PZI Teacher Archives

Changsha Wandering in the Mountains (BCR36)


One day Changsha went wandering in the mountains. When he returned, the head of practice met him at the gate and asked, “Where have you been?”
“Wandering in the mountains.”
“Where did you go?”
“I went out following scented grasses and returned chasing falling blossoms.” “That’s so much the feeling of spring,” said the head of practice.
“Still, it’s better than autumn dew dripping on lotus flowers,” said Changsha.

Xuedou comments: “Thanks for your reply.”

—Blue Cliff Record Case 36 (transl. by John Tarrant & Joan Sutherland)


Dharma Theme July 26, 2023
19 Words


Dharma Theme June 9, 2023

Dharma Theme: Adrift

PZI Teachers

The mind is a great artist, ceaselessly creating and assessing problems. The territory of the koan is finding the delicious helplessness of the mind and body, and settling into that—it’s the robe of the moment.

15 Words


Dharma Theme March 22, 2023

Dharma Theme: In the Wild – Mountain Koans & Poems

PZI Teachers

Eventually you come to a place where you can’t go on and you can’t go back. You have arrived at the base of cliffs; you can’t scale them, you can’t get around them, and there’s no handy tunnel through them. It’s a daunting place—that’s the point of it. And when you arrive here your life and your journey can become your own.

23 Words
Audio May 7, 2021

Free & Easy Wandering Series: Following the Scented Grass

John Tarrant

John Tarrant begins with a wild Daoist story from the Zhuangzi, about a giant fish named Kun. The freedom is in your own breast and the koan path opens the way. Includes meditation segments, music from Michael Wilding, vows from Jordan McConnell & Amaryllis Fletcher, Cantor. PZI Zen Online. As recorded May 2, 2021.

73' 39"
Audio November 14, 2019
54' 45"
Video June 18, 2019

I Went Out Following the Scented Grass

Allison Atwill

Sensei Allison Atwill gives a teaching on an old teaching story, a koan, handed down from more than a thousand years ago in China. Changsha was a student of Nanchuan and he was a contemporary of many great teachers, Linji and Zhaozhou among them. It was the golden age of Zen Buddhism. Recorded June 29, 2012.

20' 52"
Video June 18, 2019

Death Poem

David Weinstein

Roshi David Weinstein continues with the koan for Summer sesshin, “Where have you been?” “I went out following the scented grass and came back chasing the falling blossoms.” June 26, 2012.

10' 11"
Video July 29, 2017

Stepping Through a Door

John Tarrant

Roshi John Tarrant presents on the koan, “Where have you been?” “I went out following the scented grass and came back chasing the falling blossoms.” Going on retreat is like stepping through a door. You never know what you will find on the other side of the door: scented grass, falling blossoms, or the vastness. June 28, 2012.

20' 2"
Video July 11, 2017

Where Have You Been?

John Tarrant

Opening night dharma talk Summer sesshin on the koan “Where have you been?” “Wandering about the hills. I went out following the scented grass and came back chasing the falling blossoms.” June 24, 2012.

50' 24"