Buddhism

  • Become Aware of Awareness Paid Member

    The goal of attention, or shamatha, practice is to become aware of awareness. Awareness is the basis, or what you might call the “support,” of the mind. It is steady and unchanging, like the pole to which the flag of ordinary consciousness is attached. When we recognize and become grounded in awareness, the “wind” of emotion may still blow. But instead of being carried away by the wind, we turn our attention inward, watching the shifts and changes with the intention of becoming familiar with that aspect of consciousness that recognizes Oh, this is what I’m feeling, this is what I’m thinking. As we do so, a bit of space opens up within us. More »
  • "The Most Important Insight of the Buddha" Paid Member

    I read the following quote this weekend: "The single most important or most basic insight of the historical Buddha is the claim that who we are and what we think exists is a function of our mind and its cognitive powers. In other words, it is our mind and our uses of it that determine how we see and understand our self, the world, and other things." - Stephen J. Laumakis, An Introduction to Buddhist Philosophy This is from a textbook describing Buddhism in relation to competing schools of thought in ancient India, and I suppose I don't really disagree, but something about it rubbed me the wrong way. I guess it's because it's taking Buddhism purely as a philosophy and missing out on the experiential part of practice. More »
  • Haiku Corner Paid Member

    The Tricycle Community Poetry Club is pleased to present our new Haiku Corner, led by Gary Gach, haiku teacher and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buddhism. You can read and comment on others efforts, offer your own haiku, or get guidance from Gary and the others there. You need to be a member of the Tricycle Community to visit, but it's easy to sign up, and best of all it's free. More »
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    Without Compassion, What Hope? Paid Member

    Q: Is there any cause for optimism? A: Well, personally, yeah. Everybody's got a life to lead and they've got a bodhisattva tendency, everybody wants to do good, so I just think on a personal level, yeah. On a larger scale, there doesn't seem to be any hope unless compassion becomes a more widespread important teaching on how to live. Compassion to self and others. –Allen Ginsberg, from "Spontaneous Intelligence: An Interview with Allen Ginsberg," Tricycle, Fall 1995 Read the complete article. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Sign up for the Daily Dharma or Tricycle Community Newsletter More »
  • The path doesn’t save all its pleasure for the end. You can enjoy it now. Paid Member

    When explaining meditation, the Buddha often drew analogies with the skills of artists, carpenters, musicians, archers, and cooks. Finding the right level of effort, he said, is like a musician’s tuning of a lute. Reading the mind’s needs in the moment—to be gladdened, steadied, or inspired—is like a palace cook’s ability to read and please the tastes of a prince. Thai forest monk Thanissaro Bhikkhu teaches the joy of effort by explaining that "the path doesn’t save all its pleasure for the end. You can enjoy it now." Read the rest here. [Image: Explosions in the Sky, David Poppie, 2007, mixed-media collage, 24 x 24 in.] More »
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    Is there an ethical way to visit Burma? Paid Member

    There has been plenty of discussion about the ethics of traveling to Burma, although its repressive government has been impervious to just about any kind of pressure the outside world applies. While there are Buddhist practitioners who visit monasteries to practice on extended retreats, most other travel has been frowned upon by many activists. But today's Washington Post lists a few tour agencies that "are mindful of the ongoing ethical debate about visiting Burma and have taken measures to ensure that at least some of their tourist dollars go to support small, locally owned businesses and not the repressive military dictatorship." More »