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January 11, 2013

An Open Letter to the Buddhist Community from the Osho Council of Rinzai-ji

This morning we received the following open letter to the American Buddhist community from the Osho Council of Rinzai-ji responding to the sexual misconduct of their head Joshu Sasaki Roshi. More »
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January 10, 2013

Himalayan Buddhist Art 101: Stories of the Buddha Part 2, Life Story Quick Guide

Jeff Watt
Buddhist practice and Buddhist art have been inseparable in the Himalayas ever since Buddhism arrived to the region in the eighth century. But for the casual observer it can be difficult to make sense of the complex iconography. Not to worry—Himalayan art scholar Jeff Watt is here to help. In this "Himalayan Buddhist Art 101" series, Jeff is making sense of this rich artistic tradition by presenting weekly images from the Himalayan Art Resources archives and explaining their roles in the Buddhist tradition. Read Part 1 Himalayan Art 101: Stories of the Buddha Part 2, A Quick Guide More »
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January 09, 2013

Meditating on Mortality

An Interview with Mortician Caitlin Doughty
According to Mike Belsito, who runs a funeral planning website, the word "death" is searched for on Google 68,000,000 times per month. "For perspective," he writes, "that's twice as much as the search results for the word 'marriage'—and more than thirteen times as much as the results for 'happiness.'" When the Tricycle staff were planning our current issue, which features a large special section on death and dying, we didn't know these numbers. But we're happy to learn that we're not the only ones interested in our own mortality. More »
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January 09, 2013

Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman

The Dude and the Zen Master
The Tricycle staff had a lot of fun last night at the NYC Union Square Barnes & Noble event featuring actor Jeff Bridges, Zen teacher Bernie Glassman, and Tricycle's very own editor and publisher James Shaheen. Jeff and Bernie were there to promote their recently released book The Dude and the Zen Master. If you've seen The Big Lebowski, you know which one is the Dude and which one is the Zen master, although many fans of the cult classic claim that the Dude is a Zen master. The two friends spent five days at Jeff's ranch in Montana doing what they call "jammin'" and what I like to call being on a "bro retreat"—chilling out, talking about life, and smoking cigars. Their conversation was recorded, transcribed, and voilà: The Dude and the Zen Master was born. More »
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January 08, 2013

Treasury of Lives: Panchen Lama Incarnation Lines

Asha Kaufman
Biography and autobiography in Tibet are important sources for both education and inspiration. Tibetans have kept such meticulous records of their teachers that thousands of names are known and discussed in a wide range of biographical material. All these names, all these lives—it can be a little overwhelming. The authors involved in the Treasury of Lives are currently mining the primary sources to provide English-language biographies of every known religious teacher from Tibet and the Himalaya, all of which are organized for easy searching and browsing. Every Tuesday on the Tricycle blog, we will highlight and reflect on important, interesting, eccentric, surprising and beautiful stories found within this rich literary tradition.   Panchen Lama Incarnation Lines: Rewriting History More »
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January 07, 2013

New Online Retreat: May I Be Happy: Getting Realigned for the New Year

Now that the world has survived into 2013, we have a new retreat, "May I Be Happy: Getting Aligned for the New Year" with renowned yoga teacher Cyndi Lee to help you start the year off right.  Combining basic yoga instruction, mindfulness meditation, and maitri (lovingkindness) practice, Cyndi will help us bring our attention to ourselves and our own needs. By cultivating our own happiness and healthiness, Cyndi says, we can create a template for taking care of others.  In the first week of the retreat, "May I Be Happy" Cyndi goes over the importance of taking care of ourselves, showing us how do it in three ways: by bringing our attention to the distractions in our lives, committing to regular (but short) practice, and asking, "What would it take for me to feel happy?" More »
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January 04, 2013

