May 31, 2022
Dating back to medieval China, koans (riddles or paradoxical phrases) have been used in various schools of Zen to open the mind to a level of wisdom and insight that transcends logic.
On May 31, join Tricycle and Joan Sutherland—the renowned Zen teacher, translator, and cofounder of Pacific Zen School—for a spiritual and literary journey through the fascinating world of koans. Sutherland’s work reimagines the koan tradition for today’s world, revitalizing the root spirit of koans and their deep potential for sparking insight and transformation.
As part of Tricycle’s new monthly speaker series, Sutherland sits down with Tricycle’s editor-in-chief, James Shaheen, for a virtual conversation on the power of koans and their use (both traditional and innovative) in spiritual practice. Drawing on themes from her new book Through Forests of Every Color: Awakening with Koans, she will also share creative koans drawn from the Western literary tradition and offer guidance for creating koans out of the circumstances of one’s life circumstances.
Joan Sutherland, Roshi is the author of Through Forests of Every Color: Awakening with Koans (Shambhala, 2022), an original, intimate spiritual and literary journey through the world of koans. She was the co-founder of the Pacific Zen School and founder of The Open Source, a network of communities in the western United States. She now lives on the coast of northern California, focusing on writing and translating from classical Chinese. Cloud Dragon: The Joan Sutherland Dharma Works disseminates her work.