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January 24, 2009

Please Vote for Me

I saw a very sweet and moving documentary last night called Please Vote for Me. It takes place in Wuhan in central China where a third grade class is being allowed to vote for their hall monitor for the first time -- Previously the teachers chose them. There are three candidates, the incumbent Luo Lei (appointed by the teacher for the past two years), the confident and well-coached Cheng Cheng (at left below), and the dark horse Xaiofei (in the center below). Luo Lei's parents are both police officers. Cheng Cheng is raised by his mother and stepfather, while Xiaofei's single mother, an employee of the school, struggles to offer her daughter the coaching and encouragement the boys are receiving. All are of course only children. It's very moving to see these kids, all around 8 years old, deal with the brutal realities of what is essentially a popularity contest. More »
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January 23, 2009

Dalai Lama to fund 'Neuroscience of Compassion'

Frequent Tricycle contributor Allan Hunt Badiner points us to this article on the Dalai Lama's latest: The Dalai Lama is teaming up with Stanford University and a multi-millionaire professor to launch a new research centre dedicated to compassion and altruism. "His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, provided $150,000 in seed money for the center -- the largest sum he has ever given for a scientific venture -- and has agreed to return to Stanford for a future visit," reads a Stanford press release. ... It seems the centre's goals involve not only investigating how the brain deals with compassion and altruism, but also leveraging those findings to improve people's lives. More »
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January 23, 2009

Dharmacore on Treeleaf Zendo, Danny Fisher on the Dalai Lama

Dharmacore discusses the online jukai of Treeleaf Zendo, and the irrepressible Danny Fisher reports on the Dalai Lama: His Holiness will step down if Tibet is granted autonomy. More »
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January 22, 2009

Beautiful Buddha Statues from China plus other stuff

Some beautiful photos of Chinese Buddhas from a Herald-Trib piece on an exhibition in Singapore. The one at right is said to be from the Northern Qi Dynasty (550-77 CE). "Serenity in Stone: The Qingzhou Discovery," an exhibition of 35 sculptures now at the Peranakan Museum in Singapore, highlights the rapid stylistic change in representing the Buddha that took place over a 50-year period when the Northern Wei dynasty (386-534) disintegrated and gave rise to the Eastern Wei dynasty (534-550) and Northern Qi dynasty (550-577). More »
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January 22, 2009

Zazen, Tea, Go

A nice post on zazen mudras by Kyoshin, from whose blog the image at right is stolen. If you have some time to burn (or boil?), don't miss this tea ceremony post on the Half-Dipper. And while youre at it, learn to play Go along with Al Billings. Better yet, if you're a experience Go player, drop by and give him some advice. More »
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January 22, 2009

Now THIS is the change we were waiting for

Shutting down Guantanamo and other black sites: President Obama is expected to sign executive orders Thursday directing the Central Intelligence Agency to shut what remains of its network of secret prisons and ordering the closing of the Guantánamo detention camp within a year, government officials said. More »
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January 22, 2009

Inauguration kata

Word has it that Richard Blum (husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein), who served as an escort to the country's new first lady during Tuesday's ceremony, added a Tibetan flair to the proceedings. In a Tuesday afternoon email to a high-ranking Tibetan diplomat, Blum wrote: I had a kata at my house that His Holiness had given me. I offered it to President Obama before the ceremony. I said that I could get it delivered to him later. He said, no, that he was going to take it and have it with him; in fact, it was in his pocket when he was sworn-in. More »
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January 22, 2009

From the latest New Yorker

Remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine couldn't figure out what the New Yorker cartoon meant? (I typed the caption in below because it wasn't reading well in my crummy scan job.) "Well, all I can say, sir, is that it's a darn good thing for Barton, Franklin, Battersby, Klempstein & Pierce that you decided not to become a Zen monk!" [© Gahan Wilson, from the Jan. 26, 2009 New Yorker] More »
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January 21, 2009

Some from the Blogs

Two from Danny Fisher: UN seeks access to Burmese refugees, and Human Rights Now: 14 Reasons for Accountability. Right on, rev! The plight of the Burmese dissidents, from the New York Times (thanks to Barbara's Buddhism Blog.) Prison sentences fo 59 and 68 years for criticizing the government. And the Urban and married Monk has migrated from LiveJournal to Blogger. As if you needed a reason to drop by! More »
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January 20, 2009

