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December 03, 2013

What’s Noble about the Four Noble Truths?

The doctrine that brings ordinary people to noble attainment Thanissaro Bhikkhu
When people ask me this question, they often seem a little embarrassed, for fear that it’s impolite or too obvious, but it’s well worth asking. After all, the end of suffering and the path to its end might be noble, but what’s noble about suffering and the craving that causes it? If anything, by attributing all suffering to craving, the truths seem to deny the possibility of noble suffering entirely. And what does it mean for a truth to be “noble” anyway? More »
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December 02, 2013

Buddhism with a Western Face

Will Western adaptation of the dharma challenge contemporary culture or accommodate it? Lama Jampa Thaye
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November 27, 2013

Findings shed light on when the Buddha (might have) died

Traci Watson
(RNS) Scientists have uncovered the first physical evidence showing when the great religious leader known as the Buddha passed away, a date crucial to scholars and adherents of Buddhism. Excavations in 2011 and 2012 at a site known as the Buddha’s birthplace imply he died—or, more accurately, experienced his “great passing away”—in the 6th century B.C., roughly 100 years earlier than the scholarly consensus. The debate over the timing is not just academic: Buddhist countries such as Thailand use a dating system pegged to the year of the Buddha’s death, and some of his prophecies imply no one will achieve enlightenment a certain number of years after his passing. More »
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November 26, 2013

Treasury of Lives: Jigme Rigpai Lodro

How a Tibetan lama and scholar helped revive Buddhist culture in Chinese-controlled Tibet Harry Einhorn
Biography and autobiography in Tibet are important sources for both education and inspiration. The authors involved in the Treasury of Lives mine primary sources to provide English-language biographies of every known religious teacher from Tibet and the Himalaya, all of which are organized on their website. The following summarizes the biography of the Jigme Rigpai Lodro (1910–1985) by Nicole Willock. More »
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November 22, 2013

A Special Evening with (and Poem from) Mark Doty

Join us Thursday, December 5 for a night of celebration & poetry
A taste of Mark Doty's work, from Winter 2013's Parting Words: Praise to the cherry on the lawn of the library,the heave and contorted thrust of it, a master,on its own root, negating the word weeping (miles to the nearest tears),requiring instead down-fountaining, or descending from a ferocious intention. More »
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November 22, 2013

Running with the Sakyong

A video short (via the New Yorker)
Last week, the New Yorker caught up with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, leader of Shambhala International, to speak about human integrity, mindfulness, and the benefits of jogging. "When you're running," says Rinpoche, "there's a real sense of bringing your mind into your body and relating to what's happening." It's time to speed up that walking meditation, we guess. More »
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November 21, 2013

Buddha Buzz: Week of November 18th

Thai Commandos protect gold, Connecticut practitioners join hunger strike, and Buddhist stand-up makes First Noble spoof Max Zahn
Gold-Plated Buddha More »
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November 21, 2013

The Onion: Buddhist Extremist Cell Vows To Unleash Tranquility On West

Parody news article plays up Buddhist stereotypes
As if inspired by our latest blog post on misconceptions about Buddhism, The Onion recently ran an article poking fun at Buddhism's stereotype of passivity. Under the headline “Buddhist Extremist Cell Vows To Unleash Tranquility On West,” the article breaks news of a 45-minute video featuring faux Tibetan teacher Tsuglag Rinpoche. Rinpoche threatens that “In the name of the Great Teacher, we will stop at nothing to unleash a firestorm of empathy, compassion, and true selflessness upon the West.” Rinpoche goes on: More »
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November 20, 2013

Treasury of Lives: The 3rd Dalai Lama

The first to receive the Dalai Lama title, Sonam Gyatso forged a relationship with Mongol leadership Asha Kaufman
Biography and autobiography in Tibet are important sources for both education and inspiration. The authors involved in the Treasury of Lives mine primary sources to provide English-language biographies of every known religious teacher from Tibet and the Himalaya, all of which are organized on their website. The following summarizes the biography of the Third Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso, by Miranda Adams. More »
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November 18, 2013

10 Misconceptions about Buddhism

Robert E. Buswell, Jr. and Donald S. Lopez, Jr.
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November 15, 2013

