John Tarrant's Monthly Dharma Talk - Archived from Feb. 6th 'Meditation Basics for a Time of Tyranny'
John Tarrant’s monthly dharma talk.
COMING UP! URBAN RETREAT at RMC: May 19 - 21st 2017 with David Weinstein, Roshi save the dates! Stay tuned for details
THIS WEEK REGULAR RMC SITTINGS
WEDNESDAY, COMMUNITY NIGHT Feb. 22nd - 7 - 9pm, Toward the Land of Demons with Jon Joseph, Roshi
"A fierce wind blew the ship off course and set it drifting toward the land of the demons.”
~ Entangling Vines, Case 42
For obvious reasons, this has been a popular koan in Zen circles of late: frightening winds, a sense of lost bearings, of drifting helplessly toward danger. All of those feelings have visited my life in recent weeks and months. But rather than struggling to beat up upwind, perhaps we should turn about, unfurl our mainsail and head directly to the land of demons. We cannot know what lies on that shore, but if we approach it with courage and openness, and a kind of expansiveness, perhaps we will find our way once more. Jon
WHAT IS RMC COMMUNITY NIGHT?
Community Night is a chance to practice meditation in action, in the midst of our lives. Eating and drinking and conversing together is a unique opportunity to notice the way the practice of paying attention is present, or not, where the 'rubber' of our practice meets the 'road' of our life. Becoming intimate with the workings of our heart/mind while sitting quietly is helpful, but, if it isn't present in our day to day lives, what's the point?
Community Night is a chance to do that in a safe environment. It is also a time to discover and strengthen connections between each other and the community that is the container of our practice.
Each time we gather to practice together is a time that we can do that, not just once a month on Community Night. We purposely place a break between quietly sitting together and the group conversation about the koan, as a way to provide that opportunity during each of our gatherings, whether on Wednesday nights or Sunday mornings.
On Community Night we save that for after the meditation and group discussion and are able to luxuriate in each other's company for a bit longer than usual.
Creating a Culture at PZI
NEW ISSUE • WINTER 2017
DOUBLE ISSUE - 'More Everything: Having & Wanting'
A magazine of Zen and the arts from the Pacific Zen Institute
Fresh from the Pacific Zen Institute’s long-running project on Zen, koans, consciousness, and the arts, comes the second issue of our online magazine:
A Wonderful Gift- Support PZI
Pacific Zen Institute presents an exclusive DVD offer Scenes from an extraordinary retreat with two Zen masters, and a chance to support our ongoing work.
In Autumn 2012, Zen koan masters John Tarrant and Joan Sutherland came together to converse about The Blue Cliff Record, the first great collection of koans, now almost 1,000 years old. It’s a text filled with stories that change you.We are thrilled to be able to offer this DVD record of the event—a chance to witness their collaboration in a set of live conversations about Zen, koans, and enlightenment.
A GREAT READ from PZI
NEW ISSUE WINTER 2017
Uncertainty.club DOUBLE ISSUE More Everything: Wanting & Having
PZI's online Zen, koan consciousness & the arts
RMC SATURDAY, Dec. 17th,
8am - 10:30am
Individual Conversations with David Weinstein, Roshi on your meditation practice.
No experience necessary. People will be invited in for a conversation in the order in which they arrive.
For those who can't make it on Saturdays, it is possible to schedule appointments with David at other times of the week.
Dana gratefully accepted.
RMC SUNDAY, Feb.26th 9:30am - 12pm
Sickness & Medicine with Jan Brogan
Yunmen said,"Sickness and medicine are in accord with each other. The whole world is medicine. What am I?"
In the Vimalakirti sutra, Vimalakirti states," I am sick because all beings are sick." Vimalakirti is pointing to something true about human beings. We are not separate from each other. When people suffer, we suffer as a result. We cannot protect ourselves from the suffering in the world. We can turn off the tv or radio, sign out of facebook, stop tweeting, distract ourselves with sports, sex or work. We can even call it "fake news"!
When we do this we are cut off from ourselves and one another. We
make war on each other and the environment.
If I am curious and turn toward my delusion of the day, I may discover that poison can be medicine.
If the whole world is medicine, what am I?
PZI 's Spring OPEN MIND Retreat Retreat sold out
How to Get Lost (And What to Do When You Are There)
An Open Mind Retreat with John Tarrant
March 23-26, 2017, Bolinas, CA Thursday eve - Sun. noon
When the night is dark and the world has gone mad, that’s the time to lose your way. Getting lost is the middle part of the story where everything exciting happens, stranger and mysterious. Hardship, impossible tasks, and surprising allies all belong to getting lost. more
Introduction to Koan Meditation with David Weinstein, Roshi. Sunday, Feb. 26th, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Zen koan meditation is a tradition that has been held somewhat under wraps. Although koans, which are often the record of interchanges between teachers and students, are readily available, the sharing of similar interchanges between contemporary practitioners and their teachers have not been shared. It is ironic that Koan practice should generate a veil of mystery around it. Koans deal with things as ordinary as, 'To eat when hungry and sleep when tired.' Sounds simple, something we do all the time. But do we really? Koan practice invites us to investigate our assumptions about that, and everything else. In so doing, we become more intimate with who we are.
Bringing aspects of koan practice out from behind closed doors has made koan practice accessible to a wider range of people, which in turn has brought creativity and innovation into how we practice with koans. Koan practice is conversational, between ourselves and the koan, each other and most importantly, a deep conversation with ourselves.
This class is an opportunity to taste koan practice. A chance to ask questions, meditate a bit and have a conversation. It is also a chance to check out the culture of innovation and inquiry we are nurturing.
PZI LONG SUMMER RETREAT REGISTER NOW
Mysterious Paths: A Summer Weeklong Retreat
With John Tarrant & Friends
July 16-23, 2017
Mt. Madonna Center
This is a meditation retreat for discovering how to navigate in a world with few familiar landmarks; it is seven days along the deepest path.
Zen is a mystery school—we enter the mystery to be transformed. The transformation is through the life we already have, toast and heartbreak. We notice our kitchen loves us. The gate is not knowing. We don’t try to explain life, or defend against it, we enter it deeply, we don’t make ourselves certain.
For more information contact: Jan Black, Registrar