the precepts

  • Tricycle Community 28 comments

    Skillful Speech Paid Member

    Years ago, when I began traveling the Buddha’s path, I was surprised by the emphasis placed on the practice of skillful speech. The Buddha considered the way we communicate with each other to be so important that he taught the practice of skillful speech alongside such lofty teachings as skillful view, thinking, action, and mindfulness as a pillar of the Ennobling Eightfold Way. The Buddha saw that we are always engaged in relationships, starting with that most significant relationship: the one with ourselves. On the cushion we notice how we speak to ourselves—sometimes with compassion, sometimes with judgment or impatience. Our words are a powerful medium with which we can bring happiness or cause suffering. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    A Giant Act of Love Paid Member

    “SO YOU'RE THE INFAMOUS David Barnhill," he said, acknowledging my peculiar reputation. We were standing outside the dharma hall of Zen Mountain Center near Los Angeles. It was an odd way to begin a sesshin, a week-long meditation retreat. The comment seemed stranger still because within a few hours I would be inside the incense-filled hall undergoing jukai, "receiving the precepts" from the Japanese Zen abbot Maezumi Roshi and thus becoming an official lay Buddhist. It was, after all, the first of those precepts—"Do not kill"—that was the occasion for my dubious renown. More »