Saturday, December 31, 2011

Of all the medicines...

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
Of all the medicines in the world Myriad and various There is none like the medicine of Truth Therefore, O followers, drink of this.
- Dhammpada

Friday, December 30, 2011

A man long absent...

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
A man long absent comes home safe from afar. His kin, his friends, his companions, delight in his return. In just the same way, when you've done good & gone from this world to the world beyond, your good deeds receive you-- as kin, someone dear come home.
- Dhammapada, 16, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

...three roots of evil...

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
Monks, there are these three roots of evil. What three? Lust is a root of evil, hate is a root of evil, delusion is a root of evil. These are the three roots of evil.
- Itivuttaka

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dhammapada, 391

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
Whoever does no wrong in body, speech, heart; is restrained in these three ways: he's what I call a brahmin.
- Dhammapada, 391, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ananda said to the Lord...

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
Sitting there the venerable Ananda said to the Lord, "Half of this holy life, Lord, is good and noble friends, companionship with the good, association with the good." "Do not say that, Ananda. Do not say that, Ananda. It is the whole of this holy life, this friendship, companionship and association with the good."
- Samyutta Nikaya

Monday, December 26, 2011

Even a strong wind is empty...

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
Even a strong wind is empty by nature. Even a great wave is just ocean itself. Even thick southern clouds are insubstantial as sky. Even the dense mind is naturally birthless.
- Milarepa, "Drinking The Fountain Stream"

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A blessing...

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
A blessing: the arising of Awakened Ones. A blessing: the teaching of true Dhamma. A blessing: the concord of the Sangha. The austerity of those in concord is a blessing.
- Dhammapada, 14, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

If, in your course...

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
If, in your course, you dont meet your equal, your better, then continue your course firmly, alone. Theres no fellowship with fools.
- Dhammapada, 6, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Friday, December 23, 2011



“When you look at the surface of the ocean, you can see waves coming up and going down. You can describe these waves in terms of high or low, big or small, more vigorous, more beautiful or less beautiful. You can describe a... wave in terms of beginning and end, birth and death. That can be compared to the historical dimension. In the historical dimension, we are concerned with birth and death, more powerful, less powerful, more beautiful, less beautiful, beginning and end and so on.

Looking deeply, we can also see that the waves are at the same time water. A wave may like to seek its own true nature. The wave might suffer from fear, from complexes. A wave may say, “I am not as big as the other waves,” “I am oppressed,” “I am not as beautiful as the other waves,” “I have been born and I have to die.” The wave may suffer from these things, these ideas. But if the wave bends down and touches her true nature she will realize that she is water. Then her fear and complexes will disappear.

Water is free from the birth and death of a wave. Water is free from high and low, more beautiful and less beautiful. You can talk in terms of more beautiful and less beautiful, high or low, only in terms of waves. As far as water is concerned, all these concepts are invalid.

Our true nature is the nature of no birth and no death. We do not have to go anywhere in order to touch our true nature. The wave does not have to look for water because she is water. We do not have to look for God, we do not have to look for our ultimate dimension or nirvana, because we are nirvana, we are God.

You are what you area looking for. You are already what you want to become. You can say to the wave, “My dearest wave, you are water. You don’t have to go and seek water. Your nature is the nature of nondiscrimination, of no birth, of no death, of no being and of no non-being.”

Practice like a wave. Take the time to look deeply into yourself and recognize that your nature is the nature of no-birth and no-death. You can break through to freedom and fearlessness this way. This method of practice will help us to live without fear, and it will help us to die peacefully without regret.”


One of the major aims...

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
One of the major aims and purposes of religious practice for the individual is an inner transformation from an undisciplined, untamed, and unfocused state of mind towards one that is disciplined, tamed and balanced.
- His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Just as the footprints of any creature...

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
Just as the footprints of any creature that walks the earth can be placed in the elephants footprint, which is the largest of all
--even so mindful attention is the one quality that ensures ease of mind at all times. Mindful attention causes beneficial thoughts that have not yet arisen to arise. It also causes harmful thoughts that have already arisen to vanish. In the one who is mindful, the good that is to be will be realized.
- Anguttara Nikaya

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

If this doctrine is not understood thoroughly...

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
If this doctrine is not understood thoroughly, The conception of an I prevails, Hence come virtuous and non-virtuous actions Which give rise to good and bad rebirths. Therefore, as long as the doctrine removing The conception of I is not known, Take heed of the practices Of giving, ethics, and patience.
- Nagajuna, Precious Garland

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

All beings are...

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
All beings are by nature Buddha, as ice by nature is water. Apart from water there is no ice; apart from beings, no Buddha.
- Hakuin Zenji, "Song of Zazen"

Monday, December 19, 2011

Having enjoyed a sweet...

