Meditation

  • Don’t Believe the Hype Paid Member

    Last May, an article about mindfulness on a popular mainstream news website finally spurred neuroscientist and meditation researcher Catherine Kerr to act. The article cited 20 benefits of meditation, from “reducing loneliness” to “increasing grey matter” to “helping sleep,” and painted a picture of meditation as a kind of golden elixir for modern life. Kerr posted the article on her Facebook page. “It is not like any of this is grossly inaccurate,” she wrote in her post. “It is just that the studies are too cherry-picked and too positive.” More »
  • The Suffering of Addiction Paid Member

    Buddhist teacher Noah Levine’s punk rocker past, social advocacy, and straight-talking, subversive books like Dharma Punx and Against the Stream have earned him an avid following among the young and disaffected. Now he can add a subset of Buddhists who, like Noah, are in recovery from alcohol and drug abuse. A fan of the Twelve Step program but not of its God-centered rhetoric, Noah put together an alternative, Refuge Recovery. Firmly grounded in the four noble truths and the eightfold path, Refuge draws on the best of Buddhism and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). More »
  • Going Back to the Source Paid Member

    Stephen Batchelor and Henry Shukman, both Tricycle contributing editors, sat down for a thoroughgoing conversation at the Mountain Cloud Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico on "Going Back to the Source." Batchelor is a widely published scholar who has trained formally in Tibetan, Theravada, and Zen Buddhism. Shukman, meanwhile, is the head teacher at Mountain Cloud and an accomplished poet and novelist. More »
  • Breathless Paid Member

    Many meditators learn first to focus on the breath, following it mindfully in the manner described in the Satipatthana Sutta; counting breaths in a way frequently taught at Zen centers; or using one of the many methods of pranayama from yoga. None of these work very well when breathing is compromised. I recently recovered from a bout of pertussis (“whooping cough”)—what the Chinese call the hundred-day cough. For three months my meditation was marked by a heavy chest and constricted bronchioles, and deep breaths would bring on paroxysms of coughing. More »
  • From Monastery to Marketplace Paid Member

  • How Do We Learn the Dharma? Paid Member

    These days those who aren’t born into it seem to arrive at the dharma from many different directions. Some are forced to enter dharma after an overwhelming experience shatters their world and leaves them no other choice. Others arrive more gently, perhaps through disillusionment with the shallowness of contemporary culture. Encountering the dharma, they find meaning and purpose. Others come because they are wounded in some way, whether by love or hatred or just by the bitter dance of loneliness. In dharma they discover a salve for their ills. More »