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November 23, 2012

The Zen Master Goes Black Friday Shopping

Elizabeth Bastos
When the Zen master Black Friday shops, it is not hard to understand! When breathing, breathe! When Black Friday shopping, shop! When finding "jingle socks" and "scarves for her," and "hostess gifts under $25," just find them. Go to aisles 7 and 14 and 15 and find them! Do not rush, but neither shall you go slow like the snail climbing Mt. Fuji, and miss out on the Crock Pot Spectacular.  More »
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November 22, 2012

A Very Buddhist Thanksgiving

What Are You Thankful For?
Happy Thanksgiving from the Tricycle staff! We hope that your Thanksgiving is a day of warmth and gratitude and of sharing your time with those you treasure most. If it turns out to be something more along the lines of what comedian Johhny Carson once said, though... "Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often." ...we offer our heartfelt empathy. To get us into the Thanksgiving spirit this year, we decided to go around the office and ask the traditional Thanksgiving 'round-the-table question: "What are you thankful for this year?" Here's what we had to say: More »
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November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Blessing

Tricycle pilgrim receives blessing from Khenpo Khatar Rinpoche at Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery, which the the group visited yesterday. A 40km drive from Kathmandu, the monastery sits atop the Himalayan foothills, offering stunning views. It was built at Namo Buddha, where, in a former life, the Buddha is said to have saved a starving Tigress and her cubs by offering himself as food. A stupa was built on the site and is considered one of the holiest places in Nepal. We're all grateful to have made the visit. Happy Thanksgiving! Image: Khatar Rinpoche offers Tricycle pilgrims blessings. © Risto Kuulasmaa. More »
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November 21, 2012

A Vegetarian Thanksgiving

Teachings from Lama Shabkar
As you prepare for Thanksgiving tomorrow, please consider this teaching from Lama Shabkar, a Tibetan yogin known for his spontaneous songs. Though it was originally written from the perspective of a sheep, we've changed it around to reflect the coming holiday. For some Thanksgiving vegetarian recipe ideas, go to the next page. More »
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November 20, 2012

Tricycle Pilgrimage: Today's Teaching from Kathmandu

From today's teaching at Shedrub Ling: It's not enough to think you understand impermanence and then to forget about it. The real dharma practitioner is someone who contemplates impermanence many times throughout day. Only then do our fixations begin to loosen, our attachments begin to break. Only then do we finally begin to relax. Image: Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche at the White Gompa. © Risto Kuulasmaa. More »
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November 20, 2012

Tricycle Pilgrimage: One love

Tricycle pilgrimage co-leader Justin Kelley gave interfaith harmony a big boost earlier today with his newfound Hindu friends. Photographer and fellow pilgrim Risto Kuulasmaa dubbed the pic "One Love," appropriately enough. The new friendship was struck up along Kathmandu's Bagmati River, where the caves of Tilopa and Naropa are a stone's throw from the famed Pashupatinath Temple, the holiest site in Nepal and one of the Hindu world's most important temples built to Lord Shiva. The mix of Hindu and Buddhist traditions characterizes the region. Image: Buddhist monk Justin Kelley with newfound friends. © Risto Kuulasmaa. More »
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November 20, 2012

Treasury of Lives: Kagyu Founders Part 1, Mila and Marpa

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. Kagyu Founders Part 1: Mila and Marpa More »
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November 19, 2012

Tricycle's Pilgrimage to Nepal & Bhutan

Tricycle began its first pilgrimage to Nepal & Bhutan on Sunday in Kathmandu, where 25 of us gathered at the Tibet International hotel, within viewing distance of the Great Stupa at Boudhanath. After settling in and getting to know one another, we spent part of the following day at Shedrub Ling monastery, where the Ven. Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche offered teachings. Rinpoche sat before some 300 mostly Western students, some permanent residents, and others hearing teachings for perhaps the first time. More »
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November 19, 2012

The Huffington Post Addresses "Conflicts About Race Among Meditators"

In a Huffington Post article published yesterday, religion reporter Jaweed Kaleem offers an insightful look into POC sitting groups in the American dharma scene. The article, "Buddhist 'People Of Color Sanghas,' Diversity Efforts Address Conflicts About Race Among Meditators," examines the need for minority sanghas alongside the seemingly "un-Buddhist" intention to form exclusive communities and courses for people of color. Kaleem writes, More »
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November 19, 2012

Do Not Waste Time: Week Three of Caroline Yongue's Retreat

This week begins "Do Not Waste Time," the third week of Caroline Yongue's retreat on preparing for death. In this third installment, Caroline advises us on how to eliminate distractions from our daily routines, how to create new habits to live more meritoriously, and walks us through the Essential Phowa Practice and the Dissolution of the Elements instruction. "When we are in the Bardo of Becoming, we are not guaranteed another human birth. Do not waste this precious human life. Live a meritorious life. This is our rare opportunity to practice the dharma." If you are a Tricycle Supporting or Sustaining Member, you can watch this week's retreat here. If not, join or upgrade your membership here. Check out the preview of this week's retreat below: More »
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November 19, 2012

