dharma talk

  • 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 30 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 44 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 »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    The Middle Way Paid Member

    One day Hung-Jen, the fifth patriarch of the Dhyana sect in China, made an announcement to his disciples, saying that whoever was capable of giving a satisfactory proof of his thorough comprehension of Buddhism would succeed him in religious authority. The result was the following two stanzas, the first by one of his most learned disciples and the second by his humble rice-pounder, who, however, was awarded the prize.     The body is the holy Bodhi tree,    The mind is like a mirror shining bright;    Exert yourself to keep them always clean,    And never let the dust accumulate.    No holy tree exists as Bodhi known,    No mirror shining bright is standing here,    Since there is nothing from the very first,    Where can the dust itself accumulate? More »
  • Tricycle Community 18 comments

    The First Precept Paid Member

    To refrain from killing is the first Buddhist precept. The Theravada tradition of Southeast Asia interprets this precept in terms that parallel a Western sense of morality: there is a clear-cut distinction between killing and not killing in which the existence of a breathing, moving being either comes to its end—or doesn't. In this view, there is a killer, a separate entity that is killed, and the activity of killing. Compassion is expressed by not harming others, and many followers honor this precept by choosing a vegetarian diet. More »