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"