PZI Teacher Archives

Video Library

There are 374 pieces here.


Video May 1, 2024

Zen Luminaries: Saving the Earth, Helping the People: A Visit with Governor Jerry Brown

Jon Joseph

Throughout Governor Jerry Brown’s half century of politics—one of the most fascinating and effective public careers in California history—there has always run a deep moral and religious stream. Brown talks with co-hosts Jon Joseph, John Tarrant and David Weinstein about his evolving quest for an authentic spiritual and political life.

92' 30"
Video March 7, 2024

Zen Luminaries: The Zen of Therapy – Jon Joseph in Conversation with Psychiatrist & Author Mark Epstein

Jon Joseph

For years, Dr. Epstein kept his Buddhist beliefs separate from his work as a psychiatrist. Becoming more open about his spiritual leanings, he was surprised how many of his patients were eager to learn more. Jon Joseph hosts Mark Epstein, MD, for a conversation about the intersection of Buddhism and the practice of psychotherapy. With comments from John Tarrant, Allison Atwill and Joan Sutherland.

82' 3"
Video February 14, 2024

Zen Luminaries: A Fire Runs Through All Things – Jon Joseph in Conversation with Filmmaker, Writer & Zen Teacher Susan Murphy

Jon Joseph

Writer, filmmaker, and Zen teacher Susan Murphy joins host Jon Joseph to talk about koans for facing the climate crisis. About her recent book, John Tarrant writes: “As in a fairy tale, we have the impossible task of saving the earth. We know there are sensible things that are good to do but we must also do what we haven’t thought of—seeing our lives and the earth with fresh eyes.”

82' 20"
Video January 2, 2024

Three Vipassani Find Koans: Susan Pollak, Doug Phillips & Ewen Arnold in conversation with Jon Joseph

Jon Joseph

Jon Joseph hosts a lively panel discussion with three members of our PZI sangha whose practice and teaching includes Vipassana and Koan Zen. He asks, How have you found koan work to be similar to or different from Vipassana? What Vipassana techniques do you bring into your Zen teaching?

73' 40"
Video November 21, 2023

Zen Luminaries: The High Sierra, A Love Story – with Kim Stanley Robinson

Jon Joseph

Acclaimed Sci-Fi writer and earth advocate Kim Stanley Robinson chats with Jon Joseph about his personal version of Zen practice, the what-ifs of writing alternative history, poetry in the High Sierras, and more. John Tarrant comments. Recorded November 15th, 2023.

88' 30"
Video November 18, 2023

Losing Things, Finding Things

John Tarrant

In meditation things come and go, as in life. In Zen the experience of loss contains a treasure. There is gold inside the loss whether of a person, a country, or a beloved house. Grief dissolves everything. The valleys of life are important for developing empathy. Mazu gives us the path to walk through the demons: Help others cross. Make yourself a raft. An Indigenous saying: Inside the last tear, happiness is hiding. 

52' 21"
Video November 14, 2023
60' 4"
Video November 7, 2023

Zen Luminaries: The Half Known Life – Pico Iyer in Conversation with Jon Joseph

Jon Joseph

A lively conversation with prolific writer and former journalist Pico Iyer about his fascinating life traveling to zones of conflict, his relationship to religion, his friendship and spiritual journeys with the Dalai Lama, and his life in Kamakura, Japan, where he now spends most of his time. Recorded October 30th, 2023.

88' 40"
Video November 3, 2023

Fall Sesshin: The Golden Wind – Autumnal Eternity

John Tarrant

The mind is an artist ceaselessly creating narrative with a need to skip out of experience into story. The Daoists encourage us to remain in the dance—not to make a plan is the Way: Remove the barriers to your life and exclude nothing! Your very heart mind is Buddha.

43' 53"
Video November 3, 2023

Fall Sesshin: Bright Virtue – Bankei’s Awakening

Tess Beasley

Bankei’s awakening came through facing his aversion to death. His question, “What is bright virtue?” brought him to Zen early in life. Later, he became one with the field and could fully see whatever he encountered. As your life becomes more whole, everything comes to belong.

45' 2"
Video October 25, 2023

Fall Retreat: Closing Night – Lost in the Bath Together

John Tarrant, PZI Cantor & Musicians, PZI HOPs, PZI Teachers

The first phase of practice is being lost—allowing that. You are out of the known territory. It is key to know we don’t control the process. When you are ‘in it,’ don’t try to go beyond it. Enjoy and embrace the lostness. Transformation happens in the vessel. This is why we have a retreat.

40' 51"
Video October 25, 2023

The Smell of Fresh Toast & the Enchantment of the World

John Tarrant

“What is this?” asked the eccentric Zen teacher Budai, holding up odd objects to a crowd. The universe is an intimate net, its jeweled facets contain everything, including the smell of fresh toast. All living beings must turn toward the ultimate. This is deeper than any sorrow, horror, disgrace. The strangeness and beauty of now, of life, is beyond explanation. And this moment has always been here.

52' 52"
Video October 25, 2023

Salt & Sauce, Trouble & Spice, Losing Things & Getting By

John Tarrant

Salt and sauce—the taste of life is complex. Even in times of deprivation, persecution and war, the flavor of life may include radical happiness. In Zen, we don’t have to know the solution, we just put the next foot forward. We ally with the capacity of life to dissolve outrage and the need to be either right or wrong. Difficulty and richness accord with each other. Walking the path is the gift of Zen, feeling the ancestors’ gifts of salt and sauce.

39' 57"
Video October 24, 2023

Fall Retreat: Enter Here – Into the Bath Together

John Tarrant, PZI Cantor & Musicians, PZI HOPs, PZI Teachers

How does it feel to be here? The bath is that which contains us. We go in together—enter here. There is something marvelous about letting it all go and letting the imperfections of life appear. Feeling that subtle touch. The universe is at play: let’s see it playing, and let’s let it see us play.

