Uncertainty allows us to enter life more fully. Zen likes predicaments. The koans are allies in this. The unexpected questions are often those that help the most. All the strategies defend against life – ‘Become more lost’ – a zen entreaty.
John’s SRCZC talk on impermanence and rawness of feeling after the great fires in CA and Queensland. He reflects on the importance of internalizing the teachings and the nourishment of our ancestors within us- outside of our normal paths. Teachings after the great Engakuji fire in Chan koan history. The practice of talking to the ancestors – human or otherwise a source of great knowledge.
John revisits the awakenings and koans of the great teachers, among them Yunmen and his teachings. In the layered quality of the teachings there is a common thread in our lineage: we are all in it together, all held by this great path, we put ourselves in the vessel and see what happens. Each of us holds a piece of the story. Trust the piece you hold.
John talks about the warm intimacy of the ‘the dark’ – the uncolonized zone where koans work with us. Intimacy in teachings is used often as an equivalent for enlightenment. Koans open gates and bring us inside that mystery. Some categories of koans: Predicament koans, Heart Changing koans, Inquiry koans and more.
The great Chan teacher Luopu’s deathbed story and his emphasis on the importance of a ‘direct meeting with the source’ outside the teachings – you can’t just read about it. ‘Don’t grasp principles with words’. The story features the Book of Serenity’s compassion for the whole process toward enlightenment for these wonderful teachers.
No merit whatsoever! – Bodhidharma responds to Emperor Wu in Case 2 in the Book of Serenity. David follows the process of practice and Bodhidharma’s path.
John Tarrant, Roshi, Director of PZI and author, talks about the mystery of meditation as he first experienced it in the ancient forests of Queensland; about transformation on the ancient koan path we follow, and the evolution of Pacific Zen Institute as a community, and koan school with a new online resource center, the KALPA (Koans and Liberation Project Archive) Library. Your support helps produce PZI’s ongoing retreats and dharma talks, John’s writing projects, and spreads the teachings.
John Tarrant speaks about what happens after an enlightenment experience, big or small, using the Roadrunner and Coyote parable. April 23, 2011.
John Tarrant gives a dharma talk Thursday night of the 2011 spring sesshin. The universe is here for each one of us. Underlying the troubles and pain of the world there is always a presence, a brightness, which is us and we are it. April 21, 2011.
Roshi John Tarrant opens Sesshin with a Koan by Linji: “Whatever confronts you, don’t believe it. Have faith in this light that is always functioning inside you.” February 19, 2012.
Jon Joseph talks about delusion and awakening in Zhuangzi. The treasure house of heaven. (Some sound anomalies we are striving to correct – but wanted you to have access to the talk after Summer Sesshin. – KALPA Team)