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John Tarrant
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Monday June 1 livestream Santa Rosa Creek Zendo  7pm pacific time I've been thinking along the lines of: In times like these it might help to have some points of orientation—

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In Seattle this Saturday morning Nov 15 doing a panel teaching with Ponlop Rinpoche & the Venerable Pannavati)

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Ancestor altar at Santa Rosa Zendo  
Lee Allen did this for the Ancestor retreat. The idea is you bring some relevant ancestor or ghost item to put on the altar  
This Sunday afternoon Nov 9 in Santa Rosa (with afternoon tea)

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Ancestor retreat this Sunday afternoon Nov 9 in Santa Rosa (with afternoon tea) 

I've been thinking that if you want get to know a ghost or ancestor, you can ask what song they sing. The answer is often immediate and surprising. Then of course you have to sing it.

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Meditation and Dreams
Tonight at Santa Rosa zendo
Working with koans, working with dreams. Transformation at a level of depth. Koans operate down deep the way dreams do and in some way to work with a koan is keeping company with it the way you do with a dream. You don't drag it up to the surface, you accept the invitation to go down where you can feel mysterious forces, the brush of great wings and shoulders. 
I’ve connected dreams into the Zen tradition because dreams talk to you the way a koan does. Dreams and koans both have a healing power
Talk around 7.50 pm live stream

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Will Whitted on improv and Zen. A sweet interview
Will is a friend of p and a wonderful improv teacher, as well as being an artist and engineer
Darlene Carman Presents...- Improve Acting

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Poetry & Koans: A day in Santa Rosa April 27 10.30 am - 4.30 pm

Something I'm up to.

When I was child I made a mistake in a library, in Launceston Tasmania; I was looking for pictures of fish and somehow blundered into a sea story—Ezra Pound’s translation of the 11th book in the Odyssey where they sail off to the underworld. It had a physical effect on me, the way a koan does now. Koans and poems have always been associated, they are words that unmake the world, and bring new worlds into being. Poems and koans embrace life, they accept the offer. They are good company in the underworld times, and also full of light and joy.
Here’s Meng Hau-jan’s “Night on the Great River”—
Dropping anchor at the misty island,
the lonely feeling increases at sundown.
And in huge space, the sky bends down the trees,
And in the quiet river, the moon is near
Even in the sense of sorrow at evening, there’s an underlying feel for the quiet we move through at such times, and the mysterious power that holds us all up.
So I'm doing a one day retreat this coming weekend that combines poems and koans, meditation and some writing, too. I want us to explore the mind that poetry comes from, which is the same mind that awakening comes from. You don't need to be a poet to attend, just someone curious about poetry, what it is and where it comes from. The beauty of the world presses itself into us and poetry records that. Writing is optional, but can help us glimpse the images and language that are always appearing and falling away. I will also read you lots of favorite poems and we will have a chance to sit with them.

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 Shambahala Sun piece on Distraction
The World Catches You Every time
Photo is a thylacine from the Victiorian Museum, Melbourne

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Rockridge Meditation Community Sunday April 13, 2014 10.30-noon.
I'll be teaching.
This is the season (April 8) when Buddha’s Birthday is celebrated. The story goes like this:

The Buddha’s pregnant mother reached up for a flowering branch and the branch bent down to her hand. As she reached for the blossoms, she began to give birth.
When the baby arrived he took a few steps, pointed to the sky and down to the earth and said: “Above the heavens, below the heavens, only I, alone and sacred.” 

We'll look at this story as a koan. The strangeness in the ancient stories is part of their virtue, and it's up to us to make something interesting out of them.
There are certain states of insight in which nothing we see hear taste touch or smell is alien to us, we share in everything that appears—nothing is really outside the restaurant with its nose pressed to the glass. It's for us—kindness, joy, sorrow, everything that comes to us and everything we do. Maybe it’s alright, maybe we're not doing it wrong. 

Come join us Sunday morning for meditation, teaching, conversation. 
Sculpture of the baby Buddha: Michael Hofmann (This sculpture went missing—Small sculptures tend to walk out of temples—so this photo is currently the only place it exists, which gives it a certain tenderness).
2 Photos - View album

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'll be teaching at Santa Rosa Creek Zen Center Monday April 7, 2014 7- 9pm
April 8 is one of the days that Buddha’s Birthday is celebrated. So we'll do a Buddha's birthday eve event. 
The baby Buddha pointed to the sky and to the earth, touched the ground and said:
“Above the heavens, below the heavens, only I, alone and sacred” 
This is one of those strange sayings that gets passed down and it's up to us to make something interesting out of it. 
Well, we have one life and it's the only gate we have. It's for us—kindness, joy, sorrow, everything we do. It’s a good thing to find out that maybe we're not doing it wrong. 

sculpture: Michael Hofman
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