Interview

  • When the Iron Bird Flies Paid Member

    In her documentary When the Iron Bird Flies, now showing at the Tricycle Film Club through the month of February, director Victress Hitchcock follows the journey of Tibetan Buddhism from its past seclusion in the Land of Snows to its current (almost) mainstream status in the West. The film explores a pressing question as Tibetan Buddhism's influence grows worldwide: In these incredibly chaotic, modern times, can these age old teachings help us find genuine happiness—and create a saner, more compassionate 21st century world? More »
  • Buddha Buzz: A Columbia Professor and a Death Row Inmate Paid Member

    Not to be outdone by Burma's shocking level of prejudice against Muslims, a group of Sinhalese Buddhist monastics known as the "Buddhist Force" is campaigning to ban halal meat in Sri Lanka amidst attacks on Muslim-owned businesses and other violence. The Sinhalese president has urged the monks to maintain religious harmony within the country, especially since the nation's civil war with the Hindu Tamil Tigers ended only four years ago. More »
  • The Dangers of Spirituality Paid Member

    In recent decades, the decline of religious belief and affiliation in the West has been accompanied by a steady increase of interest in “spirituality” and the deployment of the term. The word has come a long way from its Christian roots to encompass alternative and mystic traditions from a number of religious traditions, and, more recently, to denote a kind of lifestyle most often characterized as “spiritual, but not religious.” As the authors of Selling Spirituality, Jeremy Carrette and Richard King observe, “There are perhaps few words in the modern English language as vague and wooly as the notion of ‘spirituality.’” More »
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    Does a Cow Go "Mu"? Paid Member

    Dick Allen is the current poet laureate of Connecticut, a position he’ll hold until 2015. Allen has studied Buddhism for over 50 years, since meeting Alan Watts one quiet autumn afternoon at Syracuse University, where Allen took the country’s first undergraduate credit course in Zen Buddhism in 1960. Allen is most drawn to “crazy Zen,” and many of his Buddhist poems are written, he says, to “Americanize Buddhism and Zen Buddhism through the use of American landscapes, American icons like Coca-Cola, and Apple computers placed alongside cloudy mountains and brooms sweeping Buddhist temple floors.” More »
  • Meditating on Mortality Paid Member

    According to Mike Belsito, who runs a funeral planning website, the word "death" is searched for on Google 68,000,000 times per month. "For perspective," he writes, "that's twice as much as the search results for the word 'marriage'—and more than thirteen times as much as the results for 'happiness.'" When the Tricycle staff were planning our current issue, which features a large special section on death and dying, we didn't know these numbers. But we're happy to learn that we're not the only ones interested in our own mortality. More »
  • Interview with Nichiren Buddhist Singer Ifé Sanchez Mora Paid Member

    Ifé Sanchez Mora, known onstage as just Ifé, is a NY-based singer, songwriter, and Nichiren Daishonin practitioner. A Detroit native, Ifé pulls from a wide variety of musical influences, including those from her Mexican and African heritage as well as American blues, rock, and soul music, seamlessly melding them into her own distinctive sound. (You can give her music a listen February 5, when her new album Fire Inside of Me is released.) Ifé, born into the Nichiren Buddhist tradition, became comfortable with her own voice through chanting practice, and her deep connection to Buddhism inspires and influences her music to this day. Tricycle’s Alex Caring-Lobel spoke with Ifé over the phone about the essence of Nichiren and Soka Gakkai, the influence of her practice on her career, and the importance of community.   More »