dharma talk

  • Tricycle Community 6 comments

    The Right to Ask Questions Paid Member

    The practice of the dharma is learning how to live, and this is both hard and joyful work. Practice makes extraordinary demands of us. It requires that we take nothing for granted, that we accept nothing on faith alone. If we practice with diligence and honesty, then we must question everything about ourselves; we must challenge our most basic beliefs and convictions, even those we may have about the dharma itself. Of all the teachings of the Buddha, the Kalama Sutta is one of my favorites precisely because it encourages such rigorous inquiry into our beliefs. Indeed, if Buddhism were not infused with the spirit of this sutta—a spirit of questioning, of critical examination—I’m quite sure I would not have a meditative practice today. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    The Real Buddha Paid Member

    THE MASTER SAID TO ME: All the Buddhas and all sentient beings are nothing but the One Mind, beside which nothing exists. This Mind, which is without beginning, is unborn and indestructible. It is not green, nor yellow, and has neither form nor appearance. It does not belong to the categories of things which exist or do not exist, nor can it be thought of in terms of new or old. It is neither long nor short, big nor small, for it transcends all limits, measures, names, traces, and comparisons. It is that which you see before you—begin to reason about it and you at once fall into error. It is like the boundless void which cannot be fathomed or measured. The One Mind alone is the Buddha, and there is no distinction between the Buddha and sentient things, but that sentient beings are attached to forms and so seek externally for Buddhahood. By their very seeking they lose it, for that is using the Buddha to seek for the Buddha and using mind to grasp Mind. More »
  • Tricycle Community 32 comments

    Like a Dragon in Water Paid Member

    Thinking about steadiness in practice reminds me of when I was a little girl and would swim in the great breaking waves of the Pacific coast of Baja California. The surf was ragged, and sometimes treacherous, but for those who were accustomed to its rhythms, it was possible to swim through and around the currents, to bob up from under the fiercest waves. I think a key to this ability was sensing that one was part of the ocean and that to play in it was to let go into the wave, sometimes swimming under, sometimes alongside it. There were days when the ocean was utterly calm and days of wild intensity, and for a child, no matter what, there was that fish-like ease and joy of play. More »
  • Tricycle Community 24 comments

    A Single Handful Paid Member

    To call something “a fundamental principle of Buddhism” is correct only if, first, it is a principle that aims at the quenching of dukkha (suffering) and, second, it has a logic that one can see for oneself without having to believe others. More »
  • Tricycle Community 42 comments

    Birth and Death Paid Member

    Eihei Dogen (1200-1253) left Japan to study in China and then brought Zen Buddhism back to his own country. The seminal philosophical force of Japanese Soto Zen, Dogen Zenji is revered today for the clarity of his insights, for his passion, and for his poetry. The following fascicle is from The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye, Dogen’s most significant work: “Because a buddha is in birth and death, there is no birth and death.” It is also said, “Because a buddha is not in birth and death, a buddha is not deluded by birth and death.” These statements are the essence of the words of the two Zen masters, Jiashan and Dingshan. You should certainly not neglect them, because they are the words of those who attained the way. More »
  • Tricycle Community 6 comments

    Enduring The Fires Paid Member

    Patience is one of the vital elements in the bodhisattva's training. This third chapter of the Bodhicaryavatara, which deals with patience, and the eighth chapter, which deals with meditation, together explain the key points of bodhicitta. 1. Good works gathered in a thousand ages,Such as deeds of generosityOr offerings to the Blissful Ones:A single flash of anger shatters them. 2. No evil is there similar to hatred,Nor austerity to be compared with patience.Steep yourself, therefore, in patienceIn all ways, urgently, with zeal More »