dharma talk

  • Tricycle Community 17 comments

    Free from Fear Paid Member

    Our greatest fear is that when we die, we will become nothing. Many of us believe our entire existence is limited to a particular period, our “lifespan.” We believe it begins when we are born—when, out of being nothing, we become something—and it ends when we die and become nothing again. So we are filled with a fear of annihilation. But if we look deeply, we can have a very different understanding of our existence. We can see that birth and death are just notions; they’re not real. The Buddha taught that there is no birth and no death. Our belief that these ideas about birth and death are real creates a powerful illusion that causes us a great deal of suffering. When we understand that we can’t be destroyed, we’re liberated from fear. It’s a huge relief. We can enjoy life and appreciate it in a new way. More »
  • Tricycle Community 6 comments

    The Fundamental Ambiguity of Being Human Paid Member

    As human beings we share a tendency to scramble for certainty whenever we realize that everything around us is in flux. In difficult times the stress of trying to find solid ground—something predictable to stand on—seems to intensify. But in truth, the very nature of our existence is forever in flux. Everything keeps changing, whether we’re aware of it or not. What a predicament! We seem doomed to suffer simply because we have a deep-seated fear of how things really are. Our attempts to find lasting pleasure, lasting security, are at odds with the fact that we’re part of a dynamic system in which everything and everyone is in process. More »
  • Tricycle Community 4 comments

    As the Clouds Vanish Paid Member

    Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (1920–1996) was a master in the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Teachers of Dzogchen (the GreatPerfection) regard it as the innermost essence of the Buddha's teachings. During the last decades of his life, Rinpoche's hermitage above the Kathmandu Valley was frequented by visitors from all over the world. Today, his many monasteries and retreat centers are managed by his four sons who are lineage holders, including Tsoknyi Rinpoche. More »
  • Tricycle Community 6 comments

    Sexual Misconduct Paid Member

    Author Nancy Baker is currently leading a Tricycle community discussion about sexual misconduct and the third Zen precept. You can join the discussion here. More »
  • Tricycle Community 29 comments

    Into the Demon's Mouth Paid Member

    The spiritual journey involves stepping into unknown territory with a hunger to know what is true. One of the essential elements of such a life is the understanding that everything we encounter—fear, resentment, jealousy, embarrassment—is actually an invitation to see clearly where we are shutting down and holding back. At some point we realize we can’t manipulate life to give us only what we want: the rug gets pulled out regularly. So what do we do? Although our deep-seated tendency is to reject the unwanted in an effort to prevent suffering, it turns out that all the ways we resist actually limit our lives, bringing us pain. And yet how do we find the courage to open to, and accept, all of what we are and all of what is arising in our body and mind? More »
  • Tricycle Community 15 comments

    From Thought to Stillness Paid Member

    I am struck by the way many of us hold the dharma to a strict interpretation of the suttas, as if Buddhism could be conveyed by only one possible translation and intention. When we have questions, many of us look to the Pali scholars for the derivation of a phrase or word, seeking its exact meaning, and we often confine our own practice to that explicit definition, even if the suggested wording runs counter to our insights. We must be careful not to know too much or interpret too precisely what the Buddha meant, because that intellectual knowing may distract us from the realization of his message and leave little room to probe the depth of his teaching in personally meaningful ways. If we look upon the suttas with a little more ease, the foundation of his teaching clearly emerges and the mystery of his message invites our own exploration. More »