Meditation

  • Growing Up Buddhist: Fish Sticks Paid Member

    One day, when I was about five or six years old, my brother Jon had just finished cooking fish sticks in the oven. The oven door had been opened and the fish sticks were sitting there on the pan cooling. For at least a minute, nobody was around but me. I was hungry and getting impatient waiting for Jon to return. I didn't know if the pan was hot or not but I remember thinking the five-year old equivalent of "screw it, I’m just gonna touch it." I reached down and put my thumb on the pan. It sizzled. I was burned. More »
  • What Does a “Conscious Workplace” Look Like? Paid Member

    What does a “conscious workplace” look like? This isn’t just a question we ask ourselves at a small, nonprofit Buddhist organization like Tricycle. Increasingly, as a society, mindfulness in the workplace is an idea we are exploring and embracing. With high-profile companies like Google investing in projects like their School of Personal Growth (see Joan Duncan Oliver's "Buddha in the Googleplex" from Tricycle's Summer 2009 issue) it’s clear that the concept has gone mainstream. This Wisdom 2.0 interview with Gopi Kallayil, part of the Search Advertising Product Marketing Team at Google, sheds a little light on the question: what does a “conscious workplace” look like? More »
  • More Good Work Paid Member

    In the most recent issue of Tricycle we included a brief piece about various organizations that are doing “Good Work” around the world.  In that spirit, I am very happy to share the news that Sensei Fleet Maull and Sensei Genro Guantt of the Zen Peacemaker order will be leading a Bearing Witness retreat to Rwanda this April. From the Peacemaker Institute website: In the tradition of the Auschwitz Bearing Witness Retreat co-founded by Roshi Bernie Glassman in 1996 and hosted annually in the years since by the Zen Peacemakers and the Peacemaker Institute, we will conduct a five-day retreat, bearing witness to the horror and tragic impact of the 1994 Rwandan Gen More »
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    The Joy of Equanimity Paid Member

    Equanimity is of tremendous importance both in the practice and in everyday life. Generally we get either swept away by pleasant and enticing objects, or worked up into a great state of agitation when confronted by unpleasant, undesirable objects. This wild alternation of contraries is nearly universal among human beings. When we lack the ability to stay balanced and unfaltering, we are easily swept into extremes of craving or aversion. The scriptures say that when the mind indulges in sensual objects, it becomes agitated. This is the usual state of affairs in the world, as we can observe. In their quest for happiness, people mistake excitement of the mind for real happiness. More »
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    Precious Silence Paid Member

    Those who are fond of retreats—writers, ecstatics, parents with young children—often comment on the silence such time away allows. Silence becomes something present, almost palpable. The task shifts from keeping the world at a safe decible distance to letting more of the world in. Thomas Aquinas said that beauty arrests motion. He meant, I think, that in the presence of something gorgeous or sublime, we stop our nervous natterings, our foot twitchings and restless tongues. Whatever that fretful hunger is, it seems momentarily filled in the presence of beauty. To Aquinas’s wisdom I’d add that silence arrests flight, that in its refuge, the need to flee the chaos of noise diminishes. More »
  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    How does sitting upright help? Sylvia Boorstein answers. Paid Member

    Q: So, how does sitting still, upright, and resisting the temptation to move, focus and clear the mind? A: It is, indeed, a helpful technique. First, holding a styled position requires attention—attention brought to bear on the present situation—and so random thoughts are less likely to distract the mind. Second, the decisiveness in the mind that intends to be awake and present—“I’m doing this now”—also guards against distraction. And third, the mind itself, in a context of simplicity, has the natural tendency to return to ease. (I often think about the snow globes with lovely scenes at their center, scenes hidden from view as long as the “snow” is shaken up. More »