PZI Teacher Archives

Bodhidharma

Video November 14, 2023
60' 4"
Audio November 14, 2023
60' 5"

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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
Text July 26, 2023

Dahui’s Journey, Bodhidharma’s Response, & the Marvelous Duke

John Tarrant

So, if you stop being afraid, if you stop being wonderful, if you stop being charming, if we stop charming each other, we’re just here in the vastness with no agenda, and that’s the Daoism that’s at the core of Chan. Emptiness is here. That’s what I think is a good thing.

5028 Words
Video April 1, 2023

Everywhere! It’s Everywhere You Look

John Tarrant

Zhuangzi said, “We wander in borderless vastness; Great Knowledge enters in, and we don’t know where it will ever end.” Dharma talk given by John Tarrant in a Sunday Zen session on February 26, 2023.

63' 4"
Video April 1, 2023
22' 33"

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Dharma Theme March 29, 2023

Dharma Theme: Not Getting It – Doing It Wrong

PZI Teachers

The Zen approach is not about avoiding mistakes but bringing them to the path. Making a mistake opens the tenderness in us and can be more helpful than not making one. Then, the mistakes are not mistakes.

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Audio March 13, 2023

Everywhere – It’s Everywhere You Look

John Tarrant

“Feeling the time,” is a line from the poet Du Fu—the time is always with us. And it’s always too early to despair. We’re just here. Not wanting anything to be different. Objections are full of knowing! You step out of the way you are perceiving the world, the dream of who you are, you turn the light backward. Recorded February 26, 2023.

63' 5"
Audio February 27, 2023
44' 17"
Audio October 27, 2022

Fall Sesshin 2022: Dahui’s Journey, Bodhidharma’s Response, & the Marvelous Duke

John Tarrant

Sesshin is an embrace which allows greater freedom to appear, and it is deeply mysterious. We don’t do it for a particular outcome or we would be constraining ourselves. We are free and easy wandering. In the koan, Emperor Wu wants a method and a first principle of the holy teaching. Bodhidharma answers, There isn’t a principle! You can’t confine it. Chan is trusting uncertainty, it is not something to be believed. Vows from Amanda Boughton, closing words from Tess Beasley. Complete session recorded on October 7, 2022.

72' 59"
Audio March 3, 2022

Bodhidharma: There, I Have Set Your Mind to Rest

John Tarrant

John Tarrant reads the koan story Bodhidharma Sets the Mind to Rest to close his Sunday program. February 27, 2022. 2 minutes.

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Audio March 1, 2022

Setting the Mind to Rest

John Tarrant

How do we set the mind at rest in times of war and turbulence? The practice was made in and for times like these. The art of practice is to be at peace in the middle of all the forces: climate change, disaster, war, disease, famine. Jordan McConnell chants a dharani, a sacred spell to ward off danger and dispel demons. Can’t hurt! February 27, 2022.

65' 44"

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Dharma Theme November 4, 2021
811 Words

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Article September 10, 2021

You Don’t Have to Know

John Tarrant

It’s easy to forget to be curious, and to grab an off-the-shelf knowledge, something like “This is awful.” Not reaching for off-the-shelf understandings, though, is an important skill.

1073 Words

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Article September 8, 2021

The Paradox of Happiness

John Tarrant

Mostly, if a method for achieving happiness is not successful, people think something like, She should have loved me more. Or, I wasn’t trying hard enough. Or, I wasn’t holding my mouth right. Whether the needle on the blame meter points to yourself or to others, that particular machine will always seem to be malfunctioning. You try to do the method better, rather than looking at whether the method works. So let’s look at the method.

3801 Words
Audio August 7, 2021

Bodhidharma Comes & Goes

Jon Joseph

Why did Bodhidharma come from the West, and return to the East? Why are we born, and why do we die? Emperor Wu regretted his interview, but no one could bring Bodhidharma back. We all come and go. Jon’s talk, meditations, and student comments & stories. As recorded August 2, 2021.

62' 5"
Audio June 8, 2021

Dragons of the Blue Cliff Retreat – Part 2: Hands & Eyes

John Tarrant

How does the bodhisattva of compassion use all those hands and eyes? How do I express Guanyin? How is Guanyin showing up in my life? John Tarrant’s afternoon meditation & talk, Part 2 of this two-session Dragons of the Blue Cliff 1-Day Retreat. In the PZI Digital Temple, as recorded June 6, 2021.

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Audio January 28, 2021

On Friendship – Moments That Last a Lifetime

John Tarrant

John Tarrant on friendship, moments of intimacy that last forever, savoring Vermeer’s paintings of domestic life. With poems by Marie Howe, Symborska. How we interact with friends? From the heart. We don’t have to be anything other than what we are. Audio clip from Sunday Zen on Sunday January 24, 2021.

22' 22"
Audio January 28, 2021

Friendship: A Thing of Special Wonder

John Tarrant

On encouraging friendship with the world—koans, trees, people. How we interact with friends, from the heart. We listen to each other. We don’t have to make them anything other than what they are. Poems, stories, comments. Complete session as recorded Jan 24, 2021, PZI Zen Online.

54' 16"
Text August 14, 2020

Spirit of Love, Joy & Play in Koans

John Tarrant

Value a sort of play and see if you can break the koan—the koan will be amused. And see it and let it into your heart, and see what comes, or follow it around, or have it follow you. And finally you’ll realize, “Oh, I’m here. I’m free.”

5545 Words
Audio July 21, 2020

Green Glade: Held by Emptiness

John Tarrant

Green Glade of Meditation: There is a framework in our practice for relying on emptiness and freedom, not holding pre-set views. Blessing things beyond approval and disapproval. I am you = emptiness. In Zen we shift to “before” the demons grabbed our ankles. You can’t rely on what you believe. We accord with the Dao, we can’t fall out of the dream. PZI Zen online, as recorded July 19, 2020.

94' 45"
Audio June 7, 2020

The Oak Tree in the Garden

David Parks

PZI Zen Online: “Why did Bodhidharma come from the West?” Answer: “The Oak Tree in the garden.” David reflects on the nature of the garden, and how life is everywhere—even is this odd time of extremes. Recorded June 4th, 2020.

83' 23"
Video February 2, 2020

On Transmission

Allison Atwill

Allison Atwill talks about transmission from two perspectives – the formal ‘Ikkan’ seal of transmission passed down in the Chan lineage from Bodhidharma; the Mind to Mind transmission. Described as the ‘Legitimate seal of clearly finished practice’, and secondly the transmission the teachings are always conveying to each of us. She relays the story of Chan teacher Ikkyu and his feral path toward awakening.

55' 46"
Audio January 29, 2020

On Transmission

Allison Atwill

Allison Atwill talks about transmission from two perspectives – the formal ‘Ikkan’ seal of transmission passed down in the Chan lineage from Bodhidharma; the Mind to Mind transmission. Described as the ‘Legitimate seal of clearly finished practice’, and secondly the transmission the teachings are always conveying to each of us. She relays the story of Chan teacher Ikkyu and his feral path toward awakening.

55' 38"
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"