thus have i heard

  • Tricycle Community 9 comments

    Karma in Action Paid Member

    The Nerve Center of Our Massive Corporation, Elif Soyer, 2005, digital print, 10 x 10 inches © Elif Soyer Karma is a word one runs across more and more these days. It’s too bad it is almost always misused. Somehow in English it has come to mean “fate” or “destiny” (American Heritage Dictionary). This is an unfortunate, if inevitable, distortion, because in its original Buddhist context karma is a concept of unparalleled profundity and significance. More »
  • Tricycle Community 5 comments

    Unreal Imagination Exists Paid Member

    One of my favorite expressions from Buddhist literature is the three-word opening line of the Madhyantavibhaga, a late Sanskrit text attributed to Maitreya, the Buddha to come. The phrase, which nicely captures the subtle, paradoxical view of reality so unique to Buddhist thought, is abhutaparikalpo'sti, and translates as something like "unreal imagination exists." More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Removing the Thorn Paid Member

    In a remarkable passage in the Attadanda Sutta, the Buddha speaks frankly about his fear and dismay about the state of society:   Fear is born from arming oneself.Just see how many people fight!I’ll tell you about the dreadful fearThat caused me to shake all over.Seeing creatures flopping around,Like fishes in shallow water,So hostile to one another!—Seeing this, I became afraid. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    In the Blink of an Eye Paid Member

    HOW FAR AWAY from one another are suffering and the end of suffering? The distance can be traversed in the blink of an eye. That is the good news delivered to us by the Buddha in the Indriyabhavana Sutta, the very last text of the Middle-Length Discourses (Majjhima-nikaya 152). In an exchange with a Brahmin student named Uttara, the teaching begins with a description of something universal in human experience: More »
  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    Keep Your Balance Paid Member

    ONCE IN ANCIENT INDIA a bamboo acrobat set up his bamboo pole in the center of a village, climbed up the pole with great agility, and balanced carefully upon its tip. He then invited his young assistant to scamper up and stand on his shoulders, saying to her: “You look after my balance, my dear, and I’ll look after your balance. With us thus looking after one another and protecting one another, we’ll show off our craft, receive some payment, and safely climb down the bamboo pole.” “No, no, master; that will never do!” said the girl. “You must look after your own balance, and I will look after my balance. With each of us thus looking after ourselves and protecting ourselves, we’ll show off our craft, receive some payment, and safely climb down the bamboo pole.” More »
  • Tricycle Community 5 comments

    Calm in the Face of Anger Paid Member

    A parable of practical advice for responding to attack IN THE SAKKA CHAPTER of the Samyutta Nikaya (11.4), the Buddha teaches, as he often did, by means of a parable, and this one remains as relevant today as it was in ancient India. The story addresses the issue of what a strong person is to do if insulted, attacked, or otherwise provoked by someone weaker. It could, however, just as easily pertain to how a mighty nation might respond to the provocations of a smaller nation or the threats of a criminal. More »