PZI Teacher Archives
It’s a noble thing to gather together for the Dharma. It has hidden effects, that if we thought about it from afar, we’d think, Ah, I don’t know. But when we’re together, we can feel, Oh, yeah, it’s happening. I can feel it in my heart and my soul and my fingers.
After a relative dies, the ancestral wrongs and difficulty can disappear as we change towards a more expansive view. Dreams tell us not to ignore the great forces of life, even in our turbulent times. Our koan school relates to the shadowy dark materials—including instead of excluding, without being taken over by them. October 30, 2022
Ancient and indigenous cultures have different models for healing and dreaming, with different points of view often galactic or mythic. Including and opening to vastness when facing any problem allows for a wider range of solutions, and access to the hidden treasures that we have no idea are there for us. Excerpt from the Ancestral Stories Retreat on October 30, 2022.
Awakening comes when you least expect it. Zen ancestor Koun Yamada returned from a retreat feeling deeply uncertain. Then dream life confirmed his awakening. Recorded June 12, 2022. 2-minute video.
Tess Beasley comments on the way dreams of awakening can be huge or small, in image and duration. She reads Hakuin’s amazing awakening dream record from his journal. As recorded on December 5, 2021, during John Tarrant’s Dreams of Awakening Sunday session.
With dreams, whatever part touches your heart, that’s the part you want. The universe is providing these personal and archetypal myths in the perfect formulation for your awakening. Dreams help us because we can’t control them. The gold is wherever you are. As recorded December 5, 2021. Music from Michael Wilding & 4 vows from Cantor Amaryllis Fletcher & Jordan McConnell. Comments and dream stories from Allison Atwill, Tess Beasley, Michelle Riddle, and others.
Teachers’ dreams often feature magical ways of feeding an entire community. Michelle Riddle’s remarkable giant pancake dream came after being asked to respond to a teaching from John Tarrant. Excerpt from John Tarrant’s Sunday session on dreams, on December 5, 2021.
Jon Joseph gives the morning dharma talk about his dreams of the ancestors. A relationship continues beyond death. How is this so? It does not need to be explained, it only asks to be lived. As recorded in Fall Sesshin on Thursday morning, October 21, 2021.
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.
To befriend the dream, or koan, or your life, is to participate in it and enter its imagery and mood. Befriending begins with a plain attempt to listen, to give it time and patience, drawing no conclusions. Tess Beasley reads from Jungian analyst James Hillman’s “Dreams and the Blood Soul,” during John Tarrant’s Sunday Talk, The Animal Heart Mind, on September 26, 2021. Excerpt.
“You must in the destructive element immerse…” You have to go through it otherwise you can’t have real resolution. Not fleeing the difficulty of things, and orienting yourself to the infinite. “A person on a raft flows on the stream by throwing themselves away.” The importance of the smallest things in the this-is-it dream.
Dreams help us to find our way – Danxia on pilgrimage dreamed of a great light. And a diviner asked him a question that changed his life. His practice became a path.
Summer is a time of dreams. Dreams, summertime, and koans have a lot in common. It is a time of permeability, to feel your way. Things that come out of the depths are what will get us through, but we can also have a strange resistance to them! The imagination is the bridge to the new. John shares Yangshan’s dream koan of being asked to teach from the third seat.
A student asks Baizhang, “What is the most marvelous thing—a matter of special worth?” He answers, “Sitting alone on Mt. Courage Peak.” The vastness is always there, inside and outside. The possibility of imaginative responses in times of change. The wisdom of an indigenous storyteller who embodies a much longer timeline of radical earth changes. The freedom of not being you. PZI Zen Online, as recorded Dec. 13, 2020. Music posted separately.
Zenosaurus: Dreams play an essential part in the current of life—while I’m not paying attention, my dreams turn the lumps, details, and meetings of the day into art, giving them depth and a warm amber light.
PZI Zen Online: Audio excerpt. John Tarrant Roshi recounts a Sesshin dream—insight on meditation practice. As recorded June 27 2020.
We are in a time ‘before moonlight’ with Covid and the resulting massive unemployment, 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, 2020.
The Sea of Ise koan inspires Covid dreaming. Dream vacation – scuba diving in Brooklyn Harbor? What is feared opens to beauty. The dark Sea of Brooklyn held a surprise. As recorded May 18, 2020.
PZI Zen Online Audio: Wondrous images of our uncertain ‘gestational time’ in coronavirus lockdown. The children of night; doom, destiny, dreams, and lamentation among them. Eros born of Nix’ (Goddess of the Night) a silver egg laid in the lap of darkness. Rawness of love in out dark time. Includes Tess’ intro, silent meditation, participant insights. As recorded April 14 2020.
PZI Zen Online Audio: Sarah Bender Roshi reflects on the intimacy of not knowing, the nearness of all of us in this dreamy emergent time. Wandering and not knowing are allies now. Includes Sarah’s intro & dharma talk, silent meditation segments, and sharing. As recorded April 3 2020.