The path and practice of insight through mindfulness meditation
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    Nirvana: Three Takes Paid Member

    In the centuries following the Buddha’s death, dharma teachings spread from India into the rest of Asia, evolving eventually into the three yanas, or vehicles for the teachings—Theravada, Vajrayana, and Mahayana, the predominant traditions of Southeast Asia, Tibet, and East Asia, respectively. The doctrinal distinctions that arose have caused fundamental aspects of what the Buddha taught to be disputed. Even the teachings on such essential matters as karma, enlightenment, and rebirth vary in the three yanas, and from school to school within the yanas—now more so than ever with Western epistemologies stirred into the doctrinal diaspora. More »
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    Talk Like a Buddha Paid Member

    I’M SITTING knee-almost-touching-knee with Ted, a chubby and towering sixty-something-year-old with a few days’ gray stubble, bushy eyebrows, and nose hairs calling for a trim. We met just fifteen minutes ago, and tears are running down his face. Ted’s breathing is labored, and I can smell his sour breath, yet I feel content. I comfort him—not so much with words but simply by being present, by gently meeting his gaze and accepting him and the moment. During our hour together, I work at remaining openhearted and mindful, and it seems to help Ted regain his balance. When our hour together is over, he’s much calmer, maybe even happy. More »
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    No Self or True Self? Paid Member

    The following is an excerpt from A Path With Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life, by Jack Kornfield. It is from Chapter 14, "No Self or True Self?" Spiritual practice inevitably brings us face to face with the profound mystery of our own identity. We have taken birth in a human body. What is this force that gives us life, that brings us and the world into form? The world's great spiritual teachings tell us over and over we are not who we think we are. More »
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    Commit to Sit Paid Member

    We don't have to remind you how toxic our lives can be. Stress at work, arguments with loved ones, poor diets, and too many hectic weekends conjure daydreams of Himalayan caves—guaranteed not to have cell phone reception. But in reality, even that retreat you’ve been planning for years feels like an impossible commitment. Balancing a commitment to becoming more compassionate and wise with the responsibilities of a family, a career, and a checking account is a near-constant dilemna for many practitioners. To help, we’ve teamed up with one of the West’s foremost Buddhist teachers, Sharon Salzberg, to create an intensive meditation program designed for your busy schedule. No steep retreat fees, no putting newspaper delivery on hold, no out-of-office replies required. More »
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    The Ties that Unbind Paid Member

    Imagine what would happen if you took six lengths of rope and tied one end of each to six creatures: a snake, a crocodile, a bird, a dog, a jackal, and a monkey. Then tie the other end of all these into a big knot and let go. What do you think would happen? Each of these animals would pull in a different direction, trying to return to their favorite haunts. The snake would slither toward its nest in the anthill, the crocodile would pull for the river, the bird would fly up into the air, the dog would head to the village, the jackal to the charnel ground, and the monkey would scamper for the trees. Can you picture such a scene? More »
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    I Feel Your Brain Paid Member

    In his latest book, Social Intelligence, Daniel Goleman, author of the best-seller Emotional Intelligence, illustrates how new clinical results in the fields of neuroscience and biology show that humans are in fact wired for empathy—that without any conscious effort, we feel the joy, pain, anger, and other emotions of the people around us. Sharon Salzberg, co-founder and teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, spoke to Goleman this summer about the emerging field of social neuroscience and its implications for the principles and practices of Buddhism. More »