practice

  • Tricycle Community 17 comments

    Skillful Effort Paid Member

    Some dharma teachers may be reluctant to encourage students to make strong effort. The Buddha, however, wasn’t at all shy about urging his disciples to do so. In doing so, he often explained to his followers that he was exhorting them because he had compassion for them, because he wanted them to find an end to suffering. More »
  • Tricycle Community 10 comments

    What Are You Meditating For? Paid Member

    The Museum of Jurassic Technology once sent out a Christmas card that had a 3-D picture (accompanied by red and green glasses) of someone looking into a cave. Inside was a fable that concluded: “Our seeking is without end and the object of our search ever elusive; yet the memory of light draws us on. Please join with us in our never-ending efforts as we seek, perhaps without understanding that the search itself is creating the very light after which we are seeking.”  More »
  • Tricycle Community 21 comments

    Meditating with Emotions Paid Member

    We all have emotional experiences that feel terrifying, and in order to experience our natural state, we have to be willing to experience these emotions—to actually experience our ego and our ego clinging. This may feel disturbing and negative, or even insane. Most of us, consciously or unconsciously, would like meditation to be a chill-out session where we don’t have to relate to unpleasantness. Actually, a lot of people have the misunderstanding that this is what meditation is about. They believe meditation includes everything except that which feels bad. And if something does feel bad, you’re supposed to label it “thinking” and shove it away or hit it on the head with a mallet. When you feel even the slightest hint of panic that you’re about to feel or experience something unpleasant, you use the label “thinking” as a way to repress it, and you rush back to the object of meditation, hoping that you never have to go into this uncomfortable place. More »
  • Tricycle Community 38 comments

    Holding Anger Paid Member

    Anger hinders our liberation from suffering. It takes its toll on our spirit and our health. Stress levels are on the rise. The Harris Poll in 2002 recorded that tension levels in almost half of Americans had worsened over the preceding year. According to the American Institute of Stress, 75 to 90 percent of doctors’ visits are for stress-related ailments. Psychological distress such as anger, anxiety, and depression seems to be a good predictor of high blood pressure, heart attacks, and sudden death. But what is missing from this research is the “first cause,” the damaged self—a belief that manifests as anger projected for the most part onto others. On one level, this projected anger is a defense against one’s “bad self.” On a deeper level, it represents our feelings of vulnerability. More »
  • Tricycle Community 10 comments

    Finding True Refuge Paid Member

    Imagine you just found out that your child was suspended from school. Imagine your boss just told you to “start over” on a report you’ve worked on for a month. Imagine you just realized you’ve been on Facebook for three hours and have finished off a box of cookies in the process. Imagine your partner just confessed to an affair. It’s hard to hang out with the truth of what we’re feeling. We may sincerely intend to pause and be mindful whenever a crisis arises or whenever we feel stuck and confused, but our conditioning to react, escape, or become possessed by emotion is very strong. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    May I Be Happy Paid Member

    Walking along the Rhine River during my lunch break from teaching yoga in Basel, Switzerland, I felt mellow and full of gratitude to have such a wonderful job opportunity. Then my phone started to vibrate. Instantly my mood shifted, and a powerful sense of urgency took hold of me. It was like a Rube Goldberg chain reaction—I was balancing a cappuccino in one hand, fighting an uncooperative purse zipper with the other, trying to keep my glasses on my nose, and worrying that someone was calling from my mother’s nursing home. More »