Buddhist Teachings

  • Feeding Your Demons Paid Member

    We all have demons. They're not nasty ghouls or goblins or things with horns—they're worse. In "Feeding Your Demons," from the Summer 2008 Tricycle, Tsultrim Allione describes them this way: Demons are our obsessions and fears, feelings of insecurity, chronic illnesses, or common problems like depression, anxiety, and addiction. Feeding our demons rather than fighting them may seem to contradict the conventional approach of attacking and attempting to eliminate that which assails us, but it turns out to be a remarkable alternative and an effective path to liberation from all dichotomies. More »
  • Sharon Salzberg turns up on Daily Kos Paid Member

    Daily Kos diarist "Geenius at Wrok" has an affinity for vipassana meditation, and today writes at some length on his introduction to Sharon Salzberg's teachings on metta (loving-kindness) practice. GaW even manages to send good thoughts to Sen. Chuck Grassley (überR-Iowa, pictured here)—no mean feat for a Daily Kos diarist. He also adds a political touch of his own, though, which some may consider cheating: May you be free of pain and sorrow. May you also help end needless pain and sorrow caused by pvt health ins. More »
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    Letting Go Paid Member

    The Buddhist notion of non-attachment is probably one of the most challenging concepts for Westerners to wrap their heads around. I know for me, it’s a constant battle to remember that the people, places, things that provoke prolonged—and potentially debilitating—emotional responses, as well as the things that I place a value on, are not actually “real.” As time passes, though, and the longer I spend at Tricycle, it's nice to notice that my emotions come and go very quickly, and trip me up less and less. Still, I notice that certain items, habits, cling more than others. Judy Lief addresses letting go as the Dharma Talk from the Fall 2006 issue of Tricycle. What has been the most difficult thing for you to let go of? More »
  • Homosexuality, Marriage, and Religion in Tibet: An Endlessly Complicated Situation Paid Member

    A post which Tricycle editor James Shaheen recently wrote at the Huffington Post blog has picked up a good bit of attention around the internet.  James's subject was the Dalai Lama's views on gay marriage, which, as he rightly discussed, are quite a complicated matter.  In part this stems from the utterly different cultural and religious assumptions about sexuality that monks raised in traditional Tibetan culture bring to the discussion, vs. the cultural and religious assumptions of Western gay rights advocates (or, for that matter, Western opponents of gay marriage). More »
  • Jesus, Buddha & the Devil Paid Member

    Does a Christian have much to learn from a Buddhist about the Devil? If they read Stephen Batchelor's Living With the Devil on an international flight they may. The Rev. Robert V. Thompson, senior minister of the Lake Street Church of Evanston, Illinois and former  Chair of the Parliament of the World's Religions, did just that and lived to write about it. Not everyone was enthusiastic about his reading habits, though. A fellow passenger, once she saw the title of the book the good reverend was reading, ignored him for the rest of the flight. (You can read an excerpt from Stephen's book and a brief Tricycle interview with him here.) More »
  • Harnessing Anger at the Checkout Line Paid Member

    Last Sunday, Tricycle Community member and magazine contributor Rev. Danny Fisher blogged about a recent unnerving experience in the checkout line of a grocery store. What could have been simply an unpleasant encounter turned into a larger learning experience when Fisher reflected on his own retaliatory response after being provoked by a rude customer. Fisher writes: As I left the store, I wondered about my reaction. What else, if anything, should I have done? Should I have said something more directly? Was there any virue in my snarky response, or was it just snark, plain and simple? Eventually, I found myself thinking about anger and Buddhism, and I remembered a teaching of Lama Surya Das' that I read once: Ultimately, I believe that anger is just an emotion. More »