• Tricycle Community 5 comments

    Burning for the Buddha Paid Member

    On an April morning in 1998, a 60-year-old man stepped into a public toilet in New Delhi and doused himself in gasoline. Outside, the police had just broken up a six-week-old hunger strike led by members of the Tibetan Youth Congress, an organization calling for Tibetan independence. Setting himself on fire, the man emerged flailing and jumping before bringing his hands together in prayer. Thupten Ngodup, a former monk, had become the first Tibetan to self-immolate in protest of China’s decades-long occupation of Tibet. He died soon after in a Delhi hospital following a personal visit from Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama. More »
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    America's Guru Paid Member

    The road to Ram Dass’s home on the north shore of Maui winds from the Hana Highway toward the roiling Pacific. The sage green split-level sits on a lushly landscaped rise overlooking the ocean; waves crash against the rugged shore below, and trade winds whip the palms and Norfolk pines. This is the Hawaii of surfers’ dreams and National Geographic photo spreads, the Hawaii of poetry and the imagination. It’s a rare day when a tropical afternoon shower does not produce a spectacular rainbow, one end of which often pierces the ocean like a blade. I am here for a five-day private retreat with Ram Dass. My friend Liz and I will stay in the guesthouse on his estate and spend private time with him each day. I have no idea what to expect. More »
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    The Supreme Contemplation Paid Member

    One of the best ways to prepare for death is to acknowledge that we really are going to die. We’re falling in the dark and have no idea when we’ll hit the ground. Buddhist scholar Anne Klein says, “Life is a party on death row. Recognizing mortality means we are willing to see what is true. Seeing what is true is grounding. It brings us into the present. . . .” We all know that we’re going to die, but we don’t know it in our guts. If we did, we would practice as if our hair were on fire. One way to swallow the bitter truth of mortality and impermanence—and get it into our guts—is to chew on the four reminders. More »
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    A Life Too Long Paid Member

    On an autumn day in 2007, while I was visiting from northern California, my mother made a request I dreaded and longed to fulfill. She’d just poured me a cup of tea from her Japanese teapot; beyond the kitchen window, two cardinals splashed in her birdbath in the weak Connecticut sunlight. Her white hair was gathered at the nape of her neck, and her voice was low. She put a hand on my arm. “Please help me get your father’s pacemaker turned off,” she said. I met her eyes, and my heart knocked.  More »
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    Real Enough Paid Member

    How do we wake up to the intimacy of meeting the moment at hand? How do we practice compassion in the face of cruelty and the unknown? Where does our imagination come from? Who is thinking? These are some of the questions that are alive in poet and writer Nick Flynn’s work and life. Koshin Paley Ellison and Robert Chodo Campbell, Zen Buddhist teachers and cofounders of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, invited Flynn to the Zen Center for an afternoon of conversation. They spent a few hours talking about poetry, bees, his time with the Abu Ghraib detainees, and letting our hearts break to open wide. More »
  • Tricycle Community 21 comments

    Consider the Seed Paid Member

    It is the size of a pea, and crisp green. Feel it in your fingers: the packed potential within its smooth borders; the tight, pinprick tip—that searching extension of sentience. Put it into the earth with me. Black mineral loam, juicy, flecked with bits of organic energy; arms from underground, waiting for our baby seed. Let’s spend a few weeks with it underground. Plant the seed in your imagination. Earth presses up against it; caressing it . . . it draws the earth into itself. The soil offers its minerals to the seed. Seed and soil flowing into one another.  More »