PZI Teacher Archives

Text Library

There are 208 pieces here.


Dharma Theme March 15, 2023

Dharma Theme: Baizhang’s Fox – Cause & Effect in a Fox Life

PZI Teachers

How many lifetimes do we spend in our fox suits? They are not wasted. All forms are part of the lively package of existence. Turning words and sudden awakenings even from long-suffering can appear anywhere and in the most unexpected ways. 

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Dharma Theme March 10, 2023

Dharma Theme: Past Midnight – Discoveries in the Dark

PZI Teachers

These dharma talks and texts, like Dongshan’s First Rank, wander in the hours before moonrise when anything can appear. Being lost, or in the dark, is a necessary condition on the Way.

245 Words
Text February 16, 2023

Words, Not Swords – Listening to the Universe with Grace Martin

Pacific Zen Institute

PZI member Grace Martin wanted to renew communication with her adult son. She drew inspiration from a talk by John Tarrant and landed on the perfect method: Grace reads to him (and us) from Daniel Pinkwater’s book, Wingman—one of her son’s childhood favorites.

420 Words
Text February 15, 2023

A Valentine’s Day Bankei Koan Miracle

David Weinstein

A search for the source of a Zen koan leads David Weinstein on a Valentine’s Day tour of koan history and many lineage teachers: “It’s like a murder mystery, tracing the clues, a prime suspect emerges, but then there’s a twist and it’s someone else, until finally, in the end I realize the prime suspect is me.”

1009 Words


Dharma Theme February 9, 2023

Dharma Theme: Winter Sesshin 2023 — A Solitary Boat Making Its Way

PZI Teachers

A complete audio record of talks from PZI’s Live-Online Winter Sesshin 2023, January 31–February 5, 2023. Videos also available in the KALPA library.

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Text January 23, 2023

A Donkey Sees a Well, a Well Sees a Donkey

John Tarrant

On thing you realize when you’ve been walking along for thirty lifetimes, is that the journey itself is home. There’s no flaw in what you’re doing. And in the journey you encounter peach blossoms, and you can feel that it changes you. There could be many forms of peach blossoms in your life.

4592 Words
Text November 30, 2022

Ikkyu’s Well & The Miscellaneous Koans

John Tarrant

Images of water are deep in the meditation tradition. There is the notion that water nourishes us and holds us, and that the Dao flows like water and always finds the Way. Whatever blocks the river, the Dao dissolves it or will move around it. That’s the quality of meditation.

5074 Words
Text November 26, 2022
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Text November 23, 2022
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Text November 14, 2022

Peach Blossom Journey

John Tarrant

A guided meditation from John Tarrant: You’re walking along, and you’re kind of in the middle of your life—which you always are, no matter how old you are, you are in the middle of it—and you’re sort of just thinking and noticing, and then you have this idea: Why don’t I treat my whole life as a pilgrimage? That’s it. That’s what I’ll do.

2735 Words
Text November 9, 2022

A Great Current Carries Us

John Tarrant

The Daoist idea that came into Chan and Zen is that we harmonize with things. We don’t try and subdue them, although that’s a very strong human impulse. The great koan masters pointed out that the heart has a place of ease, and that there’s an inner freedom and a path we can walk no matter what we’ve suffered or are afraid of or are afraid might happen.

6569 Words


Dharma Theme October 24, 2022
209 Words
Text September 20, 2022

The Lion with the 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.

5876 Words
Text September 8, 2022

The Great Collaborators of the Blue Cliff Record

John Tarrant

Deep in Summer Sesshin, we are in the middle of the Blue Cliff Record. We, ourselves, are under the Blue Cliff, with Yunmen and Yunmen’s friends. We are all those people. The Blue Cliff is still being written, and we’re helping out with that project.

4662 Words


Dharma Theme August 11, 2022

Dharma Theme: Summer Sesshin 2022 – Taking Part in the Gathering

John Tarrant, PZI Cantor & Musicians, PZI Teachers

Here is our curation of full-length Summer Sesshin dharma talk audios on a single page, for easy finding and listening. A sesshin is more than the sum of its parts or recorded talks—there are personal interviews and deep meditation, teaching talks and conversations, old friends and new, ceremonies, brilliant teachers, music, great enlightenment, mistakes, and delight. The play of the universe. Recorded at Santa Sabina Center, June 13-19, 2022.

