Theravada

The "Teaching of the Elders," rooted in the earliest complete teachings of the Buddha
  • Meditation Month, Day 13: Get thee to the cushion Paid Member

    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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    Unmasking the Self Paid Member

    Awareness cannot be taught, and when it is present it has no context. All contexts are created by thought and are therefore corruptible by thought. Awareness simply throws light on what is, without any separation whatsoever. Awareness, insight, enlightenment, wholeness—whatever words one may pick to label what cannot be caught in words—is not the effect of a cause. Activity does not destroy it and sitting does not create it. It isn’t a product of anything—no technique, method, environment, tradition, posture, activity, or nonactivity can create it. It is there, uncreated, freely functioning in wisdom and love, when self-centered conditioning is clearly revealed in all its grossness and subtleness and defused in the light of understanding. More »
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    Turning the Corner Paid Member

    It is time for us to evolve. We know well enough that species adapting to a changing environment survive, while those that do not go extinct. We also know our environment is changing and that our own activities are contributing to those changes. We therefore know enough to understand: we must either evolve or perish. For the first time in history, our challenge is not the implacable forces of external nature, but the inner toxins of our own nature. The radical changes in the ecosystem threatening our survival are not being thrust upon us from the outside but stem from the greed, hatred, and delusion lodged deep in our own hearts. We are our own greatest threat and are thus in the unique position of having to adapt both to ourselves and from ourselves. More »
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    The Last Gift Paid Member

    Ajahn Chah recorded the following talk at the request of one of his students, whose mother was on her deathbed. The student had expected no more than a few words for his mother, but instead Ajahn Chah offered an extended message of consolation, encouragement, and meditation instruction for the mother and the whole family. Now, Grandma, set your heart on listening respectfully to the dhamma, which is the teaching of the Buddha. While I’m teaching you the dhamma, be as attentive as if the Buddha himself were sitting right in front of you. Close your eyes and set your heart on making your mind one. Bring the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha into your heart as a way of showing the Buddha respect. More »
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    Free From Fear Paid Member

    Our greatest fear is that when we die, we will become nothing. Many of us believe our entire existence is limited to a particular period, our “lifespan.” We believe it begins when we are born—when, out of being nothing, we become something—and it ends when we die and become nothing again. So we are filled with a fear of annihilation. But if we look deeply, we can have a very different understanding of our existence. We can see that birth and death are just notions; they’re not real. The Buddha taught that there is no birth and no death. Our belief that these ideas about birth and death are real creates a powerful illusion that causes us a great deal of suffering. When we understand that we can’t be destroyed, we’re liberated from fear. It’s a huge relief. We can enjoy life and appreciate it in a new way. More »
  • Tricycle Community 11 comments

    Desire and Craving Paid Member

    Desire is everywhere. Every living thing has the desire to stay alive. Even plants “strive” to propagate themselves. Craving is our creator. Our parents’ craving for each other and our craving for rebirth combined to create us. Even painful feelings give rise to craving. When a painful feeling arises, we do not like it. We wish to get rid of the pain, and we wish to enjoy some pleasure. Both wishes are craving. More »