Befriending your life, your koan, your own heart mind—not using your meditation for anything: no intention to improve yourself; not getting on board with the mind. Zen & the Art of Meditation, Part lll: October 17, 2021.
Dharmakaya koans open the body of reality—this is one of those koans: Yunmen’s “What is your light?” The light is always happening, so it is a good thing to notice. In times like these, this koan is one to ally with. Is there an art of meditation? It begins and ends with you. Music from Michael Wilding, Amaryllis Fletcher & Jordan McConnell.
John Tarrant talks about living in an underworld time, in a descent as a culture and as a world, and as a planet. Accepting the descent, and accepting the quality of being lost when it appears, is profoundly important. And there’s a great, strange, and interesting mystery in that.
Michael Wilding’s transportive original composition, an interlude for meditation, on flute. As recorded September 19, 2021.
A beautiful version of the 4 Boundless Vows for 2 harmonizing voices. It blooms! Thanks to Rose Joseph & her friend Delfine. As recorded during Jon Joseph’s Monday evening talk on September 20th, 2021.
Everyone is assailed by demons right now. Demons have a long history in the culture. 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. Tess Beasley reads from James Hillman’s “Dreams & the Blood Soul.” Michelle Riddle & Jon Joseph chant a Zen spell for dispelling demons, the Sho Sai Myo Kichijo Dharani. John reads Keats and Coleridge.
What is the gift of the universe? We receive unexpected help when we are “living down a level,” living things before we construct them. Not constantly consulting your “me,” you open to the invitations and gifts that appear; trusting in the Dao.
Markers of the Way. Stepping into the field of the heart mind —the koan field. John reads his poem, “Setting out under the Golden Gate in the Rain.” The intimacy of doing tasks together. Mazu’s koan, “The purpose of your whole life is contained in the current matter.” Epiphanies—the Greek showing of the god, and the Japanese kensho; when you see your true nature. Curiosity is part of awakening. Whose life is it? Discovery must be lived through your own deep work. Everything strikes the heart. Our monastery is the practice. Music with Michael Wilding and Ryan McCoy. PZI Zen Online, as recorded Feb. 7, 2021.
An excerpt from the full Sunday session with co-host Tess Beasley. Allison Atwill tells a story of a moment when she knocked on a door and entered the vastness of the universe. As recorded on May 30, 2021
A 20-minute guided koan meditation with John Tarrant, from his Sunday dharma talk. The koan for this meditation, “What is Jiashan’s state of mind?” was translated by John Tarrant & Joan Sutherland. Audio excerpt as recorded May 9, 2021.
Jon Joseph Roshi of San Mateo Zen considers the 4th & 5th Ox-herding Pictures and poems. Of itself, the Ox follows along—without devices or chains. PZI Zen Online. Dharma talk as recorded March 22, 2021.
A guided koan meditation with John Tarrant to begin the Spring Sesshin. Koan: Peach Blossoms. 7 minutes as recorded April 7, 2021.
Peach blossoms can turn up anywhere, and the Valley Spirit appears. Depending on what is larger than us—even the reaching for it has it! PZI Digital Temple. Audio as recorded April 21, 2021.
The Lilies of New Life: It is spring and John reads poetry of the season. Original music performed by Jordan McConnell, as recorded Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021. PZI Zen Online.
The PZI enlightenment firm of Atwill, Riddle & Beasley makes a case for Ordinary Mind. Stories of what gets in the way, the nearness of “It” and a season of laughter. Music from Michael Wilding & Jordan McConnell. As recorded March 28, 2021.
A 32 minute Meditation: The tale of the Diamond Sutra with John Tarrant. Koan meditation, as recorded March 21st 2021.
We travel in the dark and find treasure—the hidden jewels of practice. The difficulty we would like to avoid is the gate. Sappho said, “Enter the way, enter here.” Meditation is the container, the alembic of change. Poems and music during meditation from Michael Wilding. Ryan McCoy sings the vows. PZI Zen Online, as recorded March 7, 2021.
Deshan is determined to prove his scholarly certainty. He encounters two teachers who help him see the light. John talks about refuge; What is it? Why take refuge? What is the rakusu? PZI’s approach—working with refuge vows as koans. Zen ultimately rests in mystery and uncertainty. Linji says, “Have confidence in the light always working inside you.” Music with Jordan McConnell. Sunday talk as recorded Feb. 28th, 2021.
Guided meditation with John Tarrant. Who is sitting? Who hears the bell? Always a good start for a meditation. John shares Master Ma’s comment on “the current matter”— this very moment of your life as a most important gate. Audio excerpt recorded Feb. 7 2021, PZI Zen Online. 25 minutes.
John Tarrant guides a 9-minute meditation with Master Ma’s koan, “The whole purpose of your life is contained in the current matter.” Audio excerpt as recorded at a Sunday Meditation & Talk on February 9, 2021.
PZI Zen Online: On friendship with the world—koans, trees, people. How we interact with friends, from the heart. They listen and we don’t have to make them anything other than what they are. Stories of Mr. Woods and other friends, making a friend of your koan in practice. As recorded Sunday Jan 24 2021. 7 minutes.
Handing Things On in the Dark. The dark silent time of this year has lasted for 9 months, in COVID. “The whole meaning of your life is in the current matter happening now.” No explaining it. “To be deeply in Zen is to be deeply in how to express it.” The first vaccines are here. The mysterious freedoms of this time, welcoming the new year, and a tour of the deep thick dark of midnight. John reads poems by Gerard Manly Hopkins, Anna Swir, Czeslaw Milosz, and more. Music from Jordan McConnell & Amaryllis Fletcher. PZI Zen Online, as recorded Jan 3, 2021.
PZI Zen Online: Excerpt from Handing Things On in the Dark. The freshness of the new year, the dark silent time of the year. To be deeply in zen is to be deeply in how to express it. The mysterious freedoms of the dark. As recorded Jan. 3, 2021. 2 minutes.
PZI Zen Online: At PZI we say that every bit of awakening is all of awakening. In fact, the barrier for awakening is so low that our sutra dedication says that “ants, sticks, and grizzly bears can easily jump over.” The bar is low, the gate wide open, the invitation given and never rescinded!
Hanging Lanterns at the Gates of the Autumn Temple with John Tarrant. Immensity is pecking; breaking through with a koan—Jingqing asks for help with his awakening. We are part of a great transformative process which can be precious and subtle. Music from Michael Wilding, Jordan McConnell & Amaryllis Fletcher, vows Michelle Riddle. PZI Zen Online, as recorded Oct. 18, 2020.
Guided meditation with John Tarrant Roshi reciting Yunmen’s formative Zen koan, which asks the question: “What is your light?” Excerpted from a Sunday Meditation & Talk recorded on September 6, 2020.
As old agreements fall apart, practice is a kindness. What is the image of our time? A lamp that lights another, without losing any radiance. It carries the changes, in the warmth of fire. What is meditation? Any moment of sanity! Michael Wilding on flute, Amaryllis Fletcher on violin, and Jordan McConnell on guitar for the 4 Vows. As recorded on Sunday, September 6, 2020.