PZI Teacher Archives
Peach Blossoms (MK37) (EV8)
Lingyun was wandering in the mountains and became lost in his walking. He rounded a bend and saw peach blossoms on the other side of the valley. This sight awakened him and he wrote this poem:
For thirty years I searched for a master swordsman,
how many times did the leaves fall,
and the branches burst into bud?
But from the moment I saw the peach blossoms,
I’ve had no doubts.
Later, Keizan, the Japanese teacher, wrote:
The village peach blossoms didn’t know
their own pink
but still they freed Lingyun
from all his doubts.
—PZI Miscellaneous Koans Case 37, Transmission of Light Case 12, Entangling Vines Case 8
A Donkey Sees a Well, a Well Sees a Donkey
On thing you realize when you’ve been walking along for thirty lifetimes, is that the journey itself is home. There’s no flaw in what you’re doing. And in the journey you encounter peach blossoms, and you can feel that it changes you. There could be many forms of peach blossoms in your life.
Peach Blossom Journey
A guided meditation from John Tarrant: You’re walking along, and you’re kind of in the middle of your life—which you always are, no matter how old you are, you are in the middle of it—and you’re sort of just thinking and noticing, and then you have this idea: Why don’t I treat my whole life as a pilgrimage? That’s it. That’s what I’ll do.
Some Treasures of the Lost Cities
A quest, a treasure hunt, through cities overtaken by sands and ghosts and overwhelmed by the sea. We search for hidden teachings in scrolls, clay tablets, or dreams. Being lost is primary. In the koan lands we side with being lost when we turn toward uncertainty and wait, and whether we can bear it or not, a path opens. There is no end to this opening.
The World Catches Us Every Time
Distraction can have a long arc, and until the end of the story, you can’t say what’s a distraction and what’s a calling.
Enter Here, Step Through
Day two of 2018 Winter Sesshin. John Tarrant introduces the great koan “No,” a gift from the ancestors. The gift is what happens when we hang out with the koan. “No” as the purest gate. When we step through, we find out we’re here! It’s not personal, you’re harmonizing with the universe. Transcript from a recording on January 17, 2018.
Spring Sesshin: The Interwoven Journey of Sesshin and Life
Tess Beasley invites our voices into the room, acknowledging the interwoven yet not-interwoven vessel of sesshin. We are each a unique presence, yet it is when personal identity and ambition recede that feeling and empathy emerge. PZI Digital Temple. As recorded April 11, 2021.
Spring Sesshin: Whatever Appears Is Part of Your Awakening
Allison Atwill talks about the experience of direct encounter in the Peach Blossom koan. Even when I am Mara, it is the treasure that is just for me. As recorded in sesshin on April 10, 2021.
Spring Sesshin: Peach Blossoms & a Russian Boy
Jon Joseph Roshi gives a dharma talk in Spring Sesshin. PZI Digital Temple. As recorded April 10, 2021.
Spring Sesshin 2021: The Lostness & Wandering on the Pilgrim’s Path
PZI’s Jesse Cardin, Director of It’s Alive Zen in San Antonio, Texas, reminds us that lostness is part of peach blossoms, and explores how that might appear on the second day of a retreat—or whenever. As recorded April 9, 2021.
Spring Sesshin 2021: Evening Words with David Weinstein
David Weinstein, Director of PZI’s Oakland Zen, delivers the evening words during Spring Sesshin. As recorded April 7, 2021. 5 minutes.
Spring Sesshin 2021: Evening Words with Tess Beasley
Tess Beasley sends sesshin participants off to dream on April 8, 2021. As recorded x minutes.
Dharma Theme: Spring Sesshin 2021 – After the Dark and the Cold, Come the Blossoms
Curated links to Dharma talks, guided meditations, music, art, closing words, and more from Spring Sesshin 2021.
Spring Sesshin 2021: Music for Meditation
Michael Wilding enhances the opening meditation for Spring Sesshin with his innovative original composition for flute.
Guided Koan Meditation: Peach Blossoms at Spring Sesshin
A guided koan meditation with John Tarrant to begin the Spring Sesshin. Koan: Peach Blossoms. 7 minutes as recorded April 7, 2021.
Spring Sesshin: A Donkey Sees Well, Well Sees Donkey
John Tarrant’s first evening talk during Spring Sesshin. Does the well also see the donkey? As recorded April 8, 2021.
Spring Sesshin 2021: Welcome & Talk with Michelle Riddle
Michelle Riddle welcomes all Spring Sesshin participants and gives a dharma talk. See summary. As recorded April 7, 2021.
Spring Sesshin 2021: Opening Talk
John Tarrant’s opening dharma talk for Spring Sesshin 2021. As recorded April 7, 2021.
The Valley Spirit Never Dies: Peach Blossoms Appearing
Peach blossoms can turn up anywhere, and the Valley Spirit appears. Depending on what is larger than us—even the reaching for it has it! PZI Digital Temple. Audio as recorded April 21, 2021.
The Lilies of New Life: Deepest Indigo
The Lilies of New Life: It is spring and John reads poetry of the season. Original music performed by Jordan McConnell, as recorded Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021. PZI Zen Online.
Your Original Face – Awakening Experiences – PZI Zen Online May 5
Audio: PZI Zen online Allison sits with Awakening. What is it? Awakening experience is outside of our control or will. It comes in a from a direction we don’t know about – a direction we have darkened. The sufficiency of the moment. Hakuin Ikkaku as a teacher and seeing into your essential nature. As recorded May 5, 2020.
PZI Zen Online Audio: Seeing the crimson peach blossoms across a canyon, after seeking for 30 years, a teacher is enlightened. John Tarrant’s Meditation & Dharma Talk, plus comments from participants. As recorded April 19, 2020.
Tree of Life
Allison Atwill, “Tree of Life,” 2008. Acrylic on birch panel with copper leaf, 30″ x 60″.
The Miraculous Right in Front of Our Eyes
David Weinstein presents at Summer Sesshin on the koan “The Miraculous Right in Front of our Eyes.”