Relationships

All of our interpersonal relationships are a crucible for Buddhist practice
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    Accusing the Tiger Paid Member

    At Tintern Abbey, a medieval Cistercian monastery located on the border between England and Wales, a young monk was caught having an affair with a village girl. The abbot had the girl strangled, and the monk buried up to his chin in the river mud, where the tides rose over him and he drowned. Punishments of maiming and death for sexual misconduct are prescribed in both the Old Testament and the Koran. Buddhists call this approach to morality "theistic" and "dualistic," meaning that it defines right conduct by an external reference point, such as divine law, and splits the world into good and evil. The guardian of morals imposes the law with particular harshness against the sexual offenses of spiritual practitioners, because flesh and spirit are thought to be enemies. What comes from the flesh is evil, and must be chastised. More »
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    In the Realm of Relationship Paid Member

    Tricycle: In your article “The Compatibility of Reason and Orgasm in Tibetan Buddhism,” you talk about the physical act of sex as being an opportunity to work in a meditative way with the mind of clear light. In our understanding of Tibetan iconography, of consorts coupling with each other, is it misleading to think of these in terms of being purely symbolic—symbolizing the union of wisdom and compassion? Because now you’re talking about the physical acts of sex. More »
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    In The News Paid Member

    Change Your Mind Day 1997 Longtime practitioners, meditators-for-a-day, dharma bums, and dog walkers turned out for Tricycle’s fourth annual Change Your Mind Day on May 31. The afternoon of free, informal, introductory instruction is organized each year to introduce people of all backgrounds to meditation practice. For five hours, the Great Hill, a secluded and grassy slope at the north end of New York City’s Central Park, was transformed into a sea of cross-legged sitters and bare-chested sun worshippers drawn by the stillness. Despite overcast skies and predictions of rain, more than 1,200 people participated in this year’s activities, which included guided meditations from a variety of Buddhist traditions, contemplative movement, music, and a traditional Tibetan geshe debate. More »
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    The Zen of Paul Reps Paid Member

    When Paul Reps was asked what kind of Zen he practiced, he answered: “Reps Zen.” This poet-painter-philosopher who died last year at the age of ninety-six not only followed his own Zen but influenced generations of Americans. Zen Flesh Zen Bones, a collection of Zen stories complied by Reps, was published in 1952 and continues to introduce new audiences to the tradition. I first met Reps soon after World War II. He had been sending me articles for Gentry and American Fabrics, magazines which I published at the time. In one accompanying note, he suggested that we go to Japan together. Our first encounter was at the old Spanish colonial airport in Los Angeles, en route to the Far East. More »
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    Right Speech Paid Member

    “And what, friends, is right speech? Abstaining from false speech, abstaining from malicious speech, abstaining from harsh speech, and abstaining from idle chatter—this is called right speech.” “And what, bhikkhus, is wrong speech? False speech, malicious speech, harsh speech, and gossip: this is wrong speech. “And what, bhikkhus, is right speech? Right speech, I say, is twofold: there is right speech that is affected by taints, partaking of merit, ripening on the side of attachment; and there is right speech that is noble, taintless, and supramundane, a factor of the path. More »
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    Tying The Knot Paid Member

    Judy and Charles Lief were married by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1975 Judy Lief: If the Buddhist path has to do with overcoming attachment, then it might seem odd for a Buddhist to consider adding the complications of marriage and family to her life. But in my experience it is the complications, not my neurotic attempts at smoothness, that have benefited my practice the most. These complications have been many and varied, including marriage, family obligations, motherhood, sickness, work, travel, and teaching. More »