Buddhism

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    Fantasy Versus Imagination Paid Member

    Imagination draws its energy from a confrontation with desire. It feeds off desire, transmuting and magnifying reality through desire’s power. Fantasy does the opposite; it avoids desire by fleeing into a crude sort of wish-fulfillment that seems much safer. Fantasy might be teddy bears, lollipops, sexual delights, or superhero adventures; it also might be voices in one’s head urging acts of outrage and mayhem. Or it might be the confused world of separation and fear we routinely live in, a threatening yet seductive world that promises us the happiness we seek when our fantasies finally become real. Imagination confronts desire directly, in all its discomfort and intensity, deepening the world right where we are. More »
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    A Handful of Knowledge Paid Member

    There aren’t that many fundamental, or root, principles of dharma. The Buddha said that his teaching is “a single handful.” A passage in the Samyutta-nikaya makes that clear. While walking through the forest, the Buddha picked up a handful of fallen leaves and asked the monks who were present to decide which was the greater amount, the leaves in his hand or all the leaves in the forest. Of course, they all said that there were more leaves in the forest, that the difference was beyond comparison. Try to imagine the truth of this scene; clearly see how huge the difference is. The Buddha then said that, similarly, those things that he had realized were a great amount, equal to all the leaves in the forest. More »
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    The Joy of Effort Paid Member

    While it’s true that both repetition and relaxation can bring results in meditation, when either is pursued to the exclusion of the other, it leads to a dead end. If, however, you can integrate them both into the greater skill of learning how to apply whatever level of effort the practice requires at any given moment, they can take you far. This greater skill requires strong powers of mindfulness, concentration, and discernment, and if you stick with it, it can lead you all the way to the Buddha’s ultimate aim in teaching meditation: nirvana, a totally unconditioned happiness, free from the constraints of space and time. - Thanissaro Bhikkhu, from "The Joy of Effort,” Tricycle, Summer 2008 Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Read the full article: The Joy of Effort More »
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    His Holiness the 17th Karmapa to speak at TEDIndia Paid Member

    This weekend the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, will join the ranks of previous TED speakers Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Jane Goodall when he presents at this year's TED conference. The annual invitation-only TED events bring together over 1,000 delegates from 35 countries around the world to present on "ideas worth spreading." This year's conference will be held in Mysore, India with the theme "celebrating and exploring the beckoning future of South Asia." His Holiness the 17th Karmapa is scheduled to give a talk entitled "Within You Without You" on Saturday as part of the four day assembly. The Times of India has set up a webcast site where visitors can watch the TED talks live. More »
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    Cloudspotting Paid Member

    Although cloudspotting is an activity best undertaken with time on your hands, it is something that everyone can enjoy. Clouds are the most egalitarian of nature’s displays, since each one of us has a good view of them, so it really doesn’t matter where you are. A little elevation never goes amiss, of course, but this could as easily be provided by a high-rise as by a mountain range of outstanding natural beauty. More important is the frame of mind you are in while cloudspotting. You are not a trainspotter, so standing on a hill with a notebook and pen poised to tick off the different types will end in disappointment. So will any attempt to write down their serial numbers. - Gavin Pretor-Pinney, from "Cloudspotting,” Tricycle, Fall 2006 Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. More »
  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    "Me," "Myself," and "I" Paid Member

    Holding to an ordinary notion of self, or ego, is the source of all our pain and confusion. The irony is that when we look for this "self" that we're cherishing and protecting, we can't even find it. - Dzigar Kongtrül Rinpoche, from "Searching for Self,” Tricycle, Summer 2007 Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Read the full article: Searching for Self More »