Tricycle Community

  • Ordinary Recovery: Mindfulness, Addiction, and the Path of Lifelong Sobriety Paid Member

    Starting Monday, April 11, we're going to begin reading William Alexander's Ordinary Recovery: Mindfulness, Addiction, and the Path of Lifelong Sobriety at the Tricycle Book Club. It's the story of an alcoholic on the path to recovery. By using mindfulness, story, and meditation, Alexander teaches us how we can use the present moment to start the healing process.  From Ordinary Recovery: More »
  • Choosing a time to meditate Paid Member

    Plan to meditate at about the same time every day. Some people find it best to sit first thing in the morning; others find it easier to practice at lunchtime, or before going to bed at night. Experiment to find the time that works best for you. Then make a commitment to yourself. Write it in your datebook.I suggest you start by sitting for twenty minutes of meditation three times the first week—but if you'd rather start with a shorter time and gradually lengthen it, that's fine. Decide before each session how long it's going to be. (Set an alarm if you're worried about knowing when the time is up.) You'll add one more day of meditation in Week Two, another in Week Three, and two in Week Four, so that by the end of the month you'll have established a daily practice. More »
  • What to do when mindfulness is not easy Paid Member

    The primary approach of mindfulness is to pay attention to what's happening and to develop a different relationship to our experience so that we're not rejecting it or hating it, but we're also not overwhelmed by it. So mindfulness has an inherent sense of balance. But the reality is that there are times when mindfulness is not that easy. We may be exhausted, or we may not be able to find balance through coming back to the breath, or mental noting, or other techniques we employ, or our mindfulness may be too intermittent. So there are a whole host of approaches to help us come back into balance and once again be mindful. It's fine to explore these methods instead of following a traditional mindfulness practice. Sometimes people think, "Oh, I blew it, I can't do the real thing." But it's not like that at all. More »
  • All Craziness, No Wisdom Paid Member

    When crazy wisdom is used as a scam or excuse by unscrupulous teachers, it can take any of three general forms. In the first, teachers claim outright that some or all of their actions are crazy wisdom. In the second, they make no such claim, but publicly sing the praises of crazy wisdom, behave badly, and refuse to explain their actions—thus encouraging their students to connect the dots and infer that crazy wisdom is behind (and justifies) their misdeeds. In the third, teachers delude themselves into believing that a universal wisdom is acting through them, and that they can therefore do whatever they please, because that wisdom is running the show. They thus give up their own power to analyze, evaluate, test, or discern—and become puppets of their own impulses and desires. This delusion can be especially harmful to both the teacher and their students. More »
  • Levels of Enlightenment: How enlightened should a Buddhist teacher be? Paid Member

    My premise is my shakiest part: That enlightenment is not a black and white thing; there are levels to it that land in shades of gray. I say this because I've experienced different levels of realization myself, where my understanding of something has transcended my previous understanding. If you accept this premise, my question is this: How enlightened does one have to be in order to authentically teach the Buddhadharma? Where do we draw the line? Can a Buddhist teacher be addicted to cigarettes? Eat meat? What about sex—can a Buddhist teacher sleep with their students?Many think that the line is drawn at sexual misconduct. Consider a recent comment at the Tricycle Book Club, where we're discussing Sex and the Spiritual Teacher: More »
  • A Green Tara for Saint Patrick's Day Paid Member

    Happy St. Patrick's Day! Om Mani Padme Hum.                                   Green TaraHAR 73468Eastern Tibet1800 - 1899Ground Mineral Pigment on CottonPrivate Collection   More »