Theravada

The "Teaching of the Elders," rooted in the earliest complete teachings of the Buddha
  • Tricycle Community 2 comments

    Changing Your Mind Paid Member

    THE HISTORICAL BUDDHA Shakyamuni made a big deal of the distinction between wholesome and unwholesome states of mind. Most religious and philosophical traditions probably share this point of view to some extent, but the Buddha was unique in offering a detailed way of understanding how and why the mind manifests as it does in any given moment. There are patterns of cause and effect that can be seen in experience and traced over time to explain the dynamics at work shaping each moment of consciousness. The word for this is karma, and it does not mean "fate." More »
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    Power of Conviction Paid Member

    ACCORDING TO THE BUDDHA, there is one thing that doesn't disappoint. When you pursue Awakening, it's not going to lead to disappointment. Quite the contrary, it goes wildly beyond your expectations, wildly beyond your hopes. Even just the first taste of the Deathless, stream entry, is enough to produce a seismic shift in your whole awareness, your whole understanding of what you think you are and what's possible in life, and in the importance of your own actions. Once you reach that state, your conviction in the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha is unshakeable. Your standards for what counts as true happiness get ratcheted up immeasurably. More »
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    The Right to Ask Questions Paid Member

    The practice of the dharma is learning how to live, and this is both hard and joyful work. Practice makes extraordinary demands of us. It requires that we take nothing for granted, that we accept nothing on faith alone. If we practice with diligence and honesty, then we must question everything about ourselves; we must challenge our most basic beliefs and convictions, even those we may have about the dharma itself. Of all the teachings of the Buddha, the Kalama Sutta is one of my favorites precisely because it encourages such rigorous inquiry into our beliefs. Indeed, if Buddhism were not infused with the spirit of this sutta—a spirit of questioning, of critical examination—I’m quite sure I would not have a meditative practice today. More »
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    This Fathom-Long Carcass Paid Member

    Thus have I heard:The end of the world can neverBe reached by walking. However,Without having reached the world’s endThere is no release from suffering.I declare that it is in this fathom—long carcass, with its perceptionsand thoughts, that there is the world, theorigin of the world, the cessation of theworld, and the path leading to the cessation of the world.(Anguttara Nikaya 4:45) This radical statement, attributed to the Buddha in the Pali canon, constitutes no less than a Copernican revolution in thought, with far-reaching consequences for our understanding of the human condition. It redefines “the world” in a way that flies in the face of both the scientific and the religious traditions of the West, but is remarkably well suited to the postmodern views emerging along the cutting edges of the new cognitive and neurological sciences. More »
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    A Single Handful Paid Member

    To call something “a fundamental principle of Buddhism” is correct only if, first, it is a principle that aims at the quenching of dukkha (suffering) and, second, it has a logic that one can see for oneself without having to believe others. More »
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    Questioning The Question Paid Member

    Real questioning has no methods, no knowing - just wondering freely, vulnerably, what is it that is actually happening inside and out. Not the word, not the idea of it, not the reaction to it, but the simple fact. Toni Packer, The Work of This Moment Who’s Asking the Question?  Gil Fronsdal In my first question to a Buddhist teacher I asked, “What kind of effort is needed to practice zazen?” He questioned back, “Who is it that makes the effort?” His response made no sense to me; the conversation came to an immediate end. As I mulled over this exchange, I concluded that I would have to answer both my own question and his counter-question for myself. In doing so I discovered that there are certain spiritual questions that we only answer through our own direct experience. More »