Relationships

All of our interpersonal relationships are a crucible for Buddhist practice
  • Tricycle Community 9 comments

    Beyond Blame Paid Member

    Hug, David Hilliard, 2008, c-print, 3 panels, 24 x 20 inches   More »
  • Tricycle Community 34 comments

    The Three Things We Fear Most Paid Member

    When things upset us, we often think that something is wrong. Perhaps the one time this is truest is when we experience fear. In fact, as human beings, we expend a huge portion of our energy dealing with anxiety and fear. This has certainly been apparent in the present economic upheavals and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We live with an everyday reality that is tinged with personal and cultural anxiety. Our fears are not just the product of global events, however—they go to our very core. On a day-to-day level, fear often motivates how we act and react, and sometimes even how we dress or stand or talk. But fear makes our life narrow and dark. It is at the root of all conflict, underlying much of our sorrow. Fear also blocks intimacy and love and, more than anything, disconnects us from the lovingkindness that is our true nature. More »
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    Skillful Speech Paid Member

    Years ago, when I began traveling the Buddha’s path, I was surprised by the emphasis placed on the practice of skillful speech. The Buddha considered the way we communicate with each other to be so important that he taught the practice of skillful speech alongside such lofty teachings as skillful view, thinking, action, and mindfulness as a pillar of the Ennobling Eightfold Way.The Buddha saw that we are always engaged in relationships, starting with that most significant relationship: the one with ourselves. On the cushion we notice how we speak to ourselves—sometimes with compassion, sometimes with judgment or impatience. Our words are a powerful medium with which we can bring happiness or cause suffering. More »
  • Tricycle Community 8 comments

    Old Relationships, New Possibilities Paid Member

    WE ALL HAVE SOME rough relationships in our lives that seem held together by the stickiness of attachment and expectation. It is true that we have love and care for these people, but, at the same time, it’s not so clean; there’s plenty of complexity. Inside, we feel an emotional tug when we see or think of them. This is often exaggerated with the people we are close to and with whom we share a strong dynamic, such as our parents, children, close friends, or spouse—all relationships where a lot of expectations tend to arise. There are many unspoken demands. In the midst of our romance, marriage, or parenting, we find ourselves responsible for someone else’s loneliness and their emotional or physical pain. More »
  • Tricycle Community 15 comments

    The Truth About Gossip Paid Member

    HAVE YOU EVER gossiped about someone, then regretted it for years, unable to apologize because you lost touch with the person? That’s me. So Rosie Knox, wherever you are, I apologize for all the horrible things I said about you in sixth grade. And while I’m at it, I apologize to all the hundreds if not thousands of people I’ve hurt with selfish speech. And I apologize to myself for filling my mind with nasty thoughts and creating the karmic causes to be the object of others’ gossip in the future. Where did I ever get the idea that gossip would make me happy? More »
  • Tricycle Community 22 comments

    Fifteen Weeks of Dharma Dating Paid Member

    THE IDEA FIRST COMES up as a joke between me and my Tricycle editor: As a newly single Buddhist mom, why don’t I post my profile on a couple of the new online “dharma dating” sites, and write about my experiences? I find the notion both intriguing and horrifying. For years I’ve mocked the idea of shopping for a mate the way you’d shop for a book on Amazon.com (“Add This Man to My Cart!”). Once, while browsing for a used couch on Craigslist, I popped over to the Men Seeking Women section for a look, and the ads all ran together in my mind: 6-foot divorced sofa, 45, brown hair/blue eyes, overstuffed cushions, slightly cat-clawed, wants to spank you. . . . More »