Buddha Buzz: Buddhist News from Around the World, Week of December 31

Emma Varvaloucas
Happy New Year, everyone!  Over the holiday break, Tricycle was saddened to hear of a Christmas Day plane crash in Burma in which three Burmese died and the founders of the Community Meditation Center, Susanna Weiss and Allan Lokos, were injured. While Susanna suffered broken vertebrae in her back and has been released from the hospital, Allan, the center's guiding teacher and a frequent Tricycle contributor, received severe burns on his hands, legs, and head, and remains in the ICU of a hospital in Singapore. WNYC has the whole, harrowing story here. Please pray for the couple's health and swift recovery. More »
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January 03, 2013

Himalayan Buddhist Art 101: Stories of the Buddha, Part 1

Jeff Watt
Buddhist practice and Buddhist art have been inseparable in the Himalayas ever since Buddhism arrived to the region in the eighth century. But for the casual observer it can be difficult to make sense of the complex iconography. Not to worry—Himalayan art scholar Jeff Watt is here to help. In this "Himalayan Buddhist Art 101" series, Jeff is making sense of this rich artistic tradition by presenting weekly images from the Himalayan Art Resources archives and explaining their roles in the Buddhist tradition. Himalayan Buddhist Art 101: Stories of the Buddha More »
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December 24, 2012

The New Bodhisattva Path: Final Week of David Loy's Retreat

In the final week of David Loy's retreat, "The New Bodhisattva Path", we return to the question of what Buddhism can offer us given the ecologically unsustainable path we are on. Laying out the differences between the bodhisattva path and the arhat path, Loy points out the tendency in the West to lean towards the more self-focused arhat path, potentially distorting it into a kind of self-help Buddhism that only helps people to adapt to the unhealthy social institutional landscape he has spoken of throughout this retreat. He concludes that the path to recovery and sustainability demands that the West embrace and integrate the ideas and wisdom of the bodhisattva path, which transcends competition and encourages a collective responsibility for the health of our species and planet. More »
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December 24, 2012

Trike TV: A Very Buddhist Christmas

Here is a last-minute Christmas gift for you, with the knowledge that even the most intense anguish can be lightened with laughter and a little holiday cheer: the first episode of Trike TV, "A Very Buddhist Christmas." Two of our intrepid reporters hit the streets of New York City to ask the passerby—and some friends from the animal realm—"What would you get a Buddhist for Christmas?" Let us know in the comment section if you'd like to see more episodes of Trike TV! Watch the second episode, "Buddha Balderdash," here. More »
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December 21, 2012

Buddha Buzz: Buddhist News from Around the World, Week of December 17

Emma Varvaloucas
Did everybody survive the Mayan apocalypse? Good, good. Then it's time for one more Buddha Buzz before the Trike staff takes a week off for the holidays. Don't miss us too much! Before I mention anything else, we've put together a collection of Buddhist responses to the Newtown tragedy from some of the teachers we all know and love. You can read it here. As you gather with your loved ones next week for the holidays, please keep the victims of the Newtown shooting and their families in your minds and hearts. More »
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December 20, 2012

Himalayan Buddhist Art 101: Three Stories in One

Jeff Watt
Buddhist practice and Buddhist art have been inseparable in the Himalayas ever since Buddhism arrived to the region in the eighth century. But for the casual observer it can be difficult to make sense of the complex iconography. Not to worry—Himalayan art scholar Jeff Watt is here to help. In this "Himalayan Buddhist Art 101" series, Jeff is making sense of this rich artistic tradition by presenting weekly images from the Himalayan Art Resources archives and explaining their roles in the Buddhist tradition. Himalayan Buddhist Art 101: Three Stories in One More »
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December 20, 2012

Compassionate Gift Giving Ideas: The Trace Foundation

One way to give compassionately and intelligently this holiday season is to widen the net of those who receive the benefit of your generosity by donating to charities and nonprofit organizations. You can forego traditional presents and instead make a donation in your loved one's name, or you can pledge to donate the amount of money you spend on holiday gifts this year to a worthy cause. More »
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December 19, 2012

