Tibetan Buddhism

  • Prayer flags a problem in Bhutan Paid Member

    The Bhutanese government is facing an unexpected threat to its country's natural environment: prayer flags. Each year, Bhutan's citizens cut down thousands of trees to use a poles for Buddhist prayer flags, according to a Reuters report posted on the Buddhist Channel. This is making for a legal conundrum. Bhutan's famed Gross National Happiness index requires that forest-cover make up at least 60 percent of the Himalayan kingdom's landscape—but Buddhism, a guiding philosophy of the policy, is now contributing to the gradual deforestation of the region. Fortunately, it seems that a solution is in the works. The government is growing bamboo plants, with the hope that these will make for an acceptable substitute. [Image: TiagoPereira] More »
  • Pema Chödrön and William Alexander in two new discussions on the Tricycle Community Paid Member

    The Tricycle Book Club will be discussing Pema Chödrön's latest book, Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears. More »
  • Lama Surya Das on Why We Sit Paid Member

    In meditation we seem to be sitting by ourselves, but we do not sit just for ourselves. By focusing our attention on the breath, the body, thoughts, feelings, and sensations, or any other facet of our experience in meditation, we become more mindful—not mindless—through the transformative power of moment-to-moment alertness and presence of mind. Instead of absentmindedly stumbling through life like sleepwalkers, we can use contemplative practice to achieve extraordinary insight into ourselves and the world in which we live; to inhabit and appreciate more fully the here and now; to free our minds and open our hearts, and to relax into our natural state. The cultivation of mindfulness helps us wake up to things as they are rather than as we would like them to be. More »
  • Finding Freedom in Letting Go Paid Member

    Letting go of fixation is effectively a process of learning to be free, because every time we let go of something, we become free of it. Whatever we fixate upon limits us because fixation makes us dependent upon something other than ourselves. Each time we let go of something, we experience another level of freedom. - Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche, from Tricycle, Fall 2004 Read the complete article here. Sign up for the Daily Dharma or Tricycle Community Newsletter More »
  • Become Aware of Awareness Paid Member

    The goal of attention, or shamatha, practice is to become aware of awareness. Awareness is the basis, or what you might call the “support,” of the mind. It is steady and unchanging, like the pole to which the flag of ordinary consciousness is attached. When we recognize and become grounded in awareness, the “wind” of emotion may still blow. But instead of being carried away by the wind, we turn our attention inward, watching the shifts and changes with the intention of becoming familiar with that aspect of consciousness that recognizes Oh, this is what I’m feeling, this is what I’m thinking. As we do so, a bit of space opens up within us. More »
  • More tools to navigate your way through the rich world of Tibetan art Paid Member

    Yesterday I linked to a page that shows you how to identify and understand the deities of the Tibetan pantheon. More »