Buddhist Traditions

  • Tricycle Community 23 comments

    When the Buddha Bowed Out Paid Member

    "Who are you?" said the Caterpillar.This was not a very encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, "I hardly know, sir, just at present—at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.""What do you mean by that?" said the Caterpillar sternly. "Explain yourself!""I can't explain myself, I'm afraid, sir," said Alice, "because I'm not myself, you see.""I don't see," said the Caterpillar."I'm afraid I can't put it more clearly," Alice replied, very politely, "for I can't understand it myself, to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing. ""It isn't," said the Caterpillar. More »
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    The Formless Field of Benefaction Paid Member

    There was a time when the Heart Sutra evoked associations with Asian monastic rituals, and not Florida hospitals; and when "the great matter of life and death," as the Zen tradition puts it, did not apply to the American abortion debate; and when running an AIDS hospice may have been considered too secular for Buddhist priests; and when Buddhist priests felt obliged to deny their sexuality, all the more so if it was homosexual. More »
  • Tricycle Community 21 comments

    The Question Paid Member

    The always provocative website Edge.org poses an annual question to a long list of prominent thinkers, mostly scientists, and then posts their responses. This year’s question was: What have you changed your mind about, and why? We at Tricycle thought it would be no less intriguing to ask the same question with a Buddhist spin. So we’ve approached a wide range of old Buddhist hands with our own adapted version: What in Buddhism have you changed your mind about, and why? What follows is a cross-section of the answers we received. A larger sampling is available on tricycle.com. And now the ball is in your court. We invite you to post your own response and comment on what strikes you most. More »
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    Tender Mercies Paid Member

    Buddhism emphasizes that death has only one intrinsic quality: not deliverance or joy, sadness or salvation—but certainty. In a universe of variables, it remains the only reliable beacon. To contemplate death, then, and allow this one certainty to inspire our daily behavior is, from a Buddhist perspective, a sane and radically pragmatic inquiry for everyone. Historically "The Great Matter of Life and Death" has been left largely to spiritual adepts and subsequently packaged by institutional religion. So it is somewhat ironic that this domain of religious bureaucracy is being democratized not by a neo-Aquarian awakening, but rather by medical science at its most secular, and in particular by issues such as euthanasia and the use of aborted fetal tissue. More »
  • A Prince Indeed Paid Member

    Nowhere at all Jambudvipa (India) were the midsummer festivities gayer, more joyous, than in Kapilavastu, the chief city of the tiny Sakyan kingdom nestled in the rolling foothills of [the] Himalaya[s], the abode of snows whence arose the little river Rohini which wound its sinuous way through the city. The Sakyas were ruled in those days by King Suddhodana Gautama, whose two wives were sisters, the older named Maya and the younger Prajapati. Now, Queen Maya had taken vows of abstinence and chastity. More »
  • Law and Order Paid Member

    As the son of a raja, Siddhattha had grown up in a household where political and legal questions were daily topics. He had attended dozens of sessions in the assembly and had been present at numerous trials. Thus he had gained a considerable knowledge of legal matters. Although politics and jurisprudence were not central to his thinking, which was essentially concerned with philosophical matters, nevertheless he was more proficient in law than the other leading teachers of his time, and this knowledge was of great assistance to him for the consolidation of his Order. There were two legal areas in which it was necessary to establish regulations: the relation of the Sangha to the state and society, and the internal law of the Order, which sets up a code of behavior for monks and nuns and stipulates the penalties for misconduct. More »