The Dragon Mind of Zen Tarot: Intro


A short time ago a discussion of the Tarot arose and the response was one of caution, even for some trepidation, as to its nature. It’s true that divination, if approached in ways and fashions that lean towards the dark side—I bring to mind certain decks like the Crowley Tarot whose energies revolve around dark themes—one needs to prudently pause and not touch them, let alone engage them, allowing these dark energies to entrap you in their world—indeed, to play about with you, like the Ouija board. But truth be told, Tarot, in itself, need not be dark. Tarot is derived from two words—Tar, meaning road—and Ro meaning royal. In this sense Tarot is a vehicle, yea, even an expedient means, to spiritually traverse on the royal road to wisdom. At its root, Tarot is a rich Arcanum, as articulated in the great spiritual classic, Meditations on the Tarot:

“An arcanum is that which it is necessary to “know” [gnosis] in order to be fruitful in a given domain of spiritual life. It is that which must be actively present in our consciousness —or even in our subconscious —in order to render us capable of making discoveries, engendering new ideas, conceiving of new artistic subjects. In a word, it makes us fertile in our creative pursuits, in whatever domain of spiritual life. An arcanum is a “ferment” or an “enzyme” whose presence stimulates the spiritual and the psychic life of man. And it is symbols which are the bearers of these “ferments” or “enzymes” and which communicate them —if the mentality and morality of the recipient is ready, i.e. if he is “poor in spirit” and does not, suffer from the most serious spiritual malady: self-complacency…It is therefore in a state of deep contemplation—and always ever deeper—that they should be approached. And it is the deep and intimate layers of the soul which become active and bear fruit when one meditates on the Arcana of the Tarot. Therefore this “night”, of which St. John of the Cross speaks, is necessary, where one withdraws oneself “in secret” and into which one has to immerse oneself each time that one meditates on the Arcana of the Tarot. It is a work to be accomplished in solitude, and is all the more suitable for recluses.” (MOTT, pg. 4)

In actuality, Tarot is a true and authentic form of Western Yoga. It is in this sense that the inspiration has arisen for a new Tarot, one that highlights the Arcane significance of the Unborn. Tarot, over the years, is not just fashioned with divination in mind. Many Tarot systems today are designed and employed exclusively for meditation, and intuitive insight. The Dragon Mind of Zen Tarot has evolved in like fashion, as such. There are 45 cards, along with video meditations. When you break it down as 4+5, you arrive at the highly mystically-charged number 9. In traditional Tarot, Arcanum number nine is assigned as “The Hermit”, or one who enters into deep spiritual solitude. The Hermit is the one who, with his luminous light, is looking for a few good dharma-seeds in this present Dark Age; as such he represents a Spiritual Guide. The hermit in traditional tarot is depicted thus:

The Hermit3

This number was not arrived at haphazardly or arbitrarily. The Dragon Mind of Zen videos, created during the spring and summer of 2011 on YouTube, were intuitively woven. Over time I’ve often wondered about their particular number as 45, why not more or less? Then, like a heaven-blown lightning, it one day dawned on me that they were somehow intuitively designed as a form of Tarot, and now it makes complete sense. They are indeed individual Arcanums, bespeaking the mystical import of the Unborn Buddha Mind.

In point of fact, there are other “Zen Tarot” cards available these days, but none even approaching the profound mystical depth of Tozen’s, The Dragon Mind of Zen Tarot. These meditations were written by Tozen primarily during the early formative years of his Zen School of the Unborn Mind—first initiated back in the spring of 2000. Tozen worked tirelessly for the early formation of his school, in letters, notes, teachings, poems, and responding to student’s questions—indeed a beautiful spiritual menagerie that endlessly spins revealing the wonderful Arcanum of the Unborn Mind. These meditations, first penned all those years ago, are some of the finest teachings I’ve ever come across throughout all my years of spiritual study and formation—truly in league with all that is epic-making. It’s as if Tozen, in those early writings, were sitting at the feet of the Shining Ones, receiving these spiritual revelations from the Tathagatas themselves. I don’t say this lightly, creating those videos back in the spring-summer of 2011 was a rare mystical highpoint, and I find myself turning to them time and time again as a source of inspiration—each view and listening (and now offered here in text fashion, too) brings a new depth of genuine Mystical Zen Buddhism. The text and accompanying video meditation links (45 in number) of the Dragon Mind of Zen Tarot will be offered here. It’s suggested that the cards themselves can be created by you, the reader; print out the meditations to read and obtain some card-stock (card-sized stocks are available in craft-shops), then laminate the images on the cards; it’s imperative that the Black Dragon-Eye Mandala be on the backs of all the cards; of course, these are not meant for commercial purposes, so please honor your cards privately in your own place of study on this wonderful Arcanum.


There will be 45 cards in number. Good luck, and enjoy a new depth of spiritual-insight from The Dragon Mind of Zen Tarot.

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