Two friends were washing their bowls in a creek, and they saw two crows fighting over a frog. One friend asked, “Why does it always have to be like that?”
The other friend replied, “It’s only for your benefit, honored one.”
—The PZI Miscellanous Koans, Case 48 (Dongshan)
John Tarrant talks about living in an underworld time, in a descent as a culture and as a world, and as a planet. Accepting the descent, and accepting the quality of being lost when it appears, is profoundly important. And there’s a great, strange, and interesting mystery in that.
Love is an enlightenment story available to everyone, and that story includes being attacked by demons as well as being showered with roses. If we widen our gaze, in love, we discover what we like about ourselves and how we want to live our lives.
John Tarrant in Fall Sesshin 2019. Zen likes predicaments, uncertainty allows us to enter life more fully. The koans are allies in this. The unexpected questions are often those that help the most. To all the strategies that defend against life, a Zen entreaty: “Become more lost.” John Tarrant in Fall Sesshin 2019.
John Tarrant gives a dharma talk Thursday night of the 2011 spring sesshin. The universe is here for each one of us. Underlying the troubles and pain of the world there is always a presence, a brightness, which is us and we are it. April 21, 2011.
Rachel Boughton, at the June-July sesshin held at Land of Medicine Buddha, talks hackers, privacy, and zen koans in an age of technology.