Buddhism

  • Tricycle Community 2 comments

    The Joy of Equanimity Paid Member

    Equanimity is of tremendous importance both in the practice and in everyday life. Generally we get either swept away by pleasant and enticing objects, or worked up into a great state of agitation when confronted by unpleasant, undesirable objects. This wild alternation of contraries is nearly universal among human beings. When we lack the ability to stay balanced and unfaltering, we are easily swept into extremes of craving or aversion. The scriptures say that when the mind indulges in sensual objects, it becomes agitated. This is the usual state of affairs in the world, as we can observe. In their quest for happiness, people mistake excitement of the mind for real happiness. More »
  • Tricycle Community 8 comments

    Tricycle Pilgrimage to Bhutan Paid Member

    Tricycle Pilgrimage to Bhutan Tricycle Foundation is pleased to announce its first annual pilgrimage to Bhutan, beginning in Bangkok on February 24 through March 8, 2010.  A maximum of 20 pilgrims accompanied by leading Bhutanese Buddhist teachers will attend a traditional dance festival; visit temples and monasteries where Guru Rinpoche and other Buddhist saints meditated; witness the winter gathering of the endangered Black Necked Crane; and meet dynamic government and non-profit leaders. The $5,000 fee includes a $1,000 tax-deductible donation to Tricycle Foundation and covers all expenses including airfare from Bangkok to Bhutan, visas, board and room, transport, guides, and entrance fees. More »
  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    Precious Silence Paid Member

    Those who are fond of retreats—writers, ecstatics, parents with young children—often comment on the silence such time away allows. Silence becomes something present, almost palpable. The task shifts from keeping the world at a safe decible distance to letting more of the world in. Thomas Aquinas said that beauty arrests motion. He meant, I think, that in the presence of something gorgeous or sublime, we stop our nervous natterings, our foot twitchings and restless tongues. Whatever that fretful hunger is, it seems momentarily filled in the presence of beauty. To Aquinas’s wisdom I’d add that silence arrests flight, that in its refuge, the need to flee the chaos of noise diminishes. More »
  • Tricycle Community 2 comments

    Paying Our Debts Paid Member

    The Buddha praised the practice of meditation as a way of paying homage to the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha that was better than offering material objects. The practice of training the heart to reach purity pleased the Buddha because it is the way by which a person can gain release from all suffering and stress. The Buddha taught us to meditate so that we can free our hearts from their slavery to the defilements of the world. We're still not released from suffering as long as our minds still have worries and concerns. Being a slave to our concerns is like being in debt to them. When we're in debt, we have no real freedom in our hearts. The more we pay off our debts, the more lighthearted we'll feel. In the same way, if we can let go of our various worries and cares, peace will arise in our hearts. This is why the Buddha taught us to center our hearts in concentration so as to give rise to stillness, peace, and the inner wealth with which we'll be able to pay off all of our debts. More »
  • Tricycle Community 5 comments

    Wisdom of the West Paid Member

    I think Westerners lack respect for their own spiritual maturity. It’s as though Asia owns spirituality, and we’re these barbarians, beseeching, “Oh, Bhante, please come over and tell us how to live.” But I’ve been to Asia, and they’re just as screwed up as we are. And there’s some real wisdom in our culture; the West has a tradition, too, of compassion and wisdom. And some people who aren’t even religious have it. When I was in Asia I totally did whatever an Asian lay person would do—I have the deepest respect for this tradition—but Asia does not have a monopoly on kindness. In Asia, being a lay person is—from the point of view of meditational practice—considered second-class. I personally think that the monastic life does optimize your possibilities for breaking through to awakening. But it’s by no means a guarantee. Most monasteries are hardly crammed full of enlightened people. But we need a teaching that addresses the lives we actually live. We do need to handle money. More »
  • Tricycle Community 1 comment

    Beginning and End Paid Member

    A lojong (mind-training) slogan, with a comment by Pema Chödrön: Slogan: Two activities: one at the beginning, one at the end. Comment: In the morning when you wake up, you reflect on the day ahead and aspire to use it to keep a wide-open heart and mind. At the end of the day, before going to sleep, you think over what you have done. If you fulfilled your aspiration, even once, rejoice in that. If you went against your aspiration, rejoice that you are able to see what you did and are no longer living in ignorance. This way you will be inspired to go forward with increasing clarity, confidence, and compassion in the days that follow. - Pema Chödrön, "Bite-Sized Buddhism," Tricycle Fall 2007 Read the complete article. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. More »