Contemplation

The meditation practice of examining all aspects of an object
  • The Path of Writing Paid Member

    I was nearly sixty when I decided to write this. In February 1998, we flew to Los Angeles to visit C's son for a few days. We slept on a mattress on the floor of his study and that first morning, still on East Coast time, I woke early to the sound of birdsong coming through the open window. The scent of lemon blossoms filled the air. It was as though we had flown from winter into spring. I was reading a book I'd begun on the plane when all at once, in the midst of reading, I suddenly decided to become a writer. It wasn't a whim. I decided, irrevocably, to write a book. The decision was absurd since I'd never written anything. I'd spent most of my life as a visual artist; even writing letters was difficult for me. More »
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    Show It to Me Paid Member

  • The Dalai Lama on What People Get Wrong about the Present Moment Paid Member

    Many Tricycle subscribers will be familiar with the clip below from Sunrise/Sunset, which screened at our film club about a year ago. In the clip, the Dalai Lama deconstructs the present moment, so often essentialized in contemporary Buddhist discourse. He is clear: without past and future, there is no present, as it only has meaning in relation to past and future. This flies in the face of our own habit of essentializing the present moment at the expense of conceiving of ourselves as contingent, historical beings. It is a kind of meditative instruction that has ossified into Western Buddhist dogma.  More »
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    The True Self Paid Member

    What is the true self? It's brilliantly transparent like the deep blue sky, and there's no gap between it and all living beings.From The Zen Teachings of Homeless Kodo. Reprinted by arrangement with Wisdom Publications, Inc., www.wisdompubs.org. [See interview with Shohaku Okumura, the student of Kodo Sawaki Roshi's student Kosho Uchiyama Roshi. —Ed.] More »
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    What Is Enlightenment? Paid Member

    SHUNRYU SUZUKI ROSHI (1904-1971), founder of Zen Center San Francisco and author of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, was known to discourage questions about enlightenment. Once, when pressed on the subject, he replied, What do you want to know for? You may not like it. —Suzuki Roshi Image: The characters for "beginner's mind" in calligraphy by Suzuki Roshi, courtesy of Weatherhill Inc. More »
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    No One Special to Be Paid Member

    One of the main characteristics of a life of sleep is that we are totally identified with being a Me. Starting with our name, our history, our self-images and identities, we use each one of these things to solidify the sense that we are living in our little subjective sphere. We experience ourselves as “special”—not in the normal sense of being distinguished or exceptional but in the sense that we feel unique and subtly significant. Interestingly, our feeling of specialness is not just from having positive qualities; we can even use our suffering to make us feel unique and special. Yet not needing to be special, not needing to be any particular way, is what it means to be free—free to experience our natural being, our most authentic self. More »