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  • Tricycle Community 49 comments

    White Trash Buddhist Paid Member

    I am forever in debt to the handful of teachers, writers, and thinkers who introduced me to Buddhist practice, provide constant inspiration, and continue to shape my knowledge of this path. Actually, I’m just forever in debt. Every time I get in my 12-year-old car and rattle away to the nearest retreat center, I’m reminded that I’m a poor white trash Buddhist. It’s a good thing none of those luminaries will ever try to collect, since I can’t even afford the practice as it is. That’s a shame, because the dharma saved my life. More »
  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    Brain Karma Paid Member

    It seems that everyone wants change: the latest tech gadget, a different job, a better relationship. Things “as they are” are somehow just not quite satisfying. Buddhists will recognize this situation as evidence of the first noble truth: dukkha (suffering or inherent “unsatisfactoriness”) is simply part of existence. More »
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    The Unfamiliar Familiar Paid Member

    "A fresh look and a fresh listen,” said Robert Frost of a good poem. “Read it a hundred times: it will for ever keep its freshness as a metal keeps its fragrance.” A poem may not show us anything new, but what we see, we see afresh, and what we hear, we hear anew. Frost was talking about the poem itself: what it presents, and the way it does it, should strike us unexpectedly.
 The English novelist and scholar David Lodge asked, “What do we mean . . . when we say that a book is ‘original’? Not, usually, that the writer has invented something without precedent, but that she has made us ‘perceive’ what we already, in a conceptual sense, ‘know,’ by deviating from the conventional, habitual ways of representing reality.” It is newness of seeing, rather than newness per se, that counts. More »
  • Tricycle Community 8 comments

    The Happiness Metric Paid Member

    On Friday evenings in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, men, women, and children throng the main street, flowing together in a slow dance. Swaggering teenage boys, arms slung over each other’s shoulders, speak in surprisingly gentle voices. Stray dogs assertively cohabit the city. One often hears singing—on sidewalks, pouring out of windows, on construction sites. The melodies persist in the undulating countryside, where men engaged in matches of archery or darts break into congratulatory chants when the other side scores. More »
  • Tricycle Community 23 comments

    After the Monastery Paid Member

    Left to right: Bhikshus Heng Yo and Heng Ju in the rain, on their "three steps, one bow" pilgrimage for world peace, which lasted from October 16, 1973 to August 17, 1974. They continued regardless of weather, traveling 1,150 miles from San Francisco up the Pacifc Coast to Marblemount, Washington.  Introduction by Jeanette (Jetti) Testu More »
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    The Bodhi Tree Paid Member

    THE BODHI TREE The spot under the fig, or Bodhi, tree where the Buddha attained nirvana is a kind of geographical omphalos or axis mundi for Buddhists. Buddhism was conceived under the Bodhi tree, the only spot on earth, the texts tell us, that was perfectly stable.PETER MATTHIESSEN, 1978 More »