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November 09, 2012

Buddhist, Hindu Make History in New Congress

Daniel Burke
(RNS) Congress will become a shade more religiously diverse this January, after Tuesday's (Nov. 6) election of the first Hindu representative and first Buddhist senator.Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii, will become the first Hindu-American congresswoman, after defeating her Republican rival on Tuesday.Ami Bera, a California doctor who was raised Hindu but now identifies as a Unitarian Universalist, according to the Hindu American Foundation, narrowly leads the race for California's 7th congressional district. More »
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November 09, 2012

Buddha Buzz: Buddhist News from Around the World, Week of November 5

As we all know, President Barack Obama was re-elected for another four years on Tuesday. Our commander-in-chief may not have changed, but the Senate and the House of Representatives did get shuffled around, making way for a whole host of firsts:   The first openly gay senator, Tammy Baldwin, a democrat from Wisconsin.       The first Hindu congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard, a democrat from Hawaii. (She'll be taking her oath over the Bhagavad Gita.)     More »
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November 08, 2012

Himalayan Buddhist Art 101: Noting Differences in Peaceful Appearance

Jeff Watt
Buddhist practice and Buddhist art have been inseparable in the Himalayas ever since Buddhism arrived to the region in the eighth century. But for the casual observer it can be difficult to make sense of the complex iconography. Not to worry—Himalayan art scholar Jeff Watt is here to help. In this "Himalayan Buddhist Art 101" series, Jeff is making sense of this rich artistic tradition by presenting weekly images from the Himalayan Art Resources archives and explaining their roles in the Buddhist tradition. This week Jeff teaches us how to differentiate between deities exhibiting peaceful appearances. Himalayan Art 101: Differentiating Among Peaceful Appearances More »
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November 07, 2012

Caption Contest: Win a Free One-Year Membership to Tricycle!

WIN A FREE MEMBERSHIP TO TRICYCLE! To mark the release of the Winter 2012 edition of Tricycle, which hit newsstands yesterday, we're hosting a caption contest right here on the Tricycle blog! First prize winner gets a free one-year supporting membership on tricycle.com, the new issue of Tricycle mailed to their door, and a very special Rubin Museum Himalayan NYC guide, which offers exclusive discounts at Himalayan-affiliated restaurants, shops, yoga centers, and more in New York City. Runners-up will receive the Winter 2012 issue of Tricycle and a Himalayan NYC guide. More »
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November 06, 2012

New Online Retreat: How a Buddhist Can Prepare for Death

We know, we know: death isn't all that much fun to think about. But since when has Buddhism ever shied away from sharing the bad news? So here at Tricycle, we won't either. The truth of the matter is, we're all going to die someday. And as our new retreat leader Caroline Yongue, a Soto Zen minister from North Carolina, puts it, why not prepare for death now, while you are still able to do so? It's been said in some circles that the Buddha was the ultimate pragmatist. Our November retreat, "How a Buddhist Can Prepare for Death," is just about as practical as you can get about it. Over the next four weeks, Yongue will share with you her insights about planning for your own death, from phowa practice to preparing advance care directives. More »
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November 06, 2012

Buddhists Aim to Bring Mindfulness to the Ballot Box

Daniel Burke
(RNS) The mindfulness movement has seeped into Silicon Valley, Capitol Hill, and even the United States Military Academy at West Point. Next stop: the voting booth. A new California-based group wants the estimated 5 million Americans who practice mindfulness to move off their meditation cushions and into the polls on Tuesday (Nov. 6).  If meditation can calm hyperactive kids, ease the pain of drug addicts and tame the egos of Fortune 500 CEOs, it can surely help a stressed-out and polarized country choose a president, says the Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams. More »
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November 06, 2012

Treasury of Lives: The Tongkhor Incarnation Line

Alexander Gardner
Biography and autobiography in Tibet are important sources for both education and inspiration. Tibetans have kept such meticulous records of their teachers that thousands of names are known and discussed in a wide range of biographical material. All these names, all these lives—it can be a little overwhelming. The authors involved in the Treasury of Lives are currently mining the primary sources to provide English-language biographies of every known religious teacher from Tibet and the Himalaya, all of which are organized for easy searching and browsing. Every Tuesday on the Tricycle blog, we will highlight and reflect on important, interesting, eccentric, surprising and beautiful stories found within this rich literary tradition. The Tongkhor Incarnation Line More »
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November 05, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Relief

