PZI Teacher Archives

Layman Pang Falls Down


Layman Pang and his daughter Lingzhao fall down for different reasons in this koan. Tess leads the group through a meditation and talk on how the koan entered her life; followed by comments from other meditators on the nature of intimacy. Some silent meditation segments are included. As recorded March 30, 2020.


The Pang family were respected adepts in their time and had a playful, vibrant way of being with each other.

We can genuinely love others and want to help them, but wanting so desperately for things to be different is a recipe for suffering. With people we love or know, there can be many thick ideas of what we should or should not do to help them suffer less.

Can I enter without having any idea of what will happen? We can know someone for twenty years and not know what they are experiencing, nor how to help, when they’re on the ground. Discovering the ground together is the first step.

How do we contend with the great forces of our lives? We can see our tendencies to want to amplify or dismiss great forces—”We’re going to die!”, “No, we won’t.”—the tendencies to want to rush past things, fix things and figure things out.

When can actually meet someone who’s falling or who’s on the ground—it can actually be as challenging to be the one who is being met. It’s temping to want to hide and tuck away in embarrassment, in the face of such intimacy.

The Pangs make it look so easy.

What does it mean to meet people?

What does it mean to be accompanied?

Sunday Zen with Tess Beasley, including a meditation, and comments. Recorded March 30, 2020.

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