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February 19, 2013

Treasury of Lives: Origins of the Ngor Lineage

Biography and autobiography in Tibet are important sources for both education and inspiration. Tibetans have kept such meticulous records of their teachers that thousands of names are known and discussed in a wide range of biographical material. All these names, all these lives—it can be a little overwhelming. The authors involved in the Treasury of Lives are currently mining the primary sources to provide English-language biographies of every known religious teacher from Tibet and the Himalaya, all of which are organized for easy searching and browsing. Every Tuesday on the Tricycle blog, we will highlight and reflect on important, interesting, eccentric, surprising and beautiful stories found within this rich literary tradition. More »
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February 18, 2013

Mindfulness And Emotions: Third Week of Sharon Salzberg's Retreat

In this third week of Sharon Salzberg's retreat, "Mindfulness and Emotions," she dives into the mercurial realm of emotional feelings, asking, "Is there a quality of happiness that we can experience that is not subject to changing conditions?" The answer, of course, is yes, which we can discover and develop with the power of our own awareness. We experience all kinds of feelings—from joy to anger to confusion to clarity. The point of mindfulness, Sharon explains, is not to eliminate a certain set of feelings, or to sustain another set, but instead to cultivate our awareness of how we relate and respond to our shifting emotions. "When conditions come together for something to arise, it will arise. How we then relate to it makes of all of the difference." More »
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February 18, 2013

Meditation Month

Exploring Emotions Andy Puddicombe
It's meditation month! Throughout February we'll be offering tips and advice from your favorite Buddhist teachers on how to develop and maintain a meditation practice. Today we have a guest blog post from Andy Puddicombe, founder of Headspace and formerly a Buddhist monk in the Tibetan tradition. He's also Tricycle's old meditation doctor.  More »
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February 15, 2013

Buddha Buzz: Joshu Sasaki Roshi Scandal Goes Viral (Kind of)

Emma Varvaloucas
The news of the Joshu Sasaki Roshi and Rinzai-ji scandal has officially broken into the mainstream media. Joshu Roshi's decades-long pattern of sexually abusing his female students, and the Rinzai-ji association's long coverup of it, was first exposed on Adam Tebbe's site Sweeping Zen back in November—although by many accounts, it was an open secret in Zen circles for quite some time. More »
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February 14, 2013

Five Ways to Renew an Old Love

Over at UC Berkeley's website Greater Good, psychologist, author, and Buddhist Barabara Fredrickson offers us five ways to renew the feeling of love. Fredrickson explains that the feeling of love, like any emotion, is fleeting—she herself was surprised just how fleeting it proved to be as her scientific research progressed. "The good news," Fredrickson shares, "is that love is a renewable resource." In the brief article she lists a number of ways we can continuously re-cultivate love. By learning to generate love at a moments notice, we can create stronger, lasting bonds with our loved ones, or at least get through Valentine's Day...   Read the article here. More »
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February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Buddhist Heart Replacement

Cator Shachoy
A few years back, Youth Yoga Dharma founder and craniosacral practitioner Cator Shachoy sent us this "Buddhist Heart Replacement." It's the perfect remedy for those of us suffering through Valentine's Day with pain in our hearts. Click to see a larger version of the image. On the next page, Cator explains the background behind the drawing. More »
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February 14, 2013

Meditation Month, Day 14: Metta Au Natural

Emma Varvaloucas
Oooh, Valentine's Day. The one day of the year that drives fear into the hearts of men and women everywhere. (Or wait, is that just me?)I used to be very anti-Valentine's Day. I liked to whine a lot about the artificiality of forcing ourselves to be loving on some random day of the year, probably because I enjoyed, in a weird way, being angst-ridden, and probably because there's a sloppy gratification and comfort in whining all the time.These days I'm more ambivalent than anything else. Valentine's Day comes and goes and comes and goes. There's not much to it—just another day. More »
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February 14, 2013

Himalayan Buddhist Art 101: Who Created the Hindu Gods?

