Tricycle Blog

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December 04, 2008

Meredith Monk nominated for Grammy

Buddhist artist Meredith Monk and her vocal ensemble have been nominated for a Grammy for Best Small Ensemble Performance for their album Impermanence (ECM USA). The New York Times' Steven Smith wrote this about Monk's work: The music conveyed a dramatic arc that encompassed grief and confusion, joy conveyed through rollicking pratfalls and giddy dances, and a quiet ending of stark, powerful eloquence. More »
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December 04, 2008

Thai King a No-Show; Methane Capture in the Netherlands

In the midst of extremely difficult times in Thailand, the king failed to give his traditional birthday speech. The king’s absence was disconcerting to many Thais, who had hoped his words would help reconcile the increasingly dangerous political and social divide emerging in the country. The king, whose moral influence overrides the temporal power of politicians and generals, has intervened in the past at critical moments to avert bloodshed. “I’m frightened because everybody is waiting for his speech,” said Sujittra Chanchaicharoengul,30, a writer for a woman’s magazine. “I was shocked when I heard this. I didn’t want to believe it, because normally, no matter what, he will come as our esteemed king and the spirit of the people. More »
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December 04, 2008

Another 9/11? Let's hope not.

Although the media insists on comparing last week's terrorist assaults in Mumbai to 9/11, India's government has (so far) thankfully resisted pressure to react with the misinformed and excessive force that has characterized the U.S.'s post-9/11 war efforts. In an Op-Ed piece for today's New York Times, the Indian-Bengali author Amitav Ghosh explains that the Mumbai invasion is closer to the 2004 Madrid train bombings than it is to the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and makes a wise and sensitive argument for a patient response. More »
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December 03, 2008

White Buddhists vs. Asian Buddhists

Arunlikhati lays into a Buddhadharma article that talks about the future of Buddhism but mentions only white Buddhists. A Monk Amok also piles on, while in the comments, Marcus laughs off the idea that white Buddhists are "oppressing" Asian Buddhists. There's no doubt there is a disconnect between the Asian and non-Asian Buddhist communities in the West, but this seems less about Buddhism (or Buddhists) than about basic social divisions, and the article, or the teaser that is online at any rate, does not pretend to cover the entire scope of Buddhism in America but rather a specific thread. More »
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December 03, 2008

Thailand: avoiding chaos and/or stifling democracy?

Thailand has avoided a slide into chaos, says ASEAN head Surin Pitsuwan. But Gideon Rachman says all is not well and that the protests were profoundly undemocratic: Do not be fooled by the fact that the group occupying the airport call themselves the “People’s Alliance for Democracy“. Their intent is clearly anti-democratic. They have just brought down an elected government. More »
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December 03, 2008

Zen in the Land of 10,000 Lakes

Steve Hagen's Dharma Field Zen Center in Minneapolis is housed in a former church. Steve told me a few years ago it caused a bit of a stir in the neighborhood when the Zen group brought down the steeple but all was calm when I visited a few summers back. I'd gone there to meet Steve and to visit Martine and Stephen Batchelor, who were at Dharma Field leading meditations and giving talks on the life of the Buddha. More »
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December 03, 2008

Ikeda interview

Tricycle's interview with Daisaku Ikeda, founder of the Soka Gakkai International, seems to be getting serious attention in Europe, at least within the SGI community. Bernd Gast has translated the interview into German of his own accord, and we have already received two requests (granted) for rights to French translation. Look out for one of these on Yann Patin de Saulcourt's SGI website and send a heads-up to your friends across the pond. More »
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December 03, 2008

Bombay

The occasionally unhinged Christopher Hitchens (he's apparently recently quit smoking so he's even more irascible than ever) reminds us all that calling Bombay "Mumbai" is Hindu chauvanism and ought not to be indulged by the rest of the world: When Salman Rushdie wrote, in The Moor's Last Sigh in 1995, that "those who hated India, those who sought to ruin it, would need to ruin Bombay," he was alluding to the Hindu chauvinists who had tried to exert their own monopoly in the city and who had forcibly renamed it—after a Hindu goddess—Mumbai. More »
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December 02, 2008

