insights

  • Tricycle Community 19 comments

    Bliss is a By-Product Paid Member

    Most of what we are told about awakening sounds like a sales pitch for enlightenment. In a sales pitch, we are told only the most positive aspects; we may even be told things that are not actually true. In the sales pitch for awakening, we are told that enlightenment is all about love and ecstasy, compassion and union, and a host of other positive experiences. It is often shrouded in fantastic stories, so we come to believe that awakening has to do with miracles and mystical powers. One of the most common sales pitches includes describing enlightenment as an experience of bliss. As a result, people think, “When I spiritually awaken, when I have union with God, I will enter into a state of constant ecstasy.” This is, of course, a deep misunderstanding of what awakening is. More »
  • Tricycle Community 4 comments

    Come Together Paid Member

  • Tricycle Community 30 comments

    Don’t Bite the Hook Paid Member

    In Tibetan there is a word that points to the root cause of aggression, the root cause also of craving. It points to a familiar experience that is at the root of all conflict, all cruelty, oppression, and greed. This word is shenpa. The usual translation is “attachment,” but this doesn’t adequately express the full meaning. I think of shenpa as “getting hooked.” Another definition, used by Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, is the “charge”—the charge behind our thoughts and words and actions, the charge behind “like” and “don’t like.” Here’s an everyday example: Someone criticizes you. She criticizes your work or your appearance or your child. In moments like that, what is it you feel? It has a familiar taste, a familiar smell. More »
  • Tricycle Community 9 comments

    Fruitless Labor Paid Member

  • Tricycle Community 9 comments

    Looking Inward, Seeing Outward Paid Member

    Sometimes modern people misunderstand Buddhism’s focus on the individual human journey as well as its injunction to people to find out who they are and to seek their own ultimate fulfillment. With our Western suspicions of meditation, of looking within— and, frankly, our fear of being alone—not infrequently, we tend to reject the inward looking of Buddhism as somehow disconnected from the social context and disloyal to it. More »
  • Tricycle Community 5 comments

    Golden Retrievals Paid Member

    Fetch? Balls and sticks capture my attentionseconds at a time. Catch? I don’t think so.Bunny, tumbling leaf, a squirrel who’s–ohJoy—actually scared. Sniff the wind, then I’m off again: muck, pond, ditch, residueof any thrillingly dead thing. And you?Either you’re sunk in the past, half our walk,thinking of what you never can bring back, or else you’re off in some fog concerning—tomorrow, is that what you call it? My work:to unsnare time’s warp (and woof!), retrieving,my haze-headed friend, you. This shining bark, a Zen master’s bronzy gong, calls you here,entirely, now: bow-wow, bow-wow, bow-wow. From Sweet Machine: Poems, © 1998 by Mark Doty. Reprinted with permission of Harper Perennial.   More »