Walking in Deep Places - Moving in the Dark
Series 2 of 4 Leadership Master Classes on Koan Types - John Tarrant, Roshi
Series 2 - 4 Leadership Master Classes on Koan Types Begins Saturday July 11, 2020 10am-12pm PDT
This is the second part of a series intended for our leadership group—in order to deepen our own understanding, help us guide others and stay connected as we explore the great matter.
Guishan asked Yangshan, “Suppose that out of the blue, someone asks you, ‘All sentient beings only have disorderly consciousness, boundless and with no foundation to rely on.’ How would you conduct an inquiry into this?”
Yangshan said, 'If a student like that came, I’d call, ‘Hey so and so!’
When the student turns their head, then I’d say, ‘What is it?’
Then I’d wait while she thinks about it.
Then I’d say, ‘Not only is disorderly consciousness boundless but also there is no foundation to rely on.’'
Guishan said, 'Oh, Good!'
- Blue Cliff Record, Case 37
As koan leaders today we can walk hand in hand with the old masters; they live in us and accompany us.
The koan tradition arose as a creative response to uncertain times; a path through when there is no path. The famous Zen not knowing is not so much ignorance as a willingness to walk in the dark, before anything is explained.
We are in the time we have long thought would arrive, subject to great forces.
Despair is oozing out of the walls and the mind tries to explain it all. And then there’s hope, and things being chopped up, and compressed, and dissolved, and there is fire, and death too, and hope again. The disturbance and chaos of our time is in our hearts as well as in the outside world and actually this is the way we keep in touch with the world. In the Bodhisattva path we accompany people wherever they are, even in disorderly karmic consciousness.
When we work with koans, images and feelings arrive, offered by the inner life; we take them as gates, opening into our situation. This is a way to trust our lives, and trust that what rises to meet us belongs to us too. We can have confidence in our own moves and in the light that is always at work in us. Unlooked for gifts will certainly appear, but we will not know what they are until they arrive.
Because times are uncertain, we’re beginning the first course with a four part exploration of the types of koans.
This curriculum is itself an example of the gifts of the underworld. I’ve been thinking of this material for years, but there was always something else that needed to be done first. Now there is nothing in the way.
We’re interested in creating a vessel that can hold a deep immersion in life, transformative processes, and how to trust our own creative moves in the dark. - John Tarrant, Roshi
Walking in the Deep Places - Series 2: Types of Koans
Additional details: Registration includes all 4 sessions. Recordings and materials will be made available for all sessions. After completing you registration you will receive zoom link to attend. You will also receive a welcome letter the week before we begin with additional information. You will be assigned a personal login for homework and course material as the course begins.
Cost: Suggested $200 donation.
Scholarships areas always, available for those who need them (contact email@example.com for details).
For registration questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.