Where Can You Help?
It's been a week since Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast coast, and the region is still recoiling from the devastation. So many of us along the Eastern coast, including the Tricycle team, have been affected by the storm. Though power is back in Manhattan (and in our office) and its infrastructure is scraping along, most in the coastline regions, and many in the city—in Staten Island, the Rockaways, Red Hook, Coney Island and other areas—remain in dire conditions. A number of organizations are providing aid to Sandy victims. Now's the time to be generous and giving—not merely as individual Buddhist practice, but as human beings within the larger community. With another storm expected to hit an already crippled, eroded coast on Wednesday evening, aid efforts are paramount now. More »
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November 02, 2012

Himalayan Buddhist Art 101: Amitabha Buddha

Jeff Watt
Buddhist practice and Buddhist art have been inseparable in the Himalayas ever since Buddhism arrived to the region in the eighth century. But for the casual observer it can be difficult to make sense of the complex iconography. Not to worry—Himalayan art scholar Jeff Watt is here to help. In this "Himalayan Buddhist Art 101" series, Jeff is making sense of this rich artistic tradition by presenting weekly images from the Himalayan Art Resources archives and explaining their roles in the Buddhist tradition. This week Jeff explains the appearance and iconography of Amitabha Buddha in Himalayan Buddhist art. Himalayan Art 101: Amitabha Buddha More »
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October 26, 2012

Buddha Buzz: Buddhist News from Around the World, Week of October 22

Alex Caring-Lobel
Happy Halloween! Since it's almost time for the year's only holiday that encourages you to pretend to be someone else, it's the perfect opportunity to let you know that if you live in Thailand, your local monks might not be what they seem. In fact, the Global Post reports, they might be meth dealers. Several Thai monks have been busted recently for buying, using, and dealing speed pills. One even insisted that he was using the drug money to refurbish his temple. Maybe I've just been watching too much Breaking Bad, but for some sad reason this story didn't even surprise me. How's that for some legitimate 21st century cynicism? More »
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October 25, 2012

Getting to Know the Tricycle Sangha

An Interview with Tricycle Community Member Mark Drew
A lot has been written in Tricycle over the years about the importance of sangha. Here on tricycle.com, we've endeavored to provide our members with not only a wealth of information about Buddhist practice and teachings but also with a sense of community. To that end, we also host a Tricycle community page, which you can visit at community.tricycle.com. More »
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October 25, 2012

Himalayan Art 101: Purba

Jeff Watt
Buddhist practice and Buddhist art have been inseparable in the Himalayas ever since Buddhism arrived to the region in the eighth century. But for the casual observer it can be difficult to make sense of the complex iconography. Not to worry—Himalayan art scholar Jeff Watt is here to help. In this "Himalayan Buddhist Art 101" series, Jeff is making sense of this rich artistic tradition by presenting weekly images from the Himalayan Art Resources archives and explaining their roles in the Buddhist tradition. This week Jeff explains the significance of purba, a ritual implement and corresponding deity.   Himalayan Art 101: Purba More »
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October 23, 2012

Treasury of Lives: Female Buddhist Masters

Alexander Gardner
Biography and autobiography in Tibet are important sources for both education and inspiration. Tibetans have kept such meticulous records of their teachers that thousands of names are known and discussed in a wide range of biographical material. All these names, all these lives—it can be a little overwhelming. The authors involved in the Treasury of Lives are currently mining the primary sources to provide English-language biographies of every known religious teacher from Tibet and the Himalaya, all of which are organized for easy searching and browsing. Every Tuesday on the Tricycle blog, we will highlight and reflect on important, interesting, eccentric, surprising and beautiful stories found within this rich literary tradition. Female Buddhist Masters: Chime Tenpai Nyima and Sera Khandro More »
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October 22, 2012

His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Western Connecticut State University

