brief teachings

  • 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 »
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    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 »
  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    As Spacious as Nature Paid Member

    Since people might feel a bit lonely coming out into nature by themselves, they tend to go out in groups. But often they just transplant their own little world out into the big world, and they still feel separation: “I’m with these people, not with those.” We should not be like a snail that carries its house on its back and shrinks back into it when another creature comes along. It is better not to put people into categories based on your social distance from them, whether or not you know them. It is also good to feel intimate with creatures around you—the birds, butterflies, and so on. Just as smoke from a chimney disperses into the air, we should disperse our sense of “group” or “family” and truly participate in the life around us. More »
  • Tricycle Community 7 comments

    The Time is Now Paid Member

    All the “spills” we create—not just with our hands but in the ocean of personal relationships as well—begin in our own mind. Distracted by the many things we have to do in a brief time, our attention wanders away from taking care of the activity in front of it, becoming concerned instead for finishing the task as quickly as it can so it can move on to another item on its list of priorities. Giving in to distraction, we give up caring about the activity we are doing. And in a subtle but real way, when we do that we also give up caring about our self, about the value of the effort we are making with our life. More »
  • Tricycle Community 8 comments

    Allow for Space Paid Member

    The difficulty most of us face is that we’re afraid of our humanity. We don’t know how to give our humanity space. We don’t know how to give it love. We don’t know how to offer our appreciation. We seize upon whatever difficult emotions or painful thoughts arise—in large part because we’ve been taught from a very young age that life is a serious business. We’re taught that we have to accomplish so many things and excel at so many things because we have to compete for a limited amount of resources. We develop such high expectations for ourselves and others, and we develop high expectations of life. Such a competitive, goal-oriented approach to life makes us very speedy inside. We become so tight physically, mentally, and emotionally as we rush through each day, each moment, that many of us forget—often quite literally—to breathe. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Dear Abbey Dharma Summer 2011 Paid Member

    Dear Abbey,When I turn on the TV, it feels unbearable to watch. I want to know what’s happening in the world, but media sources seem toxic to me. I’m sure I’m not alone in my emotional regard for the many things happening around us—political or social— that impact us and those we love. How can a Buddhist stay informed without feeling so overwhelmed?Signed,ConfusedDear Confused,I agree that it is important to know what is happening in the world and that we are presented with vast possibilities for becoming informed. I also feel we can be selective about what is useful and relevant. Think about this as Wise Discrimination Practice. More »