PZI Teacher Archives
A student asked Dongshan, “When cold and heat come, how can we avoid them?”
Dongshan said, “Why don’t you go to the place where there is no cold or heat?”
The student asked, “What’s the place with neither cold or heat?”
Dongshan said, “When it’s cold, the cold kills you. When it’s hot, the heat kills you.”
—Blue Cliff Record Case 43 (transl. by John Tarrant & Joan Sutherland)
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.
Zenosaurus Curriculum 2: We usually understand things by taking them up to the top floor of the mind and finding a slot they fit into. Koans are meant to open a different way of being and thinking. Instead of preparing you to understand your life, a koan prepares you to walk through your life.
There’s a spaciousness inside all situations. We’re walking through them, and underneath our feet there’s space and light, and around us. And we’re walking through that space and light. That, then, is the source of empathy and love. And we accompany each other—and we don’t have to take ourselves or each other so seriously.