Tricycle Daily Dharma Readings

Tricycle’s Daily Dharma stands as a modern-day digital sanctuary, offering a daily infusion of Buddhist wisdom to those seeking solace and insight amidst the whirlwind of contemporary life. Each Daily Dharma entry is a beacon that illuminates the path to inner peace, mindfulness, and compassionate living, resonating with timeless teachings while engaging with the pulse of today’s world.

These daily reflections are not merely to be read; they are to be absorbed, contemplated, and actualized. They invite us to pause, breathe, and reconnect with the present moment, fostering a space where the mind can find balance and the heart can open to deeper understanding. The Daily Dharma serves as a reminder that enlightenment is not a distant goal but a journey that unfolds step by step, day by day.

The teachings encapsulated in these daily messages encourage us to confront the impermanence of existence, to embrace change as the only constant, and to release our grip on the transient. This wisdom is not just for the solitary meditator but for everyone navigating the complexities of life, from the bustling city streets to the quiet of one’s own room.

In an age where distractions are ubiquitous, Tricycle’s Daily Dharma is a touchstone for those yearning to cultivate a life of intention and ethical clarity. These snippets of dharma wisdom, drawn from a rich tapestry of Buddhist traditions, offer guidance for both personal transformation and collective harmony.

Engaging with Tricycle’s Daily Dharma is an act of self-care and an investment in personal growth. It is a commitment to viewing each day as an opportunity to deepen one’s practice, to live with purpose, and to contribute to a world in need of healing and compassion. As we integrate these teachings into our lives, we not only enrich our own spiritual journey but also contribute to the well-being of all beings.


A Complete Practice

When people talk about practicing the buddhadharma, I think they sometimes fail to realize that the buddhadharma is a comprehensive religious system. It doesn’t just mean sitting on your meditation cushion and focusing on your breath. Buddhism is a practice for your whole life.
– Charles Prebish, “Pursuing an American Buddhism”

A Gentle Effort

Mindfulness is cultivated by a gentle effort. Persistence and a light touch are the secrets. Mindfulness is cultivated by constantly pulling oneself back to a state of awareness, gently, gently, gently.
– Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, “Mindfulness and Concentration”

A Glimpse at Liberation

Nirvana manifests as ease, as love, as connectedness, as generosity, as clarity, as unshakable freedom. This isn’t watering down nirvana. This is the reality of liberation that we can experience, sometimes in a moment and sometimes in transformative ways that change our entire life.
– Jack Kornfield, “The Wise Heart”

A Life of Awareness

Many things help you with concentration, like chanting or bowing, so they can be useful parts of practice. But finally, there is no substitute for insightful seeing or for understanding how you create suffering for yourself; and in the process—in seeing into and through it—how to let go of it. It’s a life of awareness.
—Larry Rosenberg, “The Art of Doing Nothing”

A Mirror Reflects Everything

This moment is very important—whether the world is empty or not, whether it exists or not, doesn’t matter. Take away your opinion, then what? What is left? That is the point. Take away your opinion—your condition, situation—then your mind is clear like space. Clear like space means clear like a mirror. A mirror reflects everything: the sky is blue, tree is green, sugar is sweet.
—Zen Master Seung Sahn, “Boom!”

A Moment to Forget

‘Mindfulness, or awareness, does not mean that you should think and be
conscious “I am doing this” or “I am doing that.” No. Just the contrary. The
moment you think “I am doing this,” you become self-conscious, and then you
do not live in the action, but you live in the idea “I am,” and consequently
your work too is spoiled.
You should forget yourself completely, and lose yourself in what you do. The
moment a speaker becomes self-conscious and thinks “I am addressing an
audience,” his speech is distributed and his trend of thought broken. But
when he forgets himself in his speech, in his subject, then he is at his
best, he speaks well and explains things clearly.
All great work–artistic, poetic, intellectual or spiritual–is produced at
those moments when its creators are lost completely in their actions, when
they forget themselves altogether, and are free from self-consciousness.
— Walpola Rahula, in What the Buddha Taught
from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book

A Never-departing Shadow

All experience is preceded by mind,
Led by mind,
Made by mind.
Speak or act with a peaceful mind,
And happiness follows,
Like a never-departing shadow.
– The Buddha, “‘We are what we think.”

