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    The Dream Team Paid Member

    We used to say that the first three-year retreat was like being put through the washer—heavy-soil program—and the second was like being hung out to dry. Scrubbing out the stains using Vajrayana enzymes; billowing and bleaching under the equanimous sun of blessing. Most of the people I know who have spent time in retreat agree: in the beginning, you don’t really know what you’re getting yourself into. You underestimate how much of the “work” has to do with relating to your shadows alone in your practice space and in relationships with your fellow retreatants. You also tend to underestimate the tenacity of those stains, deep-rooted emotional issues, and subjective misconceptions. More »
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    The Science Delusion Paid Member

    Curtis White pulls no punches. To readers who see in Buddhism little room for spirited debate, White’s unapologetic bluntness may seem unexpected or even jarring. But for White—Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Illinois State University, novelist, and author of several works of criticism including the 2003 international bestseller The Middle Mind: Why Americans Don’t Think for Themselves—there is too much at stake in our current intellectual climate to indulge in timid discussion. More »
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    Beautiful Storm Paid Member

    One night some 16 years ago, while on a writing assignment in Central America, I got caught by a violent storm in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The fronds of the palm trees along the shore were breaking apart and bending double like seaweed in a powerful tide. The beach was one long seethe of white spume, and the wind was filled with flying debris and a smoke of sand. More »
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    Dharma on the Playa Paid Member

    As I approached Burning Man’s Black Rock City from the air, the clouds cleared in a flash to reveal a large, intricate crescent in the sand. With a population of nearly 70,000, the temporary settlement for the annual art and music festival springs into being from the dust for a week before every vestige of it vanishes in flames. I was struck by how similar this almost-perfect circle of a city was to a Tibetan sand mandala, and how its fiery fate resonated so strongly with the ancient and artful message of impermanence. More »
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    Meditation en Masse Paid Member

  • Tricycle Community 5 comments

    Facing the Wave Paid Member

    Uncle Kazuyoshi shakes out a bag of peanuts onto the low table between us, opens four cans of beer, and watches me drink. We sit on the floor and sweat in the midsummer night’s heat. The cold stream of liquid feels good going down. We’re at Kazuyoshi’s house, my friend Masumi’s uncle. A farmer, he has a sun-roughened face and there’s dirt in the deep grooves of his palms. Before the earthquake hit, Kazuyoshi was planting his fields in rice and flowers. He smiles: “I lost everything. Now I feel better.” More »