Zen (Chan)

The meditation (dhyana) school originating in China that emphasizes "mind-to-mind transmission"
  • Tricycle Community 19 comments

    The Ten Oxherding Pictures Paid Member

    The ten oxherding pictures describe the, Zen training path to enlightenment, Folk images are accompanied by poems and commentaries. They depict a young oxherder whose quest leads him to tame, train, and transform his heart and mind, a process that is represented by subduing the ox. Even though these images are presented in a sequence, MARTINE BATCHELOR cautions us against thinking that self-development and Zen practice go in a straight line; It is more like a spiral, and we go back to different stages but with more understanding. You can see these pictures adorning the walls of Zen temples in China, Korea, and Japan. The following commentary by Batchelor is adapted from her new book, Principles of Zen (Thorsons/HarperCollins). The short pieces at the beginning of each commentary are poetic verses by MASTER KUSAN, first printed in his book The Way of Korean Zen. More »
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    How to Not Waste Time Paid Member

    I hate the phrase “killing time.” No one has an overabundance of time here on this earth—the idea of killing any second of it just makes me cringe. In Zen monasteries you often see an old Chinese poem written on the han, the wooden board that’s hit to call people to meditation. It goes like this: Great is the matter of life and death Moments go by swiftly and are lost To squander time is a great shame Do not waste your life People have a great variety of definitions for what constitutes time wasting and what doesn’t. Some people want to stay busy and productive every minute. On the other hand, when asked what he thought was the purpose of life, Kurt Vonnegut said, “We’re all just farting around, and don’t let anyone tell you different.” But Kurt Vonnegut accomplished a lot in his time. More »
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    Breaking Through Paid Member

    Detours and obstacles are a fact of practice life. Some arise out of our own psychology and conditioning: patterns of self-judgment and perfectionism, a tendency to procrastinate or seek diversions, addiction to control, and the like. Other obstacles seem to be more universal, and these are the ones that nearly every practitioner faces at one time or another. These obstacles are at the heart of practice, yet they are seldom given the emphasis they deserve. But until we can see them clearly—see how they manifest in our lives—it will be difficult, if not impossible, for our practice to move forward. There are three obstacles in particular that we need to address. Misunderstanding the depth of waking sleep More »
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    Uprooting the Seeds of Anger Paid Member

    We operate under a common illusion that the things that make us angry lie outside of ourselves, that they are external to us. Something out there is in opposition to our need for safety and security; it threatens our comfort or position. We feel a need to defend our vulnerable selves. Anger limits us. But if we have the courage to look at our anger and its causes and to learn from it, we can develop an open heart—a heart of genuine compassion. More »
  • Tricycle Community 6 comments

    Sexual Misconduct Paid Member

    Author Nancy Baker is currently leading a Tricycle community discussion about sexual misconduct and the third Zen precept. You can join the discussion here. More »
  • Tricycle Community 11 comments

    Participate Fully Paid Member

    When we just function, just act, just work, with no idea of a “me” that is functioning or acting or working, the dharma is fully expressed, for then there is no separation. Although things are accomplished in the relative sense (cause and effect), there are no results in the absolute sense (no cause and no effect), for functioning is simply the pure expression of that which we call “it” or “thusness.” This is one of the most difficult truths to grasp, much less to carry out, and it is why work practice is such an essential part of Zen training. More »