PZI Teacher Archives

The Great Way Is Not Difficult (BCR2)

KOAN:

Zhaozhou often quoted this saying by Sengcan:
“The great way is not difficult, if you just don’t pick and choose.”

Note: Saying is from Sengcan’s song-poem Trust in Mind

—Blue Cliff Record, Case 2

Text November 26, 2022
6480 Words
Text November 23, 2022

A Blue Cliff Record Journey of Not Picking & Choosing

John Tarrant

It’s kind of remarkable that the Picking & Choosing koan appears four times in the Blue Cliff Record, which contains only one hundred cases. So, what to do with it? When everybody tries to make sense of it, things happen: They get captured and taken off by pirates or drug lords. You’ve got to be careful in Zen.

4834 Words
Audio August 23, 2022

Not Picking & Choosing

John Tarrant

We can fairly easily see that not picking and choosing will help free us from some entanglements. At first you might think it’s about not caring, but actually it’s the opposite. It’s to do with befriending reality, listening to reality with a tender care. Complete dharma talk audio from Sunday, June 26, 2022. 43 minutes.

71' 1"
Audio July 19, 2022

Sesshin Weeds

Michelle Riddle

Michelle Riddle tells a sesshin story about a band of weed whackers that came to be in concert with everything. From John Tarrant’s Sunday Session on Not Picking & Choosing, recorded June 26, 2022.

2' 49"
Audio July 19, 2022

Universe in a Utility Bill

Allison Atwill

In sesshin, our feelings are amplified, and we get to see what it’s like to have them fully. Allison Atwill reports on a utility bill that contained the dread of all space and time. From John Tarrant’s Sunday Talk on Not Picking & Choosing on June 26, 2022.

2' 54"
Audio July 19, 2022

Everything Is in Concert

Tess Beasley

Tess Beasley shares stories about encountering unexpected sounds, delayed luggage, and the chaos of moving. Recorded in John Tarrant’s Sunday session on Not Picking & Choosing, June 26, 2022.

2' 53"
Audio July 18, 2022

A Passionate Entry into Life

John Tarrant

John Tarrant’s complete Sunday Talk: The Great Way Is Not Difficult; It Just Avoids Picking & Choosing. Recorded June 26, 2022, in the PZI Online Temple.

71' 1"
Audio July 18, 2022

Not Picking & Choosing – Solo Flute for Meditation

Michael Wilding

Michael Wilding’s solo flute during John Tarrant’s Sunday Talk: The Great Way Is Not Difficult; It Just Avoids Picking & Choosing. Recorded on June 26, 2022 in the Online Temple.

5' 6"
Text February 17, 2021

Freely I Watch the Tracks of the Flying Birds

John Tarrant

Everybody, every time, has its own difficulty and crisis. This is ours. We can trust our own lives that brought us here, and perhaps we have something to do here. And we don’t know what that is but we’ll find it as we keep walking. The thing about the meditation path is, I don’t have to think a lot about what’s mine to do. You just give yourself to the meditation, and it’s produced for you. It’s given to you. The path opens by itself, you know. Transcript of PZI Zen Online Sunday Talk with John Tarrant, recorded March 29 2020.

5504 Words

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Article November 15, 2017

The Great Way Is Not Difficult

John Tarrant

“Koans light up a life that may have been dormant in you; they hold out the possibility of transformation even if you are trying to address unclear or apparently insoluble problems.” Originally published in Shambhala Sun Magazine, November 2004.

3028 Words