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September 13, 2013

The Attack at Home

A new bill threatens the food security of millions Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
While the attention of the country has been riveted on President Obama’s proposals to launch missile strikes in Syria, hidden in the shadows, the House of Representatives has been busily preparing an attack of its own. This attack will not be directed against a foreign government accused of massacring innocent civilians with chemical weapons. Rather, it will be launched right here at home, and its targets are our fellow citizens, whose crime is simply being poor and dependent on federal assistance in order to eat and feed their families. More »
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September 12, 2013

Nepal battles misconceptions over Buddha’s birthplace

Vishal Arora
(RNS) Quick: Where was the Buddha born? To hear many Indians talk, you’d think it was India, where he attained enlightenment and gave his first sermon. But the people of Nepal know better—and they are eager to correct misconceptions about the Awakened One, one of the world’s most revered figures. Next month, Nepal will circulate a new 100-rupee note with the imprint, “Lumbini: The Birthplace of Lord Buddha.” The currency is part of the government’s most recent effort to correct the record. It comes amid protests following a promotional video on the private Indian channel Zee TV, which claimed the Buddha was born in India. More »
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September 09, 2013

The Value of Suffering

Pico Iyer in The New York Times
Suffering is inevitable, yet it is something many try hard to avoid. This avoidance has its risks, according to Tricycle contributing editor Pico Iyer in yesterday's piece in The New York Times. Iyer contends that there is great value to suffering. And that it's danger is not if this suffering will harm us, but rather if we learn nothing in its wake. More »
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September 09, 2013

Thich Nhat Hanh's Meditation Flash Mob Descends on Manhattan

Last Friday, members of Thich Nhat Hanh's Blue Cliff Monastery brought a little mindfulness to Union Square. About 100 participants staged a "meditation flash mob" in the middle of the busy park, contrasting their frantic surroundings with complete silence. Facing five robed monks, the eclectic group of meditators sat silently for 30 minutes, as locals and tourists alike crowded around in wonder. After the sitting meditation, the group created even more of a stir when they began walking meditation up Broadway. New Yorkers' gazes were forced momentarily away from their smartphones and onto the slow-moving religious crowd, blocking their path on the sidewalk. The smartphones, of course, were then used to snap the necessary Instagram pictures. More »
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September 06, 2013

Knocking on Heaven's Door: Review & Event

"A Life Too Long" is a heart-wrenching story of terminal illness, modern medicine, and family. The article, adapted from Katy Butler's new book, Knocking on Heaven's Door, was a hit with the Tricycle community. And word is spreading. This week, The New York Times reviewed Butler's new book: More »
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September 05, 2013

Self-Help for the Affluent

Positive Psychology's Bourgie Bias James Coyne
Positive psychology gurus and coaches give lots of advice about how we should lead our lives. Their threat is that if we don’t follow their advice, we will not only be unhappy, we risk sickness and death. When Barbara Ehrenreich’s Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America was published outside of the United States, the book was retitled Smile or Die. The publisher was concerned that non-native English speakers might not understand the play on words in the original title. I think the retitling is actually more apt in capturing the message of positive psychology: buy our advice, buy our books, attend our workshops or die. More »
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September 04, 2013

Word Sound

A Meditation Pauline Oliveros
Sound a word or a sound. Listen for a surprise. Say a word as a sound. More »
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September 03, 2013

Treasury of Lives: Poet Saints, Part 2

The life and poetry of the 6th Dalai Lama 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 6th Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso, by Simon Wickham-Smith.   Poet Saints, Part 2: The 6th Dalai Lama More »
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August 29, 2013

Physicians group blames government for Burma religious strife

(RNS) Buddhists are killing Muslims in Burma with impunity because the government failed to stop the attacks, New York-based Physicians for Human Rights reported amid fresh assaults that left more Muslims homeless. During the past year, scattered clashes across Buddhist-majority Myanmar, also known as Burma, have left more than 240 people dead, most of them Muslims. A mob of about 1,000 Buddhists burned more than 35 Muslim homes and a dozen shops on August 24 in Kanbalu in Burma's central Sagaing Division after hearing rumors that a Muslim man sexually assaulted a young Buddhist woman, police told The Associated Press. More »
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August 29, 2013

