Zen (Chan)

The meditation (dhyana) school originating in China that emphasizes "mind-to-mind transmission"
  • Tricycle Community 16 comments

    Bursting the Bubble of Fear Paid Member

    The feeling that things are out of sync and that there is too much to do is not new. As Buddha pointed out over 2,600 years ago, we'll always have to deal with the fact that life entails pain and suffering. Perhaps it's that we don't really want to have any problems that makes Our current time seem so full of distress. Many people come to meditation practice with the expectation that it will calm them and relieve their stress. Certainly meditation can do this to some extent; even the most superficial meditation practices can induce feelings of calmness. However, when we're knee-deep in emotional distress, we're fortunate if we can remember to practice at all. More »
  • Tricycle Community 21 comments

    Bodhidharma's Teachings Paid Member

    If you use your mind to study reality, you won't understand either your mind or reality. If you study reality without using your mind, you'll understand both. Those who don't understand, don't understand understanding. And those who understand, understand not understanding. People capable of true vision know that the mind is empty. They transcend both understanding and not understanding. The absence of both understanding and not understanding is true understanding. More »
  • Tricycle Community 27 comments

    Nonopposition Paid Member

    Although everyone has the potential for compassion, some people seem to be our enemies. How should we react to them? Shakyamuni Buddha encountered many people who wanted to harm him during his life, but he was never angry with them, nor did he try to overpower or dominate them. Instead he treated them compassionately and tried to help them. Both Buddhism in general and Ch’an [Chinese Zen] in particular condemn fighting and advocate nonopposition to one’s enemies. A true practitioner responds with nonopposition to obstructions caused by people, situations, and the environment, and lets go of any tension she may feel. She does not resist or fight with difficulties.More »
  • Tricycle Community 14 comments

    The Seventh Zen Precept Paid Member

    What exactly is blaming? We all know what it’s like to blame the weather, the government, our parents, or the person who rear-ended my car, which is now costing me a pretty penny. And then there’s being enraged at my computer when I’ve made a mistake. These are obvious examples, but blaming can also be very subtle. I remember teasing my mother that I was going to put on her tombstone the words “Who took!” Whenever she misplaced or lost something, she would instantly call out, “Who took…!” to her four children and our father. Even though it had the syntax of a question, it was clearly an accusation. But even if she had asked it as a question, it would have been like the philosopher’s favorite non-question—“When did you stop beating your wife?”—but asked of someone who had never married. More »
  • Tricycle Community 2 comments

    Umbrella Man Paid Member

    For decades, Sojun Mel Weitsman has been an anchor of the Buddhist community in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. It might well be, however, that even if you’ve been around the North American Buddhist world for many years, you know little or nothing about him. I’m pretty sure that Mel—or Sojun Roshi, as he’s called formally as a Zen teacher— is just fine with that. More »
  • Tricycle Community 7 comments

    When It Happens to Us Paid Member

    This is a fact of life; we don't like pain. We suffer because we marry our instinctive aversion to pain to the deep-seated belief that life should be free from pain. In resisting our pain by holding this belief, we strengthen just what we're trying to avoid. When we make pain the enemy, we solidify it. This resistance is where our suffering begins. More »