• July 27, 2022
  • 7:00 pm
  • Online (PDT)
Add to Calendar 07/27/2022 7:00 pm 07/27/2022 America/Los_Angeles On Awakening with Zen Koans Join renowned Zen teacher Joan Sutherlandfor an illuminating conversation exploring how practice with Zen koans makes us permeable to the joys and the anguish of this life. Online (PDT) false MM/DD/YYYY

Event Time in PDT, find the start time in your time zone.

Pay What You Can - $10 

This event has a suggested price of $10 but we encourage you to pay what feels right for you.

Copies of Joan's book, Through Forests of Every Color, are available at the button below.

Important Event Information

  • This event will be streamed live online with an interactive Q&A. 
  • Instructions on how to join will be emailed to registrants shortly before the event. 
  • This event will be recorded and will be available to watch on our YouTube channel and portions of the audio will be released on our podcast. 

If you need to request accessibility accommodations, please email publicprograms@ciis.edu at least one week prior to the event. For more information, explore our Accessibility web page.

Koans are the record of provocative, and often paradoxical, exchanges between Zen masters and their students developed in medieval China. These exchanges have also been boiled down to one-line questions or statements to be held in meditation and daily life. Famous examples include, "What is the sound of one hand?" and "Not knowing is most intimate."  

In her practice and writing, renowned Zen teacher Joan Sutherland reimagines the koan tradition with allegiance to its root spirit and to its profound potential for vivifying, subverting, and sanctifying our lives. In her latest book, Through Forests of Every Color, Joan shares her insights on dozens of traditional Zen koans as well as innovative koans culled from Western literature. She also shares teachings on how to create idiosyncratic koans or "turning phrases" from experiences in one’s own life. 

Join Joan for an illuminating conversation exploring how practice with Zen koans makes us permeable to the joys and the anguish of this life—and to the primordial mystery we glimpse behind the veil of the everyday.

Joan Sutherland portrait. Joan has red-brown hair and is smiling.

Joan Sutherland
, Roshi, is a teacher in the koan tradition and the first woman teacher in her lineage in the Americas. She is one of the founders of the Pacific Zen School, an innovative contemporary koan school that also includes the Pacific Zen Institute. Sutherland taught in Santa Fe, New Mexico, through Awakened Life, the community that gathered around her teachings there. She is also the founding teacher of The Open Source, a network of communities in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and California. In 2014 she retired from working directly with students and now focuses on Cloud Dragon: The Joan Sutherland Dharma Works, established to organize and disseminate her teachings. She is the author of Vimalakirti and the Awakened Heart, and her writing has appeared regularly in Lion’s Roar and Buddhadharma magazines. She is a translator from classical Chinese, collaborating with John Tarrant on a new translation of the Blue Cliff Record (forthcoming from Wisdom Publications). She currently lives on the coast of northern California. For more information, please visit Joan’s website.  

We are grateful to our Bookstore Partner:

Marcus Bookstore logo
Marcus Books is the nation’s oldest Black-owned independent bookstore celebrating its 60th year. Marcus Books’ mission is to provide opportunities for Black folks and their allies to celebrate and learn about Black people everywhere. Learn more about Marcus Books. 

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