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March 09, 2009

Beastie Boys film

Oscilloscope Laboratories, the film distribution company started by Beastie Boy and Buddhist Adam Yauch, will be releasing the Buddhist documentary Unmistaken Child on June 12th at the Film Forum in New York City. From Oscilloscope: The Buddhist concept of reincarnation, while both mysterious and enchanting, is hard for most Westerners to grasp. UNMISTAKEN CHILD follows the 4-year-search for the reincarnation of Lama Konchog, a world-renowned Tibetan master who passed away in 2001 at age 84. The Dalai Lama charges the deceased monk's devoted disciple, Tenzin Zopa (who had been in his service since the age of seven), to search for his master's reincarnation, a child who may be anywhere in the world. Tenzin sets off on foot, mule and even helicopter, through breathtaking landscapes and remote traditional Tibetan villages. More »
Tricycle Community 11 comments

March 06, 2009

The Worst Buddhist in the World

Judith Warner of the New York Times writes on the feeling of abandonment when a friend gets into all that "mindfulness, the meditation and life practice that’s all the rage now in psychotherapy, women’s magazines, even business journals, as a way to stay calm, manage anger and live sanely." She then discusses Mary Pipher's new book: “It helps to realize we are not alone,” the psychologist Mary Pipher writes in her new book, “Seeking Peace: Chronicles of the Worst Buddhist in the World,” an account of how mindfulness meditation helped her recover from the depression and self-depletion that followed the surprise success of her huge 1994 hit, “Reviving Ophelia” and subsequ More »
Tricycle Community 2 comments

March 05, 2009

What Does Being a Buddhist Mean to You?

Re: The Economic Meltdown Tricycle used to run a regular column called "What Does Being a Buddhist Mean to You?" in which we included readers' responses to various important topics—anger, anti-aging cream, what Bill Clinton will come back as in the next life... We're thinking about starting the whole thing back up again, so here's your shot at a Tricycle fifteen minutes of fame: head over to the Tricycle Community page and join the group "What Does Being a Buddhist Mean to You? More »
Tricycle Community 2 comments

March 05, 2009

Big Sit, Day 11

My turn to answer the door buzzer today. This is turning into a peculiar exercise: the hovering keisaku, an ever-present threat to our meditation. But a funny thing: it ended up being more of a threat to my seductive train of thought than anything else. Sitting back down after answering it, the elaborate fantasies of a few minutes ago were nowhere to be found (even if I had managed to pick up a few new ones along the way). More »
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March 04, 2009

Tea and Sympathy

Day 10 of the Big Sit and we haven't sat in the Tricycle office yet today... too busy! Meanwhile two new articles up on the website: Family Dharma: The Sacred and the Ordinary in which Beth Roth describes how she integrates Buddhist elements into her family's Sabbath services, and Tasting: Tea by Phyllis Segura about the essential pause only tea can bring. [Photo © Phyllis Segura] More »
Tricycle Community 5 comments

March 03, 2009

Karmapa rising

Check out this Reuters article on Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the most widely recognized claimant to the title of 17th Karmapa. It's part of a growing trend to identify the Karmapa as "the next Dalai Lama." Given the Dalai Lama's cultural currency worldwide, this has serious political implications. All claims to the Dalai Lama's legacy involve a degree of strategic positioning. The current controversy between Ogyen Trinley Dorje's followers and those who recognize Trinley Thaye Dorje instead—and the role of the various governments and religious orders involved—only amplifies it this time around. The Karmapa himself will have a great deal of influence on the situation, and he has hinted that maybe he doesn't want to assume any spiritual leadership role as sweeping as the fourteenth Dalai Lama's. More »
Tricycle Community 1 comment

March 03, 2009

The Big Sit, Day 9

Seconds before the closing bell sounded today, our door buzzer (an ever-present threat to office sits) interrupted. It was an NYU student looking for some Tricycle back issues to help with a research project. Good thing we had just sat...the history of unannounced visitors to the Tricycle offices includes some harrowing episodes. More »
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March 03, 2009

Tibetan monk sets himself on fire

Tragic echoes of Vietnam, and a sign (as if one was needed) that Tibetan autonomy is a necessity now. Read the Times blurb here. More »
Tricycle Community 5 comments

March 02, 2009

The Big Sit, Day 8 — Don't jump out the window

Four of us sat together in the office today. Managing Editor Alex Kaloyanides was master of ceremonies as usual. I had a hard sit -- I was anxious and hungry and I was impatient for the bell to ring. But then surprisingly toward the end there was, maybe, a small hole in the clouds and the sun came through and so when the bell did ring I felt good and took my time standing up. As Thanissaro Bhikkhu said in our Meditator's Toolbox (Spring 2007): When you end your meditation, be very careful with how you open your eyes. Try to maintain your center inside rather than letting it flow outside. Then, maintaining your center, get up from the cushion and keep the center inside as long as you can. More »
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March 01, 2009

The Big Sit, Day 7

A quiet morning sit with snow all around. Back to the grind tomorrow! More »
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February 28, 2009

The Big Sit, Day 6

Day 6 -- the weekend. Weekends are more difficult for me personally partly because I am in the extremely unusual (and fortunate) position of being able to sit at work! So my weekend sits are like most people's weekly sits... anyway, all went well. Hope everyone else had a nice first weekend sit as well! More »
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February 27, 2009

The Big Sit, Day 5

A few minutes into our daily sit at the Tricycle offices, I remembered something terribly important that needed to be taken care of, and soon. It was so important, in fact, that I considered getting up from the cushion and attending to it. Did it have to do with my flight this evening to Detroit, where I'm visiting family for the weekend? An art permissions request gone terribly wrong for the upcoming Summer 2008 issue? The mattress being delivered to my apartment this afternoon? I'm not sure. But I do know that I'll be reminded shortly. More »
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February 26, 2009

The Big Sit, Day 4

We had a good sit in the Tricycle office today. (I was seeing city patterns in the carpet.) Here's what's new on the Big Sit site: The Weekly Discussion topic on the Precepts is generating some heat, but the teachers haven't weighed in yet. (Two of them, Josho Pat Phelan of the Chapel Hill Zen Center and Elihu Genmyo Smith of the Prairie Zen Center, contributed dharma talks, which you can read on the Discussion page. More »
Tricycle Community 12 comments

February 26, 2009

The Big Sit, Day 3

Day 3: No mailmen interrupting us today! The sit felt a bit long for me personally. We used a mediatation timer we all loved (until we found out how expensive it was!) There's so much discussion over this, we plan to have a feature on how people time their sits over on the Big Sit site -- free online ones, ones on your iPhone if you're lucky enough to have one, using an incense stick of a certain length, a kitchen timer... More »
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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 »
Tricycle Community 9 comments

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 »
Tricycle Community 1 comment

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 »
Tricycle Community 8 comments

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 »