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
Having enjoyed a sweet delicious taste, And having sometimes tasted what is bitter, Do not greedily enjoy the sweet taste, Do not feel aversion toward the bitter. When touched by pleasant contact, do not be enthralled, Do not tremble when touched by pain. Look evenly on both the pleasant and painful, Not drawn or repelled by anything.
- Buddha, "The Connected Discourses of the Buddha"

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A devata said: "One who has...

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
A devata said: "One who has sons delights in sons, One with cattle delights in cattle. Acquisitions truly are a man's delight; Without acquisitions one does not delight." The Buddha answered: "One who has sons sorrows over sons. One with cattle sorrows over cattle. Acquisitions truly are a man's sorrows; Without acquisitions one does not sorrow."

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Goodness, concentration, wisdom, and liberation.

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
It is through not understanding, not penetrating four things that we have run so erratically, wandered on so long in this round of existence, both you and I. What are the four? Goodness, concentration, wisdom, and liberation. When these four things are understood and penetrated, craving for superficial existence is rooted out and that which leads to continued return to the same conditions is ended. There is no more constant journeying.
- Digha Nikaya

There is no specifiable difference...

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
There is no specifiable difference whatever between nirvana and the everyday world; there is no specifiable difference whatever between the everyday world and nirvana.
- Nagarjuna, "Mulamadhyamaka-Karika"

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dhammapada 21...

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
The man of conviction endowed with virtue, glory, & wealth: wherever he goes he is honored.
- Dhammapada 21, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Inner refuge is...

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
Inner refuge is refuge in ourselves, in our ultimate potential. When we recognize and nourish this potential, we have found the real meaning of refuge.
- Kathleen McDonald, "How to Meditate"

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

People who do not know...

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
People who do not know how to practice the way therefore want to get rid of afflictions. Afflictions are originally void and null; you are trying to use the way to seek the way beyond.
- Pao-chih

Monday, December 12, 2011

What, now is the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering?

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
What, now is the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering? It is craving, which gives rise to fresh rebirth, and, bound up with pleasure and lust, now here, now there, finds ever-fresh delight. But where does this craving arise and take root? Wherever in the world there are delightful and pleasurable things, there this craving rises and takes root. Eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind are delightful and pleasurable: there this craving arises and takes root.
- The Four Nobel Truths (from the Samyutta Nikaya, translated by Nyanatiloka)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

What now is the Noble Truth of Suffering...

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
What now is the Noble Truth of Suffering? Birth is suffering; decay is suffering; death is suffering; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are suffering; not to get what one desires is suffering; in short the five groups of existence are suffering.
- Samyutta Nikaya

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Daily Buddhist Wisdom 12/10/11

Daily Buddhist Wisdom
When you are thinking about an object, it sometimes occurs that evil, unwholesome thoughts connected with hate and delusion come into your mind. The way to get rid of them is to concentrate on another object that is wholesome and good. Just as a skilled carpenter knocks out a coarse peg with a fine one, so the evil thoughts will disappear. With their departure, the mind will become calm, unified, and concentrated once more.
- Majjhima Nikaya

Monday, December 5, 2011

T.D.D. --- Practice Conscientious Compassion ~ Bhikkhu Bodhi

Tricycle Daily Dharma December 5, 2011

Practice Conscientious Compassion

Each of us has some task, some way to practice conscientious compassion. The question is: How do we find that task? To find it, a specific method can be prescribed. At the outset, practice the usual meditation on compassion, perhaps for 20 or 30 minutes. Then focus your attention on several of the formidable problems that loom before humanity today: futile and self-destructive wars, rampant military spending, global warming, violations of human rights, poverty and global hunger, the exploitation of women, our treatment of animals, the abuse of the environment, or any other concern that comes to mind. Reflect briefly on these problems, one by one, aware of how you respond to them. At some point, you will start to recognize that one of these problems, more than the others, tugs at the strings of your heart. These inner pangs suggest that this is the particular issue to which you should dedicate your time and energy.
- Bhikkhu Bodhi, "The Need of the Hour"

Sunday, December 4, 2011

T.D.D. --- This is Reality ~ Kaz Suzuki

Tricycle Daily Dharma December 4, 2011

This is Reality

Other religions suggest there may be a miracle, or you may go to heaven. But it is strangely comforting to hear from Buddha’s teaching that there is no such thing. This is what it is. This is reality. The Buddha’s teaching says that hope is just the flip side of fear, and fear the flip side of hope. The best thing is just to stay awake and watch it, watch yourself, and feel everything as it is right now.
- Kaz Suzuki, "A Caregiver's Story"

Saturday, December 3, 2011

T.D.D. --- How Prayer Works ~ Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

