on practice

  • Tricycle Community 4 comments

    Waking Up The Nation Paid Member

    When so many people die, we are shocked by it, and that shock can wake us up and it can help make awareness and mindfulness last. During this time, people are in a position where they have the capacity, and the opportunity, to look deeply into their situation and the situation around the world. That is why it is so important to make use of our suffering and not just complain about it. We have within us the seeds of despair, of anger, but we also have the seeds of compassion, awakening, Buddha-nature, and mindfulness. The teacher, the spiritual leaders, and the media play a very important role during this time. They can help water the seeds of wisdom and compassion, or they can continue to water the seeds of anger and fear—and that is what they are doing right now. America is getting angrier and more afraid every day because the negative seeds are being watered, and that is why we need people who have the capacity to water the good seeds. More »
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    The Real Enemy Paid Member

    Today, we have witnessed a terrible and senseless tragedy. We may not be directly or physically involved, but we are all affected. When we look at the victims, we will certainly have compassion, because we have these good human qualities within us that will draw forth our compassion. But the moment we focus on who did it, we feel our anger rise. Even though I have spent sixty years practicing Buddhist kindness and compassion, when I see the collapse of the buildings and the people running, unable to breathe, the anger comes. When I hear about the plans for retaliation, the thought comes, “Okay, good.” When something happens and we say “good,” but say it with anger, we must see that our anger will soon be controlling us. We have to be very careful with this. If it is a surgical retaliation directed at the culprits without bringing harm to many innocent lives, good. Because not retaliating can be wrong, too, and this is often misunderstood. Retaliation is necessary. More »
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    Nothing to Regret Paid Member

    Case Twenty: The Day of the Lord Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall . . . (Isaiah 2:10-15) More »
  • Tricycle Community 4 comments

    The Gateway to Compassion Paid Member

    After it was done—the profound altruism and compassion shown by rescue workers and by the multitudes from all backgrounds and cultures became an inspiration to us all. This is a time of opportunity to open our hearts to our own sorrow; a time of opportunity to open our hearts to those who have already experienced great suffering caused by hatred and aggression. The gateway to compassion and lovingkindness is to be able to feel our own pain, and the pain of others. If we are able to open in this way, our hearts can melt, and the healing salve of compassion can anoint all our wounds. In this way we can move beyond our complacency. At this time, we need to acknowledge our own hatred and aggression, too. This requires mindfulness of the activities of our body, speech, and mind. We now have yet another opportunity to examine our lives, values, and commitments. Where do we put our time, energy, and resources? More »
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    Liberating Self-Righteousness Paid Member

    Some aspiring Buddhists appear to be hindered in their progress by a form of secular Calvinism that has persisted as a deeply buried fossil from childhood. This fossil manifests itself as self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is another word for spiritual arrogance. This arrogance limits our aspiration to take a larger, compassionate view of the world. It also fuels the creation of a condemning mind, a mind that is more closed than open. The following spiritual practice may be used to work with self-righteousness. If you do not carry out this practice, notice carefully the thoughts, emotions, and feelings that arise as you consider and reject. How do these emotions act as an obstacle to your own liberation? How do they arise as an obstacle to compassion and helping others? More »
  • Tricycle Community 6 comments

    Questioning The Question Paid Member

    Real questioning has no methods, no knowing—just wondering freely, vulnerably, what is it that is actually happening inside and out. Not the word, not the idea of it, not the reaction to it, but the simple fact. —Toni Packer, The Work of This Moment Who’s Asking the Question?  Gil Fronsdal In my first question to a Buddhist teacher I asked, “What kind of effort is needed to practice zazen?” He questioned back, “Who is it that makes the effort?” His response made no sense to me; the conversation came to an immediate end. As I mulled over this exchange, I concluded that I would have to answer both my own question and his counter-question for myself. In doing so I discovered that there are certain spiritual questions that we only answer through our own direct experience. More »