PZI Teacher Archives

koan practice

Text September 18, 2019

Lost And Found

John Tarrant

The practice part of it is that it doesn’t matter if you think you lost the coin and start to be unhappy about life. That is another theory. And it doesn’t matter how many times that theory rises. Even that theory is the coin. A koan practice means that you go back to the river over and over again and you can trust that process.

1204 Words
Text September 17, 2019

Straight Down the Road of 99 Curves

John Tarrant

Everybody probably has a road that would come to mind. I remember getting a bus in Tasmania and driving through the west coast mountains to a mining town where I was going to work, get a job, and how the snow was coming down and the bus would just go around this really narrow road like that, and there are certain parts of the world that have truly alarming narrow mountain roads with truly alarming drivers and very ancient buses.

6466 Words
Text September 17, 2019

The Nature of Practice

John Tarrant

A practice is different from a plan. You know what a plan is; you’ve probably made a few of them. A practice has more love in it, because a practice is something you’re doing without being sure of the outcome..

9232 Words
Video June 7, 2019

It’s Alive, It’s Alive

John Tarrant

John Tarrant presents a dharma talk at the Winter 2011 Bare Bones Sesshin on the experimental nature of PZI koan practice, and being “alive.” January, 2011.

54' 17"
Video June 7, 2019

The Continuous Flowing Nature of Mind

John Tarrant

The Zen Koan for summer sesshin was “Who Is Hearing?” The talk by John Tarrant and ensuing conversation regards the nature of the mind, and aspects of practice. June 22, 2011.

35' 15"
Video June 2, 2019

Abiding with Koans, the Mind Comes Forth

Rachel Boughton

Rachel Boughton, Director of the PZI Santa Rosa Center, how-to talk on working with zen koans.

A Zen ancestor was gathering wood and heard a line being recited that struck him. “What was that again?” he asked. “Oh, it was just something I heard up north in a temple.” So he went to study up north.

34' 55"
Video June 19, 2018

Koans and Mantras

David Weinstein

David Weinstein talks about his internalized mantra-phobia, fourth Chan ancestor Daishin (translates to “the way of faith”), and the parallels between early Chan history and his own practice of chanting mantras and working with koans. A morning dharma talk in Summer Sesshin, June 13, 2018.

29' 8"

*

Article November 24, 2017

How to Practice Zen Koans

John Tarrant

A koan is a little healing story, a conversation, an image, a fragment of a song. It’s something to keep you company, whatever you are doing. There’s a tradition of koan study to transform your heart and the way you move in the world. Article by John Tarrant published in Lion’s Roar magazine, March 2016 and September 2018.

15 Words
Text November 15, 2017

A Koan Starter Kit

John Tarrant

“Working with a koan can make the world more transparent and alive and at the same time shift your consciousness in small and large ways. It’s a work of art as well as a spiritual method and intended to be useful in your life and contribute to your happiness.”

0 Words

*

Article November 15, 2017

The Great Way Is Not Difficult

John Tarrant

“Koans light up a life that may have been dormant in you; they hold out the possibility of transformation even if you are trying to address unclear or apparently insoluble problems.” Originally published in Shambhala Sun Magazine, November 2004.

3028 Words
Text November 15, 2017

Hindrances and Gates

John Tarrant

In meditation whatever arises in the mind or in your life is the gate. The hindrances are the gates; when they appear, it might be an indication that meditation is going well.

799 Words
Text November 15, 2017

Starter Kit for the Koan “No”

John Tarrant

A monk once asked Master Zhaozhou, “Has a dog the Buddha Nature or not?” Zhaozhou said, “No!”

281 Words

*

Article November 15, 2017

The Power of Koan Practice

John Tarrant

Those who have used koans have described them as a poetic technology for bringing about awakening, a painful but effective gate into the consciousness of the Buddha, an easy method of integrating awakening into everyday life, the most frustrating thing they have ever done, an appalling waste of time, a tyranny perpetrated by Zen masters… Well, you get the idea — about koans, opinions differ. Article by John Tarrant published in Shambhala Sun magazine, May 1 2003.

3992 Words
Video July 20, 2017

Allison Atwill’s Art Talk, Part 1

Allison Atwill

Allison Atwill discusses her art and its relationship to koan practice. Part 1. 2010.

6' 56"
Video July 20, 2017

Allison Atwill’s Art Talk, Part 2

Allison Atwill

Allison Atwill discusses her art and its relationship to koan practice. Part 2. 2010.

8' 16"
Video July 20, 2017

Allison Atwill’s Art Talk, Part 6

Allison Atwill

Allison Atwill discusses her art and its relationship to koan practice. Part 6. 2010.

4' 35"
Video July 20, 2017

Allison Atwill’s Art Talk, Part 5

Allison Atwill

Allison Atwill discusses her art and its relationship to koan practice. Part 5. 2010.

