insights

  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    Thought for Food Paid Member

    WHEN WE SIT down to eat in our monastery, we try to be conscious of several things. We eat in silence because this way you can concentrate on the food and practice awareness. Then we eat everything on the plate. This is our way of honoring the conservation of resources. We also try to make sure that the conservation of resources takes place before the food even reaches our plate: the portions we receive aren’t too large, and this way it isn’t difficult to eat all that’s been given to us. We also remember the preparation of the food—the work of the cooks and the cleaners and those who picked the vegetables and processed the food. We don’t choose what we eat at the monastery. We’re not in the monastery to become gourmets. More »
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    Asking to Exhaustion Paid Member

    People ask, “How can I deepen the teacher-student relationship?” It is like asking “How can I love you?” Is there a book of instructions on how to love? Does the baby get taught how to love its mother, the flowers, the earth, and the rain? In Zen training we say, “Really put yourself into it,” but what does that mean? It means to take refuge and to be protected by the Three Treasures. What are the Three Treasures? We chant, “Being one with the Buddha, being one with the Dharma, being one with the Sangha.” Those are the Three Treasures, but what does it mean to “be one with”? This is what we need to see, to realize clearly and personally. More »
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    No Satisfaction Paid Member

    While we still have our “self ” intact, that’s the one we love best. We won’t find anybody who will love us as much as we do ourselves. Yet, because of our ego delusion, we believe that there must be somebody like that somewhere. In reality we should look at this search in a different way. We shouldn’t try to find somebody who will help us to support our self-delusion but rather someone who will help us to get rid of it. That can be the Buddha and his teachings, because such is the essence of the dhamma. More »
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    Give and Take: On Studying Koans Paid Member

    What are three good reasons for studying koans? First of all, koan study is an efficient and effective means to bring students to realization of their true self. Second, koans attract type A personalities and goal-oriented people to meditation. Third, they give you something to think about while meditating.What are three really bad reasons? See answer to question one.Do you have a favorite koan? I have many favorite koans, and it is hard to pick only one. I especially like case 20 in the Book of Equanimity, when Master Jizo asks Hogen what is the nature of his pilgrimage and Hogen replies, “I don't know.” Jizo then says, “Not knowing is most intimate.” Hearing that, Hogen experiences great enlightenment. More »
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    Blazing a Trail Paid Member

    BLAZING A TRAILJapanese nun Eshun (1362-ca. 1430), the Irresistible One TO ESHUN, the whole world was kindling—peasants rebelling against harsh conditions only to be tortured and executed, constant battles between samurai bands, a broken court, endless poverty and endless greed. Eshun never married, refusing to even consider it. Her older brother, Ryoan Emyo, was a well-known monk who founded the temple Saijoji. When Eshun was past thirty, she went to Saijoji and asked her brother to ordain her. He refused. “If I ordained you or other women, the monks would be corrupted by your presence,” he said. Eshun was a beautiful woman; he didn’t have much faith in the men he trained. “This life is only for the daijobu ones,” he added. Daijobu means the same as ta-cheng-fu—heroic, noble, grand. Manly. More »
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    Buddha Buzz Winter 2003 Paid Member

    GOOOAAAALLLL! A Buddhist monastery in South Korea has finally finished its gigantic World Cup Mandala. The mandala, created to commemorate the soccer championship held there in 2002, is 11 meters tall (the number of players on a team) and 7.32 meters wide (the width of the goalposts). It features 2002 Buddhas and includes 32 bodhisattvas, the same number of countries that participated in the 2002 World Cup. Watch Out, Mickey First there was Dollywood; now plans are in the works for a sort of Buddhawood. The Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation has announced its intention to build a theme park in Bodhgaya, India, the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment. Attractions will include statues depicting Shakyamuni’s life and teachings, and a modern sound and light system. No word is available at this time as to whether Johnny Depp is available to star in a related movie. More »