China

  • Tricycle Talks: Interview with Digital Dharma Director Dafna Yachin Paid Member

    Today's Tricycle Talk is with Dafna Yachin, the producer, writer, and director of Digital Dharma, a documentary chronicling the Tibetan cultural preservation efforts of E. Gene Smith. Smith was no James Bond or Jason Bourne, but his mission was just as epic: the recovery, preservation, and digitization of 20,000 Tibetan Buddhist and Bonpo texts. Battling Chinese bureaucracy and personal health issues along the way, Smith managed in 2008 to deliver hard and flash drives containing 12,000 precious texts to monasteries all over Nepal and India. Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and E. Gene Smith, with a hard drive containing 12,000 texts. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: E-blessings, Art, and Ceasing to Be Human Paid Member

    Buddhism and modernity have sat down together at the table once more. Last Friday, the China Daily published the article "Buddhist temple offers e-blessing service," which covered one innovative method of controlling crowds, reducing the burning of incense, and making some money: sending blessings via text. Guiyuan Temple in Wuhan, China, in cooperation with China Mobile, is charging people 3 to 10 yuan (normal text messages, according to the article, cost 0.15 yuan) to send a blessing text, which includes the phone number of the person for whom the blessing is meant for. While China Mobile forwards the text to the appropriate person, the blessing appears on an LED board outside the temple, where monks are chanting prayers for all the texters and textees. More »
  • Tricycle Community 10 comments

    Buddha Buzz: Yue-yue, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and an Anonymous Monk Paid Member

    Our first Buddha Buzz item this week was brought to my attention by a Tweet from the blogger behind American Buddhist Perspective, Justin Whitaker. It's about a photo that recently struck a chord with China and the world, of an anonymous monk praying over the dead body of a man in a Chinese train station: More »
  • Tricycle Community 2 comments

    Buddha Buzz: Public Perception: Buddhists, Rapists, and the Karmapa Charged Paid Member

    My week had an…interesting start. Why, you ask? Because of this article: “Atheists About As Trustworthy As Rapists, To The Faithful.” Excuse me, what? From the article: There are seven billion people in the world. Two billion of them are Christians. Another 1.5 billion follow Islam. Hundreds of millions follow Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and a number of other organized religions. In America alone, 75% of the population identifies as Christian, while only 4% of people identify as Atheists—or having no belief in deities. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Honesty, Poetry, and Exile Paid Member

    Barbara O'Brien's post on Tuesday, "Deep Honesty," made me think about all of honesty's different forms: honesty as a precept, honesty as a worldview, honesty as a tool for empowerment...and its less welcome forms too, like honesty as an unwelcome guest knocking on your door in the middle of the night when you're not quite ready to receive it. On all of these O'Brien writes, Speaking truth comes from a practice of truthfulness, or deep honesty. One of the things I first appreciated about Zen practice is that it requires self-honesty. Whatever shtick has gotten you through life is revealed to be a hindrance instead of a crutch, and the myriad little lies and rationalizations we tell ourselves about ourselves fall away. (And they're still falling away.) More »
  • The Platform Sutra of Hui-neng Paid Member

    This edition of The Platform Sutra is another translation and close reading by Bill Porter, b.k.a. Red Pine. Clark Strand turned me onto his Heart Sutra, which I wrote about here. The Platform Sutra does not purport to be spoken by the Buddha, but rather is spoken by a buddha, Hui-neng, known as the Sixth patriarch of Zen or Chan Buddhism (and also called Huineng and in Japanese, Yeno or Eno.) The basic narrative that begins it is very well known, and runs something like this: The 5th Patriarch Hung-jen (or Hongren in a slightly newer anglicization) is growing old and asks his disciples to compose poems to demonstrate their understanding. Shen-hsiu, his best student, writes The body is a bodhi treeThe mind is like a standing mirroralways try to keep it cleandon't let it gather dust. More »