PZI Teacher Archives
Modern Zen Luminaries: A series of Zen Buddhist scholars, writers, poets, translators, and practitioners join PZI’s Jon Joseph Roshi for lively discussions online, with a focus on our Chan lineage. Includes all recordings beginning with the series’ launch in September 2021.
The Heart Sutra says, “Form is no other than emptiness, emptiness no other than form. There are no walls in the mind.” We are the world unfolding.
We’ve been in a long monastic retreat during this pandemic. Time has slowed. We are opening up gradually now to the world, as more people are vaccinated. We realize we are not going back to anything. The time is changing. We’re all stepping off into the mysterious. Musician: Jordan McConnell. PZI Zen Online: Sunday talk as recorded May 23, 2021.
We travel in the dark and find treasure—the hidden jewels of practice. The difficulty we would like to avoid is the gate. Sappho said, “Enter the way, enter here.” Meditation is the container, the alembic of change. Poems and music during meditation from Michael Wilding. Ryan McCoy sings the vows. PZI Zen Online, as recorded March 7, 2021.
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.
PZI Fall Sesshin: Sutra service in the afternoon during sesshin. Featuring Amaryllis Fletcher – cantor & violin. Jordan McConnell – vocals & guitar. As recorded October 4 2020.
There was a teacher called Luopu, a Chinese teacher, and he said this interesting thing. He said, “You have to directly realize the source outside of the teachings.” That’s the whole thing about it. That’s Bodhidharma’s thing, the direct realization outside of scriptures. The scriptures are nice and the teachings are nice, but really, the direct understanding—the direct meeting with life—the direct meeting with awakening is the thing.
PZI Zen Online: Audio excerpt from Guanyin in the Pavilion Under the August Moon. An introduction to the many faces of the Goddess Guanyin, with Tess Beasley Sensei & Sarah Bender Roshi. As recorded Aug 2 2020.
We have such a passion to know and to be certain but, in practice, much of what we think of as knowledge is just untested thoughts. As the Heart Sutra says, even thoughts are empty, and if we are willing not to know, willing to walk through life without believing every thought that rises, then we’ll find a path out of suffering.