In early January 2017, in the wake of the U.S. election, John Tarrant offered this dharma talk at the Santa Rosa Creek Zen Center.  We meditated with the koan:

A woman raised a goose in a bottle. When the goose had grown, she wanted to get it out without harming the goose or breaking the bottle. How do you get the goose out of the bottle?

Watch the video here:


He talked about impossible situations – “you’re caught, you’re trapped, you’re the goose, you’re in a bottle … We have to find some kind of freedom within the conditions we have. … The movement in meditation is in a certain sense to harmonize with the world and have it carry us, so that we can be at peace in the world when the world is not.”

The “seeds of the new time are in the threshing of the old time,” he reminds us, asking us to look for steadiness and compassion inside the turmoil or the trap we are in. And then maybe, you’ll find yourself out of the bottle. Look around.


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