Tricycle Blog

Our daily diary of the global Buddhist movement Subscribe to feed
Tricycle Community 1 comment

April 11, 2013

Himalayan Buddhist Art 101: Prayer Flags, Part 1

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. Prayer Flags, Part 1 More »
Tricycle Community 3 comments

April 11, 2013

The World is Places: Extras from the Current Issue of Tricycle

For every interview or feature that appears in the pages of Tricycle, there sits a pile of editorial content on the cutting room floor that didn't make the final version. But that's what the Internet is for, no? In the current issue of Tricycle, former editor Sam Mowe speaks with religious studies scholar Jeff Wilson about the relationship between place and religion—where we're from, where we've been, and where we are now has a greater effect on our practice, Wilson says, than we often realize. Below is an exchange that didn't make it into the printed interview. You can read the full conversation, "The World is Places," here. More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

April 09, 2013

Zen Graffiti

Artist Jens Jansen renders zazen in spray paint
Jens Jansen is ordained in the Soto Zen lineage. He teaches art and design in Frankfurt, Germany. More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

April 09, 2013

Treasury of Lives: Nyingma Founders Part 1, Padmasambhava

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.   Nyingma Founders, Part 1: Padmasambhava More »
Tricycle Community 1 comment

April 08, 2013

Second Week of Gina Sharpe's Retreat: Forgiving Ourselves

In the second week's teaching of Gina Sharpe's retreat, "Forgiving Ourselves," she walks us through the first steps on the path of forgiveness, focusing on the initial process of forgiving ourselves and relieving the burden of past thoughts and actions. Asking us to reflect on our values and deep aspirations, Sharpe explores how regret, self-blame, and other fixations with the past keep us trapped in modes of self-inflicted suffering. By developing the resolve that it is possible to let go of these old habits and create new perceptions with practice, we begin to cultivate the fertile ground in our hearts necessary for the next steps of the forgiveness practice. More »
Tricycle Community 5 comments

April 05, 2013

Buddha Buzz: The Kindness of Roger Ebert and the Magical Effects of Mindfulness Meditation

Emma Varvaloucas
We're surrounded, today and yesterday, with the deaths of beloved cultural icons. Today is the sixteenth anniversary of Allen Ginsberg's death. And yesterday, as I'm sure you know already, the prolific film critic Roger Ebert passed away at 70 years old. You can read his obit by the Chicago Sun-Times, his home newspaper for almost 50 years, here. More »
Tricycle Community 2 comments

April 05, 2013

Die When You Die

The Sixteenth Anniversary of Allen Ginsberg's Death Alex Caring-Lobel
Renowned poet and Tricycle contributor Allen Ginsberg passed away 16 years ago today. He used to sing this song he'd written called "Gospel Noble Truths" in this wobbly but painfully sincere voice. His delivery was earnest but freeing. Only Ginsberg could convey such devastating truths imbued with a freeing quality that gives you immeasurable courage. More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

April 04, 2013

Himalayan Buddhist Art 101: Vajradaka's Purification by Fire

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. Himalayan Buddhist Art 101: Vajradaka's Purification by Fire More »
Tricycle Community 1 comment

April 04, 2013

On Meditation: An interview with filmmaker Rebecca Dreyfus

Rebecca Dreyfus is the director of the forthcoming film series On Meditation, which documents the inner journey of meditation through portraits of practitioners from a variety of traditions. The team has so far filmed the Venerable Metteya, Hatha yoga teacher Elena Brower, author and Zen practitioner Peter Matthiessen, actor Giancarlo Esposito, and mindful congressman Tim Ryan. Filmmaker David Lynch is slated next. Known for her feature-length documentary Stolen, Dreyfus was inspired to film On Meditation by a curiosity about other people’s practices and a desire to cultivate her own. Tricycle spoke to Dreyfus earlier in the week by email about the impetus behind the film series and the challenges of depicting an inward-turning practice on film. More »
Tricycle Community 4 comments

April 03, 2013

Bhutan seeks to curb sexual diseases among Buddhist monks

NEW DELHI (RNS) Health officials in the tiny Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan are making condoms available at all monastic schools in a bid to stem the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV among young monks who are supposed to be celibate."We are making condoms freely available everywhere, even in monastic schools and colleges," Bhutan's minister of health, Zangley Drukpa, said in a phone interview. The ministry, he added, has formed a special action group to deal with STDs in monasteries.Warning signs of risky behavior among monks first appeared in 2009, when a report on risks and vulnerabilities of adolescents revealed that monks were engaging in "thigh sex" (in which a man uses another man's clenched thighs for intercourse), according to the state-owned Kuensel daily. More »
Tricycle Community 7 comments