The Life and Murder of Akong Rinpoche

The founder of the first Tibetan Buddhist center in Europe was committed to the path of social good, even at his death Robert Barnett
On the morning of Tuesday, October 8, the prominent Tibetan lama, doctor, and humanitarian Akong Rinpoche was stabbed to death in a residential community in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, along with his nephew and monk attendant. The tragic ending of his life reflected his lifelong commitment to tasks and ideals that, to a degree exceptional among Tibetan lamas in the West, were difficult, controversial, and far-reaching in their implications. More »
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November 14, 2013

Zen Pace

A poem Barry Spacks
Wincing at waste, write pocket-noteson the innocent sides of used pages, savelong distance calls till Sunday, chasethe last slipping rice grain around your plateand even hurry slowly, actingalways with trustful slowness within,mourning even the loss of a friendwith that dignity in her spirit nevergone…you have no need but to move,sleep to waking, insult to lovehappening to happeningat the pace of a gradual smile, at the paceof the hammer-stroke heartthat proceeds to the nextfull beat, and then the next. Barry Spacks, a poet and painter, teaches writing and literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A busy man, he hurries slowly. More »
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November 13, 2013

Groundhog Day

Recurrence, salvation, and the bodhisattva way Lyn and Tom Davis Genelli
The life of one day is enough to rejoice. Even though you live for just one day, if you can be awakened, that one day is vastly superior to one endless life of sleep. . . . If this day in the lifetime of a hundred years is lost, will you ever touch it with your hands again? —Zen Master Dogen More »
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November 12, 2013

Treasury of Lives: Vairocanavajra

Teacher to the First Karmapa, the Indian master Vairocanavajra was also an alchemist Alexander Gardner
Biography and autobiography in Tibet are important sources for both education and inspiration. The authors involved in the Treasury of Lives mine primary sources to provide English-language biographies of every known religious teacher from Tibet and the Himalaya, all of which are organized on their website. The following summarizes the biography of Vairocanavajra written by Dan Martin. More »
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November 11, 2013

Sand Mandala Commemorates Akong Rinpoche

The making and destruction of a mandala in pictures Gerry McCulloch
Last month, a group of Tashi Lhunpo monks created a sand mandala at London's Samye Dzong to commemorate its founder, Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche, who was killed in China on October 8th. Of all the artistic traditions of tantric Buddhism, that of painting with colored sand is one of the most exquisite. The mandala represents the celestial mansion or abode of a principal deity or deities, surrounded by their retinues, and representing the path and fruition of the particular cycle of practices. More »
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November 06, 2013

More Radical Than You Think

Buddhist Global Relief marches against hunger in NYC Max Zahn
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November 05, 2013

Treasury of Lives: Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok

Overcoming intractable political obstacles, one lama founded a thriving Buddhist academy in China’s Tibet Asha Kaufman
Biography and autobiography in Tibet are important sources for both education and inspiration. The authors involved in the Treasury of Lives mine primary sources to provide English-language biographies of every known religious teacher from Tibet and the Himalaya, all of which are organized on their website. The following summarizes the biography of Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, by Antonio Terrone.  More »
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October 31, 2013

An Act of Conscience

The power of walking Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
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October 30, 2013

Treasury of Lives: Halloween Edition

Buddhist literature has never shied away from the dark and frightening Harry Einhorn
Biography and autobiography in Tibet are important sources for both education and inspiration. The authors involved in the Treasury of Lives mine primary sources to provide English-language biographies of every known religious teacher from Tibet and the Himalaya, all of which are organized on their website. More »
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October 29, 2013

Taming the Mind

A video teaching with Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche
In this exclusive online video teaching filmed at the Garrison Institute in upstate New York, Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche speaks with Tricycle on an array of topics concerning Buddhism and modernity. Rinpoche explains how to rid ourselves of unhealthy habits (from alcoholism to poor diet) and how to live amongst unhealthy surroundings, as well as argues that technology can be helpful "if we have a good heart." "Buddhism is the science of the mind and the art of life," he says in the teaching. "The bottom line is: how can we be more kind to each other?" More »