• Tricycle Community 1 comment

    Tricycle pilgrims make it to the Tiger's Nest Paid Member

    Tricycle Pilgrims are troopers—most of us made the arduous hike to the Tiger's Nest, or the Taktsang Palphug Monastery, as the Bhutanese call it. Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche), who brought Vajrayana Buddhism to Tibet and Bhutan, is said to have meditated there in a cave for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours. Built in 1692, the monastery was rebuilt after a fire in 1998. I should add that we not only made it up but also made it back down. Some sore muscles but nothing serious! Image: Approaching the Tiger's Nest, Paro Valley, Bhutan. © Risto Kuulasmaa. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Thanksgiving Blessing Paid Member

    Tricycle pilgrim receives blessing from Khenpo Khatar Rinpoche at Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery, which the group visited yesterday. A 40km drive from Kathmandu, the monastery sits atop the Himalayan foothills, offering stunning views. It was built at Namo Buddha, where, in a former life, the Buddha is said to have saved a starving Tigress and her cubs by offering himself as food. A stupa was built on the site and is considered one of the holiest places in Nepal. We're all grateful to have made the visit. Happy Thanksgiving! Image: Khatar Rinpoche offers Tricycle pilgrims blessings. © Risto Kuulasmaa. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Buddhist Humanity Paid Member

    In last week's Buddha Buzz about the South Korean monks who were caught on film drinking and gambling after another monk's memorial service, I wrote that the sordid affair was another case of "Buddhists behaving badly." In response, Tricycle commenter buddahbear01 wrote, "Buddhists behaving 'badly?' Perhaps they are human?" I think buddahbear01 has got a point here. We cannot forget that putting on Buddhist robes doesn't automatically elevate you to an ethical superhuman status—monks and nuns and religious leaders of all types, more often than not, are just like the rest of us in all of our flawed and imperfect glory.  More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Penises, Praycations, and the Death of Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch Paid Member

    I'm not trying to wax philosophical here, but writing Buddha Buzz is somewhat of a metaphor for life. Sometimes it's great, sometimes it's difficult, and sometimes you're thrown situations that you're not quite sure what to do with. Case in point: there are some strange Buddhist articles out there. Last week's highlight, for instance, was the story "Wizard arrested for raping Buddhist," which turned out to be a (poorly translated) bizarre and upsetting account of a Chinese self-proclaimed exorcist who would exorcise demons in exchange for sex. And now there's this article from i09: "In Bhutan, friendly phalluses painted on houses scare off evil spirits." What? More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Making Moonshine: How to make Bhutanese rice wine Paid Member

    In the current issue of Tricycle Food columnist Noa Jones shares a Bhutanese recipe for rice wine. More »
  • Tricycle Community 2 comments

    Buddhist monks banned from voting in elections Paid Member

    Bhutan has banned Buddhist and Hindu clergy from voting in the nation's upcoming elections. The rule is part of a continuing effort to separate religion from politics. From the BeliefNet report: Officials in Buddhist-majority Bhutan have barred Hindu and Buddhist clergy from voting in upcoming elections in order to keep a clear distinction between religion and politics. The landlocked Himalayan nation considers Mahayana Buddhism the state religion and funds a large monastic community, but also requires religion to be above politics. The country's regulatory authority on religious organizations is now busy identifying Buddhist and Hindu clergy who should be barred from voting. More »