Relationships

All of our interpersonal relationships are a crucible for Buddhist practice
  • Tricycle Community 24 comments

    Skillful Speech Paid Member

    Years ago, when I began traveling the Buddha’s path, I was surprised by the emphasis placed on the practice of skillful speech. The Buddha considered the way we communicate with each other to be so important that he taught the practice of skillful speech alongside such lofty teachings as skillful view, thinking, action, and mindfulness as a pillar of the Ennobling Eightfold Way.The Buddha saw that we are always engaged in relationships, starting with that most significant relationship: the one with ourselves. On the cushion we notice how we speak to ourselves—sometimes with compassion, sometimes with judgment or impatience. Our words are a powerful medium with which we can bring happiness or cause suffering. More »
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    Old Relationships, New Possibilities Paid Member

    WE ALL HAVE SOME rough relationships in our lives that seem held together by the stickiness of attachment and expectation. It is true that we have love and care for these people, but, at the same time, it’s not so clean; there’s plenty of complexity. Inside, we feel an emotional tug when we see or think of them. This is often exaggerated with the people we are close to and with whom we share a strong dynamic, such as our parents, children, close friends, or spouse—all relationships where a lot of expectations tend to arise. There are many unspoken demands. In the midst of our romance, marriage, or parenting, we find ourselves responsible for someone else’s loneliness and their emotional or physical pain. More »
  • Tricycle Community 15 comments

    The Truth About Gossip Paid Member

    HAVE YOU EVER gossiped about someone, then regretted it for years, unable to apologize because you lost touch with the person? That’s me. So Rosie Knox, wherever you are, I apologize for all the horrible things I said about you in sixth grade. And while I’m at it, I apologize to all the hundreds if not thousands of people I’ve hurt with selfish speech. And I apologize to myself for filling my mind with nasty thoughts and creating the karmic causes to be the object of others’ gossip in the future. Where did I ever get the idea that gossip would make me happy? More »
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    Fifteen Weeks of Dharma Dating Paid Member

    THE IDEA FIRST COMES up as a joke between me and my Tricycle editor: As a newly single Buddhist mom, why don’t I post my profile on a couple of the new online “dharma dating” sites, and write about my experiences? I find the notion both intriguing and horrifying. For years I’ve mocked the idea of shopping for a mate the way you’d shop for a book on Amazon.com (“Add This Man to My Cart!”). Once, while browsing for a used couch on Craigslist, I popped over to the Men Seeking Women section for a look, and the ads all ran together in my mind: 6-foot divorced sofa, 45, brown hair/blue eyes, overstuffed cushions, slightly cat-clawed, wants to spank you. . . . More »
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    Authority and Exploitation Paid Member

    Robert Aitken Roshi: Someone once suggested that we have a kind of radical retreat at Koko An (our Zen center in Honolulu), with people taking turns being the roshi—the teacher. I think this was a misguided suggestion. Learning in a context of deepest inquiry, where self-deception is most likely to enter in, demands transference and trust. A student might not see the point of a particular idea or act, but if a trusted teacher presents it, the student is able to accept it provisionally and be encouraged to let it sink in. More »
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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 »