Whatever conditions you find yourself in are your own awakening appearing, not something you need to “get over.” This is the key: We can let experience soak us without knowing what will come of it. As recorded Saturday evening, October 23, 2021, at Fall Sesshin.
Tess recounts the twists and turns of the life of Taneda Santoka—a perpetually drenched, wandering poet-priest touched deeply by life and the kindness of others. Every breadcrumb in life, every thread is important in the weave. For Santoka to be Santoka, who he actually was was enough. This was the Way, his Way. Dharma talk as recorded Saturday morning on October 23, 2021, at Fall Sesshin.
As recorded on October 22, at PZI Fall Sesshin 2021. Bird tracks and a crane story from long ago in China. Four vows are sung and played by Amaryllis Fletcher & Jordan McConnell. Allison Atwill gives a closing poem.
What is the world? Just this! Eduardo Fuentes talks about the beautiful, mysterious lives we lead, and how “don’t-know mind” is hidden inside and underneath names and symbols. As recorded at Fall Sesshin, Friday, October 22, 2021.
John Tarrant gives an evening dharma talk on the incalculable value of descent and return. We take up the task set by the ancestors: that’s what we came here for. As recorded in Fall Sesshin, October 21, 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.
Here is a curation of our Fall Sesshin dharma talks on a single page, for easy finding and listening. A sesshin is always more than the sum of its parts or its recorded talks. There are morning rituals, greetings, incense passed magically through the screen, the changing light, rich silences, moments of humor, tech gremlins, tears, synchronicities, dogs barking, dreams, and awakenings that we share. It is the timeless play of the universe, with each other. As recorded in the PZI Digital Temple, October 19-24, 2021.
Distraction can have a long arc, and until the end of the story, you can’t say what’s a distraction and what’s a calling.
Musicians Jordan McConnell and Jesse Cardin join Jon Joseph to share elements of music practice and their creative relatedness to koan work.
Why did Bodhidharma come from the West, and return to the East? Why are we born, and why do we die? Emperor Wu regretted his interview, but no one could bring Bodhidharma back. We all come and go. Jon’s talk, meditations, and student comments & stories. As recorded August 2, 2021.
Meditation offers a path out of the burning house, without abandoning the promise and good-heartedness of being human. Practice is the last best hope of living up to that good-heartedness, the only thing that never hurts and usually helps. And even at the beginning of the meditation path, on a good day it’s exciting. It actually makes you happy.
How does the bodhisattva of compassion use all those hands and eyes? How do I express Guanyin? How is Guanyin showing up in my life? John Tarrant’s afternoon meditation & talk, Part 2 of this two-session Dragons of the Blue Cliff 1-Day Retreat. In the PZI Digital Temple, as recorded June 6, 2021.
Koan meditation and dharma talk with John Tarrant. How is my hand like Buddha’s hand? PZI Zen Online, Sunday program as recorded May 16, 2021.
Jon Joseph Roshi gives an overview, then the koan “What is the Way?” leading into meditation with Baling’s “A clearly enlightened person falls into a well.” Or does a well fall into that person? Audio excerpt as recorded Feb. 1 2021, PZI Zen Online. 28 minutes.
Winter Sesshin: Through Winter Silence into the New Light – audio excerpt from Allison Atwill’s dharma talk, recorded January 16, 2021.
Winter Sesshin: Through Winter Silence into the New Light – audio excerpt from a dharma talk with Allison Atwill. The tale of a harrowing solo voyage around Cape Horn reminds us of our capacity to turn the boat toward the real. As recorded January 16, 2021.
Winter Sesshin: Through Winter Silence into the New Light. Audio excerpt from Allison Atwill’s dharma talk recorded on January 16th, 2021. Sarah Bender comments on a nightmarish moment in the tale of the round-the-world voyage of navigator John Slocum.
Winter Sesshin: Through Winter Silence into the New Light. Jon Joseph was moved to comment on Allison Atwill’s dharma talk, a both real and metaphorical voyage on the open sea. One sailor had never sailed before and had found a scrapped boat with which to enter this grueling race. Audio excerpt – recorded January 16, 2021.
Winter Sesshin: Through Winter Silence into the New Light. Allison Atwill takes us on a solo sailing journey—a metaphor for sesshin and our lives. Dharma talk recorded on January 17, 2021.
Audio Excerpt: PZI Winter Sesshin: Jon Joseph reads poems and reminds us that even deep in jumbled mountains the cuckoo is calling us home. 2 minutes.
Winter Sesshin: Through Winter Silence into the New Light. Audio excerpt. Tess Beasley on the subject of transformation, as recorded on January 15th, 2021. 7 minutes.
Zenosaurus Curriculum 3: How is my hand like Buddha’s hand? This koan asks us to let the whole of our being fall into it, to love without reservation the experience of being made of flesh.
PZI Zen Online: “Why did Bodhidharma come from the West?” Answer: “The Oak Tree in the garden.” David reflects on the nature of the garden, and how life is everywhere—even is this odd time of extremes. Recorded June 4th, 2020.
In the evening dharma talk John introduces us to an ancestor in the koan tradition, Dahui Zonggao 大慧宗杲 (Ta-hui Tsung-kao, Daie Soko), 1089-1163 and his disciple Wuzhuo Miaozong (無著妙宗; 1096–1170 CE), Miaozong lived during the Song dynasty and was one of the first nuns to be included in an imperially sanctioned Zen lineage history. The conversation between Dahui and Miaozong is instructive of his early method of using only the head of the koan and become one with it. His method was formulated for his culture like we are for ours.
“No merit whatsoever!” Bodhidharma responds to Emperor Wu in Case 2, in the Book of Serenity. David follows Bodhidharma’s path, and the process of practice.
John Tarrant on working with different koan types. Predicament koan—Stone Crypt. Situational—Taking the form of Guanyin. Mysterious—A well that has not been dug. John talks about his early work with koans; tactics and strategies that weren’t working until he found himself laughing at his own mind, “Going straight on the road with 99 curves.” There’s no difference between “Life” and “MY Life.” What we can do for each other is open our hearts and be there together. Recorded January 2014.
David’s dharma talk during Bare Bones retreat about falling down a well. “How does the fully enlightened person fall into a well?” The koan brought to mind an old Maquire sisters song that goes, “Wella, Wella, Wella waiting for the Bella to go ding dong, ding dong…” We all fall into our own personal wells of suffering. David lends a hand to pull us out by sharing his own well stories.