Jeff Watt
Buddhist practice and Buddhist art have been inseparable in the Himalayas ever since Buddhism arrived to the region in the eighth century. But for the casual observer it can be difficult to make sense of the complex iconography. Not to worry—Himalayan art scholar Jeff Watt is here to help. In this "Himalayan Buddhist Art 101" series, Jeff is making sense of this rich artistic tradition by presenting weekly images from the Himalayan Art Resources archives and explaining their roles in the Buddhist tradition. Who Created the Hindu Gods? More »
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February 14, 2013

Sex, Love, and Buddhism

A Valentine's Day Interview with Allan Badiner
It’s Valentine’s Day! Depending on how you want to look at it, either love and compassion are floating all around us or it’s the biggest day of giving in to our clinging and compulsions. To honor Buddhism’s often complicated relationship with sex and romantic love, we decided to do a special interview with Tricycle contributing editor Allan Badiner, adjunct faculty in transformative studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Badiner holds a masters degree in Buddhist studies and has been a student of Thich Nhat Hanh for over 20 years. His forthcoming book is The Dharmasexual: Intimacy in Buddhism. More »
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February 13, 2013

Meditation Month, Day 13: Get thee to the cushion

I've heard plenty of discussions about how difficult it can be to establish a regular meditation practice. There are whole lists of tips about how to go about this. But the best advice I've ever heard is short and sweet and comes from the Buddha himself: Here are the roots of trees. Here are empty places.Get down and meditate. Don't be lazy.Don't become one who is later remorseful.That is my instruction to you. This comes from Bhikkhunupassaya Sutta, in which the Buddha explains what "directed" and "undirected" meditation are. (If you want to know more about these two forms of meditation, you can read Andrew Olendzki's translation of the sutta here.) More »
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February 12, 2013

Meditation Month, Day 12: Sitting on the Train

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February 12, 2013

Meditation Month Excerpt: The Committee of the Mind

It's Meditation Month here at Tricycle! It's time to join the Tricycle staff in making the commitment to sit every day of February—no exceptions and no excuses. We're sharing videos, audio interviews, articles, and tips from well-known Buddhist teachers that will help you develop and maintain a meditation practice throughout the month. Today we have an excerpt from Thanissaro Bhikkhu's new book With Each & Every Breath: A Guide to Meditation. You can download the book in its entirety here. The Committee of the Mind More »
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February 12, 2013

Treasury of Lives: Kagyu Founders Part 6, Marpa Sherab Yeshe and Jikten Gonpo

Alexander Gardner
Biography and autobiography in Tibet are important sources for both education and inspiration. Tibetans have kept such meticulous records of their teachers that thousands of names are known and discussed in a wide range of biographical material. All these names, all these lives—it can be a little overwhelming. The authors involved in the Treasury of Lives are currently mining the primary sources to provide English-language biographies of every known religious teacher from Tibet and the Himalaya, all of which are organized for easy searching and browsing. Every Tuesday on the Tricycle blog, we will highlight and reflect on important, interesting, eccentric, surprising and beautiful stories found within this rich literary tradition. More »
Tricycle Community 2 comments

February 12, 2013

Sexual Misconduct in the Rinzai-ji Community

Emma Varvaloucas
Yesterday the New York Times picked up on the sex scandal currently swirling around the Rinzai-ji association of Zen centers, and more specifically, around their teacher, Joshu Sasaki Roshi. More »
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February 11, 2013

Mindfulness And The Body: Second Week of Sharon Salzberg's Retreat

In this second week of Sharon Salzberg's retreat, "Mindfulness and the Body," she expands our understanding of mindfulness as a practice and perceptual tool. She describes mindfulness as a "quality of awareness where our attention is not distorted by bias." Developing awareness of our minds' habitual thoughts that invade and color our perception is essential to changing the way we relate to our experiences. More »
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February 08, 2013

Meditation Month, Day 8: Meditation, Interrupted

My regular sitting practice tapered off about a year ago. I wish I could say what happened and why but I’m not really sure. My life didn’t fall apart or anything. Nor did it fall apart when I stopped sitting. I guess I still had my practice of sorts, cobbled together from sustained periods of concentration or devotion, purposely induced thoughts and lines of reasoning conjured up to counter what I knew was unwholesome, lying in bed staring at the tree branches outside my window, etc. The 28-day program, I hope, will provide a glimpse of what I might be missing and perhaps an opportunity to resuscitate a regular sitting practice. More »
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February 08, 2013

Buddha Buzz: Chinese New Year and Death Cafes

Emma Varvaloucas
Chinese New Year this year falls on Sunday, February 10. It's the year of the black water snake. If you're celebrating (and hey, even if you're not), a very happy new year to you! More »
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February 08, 2013

Meditation Month: Guided Body Scan Meditation

It's Meditation Month here at Tricycle! That means it's time to join the Tricycle staff in making the commitment to sit every day of February—no exceptions and no excuses. We're blogging our triumphs and tribulations here on the Trike blog and at Vipassana teacher Sharon Salzberg's "Real Happiness" website throughout the month. We'll also be sharing videos, audio interviews, articles, and tips from well-known Buddhist teachers that will help you develop and maintain a meditation practice. More »