2019 Fall Sesshin

Text September 11, 2020

The Journey, the Reaching, & Luopu’s Last Words

John Tarrant

There was a teacher called Luopu, a Chinese teacher, and he said this interesting thing. He said, “You have to directly realize the source outside of the teachings.” That’s the whole thing about it. That’s Bodhidharma’s thing, the direct realization outside of scriptures. The scriptures are nice and the teachings are nice, but really, the direct understanding—the direct meeting with life—the direct meeting with awakening is the thing.

4924 Words
Text May 8, 2020
5744 Words
Audio April 28, 2020

‘Not Knowing Is Most Intimate’ – Book of Serenity

John Tarrant

John Tarrant at Fall Sesshin 2019 – Being lost or between places is a fundamental human predicament. Being lost delivers you to yourself with an unknown outcomes. The teacher takes away the student’s need to know what’s unfolding on his pilgrimage. Zen likes predicaments as signs that things want to change.

53' 7"
Audio January 29, 2020

Vimalakirti & His Daughter, Moon Like Beauty

Allison Atwill

Allison relays the story of the encounter between Manjushri and Vimalakirti. Manjushri, among the 32,000 Bodhisattvas sent by Buddha to Vimalakirti’s , and asks him on his sick bed: ‘How do the Bodhisattvas enter the gate of non-duality?’ The response is an intimate silence. Allison’s story includes the karmic path that his daughter, Moon Like Beauty bore on her way to enlightenment.

47' 10"
Video January 12, 2020

On the Moment of Staying – Baizhang’s Fox Koan

Allison Atwill

Allison Atwill focuses with us on the core of Baizhang’s fox koan – the moment when the old abbot stays after the talk at the monastery.

40' 32"
Video January 12, 2020

Delight in the Chaos of Life – Not Knowing

John Tarrant

Uncertainty allows us to enter life more fully. Zen likes predicaments. The koans are allies in this. The unexpected questions are often those that help the most. All the strategies defend against life – ‘Become more lost’ – a zen entreaty.

52' 35"
Video January 11, 2020

Linji’s Enlightenment & the Awakenings of Great Chan Teachers

John Tarrant

John revisits the awakenings and koans of the great teachers, among them Yunmen and his teachings. In the layered quality of the teachings there is a common thread in our lineage: we are all in it together, all held by this great path, we put ourselves in the vessel and see what happens. Each of us holds a piece of the story. Trust the piece you hold.

35' 46"
Video January 11, 2020

All Those Hands & Eyes

John Tarrant

John talks about the warm intimacy of the ‘the dark’ – the uncolonized zone where koans work with us. Intimacy in teachings is used often as an equivalent for enlightenment. Koans open gates and bring us inside that mystery. Some categories of koans: Predicament koans, Heart Changing koans, Inquiry koans and more.

33' 55"
Video January 11, 2020

The First Dog & ‘NO’

John Tarrant

The great koan NO and dogs in our lives. ‘Reality’ is an edit of everything that is always really going on.

41' 2"
Video January 11, 2020

The Journey, the Reaching & Luopu’s Last Words

John Tarrant

VIDEO TALK – Fall Sesshin 2019. The great Chan teacher Luopu’s deathbed story and his emphasis on the importance of a ‘direct meeting with the source’ outside the teachings – you can’t just read about it. ‘Don’t grasp principles with words’. The story features the Book of Serenity’s compassion for the whole process toward enlightenment for these wonderful teachers.

39' 36"
Video January 9, 2020

Bodhidharma’s Enlightenment

David Weinstein

“No merit whatsoever!” Bodhidharma responds to Emperor Wu in Case 2, in the Book of Serenity. David follows Bodhidharma’s path, and the process of practice.

55' 17"
Video December 19, 2019

On Winning & Losing – Fayan’s Students Raise the Blinds

Steve Lucas

Steve Lucas talks about the synchronicities of winning and losing from his perspective as a financials trader and a concerned father.

53' 49"
Audio November 16, 2019

No Rank! – or the Wild Path of Awakening

John Tarrant

John Tarrant takes us on an ancestral tour of the wild path of Chan awakening through the stories in the 100 koans of the Book of Serenity

48' 58"
Audio November 16, 2019

On Winning & Losing

Steve Lucas

Steve Lucas looks at the injustice of Fayan’s determination – and also lets us into his zen practice and his world as a competitive financial trader and concerned father.

53' 38"
Audio November 16, 2019

Bodhidharma’s Response to Emperor Wu

David Weinstein

David Weinstein examines Emperor Wu’s exchange with Bodhidharma. His question: “What is the first principle of teaching? Vast emptiness, nothing holy.” The Emperor wants to be acknowledged, but….

57' 42"
Audio November 16, 2019

Staying With Baizhang’s Abbot/Fox

Allison Atwill

Allison Atwill takes us into the moment in Baizhang’s Fox koan when the old man finally stays and the implications for our world view. Recorded at Fall sesshin Land of Medicine Buddha, Soquel, CA.

40' 55"
Audio November 14, 2019

Hands & Eyes – Book of Serenity

John Tarrant

John Tarrant recorded at Fall Sesshin – Hands & Eyes -The Elegant Path of the Book of Serenity

35' 15"