Tricycle Blog

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

August 24, 2008

En Route to the Convention

I've never been to a political convention before -- a new friend offered me a guest pass to this current democratic convention in denver, and I quickly said yes. I've often watched them on tv, with great interest...I even like the roll calls, with each state proclaiming its glory, "The commonwealth of Massachusetts, home of Gardner, chair capitol of the world..." I've enjoyed that note of belonging, of pride, even while recognizing it can go in many directions: it can be divisive, caught in the vanity of "us" and "them", the path of separation and the tragedy of creating and then disdaining the "other." Or perhaps we can have that pride yet hold it lightly, and not get caught up in labels and designations as our core identity. Perhaps we can move away from tribalism and egoism and hatred of the "other" through practicing inclusion and empathy and paying attention to all. It will be a very interesting few days. More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

August 20, 2008

Olympic protesters to be re-educated

Two elderly women in China were just sentenced to a year of re-education. Their crime? Protesting at the the Olympics. The heads of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism convened to ask for an apology from the government for religious discrimination. Paul Ekman says right after the Olympics will be the perfect time for the Dalai Lama and Beijing to sit down for some good faith discussions. What a nice thought. Indeed it seems the current Dalai Lama has a repsonsibility to do all he can vis a vis Beijing in his lifetime because after he is gone, the opportunity will have passed. More »
Tricycle Community 1 comment

August 19, 2008

Dharma Seed

Dharma Seed, a New Hampshire based non-profit that has been making the spoken teachings of Theravada Buddhism available to speakers of many different languages since the 1980s, has recently started converting its content from tapes and CDs to free audio files, available on their website at http://www.dharmaseed.org/. Listeners may download the talks or listen to them as streaming audio files online. After listening to a recent talk, “Five Guidelines for Practicing with Conflict” by Donald Rothberg, a member of the Executive faculty at Saybrook Graduate School in San Francisco and the Teacher’s Council of Spirit Rock Meditation Center of Woodacre, California, I immediately wanted more. At the recommendation of a Dharma Seed member, I’m turning next to Guy Armstrong, an insight meditation practitioner for over thirty-years and another member of Spirit Rock’s Teacher’s Council. Discover and share your own at http://www.dharmaseed.org/ And read more about "Five Guidelines for Practicing with Conflict:" More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

August 19, 2008

Where are the protesters?

The New York Times reports on the lack of protesters in Beijing's designated protest zones: Ten days into the Games, the government has yet to permit a single demonstration in any of the three official protest zones. According to a report Monday by Xinhua, the official news agency, 77 applications have been received since Aug. 1, from 149 people. All but three of those applications, however, were withdrawn after the authorities satisfactorily addressed the petitioners’ concerns, Xinhua said. Two of the remaining requests were turned down because the applicants failed to provide adequate information, and the last was rejected after the authorities determined it violated China’s laws on demonstrations. More »
Tricycle Community 1 comment

August 18, 2008

Eat Less Beef II: Convenience

Yes, the ethanol-corn debate is boring. So grass makes better ethanol than corn. Yawn! We're saturated with this stuff. But read on for some eyebrow-raising numbers (maybe). Foreign Affairs, in an article updated in May 2008, pronounces: In 2008, 30 percent of the U.S. corn crop will be used for ethanol. Meanwhile the Nebraska Corn Board, on an undated page, says: Livestock continues to be the corn grower’s most stable and important customer, consuming about 45 percent of U.S. More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

August 18, 2008

Cabbage Sutra

Sharon Salzberg's Cabbage Sutra, now on Huffington Post. More »
Tricycle Community 3 comments

August 18, 2008

Why I Love the Olympics

I have to admit that I have been glued to the TV in recent days watching the Olympics. I never realised before that I could care so much about cycling, gymnastics, or even sailing. The viewing experience has been sweetened by the fact that Team GB (Great Britain) has been winning many more medals than usual. My near obsession with the Olympics made me wonder why it is that I love sport so intensely. What is about watching someone run 26 miles in just over two hours or 100 metres in less than ten seconds (9.69 seconds in the case of Usain Bolt, the Jamaican gold medallist) that is so compelling? Is it vicarious exercise, enabling me to justify not bothering to keep fit? Or is it just a distraction, allowing me to live through the dreams and successes of others and so neglect my own aspirations? More »
Tricycle Community 3 comments

August 14, 2008

Notable Documentary: The Sacred Sites of the Dalai Lamas

I recently had the chance to see the documentary movie The Sacred Sites of the Dalai Lamas: A Pilgrimage to the Oracle Lake. Directed by Michael Wiese, Sacred Sites follows a group of pilgrims on their journey to Lhamo Lhatso, the Tibetan lake of visions. The voyage is told from the point of view of Steve Dancz, a film score composer, who incidentally is also the narrator, cameraman, and music composer for the documentary. He is joined by his teacher and guide Glenn Mullin, and Bhutanese monk Khenpo Tashi. With Dancz providing the voice of the awe-inspired traveler, and Mullin and Khenpo Tashi offering insight, they make their way through Nepal and Tibet, visiting a variety of temples, stupas, monastaries, and caves along the way. More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