Tricycle Daily Dharma December 3, 2011

How Prayer Works

To understand how prayer works, consider the sun, which shines everywhere without hesitation or hindrance. Like God or Buddha, it continuously radiates all its power, warmth, and light without differentiation. When the earth turns, it appears to us that the sun no longer shines. But that has nothing to do with the sun; it’s due to our own position on the shadow side of the earth. If we inhabit a deep, dark mine shaft, it’s not the sun’s fault that we feel cold. Or if we live on the earth’s surface but keep our eyes closed, it’s not the sun’s fault that we don’t see light. The sun’s blessings are all-pervasive, whether we are open to them or not. Through prayer, we come out of the mine shaft, open our eyes, become receptive to enlightened presence, the omnipotent love and compassion that exist for all beings.
- Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche, "Prayer"

Friday, December 2, 2011

T.D.D. --- Living and Breathing ~ Marilyn Buck

Tricycle Daily Dharma December 2, 2011

Living and Breathing

Freedom of breath cannot be measured, contained, or punished—as I breathe, my aliveness asserts itself, even laughs at its constraints. Yes, in this place it is an elusive joy, but I feel it now, as surely as I feel the knots of anxiety loosen in my shoulders.
- Marilyn Buck, "The Freedom to Breathe"

Thursday, December 1, 2011

T.D.D. --- Joy Has Many Flavors ~ James Baraz

Tricycle Daily Dharma December 1, 2011

Joy Has Many Flavors

Joy has many different flavors. It might overflow from us in song or dance, or it might gently arise as a smile or a sense of inner fullness. Joy is not something we have to manufacture. It is already in us when we come into the world, as we can see in the natural delight and exuberance of a healthy baby. We need only release the layers of contraction and fear that keep us from it.
- James Baraz, "Lighten Up!"

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

T.D.D. --- Meditation and Time Management ~ Les Kaye

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 30, 2011

Meditation and Time Management

By setting aside ideas of how productive or efficient we are in our use of time, we can take time to take care of ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Meditation is the best way to “manage” time, the best way to prevent spills. Spilling something and making a mess can be a signal that we are too concerned about time and all the things we have to do. Developing the skill to recognize that we are distracted and to return the mind to awareness of the present moment enables us to appreciate our self in all activities.
– Les Kaye, "The Time is Now"

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

T.D.D. --- Let Your Practice Come Alive ~ John Daido Loori

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 29, 2011

Let Your Practice Come Alive

We can choose to get lost in our personal terror, but the fact remains that we are the only ones who can heal fear, anger, and pain by the way we use our minds. The ten thousand things, all the barriers, all the peace and the joy of this world, are nothing but the self. The question is, how do we understand it? Now more than ever we need to trust ourselves and let the years we have put into our practice come alive.
– John Daido Loori, "Between Two Mountains"

Monday, November 28, 2011

T.D.D. --- Into the World ~ Gary Snyder

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 28, 2011

Into the World

Meditation is not just a rest or retreat from the turmoil of the stream or the impurity of the world. It is a way of being the stream, so that one can be at home in both the white water and the eddies. Meditation may take one out of the world, but it also puts one totally into it.
– Gary Snyder, "Just One Breath"

Sunday, November 27, 2011

T.D.D. --- Awareness of Death ~ Larry Rosenberg

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 27, 2011

Awareness of Death

As with many deep truths, people tend to look at the death awareness meditations and say, Yes, I know all of that. I know I'm going to die someday. I know I can't take it with me. I know my body will be dust. And as with other things—as with the law of impermanence itself-I would say we know it and we don't know it. We know it in our heads but haven't taken it into our hearts. We haven't let it penetrate the marrow of our bones. If we had, I can't help thinking we would live differently. Our whole lives would be different. The planet would be different as well.
– Larry Rosenberg, "Only the Practice of Dharma Can Help Us at the Time of Death"

Saturday, November 26, 2011

T.D.D. --- Absolute Stillness ~ Lama Surya Das

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 26, 2011

Absolute Stillness

If you wish to cultivate absolute stillness and clarity of mind, right here and now, sit down and imagine yourself on a peaceful shore or by a tranquil lake. If the mind is a snow globe whirling with thoughts, images, memories, and inchoate feelings, then the winds of internal energy and self-seeking—analyzing, evaluating, pushing and pulling, based on likes and dislikes—are what keep it stirred up and the snowstorm in motion, obscuring the inner landscape. Let the snow globe of your heart and mind settle by relaxing, breathing deeply a few times, and releasing all the tension, preoccupations, and concerns you’ve been carrying—at least for the moment. Let the gentle tide of breath carry it all away like the ocean’s waves, like a waterfall washing your heart, mind, and spirit clean, pure, and bright.
– Lama Surya Das, "Be Still"

Friday, November 25, 2011

T.D.D. --- Keeping a Good Heart ~ Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 25, 2011

