Zen (Chan)

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

    As If There is Nothing to Lose Paid Member

        Once I was young and poor—and generous. I shared an old house with several people and slept on the porch and owned nothing more valuable than my bicycle. I volunteered many hours every week at community organizations. One day, when I had only five dollars, I treated a friend to dinner, and afterward we laughed about my now total poverty. It was easy to give away what I had; I never doubted that the world would somehow provide for me in turn. More »
  • Tricycle Community 18 comments

    On Not Being Stingy Paid Member

    “Stingy”—it’s a funny word. Scrooge comes to mind. We usually think of “stingy” in terms of possessions and possessiveness—not sharing what we own, being tight with money. Notice that the word “tight” describes what it actually feels like to be stingy.There are many ways of being stingy. For example, a friend of mine, someone I dearly love, is very stingy with the servings she gives to people whenever she is the hostess. It’s noticeable to her guests—everything on their plates is very small. Rumi describes stinginess perfectly in his poem “Dervish at the Door”: More »
  • Tricycle Community 6 comments

    The Sword Disappears in the Water Paid Member

    The Iron Flute, Case 90 Main Case More »
  • Tricycle Community 8 comments

    Reflect, Without Thinking Paid Member

    Photographs by Corey Kohn Practice implores us to do the simplest yet most difficult thing: to sit still and simply be present. In meditation, we let whatever comes up, come up. We invite it in. We welcome all of it, including the resistance, the boredom, the judgments, and the endless spinning. We let it all come up and just watch it. When things come up that we don’t like, we try to remember that these thoughts and feelings are our teacher—we can learn from them. They’re not the enemy that we have to get away from. In other words, we don’t try to change our experience; we just try to be aware. Observing ourselves in this way does not require thinking, judging, or analyzing. It only requires watching. This is what it means to watch with curiosity as our experience unfolds, without trying to make ourselves different. More »
  • Tricycle Community 28 comments

    No Words Paid Member

    Every once in a while I read a book that insists on being taken on its own terms— a book that teaches you how to read it. When I first picked up the Zen monk Seido Ray Ronci’s seventh book of poetry, The Skeleton of the Crow: New & Selected Poems, 1980–2008, I found that it expressed the clarity, simplicity, and profundity of Zen in language that spoke to me as a practitioner. As I read more of his work, I came to appreciate the range of his subjects (from childrearing to painting to the austere solitude of his time as a monastic), as well as his humor, and perhaps most of all, his sensibility for the everyday. Like other writers working in the centuries-old tradition of Zen poetry developed by Ikkyu, Basho, and Ryokan, Seido Ray Ronci is concerned less with the words on the page than with the reality they point to. More »
  • Tricycle Community 13 comments

    The Heart of the Matter Paid Member

    My desire for achievement has led to much suffering. No matter what I do, it never feels like it's enough. How can I make peace with myself? The quality of your action depends on the quality of your being. Suppose you’re eager to offer happiness, to make someone happy. That’s a good thing to do. But if you’re not happy, then you can’t do that. In order to make another person happy, you have to be happy yourself. So there’s a link between doing and being. If you don’t succeed in being, you can’t succeed in doing. If you don’t feel that you’re on the right path, happiness isn’t possible. This is true for everyone; if you don’t know where you’re going, you suffer. It’s very important to realize your path and see your true way. More »