PZI Teacher Archives
Not Picking & Choosing (BCR2)
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Zhaozhou taught, “The greatest way isn’t difficult if you don’t pick and choose. As soon as I speak, you’ll think, ‘That’s picking and choosing,’ or ‘That’s clear.’ But I don’t identify with clarity. Can you live like that?”
A student asked, “If you don’t identify with clarity, what do you live by?”
“I don’t know.”
“If you don’t know, why do you say that you don’t identify with clarity?”
“You’re asking about a matter you already grasp. Make your bow and step back.”
—Blue Cliff Record Case 2 (translation by John Tarrant & Joan Sutherland, titled: Zhaozhou’s Greatest Way Isn’t Difficult)
Note: Zhaozhou is quoting from Third Ancestor Sengcan‘s “Trust in Mind,” a foundational Chan text
A Blue Cliff Record Journey of Not Picking & Choosing
It’s remarkable that the Picking & Choosing koan appears four times in the Blue Cliff Record, which contains only one hundred cases. So, what to do with it? Whatever you see is going to be true, it’s going to belong to you.
Dharma Theme: Summer Sesshin 2021 – In the Palace at the Blue Cliff
John Tarrant, PZI Cantor & Musicians, PZI Teachers
Here is a curation of 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, June 22-27, 2021.
Freely I Watch the Tracks of the Flying Birds
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.