Everybody, every time, has its own difficulty and crisis. This is ours. We can trust our own lives that brought us here, and perhaps we have something to do here. And we don’t know what that is but we’ll find it as we keep walking. The thing about the meditation path is, I don’t have to think a lot about what’s mine to do. You just give yourself to the meditation, and it’s produced for you. It’s given to you. The path opens by itself, you know. Transcript of PZI Zen Online Sunday Talk with John Tarrant, recorded March 29 2020.
It’s a very strong thing to be human, you can be subjected to all sorts of great forces. And sometimes you can win through, and sometimes you die. But we’re all of us doing that, all the time. So I was thinking about how good it is to love each other, to meet each other, and to make peace in our hearts. Sunday talk with John Tarrant, recorded June 14 2020.
Zen is about meetings, the courage to meet and be a friend. Even the gnarly bits of friendship are part of it, the mystery of connection. You don’t have to be good at love—better to be in it. In the field of connectedness we discover things we can’t discover on our own. Audio excerpt from Sunday with John Tarrant, Handing Things on in the Dark, PZI Zen Online. As recorded Jan. 31, 2021. 18 minutes.
Hanging Lanterns Series with John Tarrant. John reflects on life as a ceremony—dawn every day, the turning of the earth toward winter and back again. Everyone has their own light. Practice asks us to not refuse the eternal, nor the poignant daily awakenings and noticings. Music from Amaryllis Fletcher & Jordan McConnell. PZI Zen Online, as recorded Oct. 25, 2020.
Hanging the Lanterns at the Gates of the Autumn Temple: You have your own light. The life and hard times of an apple tree. Marking Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s passing. Music: Michael Wilding, Amaryllis Fletcher, Jordan Mc Connell. PZI Zen Online, as recorded Sept. 20, 2020.
I think this is a time when things are kind of changing and incredibly uncertain, and that fidelity to what’s really true to us is important and valuable. And we don’t have to pretend that when difficulties are here, they’re not here. But also, we don’t have to pretend that they cancel the illumination, because nothing does, really. Even if we’re dying, the brightness of life is still there. And after we’re dead, we’ll worry about that later, [laughs] when the time comes in the bardos.
Hanging Lanterns at the Gate of the Autumn Temple: Orange skies, unhealthy air; apocalypse week in CA and the West. The old agreements are fragile, climate change a long gathering storm, fire a consequence. Having a practice—the simplest thing—a conversation with the vastness. Being lost is an opportunity as old attitudes fall away. Don’t take yourself too seriously! “Each step along the way is of equal substance,” says Hirada. Musicians: Amaryllis Fletcher, Cantor & Jordan McConnell, guitar. PZI Zen Online, as recorded September 13, 2020.
PZI Zen Online: We are in the midst of great civil unrest around racism and the institutions that support it. Li Bai, Du Fu, Dalung & Primo Levi speak about what remains, what lives, what holds us in the universe—even as we feel most perishable, sad, defeated. The light is still there in all things even without a foundation to stand on. As recorded June 14 2020.