PZI Teacher Archives

Hakuin's Praise Song for Meditation

SONG:

All beings are Buddha by nature,
just as water and ice are the same.

Without water there’s no ice;
outside of beings, no Buddha.

People miss what’s in front of them
and go searching far from home. 

It’s sad, like someone standing in water
and crying out in thirst,
or a child from a rich family,
struggling among the poor.

We cycle through heavens and hells
because we keep setting out 
on the dark roads of ignorance—
dark road after dark road,
when will we be free from birth and death?

Meditation can’t be praised enough.
The good effects of generosity and discipline, 
prayer, self-reflection, and practice, 
have their source in meditation.

With what you gain from just one sitting,
all your crimes are wiped away.

Then where are those heavens and hells?
The Pure Land comes near.  

If this way moves you
the first time you hear it, 
and you simply follow it,
endless blessings come to you.

Even more, if you turn the light inward
and witness your own nature,
your nature which is empty nature,
you go beyond any doctrine.

The gate opens: cause and effect are one,
there’s no two, no three.
The formless form comes into form;
going or returning, we are in the right place.

Thinking thoughts without thought,
singing and dancing are the voice of the way.

The vast emptiness of deep meditation,
the brightness of the bright moon of wisdom—
is anything missing from this moment?

Nirvana  appears before us.
This very place is paradise,
this very body, the Buddha.  

—Hakuin Ekaku (transl. John Tarrant)

Text August 24, 2023

The Nobility of Having a Practice

John Tarrant, PZI Teachers

It’s not so hard to realize that practice is immediately beneficial. But there’s a deeper thing: meditation is a way to befriend your life and befriend reality. Some days just seem harder than others, right? And you come home and think, Oh, god. Practice is a good thing then. Practice, practice, practice.

5097 Words
Video August 15, 2023

The Nobility of Having a Practice

John Tarrant

Meditation gets us away from reaching and grasping and winning and losing and honor and disgrace. This lack of ulterior motive makes meditation a friendly time. All our daily reaching and grasping and getting somehow sticks to us and when we meditate it unsticks and falls off. With music for meditation from Jordan McConnell & Michael Wilding.

49' 8"
Video August 1, 2023

Carried by Kindness & Joy

Tess Beasley

The urgency of some questions and facing hidden truths help us discover our own true nature. We reveal ourselves at every turn. When we try to see our own light, we can’t—”it’s dark, dark,” says Yunmen. During sesshin, we sit and trust our own heart-mind to open, inquiring, “Who am I?” and, “How is this so?”

40' 32"
Audio July 13, 2023

The Nature of Buddha Nature – The Youngest Son, The Golden Bird, & The Fox

John Tarrant

Buddha nature is the thing that you see in the modest places.The one who is disvalued and ignored, the simple one, might be close to the treasure. John Tarrant tells the story of the Golden Bird, and reads Hakuin’s Praise Song for Meditation.

56' 45"
Audio June 15, 2023

The Nobility of Having a Practice

John Tarrant

Meditation gets us away from reaching and grasping and winning and losing and honor and disgrace. This lack of ulterior motive makes meditation a friendly time. All our daily reaching and grasping and getting somehow sticks to us and when we meditate it unsticks and falls off. With music for meditation from Jordan McConnell & Michael Wilding.

49' 8"
Audio February 21, 2023

Carried by Kindness & Joy

Tess Beasley

The kindness of strangers often carries us during difficult times—synchronicity is enhanced. When we can leave our troubles, our “selfness,” then joy appears when all else has fallen away. And we find we can have it!

40' 32"
Video July 12, 2022
4' 3"
Text February 15, 2022

Dharma Theme: Hakuin’s Praise Song for Meditation

Allison Atwill, Jesse Cardin, Michelle Riddle, Tess Beasley

Here is a curation of four dharma talks on a single page, for easy finding and listening, from Hakuin’s Praise Song for Meditation 4-Part Special Sunday Series with PZI Teachers Allison, Tess, Michelle, & Jesse. As recorded in the PZI Digital Temple on January 9, 16, 23, & 30, 2022.

312 Words
Audio January 31, 2022

Hakuin’s Praise Song for Meditation: 4 Teachers Part 4 of 4

Allison Atwill, Jesse Cardin, Michelle Riddle, Tess Beasley

4 PZI Teachers Explore Hakuin’s Praise Song for Meditation – Part 4, recorded January 30, 2022. Exquisite music for meditation from Michael Wilding & concludes with the Four Boundless Vows sung acapella by Jesse Cardin.

80' 49"
Audio January 27, 2022

Hakuin’s Praise Song for Meditation: 4 Teachers, Part 3 of Four

Allison Atwill, Jesse Cardin, Michelle Riddle, Tess Beasley

Four PZI Teachers explore Hakuin’s Praise Song for Meditation: Part 3 in the Series, recorded January 23, 2022. Music from Jordan McConnell & PZI Cantor Amaryllis Fletcher.

75' 44"
Audio January 19, 2022

Hakuin’s Praise Song for Meditation: 4 Teachers, Part 2 of Four

Allison Atwill, Jesse Cardin, Michelle Riddle, Tess Beasley

Four PZI Teachers explore Hakuin’s Praise Song for Meditation: Part 2 in the Series, recorded January 16, 2022. Music from Michael Wilding, Jordan McConnell, & PZI Cantor Amaryllis Fletcher.

78' 57"
Audio January 15, 2022

Hakuin’s Praise Song for Meditation: 4 Teachers, Part 1 of Four

Allison Atwill, Jesse Cardin, Michelle Riddle, Tess Beasley

Four PZI Teachers explore Hakuin’s Praise Song for Meditation: Part 1 of the Series, recorded January 16, 2022. Music from Michael Wilding, Jordan McConnell & PZI Cantor Amaryllis Fletcher.

79' 8"
Audio June 15, 2020

The Everlasting Body Runs Deepest Indigo – Meditation for Troubled Times

John Tarrant

We are in the midst of great civil unrest around racism and the institutions that support it. Li Bai, Du Fu, Dalong & Primo Levi speak about what remains, what lives, what holds us in the universe—even as we feel most perishable, sad, defeated. The light is still there in all things, even without a foundation to stand on. As recorded June 14, 2020.

96' 32"
Text May 8, 2020

Joy, Mosquitoes & Zen

John Tarrant

Joy and peace don’t stop the mosquitoes from biting. All these things have their source in meditation.  So you want to open your heart.  You want to –whatever it is – during meditation.  That’s what he’s saying.  Right.  It comes from within.

2815 Words
Video October 24, 2018
16' 3"