Text Library

There are 114 pieces here.

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Poem April 9, 2021

Poem – Priceless Gifts

Michelle Riddle

A Spring Sesshin morning greeting gift from Michelle Riddle, Sensei. April 9, 2021

61 Words
Text March 2, 2021

Koans in Your Life

John Tarrant

To turn toward the difficult thing is usually a move of compassion. We think it’ll be a fierce warrior move, but it’s not, actually. And when we turn toward what’s difficult, it becomes mysterious and unknown and strange and interesting. Whatever it is, your dilemma—if you turn toward that, it’s to let the koan be there. So we stop trying to flee. And suddenly we’re at peace, and instead of it being the thing that we don’t want to do, it’s the gateway into freedom.

4445 Words
Text March 1, 2021

One Day, My Child, All This Will Be Yours

John Tarrant

Australia’s ancient forests were burning in September 2020. In the face of unfathomable loss John Tarrant writes, “It’s too early to despair, it’s always too early to despair. The world itself is a mystery school and teaches us what it needs. It gives us impossible tasks and impossible journeys, and all we can say is that we love the world without knowing outcomes, because it is the only world we have, and because we never do know outcomes.” Article for Lion’s Roar magazine, published September 14, 2020.

2045 Words
Text February 26, 2021

Taking Part in the Gathering

Joan Sutherland, John Tarrant

This is 8th century Zen ancestor Shitou Xiqian’s great song, the Sandokai—or Taking Part in the Gathering, as translated by Joan Sutherland and John Tarrant. This foundational text is often read at Winter Solstice. “When you let these words in, you encounter the ancestors.” Winter Sesshin January, 2020.

455 Words

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Poem February 26, 2021

The Names and Shapes of Things

John Tarrant

Bandicoots, wombats, and numbats surely do look as you would expect anything with such a name might, and there’s something wondrous about that. Musings and poem on how the world appears from silence, John Tarrant Roshi.

298 Words
Text February 17, 2021

Freely I Watch the Tracks of the Flying Birds

John Tarrant

Everybody, every time, has its own difficulty and crisis. This is ours. We can trust our own lives that brought us here, and perhaps we have something to do here. And we don’t know what that is but we’ll find it as we keep walking. The thing about the meditation path is, I don’t have to think a lot about what’s mine to do. You just give yourself to the meditation, and it’s produced for you. It’s given to you. The path opens by itself, you know. Transcript of PZI Zen Online Sunday Talk with John Tarrant, recorded March 29 2020.

5504 Words
Text February 15, 2021

Dharma Theme: The Teachings of Zen Master Ma

PZI Teachers

PZI Dharma Theme: The teachings of Mazu. A curated list of references from our KALPA Library, on this old teacher in our lineage.

157 Words
Text February 11, 2021

A True Person of No Rank, No Color, No Gender: Seeing Through All Distinctions

John Tarrant

I was thinking about history and beauty and what an old old thing human suffering is, and how intrinsic it is. And we keep making things better and then they keep getting worse, and we’re making them better and they get worse. I guess I just wanted to say that it’s really good to have a practice at any time. Meditate—it will help. You will come from a position of peace rather than just fighting yourself. Being yourself, the true person, no rank. Transcript of PZI Zen Online Sunday Dharma Talk with John Tarrant Roshi, recorded June 7, 2020.

6372 Words
Text February 5, 2021

The Everlasting Body Runs Deepest Indigo: Meditation for Troubled Times

John Tarrant

PZI Zen Online Transcript: It’s a very strong thing to be human, you can be subjected to all sorts of great forces. And sometimes you can win through, and sometimes you die. But we’re all of us doing that, all the time. So I was thinking about friendship and how good it is to love each other and how good it is to have friends and to make peace in our hearts to meet each other. Sunday talk with John Tarrant, recorded June 14 2020.

6904 Words
Text November 15, 2020

Class 9 Curriculum: Points of Practice- Ways the Light Can Penetrate

John Tarrant

PZI Leadership Classes Series 3 – Class 9 – Points of Practice. Core curriculum. Please do not share. Nov. 21 2020.

0 Words
Text November 5, 2020

Dharma Theme: Immensity is Tapping – Zen Tuesdays

Allison Atwill, Michelle Riddle, Sarah Bender, Tess Beasley

PZI Dharma Theme: Four PZI Guanyins reappear for Zen Tuesdays in October. They marvel at the immensity in all things from various perspectives. Drawing inspiration from Jane Hirshfield’s poem, “Tree,” The Doors’ “Light My Fire,” a golden crowned sparrow, a remarkable brother’s life, and more. Excerpts and complete audio sessions as recorded in October 2020.

201 Words
Text October 22, 2020

The Nature of Practice

John Tarrant

Practice. The notion of practice, as something you embody, and you walk through, and you are—rather than something you add, like something added to gasoline. There’s also a sense of moving in the dark, in some way that’s positive. So that in a practice, “not knowing” is on your side.

