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.
David Parks Roshi of Blue Grass Zen in Kentucky continues with the koans of Dongshan. Dharma talk: The One Who Is Not Sick, PZI Zen Online. As recorded April 22, 2021.
PZI Zen Online – We are in a time ‘before moonlight’ with covid and massive unemployment that has resulted- with great unknowns ahead. Dreams in zen are not so different from waking life. We make up stories about what will happen. But we are passing through a gate of meeting and not recognizing. How do you make your way? Step by step. As recorded May 25.
Audio PZI Zen Online – David Parks with the 3rd of his zoom sessions on The Bird Path. Returns to the question: Where are you coming from? What we come out of in this time. Where we change our focus. As recorded May 14 2020.
So we’ve been talking about old poems that are also a map of the path, but they’re a map of the kind where you have to see what rises in your meditation to meet them to find out how useful they are to you. Today we’re on the fifth of the ranks, the fifth poem. Five ranks by an old Zen teacher, and this is the final one, so you now know conclusively that there are only five stages to the path. And it goes:
John says birds open the sky for us when we watch them fly—everything just appears, and then is gone, with no trace. If we trust whatever appears, that’s a taste of the bird path. Might it be true that no matter what, you’re not having the wrong moment, that you don’t have to disapprove? When it’s difficult, it’s good to know that it’s for us, it’s ours. Life is blessing us all the time. Our thinking and feeling “This isn’t it,” is what we call loneliness. John talks about how our practice asks us, “What’s it like to be alive, to be me? What’s it like to be a tree? A bird? What if I’m a fire? What if I’m river?” My mind and the universe—not much difference.