PZI Teacher Archives
It is part of being human to have complex, multiple views. We are always communing with what is here. There is no escape hatch out of this life into another one. Where would we go? When we let go of imposing conditions on our life, then there is a profound freedom—refuge allows that. And we find there is a beautiful helplessness to our condition.
It is part of being human to have complex, multiple views. We are always communing with what is here. There is no escape hatch out of this life into another one. Where would we go? The Dao takes its own time with our intractable problems and suffering. We already know we want to live the truest, most authentic life we can, before we think refuge.
Refuge is a path that opens a way toward life and awakening. Life is paradoxical, and with refuge a new responsiveness emerges, which introduces more freedom into any given situation—it prompts a response that accords with all things. John and Tess discuss the nature of refuge, origin of rakusus, Zen names and more.
From a Sunday Zen session with John Tarrant (What Is This?): Amaryllis plays a violin intro for Jesse’s rendition of the Four Vows on bongos and vocals. 3-minute clip recorded February 19, 2023.
John Tarrant and HOP Michelle Riddle close the sesshin, together with the sangha, letting it go into the gone beyond. Timekeeper Todd Geist gives closing thanks. Musician Amanda Boughton sings a celtic ballad and plays mandolin, Cantor Amaryllis Fletcher chants and plays violin for the closing sutras and four boundless vows. Final day of Summer Sesshin, at Santa Sabina, June 19th, 2022.
Tess Beasley describes touchstones of the journey for participants taking refuge vows at Summer Sesshin. Refuge entails committing to the vows as koans, a ceremony with teachers and community, and receiving the rakusu. Complete talk in Summer Sesshin on June 18, 2022.
Special Program on The 4 Boundless Vows: John Tarrant, Jon Joseph, & Michelle Riddle chant the 4 Boundless Vows in English and Sino-Japanese. Excerpt from the Sunday program recorded August 1, 2021.
Part 4: I vow to live the Great Buddha Way. Michelle Riddle takes up the 4th of the 4 Vows. What seems impossible may not be possible to ignore! Koans and sutras give many instructions on how to live, but you must live the Great Buddha Way as you. Like great art, it is an intimate and particular expression, but speaks to something we all feel, and something we all must do: realizing we are here! Excerpt from the Sunday session recorded August 1, 2021.
Part 2: I vow to set endless heartache to rest. Tess talks about the 2nd of the 4 Vows, the richness of heartache, and how we are drenched in tenderness and love for the world. Fearing drowning, we put up walls: “This shouldn’t be happening.” Seeing the endlessness of it allows it to move through, trusting the great river which carries us along. Setting heartache to rest is setting a kind of certainty to rest. Excerpt from the Sunday session on August 1, 2021.
Allison Atwill, John Tarrant, Jon Joseph, Jordan McConnell, Michael Wilding, Michelle Riddle, Tess Beasley
On practice and path: become the Way, and illumination is always with you. A dive into the sources, history, and meaning of the 4 Great Bodhisattva Vows; how PZI teachers and students work with them towards the ceremony of Refuge and taking up the path. Each teacher takes up one of the Vows. Teachers chant and intone Vows in English and Sino-Japanese; Michael Wilding recites, Jordan McConnell singing and on guitar. Complete session recorded August 1, 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.
Audio PZI Zen Online – ‘The Sieve’ koan – and the woman finding enlightenment. Michelle enters the nature of the Bodhisattva way and how we find ourselves on that path.