PZI Teacher Archives

Yunmen's Midnight

KOAN:

Yunmen said: You come and go by daylight. You make people out by daylight. But suddenly it’s midnight. There’s no sun, no moon, no lamp. If it’s a place you’ve been, then of course it’s possible. But if it’s a place you’ve never been, how will you get hold of something?

—Yunmen Weyan

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Dharma Theme October 30, 2023

Dharma Theme: Stop Suffering!

PZI Teachers

We’re always looking for a recipe or data points to get a handle on happiness. The most profoundly simple but difficult challenge is to let ourselves transform into ourselves. We imagine a different, better self “after awakening.” Every stroke, even the most difficult or painful, is part of the piece. Our journey through suffering transforms everything, including the destination.

36 Words

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Dharma Theme October 25, 2023
31 Words
Video October 25, 2023

Fall Retreat: Closing Night – Lost in the Bath Together

John Tarrant, PZI Cantor & Musicians, PZI HOPs, PZI Teachers

The first phase of practice is being lost—allowing that. You are out of the known territory. It is key to know we don’t control the process. When you are ‘in it,’ don’t try to go beyond it. Enjoy and embrace the lostness. Transformation happens in the vessel. This is why we have a retreat.

40' 51"
Text July 26, 2023

Carried in the Dark – On Lostness & the Spiral Path of Practice

John Tarrant

I’ve been thinking that everybody needs to start by being lost. And that the Dharma is a spiral path. It will happen again, and then again, and then again. So, when you are lost, instead of thinking, “This is an abnormal, wrong situation,” that’s what koans give us—they say, “Oh, well, I’m lost, fortunately. I don’t know what I’m doing.” 

4196 Words
Video February 14, 2023

Carried in the Dark – Lostness Is a Spiral Path

John Tarrant

Second evening Dharma talk of Winter Sesshin. Getting ahold of something is not the point in Yunmen’s koan of darkness – start by being lost! The dharma is a spiral path of lostness. What will happen next? it’s dark. We’re here no matter what. When you think okay, I’m lost, what’s next? Next is a predicament koan from Shang Yen and you are hanging by your teeth from a branch. A story of a teacher being carried in the dark. Shang Yen student of Baizhang and Guishan who gives us this koan worked with the koan Original Face for years and was stuck in the dark until the ‘one tock’ of a rock on bamboo awakened him. Trusting in the dark is the way – it is not our business how we awaken. No being has ever fallen out of their great true nature. No moment outside of wonder. The heart opens. February 2, 2023

36' 15"