not knowing

Text October 22, 2020

The Nature of Practice

John Tarrant

Practice. The notion of practice, as something you embody, and you walk through, and you are—rather than something you add, like something added to gasoline. There’s also a sense of moving in the dark, in some way that’s positive. So that in a practice, “not knowing” is on your side.

9259 Words
Text September 11, 2020

The Journey, the Reaching, & Luopu’s Last Words

John Tarrant

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.

4924 Words
Text August 23, 2020

Predicament Koans – John Tarrant, 2013

John Tarrant

So, rather than thinking a predicament is something we’ve got to get rid of, it’s just life—and it has its own dynamism. Maybe we have to walk through it, not run the other way. It’s all right to weep about it, or be frustrated and angry. You can’t be someone else, you are who you are. The gateway is yours, not someone else’s.

2261 Words
Text August 6, 2020

Knock on Any Door: Daoist Masters & Zen Koans

John Tarrant

So, whatever your condition is, you can see the “I have joy.” Out of that emptiness, out of what seems unpromising—the dark material, the valley spirit, the enigma, out of the mystery, out of what I don’t understand—it just appears. The joy just appears.

3035 Words
Audio June 11, 2020

When All Buddhas Destroyed – What Remains?

Jesse Cardin

PZI Zen Online: Zhaozhou said, “Clay Buddhas cannot pass through water; metal Buddhas cannot pass through a furnace; wooden Buddhas cannot pass through fire.” Which Buddha survives? The mid loves its ideas, structures, concepts and so does society. Some of those constructs are always dissolving. Discomfort of change in society norms and our own personal norms. As recorded June 10, 2020.

61' 55"
Audio April 28, 2020

‘Not Knowing Is Most Intimate’ – Book of Serenity

John Tarrant

John Tarrant at Fall Sesshin 2019 – Being lost or between places is a fundamental human predicament. Being lost delivers you to yourself with an unknown outcomes. The teacher takes away the student’s need to know what’s unfolding on his pilgrimage. Zen likes predicaments as signs that things want to change.

53' 7"
Audio April 28, 2020

‘Talking About the Deepest Matters’

John Tarrant

John shares his interest in investigations onto reality – inquiry koans, koan types. The Watou of zen stories and more recorded at winter Sesshin January 2020.

41' 46"
Audio April 15, 2020

‘10,000 feet Down, The Stone’ – PZI Zen Online – Recorded April 5th

John Tarrant

John takes us further into our recent lockdown descent, into the Sea of Ilse, 10,000 feet down to the single stone there. it is a predicament koan that interrupts the usual ways of navigating. As recorded on Zen Online April 5th: includes meditation segments, John’s talk and koan, some closing music and teacher participants’ insights.

80' 53"
Video January 20, 2018
27' 6"