PZI Teacher Archives

not picking and choosing

Text November 23, 2022

A Blue Cliff Record Journey of Not Picking & Choosing

John Tarrant

It’s kind of remarkable that the Picking & Choosing koan appears four times in the Blue Cliff Record, which contains only one hundred cases. So, what to do with it? When everybody tries to make sense of it, things happen: They get captured and taken off by pirates or drug lords. You’ve got to be careful in Zen.

4834 Words
Audio August 23, 2022

Not Picking & Choosing

John Tarrant

We can fairly easily see that not picking and choosing will help free us from some entanglements. At first you might think it’s about not caring, but actually it’s the opposite. It’s to do with befriending reality, listening to reality with a tender care. Complete dharma talk audio from Sunday, June 26, 2022. 43 minutes.

71' 1"
Audio August 11, 2022

Summer Sesshin: Shitou’s Teachers

David Weinstein

David tells the story of Jiashan’s awakening, after being sent by Daowu to find the Boat Monk. David also guides a revealing exercise in picking and choosing. Complete talk given in Summer Sesshin, June 16, 2022. 37 minutes.

38' 51"
Video August 11, 2022

Not Picking & Choosing

John Tarrant

We can fairly easily see that not picking and choosing will help free us from some entanglements. At first you might think it’s about not caring, but actually it’s the opposite. It’s to do with befriending reality, listening to reality with a tender care. Complete dharma talk from Sunday, June 26, 2022. 43 minutes.

42' 59"
Audio July 19, 2022

Sesshin Weeds

Michelle Riddle

Michelle Riddle tells a sesshin story about a band of weed whackers that came to be in concert with everything. From John Tarrant’s Sunday Session on Not Picking & Choosing, recorded June 26, 2022.

2' 49"
Audio July 19, 2022

Universe in a Utility Bill

Allison Atwill

In sesshin, our feelings are amplified, and we get to see what it’s like to have them fully. Allison Atwill reports on a utility bill that contained the dread of all space and time. From John Tarrant’s Sunday Talk on Not Picking & Choosing on June 26, 2022.

2' 54"
Audio July 19, 2022

Everything Is in Concert

Tess Beasley

Tess Beasley shares stories about encountering unexpected sounds, delayed luggage, and the chaos of moving. Recorded in John Tarrant’s Sunday session on Not Picking & Choosing, June 26, 2022.

2' 53"
Audio July 18, 2022

A Passionate Entry into Life

John Tarrant

John Tarrant’s complete Sunday Talk: The Great Way Is Not Difficult; It Just Avoids Picking & Choosing. Recorded June 26, 2022, in the PZI Online Temple.

71' 1"
Audio July 18, 2022

Not Picking & Choosing – Solo Flute for Meditation

Michael Wilding

Michael Wilding’s solo flute during John Tarrant’s Sunday Talk: The Great Way Is Not Difficult; It Just Avoids Picking & Choosing. Recorded on June 26, 2022 in the Online Temple.

5' 6"

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Article September 14, 2021

1, 2, 3, 4, Rhinoceros

John Tarrant

When we are not bound by the story of our lives—the fictions, really—and not bound by the effort of knowing what everything is and where it’s going and what it should be, then a new kind of freedom appears. The body feels that and becomes at ease. You experience the wonder and beauty of just being here in the world of consciousness. 

1555 Words

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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