A Pure Mind

Experiences are preceded by mind, led by mind, and produced by mind. If one speaks or acts with a pure mind, happiness follows like a shadow that never departs.
– Gautama Buddha, “Rethinking Karma”

A Simple Understanding

Lord Buddha says that all you have to know is what you are, how you exist. You don’t have to believe anything. Just understand your mind; how it works, how attachment and desire arise, how ignorance arises, and where emotions come from. It is sufficient to know the nature of all that; that alone can bring you happiness and peace.
—Lama Yese, “Your Mind is Your Religion”

A Single Point

Once you have located your own breath point with clarity, don’t deviate from
that spot. Use this single point in order to keep your attention fixed.
Without having selected such a point, you will find yourself moving in and
out of the nose, going up and down the windpipe, eternally chasing after the
breath which you can never catch because it keeps changing, moving and
flowing. If you ever sawed wood you already know the trick. As a carpenter,
you don’t stand there watching the saw blade going up and down. You would
get dizzy. You fix your eyes on the spot where the teeth of the blade dig
into the wood. It is the only way you can saw a straight line. As a
meditator, you focus your attention on that single spot of sensation inside
the nose. From this vantage point, you watch the entire movement of breath
with clear and collected attention.
– Henepola Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English from Everyday Mind, a Tricycle book edited by Jean Smith

A Trustworthy Friend

If you really want to become skillful in your thoughts, words, and deeds, you need a trustworthy friend to point out your blind spots. And because those spots are blindest around your unskillful habits, the primary duty of a trustworthy friend is to point out your faults—for only when you see your faults can you correct them; only when you correct them are you benefiting from your friend’s compassion in pointing them out.
– Thanissaro Bhikkhu, “The Power of Judgment”

A Useful Mind

Like an umbrella, a mind is only useful when it is open. The first step toward maintaining an open mind is to understand the nature of mind or self.
—Gerry Shishin Wick Sensei, “Zen in the Workplace”

A Voice from the Outside

The recluse appears to be useless. He’s off in the middle of nowhere, doing nothing. And yet what he’s able to see because of his doing nothing is important for everyone. It would be nice if the shakers and the movers were able to see what the recluse sees, now and then.
– David Budbill, “A Voice from the Outside”

A Wider Identity

The force needed to empower wisdom is compassion. Both wisdom and compassion shift our sense of identity away from ourselves toward the wider human, biotic, and cosmic community to which we belong.
—Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, “The Need of the Hour”

Abandoning Distraction

Even on a small scale in daily life situations, such as when we feel bored or ill at ease, instead of trying to avoid these feelings by staying busy or buying another fancy gadget, we learn to look more clearly at our impulses, attitudes, and defenses. In this way dukkha guides and deepens our motivation to the point where we’ll say, ‘Enough running, enough walls, I’ll grow through handling my blocks and lost places.’
– Ajahn Sucitto, “Commentary on the Buddha’s First Teaching”

Abandoning Futile Endeavors

To look for total satisfaction in oneself is a futile endeavor. Since everything changes from moment to moment, where can self and where can satisfaction be found? Yet these are two things that the whole world is looking for and it sounds quite reasonable, doesn’t it? But since these are impossible to find, everybody is unhappy. Not necessarily because of tragedies, poverty, sickness, or death: simply because of unfilled desire. Everybody is looking for something that isn’t available.
– Ayya Khema, “No Satisfaction”

Abandoning the Transactional Mindset

Even in close relationships, spending time with a friend, even while helping others or doing other good works, if your attention is on what you are feeling, on what you are getting out of it, then you see these relationships as transactions. Because your focus is on how you are feeling, consciously or unconsciously you are putting yourself first and others second. This approach disconnects you from life, from the totality of your world.
– Ken McLeod, “Forget Happiness”>

