dharma talk

  • Tricycle Community 1 comment

    Breaking the Habit of Selfishness Paid Member

    The short poem “Eight Verses for Training the Mind” is a famous example of a special Tibetan genre called mind training (lojong). The word mind here refers to both the conventional and ultimate minds of enlightenment—the altruistic intention to become enlightened as well as the direct realization of emptiness by someone endowed with this altruistic intention. Mind training in its broadest sense means developing altruism and realization of the nature of all phenomena, topics relevant for any practitioner. Only the final two lines of the eighth verse explicitly address cultivation of the ultimate mind of enlightenment, but the two practices interact synergistically to enhance each other and help make each other possible; thus, as daily reflection and meditation, the two work hand in hand. More »
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    The Death of the Dharma: A Prophecy Paid Member

    As far back as our sources can take us, Buddhism has taught that all things that emerge in time and consist of separate components (in technical terms, all “conditioned” phenomena) are subject to eventual destruction. And with remarkable consistency, Buddhists have applied this general theory not only to mundane things but even to the duration of their own religion. Within a century or two after the death of the Buddha, detailed accounts began to emerge predicting not only the eventual “death of the dharma” but also the cause and the approximate time of its destruction. Some of the accounts grew into full-fledged prophecies, of which the story found in the text translated here (a ninth-century Tibetan text) became one of the most influential. More »
  • Tricycle Community 14 comments

    No One Special to Be Paid Member

    One of the main characteristics of a life of sleep is that we are totally identified with being a Me. Starting with our name, our history, our self-images and identities, we use each one of these things to solidify the sense that we are living in our little subjective sphere. We experience ourselves as “special”—not in the normal sense of being distinguished or exceptional but in the sense that we feel unique and subtly significant. Interestingly, our feeling of specialness is not just from having positive qualities; we can even use our suffering to make us feel unique and special. Yet not needing to be special, not needing to be any particular way, is what it means to be free—free to experience our natural being, our most authentic self. More »
  • Tricycle Community 27 comments

    What We've Been All Along Paid Member

    In Sanskrit, the term bodhi refers to awakening, the recognition and actualization of our mind’s true reality, and citta to mind. More precisely, citta refers to the state of mind that corresponds to being awakened or that leads to it. Thus, bodhicitta, generally translated as the wish for or spirit of awakening, refers to a state of mind that corresponds to being awakened or that leads to it. It is the intention to attain perfect awakening for the sake of all beings—in essence, the union of great compassion and the realization of emptiness (wisdom). More »
  • Tricycle Community 6 comments

    Simple Joy Paid Member

    I sit here,Dappled by the sun filteringthrough the leaves, a child chases a pigeon,the old man naps there on the bench,a white moth flits by,occasions of joy,always right here. Say the word joy, and what comes to mind? To me, joy seems to come unbidden, just erupting at the oddest times. It isn’t possible to plan for joy, yet when it comes, it is an unmistakable overflowing of feelings of delight in the world and its mysteries. More »
  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    The End of Suffering Paid Member

    Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the cessation of dukkha: the remainderless fading and cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, and letting go of that very craving. —Samyutta Nikaya 56:11 This statement from the Buddha is a very clear and unambiguous declaration of what frees the mind. Can we even imagine a mind free of craving? We might resonate more easily with St. Augustine’s famous prayer: “Dear Lord, please make me chaste, but not yet.” More »