Turmoil in Thailand

The government has fallen (but won't be going without a fight) and the airports are open. More »
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December 01, 2008

Sharon Salzberg, Slumdog Millionaire & Mother India

Last night I had the pleasure of taking Sharon Salzberg to see Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire. It's an odd mix of poverty, cruelty, deprivation and high-stakes game-show  drama that culminates in Bollywood-style celebration. Go figure, but it worked. We were both pretty exhilarated—and winded—by the end of it. Over dinner the conversation drifted back to India, where Sharon spent her formative Buddhist years, a place she still considers her spiritual home. I've just received an email from Sharon tipping me off to her latest on the Huffington Post—her thoughts on India and the recent tragedy in Mumbai. You can read "Mother India" here. More »
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December 01, 2008

Tibet House Auction Hosted by Petra Nemcova

Tonight, December 1st. Can you tell me about the Tibet House Benefit Auction and how you got involved in that? This is my second time hosting the event; I hosted it last year as well. It’s an auction at Christie’s, and a lot of the items are very adventurous—for example a trip to Bhutan, but done in a very special way. There’s also a $20,000 shopping spree at Donna Karan. I’m hosting it with Robert Thurman, who is a professor of Tibetan Studies at Columbia University and the president of Tibet House. One of the items up for bid is dinner with Robert and his daughter Uma. And what exactly does Tibet House do? They’re trying to preserve the cultural treasures of Tibetan heritage. The people of Tibet have been struggling for some time now; I haven’t been to Tibet, but I’ve been on the edge of it—in Nepal—and the culture has been close to my heart for many years. They’ve always had such a peaceful approach to life, especially when you consider the violence they’ve been stricken with. And unfortunately it’s a culture that’s been endangered, so I’d like to help to try and preserve it by bringing more awareness to it. More »
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December 01, 2008

World AIDS Day

Fight the stigma. More »
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December 01, 2008

The Dalai Lama speaks out

On celibacy. He is currently visiting Nigeria. More »
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November 28, 2008

Mumbai Attacks

More than 100 dead with scattered fighting still ongoing. With all the daunting challenges the world community faces, we don't need terrorism to keep pushing tiself to the front of the list. It's interesting as well to note that, throughout the recent political season, blogs were much more on the ball than the oft-vilified "mainstream media", but in times like this, considering Mumbai and the world financial crisis, when actual reporting is required, the political blogs that were buzzing all fall and summer were very quiet. So don't nail the old media's coffin shut quite yet. More »
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November 27, 2008

More Bad News: Burma and Tibet. But, Miss Tibet!

The Reverend Danny Fisher has the news: Thaung Htun responds to the Guardian's hit piece condemning Aung San Suu Kyi's "failure to react" to the recent crises in Burma. The foreign minister of the Netherlands speaks out against Burma's recent rash of prison sentences, and More »
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November 26, 2008

Wow.

Check this out. More »
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November 25, 2008

50 for Tibet

Support 50 for Tibet! They're climbing the highest point in each of the fifty states in the summer of 2009. 21awake has a great find: Evelyn Glennie on how to listen. More »
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November 25, 2008

Is the west selling out Tibet? Burma and Tibet briefly compared

Robert Barnett asks in the Times, Did Britain just sell out Tibet? Gordon Brown asked the Chinese to contribute more money to the IMF in exchange for increased influence: Now there is speculation that a trade-off for this arrangement involved a major shift in the British position on Tibet, whose leading representatives in exile this weekend called on their leader, the Dalai Lama, to stop sending envoys to Beijing — bringing the faltering talks between China and the exiles to a standstill. The exiles’ decision followed an announcement on Oct. 29 by David Miliband, the British foreign secretary, that after almost a century of recognizing Tibet as an autonomous entity, Britain had changed its mind. Mr. Miliband said that Britain had decided to recognize Tibet as part of the People’s Republic of China. More »
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November 25, 2008

Protests continue in Thailand, Thais grow weary

From the New York Times, more chaos in Thailand. More »
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November 24, 2008

Buddha Skull Relic; Consider the Turkey

Konchog of DODR pointed this one out. More »