Aging

Impermanence is a powerful–and ultimately liberating–teaching on nonattachment
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    Off the Cushion: The Eternal Care Unit Paid Member

    To what shall I compare this life of ours? Even before I can say it is like a lightning flash or a dewdrop it is no more. —Sengai (1750–1837) When I was in retreat, death and impermanence—death’s harmonic base—provided the background tone of every practice, from preliminary contemplations to yogas focusing on the dissolution of the elements and aggregates that occurs when we die. For months, maybe years, my beloved retreat master, Gendun Rinpoche, answered virtually all my questions (even the most abstruse) with a laugh and the suggestion that I delve deeper into impermanence. More »
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    Simple Paid Member

    God's joy, wrote Rumi,
moves from unmarked box to unmarked box. I remember my sister’s husband,
 after her stroke, complaining
 "Liz is a box. It says
 on the outside Liz, but she’s not there, not the Liz I married." "Is she simple," our daughter wondered, noting how the sheer
weight of loss
 had rendered my sister speechless. But I have to confess, as I watch your memory fade—
grief and the rest of it aside—
I’m also curious: What is the self? What of the self, or the no-self, outstays loss after loss? 
I watch the wind 
fill with leaves, red and gold,
 as the tree that was once
 a summery billow
thins to an outline. A friend
 told of a woman he knew 
with dementia. "And who are you," someone asked her pointedly,
 and she replied, I watch.
 How is it for you?" our son 
got up his courage and asked you, More »
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    Resource Guide Paid Member

    Hospice, Caregiving, and Education Programs Hospice services aim to improve the quality of life during the dying process. A hospice team usually consists of a physician, a nurse, and a social worker or volunteer, who may be a spiritual caregiver. To locate hospice programs in your area, or for general information about hospice care as well as volunteer work and training, contact the National Hospice Organization, 1901 North Moore Street, Suite 901, Arlington, Virginia 22209; (703) 243-5900. More »
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    ZenX: A Prescription for Despair Paid Member

    This roundtable was conducted in July 1996 by Helen Tworkov in Rochester, New York. The participants, all in their twenties, were residents of the Rochester Zen Center at the time of the conversation. More »
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    The Chaos Under the Hood Paid Member

    Chaos is the mind of the self, of selfing, of unconscious habit patterns run wild. The mind of chaos is what is referred to in Buddhism as dukkha, or suffering. It is a chronically stressed mind, a mind of taking everything personally, of constant reactivity both gross and subtle. Such a mind is the consequence of delusion, of believing that the self exists in the ways we both conceive of it and perceive it. With such a mind, we’re confined to experience within the fractured, chaotic state we create with labeling, separating, judging, resisting, and clinging. More »