PZI Teacher Archives

Predicament Koans: The Great Kalpa Fire – 2 Zen Teachers & 3 Opinions on the Great Destruction


Excerpt from the 3rd of John Tarrant’s Sunday series on predicament koans. John talks about the Great Kalpa Fire. (Kalpa is a great age, eon, or universe.) Recording from the beginning of Sunday Zen on September 18, 2022. 10 minutes.


Heraclitus on the transformations of things: Transmutation is always going on.

As well as things always changing, there’s something we can do, as people. Our task is to not get caught in it, but to hold the center of things in yourself.

Meditation helps stop us getting caught up in the madness. When we look inside, it’s always clear what I need to do. I can tell what’s true for me to do.

If you’re angry, don’t think it’s about someone else – you’re the one who is angry. The question of whether or not you are right is not really the interesting one.

Story about King Kalmashapada who made a sacrifice (killing his people) to the great god Mahakala.

Upon hearing this, the King had doubt, and his mind opened when he heard, “In the raging at the fire at the end of the kalpa, the whole universe is destroyed.” He gave his kingdoms to his brother and was eventually

What is here? We listen. This is the discipline. Oh, I’ll sit meditation. Oh, I’ll help a friend, make a friend, stop butting into a friend’s life…

We need a vessel to be in, but we don’t want to take it too seriously. It’s nice to be free of that.

Third opinion: “Not destroyed!”




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