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April 17, 2014

Contemplate the Body, Free the Mind

Phra Ajaan Suwat Suvaco
When meditators' minds have reached genuine happiness in the dhamma through their mindfulness and discernment, clearly seeing the four noble truths, none of them—not one—will revert to looking for happiness in the world or in material things. That's because happiness in the dhamma is a lasting happiness: solid, refined, and genuinely pure. If you compare worldly happiness with the happiness of the dhamma, you'll see that there's not even the least real happiness to it. It offers nothing but stress, nothing but drawbacks. So why do we think it's happiness? Because we're burning with pain. We look to worldly happiness and pleasures to relieve the pain, which then goes away for a while but then comes back again. More »
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April 14, 2014

Enlightening Conversations: The Importance of Friendship

A discussion with Jungian analyst Polly Young-Eisendrath and Buddhist author Mark Matousek
“Friendship is a binding glue in all mature, loving relationships.” In this exclusive conversation, Jungian analyst and mindfulness teacher Polly Young-Eisendrath speaks with Buddhist author Mark Matousek on the importance of friendship for our psychological and spiritual growth. “People don’t give friendship the importance it deserves, especially when they think about how it teaches us to love," says Matousek. "If lovers are depicted face-to-face, deeply in love, then friends should be depicted side-by-side, ready to take on the world together.” More »
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April 08, 2014

Peter Matthiessen, Writer and Zen Priest, Dies at 86

Alex Caring-Lobel
Peter Matthiessen—prolific author, naturalist, activist, and Zen priest—passed away at his home in Sagaponack, NY, on Saturday, April 5. He was 86. His death—three days prior to the release of his newest novel, In Paradise—marks the end of his struggle with leukemia, for which he was undergoing chemotherapy. More »
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April 07, 2014

Bridging the Gap

Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Nepal updates the age-old tradition of the scholar-practitioner Noa Jones
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April 03, 2014

The Woman in the Photograph

A meditation teacher reflects on identifying with her former self Martine Batchelor
“That is Martine just before I shaved her head,” the monk exclaimed. He pointed to the inside of a souvenir book featuring photographs of past residents at Songgwangsa, a Zen temple in southwestern Korea. Everyone else recognized the woman in the photograph. I did not. The woman, of course, was me.   I had never seen the picture. It captured a young lady with glasses and long dark hair, about 22 years old. I took a photo of the photo for my record. Whenever I look at the image, I have the same strange feeling of non-identification. I don’t feel that I know who this person is: What was she like? What were her hopes and aspirations?   More »
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April 02, 2014

I And Love And Akhtar

A pilgrimage from the least livable city on Earth M. Sophia Newman
Bodh Gaya, it is said, is the number one place to go to realize that you don’t need to go to Bodh Gaya. The small town in India is famous for one reason: here, the Buddha achieved spiritual enlightenment under a ficus tree some twenty-five centuries ago. Some regard the place as a spiritual mecca. But Buddhists have no mecca, strictly speaking. There are four Buddhist holy sites in the Indian subcontinent—Lumbini, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, and Kushinagar—where the Buddha was born, was enlightened, first preached, and died, respectively—but visiting any of them is non-obligatory for even the most devout people. Despite the long tradition of pilgrims journeying to these holy sites, there is nothing in the teachings mandating that Buddhists visit. More »
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March 31, 2014

Path of Freedom

In the harsh environment of a Rhode Island men’s prison, a group of 50 inmates are transforming their lives through the practice of meditation.
Acharya Fleet Maull is the founder of Prison Dharma Network, Peacemaker Institute, and National Prison Hospice Association. Learn more about Maull's work and the Prison Dharma Network in Tricycle's interview with the teacher, and watch his Tricycle Retreat here. More »
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March 27, 2014

Buddhist volunteers comfort families of those lost on Flight 370

Max Zahn
At a press conference on Monday, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that “new analysis” had confirmed Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 had crashed into the southern Indian Ocean. As with other developments in the international mystery, news channels quickly displayed footage of the victims’ families bunkered in a hotel conference room.   More »
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March 22, 2014

Tricycle Talks: Roshi Pat Enkyo O'Hara, Getting Intimate

A conversation with Village Zendo Abbot Roshi Pat Enkyo O'Hara
Tricycle Talks: Now in iTunes More »
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March 21, 2014

Idleness Waiting Grace

Three reflections on recovering place Mark C. Taylor
Mark C. Taylor recounts a poignant lover affair not with a person but with a place that, paradoxically, cannot be easily localized. For many years, Taylor has lived in the Berkshire Mountains, where he writes and creates land art and sculpture. In a world of mobile screens a virtual realities, where speed is the measure of success and place is disappearing, his work slows down thought and brings life back to earth to give readers time to ponder the importance of place before it slips away. Idleness More »
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March 19, 2014

