• Conveying Our Wishes: Week 2 of Caroline Yongue's Retreat Paid Member

    This week begins "Conveying Our Wishes," the second week of Caroline Yongue's retreat on preparing for death. In this installment, Yongue enumerates a variety of options for near- and after-death care, and advises us to carefully consider these options. They include choices regarding hospice care, funerary preferences, and organ and tissue donation. It is best to evaluate these choices now, with our loved ones in mind, and make a plan and act on it when we are still able. This is the best way to ensure that our loved ones will not be harmed or suffer unnecessary anguish when we pass. If you are a Tricycle Supporting or Sustaining Member, you can watch this week's retreat here. If not, join or upgrade your membership here. Here's a preview of this week's retreat: More »
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    If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break: Field Notes from a Zen Life Paid Member

    Author and blogger James Ishmael Ford is a dually-appointed Unitarian Universalist minister and Soto Zen Priest. His newest book, If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break: Field Notes from a Zen Life, was published by Wisdom Publications in September. The following passage is excerpted from the chapter "Spiritual Directors." More »
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    Everything Necessary to Salvation Paid Member

    James Ishmael Ford is a Buddhist teacher, author, and blogger who embraces Zen Buddhism within the structure of American religious tradition. He serves both as a Unitarian Universalist minister at the First Unitarian Church of Providence and a Soto Zen priest with the Boundless Way Zen network. Ford is the author of the classic Zen Master Who?, a useful guide to North America's Zen teachers, traditions, and sanghas. His most recent book, If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break: Field Notes from a Zen Life, leaves no stone unturned in constructing an intimate, multifaceted reflection on the Zen path, drawing on sources as diverse as the Bible and stand-up comics. More »
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    Looking Back Paid Member

    Today we were pleasantly reminded of the late Zen priest and author Darlene Cohen when we received a beautiful, two-volumed boxed set of The Noisiest Book Review in the Known World: The Best of RALPH: The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities, in which our Fall 2005 interview with Cohen is being reprinted. Cohen, who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, wrote extensively on dealing with chronic pain, both physical and emotional. In her Q&A with Tricycle's features editor Andrew Cooper, her sharp wit really shines through. We thought we'd share a laugh by posting the brief interview in its entirety here: More »
  • Mindfulness in the Garden: Zen Tools for Digging in the Dirt Paid Member

    Mindfulness in the Garden: Zen Tools for Digging in the Dirt is a new book from Parallax Press by landscape architect and author Zachiah Murray, with a foreword by Thich Nhat Hanh. Predicated upon the Zen conviction that the garden is a perfect place to practice mindfulness, the book offers a series simple short verses, called gathas, to assist us in cultivating deep awareness through the practice of gardening. The following excerpt begins the book. Entering the Garden Entering the gardenI see my true nature.In its reflectionmy heart is at peace. We cross many thresholds in our lives. Some thresholds are monumental—being born, learning to walk, starting school, graduating, getting our first job, losing our first job, getting married, giving birth, and dying. Other thresholds are subtle—moving from one room to another, passing through a gate, or crossing an intersection. More »
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    Getting There From Here Paid Member

    Today we have a guest post from writer and Zen practitioner Sam Guthrie. In "Getting There From Here," Guthrie grapples with his contradictory desire for enlightenment. I sit facing the wall on a small round black cushion, legs pretzeled, feet wedged implausibly onto opposite thighs. The burning in my knees has taken on an almost mystical quality. I try to be in the present moment, to be one with the unholy pain screaming in my body. If you can be one with it, it is supposed to hurt less, or at least differently. More »