Tricycle Blog

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July 08, 2014

The Monk Scam

Faux monastics prey on tourists in New York City. Daisy Radevsky
New York’s Times Square is full of people asking for money. Although the neighborhood has lost just about all its grit, scams of all sorts still crop up in the area, evergreen as it is with vulnerable tourists. The latest breed of scammers, profiled in a recent New York Times article, come dressed in monk’s robes. More »
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July 03, 2014

One Way to Nirvana

It’s not just the Buddha Way that’s different—the Buddhist mountaintop is different, too. Robert E. Buswell Jr. and Donald S. Lopez Jr.
This article is the tenth in the Tricycle blog series 10 Misconceptions about Buddhism with scholars Robert E. Buswell Jr. and Donald S. Lopez Jr.  More »
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July 02, 2014

How Do We Talk About Death?

In her final days, a writer reflects on the divine art of dying. Karen Speerstra
Writer Karen Speerstra was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2003 and entered hospice care in 2013. What follows is a selection from her hospice journal, which appears in her final work, The Divine Art of Dying, out from Divine Arts in September.  Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about caterpillars. And how they become butterflies. I chuckle at the New Yorker cartoon of two caterpillars looking up at an airborne butterfly and one says, “They’ll never get me up in one of those!” There’s a mystery about this fuzzy worm inside a chrysalis that holds the potential of flying. What a paradox! I’ve read that the caterpillar completely disappears, except for a few cells that are called imaginal cells. Imagine! More »
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June 30, 2014

San Francisco Boom

Sound and sight from a longtime poet-resident of San Francisco Barbara Berman
Buzz saws cacophonous mega-hums on west side avenues. Beloveds and I are safe for complicated reasons. Sky beyond our deck still reminds me of late-day Arles. All around. Beyond. Dying in creatively vicious ways.   The screwed out here one kind of huge lewd ringing rising on a bright, dry afternoon.   Barbara Berman is the senior poetry reviewer for The Daily Rumpus. She has work forthcoming in 99 Poems for the 99 Percent, out July from 99:The Press. Image: Amani Willett/Gallery Stock More »
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June 26, 2014

Slow-Motion Satori

The Zen tradition’s “sudden enlightenment” may not be so sudden after all. Robert E. Buswell Jr. and Donald S. Lopez Jr.
This article is the ninth in the Tricycle blog series 10 Misconceptions about Buddhism with scholars Robert E. Buswell Jr. and Donald S. Lopez Jr.  More »
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June 19, 2014

Four Ennobling Truths

The four noble truths are not true for everyone. Robert E. Buswell Jr. and Donald S. Lopez Jr.
This article is the eighth in the Tricycle blog series 10 Misconceptions about Buddhism with scholars Robert E. Buswell Jr. and Donald S. Lopez Jr.  More »
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June 13, 2014

No Try, Just Do

Actor Steve Buscemi speaks about kindness and anger with a Shambhala nun
They make a fairly odd couple. The television and film star Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire, The Big Lebowski) sits alongside Shambhala nun Karma Trime Lhamo, the director of Princeton Buddhist Meditation Group. The setting is incongruous, too: a park bench in the middle of an exhibit at the Rubin Museum of Art. But this strange alchemy—comprising episode six of Buscemi’s web series Park Bench—is an unequivocal delight. Buscemi asks sincerely felt, straightforward questions, while Ani Trime responds with wisdom reminiscent of her late teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Watch as she shares her thoughts on dukkha, meditation, and the importance of being kind.  More »
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June 12, 2014

Only the Occasional Brothel

The “unconstrained conduct” of Zen is more literary trope than pervasive practice. Robert E. Buswell Jr. and Donald S. Lopez Jr.
This article is the seventh in the Tricycle blog series 10 Misconceptions about Buddhism with scholars Robert E. Buswell Jr. and Donald S. Lopez Jr.  More »
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June 11, 2014

Mipham Chokyi Lodro, the 14th Shamarpa, Dies at 61

Pamela Gayle White
Shamar Rinpoche passed away suddenly this morning in his center in Renchen Ulm, Germany, at the age of 61. The 14th Shamarpa, Mipham Chokyi Lodro, was born in Tibet and recognized and enthroned there by his uncle, the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, supreme head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. More »
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June 10, 2014

