Taking Part in the Gathering

SUTRA:

We and everything we perceive
are interwoven and not interwoven,
and this interweaving continues on and on, 
while each thing stands in its own place.

—Excerpt from Taking Part in the Gathering, PZI translation of the sutra attributed to Shitou Xiqiang

Video August 25, 2022

Summer Sesshin: We Are Interwoven – Welcome to Sesshin

John Tarrant

John Tarrant welcomes Summer Sesshin participants and introduces a stanza of Shitou’s long poem: Taking Part in the Gathering, as an opening koan. The poem comes from the inception of Chan and is described as a Daoist current on the nature of reality – how emptiness pervades form. Koans, Art, Meditation & Conversation are part of waking up together in PZI Culture. June 13, 2022.

26' 48"
Audio August 25, 2022

Summer Sesshin: We Are Interwoven – Welcome to Sesshin

John Tarrant

John Tarrant welcomes Summer Sesshin participants and introduces a stanza of Shitou’s long poem: Taking Part in the Gathering, as an opening koan. The poem comes from the inception of Chan and is described as a Daoist current on the nature of reality – how emptiness pervades form. Koans, Art, Meditation & Conversation are part of waking up together in PZI Culture. June 13, 2022.

26' 48"
Audio August 11, 2022

Summer Sesshin: Shitou’s Teachers

David Weinstein

David tells the story of Jiashan’s awakening, after being sent by Daowu to find the Boat Monk. David also guides a revealing exercise in picking and choosing. Complete talk given in Summer Sesshin, June 16, 2022. 37 minutes.

38' 51"
Audio August 11, 2022

Summer Sesshin: The Porous Vessel of Sesshin

Michelle Riddle

Michelle Riddle opens the sesshin vessel with instructions to help participants understand what it is to work with koans, especially within the unique container of group practice. She encourages “being with and bearing with usual responses,” while carried by the koans into new territory. How garage music and weed-whackers welcomed her to Summer Sesshin. Recording of the complete dharma talk given on June 14, 2022. 17 minutes.

16' 47"

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Dharma Theme August 11, 2022

Dharma Theme: Summer Sesshin 2022 – Taking Part in the Gathering

John Tarrant, PZI Cantor & Musicians, PZI Teachers

Here is our curation of full-length Summer Sesshin dharma talk audios on a single page, for easy finding and listening. A sesshin is more than the sum of its parts or recorded talks—there are personal interviews and deep meditation, teaching talks and conversations, old friends and new, ceremonies, brilliant teachers, music, great enlightenment, mistakes, and delight. The play of the universe. Recorded at Santa Sabina Center, June 13-19, 2022.

385 Words
Video August 11, 2022

It’s Hard? Then Let the Koan Carry You

John Tarrant

Shitou says the dark and bright are both part of the deep work. When times are tough, trusting your koan and the deep current carrying us all, is the way forward. Mazu tells us we came here to make a way out of no way—koans help. Trust in this valuable process. From a talk given at Summer Sesshin in June 2022. 5 minutes.

4' 53"
Audio August 8, 2022

Summer Sesshin: Front Foot & Back Foot Walking

John Tarrant

John Tarrant’s dharma talk on June 17, 2022, in Summer Sesshin. Complete session. 45 minutes.

44' 21"
Audio August 8, 2022

Summer Sesshin: Taking Part in the Gathering

John Tarrant

John Tarrant’s dharma talk on the first day of Summer Sesshin. He reads Shitou’s poem, Taking Part in the Gathering. Complete session. 38 minutes.

38' 21"
Video July 29, 2022

Koans on the Journey of Refuge

Tess Beasley

From a talk given by Tess Beasley in Summer Sesshin on June 15, 2022. 3 minutes.

2' 39"
Video July 29, 2022

Forms of Awakening

John Tarrant

Kensho is a real thing—and you can’t pin it down. Awakening takes many and varied forms. Long to really understand reality, and have the joy of that. From a talk given during Summer Sesshin on June 17, 2022. 12 minutes.

12' 7"
Video July 29, 2022
3' 53"
Video July 28, 2022

On the Meaning and Importance of Kanzeon

John Tarrant

John answers a question at Summer Sesshin about the Sutra, and the Bodhisattva Guanyin’s importance in Zen. 3 minutes.