9259 Words
Text October 12, 2020
499 Words
Text October 8, 2020

13 No – The Zenosaurus Course In Koans

John Tarrant

Zenosaurus Curriculum 13: The link between the koan and the transformation of your life is real, but since the process isn’t linear you might not notice it at first. The link might seem to be in a black box—invisible.

6233 Words
Text October 8, 2020

Dream Creatures – The Zenosaurus Course on Koans

John Tarrant

Zenosaurus: Dreams play an essential part in the current of life—while I’m not paying attention, my dreams turn the lumps, details, and meetings of the day into art, giving them depth and a warm amber light.

677 Words
Text October 8, 2020

2 Zenosaurus: Transparent Poems 2, Transparent Poems & Poems that are Journals

John Tarrant

Zenosaurus: Through poems like this I keep an erratic journal of the thoughts that I don’t quite understand—the thoughts outside my usual thoughts. They don’t have a punch line.

779 Words
Text October 8, 2020

16 A Treasure Hidden In The Body – The Zenosaurus Course In Koans

John Tarrant

Zenosaurus Curriculum 16: There is a very old idea that the human body is itself a map of the cosmos, the fragment that contains the whole.

1658 Words
Text October 8, 2020

17 That Wild Girl Named Pang – The Zenosaurus Course In Koans

John Tarrant

Zenosaurus Curriculum 17: A variant of this discovery is that falling on the ground, while terrible, is also wonderful—the taste of dirt, blood, coffee, oranges, tears, sweat—the taste of life itself.

2123 Words
Text October 8, 2020

Albert Saijo and the Long Journey – The Zenosaurus Course on Koans

John Tarrant

Zenosaurus: Kevin Diminyatz, an artist and long time friend of PZI, told me today that Albert Saijo just died in the volcano on the Big Island. Kevin is doing his funeral.

198 Words
Text October 8, 2020

The Zen of Laryngitis – Zenosaurus

John Tarrant

Zenosaurus: Laryngitis – As I came out of retreat I developed laryngitis. It is a different kind of silence. It’s like being a very innocent child engaging the world in new ways.

410 Words
Text October 8, 2020

Searching for What It’s All About – Zenosaurus

John Tarrant

Zenosaurus: My Kaiser doc with solemn demeanor sent me to be scanned for cancer on the bone. I could tell the docs thought it was a likely outcome, and while I didn’t believe they were right, my mind did play the scenarios all by itself, without instruction from me.

657 Words
Text October 8, 2020

18 Gratitude, Care And Feeding Of – The Zenosaurus Course In Koans

John Tarrant

Zenosaurus Curriculum 18: Gratitude comes with a feeling of openness, shyness, vulnerability. The person who is grateful can be hurt or rejected, she is taking a risk. With gratitude, there is more at stake, life is not small. 

1913 Words
Text October 8, 2020

14 When Something Confronts You Don’t Believe It – The Zenosaurus Course In Koans

John Tarrant

Zenosaurus Curriculum 14: The dark, charged moments endure in us and they bless us. “This,” they announce, “is your life—here it is.” What you have always longed for has arrived.

3070 Words
Text October 8, 2020

15 Scorn – The Zenosaurus Course In Koans

John Tarrant

Zenosaurus Curriculum 15: Language and scorn go together; trash talk and insult are venerable arts.

1493 Words
Text October 8, 2020

12 Who Is Hearing This Sound? – The Zenosaurus Course In Koans

John Tarrant

Zenosaurus Curriculum 12: When you really hear, your understanding comes in a way that’s different from the usual.

1018 Words
Text October 8, 2020

11 The Coin Lost In The River – The Zenosaurus Course In Koans

John Tarrant

Zenosaurus Curriculum 11: This koan offers offers the chance of finding that there is a home in traveling, in the smell of toast, the chill of the morning air and even in the feeling of being far from home.

1192 Words
Text October 8, 2020

10 Save A Ghost – The Zenosaurus Course In Koans

John Tarrant

Zenosaurus Curriculum 10: Why do people sit around the camp fire with flashlights under their chins telling ghost stories? As well as the shudder that takes us to another realm, ghosts bring romance and yearning—they account for incompleteness, the person you loved but who died or changed her mind, the uncontrollable residue of everything we do.

834 Words
Text October 8, 2020

7 The True Person Has No Rank – The Zenosaurus Course in Koans

John Tarrant

Zenosaurus Curriculum 7: The mind goes “label, label, label” until it doesn’t, and a different possibility appears. If you really show up in your own life, you don’t have rank.

808 Words
Text October 8, 2020

9 Sixteen Meditators Get Into The Bath Together – The Zenosaurus Course in Koans

John Tarrant

Zenosaurus Curriculum 9: For a long time I had the idea that there was a right thing that “should” be happening. I was hurrying past to get to the right thing, there was a gap between my consciousness and the world.

805 Words
Text October 8, 2020

8 I Don’t Know – The Zenosaurus Course in Koans

John Tarrant

Zenosaurus Curriculum 8: Most problems come from “knowing” things that might not be true. If we stop insisting on certainty we might feel anxiety at first, but then an exhilarating freedom might arrive.

1706 Words