I vow to wake all the beings of the world,
I vow to set endless heartache to rest,
I vow to walk though every wisdom gate,
I vow to live the great Buddha Way.
—PZI’s Four Boundless Vows
The bare bones structure of a PZI Funeral Service begins with the koan, “Where do we go when we die?” and includes the Heart Sutra and the Kanzeon Sutra of Endless Life.
Special Program on The 4 Boundless Vows: John Tarrant, Jon Joseph, & Michelle Riddle chant the 4 Boundless Vows in English and Sino-Japanese. Excerpt from the Sunday program recorded August 1, 2021.
Part 4: I vow to live the Great Buddha Way. Michelle Riddle takes up the 4th of the 4 Vows. What seems impossible may not be possible to ignore! Koans and sutras give many instructions on how to live, but you must live the Great Buddha Way as you. Like great art, it is an intimate and particular expression, but speaks to something we all feel, and something we all must do: realizing we are here! Excerpt from the Sunday session recorded August 1, 2021.
John Tarrant’s welcome and introduction to a special program on The Four Boundless Vows and the Bodhisattva path. We are each in the true temple; it’s always happening here, and everyone holds it. Meditation and opening words: the beauty of practice and of the path, the way we teach through stories in Zen, and inclusion of the Daoist view that “the world does fine on its own.” Excerpt from the Sunday session recorded August 1, 2021.
Part 1, “I vow to wake all the beings of the world.” Allison Atwill introduces the 1st of the 4 Vows, noticing the grandeur and awe of an impossible task. One’s own room expanding outwards, vow as a prayer in service of awakening. How to save all beings? By including them, now. That which has already been born, allow it to be here and find its place. Excerpt from the Sunday session on August 1, 2021.
Allison Atwill, John Tarrant, Jon Joseph, Jordan McConnell, Michael Wilding, Michelle Riddle, Tess Beasley
On practice and path: become the Way, and illumination is always with you. A dive into the sources, history, and meaning of the 4 Great Bodhisattva Vows; how PZI teachers and students work with them towards the ceremony of Refuge and taking up the path. Each teacher takes up one of the Vows. Teachers chant and intone Vows in English and Sino-Japanese; Michael Wilding recites, Jordan McConnell singing and on guitar. Complete session recorded August 1, 2021.
I was thinking about history and beauty and what an old old thing human suffering is, and how intrinsic it is. And we keep making things better and then they keep getting worse, and we’re making them better and they get worse. I guess I just wanted to say that it’s really good to have a practice at any time. Meditate—it will help. You will come from a position of peace rather than just fighting yourself. Being yourself, the true person, no rank. Transcript of PZI Zen Online Sunday Dharma Talk with John Tarrant Roshi, recorded June 7, 2020.