Zen

  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Find Refuge in Your Own Life Paid Member

    Buddhist practice is not about forcing ourselves to be natural. It is about being ourselves. When we take the vows of refuge, we are also pledging to find the refuge that exists within our own lives. This taking of refuge is not some kind of evasion or escape, but is the planting of our "selves" deeply in the nature of what surrounds us. We lodge ourselves in the deep waves and in the shallow pools, in the crests and depressions of our lives. Sometimes, even wreckage can make a temporary resting place. A person whose life is in tatters might have nothing much else left to do but relax and look at the pieces of what's left. -Gary Thorp, "Shelter from the Storm" (Summer 2005) More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Catching the Ox Paid Member

    Genju at 108zenbooks is up to number 4 of the Oxherding Pictures: catching the Ox Read Genju's commentary here. (She uses the excellent term "connecting"—and dancing—instead of catching.) In the minibook Path of Enlightenment, we read: Through extraordinary effort You seize the ox. Still, its will is forceful, its body spirited Sometimes it runs high into the mountains, Other times it disappears into the mist. More »
  • This is Getting Old: A discussion on aging at the Tricycle Community Book Club Paid Member

    We're discussing Susan Moon's new book, This is Getting Old: Zen Thoughts on Aging with Humor and Dignity, at the Tricycle Community Book Club this week. You can also listen to an interview with the author before moving on to the discussion. Bodhipaksa (known online for, among other things, his Fake Buddha Quotes) calls Susan Moon "one of Buddhism's funniest writers." More »
  • Tricycle Community 2 comments

    Seeing the Ox Paid Member

    108zenbooks continues with the third of the 10 Oxherding Pictures. I love the suggestion of the ox in this one: Seeing the Ox The late abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery, John Daido Loori, writes in Path of Enlightenment: Stages in a Spiritual Journey: The third stage of the spiritual journey pivots on getting the first glimpse of the true nature of the self. It is about becoming completely awake and seeing clearly for the first time.... In getting that first glimpse of the ox, we are not quite clear what it is we are seeing. 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 »
  • Tricycle Community 1 comment

    Marc Lesser on accepting paradoxes Paid Member

    Marc Lesser, executive coach and Zen teacher, wrote the article "Do Less, Accomplish More" for Tricycle for our Fall 2009 issue. Doing less while accomplishing more sounds like a paradox, right? Well, Lesser has a new article up on the Huffington Post called "Accepting the Paradoxes in Your Life." He writes: More »