1' 23"
Video July 28, 2022

Impossible Vows

Tess Beasley

From a talk in Summer Sesshin on refuge and vows, given by Tess Beasley. Recorded June 15, 2022.

11' 30"
Video July 22, 2022

Front Foot & Back Foot Walking

John Tarrant

John Tarrant reads Chan poet Su Dongpo (Tung-po) and comments on his journey through bright and dark. From a talk given in Summer Sesshin on June 17, 2022. 4 minutes.

3' 38"
Video July 22, 2022

Summer Sesshin: Journey of Refuge

Tess Beasley

Tess Beasley describes touchstones of the journey for participants taking refuge vows at Summer Sesshin. Refuge entails committing to the vows as koans, a ceremony with teachers and community, and receiving the rakusu. Complete talk in Summer Sesshin on June 18, 2022.

52' 35"
Video July 14, 2022
27' 26"
Video July 13, 2022

Separation in the Realm of the Self

Allison Atwill

The exhaustion and effort of “making a me” often brings people to Zen. In retreat, we begin to see the contours of the self that causes us to suffer. From a talk in Summer Sesshin, June 16, 2022. 7 minutes.

7' 18"
Video July 13, 2022

Buddha Was Not Afraid of His Own Mind

Allison Atwill

Every time you sit, you are Buddha under the bodhi tree, having some portion of his enlightenment night. From a talk in Summer Sesshin, June 16, 2022. 5 minutes.

5' 42"
Video July 13, 2022

What It Is to Be Here

Allison Atwill

What is it to be here? Weaving and interweaving go on and on, while each thing stands in its own place. From a talk in Summer Sesshin, June 16, 2022. 3 minutes.

2' 15"
Video July 13, 2022

Control Is Not Your Friend

John Tarrant

Relax into your meditation like a bird falls into the air. Practice is always here for you. We’re having this dream, now—we can’t hold onto it. Recorded at Summer Sesshin on June 14th, 2022. 4 minutes.

4' 3"
Video July 12, 2022

Our Part in the Gathering

Tess Beasley

It’s all here—we’re already taking part in the gathering. We each hold our part so we can experience it together. Recorded during Summer Sesshin on June 15, 2022. 4 minutes.

3' 53"
Video July 11, 2022

What It Is to Take Part in the Gathering

Michelle Riddle

Sesshin is an opportunity to experience your own true nature, to help hold the retreat vessel for yourself and everyone else, and for not skipping out on what is troubling you. From a talk on the first day of Summer Sesshin, June 14, 2022. 10 minutes.

10' 37"
Video July 11, 2022

The Mysterious Source of the Bright

John Tarrant

John Tarrant talks about the mysterious source of things at Summer Sesshin. Recorded on June 14, 2022. 3 minutes.

3' 53"
Video July 8, 2022

On Shitou’s Life & Poem: What Is in the Way of Freedom?

John Tarrant

From John Tarrant’s opening talk on Taking Part in the Gathering, Shitou Xiqian’s song-poem on the nature of reality. Recorded at Summer Sesshin on June 14, 2022. 9 minutes.

9' 13"
Audio September 2, 2021

In the Family of Things

John Tarrant

The small self is always trying to hold off the world. But we are really a kind of flow. We feel the warm empathy at the bottom of all things. All things have Buddha nature. Not opposing reality is the beginning of all awakenings.

71' 59"
Text August 13, 2021

Enter Here, Step Through

John Tarrant

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.

4957 Words
Text February 26, 2021

Taking Part in the Gathering

Joan Sutherland, John Tarrant

This is 8th century Zen ancestor Shitou Xiqian’s great song, the Sandokai—or Taking Part in the Gathering, as translated by Joan Sutherland and John Tarrant. This foundational text is often read at Winter Solstice. “When you let these words in, you encounter the ancestors.” Winter Sesshin January, 2020.

455 Words
Audio February 26, 2021

Taking Part in the Gathering

John Tarrant

Evening dharma talk by John Tarrant in Winter Sesshin. As recorded January 15, 2018.

29' 2"