Buddhism

  • Why do we gossip? Paid Member

    Gossip can mean many things, from benignly shared information about someone not present to false rumors insidiously spread, to idle chitchat about someone’s personal life. The question to ask is: What is our motivation when we talk about others? From a Buddhist perspective, the value of our speech depends principally upon the motivation behind it. When talking about others is motivated by thoughts of ill will, jealousy, or attachment, conversations turn into gossip. These thoughts may seem to be subconscious, but if we pay close attention to our mind we’ll be able to catch them in the act. Many of these are thoughts that we don’t want to acknowledge to ourselves, let alone to others, but my experience is that when I become courageous enough to notice and admit them, I’m on my way to letting them go. Also, there’s a certain humor to the illogical way that these negative thoughts purport to bring us happiness. More »
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    Everyday Insights Paid Member

    Laypeople live in the realm of sensuality. They have families, money, and possessions, and are deeply involved in all sorts of activities. Yet sometimes they will gain insight and see dharma before monks and nuns do. Why is this? It’s because of their suffering from all these things. They see the fault and can let go. They can put it down after seeing clearly in their experience. More »
  • Praise and Blame Paid Member

    If we really stop to think about praise and criticism, we will see they do not have the least importance. Whether we receive praise or criticism is of no account. The only important thing is that we have a pure motivation, and let the law of cause and effect be our witness. If we are really honest, we can see that it makes no difference whether we receive praise and acclaim. The whole world might sing our praises, but if we have done something wrong, then we will still have to suffer the consequences for ourselves, and we cannot escape them. If we act only out of a pure motivation, all the beings of the three realms can criticize and rebuke us, but none of them will be able to cause us to suffer. According to the law of karma, each and every one of us must answer individually for our actions. This is how we can put a stop to these kinds of thoughts altogether, by seeing how they are completely insubstantial, like dreams or magical illusions. More »
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    Is this Buddhist monk the world's oldest man? Paid Member

    Keep sitting: it might make you live longer. Thai monk Luang Phu Supha is celebrating his birthday today—his 115th birthday, he says, but this is up for debate. His birth certificate says 1896, but he believes he was two years old at the time. A 113-year-old American, Walter Bruening, also lays claim to the title of world's oldest man. Luang Phu Supha lives at the temple on Phuket where he is abbot. The site is, appropriately enough, named after him. The monks now intend to invite Guinness records representatives to verify their abbot's claim. He puts his longevity down to eating less, speaking less and always speaking the truth. More »
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    Making Happiness Last Paid Member

    Neither the coarse feeling of unpleasantness nor the agitated feeling of pleasure, equanimity, the Buddha said, is one of the highest kinds of happiness, beyond compare with mere pleasant feelings. Superior to delight and joy, true equanimity remains undisturbed as events change from hot to cold, from bitter to sweet, from easy to difficult. This neutral feeling is so subtle that is can be difficult to discern… Some of my beginning students have told me, “But I don’t want that kind of happiness. I enjoy the gusto of delight. I relish a passionate involvement with my life. I love the excitement of experience.” I understand. As a concept, equanimity may appear unappealing, but students nonetheless discover, quite to their surprise, that the exquisite peace of balanced states has a taste of happiness beyond pleasure and beyond pain. Every experience of liking has as its counterpart disliking something else. The fickleness of personal preference agitates consciousness. More »
  • Standing in Line Paid Member

    As an experiment, the next time you are doing an errand, stuck in traffic, or standing in line at the supermarket, instead of being preoccupied with where you’re going or what needs to be done, take a moment to simply send loving wishes to all those around you.  Often, there is an immediate and very remarkable shift as we feel more connected and present. - Joseph Goldstein, from “Triumph of the Heart,” Tricycle, Spring 2008 Read the complete article. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Sign up for the Daily Dharma or Tricycle Community Newsletter More »