PZI Teacher Archives
Here you will find links to dharma talk audios from PZI’s Online Fall Retreat: The Storehouse of Treasures Opens by Itself with John Tarrant & PZI Teachers. Includes music from Amaryllis Fletcher, Amanda Boughton & Jordan McConnell. Recorded in the PZI Digital Temple, September 27–30, 2023.
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.
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.”
The mind is a great artist, ceaselessly creating and assessing problems. The territory of the koan is finding the delicious helplessness of the mind and body, and settling into that—it’s the robe of the moment.
These dharma talks and texts, like Dongshan’s First Rank, wander in the hours before moonrise when anything can appear. Being lost, or in the dark, is a necessary condition on the Way.
When we meet, as in sesshin, we create and participate in a field of knowledge. There is a necessity of being lost on the path. Yunmen wants your descent—the better to allow the whole of life in. He asks, What is your light? He trusts the field to help people find their own way. Complete talk from Winter Sesshin 2023.
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? Trusting in the dark is the Way—it is not our business how we awaken.
John Tarrant talks about living in an underworld time, in a descent as a culture and as a world, and as a planet. Accepting the descent, and accepting the quality of being lost when it appears, is profoundly important. And there’s a great, strange, and interesting mystery in that.