How to Handle Grief When Equanimity Isn’t Enough 

Our path isn’t about escaping this world, it’s about becoming more intimate with it. By David Loy It’s sometimes said that life is a precious gift, but I wonder if that’s the best metaphor. Is it better to understand one’s life as a loan? A loan that can be called in at any time, sometimes with no warning at all. We are reminded never to take it for granted. Does that make our lives even more precious? We naturally seek stability and security, but Buddhist teachings emphasize that everything is impermanent and insubstantial. The world isn’t a collection of separate things: … Continue reading How to Handle Grief When Equanimity Isn’t Enough 

Behind the Quest for Eternal Life

In “The Price of Immortality,” journalist Peter Ward explores the frontiers of longevity science and pseudoscience. BY JENNY MORBER AT FIRST GLANCE, one might assume that Peter Ward’s “The Price of Immortality: The Race to Live Forever” is yet another book promising secrets to regain youth, restore health, and outlive those who lack the knowledge or willpower to cheat time. But this is no self-help book. Instead, it evaluates with a journalist’s eye our best attempts at life extension, the drama and personalities of the people who surround them, and whether immortality is something humankind should be striving for at all. In his … Continue reading Behind the Quest for Eternal Life

Trusting the Unknown

Help in making decisions big and small By Kaira Jewel Lingo Do you have the patience to waittill your mud settles and the water is clear?Can you remain unmovingtill the right action arises by itself? —Lao-tzu (trans. Stephen Mitchell) Ispent fifteen years as a nun in the Plum Village community of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (whom we affectionately call Thay, or “Teacher” in Vietnamese). Often people would ask Thay what to do when facing big life decisions, like which career path to take, whether to separate from or stay with their partner, or whether to ordain as a monastic. Thay would often … Continue reading Trusting the Unknown

Some Reflections on Human Life: “Nothing Short of a Miracle”

Though our lifetimes are fleeting on a cosmic scale, we experience them as long and adventurous. Focus on this and you will be naturally motivated to make the most of life. By Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa KarmapaMAY 16, 2022 These leisures and endowments, which are so difficult to obtain, have been acquired, and they bring about the welfare of all. If one fails to take this favorable opportunity into consideration, how could this occasion occur again? Just as lightning illuminates the darkness of a cloudy night for an instant, in the same way, by the power of the … Continue reading Some Reflections on Human Life: “Nothing Short of a Miracle”

Zen Is Not a Democracy

Brad Warner discusses ethics, Zen, and his new book The Other Side of Nothing Interview with  Brad Warner by Tricycle Brad Warner has been a notable figure in Zen in the West since the publication of his first book, Hardcore Zen, in 2003. His blog of the same title was a prominent landmark in online Buddhist discourse as Buddhist communities ventured online two decades ago. Warner is a bass guitarist in a punk band, and his teaching style often has an irreverent exterior.  On the cover of his new book, The Other Side of Nothing (New World Library, May 2022) the Buddha sports a spiky blue … Continue reading Zen Is Not a Democracy

The Science of Bad Vibes: Can Some Places Really Hold Onto Negative Energy?

PATRICK CHONDON / EYEEMGETTY IMAGES Our physical surroundings—plus a few tricks of the human mind—could literally give us the heebie-jeebies. Our habitat may not be as neutral as we perceive it to be. According to one theory, some places hold onto leftover traces of emotions from people who previously lived there. In another theory, spots like tunnels, sewers, or geological faults wreck Earth’s natural vibration—and maybe even your health. BY STAV DIMITROPOULOS Visitors to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland report feelings of tightness in their chests, nervousness in their hands, and feelings of depression—it’s almost like the place is haunted by tremendous amounts of bad energy. … Continue reading The Science of Bad Vibes: Can Some Places Really Hold Onto Negative Energy?

The Bare Bones of Your Being

Try a “skeletal scan” meditation to help cultivate a new awareness of your body. By Wes Nisker The neck bone’s connected to the head bone, the head bone’s connected to the angel bone, the angel bone’s connected to the god bone. . .             — Jack Kerouac  Lately, I’ve been reflecting on my bones; even focusing mindfulness and meditating on them. This is one part of a general study I have undertaken to try to understand what we inherit from biological evolution and how that knowledge can inform our practice of dharma. The best way to explain this work is to offer … Continue reading The Bare Bones of Your Being

The way of dharma

How do ancient stories of talking elephants and singing birds encourage a life of truth, nonviolence and compassion? Keerthik Sasidharan is a writer whose work has appeared in The Hindu, The Caravan and other publications. He is the author of The Dharma Forest (2019). He lives in New York. As a child, for every summer vacation, my parents took me to Kerala in southern India to spend three months with my aunt in her large family-estate. It was an age before televisions were widely available and therefore at night-time she told us stories from the vast oeuvre of Indian mythologies called the ‘puranas’. These … Continue reading The way of dharma

Don’t Fear the Reaper

Life is uncertain. Love is not. By Susan Moon Iwasn’t at the hospital for the surgery, but Melody and her husband, Mischa, sat in the lobby beside the operating room for the whole three hours while Dr. P. threaded a tube from Friedel’s groin up through the artery, all the way to her neck, and put in a stent. When it was done, Melody called me to say that it had gone well, that Friedel came out of it smiling, and that Dr. P., also smiling, declared, “I’m proud of her!” Melody said, “Friedel’s powerful life force triumphed!” Death receded. When … Continue reading Don’t Fear the Reaper

What Happens When We Die

“How can a creature who will certainly die have an understanding of things that will exist forever?” BY MARIA POPOVA When my atheist engineer grandfather died, my atheist engineer grandmother leaned over the body in the hospice bed that had contained half a century of shared life and love, cradled the cranium in which his stubborn and sensitive mind had dwelt, and whispered into the halogen-lit ether: “Where did you go, my darling?” Whatever our beliefs, these sensemaking playthings of the mind, when the moment of material undoing comes, we — creatures of moment and matter — simply cannot fathom … Continue reading What Happens When We Die