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February 26, 2009

Tibetan New Year (Losar)

Just in time for the Tibetan New Year (Losar), China closes Tibet to foreign tourists. (HT: Danny Fisher.) And  some Tibetans think there is no reason to celebrate: "There was a war in Lhasa this year. Lots of Tibetans were killed." More »
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February 25, 2009

Contribute to Tricycle's Retreat Guide

Tricycle is putting together a retreat guide for the magazine and we’d like your input. Please complete this survey to let us know about the kinds of retreats you find fruitful. All readers who complete the survey will be entered in a raffle to win a copy of Tricycle’s new book, Commit to Sit: Tools for Cultivating a Meditation Practice. More »
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February 25, 2009

The Unwinking Gaze

Check out the trailer for The Unwinking Gaze, a film from English director and producer Joshua Dugdale that examines the Dali Lama's role in the geopolitics of China and Tibet. From the film's website: The Unkwinking Gaze was filmed over a period of three years with exceptional access showing the daily agonies of the Tibetan leader as he tries to strike a balance between his Buddhist vows and the realpolitik needed to placate China. The film includes original interview footage and can be purchased here. More »
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February 24, 2009

The Big Sit, Day 2

The sit in the Tricycle office was going well but everyone in the office was sitting so when the door buzzer buzzed, the person closest to the door (yours truly) had to get up and get what turned out to be the mail. So already a snag on Day 2! But I'll have a do-over later, after work. I hope everyone else's sitting is going well! More »
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February 24, 2009

Buddhism by Numbers

We've been getting an unusually large number of calls and emails lately from readers interested in "Buddhism by Numbers," a Fall 2008 article by Hoko Jan Karnegis that details the latest stats on Buddhist demographics in the United States. In case you missed it, here's a link to the online version. What we don't have, unfortunately for those who have inquired, is any information about the percentage of American Buddhists who consider themselves practitioners of Zen, Theravada, Tibetan, Pure Land, etc. While this would certainly be interesting to find out, I wonder if these figures might be misleading in a country where Buddhism is so greatly influenced by the "One Dharma" approach. More »
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February 23, 2009

The Big Sit, Day 1

The Big Sit starts today! If you're interested in challenging yourself to meditate every 90 days while enjoying the support of a community, this is the place for you! More »
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February 20, 2009

What Is Engaged Buddhism?

One more event to watch out for while you're visiting BRAINWAVE at the nearby Rubin Museum: the Buddhist Council of New York will hold its annual forum at the Still Mind Zendo on March 28th. This year the conference will ask participants “What is Engaged Buddhism?" The details: Date: Saturday, March 28th, 2009 Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm (registration with light breakfast will begin at 9:30am and lunch will be served at 11:30am) Location: Still Mind Zendo, 37 West 17th Street, 6th floor, New York, New York (between 5th and 6th Avenues) If you have any questions, contact either Judy Chen at 914-469-3352 or siscuscus@yahoo.com, or Jeff Thompson at mediator.jeff@gmail.com. Rubin Museum of Art has also offered a free tour after the Forum. To rsvp please contact Judy as well. More »
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February 20, 2009

BRAINWAVE

The Rubin Museum of Art in New York is hosting a two-month event—BRAINWAVE—from February 21 to April 23 that will "explore the intersection of mind and matter" with discussions among artists, Buddhists, neuroscientists, and other interesting people. The festival kicks off with a screening of the film Dalai Lama Renaissance and will include an exchange between Mark Epstein and Tricycle's own James Shaheen. Other names to watch out for include Paul Simon, Laurie Anderson, Sharon Salzberg, Lewis Black, R.L. Stine, Peter Sellars, Peter Matthiessen, Daniel Goleman, and Donald S. Lopez. The BRAINWAVE tagline? "It could change your mind." hmm... More »
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February 20, 2009

Zen Litter Box

Why was this rejected? More »
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February 18, 2009

A moment of calm...