Keeping a Good Heart

There is a saying that “the dharma has no owner; it belongs to whomever is most diligent.” Sometimes people say, “I don’t have time to devote myself to practice, I’m doing a lot of different things and I am obliged to do them.” But honestly, it’s not that one has to go to some other place and close the door and be quiet in order to practice. That’s not the only way. It’s definitely the case that we can practice at any given moment. We can always try a little more to be kind, to be compassionate and be careful about what we do and say and so forth.
– Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, "Keeping a Good Heart"

Thursday, November 24, 2011

T.D.D. --- Each bite of food ~ Jan Chozen Bays

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 24, 2011

Each bite of food

When we are able to fully appreciate the basic activities of eating and drinking, we discover an ancient secret, the secret of how to become content and at ease. The Zen teachings talk about the exquisite taste of plain water. Have you ever been very, very thirsty? Maybe you were on a long hike, or sick, or working without a break in the summer heat. When you were finally able to drink, even plain water, you remember how wonderful it was. Actually, each sip of liquid and each bite of food can be that fresh and delicious, once we learn again just to be present.
– Jan Chozen Bays, "Mindful Eating"

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

T.D.D. --- Re-examining the Student-Teacher Relationship ~ Alexander Berzin

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 23, 2011

Re-examining the Student-Teacher Relationship

The student-teacher relationship as understood and developed in the West needs reexamination. However, any approach at restructuring needs to avoid two extremes. The first is justifying the deification of the teacher to the point that it encourages a cult mentality and whitewashes abuse. The second is justifying the demonization of the teacher to the point that paranoia and distrust prevent the benefits to be gained from a healthy disciple-mentor relationship. In trying to prevent the first extreme, we need great care not to fall to the second.
– Alexander Berzin, "Practical Advice Regarding Spiritual Teachers"

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

T.D.D. --- You Lack Nothing ~ Elihu Genmyo Smith

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 22, 2011

You Lack Nothing

You lack nothing. You lack nothing, therefore you practice. Therefore you must realize and manifest this no-lack, this realized life, this awakened life that you are. Manifest the wisdom compassion functioning that you are. To paraphrase Dogen Zenji, if you want to be such a person, as you are such you must do such. You must do this person that you are, then you will be this person that you are.
– Elihu Genmyo Smith, "No Need to Do Zazen, Therefore Must Do Zazen"

Read the full article here...

Monday, November 21, 2011

T.D.D. --- Shopping the Dharma ~ Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 21, 2011

Shopping the Dharma

Buddhists are attempting to introduce dharma values and establish a substantial role for the dharma in Western culture, but consumer mentality impedes this. Our collective challenge is to practice and teach the dharma in ways that benefit contemporary culture and at the same time preserve the purity of the teachings.
– Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron, "Shopping the Dharma"

Sunday, November 20, 2011

T.D.D. --- The Truth of the Breath ~ Sylvia Boorstein

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 20, 2011

The Truth of the Breath

Everything that is true about anything is true about breath: it's impermanent; it arises and it passes away. Yet if you didn't breathe, you would become uncomfortable; so then you would take in a big inhalation and feel comfortable again. But if you hold onto the breath, it's no longer comfortable, so you have to breathe out again. All the time shifting, shifting. Uncomfortableness is continually arising. We see that everything keeps changing.
– Sylvia Boorstein, "Body as Body"

Saturday, November 19, 2011

T.D.D. --- Sound Meditation ~ Sylvia Boorstein

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 19, 2011

Sound Meditation

One specific method for practicing mindfulness of body sensations is to focus your attention on sounds. Sounds, like everything else, arise and pass away. Just by listening, you can experience the insight of impermanence, an understanding the Buddha taught as crucial for the development of wisdom.
– Sylvia Boorstein, "Sound Meditation"

Friday, November 18, 2011

T.D.D. --- Make Friends with Fear ~ Gaylon Ferguson

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 18, 2011

Make Friends with Fear

Genuine spiritual practice offers a way to face both our inner and outer worlds and to bring these two related realms into living, loving dialogue. Making friends with our fear—tasting it, chewing it, becoming intimately familiar with it—opens a doorway. We can develop an inner strength and confidence not based on the ups and downs of our contemporary world with its 24/7 rhythm of getting and spending. In the midst of outer and inner famine, violence, intolerance, and cowardice, the Natural Bravery approach invites you to walk the path of courage along with our spiritual ancestors, the brave women and men throughout history who have manifested fearlessness in everyday life.
– Gaylon Ferguson, "Natural Bravery"

Thursday, November 17, 2011

T.D.D. --- Full Awareness of the Moment ~ Martine Batchelor

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 17, 2011

Full Awareness of the Moment

As you sit or walk in meditation, you ask constantly, “What is this?” Repeating this question develops concentration because it returns you to the full awareness of the moment. As soon as you become aware of being distracted by past events, anxieties about the present, or future dreams, you ask “What is this?” This way, the power of questioning dissolves distraction.
– Martine Batchelor, "A Refuge into Being"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thich Nhat Hanh Dharma Talks (video of talk)

You are very proud of your science, your math, but if you look at one petal of a flower you realize that you would have to be an extremely talented mathematician and artist to create such a thing. Human beings are very proud to be the heroic soldier who can do everything, but the Earth is also very powerful. It has created millions of species. Mother Earth offers us air to breathe, water to drink. We have to recognize the planet Earth as a wonderful mother who can host us, who can give us everything we need.

