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.
John Tarrant reads poems and haiku from Issa, Walt Whitman, Christopher Smart, William Merwyn and others. From Sunday Talk: The Animal Heart Mind. 12 minutes.
With all the crises of our time lined up, like a caravan demanding our attention, what if the moments of beauty, friendship and peace are the real, important moments? Animal koans are really about you, and the question, What is it like to have a self? Poem and haiku readings from John, Issa, William Merwynn, Walt Whitman, Christopher Smart, & PZI friends Jeanne Foster and Adam Walsh. Music from Jordan McConnell.
We’re in a time that is difficult, but it is our time—and difficulty is not the only thing going on. Creativity is also present, but it is easy to be crazy right now. The old masters understood this situation. September 5, 2021.
“You must in the destructive element immerse…” You have to go through it otherwise you can’t have real resolution. Not fleeing the difficulty of things, and orienting yourself to the infinite. “A person on a raft flows on the stream by throwing themselves away.” The importance of the smallest things in the this-is-it dream.
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.
Part 1, “I vow to wake all the beings of the world.” Allison Atwill introduces the 1st of the 4 Vows, noticing the grandeur and awe of an impossible task. One’s own room expanding outwards, vow as a prayer in service of awakening. How to save all beings? By including them, now. That which has already been born, allow it to be here and find its place. Excerpt from the Sunday session on August 1, 2021.
Even a time of torpor, or a time when plans come apart, or we thought the culture was going in one way and it’s going in another—we rely on the spaciousness, we rely on not what we’ve planned and schemed, but we rely on what’s been opened up in our hearts. Transcript from the PZI Zen Online recording from Sunday, June 21, 2020.
Allison Atwill & Tess Beasley are guest hosts in John Tarrant’s Free & Easy Wandering Series. They each tell a story of being at a threshold—knocking on doors not knowing who would answer, and how the gifts of the universe appeared. PZI Zen Online, as recorded May 30, 2021. Vows with Jordan McConnell. Music for meditation from Michael Wilding archived separately.
We’ve been in a long monastic retreat during this pandemic. Time has slowed. We are opening up gradually now to the world, as more people are vaccinated. We realize we are not going back to anything. The time is changing. We’re all stepping off into the mysterious. Musician: Jordan McConnell. PZI Zen Online: Sunday talk as recorded May 23, 2021.
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.
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.
PZI Zen Online Audio: Blue Dragon’s Cave Sesshin, Sunday Talk. Small things, small moments of rest, peace, & awakening, like “Thank you.” Appreciating the discarded treasures. The very things that imprison me hold the freedom, if we can host them. Being at home with them. The Storehouse ONLY opens by itself – no prying or forcing. “Returning” in meditation. Leonard Cohen sings How the Light Gets In. As recorded July 28 2020.
Audio excerpt: John Tarrant guides a journey into the Blue Dragon’s Cave, a koan meditation as recorded on Sunday July 5th Meditation & Talk. 25 minutes.
John takes us further into our lockdown descent with a predicament koan that interrupts our usual ways of navigating, into the Sea of Ise, 10,000 feet down, to a single stone. Session includes John’s talk and koan, meditation segments, closing music, and participating teachers’ comments. As recorded April 5, 2020.