PZI Teacher Archives

Dragon Singing in a Withered Tree

KOAN:

Xiangyan was once asked by a monastic, “What is the Way?”
Xiangyan said, “A dragon singing in a withered tree.”

Later, another monastic asked Shishuang, “What is the ‘dragon singing in a withered tree?'”
Shishuang said, “It still has joy.”

The monastic also asked Caoshan, “What is the ‘dragon singing in a withered tree?’”
Caoshan said, “The blood line is not cut off.”
The monastic asked, “Who can hear this?”
Caoshan said, “In the whole world, there is no one who does not hear it.

The monk asked, “What book is ‘dragon murmurings’ taken from?”
Caoshan said, “I don’t know what book it’s from, but all who hear it die.

—from Xuedou’s verse commentary on Blue Cliff Record Case 2

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Dharma Theme April 12, 2023

Dharma Theme: Dragon Teachers & Magical Creatures

PZI Teachers

Anything might be in the Blue Dragon’s cave: awakening, memories, sorrows, dance moves—all the possibilities of your life might be there. You just fall into meditation in the Blue Dragon’s cave. Perhaps your whole life is blessed—every struggle and confusion itself.

258 Words

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Dharma Theme July 19, 2021

Dharma Theme: In the Palace at the Blue Cliff – Summer Sesshin 2021

John Tarrant, PZI Cantor & Musicians, PZI Teachers

Here is a curation of sesshin dharma talks on a single page, for easy finding and listening. A sesshin is always more than the sum of its parts or its recorded talks. There are morning rituals, greetings, incense passed magically through the screen, the changing light, rich silences, moments of humor, tech gremlins, tears, synchronicities, dogs barking, dreams, and awakenings that we share. It is the timeless play of the universe, with each other. As recorded in the PZI Digital Temple, June 22-27, 2021.

5 Words
Audio July 15, 2021

Opening Eve of Summer Sesshin

John Tarrant, Jon Joseph, Tess Beasley

John Tarrant and Tess Beasley welcome everyone to Summer Sesshin. Participants add their voices, forming the vessel of sesshin. Music from Jordan McConnell, Cantor Amaryllis Fletcher, and closing words from Jon Joseph.

78' 34"
Audio October 12, 2020

Fall Sesshin 2020: When You Stop Chasing About

John Tarrant

Evening dharma talk with John Tarrant in Fall Sesshin: If you are chasing about, when will you meet today? We forget we are free in every moment. When we let everything come to rest, we hear the dragon murmurings. Recorded October 2, 2020.

36' 45"
Text August 6, 2020
3034 Words