• Week 2 Roundup: The Buddha's Original Ideas Paid Member

    We're finishing up week 2 of Rita Gross's Tricycle Retreat, "Buddhist History for Buddhist Practitioners," today. This week Gross discussed India's spiritual scene at the time of the Buddha. She reminds us that the Buddha didn't come up with his philosophy all on his own, that he made use of many of the ideas popular with his spiritual contemporaries. For example, the Buddha did not invent notions of karma, rebirth, and a vast cosmos.Gross has been wonderful at responding to comments left by retreat participants, especially ones that have to do with history. One participant comments that she thought of the Buddha's leaving home as a metaphor. More »
  • The Buddha's Original Ideas: Week 2 of Rita Gross's Retreat Paid Member

    Week 2 of Rita Gross's Tricycle Retreat, "Buddhist History for Buddhist Practitioners," starts today. This week, entitled "The Buddha's Original Ideas," explores the questions: How much of what the Buddha taught was original? How much of it was something that other people were already saying as part of the religious teachings of India in his day? There's an excerpt from Gross's teaching below and well of a preview of this week's video. Enjoy! More »
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    Lumbini will never be a Buddhist Mecca Paid Member

  • This week on tricycle.com Paid Member

    Last week, Gene Smith was honored with the opening of the Gene Smith Library at the Minorities University in Chengdu, China. Smith had left the university his collection of Tibetan texts. In the Summer 2011 issue of Tricycle, Noa Jones also honors the life of the late, eminent scholar of Tibetan Buddhism.From "The Man who Saved Tibetan Buddhism": More »
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    Thailand Culture Ministry moves to ban tourists' Buddha tattoos Paid Member

    If you were planning to get a tattoo of the Buddha during an upcoming trip to Thailand, you may want to reconsider. Thailand's Culture Ministry has called on all Thai tattoo parlors to refrain from giving tourists tattoos of the Buddha. The AP reports: Culture Minister Niphit Intharasombat said in a statement that his ministry has been receiving complaints from residents that tattoo parlors are etching sacred images of Buddha and other religious images onto the skin of non-Buddhist visitors across the country."Foreigners see these tattoos as a fashion," Niphit said in the statement posted on his ministry's website Thursday. "They do not think of respecting religion, or they may not be aware" that it can be offensive. More »
  • This week on tricycle.com Paid Member

    The jury is still out on whether it's acceptable for Buddhists to enjoy a glass of wine now and again. While we wait for the verdict, some of us are in the mood for a little moonshine. This week on tricycle.com, Noa Jones shares a Bhutanese recipe for rice wine. She writes, "I’m not sure what Shakyamuni would have to say about all of this. In the sutras he recommended that one train in abstinence from substances that cause intoxication and heedlessness. This precept can be interpreted as a ban on alcohol, but upon close inspection, it does not actually state that alcohol as a substance is impure but rather our behavior, our indulgence, our attachment to it." We will also feature a fun video of Jones learning how to make ara, Bhutanese rice wine. More »