Tricycle Blog

Daily wisdom, teachings & critique Subscribe to feed
Tricycle Community 1 comment

April 05, 2009

Big Sit Day 42 Meditation Tip

To stop the mind does not mean to stop the activities of the mind. It means the mind pervades the whole body. (A paraphrase from Shunryu Suzuki Roshi.) More »
Tricycle Community 3 comments

April 04, 2009

In Vesak Message, Vatican Praises Buddhism

Buddhism and Christianity share a respect for poverty, the Vatican says in a Vesak message to the world's Buddhists. There are two kinds of poverty, according to the Vatican: While very different, there are two types of poverty, the message said. One is a poverty that can be chosen in the form of emptying oneself in order to listen to and be more open to God and other people, the message said. The other kind of poverty is a material deprivation that "prevents people and families from living as befits their dignity," it said. The Vatican also praised Buddhism's nonattachemnt, contentment, and anti-consumerism in this materialistic world. But the Dalai Lama is sill not invited to meet Benedict XV!. More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

April 04, 2009

Big Sit Day 41 Meditation Tip

Here's your Big Sit Day 41 Meditation Tip: Find a style of meditation you enjoy. The more you enjoy meditation the more you will want to do it. There are several guided meditations for your listening enjoyment on the Tricycle Community -- just click the Audio tab. More »
Tricycle Community 13 comments

April 03, 2009

Guest Post: Astrophysicist Adam Frank on Science and the Future of Buddhism

Can Buddhism in the West survive into the next generation? After the initial burst of sangha-building by Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers, will the Buddhist meme propagate into kids coming out of college now? Will this 2,500-year-old tradition finally complete its circumnavigation and build sustainable roots in the West? Over the last few years a series of articles have appeared in magazines and newspapers on the “graying” of American Buddhism and the risks to its continued survival. Of course Buddhism remains one the fastest growing religions (if that definition really fits) in the United States. This comes even at a time when participation in religion appears to be declining. There are real and serious issues that this line of discussion raises. How do Americans take a tradition with deep roots in contemplative practice and monasticism and broaden it for a society that will mainly be lay parishioners? How are families included? How are the communities of shared values and social action that are so much a part of American religious life to be included? All of these questions will have to be addressed if Buddhism is not only to take root but also to flourish and gain strength from its encounter with America and the Western perspective in general. In that regard, Buddhism’s’ relationship with science holds unique and uniquely hopeful possibilities. By now everyone has heard the Dalai Lama’s apocryphal quotation on Buddhism and science. When asked what would happen if science discovered something that was at odds with Buddhist belief, he replied, “We would change our beliefs.” While some have questioned exactly what the Dali Lama meant, there does appear to be a very different attitude toward science in Buddhism than in other American religions. This is an important distinction that bodes well for the Buddhist perspective. The future of all religious enterprise will, to some degree, hinge on its response to science. More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

April 03, 2009

Big Sit Day 40 Meditation Tip

Don’t cheat: “If you’re counting the breaths, for example, don’t let it be Enron style. An honest accounting works wonders for the spiritual bottom line.” - Tricycle contributing editor Mark Magill More »
Tricycle Community 20 comments

April 02, 2009

What Buddhism Believes In

A few back and forth responses between Barbara O'Brien and Professor Paul Flesher. You can start here and work your way backward. Professor Flesher kicks it off by attempting to explain Buddhism in 600 words, beginning and ending by comparing it to atheism. Well, Buddhism is complex (and some argue that rather than one Buddhism there are Buddhisms) but recent experiences with Twitter have made me think that 600 words is a lot of room. We have only, as another professor, William Strunk Jr., said, to make every word tell. Explain Buddhism in a single tweet, 140 characters. How many characters in John 3:16? More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

April 02, 2009

Day 39 Big Sit Meditation Tip

When your mind wanders, don't get discouraged. That's what minds do. The practice is in coming back to the breath. More »
Tricycle Community 3 comments

April 01, 2009

Saltwater Buddha and the Theory of Everything

I've just started reading Jaimal Yogis's new book, Saltwater Buddha: A Surfer's Quest to Find Zen on the Sea. Yogis recently wrote an article for Tricycle on his life as a young Zen practitioner searching for meaning, and Saltwater Buddha picks up along the same lines. In reading the first few pages, I was reminded of a piece in The New Yorker last summer about the unemployed surfer/physicist Garrett Lisi, who has attracted considerable attention for his nascent "Theory of Everything," described as the Holy Grail of physics. More »
Tricycle Community 1 comment

April 01, 2009

Day 38 Big Sit Meditation Tip: Count

Count the breath. On your in-breath, count "one"; on the out-breath, count "two"; and so on, up to "ten," and then begin again. More »
Tricycle Community 3 comments

March 31, 2009

Day 37 Big Sit Meditation Tip: Equilibrium

If you're straining too hard to maintain concentrative focus, let go and listen to the sounds around you. More »
Tricycle Community 4 comments

