Zen (Chan)

The meditation (dhyana) school originating in China that emphasizes "mind-to-mind transmission"
  • Tricycle Community 11 comments

    The Unfamiliar Familiar Paid Member

    "A fresh look and a fresh listen,” said Robert Frost of a good poem. “Read it a hundred times: it will for ever keep its freshness as a metal keeps its fragrance.” A poem may not show us anything new, but what we see, we see afresh, and what we hear, we hear anew. Frost was talking about the poem itself: what it presents, and the way it does it, should strike us unexpectedly.
 The English novelist and scholar David Lodge asked, “What do we mean . . . when we say that a book is ‘original’? Not, usually, that the writer has invented something without precedent, but that she has made us ‘perceive’ what we already, in a conceptual sense, ‘know,’ by deviating from the conventional, habitual ways of representing reality.” It is newness of seeing, rather than newness per se, that counts. More »
  • Tricycle Community 26 comments

    After the Monastery Paid Member

    Left to right: Bhikshus Heng Yo and Heng Ju in the rain, on their "three steps, one bow" pilgrimage for world peace, which lasted from October 16, 1973 to August 17, 1974. They continued regardless of weather, traveling 1,150 miles from San Francisco up the Pacifc Coast to Marblemount, Washington.  Introduction by Jeanette (Jetti) Testu More »
  • Tricycle Community 14 comments

    No One Special to Be Paid Member

    One of the main characteristics of a life of sleep is that we are totally identified with being a Me. Starting with our name, our history, our self-images and identities, we use each one of these things to solidify the sense that we are living in our little subjective sphere. We experience ourselves as “special”—not in the normal sense of being distinguished or exceptional but in the sense that we feel unique and subtly significant. Interestingly, our feeling of specialness is not just from having positive qualities; we can even use our suffering to make us feel unique and special. Yet not needing to be special, not needing to be any particular way, is what it means to be free—free to experience our natural being, our most authentic self. More »
  • Tricycle Community 10 comments

    The Loneliest Road in America Paid Member

    We dropped down from Lake Tahoe into the Great Basin. The signage warned us about a veritable Noah’s Ark of animal life: bear, deer, cattle, moose, horses, men on horses, men on tractors. It got hot, fast. Ninety-two miles in we had lunch in Fallon, Nevada. Then we entered the desert, our motorcycles shredding the silence. When I mentioned to Hunter, my riding companion, that the next stretch of 409 miles was known as the Loneliest Road in America, his response was “Well, I’m the loneliest man in America.” More »
  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    A Full Load of Moonlight Paid Member

    Ten Stanzas Written on Cloud-Shrouded Terrace (No. 6) Sitting upright at the foot of clouds, too lazy to lift my head,I have no more dharma words for the Chan practitioners.Everything under the sun makes plain the Path—might as well hang my mouth on the wall and shut up. —Huaishen (1077–1132) I’m Happy with My Way of Life More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Spring Sesshin at Shokoku-ji Paid Member

    SHOKOKU TEMPLE is in Northern Kyoto, on level ground, with a Christian college just south of it and many blocks of crowded little houses and stone-edged dirt roads north. It is the mother-temple of many branch temples scattered throughout Japan, and one of the several great temple­systems of the Rinzai Sect of Zen. Shokoku-ji is actually a compound: behind the big wood gate and tile­topped crumbling old mud walls are a number of temples each with its own gate and walls, gardens, and acres of wild bamboo grove. In the center of the compound is the soaring double-gabled Lecture Hall, silent and airy, an enormous dragon painted on the high ceiling, his eye burning down on the very center of the cut-slate floor. More »