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March 25, 2009

Your Favorite Place to Sit

Do you have a favorite place to sit? Post a picture of it at the group Tricycle Community member David F. has created. More »
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March 25, 2009

You Are Not Your Brain

The Dalai Lama was taken to task when he suggested that there was more to consciousness than its neural components. Now, from a somewhat different point of view, UC Berkeley philosophy professor Alva Noe is arguing that three's more to consciousness than gray matter. In a Salon interview about his recent book Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, Noe lays out his argument. Unlike many Buddhists, though, he is not arguing for the immateriality of mind,  rather: More »
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March 25, 2009

Cushion or Chair?

I used to hear that only wimps gave up the cushion for the chair. But whether because of age or injury or a simple disinclination, many meditators have opted for the chair anyway. Today I hear teachers routinely tell us that it's just fine to sit in a chair, though usually at the back of the meditation hall, far from the action. I have to admit, I've never been one to do it. When I had knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus, for instance, I meditated lying down until I healed. I just didn't like the idea of sitting in a chair. But many meditators, for one reason or another, do, and I can't see anything wrong with it. So a few years back, I was receptive when our copy editor, longtime Triker Karen Ready (she predates even me), wrote a practical guide to sitting in a chair, replete with pictures. (She presented other alternatives as well, coming into my office one day with an odd contraption—lots of Velcro and straps—that was supposed to support the lower back. More »
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March 24, 2009

Tibetan Portrait Exhibit

This Sunday, the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art in Staten Island, New York will open a new exhibit called Tibetan Portrait: The Power of Compassion. When we first got our hands on some of the photographs at the Tricycle offices, they seemed a perfect fit for our upcoming Summer 2009 issue, which will feature an article by Stephen Batchelor on the Tibetan Diaspora (2009 is the fiftieth anniversary of the 1959 Chinese invasion of Tibet). Although it looks like we'll be including different art for the article (and some AP archival photography!), this exhibit is not to be missed. More »
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March 23, 2009

What have you changed your mind about?

Tricycle asked seventeen practitioners: What in Buddhism have you changed your mind about, and why? You can see their answers here. Take a look and post your own response! More »
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March 23, 2009

Brainwave at the RMA

Brainwave kicked off at the Rubin Museum of Art on February 27th with Tricycle editor James Shaheen interviewing Buddhist psychotherapist Mark Epstein. Upcoming participants include author Peter Matthiessen, scholar Donald S. Lopez, Jr., author Daniel Goleman, and meditation teacher Geoffrey Shugen Arnold. Tricycle: The Buddhist Review is one of the co-sponsors of this event. This is the second Brainwave event RMA has put on. From their website: RMA's second annual BRAINWAVE explores the intersection of mind and matter with nearly fifty different events, including discussions with some of the world's premier artists and neuroscientists. More »
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March 23, 2009

Live the Life You Wish to Live

What if this year were your last? Steven and Ondrea Levine explain the value of living as if it were when asked why it makes practical to ponder the inevitable: "We are all going to die. If we could bring that reality into our heart, that would be a practice unto itself. The last time Ondrea and I spoke with the Dalai Lama, he asked us what were working on. I told him we were writing a book called A Year To Live, which explores the practice of living as if the present year were our last. He wondered whether people who started this practice would run amok. In other words, if they imagined the end was coming, wouldn’t they just grab a lady or a guy and a bottle of tequila and head for the beach? And that’s what we thought as well. More »
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March 20, 2009

Translating the Sutras

A number of Tibetan translation groups around the world have set an impressive (and exciting!) goal: to translate all of the sutras into English. In support of this undertaking, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche has initiated an online petition, which will be presented this weekend to over fifty translators in Bir, India at the Translating the Words of the Buddha Conference. The translation groups are hoping to get 10,000 signatures by tomorrow (Saturday), so time is of the essence. Sign the petition here, and check out the associated facebook page. More »
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March 19, 2009

Your Art in Tricycle?

We're busy at the magazine designing the Summer 09 issue. A fun part of this time in our quarterly cycle is researching artwork, which mostly involves rummaging around gallery and artist websites. I was surprised to discover a new place for compelling artwork—Tricycle's community page! Check out the PHOTOS page on to see reader's altars, stunning vistas from their recent travels, vibrant landscapes, and colorful characters. Who knows, one of the images there might end up on the pages of Tricycle. More »
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March 18, 2009

Guided Meditation

New at the Tricycle Community: Pat Enkyo O'Hara Roshi offers a 22-minute guided meditation. It's great for beginniners or those who could use a boost to their practice on Day 24 of the Big Sit! This is about the time when our energy begins to flag a bit so it always helps to sit with someone or be led in meditation. Try it out, it can't hurt! More »
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March 17, 2009

Lopez on Buddhism and Science, Padmasambhava on avoiding false teachers, Dogen on sitting

Danny Fisher points us to a piece by Buddhologist Donald S. Lopez, Jr. discussing his new book, Buddhism and Science, a cultural history of claims that Buddhism anticipated or is compatible with science, particularly the theories of Einstein. (Buddha and Einstein go way back.) More »
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March 17, 2009

Bernie's Buddhist Birthday Bash

Roshi Bernie Glassman recently celebrated his 70th birthday in style. From a press release we just received: On March 12, 100 friends, supporters and students gathered in New York City to celebrate at V & T's Pizza Restaurant, where Bernie, as he prefers to be known, would go with participants at the end of his Street Retreats. More »
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March 16, 2009

The Heart of Buddhist Practice

The heart of this teaching is zazen, or meditation in a sitting posture, from which all understanding derives. This, in case you were wondering why we called our first Tricycle Community offering "The Big Sit." The quote is from Dogen scholar Kazuaki Tanahashi's Enlightenment Unfolds: The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Dogen. Each week we'll be exploring Kaz's introduction to Dogen's teachings in our weekly Tricycle Community discussions. If you'd like to join us in the discussion, here's the first part and here's the second. More »
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March 15, 2009

"Zen and the Art of Social Networking"

The use of "Zen and the Art of" when you don't know what else to call your article is so shameless and hackneyed that any offender caught so doing should be mercilessly pilloried, but this latest from the Huffington Post actually links good behavior on social networking sites with Eastern wisdom, in this case Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, which in the common idiom is the same thing as Zen. So, like, whatever. More »
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March 13, 2009

The Dalai Lama Goes to Albany

Skidmore and Rensselaer decline to host the World Ethical Foundations Consortium run by the controversial group Nxivm. UPDATE: Or not. Controversy over Nxivm's "cult following" the cause. More »
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March 11, 2009

Freeman and Tibet- "Race riots"

There's a lot of buzz in the conservative media about Chas Freeman, who recently withdrew from consideration to head the National Intelligence Council. Did his comments on Tibet play a part (or was it all the Israel lobby?) In Freeman's world, those who protest against such human rights tragedies simply have over-active imaginations. In remarks made in March 2007 he noted that "those who wish America to go abroad in search of monsters to destroy can always find one worthy of our attention there. More »
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March 10, 2009

Dalai Lama criticizes China

On the 50th anniversary of the uprising that led to his exile, the Dalai Lama criticizes China: In his speech on Tuesday, the Dalai Lama reiterated that such autonomy had been promised to Tibet by Mao and other senior Chinese leaders whom he met in Beijing in 1954 and 1955. More »
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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 »
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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 »