Relationships

All of our interpersonal relationships are a crucible for Buddhist practice
  • Tricycle Community 5 comments

    Focusing Paid Member

    For most of us, don’t-know is a place of get-me-out-of-here-quick. As a writer, sitting down to a blank page makes me instantly want to wash dishes, dust under beds, or finally sew those buttons on a coat I haven’t worn in years. But Eugene Gendlin doesn’t see don’t-know as the Bermuda Triangle of the psyche; to him it is just unexplored frontier, seas as yet uncharted—but friendly—that we can learn to navigate. For years, Gendlin offered a class at the University of Chicago in which he taught exactly that. The purpose of the class was to get students to tap into their implicit knowing—Gendlin’s term for what someone knows but is not yet able to express. “It took weeks to explain that the usual criteria were reversed in my course,” Gendlin says. Everywhere else in the university only what was clear counted at all, he explains. More »
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    The Gift of Waiting Paid Member

    When we are forced to wait, say in a traffic jam, our instinct is to do something to distract ourselves from the discomfort of waiting. We turn on the radio, call or text someone on the phone, or just sit and fume. Practicing mindfulness while waiting helps people find many small moments in the day when they can bring the thread of awareness up from where is lies hiding in the complex fabric of their lives. Waiting, a common event that usually produces negative emotions, can be transformed into a gift, the gift of free time to practice. The mind benefits doubly: first, by abandoning negative mindstates, and second, by gaining the beneficial effects of even a few extra minutes of practice woven into the day. More »
  • Giving Through Relationships Paid Member

    From Chapter 13 of our current Tricycle Retreat leader Ezra Bayda’s new book, Beyond Happiness, The Zen Way to True Contentment, More »
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    A Caregiver's Story: Kaz Suzuki Paid Member

    Around 1989, my partner Raymond, with whom I ended up living for eleven years, began to show some symptoms of HIV-related illness. Considering we were a Japanese and American couple, everyone thinks that I was the one who brought him to Buddhist practice, but actually it was the opposite. He had gotten hold of a couple of books—Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind and Katagiri Roshi’s Returning to Silence. He was already sick, and not able to work anymore, but he wanted to go visit Green Gulch Farm. I took him to San Francisco. I didn’t want to go to the Zen Center, so I sent him off by himself and I stayed in the city for seven days doing what every young gay man should do in San Francisco. But I got a little antsy and I decided to visit him, just for a day, and I ended up staying. When I arrived at the center it was toward the end of their work-practice period. Raymond came out completely soiled. He looked brilliant, with this glow in his eyes. He said, “Guess what? More »
  • Tricycle Community 24 comments

    Precious Energy Paid Member

    Anger is a natural human emotion; it lasts only 15 seconds. So said the grief expert Elizabeth Kübler-Ross in an interview I once read. Unfortunately, when the human ego is involved, anger tends to last far longer. One of the most famous examples is the “wrath of Achilles,” the mega-anger that begins Homer’s Iliad and remains a theme throughout the epic. A recent translation calls Achilles’ anger “sustained rage.” It’s the sustained part that’s the problem. But shouldn’t we also avoid, or control, or suppress even the natural, 15-second variety? It all depends. Aristotle tells us that “he who cannot be angry when he should, at whom he should, and how much he should, is a dolt.” This suggests that in certain circumstances, anger is appropriate, justifiable—even necessary. More »
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    Lives Well Shared Paid Member