Buddhism

  • Giving up is a good thing Paid Member

    The practice of seeing clearly is what finally moves us toward kindness. Seeing, again and again, the infinite variety of traps we create for seducing the mind into struggle, seeing the endless rounds of meaningless suffering over lusts and aversions (which, although seemingly urgent, are essentially empty), we feel compassion for ourselves. And then, quite naturally, we feel compassion for everyone else. We know as we have never known before that we are stuck, all of us, with bodies and minds and instincts and impulses, all in a tug-of-war with our basic heart nature that yearns to relax into love. Then we surrender. We love. We laugh. More »
  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    Am I There Yet? Paid Member

    The path of awakening is extremely well mapped, and it’s mapped in different ways by different traditions. At certain stages maps can be useful; they point out the way. But at other stages they can be a big hindrance, because we often get caught up in interpretation and judgment: “How far along am I?” “Am I there?” These thoughts simply strengthen the sense of self, while the whole path is about dissolving it. And particularly in our Western culture, which is so competitive and judgmental, instead of adding more fuel to the fire of self-judgment—”Oh, where am I? I’m not good enough”—we could see our entire spiritual journey as this wonderful flowering of understanding. More »
  • Tricycle Community 5 comments

    Andrew Sullivan on the need for Buddhist-Christian dialogue Paid Member

    The always-thoughtful Andrew Sullivan continues his exploration of Buddhism. Here he is on Thomas Merton: I think a conversation between Christians and Buddhists - the project Merton was intent on before he died - is one of the more important conversations of our time. Merton was truly one of the great religious thinkers of our time, taken from us too early. Here he is on getting through difficult times: Prayer and love are learned in the hour when prayer becomes impossible and the heart has turned to stone. More »
  • Tricycle Community 8 comments

    Nonsense Sharpens the Intellect, says the Times Paid Member

    All this and not a word about koans: In addition to assorted bad breaks and pleasant surprises, opportunities and insults, life serves up the occasional pink unicorn. The three-dollar bill; the nun with a beard; the sentence, to borrow from the Lewis Carroll poem, that gyres and gimbles in the wabe. An experience, in short, that violates all logic and expectation. The philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wrote that such anomalies produced a profound “sensation of the absurd,” and he wasn’t the only one who took them seriously. Freud, in an essay called “The Uncanny,” traced the sensation to a fear of death, of castration or of “something that ought to have remained hidden but has come to light.” At best, the feeling is disorienting. At worst, it’s creepy. More »
  • Poet and Zen Practitioner Jane Hirshfield at the Tricycle Community Paid Member

    She will be discussing her poem, "Those Who Cannot Act," from her 2006 book, After. Join the discussion here. Jane Hirshfield was born in New York City in 1953. After receiving her B.A. from Princeton University in their first graduating class to include women, she went on to study at the San Francisco Zen Center. Her books of poetry include After (HarperCollins, 2006); Given Sugar, Given Salt (2001), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Lives of the Heart (1997), The October Palace (1994), Of Gravity & Angels (1988), and Alaya (1982). More »
  • Tricycle Community 5 comments

    "Touching Enlightenment," by Reggie Ray Paid Member

    After years of meditation, you may feel you're making very little progress. But the guide you may need has been with you all along: your body. Drawing on Tibetan Yogic practices, Reggie Ray takes on the modern crisis of disembodiment. Read "Touching Enlightenment." More »