PZI Teacher Archives
Boundless wind and moon—the eye within eyes,
Inexhaustible heaven and earth—the light beyond light.
The willow dark, the flower bright—ten thousand houses;
Knock on any door—someone will answer.
—Preface to the Blue Cliff Record
Takuan Soho, creator of the renowned golden yellow daikon pickle, was a poet, artist, calligrapher, master of the tea ceremony and Zen priest of Tokai temple—a master of the creative response. The arts of Zen are responses to our meeting whatever circumstances arise—death, war, love, loneliness, natural changes.
The nice thing about falling is it’s already happened, you know? It started already; there’s not much you can do about it. So you’re kind of free, in a way. It’s sort of like being condemned: Knowing you’ll die tomorrow—well, you can do anything you want tonight.
Knock on any door—someone will answer. Letting koans teach you koans is the way. Anything that arises is part of the work. It’s not following instructions. John Tarrant’s Sunday Talk as recorded March 27, 2022.
Excerpt from a longer session co-hosted with Allison Atwill. Tess tells a story of a transformative moment. As recorded May 31, 2021.
An excerpt from the full Sunday session with co-host Tess Beasley. Allison Atwill tells a story of a moment when she knocked on a door and entered the vastness of the universe. As recorded on May 30, 2021
Allison Atwill & Tess Beasley are guest hosts in John Tarrant’s Free & Easy Wandering Series. They each tell a story of being at a threshold—knocking on doors not knowing who would answer, and how the gifts of the universe appeared. PZI Zen Online, as recorded May 30, 2021. Vows with Jordan McConnell. Music for meditation from Michael Wilding archived separately.
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.
The Heart Sutra in the context of its relationship to koans and what koans are. I want to pursue that line a little bit. And the first thing to say about – probably the first attitude people have to koans is that they are a sort of tool, a gadget of some kind, and you use them and you concentrate on them, and you use them – a can opener for the mind
PZI Zen Online Audio: Allison sits with the beautiful preface to the Blue Cliff Record, before Bodhidharma’s encounter with Emperor Wu. Noticing our strategies for controlling experience, which shut life out. Issa’s story of love and loss. As recorded April 21 2020.
John Tarrant talks about the bond between Daoism and Chan Zen. See transcription with same name https://www.pacificzen.org/library/knock-on-any-door-daoist-masters-zen-koans/