Tricycle Community

  • Meditation Month, Day 22: Buddhist Black Sheep Paid Member

    I'm my family's Buddhist black sheep. When I decided to go to Nepal some years ago to study at a Tibetan Buddhist shedra, my parents and most of my friends, none of whom are particularly religious, thought I was nuts. Granted, they were entertained—never have my Facebook statuses, which mostly centered around monks playing badminton with me, been so popular—but no one took it very seriously. When I came back from Nepal and my loved ones noticed that I was, as a matter of fact, very serious about Buddhism, I was treated to a series of lectures about what my friends and family viewed as the worrisome trend of my declining ambition. (Actually, that's putting it a lot more eloquently than it was in reality. It was more of a derisive, "What are you going to do, Emma? Be a Buddhist as a career?") More »
  • Meditation Month, Day 21: Acknowledging Anger Paid Member

    It was only a few years ago that I realized just how angry I was. I had been immersed in Buddhist practice for some time, but was in the habit of glossing over the token “Anger” chapter in Buddhist practice literature. In Tricycle’s “Dealing with Anger”-type articles I would maybe read the pull quotes and move on to the next piece. I would acknowledge a point well made, but operated under the entrenched assumption that it didn’t really apply to me, or that if it did, it wasn’t the main area I needed to focus on; there were other qualities and realizations and mental states that required development and my immediate, unwavering attention. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Joshu Sasaki Roshi Scandal Goes Viral (Kind of) Paid Member

    The news of the Joshu Sasaki Roshi and Rinzai-ji scandal has officially broken into the mainstream media. Joshu Roshi's decades-long pattern of sexually abusing his female students, and the Rinzai-ji association's long coverup of it, was first exposed on Adam Tebbe's site Sweeping Zen back in November—although by many accounts, it was an open secret in Zen circles for quite some time. More »
  • Sexual Misconduct in the Rinzai-ji Community Paid Member

    Yesterday the New York Times picked up on the sex scandal currently swirling around the Rinzai-ji association of Zen centers, and more specifically, around their teacher, Joshu Sasaki Roshi. More »
  • Meditation Month, Day 8: Meditation, Interrupted Paid Member

    My regular sitting practice tapered off about a year ago. I wish I could say what happened and why but I’m not really sure. My life didn’t fall apart or anything. Nor did it fall apart when I stopped sitting. I guess I still had my practice of sorts, cobbled together from sustained periods of concentration or devotion, purposely induced thoughts and lines of reasoning conjured up to counter what I knew was unwholesome, lying in bed staring at the tree branches outside my window, etc. The 28-day program, I hope, will provide a glimpse of what I might be missing and perhaps an opportunity to resuscitate a regular sitting practice. More »
  • Meditation Month, Day 7: Thanking my Suffering Paid Member

    This past weekend, I told my friends when it was over, will hereby be known as The Weekend of the Unfortunate Decisions. It was a series of choices so emotionally masochistic that they deserve to be capitalized, bolded, and forever flagged in my memory's archives as "Things I Should Never, Ever Do Again."The emotional stress of this behavior led to a low but persistent hum of anxiety that vibrated through my body without rest for days. Because I was anxious, I forgot to eat. I couldn't sleep. Meanwhile, I was exercising like mad in a misguided effort to purge the tension from my system. So I can hardly claim surprise when my body shut down on me on Sunday night, and I was left, anxiety-ridden and sleep-deprived, to deal with a very bad case of low blood sugar, a fever, and a panic attack entirely of my own making. More »