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April 16, 2009

Cartwheels in a Sari

Jayanti Tamm (a Tricycle alum) will be reading from and discussing her new memoir Cartwheels in a Sari at the Mercantile Exchange in New York City this Friday, April 17th, at 7 PM. The Mercantile Exchange is located at 17 East 47th Street between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue. Cartwheels in a Sari is the funny and amazing story of Jayanti's upbringing in the inner circle of Sri Chinmoy's ashram in Queens, New York, the painful struggle with her family, the guru, and the other disciples, that ensued when she left, and what it's like to start a new life afterward. More »
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April 15, 2009

Your To-Do List

Take a moment and imagine that your to-do list was complete. What would you do then? See this guided meditation by Marc Lesser, author of Less: If you have just a few minutes, try this -- Imagine that your to-do list is complete. (Take a breath, relax, I know this can be difficult, startling.) Actually, take a few breaths; relax, settle... Imagine, you pull out your list of things to do and everything is done, crossed off, complete. Then you look at your list of projects – also done, complete. Then you search through your list of aspirations, things missing in your life, all the things that are lacking, incomplete, or need improvement. Imagine -- all done, nothing missing, nothing lacking, complete, just right. Just imagine for a few seconds. Read the rest. More »
Tricycle Community 9 comments

April 13, 2009

The Great Debate: Reincarnation

In the Summer 1997 issue of Tricycle, we featured a debate on the topic of reincarnation in Buddhism. The participants were Stephen Batchelor, author of Buddhism Without Beliefs, and Robert Thurman, author of Inner Revolution. This debate has continued to attract attention from both sides of the argument since its publication. We've excerpted a section of it as a Discussion topic on the Tricycle Community, where you can weigh in and take a side. You can also find the complete debate here. More »
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April 13, 2009

More on Mustang

Richard Gere interviews the Dalai Lama and the Raja of Mustang, the remote Himalayan kingdom between Tibet and Nepal, in the premiere of Mustang - Journey of Transformation, opening at New York City's Tribeca Film Festival on April 27. Off-limits to Westerners for five decades, Mustang was opened by the Nepalese government in 1991. More »
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April 12, 2009

Still Not Giving Up on Shangri-la

Did Shangri-la actually exist? Bainbridge Island-based mountaineer Peter Athans "may have the answer," the Seattle Times reports. Over two years, Athans led three expeditions to the remote kingdom of Mustang, in modern-day Nepal, and discovered in its numerous caves plenty of art and an ancient library belonging to one of Mustang's early kings. The library has yet to yield its secrets, but Athans thinks Mustang may be the place the 5th century Chinese poet who first mentioned the Buddhist paradise was referring to. More »
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April 12, 2009

One Cold Buddha

The 10-member collective called Okamoto Studio has carved one of its signature ice sculptures for the biennial [Queens Museum of Art] International, this one a figure of the Buddha enclosed in a refrigerated altar. See it and read about it here. More »
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April 10, 2009

Big Sit Meditation Tip Day 47

You can take some simple steps to spare your back and knees. Some light stretching before sitting can make the experience more comfortable and prevent stiffness. Buddhist practitioner and yoga teacher Cyndi Lee writes, The notion of union is at the heart of both hatha yoga and meditation practice. Yoga, from the Sanskrit yuj, to yoke or bind, refers to the union of apparent opposites: masculine and feminine energies, small mind and big Mind, inner vision and outer awareness, steadiness and ease. We think of yoga as a balancing of mind and body. More »
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April 09, 2009

Economic downturn has psychological side effects

An article in today's New York Times surveys recent research on the psychological stressors of a dismal economy. 2009 has seen an increase in calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and many are turning to medication and meditation. A related multimedia feature profiles a number of individuals struggling with economic anxiety. Our upcoming "What Does Being a Buddhist Mean to You?" column in the Summer 09 issue will feature readers' responses to the economic meltdown. And look out for other economy-related discussions in the coming months at the online Tricycle Community. More »
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April 09, 2009

Big Sit Day 46 Meditation Tip

"On retreats, sittings run between thirty and sixty minutes—most are forty-five—and the regular sittings that we have here in Cambridge last for an hour. The amount of time is less important than the regularity. It is good to sit a little longer than you want to so you see the part of your mind that resists practice, but you don't want to torture yourself." - Larry Rosenberg, Breath by Breath (Shambhala, 1998) More »
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April 08, 2009

Yoga with Dogs

Really. Can meditating with cats be far behind? [Image: Michael Nagle for The New York Times] More »
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April 08, 2009

Big Sit Meditation Tip Day 45

"The true practice of zazen is to sit as if drinking water when you are thirsty. There you have naturalness." - Suzuki Roshi. Day 45: halfway there! More »
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April 07, 2009

The Dalai Lama hosts Scientists in Dharamsala

Thanks to C4Chaos (@C4Chaos on Twitter) for this one: Every day this week in Dharamsala, the Dalai Lama will sit down with a group of psychologists, neuroscientists, and philosophers to discuss current western understanding of the mind and its possible connections to Buddhist theory and practice. More »
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April 07, 2009

What Does Being a Buddhist Mean to You?