Accessing our Inner Strength

Anxiety, heartbreak, and tenderness mark the in-between state. It’s the kind of place we usually want to avoid. The challenge is to stay in the middle rather than buy into struggle and complaint. The challenge is to let it soften us rather than make us more rigid and afraid. Becoming intimate with the queasy feeling of being in the middle of nowhere only makes our hearts more tender. When we are brave enough to stay in the middle, compassion arises spontaneously. By not knowing, not hoping to know, and not acting like we know what’s happening, we begin to access our inner strength.
– Pema Chodron, “The In-between State”

Act for the Benefit of Yourself and Others

Before acting, one should reflect, “Is this for the benefit of myself and others?” In the middle of an action, one should reflect, “Is what I am doing for the benefit of myself
and others?” And after any action, “Is what I just did for the benefit of myself and others?”
—Sylvia Boorstein, “Dear Abbey Dharma Fall 2011”

Action Without a Cause

True mindfulness has arisen when there is only the action but no doer.
—Ayya Khema, “No Satisfaction”

After the First Step

Free of stress and comfortable are two very different things. I think a lot of times people come to meditation to get more comfortable, and a lot of teachers are happy to teach them just that. But if you’re looking for deeper levels of happiness, if you’re looking to become totally free from stress, getting the mind comfortable is only the first step. It would be a big mistake, though—and a big waste—to get comfortable and then tell yourself that things don’t really matter, that everything’s just OK.
– Thanissaro Bhikkhu, “The Committee”

All You Need To Do

Just understand your mind: how it works, how attachment and desire arise, how ignorance arises, where emotions come from. It is sufficient to know the nature of all that; just that gives so much happiness and peace.
—Lama Thubten Yeshe, “Chocolate Cake”

An Unbroken Sequence

A stable, solid body is a mental image superimposed onto a stream of events in the same way that a spinning propeller is seen as a circle. The constant succession of discrete acts of cognition or feeling appears as a monolithic event, just as the rapid change of frames in a film appears as a smooth continuum.
-The Dalai Lama and Thubten Chodron, “An Unbroken Sequence”

Analyze Your Data

The role of awareness is the gathering of data. . . . When we have enough data for the problem at hand, the solution will always come.
– Sayadaw U Tejaniya, “Dissecting Anger in the Dharma Hall”


Buddhism stands unique in the history of human thought in denying the
existence of. . . a Soul, Self, or Atman. According to the teaching of the
Buddha, the idea of self is an imaginary, false belief which has no
corresponding reality, and it produces harmful thoughts of “me” and “mine,”
selfish desire, craving, attachment, hatred, ill-will, conceit, pride,
egoism, and other defilements, impurities and problems. It is the source of
all the troubles in the world from personal conflicts to wars between
nations. In short, to this false view can be traced all the evil in the
–Walpola Rahula, What the Buddha Taught
from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book

Anchor Yourself in the Present Moment

The practice of meditation isn’t confined . . . to what happens when we’re practicing sitting meditation. We want to learn to be present, to use the breath as an anchor to the present moment, to cultivate ease and wellbeing, in all postures, at all times.
—Peter Doobinin, “Tough Lovingkindness”

Anger Can Be Your Teacher

When you find yourself upset or angry, use the moment as a part of your practice, as an opportunity to notice and uproot the seeds of anger and move into the heart of genuine compassion.

