PZI Teacher Archives
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.
Zen is about meeting—we make friends with each koan and allow the universe to work with and through us. The sweetness, and even the gnarly bits of friendship are part of the intimacy at the center of meeting. In the field of connectedness we discover things we can’t discover on our own.
Have confidence: just go into the silence. The absolute is always there. Inside it all, there’s freedom. There’s no situation where infinity is not there.
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.
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.
Second evening Dharma talk of Winter Sesshin. Getting ahold of something is not the point in Yunmen’s koan of darkness – start by being lost! 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? Next is a predicament koan from Shang Yen and you are hanging by your teeth from a branch. A story of a teacher being carried in the dark. Shang Yen student of Baizhang and Guishan who gives us this koan worked with the koan Original Face for years and was stuck in the dark until the ‘one tock’ of a rock on bamboo awakened him. Trusting in the dark is the way – it is not our business how we awaken. No being has ever fallen out of their great true nature. No moment outside of wonder. The heart opens. February 2, 2023