Now that we're about to publish readers' thought-provoking responses to the first "What Does Being a Buddhist Mean to You?" column in several years—about the economic meltdown—we need a new topic! Vegetarianism? Euthanasia? Recycling? Drugs and alcohol? Share your thoughts! More »
Tricycle Community 3 comments

April 07, 2009

Big Sit Meditation Tip Day 44

It's not about you. Dogen's view of zazen and Shinran's view of nembutsu (recitation of the name of Amida Buddha) share the idea that practice is something we do in response to the promptings of Buddha nature. Or to put it another way, whether we know it or not, practice is something we do for others. The path, then, is clarifying how this is so. A shortened version of this post appeared on Twitter. More »
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April 06, 2009

Soren Gordhamer and Wisdom 2.0

Stress-reduction expert Soren Gordhamer has a new book, Wisdom 2.0: Ancient Secrets for the Creative and Constantly Connected (available on Amazon.) He writes, and can't we all relate: More »
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April 06, 2009

Big Sit Day 43 Meditation Tip, plus Big Sit on Saipan

Big Sit Meditation Tip Day 43: Don’t expect too much. One of the good things about Buddhism is that it is very efficient at disappointing one’s egocentric calculations. And that’s a good thing. Other Big Sit news: There was a 45-minute Big Sit on the island of Saipan (on the north end of PauPau beach for those in the know) on Sunday, April 5th! Unfortunately Tricycle didn't see fit to send any correspondents... New York weather: 46 degrees Fahrenheit with steady rain. More »
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April 05, 2009

Big Sit Day 42 Meditation Tip

To stop the mind does not mean to stop the activities of the mind. It means the mind pervades the whole body. (A paraphrase from Shunryu Suzuki Roshi.) More »
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April 04, 2009

In Vesak Message, Vatican Praises Buddhism

Buddhism and Christianity share a respect for poverty, the Vatican says in a Vesak message to the world's Buddhists. There are two kinds of poverty, according to the Vatican: While very different, there are two types of poverty, the message said. One is a poverty that can be chosen in the form of emptying oneself in order to listen to and be more open to God and other people, the message said. The other kind of poverty is a material deprivation that "prevents people and families from living as befits their dignity," it said. The Vatican also praised Buddhism's nonattachemnt, contentment, and anti-consumerism in this materialistic world. But the Dalai Lama is sill not invited to meet Benedict XV!. More »
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April 04, 2009

Big Sit Day 41 Meditation Tip

Here's your Big Sit Day 41 Meditation Tip: Find a style of meditation you enjoy. The more you enjoy meditation the more you will want to do it. There are several guided meditations for your listening enjoyment on the Tricycle Community -- just click the Audio tab. More »
Tricycle Community 13 comments

April 03, 2009

Guest Post: Astrophysicist Adam Frank on Science and the Future of Buddhism

Can Buddhism in the West survive into the next generation? After the initial burst of sangha-building by Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers, will the Buddhist meme propagate into kids coming out of college now? Will this 2,500-year-old tradition finally complete its circumnavigation and build sustainable roots in the West? Over the last few years a series of articles have appeared in magazines and newspapers on the “graying” of American Buddhism and the risks to its continued survival. Of course Buddhism remains one the fastest growing religions (if that definition really fits) in the United States. This comes even at a time when participation in religion appears to be declining. There are real and serious issues that this line of discussion raises. How do Americans take a tradition with deep roots in contemplative practice and monasticism and broaden it for a society that will mainly be lay parishioners? How are families included? How are the communities of shared values and social action that are so much a part of American religious life to be included? All of these questions will have to be addressed if Buddhism is not only to take root but also to flourish and gain strength from its encounter with America and the Western perspective in general. In that regard, Buddhism’s’ relationship with science holds unique and uniquely hopeful possibilities. By now everyone has heard the Dalai Lama’s apocryphal quotation on Buddhism and science. When asked what would happen if science discovered something that was at odds with Buddhist belief, he replied, “We would change our beliefs.” While some have questioned exactly what the Dali Lama meant, there does appear to be a very different attitude toward science in Buddhism than in other American religions. This is an important distinction that bodes well for the Buddhist perspective. The future of all religious enterprise will, to some degree, hinge on its response to science. More »