Enlightening Conversations: The Student-Teacher Dynamic

A discussion with clinical and Buddhist practitioners Polly Young-Eisendrath and Pilar Jennings
In this exclusive conversation, a psychoanalyst and a relational psychoanalyst—both practicing Buddhists—discuss the emotional dynamics of religious practice, the psychological complexities of student-teacher relationships, and the issues surrounding the idealization of teachers within Buddhist communities. More »
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March 18, 2014

NewsLeek: Fifth Noble Truth Discovered

P.B. Law
LOS ANGELES—The International Mindfulness Foundation (IMF) today announced the discovery of a fifth noble truth, overturning the ancient Buddhist belief that there are only four. Speaking at a press conference at UCLA, IMF president Hugh Briss reported that researchers in the US and UK, using the latest quantum MRI technology, had scanned the brains of more than 100 select meditators to locate the fifth center of noble-truth activity in a part of the striatum normally associated with lust and desire, an area previous researchers had overlooked. More »
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March 10, 2014

Five-Minute Buddhist

Filmmaker Harold Ramis's pocket-sized Buddhist manifesto Max Zahn
In a profession famous for its metropolitan Jews, late comedian and filmmaker Harold Ramis was a practicing Buddhist…and, well, a metropolitan Jew. He is well known for directorial achievements in American hilarity like Caddyshack and Groundhog Day—the latter carrying some intricate Buddhist underpinnings. Over the course of his later life, Ramis deepened his relationship with Buddhism, which culminated in a visit with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. That life came to a sudden end last month, when Ramis died of a rare blood vessel disease. He was only 69 years old. More »
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March 05, 2014

Don’t They Know?

Poet Mark Doty reflects on loss, grief, and attention
On an autumn afternoon, poet Mark Doty arrived at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care to join its founders, Koshin Paley Ellison and Robert Chodo Campbell, in a conversation spanning grief, loss, attention, aging, and death. Doty has published five volumes of nonfiction prose and eight books of poems, including Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, which won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2008. His poems have been widely anthologized and have also appeared in such magazines as The Atlantic Monthly, The London Review of Books, Ploughshares, Poetry, The New Yorker, and, of course, Tricycle. More »
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March 01, 2014

In the Face of Tragedy

How are we to approach the crisis of self-immolations in Tibet? Janet Gyatso
The way I want to talk about the current crisis of self-immolations by Tibetans may be risky for a scholar in academia. This is not merely because it critiques how my field has tended to address the topic. More basically, it departs from the usual mode of scholarly writing altogether. I composed the following reflections without an initial plan or even an idea of what I would say. Nor was I sure of their full implications upon completion. And yet, in the particular case at hand, I think the fact that I wrote out of an immediate and even instinctive sort of intuition made an important realization possible. Or perhaps more accurately, what made it possible was that I was obeying an imperative that I had discerned—a demand on myself—to try and say something about my intuition, even if it didn’t stand as an entirely consistent scholarly principle. More »
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February 28, 2014

How to Wake Up

A discussion with author Toni Bernhard
At times life’s ups can give us immeasurable highs, but its lows then send us crashing down. Toni Bernhard, author of the 2010 bestseller How to Be Sick, helps us find a middle ground in her new book, How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow. When we are fully present and balanced, Bernhard says, we open up access to a kind of wellness that goes beyond circumstance. More »
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February 28, 2014

Meditation Month: The Final Day

The end of our monthlong challenge Emma Varvaloucas
I've discovered an excellent way to end Meditation Month: I'm going to commit to sit through the month of March. Who's with me!? Image: The Trike team in our new offices, which we moved into this Monday. (L-R): Emma Varvaloucas, Managing Editor; Andrew Gladstone, Digital Media Producer; Joanna Piacenza, Web Manager; Alex Caring-Lobel, Associate Editor.  More »
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February 27, 2014

A (almost) Retrospective

Day twenty-seven of our monthlong challenge Max Zahn
February is Meditation Month! The Tricycle team members have challenged ourselves—and our readers—to meditate every day and blog about our experiences. We needed a little help, so we called in bestselling author and meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg to lead our meditation-themed retreat this month and speak to us on how to incorporate meditation practice into the workplace. More »
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February 27, 2014

Talk Isn’t Cheap

The Dalai Lama visits AEI—NeoCons’ high church Max Zahn
The photo op is irresistible. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, donning radiant maroon and saffron robes, sits alongside none other than a fully suited Mr. Barack Obama. His Holiness’s unapologetic, balding head and exposed right bicep are a spectacle in the formally clothed, carefully guarded land of Washington, DC. On display are two very different global juggernauts. More »
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February 25, 2014

"Technology's Mindfulness Racket"

Alex Caring-Lobel
In a new article over at The New Republic, senior editor Evgeny Morozov questions the agendas of tech companies that advocate "unplugging" and technological solutions like apps in response to the digital onslaught that has become a fact of daily life. "We are being urged to unplug," writes Morozov in "The Mindfulness Racket," "so that we can resume our usual activities with even more vigor upon returning to the land of distraction." More »