In this short video, John Tarrant talks about the usefulness of the koan tradition in helping sort through the uncertainty of life in these times. The Pacific Zen Institute traces its lineage to the Chan school of Chinese Buddhism, which arose during a time of deep violence and uncertainty.

“Koans,” says John, “were begun for people who had to work in action, they had to meditate in action… The idea was: If I can have peace in my heart, if I can see any illumination in you, in what is happening, that is the best chance we have.”