It’s past midnight
The moon has not yet risen.
In the deep thick dark you see but don’t recognize
a familiar face from long ago
No need to be surprised by that.
– from the Record of Dongshan, The Five Ranks (1st Rank)
Handing Things On in the Dark. The dark silent time of this year has lasted for 9 months, in COVID. “The whole meaning of your life is in the current matter happening now.” No explaining it. “To be deeply in Zen is to be deeply in how to express it.” The first vaccines are here. The mysterious freedoms of this time, welcoming the new year, and a tour of the deep thick dark of midnight. John reads poems by Gerard Manly Hopkins, Anna Swir, Czeslaw Milosz, and more. Music from Jordan McConnell & Amaryllis Fletcher. PZI Zen Online, as recorded Jan 3, 2021.
PZI Zen Online: Excerpt from John Tarrant’s Sunday Talk—Handing Things On in the Dark. A 10-minute meditation on finding a face at midnight. As recorded Jan. 3rd 2021.
PZI Zen Online: Excerpt from Handing Things On in the Dark. The freshness of the new year, the dark silent time of the year. To be deeply in zen is to be deeply in how to express it. The mysterious freedoms of the dark. As recorded Jan. 3, 2021. 2 minutes.
PZI Zen Online: Excerpt from the last Journey Into Awakening on the last Sunday of 2020. Meeting the intangible in the dark. Showing up for mysterious possibility. Trusting the mystery to make a feast of this strange time. Zen is familiar with impossible tasks! Showing up for them is a blessing for others too. As recorded Dec. 20, 2020. 15 minutes.
PZI Zen Online – We are in a time ‘before moonlight’ with covid and massive unemployment that has resulted- with great unknowns ahead. Dreams in zen are not so different from waking life. We make up stories about what will happen. But we are passing through a gate of meeting and not recognizing. How do you make your way? Step by step. As recorded May 25.
This is from an old Chinese poet, and koans and poems were always, poems, koans, koans, poems, they’re always somewhat intertwined in their history. And so often poems were used as koans and vice versa. This is a series of five poems by an old Chinese teacher called Dongshan, who kind of did a map of the Way in five stages, because everybody knows there are five stages for the Way [laughter].