O'Bama

When the CNN live feed failed us at 11:30, the Tricycle staff headed around the corner to the Emerald Pub. As Bono says, add an apostrophe and he's Irish, too, so we thought it made sense. We packed in with just about everyone else in the neighborhood, whose mood I can only describe as jubilant. Picture of the day? Tricycle contributing editor and founding art director Frank Olinsky points us to this from his pal Jay Babcock's online magazine Arthur. More »
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January 20, 2009

Left out of the inaugural address

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. Text here. More »
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January 17, 2009

Gary Snyder at the New York Public Libary on January 31st

GARY SNYDER The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet Reads and Talks About Origins and Influences And the Poets of His Generation Saturday, January 31 3:00-5:00 p.m. Introduction by Literary Essayist Eliot Weinberger, Author of "An Elemental Thing" THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY South Court Auditorium Entrance on First Floor (Fifth Ave. Side) Take South Court Elevator to "A" (Auditorium) More »
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January 15, 2009

Sitting Online

Molly De Shong at Shambhala Sun Space discusses a 90-day meditation course from Vipassana Fellowship. The courses are lead by Andrew Quernmore. VF has been offering courses online since 1997. In February, Tricycle will be teaming up with Zen teachers around the country to offer our 90-day Zen meditation challenge. The Tricycle staff will begin the 90 days on February 23rd, and that same day Roshi Pat Enkyo O'Hara will kick things off with the first of her series of talks on Dogen's Genjokoan, which you can watch online. Stay tuned for more! Speaking of sitting online, Tree Leaf Zendo, home of daily online sit-alongs with Jundo Cohen since March 2007, is moving to Beliefnet! More »
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January 15, 2009

Dalai Lama on the economic crisis (part 2)

Michael at Awake in this Life accuses the Dalai Lama of oversimplification based on this statement by HH: Lack of spirituality and culture is the main cause behind the rampant corruption in the world. People have become selfish and materialistic, which has led to the economic slowdown. As it happens, economic expert John McCain struck a similar note, blaming the economic meltdown on the "greed of Wall Street." Is this actually what caused the global economic crisis? ("Slowdown" seems like a cruel euphemism -- It may be a slowdown in trading volume to Wall Streeters, and a slowdown in luxury items formerly flying off the shelves, but to most people it is far harsher than that.) In any case the essence of the Dalai Lama's statement is absolutely right. More »
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January 14, 2009

Big Buddha Week

Barbara O'Brien has a post on Big Buddha statues, and this week on her blog is Big Buddha Week! [Image: Japan's Nihonji Daibutsu (Great Buddha), carved into the side of Mount Nokogiri, is 101 feet (31 meters) tall. stoicviking, Flickr.com, Creative Commons License] More »
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January 14, 2009

Dalai Lama on the economic crisis

This just in from HHDL XIV, via the Telegraph: The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader said that the global economic meltdown is the result of a crisis of morality, which had been driven by greed and corruption. Selfishness and a lack of spirituality and culture in the world were key causes for the current crisis in the world's financial markets, he said. Is this too obvious or not obvious enough? More »
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January 13, 2009

Send us the latest!

Over the next couple weeks, we’ll be contacting Buddhist centers large and small across the country in an effort to put together ongoing weekly sangha updates for visitors to tricycle.com and readers of the magazine. Send us the latest news at your community...Have you booked a well known speaker? Are you starting up a new social venture? Is one of your teachers in poor health and in need of some help? We'll do our best to spread the word. This will not be a comprehensive listing of events and schedules (most of which can be found on the larger centers' websites), but rather a finger on the pulse of a wide range of Buddhist communities—all a way to stay in better touch with Buddhism at the local level. More »
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January 13, 2009

Are you addicted to sensation?

Then try this. Who's the guy with the chops by the unicorn supposed to be? HT: Daily Dish. More »
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January 13, 2009

Their Holinesses

Rod Meade Sperry at Shambhala Sun Space points out that His Holiness the Dalai Lama may be going to Rome to be made an honorary citizen. China won't be pleased, as Rod points out. And for that reason the Dalai Lama won't be invited to meet with His Holiness Benedict XVI. A great photo op -- blown! Because of the Vatican's touchy relationship with China -- everyone has a touchy relationship with China, but because of the position of the Catholic Church within China, the Vatican's is especially precarious -- the Holy See usually doesn't want to see the DL on its turf. More »
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January 13, 2009

Buddhism and Science

Buddhism and science: BFF? Many scientists seem to want to embrace Buddhism (it apparently beats the alternatives) and western Buddhists in turn want to be validated by science. This issue is a thorny one and has been sorta kinda addressed on this blog here and here. Ultimately no religion can (or should attempt to) accommodate the demands of science. More »