8' 54"
Video July 20, 2017

Allison Atwill’s Art Talk, Part 4

Allison Atwill

Allison Atwill discusses her art and its relationship to koan practice. Part 4.

4' 25"
Video July 6, 2017

The Question of the Tail

David Weinstein

David Weinstein Roshi continues the conversation during retreat regarding the ancient Koan about the buffalo passing through a lattice window. How can the buffalo get through the lattice window – all but the tail? What is it that is difficult for me to let in? Can we be compassionate with ourselves when we find the place on our life where there is a no trespassing sign?

23' 52"
Video July 6, 2017

The True Person of No Rank

John Tarrant

John opens the evening with the koan “The True Person of No Rank.” It goes something like this: “There is a true person of no rank who is always coming and going from the portals of your face.” Who is that person of no rank? Linji was a great teacher and the ancestor of most of the koan lines of Zen and this is a koan of his. It has been used since ancient times as a meditation both for beginners and advanced students. Probably the best way to work with it is to play with it. Don’t rank how you are doing. Just let it keep you company, like an animal would. You forget about it, but every time you look, there it is! And after a while it doesn’t go away. October 17, 2013.

31' 11"
Video July 6, 2017

The Stone Grave

John Tarrant

On the second day of Bare Bones retreat John brings to light the many ways in which we find ourselves in situations where we feel hopelessly trapped. Often we are not even aware that we are living in the stone crypt; the door closes and we can’t remember we were ever somewhere else. Working with a koan might just be the way to open the door. January 20, 2014.

31' 8"
Video July 6, 2017

Go Straight Down a Road with 99 Curves

John Tarrant

This sesshin, John introduced a series of miscellaneous koans, the first being “How do you go straight down a road with 99 curves?” February 12, 2014.

33' 50"
Video July 6, 2017

Stop the War

John Tarrant

“John had us work with a series of miscellaneous Koans during retreat. Stop the war was one of my favorite talks. Looking at how I/we are at war within ourselves and how that internal war becomes a battle with those around us. A cold war or a war of words, fists or weapons. By practicing meditation we can mediate a truce with our fears.” – A participant. January 22, 2014.

43' 52"
Video July 6, 2017

Stop the Fire Across the River

Allison Atwill

Allison presents a talk on another miscellaneous Koan, “Stop the fire across the river.” This is like stopping the war within ourselves: where does this fire arise within us and what form does it take? Passion, anger, demons, delusions all take form within us.

Allison demonstrates the possibility of working with the fire of anger through humor and diligent practice and attention to what flares up within the body. January 22, 2014.

55' 23"
Video July 6, 2017

The Storehouse of Treasure

John Tarrant

John Tarrant Roshi completes our week-long Sesshin retreat with the miscellaneous koan, “The storehouse of treasures opens by itself; you can take it and use it any way you wish.” January 23, 2014.

After the talk we did a writing exercise with these questions, “what storehouse treasure is closed to you, what is a problem that is not resolved and what is a treasure?

58' 42"
Video July 6, 2017

The Spirit of Love, Joy, and Play in Koans

John Tarrant

John opens the first evening at summer retreat talking about the spirit of a koan. We were nestled in the lovely redwood mountains of Land of the Medicine Buddha in Soquel California. We were meditating, walking and diving into the great koan, Sickness and Medicine. It is based on a koan which goes like this, “Sickness and Medicine are in accord with each other. The whole world is medicine, what am I?” July 14, 2014.

24' 45"
Video July 6, 2017

Dongshan – Meeting a Face from Long Ago

John Tarrant

“It’s passed midnight, the moon has not risen, in the thick, deep dark, you meet a face from long ago: but you don’t recognize them. No need to be surprised by this.”

John Discusses koan tradition, the “five steps” of enlightenment, and communication between student and teacher.

46' 6"
Video July 6, 2017

The Curiosity Shop

Rachel Boughton

Rachel Boughton discusses techniques of meditation during sesshin; darkness, light, curiosity, and learning how to sit attentively with a koan. 2014.

46' 7"
Video June 30, 2017

When the Seas Got Rough

Allison Atwill, David Weinstein, John Tarrant, Jon Joseph, Rachel Boughton

“Not deciding it is or it isn’t, do you have the courage to be at peace with this? Everyone wants to leave the endless changes, but when we finish bending and fitting our lives, we come back to sit by the charcoal fire.”

During the final night of the 2015 January sesshin, the teachers have a conversation about identity, art, intimacy, and the nature of koan study.

21' 10"
Video June 30, 2017

Radical Transparency and Koans as Frenemies

Rachel Boughton

Rachel Boughton, at the June-July sesshin held at Land of Medicine Buddha, talks hackers, privacy, and zen koans in an age of technology.

19' 36"

Page

1 2 3