Tricycle Blog

Daily wisdom, teachings & critique Subscribe to feed
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 »
Tricycle Community 1 comment

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 »
Tricycle Community 1 comment

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 »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

March 01, 2009

The Big Sit, Day 7

A quiet morning sit with snow all around. Back to the grind tomorrow! More »
Tricycle Community 4 comments

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 »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

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 »
Tricycle Community 3 comments

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 »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

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 »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

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 »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

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 »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

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 »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

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 »