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John Tarrant
Lives in Santa Rosa, California
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John Tarrant

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Monday June 1 livestream Santa Rosa Creek Zendo  7pm pacific time
https://www.pacificzen.org/the-way-of-the-koan/ 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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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) 
https://www.pacificzen.org/ancestors-retreats/
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This is a grand time to sit in a pumpkin patch or around a fire or alter to invite your self to the darkness for some good old rest, refreshments and friends. I couldn't make it this year but the connection with the Ancestors with Sanga, moon beams, and trees carried me. And there where 8 turkey's in the morning about 30 feet up in the bull pines. They jump-flew at dawn.
Blessings to all us critters
Thanks for the pictures of the beautiful alter
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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
https://www.pacificzen.org/koans-and-dreams/
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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.

https://www.pacificzen.org/gates-and-poems/
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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).
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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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John Tarrant

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In Seattle this Saturday morning Nov 15 doing a panel teaching with Ponlop Rinpoche & the Venerable Pannavati)
http://www.nalandawest.org/events/awake-in-seattle/
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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.

https://www.pacificzen.org/ancestors-retreats/
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Will Whitted on improv and Zen. A sweet interview
Will is a friend of p
acificzen.org and a wonderful improv teacher, as well as being an artist and engineer
Darlene Carman Presents...- Improve Acting
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The Universal Traveler is a workbook/resource for creativity and design.  http://www.amazon.com/Crisp-Universal-Traveler-Don-Koberg/dp/1560526793

I thought of this because Will Whitted is a retired designer.  
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 Shambahala Sun piece on Distraction
The World Catches You Every time

http://bit.ly/1qnzWuW
Photo is a thylacine from the Victiorian Museum, Melbourne
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Nice, John. I remembered you are a poet.
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David Chadwick's refreshing portrait of Kobun Chino, one of the early Japanese Zen Teachers in this country. It has all the Chadwickian virtues of generosity and acute observation. Via Michael Katz

http://www.cuke.com/dchad-writ/kobun-great-friend.htm
Redone version posted 2-10-14. Originally written quickly in March 2012 for the book Remembering Kobun published by his disciple Vanja Palmers. I got it in at the last moment with links and notes. Then when they sent me their edited version I didn't look at it which was a thoughtless mistake.
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Have him in circles
261 people
Wulfear Inphonic's profile photo
patricia beck's profile photo
Andreas Geisler's profile photo
Vortex Switchgear's profile photo
Will Whitted's profile photo
JUAN ROBERTO ALVAREZ ORTIZ's profile photo
George Beshers's profile photo
DJ Sisk's profile photo
Jeff Palmer's profile photo
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Pacific Zen Institute, Director
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Introduction
Teaching Zen as a way to transform the mind. New ways to teach koans so that anyone can use them
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Currently
Santa Rosa, California
Previously
Launceston, Tasmania - Honolulu - Braidwood, NSW - Canberra - Sydney
BIll has worked on various of our cars, a newish Nissan Frontier, a Toyota Highlander, a Honda Civic, along with high mileage college kid cars, a Honda, a VW and old Toyota truck. If he says that old car will get the kid to college, he's right. I took him a friend's Infiniti which had a weird electrical problem the dealer couldn't fix. He fixed it and didn't charge. He honest, helpful and great at what he does.
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