What is it like to be a mother? There are many rituals of participation with the Great Mother, the ancient Goddess. In Daoism, she is the Valley Spirit who never dies. In Chan/Zen, the Mother, the Valley Deep, brings the whole realm of feeling. Recorded on Mother’s Day, May 8th, 2022.
Day two of 2018 Winter Sesshin. John Tarrant introduces the great koan “No,” a gift from the ancestors. The gift is what happens when we hang out with the koan. “No” as the purest gate. When we step through, we find out we’re here! It’s not personal, you’re harmonizing with the universe. Transcript from a recording on January 17, 2018.
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.
A Mothers’ Day salute to the great mother in all her forms, the Valley Spirit—and to our own mysterious mothers. Wandering free and easy, without judgments or interruptions, the space inside everything is a kind of light that gradually becomes visible. Includes music for meditation from Jordan McConnell. 28-minute excerpt from Sunday talk, as recorded May 9, 2021. PZI Zen Online.
Dharma Theme: Fall Sesshin 2020 – Gathering in the Valley of Our Time. All audio sessions, opening and closing ceremonies, sutra services, and excerpts of talks. October 1-4 2020
PZI Zen Online: Fall Sesshin – Gathering in the Valley of Our Time. Evening talk and entire session with John Tarrant. Music by Jordan McConnell. As recorded October 3, 2020.
PZI Fall Sesshin: Gathering in the Valley of Our Time – John Tarrant’s evening words. Why did we come here? “Not for anything else.” Huangbo’s response on his arrival. Trusting your own experience in sesshin. Any moment of noticing is oneness with emptiness. The Valley Spirit holds us. Whatever arises in meditation is for you, and not wrong. October 1, 2020.
So, there’s a spaciousness inside all situations, is what I’m saying. We’re walking through them, and underneath our feet there’s space and light around us—and we’re walking through space and light. And knowing that then is the source, I think, of empathy and love—but we accompany each other. And we don’t have to take ourselves or each other so seriously. We don’t have to advocate for the direness of the human condition, which is something we find a lot of. [laughs]
Audio: John Tarrant reminds us to enjoy the moment of “now” just as it is. There is empathy and delight even in dark days. The dark feminine endures, there is a spaciousness and transparency in all situations. The Way is open and does not depend on “me.” As recorded, with music from Jordan McConnell and Amaryllis Fletcher, on May 3 2020. PZI Zen Online.