Dongshan's Five Ranks

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Text September 18, 2019

Dongshan’s Five Ranks: Poem 3

John Tarrant

So there’s something about where we’re located, which is in the middle of nothing, good to know, and then how do you manage there? And also something about expression being eloquent. So what is eloquence when you’re in the middle of nothing? And also something about not reaching for approval, categories, emperors, sages, psychologies, ideas, history, anything that’s not nothing. Okay, so here we are. 

6701 Words
Audio November 13, 2017

Retreat Curiosity

Rachel Boughton

Rachel Boughton gives a talk during Fall Retreat: October 12, 2014.

59' 32"
Video July 6, 2017

Serenity on Fire

John Tarrant

“Two swords are crossed, there’s no way to retreat; you’re a lotus in the fire, you can’t help it – you’re determined to go higher.”

John talks about the concept of enlightenment and serenity, and managing to love and appreciate the inner life of the mind.

63' 46"
Video July 6, 2017

Peace and Puppets

Steven Grant

While ducking projectile pillows, Steven discusses the student/teacher relationship, internalized pain, and the issues of self-deception – through the use of puppets.

35' 1"
Video July 6, 2017

Meeting a Face from Long Ago

Rachel Boughton

“It’s passed midnight, the moon has not risen, in the thick, deep dark, you meet a face from long ago: but you don’t recognize them. No need to be surprised by this.”

John Discusses koan tradition, the “five steps” of enlightenment, and communication between student and teacher.

46' 6"
Video July 6, 2017

Method of Decision

John Tarrant

“Not deciding it is or 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 fire.”

John continues to discuss the 5th koan in the enlightenment cycle, focusing on the concept of “not deciding it is or it isn’t,” and discusses the “method” of zen.

69' 24"