March 31, 2009

China Showcases Its Panchen Lama

China launches its Panchen Lama pick with interviews and fanfare. Columbia University's Robert Barnett thinks this may undermine the Dalai Lama's position as the preeminent spokesman for the Tibetan people. Barnett says: He will never really replace the Dalai Lama, but his role confuses the picture and can gradually be used to weaken the Dalai Lama's standing. . . "I think [China's] Panchen Lama is being built up very gradually as a public spokesman within the Tibetan Buddhist world. More »
Tricycle Community 5 comments

March 30, 2009

Day 36 Big Sit Meditation Tip: Coffee

A little groggy, Bodhidharma, the first Zen patriarch, cut off his eyelids to stay awake. He tossed them aside and legend has it tea leaves blossomed at the very spot they landed. We don't suggest you try this in your garden at home but tea does work wonders, and meditators have drunk it for centuries to stay awake. You can drink coffee, too, says Peter Doobinin of New York's Downtown Meditation Community, who told Tricycle: Some people say that it was actually Buddhist monks who discovered coffee. The story goes that they were wandering around in the forest somewhere when they came across the beans. They started chewing them and thought, "These are great. We can use this energy for our meditation practice." If you are going to get up in the morning and sit, it doesn't have to be first thing. Get up and have a cup of coffee if it helps. It's when you start taking out the newspaper and doing other stuff that you lose the freshness of mind you have when you first wake up. More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

March 30, 2009

Aging as a Spritual Practice

Lew Richmond teaches "Aging as a Spiritual Practice" from his blog of the same name. He writes: The first principle of Buddhism is that everything changes, which could also be translated as “everything ages.” The first thing the young Buddha-to-be saw on leaving the palace and entering the town was the wizened face of an old man. For the first time, the young prince Gautama really saw what aging is and realized in a flash that everything we love, including our own body, will not last. Thus his spiritual quest began. Lew has joined us at the Tricycle Community to introduce you to the practice and to answer your questions. Welcome, Lew! To visit Lew and read his introduction at the Tricycle Community, click here. More »
Tricycle Community 276 comments

March 29, 2009

Who's Spying on the Dalai Lama?

From the New York Times: A vast electronic spying operation has infiltrated computers and has stolen documents from hundreds of government and private offices around the world, including those of the Dalai Lama, Canadian researchers have concluded. The spies managed to infiltrate over 1,200 computers in 103 countries, the Times reports. Most of the servers supporting the operation were traced to China, along with one in southern California. The Dalai Lama, among others, was targeted: ... the researchers found that specific correspondence had been stolen and that the intruders had gained control of the electronic mail server computers of the Dalai Lama’s organization. More »
Tricycle Community 6 comments

March 29, 2009

Day 35 Big Sit Meditation Tip

If meditation is a priority, then it’s helpful to take that word literally and put meditation first. An example would be my rule of not turning on the computer before I’ve meditated. Simple, but effective. Probably the most trenchant advice I ever heard was in eight words from Suzuki Roshi:  "Organize your life so you can sit well." - Senior Shambhala teacher David Schneider More »
Tricycle Community 1 comment

March 28, 2009

Day 34 Big Sit Mediation Tip

Sit in the morning first thing. The mind is usually quietest then. Sometimes we even wake up before our neuroses do. More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

March 27, 2009

Day 33 Big Sit Meditation Tip

"You are not trying to make things turn out the the way you wnat them to happen. You are trying to know what is happening as it is." - Burmese monk Sayadaw U Tejaniya Read an interview with him here. More »
Tricycle Community 2 comments

March 27, 2009

Adopt a Monk

Alan Senauke of the Berkeley Zen Center just sent us word of a new program that has been started by Clear View Project, a Buddhist-based relief organization. "Adopt A Monk" aims to help monastic political prisoners in Burma in the aftermath of the Saffron Revolution. According to Clear View, there are currently 220 monks and 8 nuns imprisoned in Burma under draconian restrictions: Their only possessions [upon arrest in 2007] were their robe, begging bowl and their vows. In jail, they are stripped of robes and bowls, and are not allowed openly to follow their monastic vows. Many monks have received lengthy sentences—up to 68 years. In prison all monks and nuns are forcibly disrobed, most are tortured. More »
Tricycle Community 3 comments

March 26, 2009

Reading Past Dogen, to Dogen

We're having some interesting discussions at the Tricycle Community on the Big Sit, the teachings of Zen Master Dogen, and a bunch of other things. Here's an interesting response by Tricycle’s editor-at-large, Andrew Cooper, to our post from last week’s discussion on The Fundamentals of Dogen's Thought: Reading Past Dogen, to Dogen Studying the work of a religious teacher from a distant time and place presents any number of problems. Yet it is precisely through an active dialogue with tradition, for which such study can be essential, that the strivings and concerns of an individual’s spiritual life are anchored in a context of shared human endeavor. Sometimes ideas from the past seem to float unimpeded across the centuries and resonate intimately with our deepest intuitions. Sometimes they just clang and clatter in discordance with our basic values and best knowledge about the world. More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

March 25, 2009

Your Favorite Place to Sit

Do you have a favorite place to sit? Post a picture of it at the group Tricycle Community member David F. has created. More »