Calm Abiding (shamatha)

The meditation practice of stabilizing the mind and strengthening its concentrative powers
  • Tricycle Community 4 comments

    Mind Like a Mirror Paid Member

  • Tricycle Community 9 comments

    A Mind Like a Clear Pool Paid Member

    The great strength of the Buddha-dharma is its practice. It is incredible what this wonderful practice can bring about. When I hear the teachings of the Buddha transmitted through the great masters, and when I experience their truth in my own heart through the little practice that I know, then I feel their tremendous blessing. What is extraordinary is that you can actually experience the truth of these teachings. It is not something that is just based on belief or faith; it is something you can taste and realize for yourself, here and now. The great Zen master Suzuki Roshi said:  More »
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    Why Meditate? Paid Member

    Before you were a monk, you were a scientist in cell genetics. How does science inform your perspective on meditation? The basis of science is a rigorous, empirical, and pragmatic approach to everything. A suitable theory has to include the possibility that it can be proven or disproved by fact. A theory that has a ready-made explanation for anything that could happen (like the theory of universal selfishness or psychoanalysis, to give just two examples) is not scientific. A theory should not be just an intellectual construct, but it has to be in tune with reality. More »
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    Instructions for Listening Meditation Paid Member

    Try to sit stable like a mountain and vast like the ocean.Listen to the sounds as they occur. Do not imagine, name, or analyze the sounds. Just listen with wide-open awareness. Let the sounds come to you and touch your eardrums. Go inside the sounds and notice their fluid nature. If there are no sounds, listen, and rest in this moment of silence. Notice how sounds arise upon certain conditions and disappear upon others. Do not grasp at any sounds. Do not reject any sounds. Just be aware of sounds as they arise and pass away. Open yourself to the music of the world in this moment, in this place. In your daily life, notice the positive and negative habits you might have in your approach to listening. What helps you to listen fully and spaciously? If you are in a place that is very noisy, how can you help yourself? Must you find a quieter place or wear earplugs? Or can you be with these sounds in a different way? More »
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    The Freedom to Breathe Paid Member

    I am skinny-dipping. Stripping off my clothes, running into the water, diving down naked to disappear for a few breaths from the shouts and sounds of the world. Shedding clothes, embarrassments, care. The surface breaks as I return for air. For a few moments, I am free, opened, beyond place, beyond space.And then I am here. I breathe deeply, fully clothed in a compulsory uniform inside walls that do not vanish before half-closed eyes, seated during an officially-sanctioned time for Buddhist group meditation. My breath joins those of the women around me, travels across the walls and over the barbed wire. Freedom of breath cannot be measured, contained, or punished—as I breathe, my aliveness asserts itself, even laughs at its constraints. Yes, in this place it is an elusive joy, but I feel it now, as surely as I feel the knots of anxiety loosen in my shoulders. More »