Mindfulness

  • Personal Heaven, Personal Hell Paid Member

    A Sri Lankan monk once told me, “There is no doubt: if you follow the five precepts, you will be happy. You will live a good life.” We were standing outside the Mahabodhi Temple, in Bodh Gaya, India, discussing the Buddhist path for lay followers. At that point in my life, the monk’s words struck me as uncomplicatedly true. I was living in a Buddhist monastery as part of the Antioch Buddhist Studies program and observing the five precepts with such fervency that I wouldn’t borrow my roommate’s flashlight for even a minute without asking first. “What if she comes back to her room and needs her flashlight while you have it?” my teacher asked sensibly. “It’s a way of avoiding unnecessary complications.” The four months I spent in India were undoubtedly the happiest, simplest days of my life. More »
  • Thich Nhat Hanh Emerges from Coma Paid Member

    The most recent communiqué from Plum Village, the spiritual community of the venerated Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, announced that the teacher had emerged from his coma, which was brought on by a severe brain hemorrhage in November. More »
  • Tricycle Talks: Jeff Wilson, Mindful America Paid Member

    In this episode of Tricycle Talks, Tricycle managing editor Emma Varvaloucas speaks with author and Tricycle contributing editor Jeff Wilson about how Buddhism influences and is appropriated by minority-Buddhist cultures in the West. Wilson, who wrote a blog post on the subject, explains how an evangelical impulse has overtaken some mindfulness advocates. His latest book is Mindful America: The Mutual Transformation of Buddhist Meditation and American Culture. More »
  • Fear of Silence Paid Member

    I have the impression that many of us are afraid of silence. We’re always taking in something—text, music, radio, television, or thoughts—to occupy the space. If quiet and space are so important for our happiness, why don’t we make more room for them in our lives? One of my longtime students has a partner who is very kind, a good listener, and not overly talkative; but at home her partner always needs to have the radio or TV on, and he likes a newspaper in front of him while he sits and eats his breakfast. More »
  • What Was Mindfulness? Paid Member

    With headlines like “Gentrifying the dharma: How the 1% is hijacking mindfulness” and “Rebel posturing and ‘mindfulness training’ can’t cover up tech world’s awful labor standards” on Facebook courtesy of Salon.com, suddenly American Buddhists find themselves pushed to one side or the other of an age-old debate. Should the sacred life show secular benefits, or should spirituality be essentially an "inside job"? More »
  • Thich Nhat Hanh Hospitalized for Severe Brain Hemorrhage Paid Member

    [UPDATES BELOW] Plum Village Mindfulness Practice Centres announced yesterday that Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh (affectionately known by his students as "Thay"), had suffered a severe brain hemmorrhage on November 11. Thay is currently under intensive care in Bordeaux, France. He is reportedly exhibiting signs that a full recovery may be possible. More »