- July 27, 2022
- 7:00 pm
- Online (PDT)
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 with clinical psychologist Megan Rundel 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, 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.
Megan Rundel, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and Zen teacher in Oakland. She studied for decades with Joan Sutherland, Roshi, and was authorized to teach by her in 2014. She also does depth therapy informed by her many years of Buddhist meditation practice.
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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.