Response? A Butterfly Flies up!

Michelle Riddle

PZI Zen Online: The moment you are doing nothing the universe is doing you! What is your response? Responses, readings from Atlanta Mayor Bottoms, Yunmen, William Stafford, Joan Sutherland. Koans for troubled times. Each moment is new. Where is the source of your response? No guarantees, anything can happen. As recorded June 5, 2020.

80' 18"

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