Buddhism

  • The 1918 Shikoku Pilgrimage of Takamure Itsue Paid Member

    In 1918 Takamure Itsue, an energetic young Japanese woman, traveled alone to the island of Shikoku to go on pilgrimage—the famous Shikoku pilgrimage, which follows the footsteps of the Buddhist saint Kobo Daishi. The route is approximately 1400 kilometers and consists of 88 temples. During her journey Takamure wrote 105 newspaper articles about her experiences, and these were later turned into a book: Musume Junreiki (The pilgrimage journal of a young woman). Susan Tennant, who lived and taught in Japan for 11 years including 5 years on the island of Shikoku, has recently self-published an English translation of this book entitled, The 1918 Shikoku Pilgrimage of Takamure Itsue. More »
  • A Day at the Grist Mill with Bonnie Myotai Treace Paid Member

    Yesterday I was lucky enough to get out of my cave cubicle in the Tricycle office and travel to Garrison, New York to the Grist Mill, where Bonnie Myotai Treace leads retreats for the Hermitage Heart sangha. Garrison is a 90-minute train ride straight up the Hudson River from New York City. The Grist Mill, pictured below from across the mill pond, is within easy walking distance of the train station. The Hudson Valley is so beautiful it seems odd that is so close to the city. In the morning when I woke up in Brooklyn it was warm and sticky, the air heavy and still. In Garrison it was cool, breezy and clear. I was there with videographer and friend of Tricycle Denise Petrizzo. Our mission was to film the first part of a teaching by Myotai that will appear on Tricycle.com in July as our Tricycle Retreat, "Whole Life Offering." Arriving early Tuesday morning, Denise and I walked around the mill, which is tucked into a deep green wood full of streams, ponds, and small rocky waterfalls. A few feet into the woods at the beginning of our walk, we startled two fawns and were too slow to catch them on camera. Stupidly I didn't take any photos. When you have a video camera to worry about, sometimes you slip on the small stuff like still photography. Myotai later told us a story about the late John Daido Loori Roshi, who was famous for his love of photography and fostering creativity in his students. He would send his photography students out on long walks by Zen Mountain Monastery and tell them to take just one picture! They must have come back having seen so much more, searching the landscape intently for that one perfect shot! Daido's birthday was June 14th. (Two pieces by Myotai appeared in the Spring 2010 Tricycle: "The Sword Disappears in the Water," and a remembrance of Daido, "Being Love by Loving.") More »
  • Bad Meditation? No Such thing, says Ajahn Brahm Paid Member

    The mind can do wonderful and unexpected things. Meditators who are having a difficult time achieving a peaceful state of mind sometimes start thinking, “Here we go again, another hour of frustration.” But often something strange happens; although they are anticipating failure, they reach a very peaceful meditative state. My first meditation teacher told me that there is no such thing as a bad meditation. He was right. During the difficult meditations you build up your strength, which creates meditation for peace. - Ajahn Brahm, "Stepping Towards Enlightenment," Fall 2006 Click here to read the complete article. More »
  • Blogwatch: Musings Paid Member

    I recommend checking out Musings by author, teacher, translator—and blogger—Ken McLeod.  An excellent teacher, McLeod does just this in the vast majority of his blog: He teaches.  Through simple practice tips and personal reflections, McLeod strikes an impressive balance between simplicity and depth which makes his blogs both instantly accessible as well as very useful.  It is very practice-oriented and can serve as a great online resource for any regular meditator with an internet connection. More »
  • Wrong, wrong, wrong! Paid Member

    Himalayan Art Resources' Jeff Watt couldn't be more emphatic: Art for art's sake is as old as Tibet—in fact, far older. So you can imagine how ticked off the Tibetan iconography expert was when he read this at artdaily.org: There is no Tibetan equivalent for the word “art” as it is known in the West. The closest approximation is lha dri pa, literally, “to draw a deity.” Traditionally, neither the Tibetan language nor the Tibetan cultural framework has recognized art for art’s sake, and an artist’s efficacy rests in his ability to precisely replicate an established visual language and portray the essence of a particular deity. (Artdaily.org). More »