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    Born in Tibet Paid Member

    In the summer of 1951, Heinrich Harrer began writing his classic Seven Years in Tibet in a hotel room in Kalimpong, India, only months after fleeing the Chinese invasion of Tibet. A newly independent India, fearing the Red Army now at its border, soon ordered Harrer home to Austria and a war-devastated Europe. In his native Alps, the renowned mountaineer completed his dramatic story: trapped by the outbreak of war while mountaineering in India, Harrer escapes a British prisoner-of-war camp, and survives a two-year flight through the Himalayas to Lhasa. There he becomes friend and teacher to the young Dalai Lama. Since its publication in 1953, Harrer's story has unwittingly contributed to the myth of Tibet as an exotic and inaccessible Shangri-la. More »
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    Positive Disintegration Paid Member

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    Facing Loss Paid Member

    We all know what it is like to lose something: love, friendships, identity, opportunity, pets, homes, our hair. And although we know that impermanence is a fact of life, each loss still hits us afresh, almost as if we had never lost anything before. We feel empty, angry, desperate, uncertain—and lost ourselves. It's easy enough to say "This too shall pass," but what about the pain we're feeling right here, right now? More »
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    Schooling Our Intention Paid Member

    How can we engage in action on behalf of earth and not get consumed, not go crazy? We who have aligned ourselves with this effort to transform a civilization so that complex forms of life can continue are faced with something very different from the kinds of challenges that our foremothers and forefathers faced. I'd like to begin by reflecting on some peculiarities of our situation in the twilight of the twentieth century here on planet earth. Six occur to me. First of all, there is the staggering range of the crisis, from the soil to the forest to the air to the seas to the rivers to the spasms of extinction. It's overwhelming for any single pair of eyes. More »
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    Kuan Yin Paid Member

    Talkative like many old people, she embarked upon a rambling story of her youth, mentioning the name and appearance of her native village, the number and characteristics of her brothers and sisters, and a great many other things More »
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    Renunciation Paid Member

    When people take refuge in the formal ceremony of becoming a Buddhist, they receive a name that indicates how they should work. I've noticed that when people get the name "Renunciation," they hate it. It makes them feel terrible; they feel as if someone gave them the name "Torture Chamber," or perhaps "Torture Chamber of Enlightenment." People usually don't like the name "Discipline" either, but so much depends on how you look at these things. Renunciation does not have to be regarded as negative. I was taught that it has to do with letting go of holding back. What one is renouncing is closing down and shutting off from life. You could say that renunciation is the same thing as opening to the teachings of the present moment. More »