August 14, 2008

Nicholas Kristof: After Olympics, Tibet

More cautious optimism on some kind of solution: The Chinese leadership and the Tibetan government in exile have delicately discussed a possible visit by the Dalai Lama to China, nominally to commemorate the victims of the earthquake in Sichuan Province in May. That would be the first meeting between the Dalai Lama and Chinese leaders in more than 50 years and would give enormous impetus to resolving the Tibet question. The opportunity arises in part because of the Dalai Lama’s public acknowledgement last week for the first time that he could accept Communist Party rule for Tibet. More »
Tricycle Community 1 comment

August 14, 2008

Ask Sylvia Boorstein and Ask Grgeory Kramer

Have a question for the Vipassana teachers Sylvia Boorstein or Gregory Kramer? Ask them here and here! More »
Tricycle Community 1 comment

August 13, 2008

Beijing Basks in Olympics as Dalai Lama Tours the Globe

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is now in France and of course was recently with John McCain, who surely needs some spiritual guidance. (Someone should make sure the Senator knows it's the Georgia with Tblisi, not Atlanta, that's involved.) The DL, incidentally, is McCain's senior, but not by much. The Dalai Lama fears for Tibet after the Olympics end and the world's attention wanders back from China to whatever else on the tube. More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

August 13, 2008

London, Gate 6; Tokyo, Gate 11; Kushinagar, Gateless Gate

The Indian state of Uttar Pradesh wants an airport at Kushinagar to serve the "Buddhist circuit." Kushinagar is where the Buddha attained parinirvana. Wikipedia: As the scene of his death, [Kushiniagar] became one of the four holy places declared by the Buddha (in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta (ii. More »
Tricycle Community 2 comments

August 12, 2008

Opening Ceremonies

So maybe the Opening Ceremonies weren't all they seemed, what with the lip-syncing and "pre-recorded" fireworks. But it's hard to tell what's real in the era of Photoshop and other digital manipulators. More »
Tricycle Community 4 comments

August 12, 2008

Money, Sex, War, Karma

I am currently reading David Loy’s sensationally titled Money, Sex, War, Karma: Notes for a Buddhist Revolution. It is probably the most thought-provoking book on Buddhist themes that I have read for several years. MSWK comprises a series of fourteen essays that address major cultural, political, economic, and spiritual issues from a Buddhist perspective. The book is written in a direct, urgent, yet almost conversational style. Topics include money, time, Karma, sex, attention, ecology, food, and war. More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

August 11, 2008

Police State 2.0?

Naomi Klein discusses how China used the Olympics as a chance to tighten security. Activists in China now find themselves under intense pressure, unable to function even at the limited levels they were able to a year ago. Internet cafes are filled with surveillance cameras, and surfing is carefully watched. At the offices of a labor rights group in Hong Kong, I met the well-known Chinese dissident Jun Tao. He had just fled the mainland in the face of persistent police harassment. After decades of fighting for democracy and human rights, he said the new surveillance technologies had made it "impossible to continue to function in China." Mikel Dunham on the question of Indian vs. Chinese influence in Nepal. More »
Tricycle Community 5 comments

August 11, 2008

Ten Thousand Mistakes

There’s little of Buddhist liturgy or ritual these days that I find indispensable. Still, I follow a daily pattern of chanting the Heart Sutra, a praise for Avalokiteshvara, the Three Refuges, and the Bodhisattva Vows, along with the traditional bowing and ringing of the gong. I couldn’t tell you why I continue to do so. I think I once had reasons but if so I’ve forgotten what the reasons were. I no longer ask why I’m doing any of this or feel any need to know. I just do what I was once taught to do—and none of it feels essential. It’s ironic that the one element of Buddhist liturgy that I do find indispensable is not among those I observe daily. I entered the path of Zen because I was weary of the hurt and pain I somehow managed to cause myself and others, and I thought that Zen might help me to cease from it. The truth is I felt guilty. Old wrongs of mine would rise up in memory, prior events of sometimes forty or fifty years earlier, and I would cringe at the recollection. It’s puzzling to me what sorts of memories come to haunt me in this way, seemingly minor lapses in kindness that might seem insignificant to others but somehow loom large among the things I wish I hadn’t done. More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

August 10, 2008

By the half-light of burning republics

While the world watches the Beijing Olympics, Russian forces attack Stalin's hometown in Gerogia. More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

August 08, 2008

8/8/08 arrives

As China defends its right to deny visas to "activists" such as former U.S. Olympian Joey Cheek, who has spoken out on Darfur, and a new generation of Tibetans challenges the Dalai Lama's stand vis a vis China, let's honor the memory of the 1988 Burma uprising, twenty years ago today. Plus, you'd never know it from the media coverage, but there are protests around the world today as the Games begin. More »
Tricycle Community 4 comments

August 07, 2008

Realpolitik from the Dalai Lama?

Nicholas Kristof: For the first time, the Dalai Lama is willing to state that he can accept the socialist system in Tibet under Communist Party rule. This is something that Beijing has always demanded, and, after long discussion, the Dalai Lama has agreed to do so. “The main thing is to preserve our culture, to preserve the character of Tibet,” the Dalai Lama told me. “That is what is most important, not politics.” The ball is now in China's court, indeed. But if the Olympics don't make them soften, what will? More »
Tricycle Community 0 comments

August 05, 2008

China seeks "absolute security" in Tibet for Olympics

A UN envoy, Tomas Ojea Quintana, is visiting the Irrawaddy delta in Burma to check on the conditions there. He also met with senior members of the State Sangha Organization but no details of the discussions were released. Meanwhile as expected China is intensifying its crackdown on Tibet as the Olympics loom closer. More »