The Ancestral Story of the Red River Jig

The anthem of the Métis nation is the Red River Jig, a fiddle tune with Indigenous origins in the early 19th century. Says Jordan, “By playing that music, by being accepted by the that community, I’ve come a bit to know what it means to be Métis.”

The Priceless Gift

I think we feel the deepest joy when we cross over unknown and unknowable frontiers, when we meet the inconceivable.

The High Sierra – A Love Story: A Visit with Kim Stanley Robinson

“What has persisted out of my interest in Zen is its devotion to treating the world as sacred in daily life.”

(Kim Stanley Robinson)

Beyond Space and Time

With the release of The Ministry for the Future, best-selling author Kim Stanley Robinson became the most closely followed voice in science and climate fiction today. Called by The New York Times “the last great utopian,” Stan’s vision of the future is fearsome yet ultimately optimistic in its belief that the human race will learn how to come together to address our growing existential challenges.

The Half Known Life: A Visit with Pico Iyer

“Creativity comes from a place I can’t name, let alone control or anticipate. It is unanswerable; a vast darkness you can’t penetrate. I was talking to a friend in Santa Barbara a couple of years ago and said, ‘My writing comes from out of the blue.’ He asked, ‘What is the blue?'”

(Pico Iyer)

The Very Best Sauce

There is something wonderful and intimate about feeling that we are not lacking in our lives. Not lacking salt, soy sauce, mayonnaise, grocery stores, Studebaker station wagons, mothers, brothers and sisters.

The Elk Came for Him: A Visit with Jordan McConnell

Scotty is an elk-hunting guide who built a cabin on the lake below Kootenay Mountain in the northern Rockies. “One day, an elk came off the mountain into his yard. Somehow, Scotty knew that the elk had come for him … ”

(Scotty’s story as told by PZI’s Jordan McConnell)

Treasure from Inside Sesshin

In our recent three-day PZI sesshin, we rapidly entered deep waters; koans speaking with other koans. It began with sixteen bodhisattvas in the bath, followed by the coin lost in the river, and then, suddenly, it’s midnight …

The Greatest Wa

Last week we investigated the Daoist notion of Ma 間: sunlight streaming through a gate, “the space between.” Lately, I have been thinking about Wa 和, or “harmony.” In the practice of Zen, realizing Ma—“space”—brings a measure of Wa: “harmony.” So how do we get from Ma to Wa?

The Space Between

Sometimes, when speaking about Chan-Zen, I feel that talking in double negatives is more expressive than a declarative statement: “Not two” rather than “one”; “not wrong” rather than “right”; “not one thing” instead of “all things.” Maybe a double negative has a softer edge against the universe. Yet even a softer double-negative does not quite touch the space that is between.