Buddhist Teachings

  • DNA Sutra Paid Member

    In the Summer edition of Tricycle, Richard Eskow explores the relationship between genetics and identity in "DNA Sutra: The Genetic Karma of Our Inherited Selves." Moved to action by the possibility that his health is failing, the author sends his DNA away for testing to see what's written in his genes—the scientific "blueprint" of his self. To study the self is to know the self, said Dogen. Our genome is like an ancient sutra. Like a sutra, the genome carries a series of brief coded instructions from the past. Genes guide our growth and bear programmed instructions. To learn more about mine, I laboriously filled a vial with spit and mailed it to a company called 23andMe. Then I waited. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Buddhist News from Around the World Paid Member

    There's a lot going on in the world—it's hard to keep up! This is "Buddha Buzz," our weekly roundup of Buddhist news from around the world. Check back on tricycle.com every Friday to see the latest. Take a look at the mock-up plans for a Buddhist temple planned to be built in Taicang, China. I like to call it the "Aladdin genie" of Buddhist temples...because you ain't never seen a temple like this one. (And Aladdin ain't never had a friend like the genie.) More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Birthday Parties and Abandoned Dogs Paid Member

    Happy birthday to the Dalai Lama! His Holiness turns 77 today. Here he is greeting Ogyen Trinley Dorje, one of the two claimants to the Karmapa's throne, at his birthday party in Dharamsala. And here he is again with some excited birthday revelers. You can see more photographs of the festivities on his official website. More »
  • How to practice right speech Paid Member

    It's not enough to simply resolve to speak only what is "truthful, helpful, kind and timely." After all, we scarcely know which of the hundreds of voices in our head is going to "grab the mic" next. Vajrayana teacher Ken McLeod suggests we begin with a pretty straightforward method in his discussion of verse 34 of the 37 Practices of the Bodhisattva. Here's how it works: When you speak, listen to the sound of your own voice as if you are listening to another person talk. When you do this you hear immediately when what you are saying or how you are saying it is out of sync with the situation. If you are angry but aren't unaware of it, you hear the edge in your voice...you also hear when there's fear...or when you are trying to sell someone an idea, or when  you are trying to seduce someone against their will.... There will be a little insistence or insincere charm in your voice. You may be surprised to hear your mother or father speaking..." More »
  • You've got a minute left. How will you spend it? Paid Member

    "There comes a point when you know you have take meditation seriously," Ken McLeod says in his discussion of verse 33 of The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva. He hits us not long after with, "If you had 1 minute left in your life, how would you spend it?" Then he invites us to really stop for a moment and consider that very prospect, providing appropriate background sound effects: tick, tick, tick... If we're wondering, what with our ambitions, whether we've got the time to practice, practice itself will take care of that: All efforts to gain recognition and attention are undermined by your efforts to be awake and present in your life. They are mere compensations for a fear of death, unmet emotional needs, or the desire to be someone. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Mindfulness and Being a Buddhist Woman Paid Member

    As mindfulness has spread into the corporate world, there have been some who have expressed their reservations about it. Is mindfulness being appropriated to serve ends of corporate greed? Is it promoting good business ethics or, as some suspect, merely teaching people to concentrate better on making money? If we take this article—"Corporate Buddhism Training Helps Employees Understand that Job Dissatisfaction and Malaise Are Actually Nirvana"—the answers to these questions are a very frightening yes. From the article: More »