Vipassana

  • The cultural vacuum and variant genes Paid Member

    "I worked in hospices for over seventeen years, and I never heard a dying patient wish she had spent more time at work." - Rodney Smith, Stepping Out of Self-Deception More »
  • Chronic pain? There's hope. Paid Member

    I've heard plenty about meeting pain with meditation, and there's a whole book about it—or many, but this latest book is one I may read in preparation for old age. Author Tim Parks, inspired by a A Headache in the Pelvis, a book by two Stanford urologists who recommend meditation, decided to give it a try. And—drum roll—it worked; his chronic pelvic pain was significantly alleviated. According to tomorrow's Irish Times: It took about three months to lower the levels of pain to such an extent they were no longer a problem, he says. More »
  • Martine Batchelor on Breaking Bad Habits, Week 4 Paid Member

    Martine Batchelor's Tricycle Retreat, "Break Your Addictive Patterns," is now in its fourth and final week. but don't worry if you've missed the previous three teachings! You can watch the first talk here, and if you're a Tricycle Community Sustaining Member, you can watch all the talks from past and present retreats. More »
  • Stephen Batchelor in Insight Journal: You don't have to believe in rebirth to be a Buddhist Paid Member

    Not many things in life are free, but there are exceptions. One of them is Insight Journal, the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies publication edited by the center's co-director Andrew Olendzki. You can either order the hard copy or, if you're eco-conscious, download it. Of course, it's always a great help to offer dana—a donation—when you do. The organization supports itself through its paid courses and the generosity of its members and friends. This issue features a piece by Stephen Batchelor on his doubts about (or nowadays, his outright rejection of) rebirth—and he finds what he feels is support in Pali Canon. Years ago we featured a debate between Stephen and Bob Thurman on the topic—Stephen played skeptic, of course, and Bob the true believer. But nowadays Stephen isn't particularly interested in arguing the point and is more likely to reflect on how he came to his beliefs and his ever-evolving understanding of the Buddha's teachings. Here's an interesting excerpt from the Insight article: I am not in any way suggesting that the Buddha rejected the idea of rebirth, or did not believe in it..there is just too much in the Canon to say the Buddha was even agnostic about this. But there is another strand of text that seems to not quite fit that very well. I think the Pali Canon actually has multiple voices within it, not a single, monolithic voice. You get contradictory perspectives introduced all the time, which is part of the very richness of that literature. In the Kālāma Sutta the Buddha says, don’t just accept what I say because I am your teacher, because the tradition says it, or because it seems to be reasonable. At the end of that text, he speaks about the four solaces, or rewards, that come from the practice of the Dhamma. One solace says, if there is indeed another life, if there is, indeed, a law of karmic cause and effect, then, after death, you will be reborn in a happy realm and benefit from the results of your present karma. The second solace says, if there is no future life, if there is no law of karma, then, too, by practicing the Dhamma you will live happy and content, here and now, in this world. That is very striking: the Buddha seems to be saying what really matters is not what may or may not follow after death, but the quality of your experience, here and now in this very life. Admittedly, this passage occurs once, whereas rebirth and karma occur everywhere. Nonetheless, it looks oddly out of place. For that very reason, it is probably original: It would have been in no orthodox tradition’s interest to have added it later. Even more to the point is “the declared and the undeclared” in the Mālunkyovāda Sutta, Majjhima 63: More »
  • Martine Batchelor on Breaking Bad Habits, Week 3 Paid Member

    It's Week 3 of Martine Batchelor's Tricycle Retreat, "Break Your Addictive Patterns." Martine, a former nun in the Korean Zen tradition, teaches meditation techniques to free the mind from the deep and well-worn channels in which it usually dwells. Meditative techniques can open up untapped mental resources and allow us to creatively engage our problems and find new solutions and move us away from limited reactions that keep us locked into the same old patterns. More »
  • Martine Batchelor's Tricycle Retreat Week 2: Grasping and Listening Paid Member

    Week 2 of Martine Batchelor's Tricycle Retreat Break Your Addictive Patterns is now live at tricycle.com. Her teachings focus on meditative techniques from the Korean Zen and Vipassana traditions designed to unlock the mind's ability to creatively respond to the situations we find ourselves in. This week's talk is called "Grasping and Listening." To get a sense of what this retreat is about, read the Q&A from Week 1 here. Below is a 2-minute video clip from this week's talk. More »