• Real Happiness 28-Day Meditation Challenge, Day 15 Paid Member

    We're now into the third week of our 28-day challenge. If you've made it this far, you've likely already overcome a couple of rough patches caused by what Sharon calls a core group of unhealthy human tendencies that are obstacles to happiness. They're the states of mind that distract us in meditation practice, and trip us up in the rest of our lives. Broadly speaking, they are: desire, aversion, sloth, restlessness, and doubt. More »
  • Day 9: The Great Meditation Challenge Paid Member

    It's happened to all of us: We stub our toe, prick our finger, poke ourself in the eye. It's a painful experience. But the worst part of it is that our mind then leaps to judgments: "Why am I so clumsy?" "Why can't I be more careful?" "It's the story of my life!—I always do this!" Sharon Salzberg calls these thoughts "add-ons" in Real Happiness: I once witnessed a particularly good example of add-ons in action when I was teaching a retreat with my colleague Joseph Goldstein. We were sitting drinking tea when a student in some distress came in and said,"I just had this terible experience.''  Joseph asked "What happened?'' And the man said, "I was meditating and I felt all this tension in my jaw and I realized what an incredibly uptight person I am, and always have been and I always will be." More »
  • Day 2: The Great Meditation Challenge Paid Member

    As we've no doubt hammered home by now, the 28-Day Meditation Challenge has begun. Some of you have complained about too many exclamation points, so I'll try to take a calmer approach, which our daily staff meditation here in the office will no doubt support. More »
  • The passing of Venerable Acariya Maha Boowa Paid Member

    This weekend word arrived of the passing of one of Thailand's most prominent monks, the Venerable Acariya Maha Boowa (or Bua) Ñanasampanno, also known as Luangta Boowa. Widely recognized as an arahant, or fully realized master, Maha Boowa was one of the last surviving students of the Venerable Acariya Mun Bhuridatta, who is credited with establishing the Thai Forest tradition, which has since spread across the globe. The Ven. Maha Boowa was known for his work helping the poor of Thailand through his temple Wat Pa Ban Tat. More »
  • Why is there so much snow this winter? Paid Member

    The Buddha was known for occasionally frustrating his questioners with silence, which led to accusations of his ignorance about the topic being pursued. But to think this is to mistake the Buddha's intention. From Skill in Questions (the chapter is Questions Put Aside: II): More »
  • If you can breathe, you can meditate... Paid Member

    That's the subtitle of the first chapter of Sharon Salzberg's Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation. Here at Tricycle we've begun the countdown: 5 days until we begin the four-week Meditation Challenge. For details, see yesterday's post. And by way of introduction to Real Happiness, the consummate meditation guide that will serve as our North Star throughout the 28-day meditation period, here's a taste: What is Meditation? Straightforward and simple (but not easy), meditatoin is essentially training our attention so that we can be more aware—not only of our own inner workings but also of what's happening around us in the here and now. Once we see clearly what's going on in the moment, we can then choose whether and how to act on what we're seeing. More »