—Jules Shuzen Harris, “Uprooting the Seeds of Anger”

Apply Yourself

If you separate from . . . everything you have done in the past, everything that disturbs you about the future . . . and apply yourself to living the life that you are living—that is to say, the present—you can live all the time that remains to you until your death in calm, benevolence, and serenity.
– Marcus Aurelius, “The Present Moment”

Arising and Passing

Whether pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral, gross or subtle, every sensation
shares the same characteristic: it arises and passes away, arises and passes
away. It is this arising and passing that we have to experience through
practice, not just accept as truth because Buddha said so, not just accept
because intellectually it seems logical enough to us. We must experience
sensation’s nature, understand its flux, and learn not to react to it.
—S.N. Goenka,

Asking Questions

Because people try to conquer others instead of gaining victory over themselves, there are problems. The Buddha taught that one should simply gain victory over oneself.
—Sayadaw U Pandita, “The Best Remedy”

Attending to the Present Moment

It does not matter how elaborate certain teachings or meditation techniques are, the fundamental aim is still to deal with immediate experience, here and now.
—Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche, “Accepting the Unacceptable”

Avoiding Strained Practice

With interest and investigation there’s wisdom. Effort alone, without wisdom—the way people generally understand it—is associated with strained activity because it is usually motivated by greed, aversion, and delusion. Effort with wisdom is a healthy desire to know and understand whatever arises, without any preference for the outcome.
– Sayadaw U Tejaniya, “The Wise Invesigator”

Awakening is Up to You

Breathing in, breathing out, feeling resentful, feeling happy, being able to
drop it, not being able to drop it, eating our food, brushing our teeth,
walking, sitting—whatever we’re doing could be done with one intention. That
intention is that we want to wake up, we want to ripen our compassion, and
we want to ripen our ability to let go, we want to realize our connection
with all beings. Everything in our lives has the potential to wake us up or
to put us to sleep. Allowing it to awaken us is up to us.
-Pema Chodron, from Comfortable With Uncertainty (Shambhala Publications)

Awareness Breaks the Spell

Seeing attachment, aversion, expectation, and disappointment as they arise allows the mind to understand and to disengage from them. Awareness breaks the spell; the mind is no longer enchanted when we see the defilement for what it is. When a defilement has no hold on the mind, suffering ceases.
—Steve Armstrong, “Got Attitude?”>

Awareness of Our Bodies

Most of the time we go through the day, through our activities, our work,
our relationships, our conversations, and very rarely do we ground ourselves
in an awareness of our bodies. We are lost in our thoughts, our feelings,
our emotions, our stories, our plans.
A very simple guide or check on this state of being lost is to pay attention
to those times when you feel like you are rushing. Rushing does not have to
do with speed. You can rush moving slowly, and you can rush moving quickly.
We are rushing when we feel as if we are toppling forward. Our minds run
ahead of ourselves; they are out there where we want to get to, instead of
being settled back in our bodies. The feeling of rushing is good feedback.
Whenever we are not present, right then, in that situation, we should stop
and take a few deep breaths. Settle into the body again. Feel yourself
sitting. Feel the step of the walk. Be in your body.
The Buddha made a very powerful statement about this: “Mindfulness of the
body leads to nirvana.” Such awareness is not a superficial practice.
Mindfulness of the body keeps us present.
— Joseph Goldstein, Transforming the Mind, Healing the World

Be Aware of Becoming Unaware

Every time you recognize that you have lost awareness, be happy. The fact that you have recognized that you lost awareness means that you are now aware.
—Sayadaw U Tejaniya, “The Art of Investigation”

Be with the Breath

A sense of ease and wellbeing with the breath can do a lot more for you than any amount of status, material gain, praise, outside pleasures—any of the ways of the world.
– Thanissaro Bhikkhu, “Less is More”

Becoming Honest about Who We Are

Meditation is a patient process of knowing that gradually over time, habits are dissolving. We don’t actually get rid of anything. We are just steadfast with ourselves, developing clearer awareness and becoming honest about who we are and what we do.
—Pema Chödrön, “Making Friends with Oneself”

Before It’s Too Late

There’s a wonderful Kagyu saying: “When we are young, we don’t realize the importance of dharma practice; when we are middle-aged, we think we are too busy to do it; and when we are old, it’s too late.”
—Reggie Ray, “The Power of Solitude”

Beginning Again

Beginning again and again is the actual practice, not a problem to be overcome so that one day we can come to the “real” meditation.
– Sharon Salzberg, “How to Forgive: A Meditation”

