PZI Teacher Archives
A monk asked Hongzhi, “What about the ones who’ve gone?”
Hongzhi said, “White clouds rise to the top of the valleys, blue peaks lean into the empty sky.”
The monk asked, “What about the ones who return?”
Hongzhi said, “Heads covered in white hair, they leave the cliffs and valleys. In the dead of night they descend through the clouds to the market stalls.”
“What about the ones who neither come nor go?”
“The stone woman calls them back from their dream of the world.”
—PZI Miscellanous Koans, Case 34
Jon Joseph talks with scholar and Chan Teacher GuoGu about his book, Silent Illumination, on the literary genius of Zen master Hongzhi, whose teaching evolved during the height of 12th century Chan. GuoGu discusses the subtleties and great freedom inherent in Chan, from its flourishing in the Sung Dynasty to the current day.
Jon Joseph gives the morning dharma talk about his dreams of the ancestors. A relationship continues beyond death. How is this so? It does not need to be explained, it only asks to be lived. As recorded in Fall Sesshin on Thursday morning, October 21, 2021.
We are in a time ‘before moonlight’ with Covid and the resulting massive unemployment, with great unknowns ahead. Dreams in Zen are not so different from waking life. We make up stories about what will happen. But we are passing through a gate of meeting and not recognizing. How do you make your way? Step by step. As recorded May 25, 2020.