Interview with Nichiren Buddhist Singer Ifé Sanchez Mora

Ifé Sanchez Mora, known onstage as just Ifé, is a NY-based singer, songwriter, and Nichiren Daishonin practitioner. A Detroit native, Ifé pulls from a wide variety of musical influences, including those from her Mexican and African heritage as well as American blues, rock, and soul music, seamlessly melding them into her own distinctive sound. (You can give her music a listen February 5, when her new album Fire Inside of Me is released.) Ifé, born into the Nichiren Buddhist tradition, became comfortable with her own voice through chanting practice, and her deep connection to Buddhism inspires and influences her music to this day. Tricycle’s Alex Caring-Lobel spoke with Ifé over the phone about the essence of Nichiren and Soka Gakkai, the influence of her practice on her career, and the importance of community.   More »
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December 18, 2012

Compassionate Gift Giving Ideas: The Metta School and Sakyadhita Nunnery

One way to give compassionately and intelligently this holiday season is to widen the net of those who receive the benefit of your generosity by donating to charities and nonprofit organizations. You can forego traditional presents and instead make a donation in your loved one's name, or you can pledge to donate the amount of money you spend on holiday gifts this year to a worthy cause. Every Tuesday and Thursday here on Tricycle's Buddhist Holiday Survival Guide, we'll be posting about Buddhist organizations who could use your help this holiday season. More »
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December 18, 2012

Treasury of Lives: Kagyu Founders Part 3, First Karmapa and Lama Zhang

Alexander Gardner
Biography and autobiography in Tibet are important sources for both education and inspiration. Tibetans have kept such meticulous records of their teachers that thousands of names are known and discussed in a wide range of biographical material. All these names, all these lives—it can be a little overwhelming. The authors involved in the Treasury of Lives are currently mining the primary sources to provide English-language biographies of every known religious teacher from Tibet and the Himalaya, all of which are organized for easy searching and browsing. Every Tuesday on the Tricycle blog, we will highlight and reflect on important, interesting, eccentric, surprising and beautiful stories found within this rich literary tradition. More »
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December 18, 2012

Frederick P. Lenz Foundation Offers 2013 Women in Buddhism Grants

For those of you who may qualify for the Frederick P. Lenz Foundation's 2013 Women in Buddhism grants, which support women-led Buddhist organizations, programs, and initiatives, board member Liz Lewinson sent us the following information:   The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism is proud to announce the availability of four annual Women in Buddhism grants during 2013.  Each $2,500 grant supports women-led Buddhist organizations, programs and initiatives designed to cultivate a new generation of American women Buddhist leaders. In 2012, the first year of the program, grants were given to the following organizations: More »
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December 17, 2012

A Buddhist Holiday Survival Guide

Service as Generosity
In today's Buddhist Holiday Survival Guide dharma talk, teacher Gil Fronsdal speaks about service as generosity. It's the perfect reminder for those of us who are feeling stressed and exhausted about shopping for gifts—as Gil reminds us, the result of generosity should be peace, not being burned out and in conflict. If we are feeling the latter instead of the former, we might want to examine whether we're giving in the spirit of selfless love or out of a sense of duty and obligation. If you missed Gil's previous talks, you can find them here and here. More »
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December 17, 2012

A New Buddhist Story: Week Three of David Loy's Retreat

In this third week of David Loy's retreat, he delves further into the notion of a collective self, suggesting that in order to strive for a "collective awakening," we as a species need to reconsider our current "story," or our prevailing perception of ourselves and where we come from. Taking us through various historical points of view on "the Story," from theistic narratives to the more recent scientific narratives, Loy closely examines the Western conception of evolutionary theory and offers ways that Buddhism can reinterpret evolution. Instead of understanding evolution as a naturally competitive force of nature, we can look at it as an intrinsically self-creative process. Loy finishes by suggesting that we can view it as a macrocosm of our own consciousness—essentially as the process by which the universe awakens to itself. More »