385 Words


Dharma Theme June 11, 2022
103 Words
Text May 25, 2022

Featured: These are the times we are given —John Tarrant 

John Tarrant

The immense vulnerability of being alive comes to the mother dropping off her children in Texas and everyone else, including you and me, particularly when we do something tender. In the Zen path our job is to be at peace, to offer refuge and sanctuary. That peace is infectious, other people will feel it and it will sustain them and those they meet.

398 Words
Text May 19, 2022

SUTRA: Torei Zenji’s Bodhisattva Vow

PZI Cantor & Musicians

When I regard the true nature of all things and all living creatures, I find them to be the sacred forms of the Tathagatha’s never-failing essence. Each particle of matter, each moment, is no other than the Tathagatha’s inexpressible radiance.

241 Words
Text April 29, 2022

Artist: Sacha Kawaichi

Sacha Kawaichi

Sacha Kawaichi’s artworks on canvas and iPad.

64 Words


Sutra Book & Ceremonies March 24, 2022

Dedication: Funeral Service

John Tarrant

The bare bones structure of a PZI Funeral Service begins with the koan, “Where do we go when we die?” and includes the Heart Sutra and the Kanzeon Sutra of Endless Life.

303 Words


Sutra Book & Ceremonies March 24, 2022

Dedication: Funeral

John Tarrant

The Dedication of blessing, thanks and love that we recite at PZI funerals.

93 Words
Audio March 2, 2022

Winter Sesshin: What Does It Mean to Get It?

Tess Beasley

In the belly of Winter Sesshin: We are in the time of the pagan festival Imbolc which celebrates the forming of new life before spring. A time in the womb of the earth, and also of masks coming off. We are coming into being in the Temple. February 4. 2022.

44' 29"
Text February 15, 2022

Dharma Theme – Hakuin’s Praise Song for Meditation: Collected Audio

Allison Atwill, Jesse Cardin, Michelle Riddle, Tess Beasley

Here is a curation of four dharma talks on a single page, for easy finding and listening, from Hakuin’s Praise Song for Meditation 4-Part Special Sunday Series with PZI Teachers Allison, Tess, Michelle, & Jesse. As recorded in the PZI Digital Temple on January 9, 16, 23, & 30, 2022.

312 Words
Text February 8, 2022

Podcast Interview: David Chadwick Interviews John Tarrant

John Tarrant

John Tarrant Roshi in a short interview with host David Chadwick, author of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi’s biography, Crooked Cucumber. Recorded for the Cuke Podcast, December 2021.

181 Words


Article February 1, 2022

Dharma Theme: Published Articles by John Tarrant

John Tarrant

Here you’ll find a list of links to published articles written by John Tarrant. Publication credits are included in each file.

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Misc February 1, 2022

Interdisciplinary Artist: Corey Hitchcock

Corey Hitchcock

PZI Member and WebAdmin, and Interpreter of the Wild Corey Hitchcock is a painter, installation artist, and writer. She lives and works in her studio in Penn Valley, CA.

37 Words
Misc February 1, 2022

Artist: Lonnie Rankin

Lonnie Rankin

Here you will find a selection of drawings from painter and PZI member Lonnie Rankin. She makes her art in Santa Fe.

27 Words


Dharma Theme November 4, 2021

Dharma Theme: Zen Luminaries, A Series of Conversations with Jon Joseph Roshi

Jon Joseph

Modern Zen Luminaries: A series of Zen Buddhist scholars, writers, poets, translators, and practitioners join PZI’s Jon Joseph Roshi for lively discussions online, with a focus on our Chan lineage. Includes all recordings beginning with the series’ launch in September 2021.

811 Words


Dharma Theme November 1, 2021

Dharma Theme – Metamorphosis: Collected Audio from Fall Sesshin 2021

PZI Teachers

Here is a curation of our Fall Sesshin dharma talks on a single page, for easy finding and listening. A sesshin is always more than the sum of its parts or its recorded talks. There are morning rituals, greetings, incense passed magically through the screen, the changing light, rich silences, moments of humor, tech gremlins, tears, synchronicities, dogs barking, dreams, and awakenings that we share. It is the timeless play of the universe, with each other. As recorded in the PZI Digital Temple, October 19-24, 2021.

293 Words


Sutra Book & Ceremonies October 30, 2021

Ceremonies: Long Readings for Afternoon: Taking Part in the Gathering – Shitou Xiqian

SUTRA: Shitou Xiqian’s ancient Sandokai translated by Joan Sutherland and John Tarrant, entitled Taking Part in the Gathering.

387 Words