...ten minutes really, with Tara Brach, courtesy of Beliefnet. More »
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February 17, 2009

Jan Willis named 2009 Outstanding Woman in Buddhism

Wesleyan professor of religion and East Asian studies Jan Willis has been named "Outstanding Woman in Buddhism" for 2009 and will be presented with the award in Bangkok, Thailand later this year. Read an informative article on her achievements here. A member of Students for a Democratic Society in the 1960s and an active participant in the civil rights movement, Willis has written about her extraordinary life in Dreaming Me. A second edition of the book was published last year by Wisdom Pubs, with a new afterword by Bettina Aptheker. More »
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February 15, 2009

Who Believes in Evolution?

A Pew chart, courtesy The Daily Dish: (Off the chart: Jehovah's Witnesses at 8%.) More »
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February 14, 2009

Dunkin' Dharma

"What's next?" asks Tricycle contributing editor and founding designer Frank Olinsky. "Donuts with enso icing?" More »
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February 13, 2009

Astrophysicist Adam Frank on Buddhism & Science

Yesterday was the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birthday and that makes it a good time to think about Buddhism’s proper place in the ongoing Religion vs. Science debate. So much of the public discussion about Science and Religion revolves endlessly around the pole of Evolution vs. Christian fundamentalism. This is a subject that seems beside the point to thoughtful practitioners of Buddhism. As a whole, Buddhist communities seem to be far more open to science and its worldview. More »
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February 13, 2009

Compassion Marathon

Like it or not St. Valentine's Day will soon be upon us and other than sittng around feeling sorry for yourself, what do you have planned? How about participating in a Compassion Marathon? This comes our way courtesy of Konchog of DODR. More »
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February 12, 2009

Ten Zen Questions

UK psychologist Susan Blackmore is a highly sought-after expert on a recurring theme in Buddhist inquiry: consciousness. She is the author of Consciousness: An Introduction, Conversations on Consciousness, A Very Short Introduction to Consciousness, and the acclaimed book The Meme Machine. We've just gotten our hands on her latest project, a synthesis of philosophy and practice entitled Ten Zen Questions. The stumpers Blackmore poses are not easy to get a handle on, but that is exactly the point: Am I conscious now? What was I conscious of a moment ago? When are you? What happens next? More »
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February 09, 2009

Tricycle Community Page

We've just launched the Tricycle Community page with "The Big Sit: Tricycle's 90-Day Zen Meditation Challenge." This is the first of many events to follow so we hope you'll join us at http://community.tricycle.com. Or just click on The Big Sit box on our home page. Participating teachers include: Pat Enkyo O'Hara Roshi; Joan Halifax Roshi; Josho Pat Phelan Sensei; Martine Batchelor; Dosho Port; Joan Hogetsu Hoeberichts, Sensei; Derrick Lo; Elihu Genmyo Smith; and Dairyu Michael Wenger. Stay tuned. We'll keep you up-to-date here and elsewhere. Our  e-newsletter will also keep you current. More »
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February 09, 2009

Dalai Lama Joins Twitter -- or not

Just as the Pope did, the DL is taking the plunge. Best of luck to him! Properly speaking it's the Office of the Dalai Lama. His handle? @OHHDL. But wait, that account seems to be down. Chinese government hackers? UPDATE: Or not. More »
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February 05, 2009

Master Sheng Yen's last teaching

Our thanks to Guogu (Dr. Jimmy Yu of Florida State University) for sharing Master Sheng Yen's death poem: Busy with nothing, growing old. Within emptiness, weeping, laughing. Intrinsically, there is no "I." Life and death, thus cast aside. More »
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February 04, 2009

What is Mindfulness?

A very good post over at One City where gzza compares two views of mindfulness, one from Thanissaro Bhikkhu and one from Henepola Gunaratana: In “Mindfulness Defined” (available free here), Thanissaro Bhikkhu writes: “The Buddha discovered that the way you attend to things is determined by what you see as important—the questions you bring to the practice, the problems you want the practice to solve. No act of attention is ever bare. If there were no problems in life you could open yourself up choicelessly to whatever came along. But the fact is there is a big problem smack dab in the middle of everything you do: the suffering that comes from acting in ignorance. This is why the Buddha doesn’t tell you to view each moment with a beginner’s eyes. More »