April 02, 2013

Treasury of Lives: The Controversy of the Golden Urn

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 Controversy of the Golden Urn More »
Tricycle Community 26 comments

April 01, 2013

NewsLeek: Blackwater to Integrate Intensive Mindfulness Course into Tactics and Weapons Training

Alex Caring-Lobel
Last week Academi LLC, formerly Blackwater Worldwide, announced the introduction of a mindfulness course module into their universal tactics and weapons basic training course. Founded in 1997, the military contractor has been the largest US private security contractor in the world since the beginning of the Iraq War. The new mindfulness training, they hope, will slow the ever-increasing number of civilian casualties that the company racks up in Iraq and Afghanistan, and prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the company's other operable zones at home and abroad. More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

April 01, 2013

New Online Retreat: The Power of Forgiveness: Forgiving Ourselves and Others

Our new April online retreat with Gina Sharpe, co-founder of the New York Insight Meditation Center, addresses the difficult topic of forgiveness as a personal practice. Reflecting on the meaning of forgiveness, exploring what it is as much as what it is not, Sharpe helps us to see forgiveness as a practice of compassion and lovingkindness for ourselves. "Forgiveness," she says, "is not about condoning, or redeeming, or even reconciliation." "It is not about the perpetrator," she continues,"or about someone else. It is actually about us." Gently guiding us to a deeper understanding of forgiveness, she prepares us for a journey that will last beyond the four weeks of the retreat. Concluding with a lovingkindness meditation, she asks us to remember the Buddha's wisdom from the Dhammapada: "Hatred does not cease by hatred, but by love alone is healed. That is the ancient, and eternal law." More »
Tricycle Community 2 comments

March 29, 2013

Buddha Buzz: Mob Wives, Mama Asia, and the Burmese Bin Laden

Emma Varvaloucas
OK, how many Tricycle readers watch Mob Wives? (You can tell me, I won't tell anyone.) For those who don't, it's a VH1 reality TV show that follows seven Staten Island women whose husbands or fathers are doing jail time for crimes connected to the Mob. Basically, it's quality stuff. One of the main characters is Angela "Big Ang" Raiola, who was spotted this week canoodling with the Buddha in Miami: More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

March 28, 2013

Himalayan Buddhist Art 101: Hats - Traditional History vs. Art History

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. Hats: Traditional History vs. Art History More »
Tricycle Community 2 comments

March 28, 2013

Genocidal Buddhists

An Interview with Burmese Dissident Maung Zarni
In 2007, inspiring images of Burmese Buddhist monks leading their compatriots in demonstrations of civil resistance flooded the Western media. Just five years after the series of protests curiously referred to as the “Saffron Revolution” (Burmese monks wear maroon robes, not saffron-colored ones), Buddhist-led violence erupted in the western Rakhine state. Following a monk-led campaign against the Rohingya Muslim minority of Burma, recognized by the UN as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world, reports of rioting, killing, and the blocking of humanitarian aid to the Rohingya surfaced here and there in the media, devoid of the enthusiasm that the Burmese monks attracted back in 2007. More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

March 27, 2013

A Path of Dissent

Reflections on the Life and Work of Sulak Sivaraksa on his 80th Birthday Matteo Pistono
The Dalai Lama sent a letter to Sulak Sivaraksa last week to wish him a happy 80th birthday. I remember our initial meeting during my first visit to Thailand more than 40 years ago when we were both younger men. Our paths have crossed many times since then. I continue to admire your work you have done to draw attention to the problems facing humanity and the courage with which you have offered suggestions for solving them…. I also appreciate the determination with which you have shown Buddhist teachings and practice to be relevant in the world today. More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

March 26, 2013

Treasury of Lives: Kagyu Founders Part 9, Yabzang and Yelpa

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. More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

March 25, 2013

After Snow

Chase Twichell
  After Snow I’m the first car after the sander. In my headlights, the cinnamon swirls of fresh sand are intact. What dial did I turn to get here, the road a bolt of cloth unfurling before me, and on all sides the windless, snow-softened pines? A rift opened in the world, and guess what was on the other side? The world. That’s tonight’s poem: nothing but a small sudden understanding. Nothing permanent.   Chase Twichell's most recent book is Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been: New and Selected Poems (2010). She is a student at Zen Mountain Monastery.   Image: cnycompguy/Flickr   More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

March 25, 2013

Developing Insight: Final Week of Segyu Rinpoche's Retreat

In this final week of Segyu Rinpoche's online retreat, Developing Insight, he provides the final building block to Juniper's methodology for awakening the mind. The world, he says, is constructed of learned concepts—from the time we are born we are taught what is what, how to call things, and what is right and what is wrong. He describes insight, on the other hand, as "protecting our mind from the downfall into dogma." More »