The (Justifiably) Angry Marxist

An interview with the Dalai Lama
In April 2006, the Japanese cultural anthropologist Noriyuki Ueda met the Dalai Lama for two days of conversation in Dharmasala, India. The discussion, recently translated from the Japanese text, covers such topics as the usefulness of anger, the role of compassion in society, and social and economic justice. "I believe that Buddhism has a big role to play in the world today," Ueda tells His Holiness, "and I am impatient because Buddhists don't seem to realize that." In this interview, Ueda offers us a rare peek into the the political and economic mind of one of the world's most famous spiritual leaders. More »
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August 28, 2013

How Not to Mind

A Free Interpretation of "Xinxin Ming" Jeannie Galeazzi
The following is inspired by the classic Chan poem "Xinxin Ming" (lit., “Trust-Mind Inscription”) by Jianzhi Sengcan (d. 606). More »
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August 27, 2013

Treasury of Lives: Poet Saints, Part 1

The life and poetry of Zhabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol Asha Kaufman
Biography and autobiography in Tibet are important sources for both education and inspiration. 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 blog, we will highlight and reflect on important, interesting, eccentric, surprising and beautiful stories found within this rich literary tradition. The following summarizes the biography of Zhabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol written by Matthieu Ricard. Poet Saints, Part 1: Zhabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol More »
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August 23, 2013

Wrong Mindfulness

An Interview with Hozan Alan Senauke
Hozan Alan Senauke is a Soto Zen priest, activist, and the former director of Buddhist Peace Fellowship. He is an advisor to the International Network of Engaged Buddhists and founder of the Clear View Project, which focuses on social change and relief efforts in Asia. He also happens to be an accomplished folk musician. In March, Radio host John Malkin interviewed Senauke on his show “The Great Leap Forward” on Free Radio Santa Cruz. The two spoke about the confluence of Buddhism and social justice, Buddhist Anarchism, and where Engaged Buddhism stands today.   More »
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August 21, 2013

Buddhists expelled from Malaysia for praying in Muslim hall

(RNS) The government of Malaysia expelled a group of Singaporean tourists for chanting Buddhist prayers inside an Islamic prayer room where they erected a large Buddhist painting on the wall facing Mecca. The government also revoked the permanent resident visa of the businessman who allowed the Buddhists to pray at his beach resort in Johor state, about 185 miles south of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Muslim-majority Malaysia. The government’s response is the latest in a series of crackdowns on behavior deemed disrespectful of Islamic traditions and beliefs. A Malaysian human rights group, Lawyers for Liberty, protested the action. More »
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August 21, 2013

Into the Fire

Food in the Age of Climate Change Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
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August 20, 2013

Treasury of Lives: Jangchub Tsondru

Alexander Gardner
Biography and autobiography in Tibet are important sources for both education and inspiration. 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 blog, we will highlight and reflect on important, interesting, eccentric, surprising and beautiful stories found within this rich literary tradition. This biography summarizes the life of Jangchub Tsondru on the Treasury of Lives by Françoise Pommaret. Jangchub Tsondru More »
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August 19, 2013

Racism with a Smile

Lori Pierce
The current media vogue is to construe racism as something neo-Nazis, skinheads, or other marginal bigots do. This absolves the rest of us from taking responsibility not just for individual acts of discrimination and bias on a daily basis, but also for the ways in which white supremacy reinforces and guarantees white skin privilege. Racism in the US is not primarily about individual acts of ill will. One can be benign, neutral, open, accepting, and friendly to people of color and still be participating in the perpetuation of racism in this country merely by not actively working against racial hierarchies. More »
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August 14, 2013

According to the creators of Tiger Balm, this is what Buddhist hell looks like

Most children expect a day of carefree fun and enjoyment when visiting a theme park. Singapore's Haw Par Villa, however, aims to educate its visitors. That is, through grotesque and terrifying 3D displays of Buddhist hells. More »
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August 13, 2013

Treasury of Lives: Pema Lingpa

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. More »
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August 12, 2013

Race in the Sangha: Taking the Path Together

Mushim (Patricia) Ikeda
In 1992 I was visiting a Buddhist friend, and saw a copy of Beneath a Single Moon: Buddhism in Contemporary American Poetry (Shambhala Publications, 1991) sitting on the table. Intrigued, I picked it up and scanned the table of contents to see which American poets had been selected for inclusion in the anthology’s 358 pages. I remember dropping the book as though it had burnt me. It was an instinctive response, something I didn’t even think about or try to explain to myself at the time. After that I just purposefully forgot the book even existed. More »