PZI Teacher Archives
a. People go to wild places to search for their true nature. When you do this, where is your true nature?
b. When you have realized your true nature, you are free of birth and death. When you are dying, how can you be free?
c. After you die, where will you go?
—PZI Miscellaneous Koans Case 73, & Gateless Gate Case 47
Questions about death and the after-death are a part of the traditional Chan koan curriculum. Dignified by their antiquity, they are the primordial instance of that which cannot be negotiated with.
Article by John Tarrant for Lion’s Roar magazine. A traditional Chan way to approach the question of death is to stroll, stumble, hurry, struggle, fall accidentally through the gates of samadhi—the deep concentration of meditation—and look around. When you really enter this moment, it has no end, no beginning; it is older than the universe that seems to contain it. Then it will inevitably occur to you: “I’ve always been here.”