• Dharma Combat: Roshi vs. Rinpoche Paid Member

    Sometime in the early 1970s, two Buddhist masters met in Cambridge, Massachusetts. One of them, Kalu Rinpoche, was a renowned Tibetan meditation master who had spent many years in solitary retreat in the remote mountain caves of Tibet. The other was Seung Sahn, a Korean Zen master who had recently come to the United States and was supporting himself by working in a Providence, Rhode Island, Laundromat, slowly planting the seeds of Zen in the minds of those coming to wash their clothes. At this now famous meeting of enlightened minds, Seung Sahn held up an orange and, in classic Zen dharma combat fashion, demanded, "What is this?" Kalu Rinpoche just looked at him, wonderingly. Again Master Seung Sahn asked, "What is this?" Finally Rinpoche turned to his translator and asked, "Don't they have oranges in Korea?" More »
  • Thank you to Enkyo Roshi and Sharon Salzberg Paid Member

    Well, nothing lasts forever. This week, Roshi Pat Enkyo O'Hara's Tricycle Retreat, "Ease and Joy in Your Practice and Life," wraps up, as does the Tricycle Book Club discussion of Sharon Salzberg's book Real Happiness. Both events considerably brightened up an otherwsie gloomy February here at Tricycle! To both Enkyo Roshi and Sharon Salzberg, thank you very much for the gift of the dharma you've given us. Thank you for being available, generous, and patient throughout the month! A participant in the Week 4 discussion of the retreat put it beautifully: More »
  • Where do we go from here?: Day 28 of the 28-day meditation challenge Paid Member

    We did it! We just finished sitting together in the office for the final day of the 28-day meditation challenge. It feels good. Now we're all completely enlightened and we'll never have to meditate again. Just kidding. While the 28-day challenge has been a wonderful experience for all of us here at Tricycle—and hopefully for all of you—the real challenge is keeping up the meditation practice moving forward. Ideally, this experience has given you a taste of what a consistent meditation practice can do for your overall well-being and will provide you with the inspiration that you need to continue. For tips of maintaining your practice, check out Sharon's article on how to sustain your practice ("Sticking with It") in the most recent issue of Tricycle. More »
  • Where is the love?: Day 25 of the meditation challenge Paid Member

    In Real Happiness Sharon tells us about one of her students who thought “the whole idea of lovingkindness meditation seemed hokey and rote to her, but she focused on the phrases nevertheless.” I’ve thought the same exact thing about lovingkindness meditation. It’s a group hug, mushy, mawkish. As much as I like the idea of lovingkindness in theory, I’ve never taken it very seriously. I might say to myself “May I be happy,” a few times and think of my mom for a while, but sooner or later—usually around the time I start trying to extend that warm feeling to some jerk or other—it just starts to feel silly and I go back to the serious business of trying to develop concentration. More »
  • At the Book Club: A discussion of Living This Life Fully: Stories and Teachings of Munindra Paid Member

    “Munindra’s message is that we can go the distance,” writes Mirka Knaster in Living This Life Fully: Stories and Teachings of Munindra (Shambhala, 2010, $21.95 paper, 274 pp.), the first book about the highly revered and influential Bengali Vipassana teacher. It’s a testament to Anagarika Munindra’s character that this message comes across so effortlessly on the written page. Though the book includes previously unpublished material from his formal teachings, it’s the stories and memories shared by his devoted students that fully bring Munindra and his dharma to life. Knaster, a scholar, writer, and Vipassana practitioner, skillfully weaves these teachings and personal stories into 16 chapters, each assigned a specific quality of an enlightened being—from mindfulness to equanimity—that Munindra embodied. More »
  • The Weather is Just the Weather: Birth of a Tricycle Article Paid Member

    In late September 2010 I traveled by train to Cambridge, Massachusetts. As I passed through Rhode Island, bored, tired, hungry—all the small negatives that combined make travel a magical experience—I remembered some snippets of history, King Philip's War, William Blackstone leaving Boston on the back of a bull ("The Puritan court ordered his house burned down"), the birthplace of American industry, and so on, and read about it in fragments and snatches on my cellphone. More »