Friday, 9 September 2016

Joan Sutherland

                Joan Sutherland is listed as listed as a “Senior Teacher Emerita” of John Tarrant’s Pacific Zen Institute, and Tarrant recognizes her as the person who has most closely worked with him in rethinking the koan curriculum. “I think koans have their own life,” she told me, “have their own fate. Over the centuries, there have been cycles of tremendous vitality in the koan tradition, and then it got institutionalized and went dormant, only to be revived again by someone like Dahui in China or like Hakuin in Japan. But the koans always survived! And so my image for that is of a giant dragon coiled at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, and the dragon is dreaming the koans all the time, and every once in a while she kind of stirs in her sleep. And there are some of us who are listening for dragon murmurings, and, when we hear them, we try to interpret them. That’s the poetic way of saying it.”

[Joan Sutherland – Cypress Trees in the Garden: 146, 173-89, 191, 192, 213, 231]
[See also: Joan Sutherland]

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