Painting the West Saffron

A new map published by the Washington Post misrepresents Buddhist populations in Western states. Jeff Wilson
Scholars have known for some time that Buddhism is the largest religion in Hawaii after Christianity, the majority religion in all US states. Now—according to an article in last week’s Washington Post—Buddhism has also attained second-place status in a dozen Western states. More »
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June 06, 2014

The Graduates

Two young publishers bring the voices of exiled Tibetans to light
Kelsang and his friend Tenzin are both graduating seniors from the Tibetan Children’s Village, commonly known as TCV. In their spare time they publish Exile World, a small newspaper that serves as an important voice for young Tibetan writers living in exile. Watch more short films about Tibetans living in exile at the Tibetan Stories website. More »
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June 05, 2014

God or Human?

While Buddhism has a place for gods, the Buddha wasn’t exactly one of them. Robert E. Buswell Jr. and Donald S. Lopez Jr.
This article is the sixth in the Tricycle blog series 10 Misconceptions about Buddhism with scholars Robert E. Buswell Jr. and Donald S. Lopez Jr.  More »
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June 04, 2014

Sole Beauty

For the fourth time in the beauty pageant's history, Miss Tibet crowns an unopposed contestant
“Lone contestant Tenzin Yangzom to be crowned Miss Tibet 2014.” That’s the headline straight from the Miss Tibet home page, and it means exactly what it says: the India-based competition received eight total applications, five confirmed, and four “withdrew at the last minute expressing various personal problems.” The automatic winner was Tenzin Yangzom, 23, who the pageant organizers hope will draw awareness to the plight of the Tibetan people by going on to international competitions. More »
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June 02, 2014

“Massacre”

On the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, see Liao Yiwu read the poem that landed him in prison
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June 01, 2014

Tricycle | BuddhaFest Online Film Festival FAQ

What is the Tricycle | BuddhaFest Online Film Festival? The Tricycle | BuddhaFest Online Film Festival is an online film festival hosted by Tricycle featuring six Buddhist films selected from the BuddhaFest film festival held in the Washington, DC area. We're also featuring six talks from this year's event. Learn more about the Washington-area event here. More »
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May 29, 2014

Buddhism: Philosophy or Religion?

In Asian religious traditions, religion—with its myths, magic, and miracles—goes hand in hand with philosophy. Robert E. Buswell Jr. and Donald S. Lopez Jr.
This article is the fifth in the Tricycle blog series 10 Misconceptions about Buddhism with scholars Robert E. Buswell Jr. and Donald S. Lopez Jr.  More »
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May 27, 2014

A (Incomplete) Guide to (Sort of) Buddhist Rock

The musical investigations of a law student bored on spring break Roger Maldonado
Editor’s note: This playful review of all things Buddhist Rock came our way from a friend of the magazine, a recent graduate of Yale Law school, who emailed us this list in March purely for fun—and also because he was on spring break, and he was bored. Though he is not a Buddhist, his enthusiasm for music—and musical trivia—borders on religiosity. With enjoyment, we present: “A (Incomplete) Guide to (Sort of) Buddhist Rock.” More »
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May 22, 2014

Killing in the Name Of

Like other world religions, Buddhism has its own justifications for violence. Robert E. Buswell Jr. and Donald S. Lopez Jr.
This article is the fourth in the Tricycle blog series 10 Misconceptions about Buddhism with scholars Robert E. Buswell Jr. and Donald S. Lopez Jr.  More »
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May 19, 2014

Buddhism & Science

Scholar David McMahan and contributing editor Linda Heuman on Interfaith Voices
Buddhist scholar David McMahan and Tricycle contributing editor Linda Heuman are guests on the newest episode of Interfaith Voices, the nation’s leading public radio show on religion and spirituality, to speak about the longstanding dialogue between Buddhism and science. An alliance between Buddhism and science began “sometime in the late 19th century,” McMahan tells host Maureen Fiedler, More »
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May 15, 2014

In Memory of My Childhood Friend

A poem from Tibet's preeminent 20th-century artist and intellectual Gendun Chopel
The wealth of the world is mist on the mountain pass.My closest friends, but guests on market day.Uncertain joys and sorrows are last night’s dream.I think and think; they have no essence. Led by the unknown envoy of Yama [god of death],My friend wanders the long and narrow path to the next life.Sublime refuge, three divine foundations,Please be his compassionate guide. More »