brief teachings

  • Tricycle Community 6 comments

    Set the Compass of Your Heart Paid Member

    You need a reliable compass to set your direction and steer through the rough waters when you are going through hard times, when you’ve been betrayed, when you’ve lost your job, when you’ve lost friends or loved ones, when you’re in conflict with your family, or when you’re going through illness. But how can you set your direction when you can’t see any clear harbor? And how can you navigate through difficult waters when you’re swamped by overwhelming emotions, when so much of your awareness is taken over with trying to figure out who’s at fault and who did what to whom, or creating stories about who’s wrong and who’s right and why? More »
  • Tricycle Community 2 comments

    A Cheerful "Good Morning" Paid Member

    How many people wake up in the morning to hail their families with a cheerful “Good morning”? This may seem like a little thing, but the person who is unaccustomed to greeting others will find it hard to get that simple salutation out of her mouth. “I’ll be laughed at,” such a person thinks, and she crawls right back into her hard shell of self-absorption. Even a simple hello will not come naturally without the right opportunity. The only way to get around this kind of mental block is to act instead of fretting over what to do. Give a greeting once. Then try to give greetings several times in succession. Then try for a week and then for a month. In time, you will sense a subtle change in the people around you. Given more time, you will suddenly awaken to the change that has taken place within you. Your heart and mind will be released from the rigid controls that kept you locked within yourself for so long. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Dear Abbey Dharma Winter 2011 Paid Member

    Dear Abbey Dharma, I am a 30-year-old man with Asperger syndrome. I am an adopted Buddhist, but I find it difficult to be both autistic and Buddhist. Buddhists are not supposed to judge people as much, for example, but I find I get scared of certain kinds of people: they overwhelm my senses, and I become annoyed by people who seem to complain about everything, make liberal use of expletives, and are very loud and obnoxious. I also find I carry a lot of stress in this world, sometimes born of the fact that I don’t seem to fit in. Even if I am not at all in line to be Dalai Lama or a monk, how is it possible to be a Buddhist and autistic? Sincerely, Overwhelmed Dear Overwhelmed, More »
  • Tricycle Community 22 comments

    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 »
  • Tricycle Community 7 comments

    Be Still Paid Member

    If you wish to cultivate absolute stillness and clarity of mind, right here and now, sit down and imagine yourself on a peaceful shore or by a tranquil lake. If the mind is a snow globe whirling with thoughts, images, memories, and inchoate feelings, then the winds of internal energy and self-seeking—analyzing, evaluating, pushing and pulling, based on likes and dislikes—are what keep it stirred up and the snowstorm in motion, obscuring the inner landscape. Let the snow globe of your heart and mind settle by relaxing, breathing deeply a few times, and releasing all the tension, preoccupations, and concerns you’ve been carrying—at least for the moment. Let the gentle tide of breath carry it all away like the ocean’s waves, like a waterfall washing your heart, mind, and spirit clean, pure, and bright. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Dear Abbey Dharma Fall 2011 Paid Member

    Dear Abbey Dharma, I’ve been traveling the mindfulness meditation path for two years and have been progressively adding to my formal and informal practice, but it feels as if I’ve hit particularly rough terrain on the path. As I’ve become more aware of my own mindfulness, it seems that I’ve also become more aware of how I mindlessly hurt myself and others. I do experience greater calm, peace, self-acceptance, and happiness, but I’m also becoming more cautious and passive in social situations for fear of reacting to someone out of old mindless, ego-centered habits that result in deep suffering. Is this version of rough terrain on the mindfulness path to be expected, or is this unique to my path? Sincerely, Two Years In Dear Two Years In, More »