on practice

  • Tricycle Community 15 comments

    The Truth About Gossip Paid Member

    HAVE YOU EVER gossiped about someone, then regretted it for years, unable to apologize because you lost touch with the person? That’s me. So Rosie Knox, wherever you are, I apologize for all the horrible things I said about you in sixth grade. And while I’m at it, I apologize to all the hundreds if not thousands of people I’ve hurt with selfish speech. And I apologize to myself for filling my mind with nasty thoughts and creating the karmic causes to be the object of others’ gossip in the future. Where did I ever get the idea that gossip would make me happy? More »
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    Breathing Paid Member

    Ancient Pali texts liken meditation to the process of taming a wild elephant. The procedure in those days was to tie a newly captured animal to a post with a good strong rope. When you do this, the elephant is not happy. He screams and tramples, and pulls against the rope for days. Finally it sinks through his skull that he can’t get away, and he settles down. At this point you can begin to feed him and to handle him with some measure of safety. Eventually you can dispense with the rope and post altogether, and train your elephant for various tasks. Now you’ve got a tamed elephant that can be put to useful work. In this analogy the wild elephant is your wildly active mind, the rope is mindfulness, and the post is our object of meditation, our breathing. The tamed elephant who emerges from this process is a well-trained, concentrated mind that can then be used for the exceedingly tough job of piercing the layers of illusion that obscure reality. Meditation tames the mind. More »
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    Stepping Towards Enlightenment Paid Member

    THE ESSENCE OF BUDDHISM is the enlightenment of the Buddha. Many centuries ago in India, the wandering monk Gautama remembered a childhood experience of jhana, mental or meditative absorption, and realized that jhana is the way to awakening. He went to a quiet stretch of forest on the banks of a great river, sat on a cushion of grass under a shady fig tree, and meditated. The method of meditation that he used is called anapanasati, mindfulness of the in and out breaths. Through this practice, he entered jhana, emerged, and quickly gained the insights of enlightenment. Henceforth he was called the Buddha, the Awakened One. More »
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    Full Body, Empty Mind Paid Member

    In many Buddhist groups, the body is addressed only in basic instructions on posture for meditation, sometimes lasting no more than a few minutes. Many practitioners are drawn to body-based practices such as yoga, martial arts, or the Alexander technique to complement or even enable their sitting practice, but they are often on their own when it comes to integrating these traditions with their larger spiritual path. What is being lost in this gap? One of the most convincing voices for the importance of the body in meditation belongs to Will Johnson, author of several books on the topic, including The Posture of Meditation; Aligned, Relaxed, and Resilient; and Yoga of the Mahamudra. More »
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    Coming to Practice Paid Member

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    The Dust Beyond the Cushion Paid Member

    If you sit long enough, your cushion will become an island amid a sea of dust. Thistles will overtake the yard. Things will begin to fall apart. At some point, you’ve got to clean house. The idea of ritual chores is intriguing to some, but for many of us, housekeeping has become work as rut. The thought of picking up a mop or a scrub brush is met with apprehension. This is where work-practice comes in: with the right approach, these daily chores can be done ably, even artfully. As with sitting, the important thing is to begin. More »