Buddhist teachings on family life
  • Tricycle Community 6 comments

    My Father's True Nature Paid Member

    Dad’s on the left. My father was in the army of occupation in Japan from 1946 to 1947. The only reason I knew this was because he kept his green fatigue jacket hanging in the closet with its 8th Cavalry insignia and private’s stripe. I’d take it down from time to time and put it on, but it was like trying to wear a tent (still would be; he was a half-foot taller than me). He never said anything about those years. It felt to me like a forbidden topic, as if something shameful had happened there, as it had for so many veterans. But he was not a combat soldier, and he spent most of his time in Japan on one base or another (first in Tokyo, then near Mount Fuji) lying in his “sack.” So it wasn’t silence due to PTSD. More »
  • Tricycle Community 2 comments

    No Male, No Female Paid Member

    In the Agganna Sutta (Digha Nikaya 3.80–98), the Buddha explains the origins of the existing social order, describing it as a fall from a golden age in which bodiless beings are self-radiant and live on delight. This state, in which there is no duality whether in terms of matter, space, or time, is also nondual in terms of gender: “no male or female are known,” and beings (satta) are “called (or defined as) only beings.” As time passes, a substance appears and a greedy being tastes it (it is not explained why this particular being is greedy). As the being develops a liking for the substance, it develops craving (tanha), a clear reference to the second noble truth of the origin of suffering (dukkha) taught by the Buddha. Other beings follow suit and also develop craving. As they eat the substance, their self-radiance disappears, causing the appearance of the moon and sun and night and day, as well as the calendar and seasonal divisions. More »
  • Tricycle Community 1 comment

    What We're Made Of Paid Member

    Amid the beeping and prodding all around me, two things became clear: I was running on hospital basement mochas and Jon Kabat-Zinn. My husband was in the Shock Trauma ICU of the University of Maryland Medical Center, recovering from fibula flap jaw reconstruction surgery for a rare aggressive noncancerous tumor called an ameloblastoma. It took a team of four surgeons ten hours to remove most of the fibula bone from his leg, shave it, shape it, and then place it in his face with a bike-chain-like titanium rod to replace the six inches of excised jaw bone where the tumor had been. More »
  • A Big Gay History of Same-sex Marriage in the Sangha Paid Member

    Buddhist same-sex marriage was born in the USA. That’s a little known but significant fact to reflect on now, just after the Supreme Court has declared legal marriage equality throughout the country. Appropriately enough, it all started in San Francisco, and was conceived as an act of love, not activism. The first known Buddhist same-sex marriages took place in the early 1970s, at the Buddhist Church of San Francisco. Founded in 1899, it’s the oldest surviving temple in the mainland United States. It’s also part of the oldest Buddhist organization outside Hawaii: the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA), part of the Shin tradition of Pure Land Buddhism. More »
  • No Need for Words Paid Member

    Several weeks ago, in the middle of having his diaper changed, my son peered up at me and spoke his first two-syllable word: butter. My husband Kort still asleep in bed, I wondered whether the boy had uttered the brief sound or my imagination had merely conjured it. Standard early-morning mental fuzz could not account for this self-doubt; it sprang from a deep longing, ever since the day of my son’s birth, for him to speak in familiar language. More »
  • Bible Belt Buddhism Paid Member

    I live in the heart of the Bible Belt. When this article is published, many of my family and friends will fear I am destined for hell. Some Christians, like many others, misjudge what they do not understand. Some simply scratch their heads when they hear of a Christian examining Buddhism, meditation, or even just alternative experiences and faiths. Other Christians will have much stronger objections than that. I know this well, for there was a time when I was one of them. More »