PZI Teacher Archives
Baling's Falling into a Well (MK74b)
What is the way?
The clearly enlightened person falls into a well.
—PZI Miscellaneous Koans, Case 74b
(from Baling Haojian’s Three Barriers)
Falling with the Koan NO
John Tarrant gives a talk on Zhaozhou’s NO: This koan is often offered as a first “gate,” but I think you need to already be in trouble and falling before it’s useful. Life is always offering us that cliff—that door of falling. When you’re falling, you can’t screw it up because actually there’s not a lot you can do. But what you do will be very free and won’t be constrained by the usual. From a recording made in Fall Sesshin 2022.
Fall Sesshin 2022: Falling Into the Well of Sesshin
Falling into the well of sesshin involves dissolving the you that had the problem. In Zen we are solving things one level down. We all have this ability, though it can be hard to see. John retells Jiashan’s strange journey toward awakening: He was falling and found purchase with an unexpected teacher, the mysterious Boat Monk. Comments and “teach us!” responses from teachers and sangha are included. Complete session from October 5, 2022.
Fall Sesshin 2022: Allowing the Fall
On entering a great sesshin, what is the tone? A quiet, receptive sense of modesty and humility, a humility of the earth, fallen into like Psyche into the underworld. Allowing the fall and encountering whatever appears, whatever one meets, is essential. Complete sesshin from October 5, 2022.
Dharma Theme: Door After Door Opening Inside, Fall Sesshin 2022
John Tarrant, PZI Cantor & Musicians, PZI Teachers
A complete audio record of talks from PZI’s Live-Online Fall Sesshin 2022, October 4-9, 2022.
Fall Sesshin 2022: Falling with the Koan NO
When you are falling, there is not a lot you can do about it, but you are no longer constrained by your usual preoccupations. Awakening, too, is in the category of things you can’t do anything about. Sesshin’s Gate 3 is NO—or Mu—the famous dharmakaya koan that opens the body of reality. NO casts away all the consciousness you have had until now. Music with Jordan McConnell, closing words with Allison Atwill from the story of The Little Prince. Complete session recorded October 6, 2022.
Fall Sesshin 2022: Falling with NO
When you are falling, there is not a lot you can do about it, but you are no longer constrained by your usual preoccupations. Awakening too, is in the category of things you can’t do anything about. The apparatus of certainty is circumvented and the universe is manifesting and unfolding through us. Excerpt from a sesshin dharma talk recorded October 6, 2022.
Guided Meditation with Jon Joseph: Falling into a Well
Jon Joseph Roshi gives an overview, then the koan “What is the Way?” leading into meditation with Baling’s “A clearly enlightened person falls into a well.” Or does a well fall into that person? Audio excerpt as recorded Feb. 1 2021, PZI Zen Online. 28 minutes.
The Ear Bug
David’s dharma talk during Bare Bones retreat about falling down a well. “How does the fully enlightened person fall into a well?” The koan brought to mind an old Maquire sisters song that goes, “Wella, Wella, Wella waiting for the Bella to go ding dong, ding dong…” We all fall into our own personal wells of suffering. David lends a hand to pull us out by sharing his own well stories.
How Does a Fully Enlightened Person Fall into the Well?
On the second day of retreat, John Tarrant talks about the second koan of the triptych, “How does an enlightened person fall into a well?” How do we as practitioners handle major issues in our lives which cause us to fall into darkness or depression? When things are bleak or difficult, the opportunity is to turn toward our practice and the teachings or our community. January 21, 2013.