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  • Tricycle Community 21 comments

    Turning the Corner Paid Member

    It is time for us to evolve. We know well enough that species adapting to a changing environment survive, while those that do not go extinct. We also know our environment is changing and that our own activities are contributing to those changes. We therefore know enough to understand: we must either evolve or perish. For the first time in history, our challenge is not the implacable forces of external nature, but the inner toxins of our own nature. The radical changes in the ecosystem threatening our survival are not being thrust upon us from the outside but stem from the greed, hatred, and delusion lodged deep in our own hearts. We are our own greatest threat and are thus in the unique position of having to adapt both to ourselves and from ourselves. More »
  • Tricycle Community 10 comments

    Finding True Refuge Paid Member

    Imagine you just found out that your child was suspended from school. Imagine your boss just told you to “start over” on a report you’ve worked on for a month. Imagine you just realized you’ve been on Facebook for three hours and have finished off a box of cookies in the process. Imagine your partner just confessed to an affair. It’s hard to hang out with the truth of what we’re feeling. We may sincerely intend to pause and be mindful whenever a crisis arises or whenever we feel stuck and confused, but our conditioning to react, escape, or become possessed by emotion is very strong. More »
  • Tricycle Community 12 comments

    Get Real Paid Member

    Reverend Patti Nakai, the associate minister at the Buddhist Temple of Chicago, grew up as a Presbyterian. Born in the Lakeview area of Chicago, to a Buddhist father and a Christian mother, she attended a church with a congregation that, like the neighborhood itself, was heavily Japanese-American. A third-generation Japanese-American herself, Reverend Patti began delving into the Buddhist side of her heritage while at the University of Minnesota, where she earned a degree in international economics and Japanese history and culture. After graduation, Nakai returned to her hometown to find that a staunchly conservative minister had taken over her childhood church. This change, coupled with a lingering heartbreak from college, led her to join her father’s old congregation at the Buddhist Temple of Chicago. More »
  • Tricycle Community 11 comments

    The Matter of Truth Paid Member

    Years ago, at the Brooklyn Museum, I was looking at a Tibetan statue of a multi-armed figure when a middle-aged white couple stopped to view the statue, and as they did, one said to the other, “What is that about? Do you suppose they were trying to portray a freak who was born that way?” Then, before I could say anything, they moved on. As I, or anyone else familiar with the Indian cultural milieu, might have told them, the multiple arms were not intended to be a photograph-like portrait. Their intent is symbolic not literal. They symbolize the deity’s multiple abilities and capabilities. Only if one were completely blind to symbolism could one so completely misread the meaning of the statue’s multiple arms, imagining that they were intended to be an accurate physical representation of an actual person born with many arms. More »
  • Tricycle Community 19 comments

    The Art of Being Wrong Paid Member

    There’s a scene in the fine and dark TV series Breaking Bad in which a villainous drug dealer, half-dead and half-blinded by a poisonous gas, stumbles down a suburban street and runs into one of his adversaries. The dealer can see just enough to recognize who it is, but he can’t see enough to realize, when he lurches off in a panic, that he’s heading straight for a large cottonwood tree. He slams into the trunk and knocks himself out cold. In the midst of that scene of tense dramatic confrontation, the resolution—a moment of classic slapstick reversal—is unavoidably funny. More »
  • Tricycle Community 4 comments

    The Power of Forgiveness Paid Member

    Forgiveness is not simple. When we have been harmed, hurt, betrayed, abandoned, or abused, forgiveness can often seem to be out of the question. And yet, unless we find some way to forgive, we will hold that hatred and fear in our hearts forever. Imagine what the world would be like without forgiveness. Imagine what it would be like if every one of us carried every single hurt, every single resentment, all the anger that came up, when we felt betrayed. If we just kept that in our hearts and never let it go, it would be unbearable. Without forgiveness, we’re forced to carry the sufferings of the past. As Jack Kornfield says, “Forgiveness is giving up all hope of a better past.” In that sense, forgiveness is really not about someone’s harmful behavior; it’s about our own relationship with our past. More »