39' 32"
Video October 24, 2023

Fall Retreat: Into the Bath

David Weinstein

David Weinstein talks about entering baths in Japan. How do you enter a bath? What is your way? We are not just entering the bath—the bath enters us. Water added to water. It’s not about getting clean; it’s about getting free.

29' 17"
Video October 24, 2023

Fall Retreat: Feeling the Bath

Jesse Cardin

All the ways we try to get out of awakening! It becomes a real burden, to not let some piece of life touch me. These things become very clear in retreat; it becomes hard to ignore what’s there. And all the efforts to snare it, charm it, or steal it from someone else, including a past or future versions of oneself … despite these efforts, we can’t hold off awakening.

24' 47"
Video October 24, 2023

Fall Retreat: What Is Lost In the Bath?

Tess Beasley

What is this life? The nature of what appears is always changing—it’s something we feel together in ‘the bath. Prajna, or wisdom, is learning to recognize and see accurately. We can suddenly see that everything is okay and here, and yet it’s a dance. We find it; we lose it again. In practice, as in life, lost things return or cycle in and take their leave again.

46' 34"
Video October 17, 2023

Not Making Sense Is Better Than Ice Cream

John Tarrant

Explaining things can put you in a bind. The humor of emptiness—a little eternity creeping in—is a panacea, and mind just undoes its problems. If we try to make sense of things, therein lies suffering. “You can’t really explain what inspires.”

39' 15"
Video October 5, 2023

2023 Fall Retreat: Opening Night Welcome

Chris Gaffney, Jan Brogan, John Tarrant, Tess Beasley

Fall Retreat Opening Night: A welcoming dharma talk from John Tarrant and a welcome to retreat from Heads of Practice Jan Brogan and Chris Gaffney. Closing words from Tess Beasley. Four Boundless Vows with guitarist Jordan McConnell, closing bells and blessings from Cantor Amaryllis Fletcher.

39' 32"
Video September 27, 2023

Zen Luminaries: Ocean Vuong – Time Is a Mother

Jon Joseph

Author and poet Ocean Vuong talks with Jon Joseph about his writing, his childhood in Vietnam and the US, and his first encounter with Buddhism and its influence on his work. “As an artist, there has to be an allegiance to wonder and awe and mystery, and a willingness to quest beyond truth.”

90' 27"
Video September 27, 2023

The Gift

John Tarrant

What are the special properties of gifts? You can not force giving. The Dao that can be spoken is not the eternal Dao. Happiness is involuntary, like the grass returning.

39' 6"
Video September 27, 2023

Belinda & the Monster aka Beauty & the Beast

John Tarrant

John Tarrant retells the mythic story of Belinda and the Monster, Italo Calvino’s version of Beauty and the Beast. The archetypal forces personified in the story are present in all of us. Can we allow ourselves to feel all that we are? What is the monster? Where do you find yourself in the story?

57' 19"
Video September 27, 2023

Unmoving Mind Means Freely Moving

Allison Atwill, Tess Beasley

Takuan Soho—whose death poem was one character: dream—taught the dangers of a distracted mind. Son of a samurai, he understood how to lose your life. Circumstances need not be extreme—we can lose our lives any moment when we rely on devices or install veils between us and the unfixed motion of reality.

50' 24"
Video August 24, 2023

Lazy Sunday Afternoons Under the Rose Apple Tree, Part 3 of 4

Jesse Cardin, Tess Beasley

The care and feeding of a self is a 24/7 job. The burden of certainty constrains things and makes them heavy—even something as well-intentioned as undying love.

48' 23"
Video August 15, 2023

The Nobility of Having a Practice

John Tarrant

Meditation gets us away from reaching and grasping and winning and losing and honor and disgrace. This lack of ulterior motive makes meditation a friendly time. All our daily reaching and grasping and getting somehow sticks to us and when we meditate it unsticks and falls off. With music for meditation from Jordan McConnell & Michael Wilding.

49' 8"
Video August 14, 2023

Refuge – No Escape Hatch

Allison Atwill, John Tarrant

It is part of being human to have complex, multiple views. We are always communing with what is here. There is no escape hatch out of this life into another one. Where would we go? When we let go of imposing conditions on our life, then there is a profound freedom—refuge allows that. And we find there is a beautiful helplessness to our condition.

59' 59"
Video August 1, 2023

Carried by Kindness & Joy

Tess Beasley

The urgency of some questions and facing hidden truths help us discover our own true nature. We reveal ourselves at every turn. When we try to see our own light, we can’t—”it’s dark, dark,” says Yunmen. During sesshin, we sit and trust our own heart-mind to open, inquiring, “Who am I?” and, “How is this so?”

40' 32"
Video August 1, 2023

Jiashan’s Beautiful State of Mind

John Tarrant

In the mountains, the world goes about its life without us needing to do anything. At the same time, it’s happening within us as well as outside us. It’s a marvelous thing to feel this freedom. Jiashan’s state of mind includes everything, and his enlightenment story is one of a journey between Yeshang, Dahui and a wild teacher called the Boat Monk.

36' 59"
Video July 29, 2023

Enjoy Yourself! Awakening Together

John Tarrant

Love is a recognition of wonder; friendship, too, is a recognition of wonder. At the still center of our connections is a glimmer of the realization that we are all one seamless body. Recorded June 25, 2023.

57' 13"
Video July 29, 2023

Swimming Through the Titanic

John Tarrant, Tess Beasley

Our fascination with the Titanic endures. Even the name of the ship was the beginning of its loss; the titans stand in the psyche for whatever is gigantic and careless and ignores the laws of fate. The ship had to sink because it was unsinkable.

59' 14"