“In every speck of dust there are countless Buddhas. During walking meditation we can touch the Earth in us. We have to be realistic. Don’t search for a bodhisattva in your imagination. It is there in every step.”

T.D.D. --- The Movement of Bliss ~ Shakyamuni Buddha

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 16, 2011

The Movement of Bliss

The moon and sun were not yet known in the world. Hence the forms of the stars were not known, nor the paths of the constellations, nor day and night, nor months and fortnights, nor seasons and years. That, monks, is the appropriate condition of those beings who are self-luminous, move through space, are made of mind, feed on joy, abide in a state of bliss, and go wherever they wish.
– Shakyamuni Buddha, "The Mahavastu"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

T.D.D. --- How Feeling Leads to Craving ~ Upasika Kee Nanayon

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 15, 2011

How Feeling Leads to Craving

When there are feelings of physical pain or mental distress, the mind will struggle because it doesn't like pain. But when pain turns to pleasure the mind likes it and is content with it. So it keeps on playing with feeling even though, as we've already said, feeling is inconstant, stressful, and not really ours. But the mind doesn't see this. All it sees are feelings of pleasure, and it wants them. Try looking into how feeling gives rise to craving. It's because we want pleasant feelings that craving whispers-whispers right there to the feeling. If you observe carefully, you will see that this is very important. This is where the paths and fruitions leading to nibbana are attained. If we extinguish the craving in feeling, that's nibbana.
– Upasika Kee Nanayon, "A Glob of Tar"

Monday, November 14, 2011

T.D.D. --- Notice interdependence ~ Reverend Patricia Kanaya Usuki

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 14, 2011

Notice interdependence

There’s no practice a person can specifically do to attain perfect awakening, whether it’s meditation or trying to follow precepts. Of course these are good practices, but we can never totally free ourselves of our blind passions. If we believe we can do it this way, the calculation is a reflection of our ego-selves. Instead, we can be mindful of the dharma as we go about our lives. Then we notice our imperfections, but rather than becoming frustrated by our inability to rid ourselves of these shortcomings, we notice that our interdependence with all life also brings us kindness and joy, unconditionally.
– Reverend Patricia Kanaya Usuki, "The Great Compassion"

Sunday, November 13, 2011

T.D.D. --- Presence is Freedom ~ Soren Gordhamer

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 13, 2011

Presence is Freedom

An open schedule is not, as we once thought, freedom. Free time is of a different order than free-dom. Freedom, at least in the dharmic sense, depends on the quality of attention that we bring to our interactions. Only to the extent that we can be fully present in our relationships with ourselves, with our children, and with each other, are we free.
– Soren Gordhamer, "Finding What's Right in Front of Us"

Saturday, November 12, 2011

T.D.D. --- Beyond Duality ~ Robert Thurman

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 12, 2011

Beyond Duality

I say recognize that the absolute is the relative, that nirvana is relativity. There is no way of not making a decision, and within every decision there's always a better or a worse. They are not equal. This attempt to go beyond good and evil posits some dualistic idea about nirvana. But let's not be dualistic. Nirvana is not someplace else. To go beyond good and evil means that good and evil are relative aspects that require choices.
— Robert Thurman, "The Politics of Enlightenment"

Friday, November 11, 2011

T.D.D. --- What Form of Practice is Best? ~ Joseph Goldstein

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 11, 2011

What Form of Practice is Best?
What form [of practice] is best really depends on the person and the time—for some the carrot, for some the stick. The Buddha talked about this. He gave an image of training a horse. For some horses, just the shadow of the whip is enough; for others a slight touch spurs them on; and others really need to be whacked, metaphorically speaking.
– Joseph Goldstein, "How Amazing!"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

T.D.D. --- When We Visit Nature ~ Master Sheng Yen

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 10, 2011

When We Visit Nature

If we go out into the natural world and just talk about the same things we talk about all the time, we may as well have stayed at home. When we visit nature we should put down everyday small talk, subjective mental activity, judging and discrimination, and just open up and observe nature. Starting from the time of the Buddha, it was almost always the custom for those who had left home life to spend some time practicing in the mountains. Generally the hut they lived in was made so that it could be put up and dismantled very quickly, so that the person could move on to another place. The purpose was to live a life that would not foster a group mentality, but rather cultivate a holistic attitude where one would feel at one with all lives and the universe.
— Master Sheng Yen, "As Spacious as Nature"

