Sickness

As Buddhists, how do we work with illness and what do we learn from it?
  • Tricycle Community 8 comments

    Awake and Demented Paid Member

    DEMENTIA. “What's that word?” my mother asked my sister the other day, when the nurse accidentally left her chart in plain sight. “Oh, that's the name of the doctor,” my sister said. “Doctor Dementia.”' Whew, another quick save—maybe. My mother never did like the hard facts straight up, and ever since we received her diagnosis three years ago, we've had to practice the spur-of-the moment dodge, the ingenious distraction, the white lie.... More »
  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    The Lucky Dark Paid Member

    I GREW UP in the South, and one of the people I was closest to as a girl was my grandmother Bessie. I loved spending summers with her in Savannah, where she worked as a sculptor and artist, carving tombstones for local people. Bessie was a remarkable village woman; she often served her community as someone comfortable around illness and death, someone who would sit with dying friends. More »
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    Lotus in the Fire Paid Member

    Tricycle: How do you understand karma in terms of your sickness? Harrison: If I seek an answer as to why I am HIV-positive and why somebody else isn’t, I’m going to drive myself crazy because I’m never going to get an answer to that.Tricycle: I didn’t mean it in quite that way. Rather, that AIDS has pushed you deeper into practice than you may have gone without it, and you often refer to your life now as a blessing. Harrison: I would never call the virus a blessing, but I have no doubt that if I had lived to ninety years without this sickness, I probably would never know the depth of peace and contentment that I’m experiencing in my life now. I truly am happier than I’ve ever been.Tricycle: Does practice make it easier to die? More »
  • Tricycle Community 17 comments

    Memento Mori Paid Member

    Three years ago, just as winter as turning into spring, I stood with my friend Cookie Mueller on an elevated companion above the main reception room of a glittery New York nightclub. Cookie, who had been ill with AIDS for some time, and in fact had only six months to live, turned to me and said: "You know, getting this disease is the best thing that ever happened to me." More »
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    Accidents & Calculations Paid Member

    Issan Dorsey, who died of AIDS two years ago in San Francisco at the Zen temple/hospice he had founded, was an unlikely bodhisattva. His journey had not taken him through a series of serene Asian monasteries but through American bars, clubs, back rooms, and communes. By the time he became the abbot of One Mountain Temple (also called the Hartford Street Zen Center), Dorsey had practiced Zen meditation only slightly longer than he had worked in show business—mostly on stage as a female impersonator. More »
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    Stroked by the Guru Paid Member

    Ram Dass’s books and lectures have been an inspiration to many people. Ram Dass (formerly Richard Alpert, Harvard professor and longtime friend of Timothy Leary’s) is responsible for turning on many in the West to Eastern religious ideas and is the author of such spiritual classics as Be Here Now; The Only Dance There Is; and Journey of Awakening. He created the Hanuman Foundation to spread spiritually directed social action in the West and co-founded the Seva Foundation, an international service organization working on public health and social justice issues, which has made major progress in combating blindness in India and Nepal. More »