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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 »
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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 »
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March 01, 2009

The Big Sit, Day 7

A quiet morning sit with snow all around. Back to the grind tomorrow! More »
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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 »
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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 »
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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 »
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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 »
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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 »
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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 »
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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 »
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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 »
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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 »
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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 »
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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, or Jeff Thompson at Rubin Museum of Art has also offered a free tour after the Forum. To rsvp please contact Judy as well. More »
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February 20, 2009


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 »
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February 20, 2009

Zen Litter Box

Why was this rejected? More »
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February 18, 2009

A moment of calm...

...ten minutes really, with Tara Brach, courtesy of Beliefnet. More »
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February 17, 2009

Jan Willis named 2009 Outstanding Woman in Buddhism

Wesleyan professor of religion and East Asian studies Jan Willis has been named "Outstanding Woman in Buddhism" for 2009 and will be presented with the award in Bangkok, Thailand later this year. Read an informative article on her achievements here. A member of Students for a Democratic Society in the 1960s and an active participant in the civil rights movement, Willis has written about her extraordinary life in Dreaming Me. A second edition of the book was published last year by Wisdom Pubs, with a new afterword by Bettina Aptheker. More »
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February 15, 2009

Who Believes in Evolution?

A Pew chart, courtesy The Daily Dish: (Off the chart: Jehovah's Witnesses at 8%.) More »
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February 14, 2009

Dunkin' Dharma

"What's next?" asks Tricycle contributing editor and founding designer Frank Olinsky. "Donuts with enso icing?" More »