Mahayana

The bodhisattva path of seeking complete enlightenment for the sake of all beings
  • Tricycle Community 1 comment

    Keys to Happiness Paid Member

    In your booklet “Keys to Happiness & a Meaningful Life,” you speak of the importance of knowing one’s own faults, reducing judgments, and practicing lovingkindness and compassion. And you speak of the eight keys to a meaningful life: generosity, patience, discipline, and the other virtues traditionally called the paramitas [perfections]. You emphasize the importance of these qualities for everyone, whether they are Buddhist or not. This suggests that you can develop these aspects independently of a religious context, which is appealing to those who want some kind of “Buddhist” practice without religion. Buddhism introduces wisdom. That’s the difference. For example, compassion with wisdom doesn’t exactly look the same as compassion without wisdom. Wisdom means to be free from complicated mind. More »
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    Staying with Boredom Paid Member

    How unsatisfactory desire can feel can be gauged by considering our more obviously neurotic cravings, those emerging out of a dull feeling of frustration, boredom, and emptiness. We look for something pleasurable in order to fill that void and relieve the boredom, at least partially and temporarily. You eat a chocolate or drink a cup of tea or put on a piece of music not so much for the positive enjoyment of such things but more because you don’t know what else to do. It is these kinds of craving that should concern us most, more than those that arise out of a strong, healthy appetite. And the way to deal with them is to regard the boredom itself as a positive opportunity. It is like having to deal with fear, anger, or indeed craving, or any other negative mental state. It is an opportunity to experience the energy that is usually drained away by distractions. When you are really bored, the best thing you can do is sit down and let yourself experience the boredom more fully. More »
  • Tricycle Community 11 comments

    Renunciation Paid Member

    Based on our stubborn belief in a “self,” we become completely overwhelmed by all kinds of emotions. Again and again, this belief in a self leads to our downfall. We feel deeply attached to ourselves and to those whom we associate with ourselves; along with this attachment to self comes its dark companion—a subtle aversion toward all that we regard as “not me” and “not mine.” We also classify objects—our possessions—as belonging to “me.” They are “ours.” This commonly held assumption is weighed down with emotions. Yet if we take the time to really look into this notion, we might just realize that nothing truly belongs to us. When we depart from this world, everything we know and own must be left behind. We can’t even bring along this body that we’ve cherished so intensely year after year. So what do we truly own and where is the presumed owner—this pampered “I”—for whose sake we argue, fight, crave, yearn, indulge, and so forth? More »
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    The Matter of Truth Paid Member

    Years ago, at the Brooklyn Museum, I was looking at a Tibetan statue of a multi-armed figure when a middle-aged white couple stopped to view the statue, and as they did, one said to the other, “What is that about? Do you suppose they were trying to portray a freak who was born that way?” Then, before I could say anything, they moved on. As I, or anyone else familiar with the Indian cultural milieu, might have told them, the multiple arms were not intended to be a photograph-like portrait. Their intent is symbolic not literal. They symbolize the deity’s multiple abilities and capabilities. Only if one were completely blind to symbolism could one so completely misread the meaning of the statue’s multiple arms, imagining that they were intended to be an accurate physical representation of an actual person born with many arms. More »
  • Tricycle Community 78 comments

    The Seeds of Life Paid Member

    Rebirth is a belief common to all Buddhist traditions, although in Tibetan Buddhism, a belief in reincarnation—the reappearance of a great master, known as a tulku— developed in the late 13th century C.E. The tradition continues amid much discussion of its contemporary relevance. Here, Trinlay Tulku Rinpoche, a Western-born tulku, discusses with Pamela Gayle White the traditional Tibetan view of reincarnation and answers some of the more common questions skeptical Westerners ask. More »
  • Tricycle Community 2 comments

    As the Clouds Vanish Paid Member

    Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (1920-1996) was a master in the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Teachers of Dzogchen (the GreatPerfection) regard it as the innermost essence of the Buddha's teachings. During the last decades of his life, Rinpoche's hermitage above the Kathmandu Valley was frequented by visitors from all over the world. Today, his many monasteries and retreat centers are managed by his four sons who are lineage holders, including Tsoknyi Rinpoche. More »