Buddhist Teachings

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    If you don't have anything nice to say... Paid Member

    In one of Luang Pu’s branch meditation monasteries there lived a group of five or six monks who wanted to be especially strict in their practice, so they made a vow not to talk throughout the Rains Retreat. In other words, no word would come out of their mouths except for the daily chanting and the bi-weekly Patimokkha chant. After the end of the Rains they came to pay their respects to Luang Pu and told him of their strict practice: In addition to their other duties, they were also able to stop speaking for the entire Rains. Luang Pu smiled a bit and said: “That’s pretty good. When there’s no speaking, then no faults are committed by way of speech. But when you say that you stopped speaking, that simply can’t be. Only the noble ones who enter the refined attainment of cessation, where feeling and perception stop, are able to stop speaking. Aside from them, everyone’s speaking all day and all night long. More »
  • Blogwatch: Musings Paid Member

    I recommend checking out Musings by author, teacher, translator—and blogger—Ken McLeod.  An excellent teacher, McLeod does just this in the vast majority of his blog: He teaches.  Through simple practice tips and personal reflections, McLeod strikes an impressive balance between simplicity and depth which makes his blogs both instantly accessible as well as very useful.  It is very practice-oriented and can serve as a great online resource for any regular meditator with an internet connection. More »
  • Buddhism for Humanists Paid Member

    Over at The New Humanism (TNH), a publication of the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard, there is a special issue dedicated to Secular Buddhism, featuring, among others—and not surprisingly—Tricycle contributing editor Stephen Batchelor, author of the recently published Confession of a Buddhist Atheist. In "No Future in a Parrot's Egg: Digging into the Humanist Heart of Buddhism" Batchelor writes, More »
  • Joan Oliver interviews Christopher Queen on the Symposium for Socially Engaged Buddhism Paid Member

    From August 9th to 14th, 2010, the Zen Peacemakers will be hosting “The First Symposium for Western Socially Engaged Buddhism”, in Montague, MA. More »
  • Martine Batchelor's Tricycle Retreat Week 2: Grasping and Listening Paid Member

    Week 2 of Martine Batchelor's Tricycle Retreat Break Your Addictive Patterns is now live at tricycle.com. Her teachings focus on meditative techniques from the Korean Zen and Vipassana traditions designed to unlock the mind's ability to creatively respond to the situations we find ourselves in. This week's talk is called "Grasping and Listening." To get a sense of what this retreat is about, read the Q&A from Week 1 here. Below is a 2-minute video clip from this week's talk. More »
  • Tonglen Lojong with Acharya Judy Lief Paid Member

    Each Friday, Acharya Judy Lief, teacher in the Shambhala tradition of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, comments on one of Atisha's 59 mind-training (Tib. lojong) slogans, which serve as the basis for a complete practice. Atisha (980-1052 CE) was an Indian adept who brought to Tibet a systematized approach to bodhicitta (the desire to awaken for the sake of all sentient beings) and loving-kindness, through working with these slogans. Judy edited Chogyam Trungpa's Training the Mind (Shambhala, 1993), which contains Trungpa Rinpoche's commentaries on the lojong ("mind-training") teachings. Each entry includes a practice. See the previous slogans and commentaries here. 7. Sending and taking should be practiced alternately. These two should ride the breath. According to this slogan, in relation to ourselves, it is a good idea to practice breathing out what we want and breathing in what we don’t want. How counterintuitive is that? And in relation to others, it is suggested that we practice breathing out to them our love and healing, and breathing in their pain and sickness. That aspect is a little easier to grasp, as the notion of praying for those we care about is more familiar to us, as people who grew up in a Judeo-Christian culture. There certainly is a need for more loving-kindness in the world. Who doesn’t want to develop that aspect of themselves? And that quality of love and heartfulness is what makes this slogan so appealing. It is tender and gives us a way to hold others in our hearts. It gives us a way to connect with those we care about, even when we may not be able to do so physically, and to help others, even though there doesn’t seem to be much we can do. It feels great to pray for others and to be all warm and loving. But that is not all there is to it.  The practice of sending and taking, or tonglen in Tibetan, brings to light the boundaries of that love and caring. If you pray for your friends and family, how about other people and other families? If you pray for those you like or admire, how about those who you dislike or reject? What about those you disagree with, or simply find annoying? What about those who do harm? The idea is to go beyond bias, to include more and more, to let the heart grow and expand. More »