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

T.D.D. --- Kindness is Society ~ Jeffrey Hopkins

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 9, 2011

Kindness is Society

During a lecture while I was interpreting for the Dalai Lama, he said in what seemed to me to be broken English, “Kindness is society.” I wasn’t smart enough to think he was saying kindness is society. I thought he meant kindness is important to society; kindness is vital to society; but he was saying that kindness is so important that we cannot have society without it. Society is impossible without it. Thus, kindness IS society; society IS kindness. Without concern for other people it’s impossible to have society.
– Jeffrey Hopkins, "Equality"

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

T.D.D. --- Greed is like fire ~ Andrew Olendzki

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 8, 2011

Greed is like fire

Like a fire, greed is more a process than a thing. It is the state of combustion, the activity of consumption, the procedure by means of which organic resources are quickly reduced to a heap of ash. It is insatiable by nature, since the moment one desire is gratified another flares up, demanding also to be sated. Greed drives an unquenchable compulsion to consume, and as the guiding hand of our economic system, its reach is rapidly becoming global. As it burns it throws off a compelling light, dazzling us with the pleasure of its shapes and colors. We delight in playing with this fire.
– Andrew Olendzki, "Burning Alive"

Monday, November 7, 2011

T.D.D. --- Let Go of Projections ~ Sharon Salzberg

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 7, 2011

Let Go of Projections

On trains, in the street, in our homes and communities, we practice paying attention—through developing mindfulness and lovingkindness and through letting go of projections—partly because a more complete attention proffers many special gifts. These gifts can penetrate through the exigencies of social roles, the seeming hollowness of chance encounters, and even through terrible hurt.
– Sharon Salzberg, "A More Complete Attention"

Sunday, November 6, 2011

T.D.D. --- The Workable Dharma ~ Pema Chodron

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 6, 2011

The Workable Dharma

The dharma's about stepping into the groundlessness of neither right nor wrong. Or not having the security of either right or wrong—that's the major challenge, to think bigger than just in terms of problem-solving. The dharma is not about curing. It's about healing. That's kind of a New Age word. The word that Trungpa Rinpoche used was "workable." All situations are workable. That's the nature of reality—it's workable.

– Pema Chodron: "No Right, No Wrong"

Saturday, November 5, 2011

T.D.D. --- Remember Now

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 4, 2011

Remember Now

Any sudden loss of bearings, within our multitasking, overcommitted lives, can leave us breathless and insecure for a moment. But it is also an exhilarating relief to tumble through the prefab words and concepts and to enter the always welcome reality of what’s happening. Loss of certainty can be as arresting as the Northern Lights, when the overhanging bough of darkness pulses into life and stops us in our tracks. Surely many of us feel, within such a moment of astonishment, “Yes, I remember now!”

– John Elder, "Dust of Snow: Awakening to Conversation"

Friday, November 4, 2011

T.D.D. --- People Naturally Surrender

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 4, 2011

People Naturally Surrender

Even at a worldly level, people naturally surrender to others, although they may think of themselves as self-sufficient. If someone thinks he doesn’t depend on others, he is like a sick person who thinks he doesn’t have to go to a doctor because he can cure himself with poison, or like a poor person who says he doesn’t have to depend on richer people even though he has an empty wallet.

– Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, "Words for the West"

Thursday, November 3, 2011

T.D.D. --- Discover Your Own Wisdom

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 3, 2011

Discover Your Own Wisdom
People who are attached to sutras and a scriptural teaching of words can lack faith in the living, mysterious experience of meditation that leads to a sudden insight. They are usually too caught up in the expedient means of words and speech, attached to the stubborn habit of distinguishing between "true" and "not true." Believing only what is written in holy texts, they are conceptually mesmerized by the treasures of others, instead of digging inside to discover the priceless gems of their own, lying deep within.

– So Sahn, "The Zen of Confidence"

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

T.D.D. --- To Keep the Heart Pure

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 2, 2011

To Keep the Heart Pure

Not to commit evil, but to practice all good, and to keep the heart pure: This is the teaching of the Buddha.

“To keep the heart pure” means to try to keep the mind uncluttered. It does not mean that we are saintly. It means that we are reasonably aware, reasonably caring, open to ourselves and to others, and not influenced by hatred, greed, or delusion.
– Martine Batchelor, "The Precepts: A Special Practice Section"

I Am Made Only of Non-Me Elements: Thich Nhat Han, Library of Congress Talk

October 26, 2011. Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building, at the Library of Congress.. Washington DC is the final stop on the 2011 North American Tour before Thay returns to France.

Annual Walter Capps-Bill Emerson Memorial Lecture co-hosted by Faith and Politics Institute, U.S. Institute of Peace and Walter K. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life. Introductions by Mark Farr, Congresswoman JoAnn Emerson (R-MO) and Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-CA).

