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  • Tricycle Community 5 comments

    Balancing Emotions Paid Member

    Balancing Emotions means gaining control over the mood and outlook we bring to everything we do. Our inner emotions have an enormous effect on our experience, often impeding our inner growth. Balancing our emotional energy can create a significant shift in our inner well-being, creating new levels of inner strength and tranquility. —The Juniper School More »
  • Tricycle Community 5 comments

    Mindfulness and Difficult Emotions Paid Member

    I’ve heard some wonderful explanations of mindfulness. The writer and teacher Sylvia Boorstein calls it “awake attention to what is happening inside and outside so we can respond from a place of wisdom.” The Vietnamese Zen teacher and poet Thich Nhat Hanh says, “I like to define mindfulness as the energy that helps us to be there 100 percent. It is the energy of your true presence.” But my favorite definition comes from a fifth grader at Piedmont Avenue Elementary School in Oakland, California.  More »
  • Tricycle Community 54 comments

    Unmasking the Self Paid Member

    Awareness cannot be taught, and when it is present it has no context. All contexts are created by thought and are therefore corruptible by thought. Awareness simply throws light on what is, without any separation whatsoever. Awareness, insight, enlightenment, wholeness—whatever words one may pick to label what cannot be caught in words—is not the effect of a cause. Activity does not destroy it and sitting does not create it. It isn’t a product of anything—no technique, method, environment, tradition, posture, activity, or nonactivity can create it. It is there, uncreated, freely functioning in wisdom and love, when self-centered conditioning is clearly revealed in all its grossness and subtleness and defused in the light of understanding. More »
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    Tea and Rice Paid Member

    When you ride in a boat and watch the shore, you might assume that the shore is moving. But when you keep your eyes closely on the boat, you can see that the boat moves. Similarly, if you examine myriad things with a confused body and mind, you might suppose that your mind and essence are permanent. When you practice intimately and return to where you are, it will be clear that nothing at all has unchanging self. *** To study the way of enlightenment is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of enlightenment remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly. More »
  • Tricycle Community 1 comment

    Goalless Practice Paid Member

    The iconoclastic itinerant Soto Zen teacher “Homeless” Kodo Sawaki Roshi famously said, “Zazen is good for nothing!” He wasn’t being facetious. He wasn’t employing some kind of “skillful means” by saying something he really didn’t believe. He wasn’t being mystical and saying it’s good (wink, wink) for nothing (nudge, nudge). Nope. He meant it. Zazen really is good for nothing. It’s useless. Absolutely useless. One of the hardest aspects of Zen practice is getting your head around the idea that zazen has no goal. No goal at all. You don’t do it for anything except itself. It doesn’t get you anywhere. It doesn’t gain you a damned thing. More »
  • Tricycle Community 18 comments

    Freedom and Choice Paid Member

    A few years ago, I was teaching a workshop on the Heart Sutra. We had just finished that long list of negations and everyone was a bit off balance, having had the rug pulled out from under them four or five different ways. The next lines were “Because for bodhisattvas there is no attainment, they rest, trusting the perfection of wisdom.” “When he reaches the perfection of wisdom, can a bodhisattva choose to do whatever he wants?” a young man asked. “The illusion of choice is an indication of a lack of freedom,” I replied. He looked at me, stunned, then turned around and gently banged his head against the wall as he said, “Now my head really hurts.” More »