If you pay attention to the Tricycle Twitter, you might have noticed me live Tweeting from a Dalai Lama event last Thursday and Friday. It was an epic Twitterfest from a truly epic event. (And if you don't pay attention to the Trike Twitter, for shame! We're @tricyclemag. Get on that.) His Holiness showed up at Western Connecticut State University last week for a two-part talk: "The Art of Compassion" on Thursday and "Advice for Daily Life" on Friday. The Dalai Lama, now 77, has been on a whirlwind tour of the eastern U.S. these past couple of weeks, dropping by Middlebury College, MIT, Brown University, The College of William and Mary, Syracuse University, and Rockefeller University. I swear, that man has a schedule that would scare a first-year investment banker. More »
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October 22, 2012

Communicating with Harmony: Week 4 of Vishvapani's Retreat on Right Speech

Today begins the fourth and final installment of Vishvapani Blomfield's retreat on Right Speech. In "Communicating with Harmony," Vishvapani reflects on the importance of practicing speech that is conducive to harmony, and refraining from malicious, slanderous speech. With the election season upon us and the heated political discussion that that entails, bringing awareness to our communication takes on an even greater importance. Using our motivation as a touchstone, we should examine it repeatedly in order to communicate truthfully without engaging in unnecessarily divisive speech. If you are a Tricycle Supporting or Sustaining Member, you can now watch this week's retreat here. If not, join or upgrade your membership here. Here's a preview: More »
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October 18, 2012

Himalayan Buddhist Art 101: Avalokiteshvara

Jeff Watt
Buddhist practice and Buddhist art have been inseparable in the Himalayas ever since Buddhism arrived to the region in the eighth century. But for the casual observer it can be difficult to make sense of the complex iconography. Not to worry—Himalayan art scholar Jeff Watt is here to help. In this "Himalayan Buddhist Art 101" series, Jeff is making sense of this rich artistic tradition by presenting weekly images from the Himalayan Art Resources archives and explaining their roles in the Buddhist tradition. This week Jeff explores the multifaceted Avalokiteshvara in Himalayan Buddhist art.   Himalayan Art 101: Avalokiteshvara More »
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October 17, 2012

If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break: Field Notes from a Zen Life

James Ishmael Ford
Author and blogger James Ishmael Ford is a dually-appointed Unitarian Universalist minister and Soto Zen Priest. His newest book, If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break: Field Notes from a Zen Life, was published by Wisdom Publications in September. The following passage is excerpted from the chapter "Spiritual Directors." More »
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October 17, 2012

Everything Necessary to Salvation

An Interview with James Ishmael Ford
James Ishmael Ford is a Buddhist teacher, author, and blogger who embraces Zen Buddhism within the structure of American religious tradition. He serves both as a Unitarian Universalist minister at the First Unitarian Church of Providence and a Soto Zen priest with the Boundless Way Zen network. Ford is the author of the classic Zen Master Who?, a useful guide to North America's Zen teachers, traditions, and sanghas. His most recent book, If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break: Field Notes from a Zen Life, leaves no stone unturned in constructing an intimate, multifaceted reflection on the Zen path, drawing on sources as diverse as the Bible and stand-up comics. More »
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October 16, 2012

Looking Back

Tricycle's Interview with Darlene Cohen
Today we were pleasantly reminded of the late Zen priest and author Darlene Cohen when we received a beautiful, two-volumed boxed set of The Noisiest Book Review in the Known World: The Best of RALPH: The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities, in which our Fall 2005 interview with Cohen is being reprinted. Cohen, who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, wrote extensively on dealing with chronic pain, both physical and emotional. In her Q&A with Tricycle's features editor Andrew Cooper, her sharp wit really shines through. We thought we'd share a laugh by posting the brief interview in its entirety here: More »
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October 15, 2012

The Rise of the "Nones"

Why are so many Americans religiously unaffiliated? Alex Caring-Lobel
According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, the number of Americans who do not identify with any religion is on the rise. These unaffiliated, or "nones," currently number at 46 million—about one in five Americans. The rate of unaffiliated among adults under 30 numbers significantly higher at about one in three Americans. More »