PZI Teacher Archives
If you’ve got demons, you’re alive! But you don’t have to get on board with them. Demons come out of your own heart, just like enlightenment.
Our era is undoubtedly difficult, and even crazy. We are in an underworld time. We know that we’re cutting down ancient trees, burning fossil fuels, melting the sustaining ice, finding leaders who pretend that we have no part in the changes that overwhelm us. We are suffering from forces greater than us and also from ourselves; we too are forces beyond our control.
In chaos stories you are always lost. Why not go into the lostness? Chan says, go deeper—getting lost might be a good thing. We’re creating a culture to hold knowledge of the path, and for being connected during chaos times. Recorded June 5, 2022.
It’s easy to forget to be curious, and to grab an off-the-shelf knowledge, something like “This is awful.” Not reaching for off-the-shelf understandings, though, is an important skill.
It’s important not to discount the idea that in a crisis, you might be having the time of your life. Article by John Tarrant, published in Lion’s Roar magazine on March 23, 2018.
To turn toward the difficult thing is usually a move of compassion. We think it’ll be a fierce warrior move, but it’s not, actually. And when we turn toward what’s difficult, it becomes mysterious and unknown and strange and interesting. Whatever it is, your dilemma—if you turn toward that, it’s to let the koan be there. So we stop trying to flee. And suddenly we’re at peace, and instead of it being the thing that we don’t want to do, it’s the gateway into freedom.
John opens the Harvest Moon Retreat at the Angela Center with an ancient koan about a buffalo passing through a lattice window. “It is like a buffalo passing through a window. Its head, horns, and four legs have all passed through. Why is it that its tail cannot?” Meditation on the tail and the question of the tail. What is the tail, why could a huge buffalo enter but the tail cannot? —As recorded October 13, 2013.