We need a spiritual dimension in our lives. With a spiritual dimension, we can overcome our difficulties. It is important to move beyond the intellectual dimension and bring the body and mind together. We can nourish and restore ourselves in order to help other people. In our practice we can see that we are made of non-me elements. This is a wonder. The wonder of the Kingdom of God. Breathing in, we can be present right now. This can link the body and the mind.

Mindfulness is always mindfulness of something. And mindfulness can be generated by us. Happiness arises from compassion. Understanding suffering gives rise to compassion. Terrorists are victims of misunderstanding and wrong perceptions. In order to remove terrorism, we must remove wrong perceptions. It can’t be done with bombs and killing. We need compassion, not the energy of fear and suspicion.

A member of congress is a cell in the body of the congress. Each cell has a responsibility to provide clarity, compassion, and courage. We can nourish the congress and make it a healthy body. Mindfulness can help cultivate these qualities. We can generate a feeling of happiness, a feeling of joy. Then we can also handle a painful feeling or emotion.

Mindfulness of compassion is what we need. We use loving speech and compassionate listening. Hearing examples of reconciliation makes this real and practical.

Making good use of our suffering. We can listen to the suffering inside of us, the other person, and in the world. We don’t run away from it. We can cultivate peace and understanding from this place of suffering. Thay’s vision is our understanding the suffering.
We conclude with a few questions.

For a video of the Dharma talk visit...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

T.D.D. --- Curious Attention

Tricycle Daily Dharma November 1, 2011

Curious Attention

Take a walk and let yourself be called to a particular tree. Stay with the tree awhile to study, look, feel, smell, and sense it. Listen to it as wind rustles its branches. Bask in its shade in the midday sun. Get to know it at different times of the day and in different seasons. How is it connected with life around it? How do you get to know it, and which senses do you use? Feel the difference between your idea of the tree and the rich textural experience of it. Notice the impulse to move on because of impatience, resistance, or boredom. When you feel you "know it," what does that do to the sense of curiosity and mystery? Can you maintain interest even when you think you have reached the end of your exploration? Is it possible to fully know what a tree really is? Start to bring this curious attention to all that you meet.
– Mark Coleman, "A Breath of Fresh Air"

Monday, October 31, 2011

T.D.D. --- Your Beautiful Refrigerator

Tricycle Daily Dharma October 31, 2011

Your Beautiful Refrigerator
For all its value, your refrigerator doesn't need much when it comes to maintenance. You clean its handles and wipe off the outside surfaces with a damp cloth. Periodically, you clean off the coils, wipe up interior spills, and remove any contents that have become undesirable. Not much more is needed. As you do this minimal cleaning, you might think for a moment about the poet Shinkei (1406-75), who thought that nowhere in the world was there anything more beautiful than or as exquisite as ice.

– Gary Thorp, "Infinite Winter"

Sunday, October 30, 2011

T.D.D. --- Our servant, the mind

Tricycle Daily Dharma October 30, 2011

Our servant, the mind

When we look for the mind, we can't find any shape, or color, or form. This mind that we identify as the self, which we could call ego-mind, controls everything we do. Yet it can't actually be found—which is somewhat spooky, as if a ghost were managing our home. The house seems to be empty, but all the housework has been done. The bed has been made, our shoes have been polished, the tea has been poured, and the breakfast has been cooked. The funny thing is that we never question this. We just assume that someone or something is there. But all this time, our life has been managed by a ghost, and it's time to put a stop to it. On one hand, ego-mind has served us—but it hasn't served us well.
– Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, "Searching for Self"

Saturday, October 29, 2011

T.D.D. --- What's so great about mindfulness?

Tricycle Daily Dharma October 29, 2011

What's so great about mindfulness?

The current myth among some meditation circles is that the more mindful we are, the more beauty we'll perceive in mundane objects. To the mind with bare attention, even the suds in the dishpan—as their bubbles glint and wink in the light—are windows on a divine radiance. That's the myth. But the truth is almost the opposite: in fact, the more mindfulness we have, the less compelling sense-objects seem, until at last we lose all desire for them. It's true that strong concentration can seem to intensify colors, sounds, and so forth. But concentration alone doesn't lead to insight or awakening. To say that mindfulness makes the winter sky more sublime, or the act of doing the dishes an exercise in wonder, chafes against the First Noble Truth.
– Cynthia Thatcher, "What's So Great About Now?"

Friday, October 28, 2011

The mosquito is the cause of our enlightenment: Lama Yeshe

Concentrate on the mosquito that is biting us and think, "The numberless buddhas are born from bodhisattvas, and the bodhisattvas are born from bodhicitta. The loving compassion thought, bodhicitta, is received from each sentient being. It is received from this mosquito who is biting me now." So now, think, "My entire happiness is completely received from this mosquito." If we think like this, it is unbearable to kill the mosquito.

