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    Awakening in the Bardo Paid Member

    The bardo - or the “in-between” - has come to describe the transitional state between death and rebirth, but its qualities also characterize the gap arising between any two states. In fact, we live in a continuous bardo, forever suspended between past and future, although we seldom recognize it. While the bardo may bring with it great uncertainty and discomfort, teachers and practitioners in the following essays guide us through the unique opportunity for awakening it offers.More »
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    Necessary Doubt Paid Member

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    Huck and Tom's Buddhist Adventure Paid Member

    I knowed I was in for a heap of sivilizing soon as I got back to St. Petersburg. But this time around it warn’t like no sivilizing I’d ever heard tell of before. First off, they had me go back and stay with the Widow Douglas, as she was all so lonesome ever since her sister, Miss Watson, passed away. Soon as I set foot in the house, though, I knowed something was up. She had that look in her eye that meant one of two things: either she was trying to pass a gallstone something fierce, or she had got religion of a sudden. Knowing her, I figured it was religion, so I laid low and minded my table manners good, so she wouldn’t take her religion out on me.More »
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    A Green and Gold Place Paid Member

    On the day of my ordination, I arrive at Wat Phra Singh, the Royal Temple of northern Thailand, slightly hungover, fighting a losing battle with my clothes. I am draped in yards of heavy white cotton that indicate little intention of adapting to Western body movement. How do I stand? I wonder. Where do I put my hands? What if the entire outfit falls to the ground, leaving me naked before the crowd?More »
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    Food for Enlightenment Paid Member

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    Evolution's Body Paid Member

    In the Samyutta Nikaya, the Buddha says, “This body is not mine or anyone else’s. It has arisen due to past causes and conditions.” The Buddha intuited some type of evolutionary process that creates our bodies, and his essential point is that they are neither formed nor owned by us. We now have evidence that our bodies arise from the forces and elements that make up the entire universe, through a complex chain of interdependent events. Internalizing this understanding can help liberate us from the powerful sense of ownership and attachment we have to the body, which is a cause of tremendous suffering, especially as the body grows old and we must face its inevitable destiny. More »