Wisdom Collection

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Search Results: desire

  • Tricycle Community 1 comment

    Talk Like a Buddha Paid Member

    I’M SITTING knee-almost-touching-knee with Ted, a chubby and towering sixty-something-year-old with a few days’ gray stubble, bushy eyebrows, and nose hairs calling for a trim. We met just fifteen minutes ago, and tears are running down his face. Ted’s breathing is labored, and I can smell his sour breath, yet I feel content. I comfort him—not so much with words but simply by being present, by gently meeting his gaze and accepting him and the moment. During our hour together, I work at remaining openhearted and mindful, and it seems to help Ted regain his balance. When our hour together is over, he’s much calmer, maybe even happy. More »
  • Tricycle Community 1 comment

    Ambivalent Zen Paid Member

    Roshi wears his Yankee cap to breakfast, doesn’t remove it even after we sit down. He has a large collection of hats, but he has worn this one exclusively since I bought it for him last week at Yankee Stadium. Slightly self-conscious about his shaved head, he never goes out without a hat, but the Yankee cap has the added advantage of making him look, if not like an American, at least at home in the culture. Like any Zen master, he aims to walk the streets as if invisible, attract no attention, leave no trace of himself in anyone’s mind. The robes he wears in the zendo are seldom worn outside it. He favors flannel shirts and khaki pants, Saucony running shoes, a Yankee jacket in the fall and, when the weather turns, a parka and a black woolen watch cap purchased through the L. L. Bean catalogue. In addition to hats, he collects watches and seems to wear a different one every day. More »
  • Tricycle Community 10 comments

    Good Death Paid Member

    Blind Crossing a Bridge, Hakuin (1685-1796) Ink on paper More »
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    A Democracy of the Imagination Paid Member

                         Ernest Hemingway spoke once of sitting at his desk each morning to face "the horror of a blank sheet of paper." He found himself (as any writer can confirm) having to produce by the end of the day a series of words arranged in a way that has never before been imagined. You sit there, alone, hovering on the cusp between nothing and something. This is not a blank, stale nothing; it is an awesome nothing charged with unrealized potential. And the hovering is the kind that can fill you with dread. Rearrangement of the items on your desk assumes an irresistible attraction. More »
  • Tricycle Community 11 comments

    Compassion Restored Paid Member

    Before becoming one of the great world religion scholars of our time and a self-proclaimed “freelance monotheist,” Karen Armstrong had given up on religion. Raised in England in the years following World War II, Armstrong became a Roman Catholic nun in the order of Society of the Holy Child Jesus when she was still a teenager. After seven painful years, Armstrong left the church, frustrated and fed up with what she felt was an overly dogmatic institution. More »
  • Tricycle Community 4 comments

    A Mind Pure, Concentrated, and Bright Paid Member

    Leigh Brasington, 55, has been a Buddhist practitioner since 1985 and is the senior American student of the German-born Theravada teacher Ayya Khema. Raised in Mississippi the son of a Presbyterian minister, Brasington lost faith in the family religion at the age of 18, while reading James Michener's The Source, an epic novel that traces the history of Judaism. "Basically, God died that summer." A decade later, he "awakened to the spiritual dimension of life" while traveling through Asia on a round-the-world tour. Actual practice, however, didn't begin until several years later, when he attended a meditation retreat led by Ayya Khema, who eventually helped Brasington map his way through the jhanas and urged him to teach. [Khema died in 1997—see Tricycle, Spring 1998.] Today he spends several months of the year traveling the United States, Western Europe, and beyond, leading meditation retreats—most of which include jhana practice. More »