T.D.D. --- Put your body to good use

Tricycle Daily Dharma October 28, 2011

Put your body to good use
What should you do to put your body to good use? Most people have no idea. A craftsman who borrows some tools will try to make the best possible use of them while they are available. Your body, too, is actually on loan to you for the time being, for the brief period left before it is taken back from you by death. Had you better not use it to practice the dharma while you can?

– Dilgo Khyentse, "The Day After You Die"

Thursday, October 27, 2011

T.D.D. --- We must grow weary of craving

Tricycle Daily Dharma October 27, 2011

We must grow weary of craving

We’re stuck on feeling like a monkey stuck in a tar trap. A glob of tar is placed where a monkey will get its hand stuck and, in trying to pull free, the monkey gets its other hand, both feet, and eventually its mouth stuck, too. Consider this: Whatever we do, we end up stuck right here at feeling and craving. We can't separate them out. We can't wash them off. If we don't grow weary of craving, we're like the monkey stuck in the glob of tar, getting ourselves more and more trapped all the time.
– Upasika Kee Nanayon, "A Glob of Tar"

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

T.D.D. --- Speaking all day long

Tricycle Daily Dharma October 26, 2011

Speaking all day long

Only the noble ones who enter the refined attainment of cessation, where feeling and perception stop, are able to stop speaking. Aside from them, everyone’s speaking all day and all night long. And especially those who vow not to speak: They talk more than anyone else, it’s simply that they don’t make a sound that others can hear.
– Phra Ajaan Dune Atulo, "If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say"

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

T.D.D. --- When You Prepare Food

Tricycle Daily Dharma October 25, 2011

When You Prepare Food

When you prepare food, do not see with ordinary eyes and do not think with ordinary mind. Take up a blade of grass and construct a treasure king's land; enter into a particle of dust and turn the great dharma wheel. Do not arouse disdainful mind when you prepare a broth of wild grasses; do not arouse joyful mind when you prepare a fine cream soup. Where there is no discrimination, how can there be distaste? Thus, do not be careless even when you work with poor materials, and sustain your efforts even when you have excellent materials. Never change your attitude according to the materials. If you do, it is like varying your truth when speaking with different people; then you are not a practitioner of the way.
– Zen Master Dogen, "Instructions for the Tenzo"

Monday, October 24, 2011

T.D.D. --- The Root of Happiness

Tricycle Daily Dharma October 24, 2011

The Root of Happiness

It takes some training to equate complete letting go with comfort. But in fact, "nothing to hold on to" is the root of happiness. There's a sense of freedom when we accept that we're not in control. Pointing ourselves toward what we would most like to avoid makes our barriers and shields permeable.
– Pema Chödrön, "The In-between State"

Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection

Sunday, October 23, 2011

T.D.D. --- Beyond Positive and Negative

Tricycle Daily Dharma October 23, 2011

Beyond Positive and Negative

Entering the awakened state of mind, even for a moment, is always preceded by an experience, however fleeting, of extreme contrast and conflict. Even on the highest and most subtle levels of attainment, negative and positive continue together side by side, until one makes the leap beyond them both.
– Francesca Freemantle, "The Luminous Gap in Bardo"

Saturday, October 22, 2011

T.D.D. --- Sitting Regularly

Tricycle Daily Dharma October 22, 2011

Sitting Regularly

Plan to sit at the same time each day. One of the benefits of doing this is that one gets to know the mind that doesn’t want to sit. Personally, I like to sit immediately upon waking up in the morning. For many people, this seems to be a good time, before we become engaged in the activities of the day. But if you have small children or a demanding job, this may not be possible. And some of us have rebellious natures, so any routine presents a problem. Then we need to be flexible.
– Narayan Liebenson Grady, "The Refuge of Sitting"

Friday, October 21, 2011

T.D.D. --- Right Interest

Tricycle Daily Dharma October 21, 2011

Right Interest

Right effort is effort with wisdom. Because where there is wisdom, there is interest. The desire to know something is wisdom at work. Being mindful is not difficult. But it’s difficult to be continuously aware. For that you need right effort. But it does not require a great deal of energy. It’s relaxed perseverance in reminding yourself to be aware. When you are aware, wisdom unfolds naturally, and there is still more interest.
– Sayadaw U Tejaniya, "The Wise Investigator"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"A man approached ...

"A man approached the Blessed One and wanted to have all his philosophical questions answered before he would practice. In response, the Buddha said, It is as if a man had been wounded by a poisoned arrow and when attended to by a physician were to say, I will not allow you to remove this arrow until I have learned the caste, the age, the occupation, the birthplace, an...d the motivation of the person who wounded me. That man would die before having learned all this. In exactly the same way, anyone who should say, I will not follow the teaching of the Blessed One until the Blessed One has explained all the multiform truths of the world-that person would die before the Buddha had explained all this."

~from the Majjhima Nikaya