Real Buddha / Virtual Buddha

A review of "Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan"
Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtanghsan, buddha sculptures and digital reconstructions, on New York’s Upper East Side.The great Buddhist reliquaries of the world—be they caves, mountainside monasteries, summit stupas, or ancient monuments—remain inaccessible to most due to their remoteness. Though great leaps in transportation technology have closed vast distances, both the pillaging of artifacts and the limiting of exposure in the interest of preservation continue to make visits to these far-flung sites difficult. Two alternatives act as windows that provide virtual access to these otherwise inaccessible environs: the removal of objects of worship into private collections and museums, whereby they can be admired by the privileged elite and the general public, respectively, or the creation of immaterial or easily transportable renderings—primarily photography, but also painting and, more recently, digital modeling. More »
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November 16, 2012

Buddha Buzz: Buddhist news from around the world, week of November 12th

If there's anything we American Buddhists love to talk about, it's the emerging face of American Buddhism—whatever that means. Despite all the chatter, in my humble opinion the average American Buddhist isn't all that informed about some very basic realities of American Buddhism: who its adherents are, where they are located, what kind of Buddhism they practice, etc. Cue the Huffington Post, who this week published a slideshow of "Most and Least Buddhist Cities in America," based off of 2010 data by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies. More »
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November 15, 2012

Himalayan Buddhist Art 101: Padmasambhava and the copper-colored mountain

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 common depiction of Padmasambhava set amid a copper-colored mountain. Himalayan Art 101: Padmasambhava and the Copper-Colored Mountain More »
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November 15, 2012

New York Insight Community Drop-in Hours

Good news for all you dharma bums in NYC! Our friends (and neighbors—they're just a couple blocks away from the Trike offices) over at NY Insight have opened their beautiful center for community use during the afternoon and evening on weekdays. Drop in to read, relax, or chat quietly with friends. The small room is open for those who want to meditate. Community Hours: Monday-Friday, 2-6pm. Closed for community hours on the following days: Thursday–Friday, November 22–23 Monday–Wednesday, December 24–26 Monday–Tuesday, December 31–January 1 Visit NY Insight's website here.   More »
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November 14, 2012

A Fractal Solution to the Universe

An interview with "Neuro-Painter" Greg Dunn
If you’ve perused the current issue of Tricycle, you’ll have seen the beautiful and intricate artwork that illustrates our article about the convergence of Buddhism and neuroscience, “A Gray Matter,” by Columbia University professor of Japanese religion Bernard Faure. If these images seem hauntingly familiar, it’s for a reason. They’re of the neurons in our brains! The artist behind them, Greg Dunn, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a doctorate in neuroscience last year. Since then, he’s been focusing on painting in his easily identifiable style: a modern, science-based twist on the ancient East Asian brush painting technique of sumi-e. More »
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November 13, 2012

Treasury of Lives: Patrul Rinpoche

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. Patrul Rinpoche More »
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November 13, 2012

Does Tricycle Own the First 3D-Printed Buddha?

Tricycle board president Werner Doyle dropped by the office today with what may very well be the world's first Shakyamuni Buddha created by a 3D printer. He's made from a corn-based material—and he's rockin' that Tricycle red! We've found this video of a 3D printer making a Buddha head, but for now we're going to claim that Tricycle is in possession of the world's first 3D printer version of the Buddha's whole figure. (Of course, we're sure that it will be only a matter of time before our discerning readers prove us wrong.) Here's to history being made! More »
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November 12, 2012

A Gray Matter

Another look at the convergence of Buddhism and science James Shaheen
If you haven’t heard that Buddhist mindfulness meditation can change your brain for the better, you haven’t opened a magazine or newspaper lately. On the other hand, if you haven’t heard that research supporting such a claim is at best inconclusive, you can’t be blamed—it’s not a view you’re likely to come across as readily. More »
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November 12, 2012

The Weatherman's Legacy

Documentary Screening and Talk at Trace Foundation
This Thursday acclaimed director Pema Tseden will be screening his documentary film The Weatherman's Legacy at Trace Foundation. Made for Discovery Channel Asia in 2004, the film was made in Pema Tseden's hometown, where it follows a Tibetan shaman who wants to pass down his hailstorm-stopping and rain-making skills to a son who would rather run a video-rental business in the village instead. Worried that his reputation in the village is slipping, the shaman's last hope lies with his grandson, who is beginning to learn the ancient incantations. More »
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November 12, 2012

Conveying Our Wishes: Week 2 of Caroline Yongue's Retreat

This week begins "Conveying Our Wishes," the second week of Caroline Yongue's retreat on preparing for death. In this installment, Yongue enumerates a variety of options for near- and after-death care, and advises us to carefully consider these options. They include choices regarding hospice care, funerary preferences, and organ and tissue donation. It is best to evaluate these choices now, with our loved ones in mind, and make a plan and act on it when we are still able. This is the best way to ensure that our loved ones will not be harmed or suffer unnecessary anguish when we pass. If you are a Tricycle Supporting or Sustaining Member, you can watch this week's retreat here. If not, join or upgrade your membership here. Here's a preview of this week's retreat: More »