PZI Teacher Archives
Where do you go when you die?
—PZI Inquiry Koan
Questions about death and the after-death are a part of the traditional Chan koan curriculum. Dignified by their antiquity, they are the primordial instance of that which cannot be negotiated with.
John tells a story about dogs and Buddha nature upon the death of a beloved dog: Animals have their own large awareness in which we can share. Meditation is one way to do this. It resets the mind to zero and we stop waving our arms about so much, and we enter a communion with the universe.
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.
Silence is for freedom and for being together. Haiku is in service of the silence—it expresses restraint and vastness at the same time. Haiku poets often had many nicknames under which they published their poems. Jesse Cardin Roshi gives the evening words, Jordan McConnell and Amaryllis Fletcher play the Boundless Vows. As recorded February 5, 2022.
Article by John Tarrant for Lion’s Roar magazine. A traditional Chan way to approach the question of death is to stroll, stumble, hurry, struggle, fall accidentally through the gates of samadhi—the deep concentration of meditation—and look around. When you really enter this moment, it has no end, no beginning; it is older than the universe that seems to contain it. Then it will inevitably occur to you: “I’ve always been here.”