Being at Ease With Unease

Sitting every day requires sitting even when one does not feel like it, because that is when discomfort arises, and one can begin to become at ease with unease. This is easier said than done, but in the end that is precisely the point.
-Alex Tzelnic, “Meditation Is Not Always Bliss, and That’s a Good Thing”

Being with Pain

If you are new to meditation practice, you may well think that you have no
choice about how you experience suffering. You may have some problem from
your past or in your current situation that seems as though it can be
understood only as unrelenting pain—an abusive family history, a torturous
marriage, economic woes, a hideous wrong done to you, a disabled child whose
affliction breaks your heart. But if you give yourself the chance to
investigate your suffering more deeply, you will discover that being “with”
your pain can lead to wisdom and happiness. The event or circumstances
itself does not lose its unpleasantness or unfortunate quality, but by going
through it consciously you arrive at a peaceful and luminous state of mind.
–Phillip Moffitt, from Dancing With Life (Rodale)

Boredom, Impatience, and Fear

If we do a little of one kind of practice and a little of another, the work
we have done in one often doesn’t continue to build as we change to the
next. It is as if we were to dig many shallow wells instead of one deep one.
In continually moving from one approach to another, we are never forced to
face our own boredom, impatience, and fears. We are never brought face to
face with ourselves. So we need to choose a way of practice that is deep and
ancient and connected with our hearts, and then make a commitment to follow
it as long as it takes to transform ourselves.
–Jack Kornfield in A Path with Heart
from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book

Born Each Instant

When you maintain the straightforward frankness of your own mind as it comes to life each instant, even without effort, even without training, you are beautifully born each instant. You die with each instant, and go on to be born again, instant by instant.
– Soko Morinaga Roshi, “One Chance, One Encounter”

Brave Uncertainty

Anxiety, heartbreak, and tenderness mark the in-between state. It’s the kind of place we usually want to avoid. . . . When we are brave enough to stay in the middle, compassion arises spontaneously.
—Pema Chödrön, “The In-between State”

Breaking the Sadness Habit

At times our tendency is to indulge in sadness—we don’t want to get rid of it, we want more. But there are many other situations in which we can see clearly how much energy is invested in trying to get rid of sadness. Lots of energy is literally thrown into the desire to get rid of it. Of course, I am not referring to those small acts of wisdom in which one gets together to talk things over with a friend, for example, or goes into nature. I am referring to something compulsive, something obsessive—thinking, judging, reacting about how to get rid of this unpleasant feeling. We might as well talk about total nonacceptance of sadness; we might as well talk about aversion to sadness. A lot of energy goes into this desire.
– Corrado Pensa, “Breaking the Sadness Habit”

Breaking Through

It’s imperative for us to understand that spiritual practice is not just something we do when we’re sitting in meditation or when we’re on retreat. Failing to see everything as an opportunity for practice is a setup for frustration and disappointment, keeping us stuck where we are and limiting our possibilities for inner growth. The more we include in our practice, the more satisfying our life can be.
– Ezra Bayda, “Breaking Through”

Breathing Into the Present

When we place our full attention on the breath, we pull ourselves out of the past, away from the future, and directly into the present moment.
—Lauren Krauze, “Breathe Easy”

Buddha the Baker

Buddha was not interested in the elements comprising human beings, nor in
metaphysical theories of existence. He was more concerned about how he
himself existed in this moment. That was his point. Bread is made from
flour. How flour becomes bread when put in the oven was for Buddha the most
important thing. How we become enlightened was his main interest. The
enlightened person is some perfect, desirable character, for himself and for
others. Buddha wanted to find out how human beings develop this ideal
character–how various sages in the past became sages. In order to find out
how dough became perfect bread, he made it over and over again, until he
became quite successful. That was his practice.
–Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind from Everyday Mind, a Tricycle book edited by Jean Smith

Caught Up in Thoughts

The thoughts are not the problem. Thoughts are the nature of the mind. The problem is that we identify with them.
– Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, “No Excuses”