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.”
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, changing light, rich silences, moments of humor, tech gremlins, tears, synchronicities, dogs barking, dreams and awakenings that we share. It is a precious moment of timeless play in the universe and with each other. As recorded in the PZI Digital Temple, June 22-27, 2021.
John Tarrant and Tess Beasley welcome everyone to Summer Sesshin. Participants add their voices to the vessel of sesshin. Music from Jordan McConnell. Cantor: Amaryllis Fletcher – Closing words from Jon Joseph.
PZI Zen Online Audio: Fall Sesshin – Evening dharma talk with John Tarrant. If you are chasing about, “Where will you meet today?” We forget we are free in every moment. The image of a withered tree. When we let everything come to rest, we hear the dragon murmurings. As recorded October 2 2020.
Whatever your condition is, you can see the “I have joy.” Out of that emptiness, out of what seems unpromising—the dark material, the valley spirit, the enigma, out of the mystery, out of what I don’t understand—it just appears. The joy just appears.