PZI Teacher Archives
Yantou and Xuefeng were snowed in on Tortoise Mountain.
Day after day, Yantou slept while Xuefeng sat up and meditated.
On the third day, Yantou sat up too and said, “Get some sleep. What do you think you are, a roadside shrine?”
Xuefeng touched his chest and said, “My heart isn’t at peace. I can’t fool myself.”
Yantou gave a great yell. “HAAA! Don’t you know that the family treasure doesn’t come in through the gate?” he said. “Let the teaching flow out from your own breast to cover the sky and the earth.”
Xuefeng was suddenly enlightened and cried out, “Today Tortoise Mountain has finally awakened!”
—The Blue Cliff Record, Case 22
Wherever you are, even in the places you are certain the silence is NOT, it is there enfolding you. Even at Walmart with a toddler, in a flood, or at the doctor’s office—it is there, blooming. When we hold it, enter it, trust it, it brings the possibility of greater remembering. The Dao that can be told is not the eternal Dao; the nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth. We are always stepping into that emptiness. It is a kindness older than pain. Complete session with comments and vows from Jordan McConnell. Recorded January 15, 2023.
What are the properties of great silence? It cannot be tarnished or eroded, it can’t be given or taken away, but it can of course be obscured. The whole universe is holding it for you; we hold it for each other and for ourselves. Zen cliches are showing up, with the truth! January Sunday Zen on January 15, 2023. 6 minutes.
There is a secret quality of friendship that is very close to enlightenment. Friendship is a state of freedom—you don’t want each other to be different. A tolerance comes out of the heart. Deep friendship has a long arc; Buddha realized that Mara would miss him if he left. Complete session recorded August 14, 2022. Music from Jordan McConnell & Michael Wilding.
There is a secret quality of friendship that is very close to enlightenment. Friendship is a state of freedom—you don’t want each other to be different. You and everything you touch share the same heart mind. Deep friendship has a long arc. Buddha realized that Mara would miss him if he left. Recorded August 14, 2022.
Jesse Cardin tells the story of Zen’s favorite odd couple Yantou and Xuefeng holed up snowbound on Tortoise Mountain. Xuefeng’s heart is not at rest, he can not sleep or stop thinking about his heart not being at rest.
On friendship—two old friends on Tortoise Mountain are snowed in. One wakes up and so does the Mountain. Audio excerpt as recorded January 31 2021, PZI Zen Online. 7 minutes.