“Not deciding it is or it isn’t, do you have the courage to be at peace with this? Everyone wants to leave the endless changes, but when we finish bending and fitting our lives, we come back to sit by the charcoal fire.”
During the final night of the 2015 January sesshin, the teachers have a conversation about identity, art, intimacy, and the nature of koan study.
“For twenty years I’ve suffered bitterly – how many times have I gone into the cave of the Blue Dragon for you?”
Jon Joseph talks about the difficult struggle of life, and suggests that even in the midst of the hardest struggle there is a beauty, and a sort of redemption in the realization that the struggle is not separate – but a part of the whole package of existence.
Rachel Boughton, at the June-July sesshin held at Land of Medicine Buddha, talks hackers, privacy, and zen koans in an age of technology.
“We go to wild places in search of our self nature. Looking in the darkness of the tall grasses of abandoned places. Now, honored ones, where is your self nature, when you are searching for your self nature?”
David Weinstein talks about culture and ideas, and recounts stories of enlightening adventure.
“Late one night, you decide to visit the family graveside, where (as a point of somewhat snobbish pride) your family’s personal tomb resides…” During the 2015 summer Sesshin at Land of Medicine Buddha in Southern California, John Tarrant talks friends, the feverish scheming and planning of the mind, and the predicaments faced in life.
John Tarrant talks about the koan “There is nothing I dislike”, and recounts the story passed on from a schoolteacher, about her experience living with this koan at the edge of darkness and world-weary fatigue. If there’s ever only one zen video you watch, this should be it. Trigger warning: sexual assault. (2016)