PZI Teacher Archives
Put out the fire across the river.
—PZI Miscellaneous Koans, Case 2
When we wake up and see our true place in the universe, it’s as if we have stepped out of a landscape and then we’re willing to step back into it. We appear and go back into the brocade. Then, we have our true place in the universe.
Our era is undoubtedly difficult, and even crazy. We are in an underworld time. We know that we’re cutting down ancient trees, burning fossil fuels, melting the sustaining ice, finding leaders who pretend that we have no part in the changes that overwhelm us. We are suffering from forces greater than us and also from ourselves; we too are forces beyond our control.
Jon Joseph Roshi assembles a panel of four PZI meditators who have varied experiences of chronic and severe pain. Koan meditation has helped all of them find a way to allow in the pain—to not exclude it—and to see it as a profound teacher and ally. Recorded May 31, 2021.
Australia’s ancient forests were burning in September 2020. In the face of unfathomable loss John Tarrant writes, “It’s too early to despair, it’s always too early to despair. The world itself is a mystery school and teaches us what it needs. It gives us impossible tasks and impossible journeys, and all we can say is that we love the world without knowing outcomes, because it is the only world we have, and because we never do know outcomes.” Article for Lion’s Roar magazine, published September 14, 2020.
Allison presents a talk on another miscellaneous Koan, “Stop the fire across the river.” This is like stopping the war within ourselves: where does this fire arise within us and what form does it take? Passion, anger, demons, delusions all take form within us.
Allison demonstrates the possibility of working with the fire of anger through humor and diligent practice and attention to what flares up within the body. January 22, 2014.