Meditation

  • What is the Right Way to Sit? Paid Member

    Different Buddhist schools recommend a variety of meditative postures. Some emphasize a still, formal posture, while others are less strict and more focused on internal movements of consciousness. Tibetan traditions, for instance, advise an upright spine, erect but relaxed; hands at rest in the lap, with the belly soft; shoulders relaxed, chin slightly tucked, and the gaze lowered with eyelids half shut; the jaw is slack with the tongue behind the upper teeth; the legs are crossed. A Soto Zen Buddhist saying instructs us to sit with formal body and informal mind. The common essential point is to remain balanced and alert, so as to pierce the veil of samsaric illusion. –Lama Surya Das, from “The Heart of Buddhist Meditation,” Tricycle, Winter 2007 Read the full article: The Heart of Buddhist Meditation More »
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    Just Be Paid Member

    Just sitting means just that. That “just” endlessly goes against the grain of our need to fix, transform, and improve ourselves. The paradox of our practice is that the most effective way of transformation is to leave ourselves alone. The more we let everything be just what it is, the more we relax into an open, attentive awareness of one moment after another. Just sitting leaves everything just as it is. –Barry Magid, from “Leave yourself alone!” Tricycle, Summer 2005 Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. More »
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    Practice is not something we do; it is something we are Paid Member

    Our lives, like the ocean, constantly change, and we will naturally face great storms and dreary lulls. How, then, to put our minds in a space where practice is always there, whether tumultuous or in the doldrums? It requires a completely radical view of practice: practice is not something we do; it is something we are. We are not separate from our practice, and so no matter what, our practice is present. An ocean swimmer is loose and flows with the current and moves through the tide. More »
  • Giving up is a good thing Paid Member

    The practice of seeing clearly is what finally moves us toward kindness. Seeing, again and again, the infinite variety of traps we create for seducing the mind into struggle, seeing the endless rounds of meaningless suffering over lusts and aversions (which, although seemingly urgent, are essentially empty), we feel compassion for ourselves. And then, quite naturally, we feel compassion for everyone else. We know as we have never known before that we are stuck, all of us, with bodies and minds and instincts and impulses, all in a tug-of-war with our basic heart nature that yearns to relax into love. Then we surrender. We love. We laugh. More »
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    "The gulf between us all is imaginary." Paid Member

    We’re all in the same boat. Born as we are in this human body, we can’t escape the blessings and tortures of the human brain. From our first breath, we yearn for love and understanding in the most complicated ways imaginable. We find it most satisfying as we learn to give it. The ability to do this comes from acceptance of our frailties. By understanding the conditions of our own lives, we accept the conditions of others. Compassion is not condescension, but a leveling of the playing field, a recognition of yourself in others and an acceptance that their stress is your stress, that their happiness is your own. More »
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    Sit Alone, Sit with Others - Daily Dharma, September 27th, 2009 Paid Member

    By sitting with others, even once a week, we reinspire our practice, while in sitting alone we learn self-reliance. Whatever technique one is using, remember that the spirit of practice is more important than the technique. Finding a way to enjoy just sitting is key. Sitting meditation is a refuge, not a test. –Narayan Liebenson Grady, from “The Refuge of Sitting,” Tricycle, Winter 2003 Read the complete article. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Sign up for the Daily Dharma or Tricycle Community Newsletter More »