on practice

  • Tricycle Community 9 comments

    Inviting Fear Paid Member

    Above all, a materialistic society desires certainty—it seeks to guarantee it; passes laws to enforce it; wipes our the pathogens that threaten it; and lets everyone have guns to protect it. Even the seemingly innocuous habits of inking in plans and clinging to beliefs and opinions are the reverse-image of the uncertainties that the heart yearns to be certain about. Yet, if we seek security in that which is inherently uncertain, dukkha, or discontent, is the inevitable result. More »
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    Taking Fear Apart Paid Member

    On Sept. 11, 2001, I watched in shock as the great cathedrals of globalism, the World Trade Center towers, crumbled into dust. The tallest and grandest buildings of any culture represent beliefs in invincibility, entitlement, and power. When these illusions are shattered, fear arises. Events such as 9/11 and the anthrax mailings reveal that all of us are vulnerable to injury, ruin, and death. Such threats can materialize at any time, from anywhere, inside or outside our own culture. When concerns about survival, safety, or identity resonate strongly with basic fears, we experience terror. It is not a comfortable experience. More »
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    It's Only Natural Paid Member

    Fear is perfectly natural, with its roots lying deep in the survival instinct. All living beings, from the simplest amoeba to some of the most realized beings on the planet, will have some form of aversive reaction to external threats. More »
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    Great Compassion Paid Member

    In the eyes of Great Compassion, there is no separation between subject and object, no separate self. If a cruel and violent person disembowels you, you can smile and look at him with love. It is his upbringing, his situation, and his ignorance that cause him to act so mindlessly. Look at him—the one who is bent on your destruction and heaps injustice upon you—with the eyes of love and compassion. Let compassion pour from your eyes, and don't let a ripple of blame or anger rise up in your heart. He commits senseless crimes against you and makes you suffer because he cannot see the way to peace, joy, or understanding. More »
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    Tonglen on the Spot Paid Member

    Tonglen is the Tibetan practice of “sending and receiving.” Tong means “sending out” or “letting go”; len means “receiving” or “accepting.” Tonglen is ordinarily practiced in sitting meditation, using the breath. Put simply, the practitioner breathes in the bad and breathes out the good, taking on the suffering of other sentient beings. At first the practice may appear self-defeating, but as the late Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche said, “The more negativity we take in with a sense of openness and compassion, the more goodness there is to breathe out. So there is nothing to lose.” More »
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    The General and the Abbot Paid Member

    When a rebel army took over a Korean town, all fled the Zen temple except the abbot. The rebel general burst into the temple and was incensed to find that the master refused to greet him, let alone receive him as a conqueror. “Don’t you know,” shouted the general, “that you are looking at one who can run you through without batting an eye?” “And you,” said the abbot, “are looking at one who can be run through without batting an eye!” The general’s scowl turned into a smile. He bowed and left the temple. ▼ From Zen Poems of China and Japan: The Crane’s Bill, © 1973 by Lucien Stryk, Takashi Ikemoto, and Taigan Takayama. Published by Anchor Books.More »