Meditation & Buddhist Practices

  • Don't Just Sit There Paid Member

    We all seek out meditation in order to relieve pain of one kind or another. If we weren’t at least vaguely dissatisfied, we wouldn’t try it.  Many of us sense that by working from the inside, meditation addresses the root of our problems. But that introspective effort remains handicapped if we give way to pain-producing actions and words off the cushion.  More »
  • Breathe Easy Paid Member

    When I first started practicing meditation, my teacher taught me that the breath—ever-present and unconditional—is the link between body and mind. When we place our full attention on the breath, we pull ourselves out of the past, away from the future, and directly into the present moment. Or at least that’s how the common instruction goes. But using the breath to enter the proverbial here-and-now is easier said than done. More »
  • Calming the Not Now Mind Paid Member

    I'll just get a cup of tea first. Maybe sip it slowly, look out the window. Oh, better check my email too. . . Some mornings, the part of my mind that would rather meditate any time but now seems to wake up five minutes before the rest of me does. By the time my alarm rings and my eyes crack open, it is as if Not Now Mind were already sitting on the edge of the bed, drumming its fingertips, tapping its foot, and batting its eyelashes at me. More »
  • March is Meditation Month! Paid Member

    If you think the impending all-at-once release of House of Cards Season Three might be a Netflix conspiracy to scuttle your daily meditation practice, or if the promise of expert feedback will allow you to try sitting for the first time, or if you could just use a little extra help from your spiritual friends, then Tricycle has the thing for you: That's right—all of March we'll be raising a ruckus about that quietest of human endeavors. Commit to sit with us for the entire month! We'll help you make the most of it with guided meditations, instructive articles, meditation-themed e-books, and much more.   More »
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    Silent Retreat Paid Member

    I felt like I had embarked on a dangerous adventure. I had the sense of doing something scary that I didn't fully understand, something that could turn out to be more than I could handle. It was the mid-seventies, and I had signed up for a silent weekend of meditation. l had done meditation before, and l had been to the ashram for a couple of weekend events, but I didn't really know anyone there, and the people had been a different group each of the two or three times I had come up. I remember it was a lovely fall Friday. I had left my husband and two children at home and embarked on this all by myself. As a matter of fact, my husband was not particularly thrilled to have me disappear for the weekend, which added to  my  sense of daring. More »
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    Tool Kit: Lungs Paid Member

    First on the list of items in the Buddha's tool kit is a pair of lungs. You may experience lapses in mindfulness many times during a single period of meditation, but the lungs remain faithful to their appointed task. This is why Buddhist teachers have always advised their students to cultivate awareness of the breath. At moments of stress or uncertainty the breath is always there, rising and falling. These same movements have been the intimate companions of all the buddhas and bodhisattvas of the past. As Soen Nakagawa Roshi used to say, "We are members of one nose-hole society." The lungs function naturally. There is no need to do anything special when you breathe. Nevertheless, it may be helpful to begin meditating by clearing the lungs fully, just as you would clear your throat before speaking or wipe the dust from a tabletop before sitting down to work. More »