• Tricycle Community 13 comments

    Is it OK to fist bump the Dalai Lama? Paid Member

    Yesterday the Mayor of Memphis, Tennessee, Myron Lowery, made headlines when he chose to greet the Dalai Lama with a fist bump. Though the Dalai Lama appeared to take the gesture in stride, laughing and offering his own fist, Lowery has received a flurry of criticism. In response Mayor Lowery fired back with an open letter defending the actions that his critics have deemed "inappropriate" and "disrespectful": I had been told by his representatives that the Dalai Lama had a wonderful sense of humor, and would enjoy the exchange. Indeed, he did. His Holiness laughed, returned the gesture, and gave me his blessings. And in our brief time together, I saw in his eyes the sparkle of kindness, love and good humor. More »
  • Tricycle Community 8 comments

    Is it a problem that Obama won't meet with the Dalai Lama? Paid Member

    "A White House delegation" met with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala yesterday and conveyed the President's respect for the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, but when the Dalai Lama comes to Washington in October, the President is not scheduled to meet with him. Every President since George H. W. Bush has met with the Dalai Lama while in office. Is it a problem that won't be? He'll certainly have more chances. Obama is going to Beijing in November, and some say he will meet with the Dalai Lama immediately after that. Does this political dance say anything new about the state of the world today, or is it just politics as usual? [Image: Copyright © 2009 AFP] More »
  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    Dalai Lama to visit region at heart of Sino-Indian conflict Paid Member

    As previously mentioned on this blog, the region of Tawang, near Bhutan, is located in disputed territory: both China and India claim it, though India currently contorls it. Birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama and home to a large Tibetan Buddhist monastery, the region's Tibetan flavor and culture makes it a particular thorn in China's side. Now comes the news, that, hard on the heels of his visit to Taiwan, the current (14th) Dalai Lama is preparing to visit Tawang in November. China objects. "China doesn't need to worry about the trip. More »
  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    Chan Tea Ceremony Paid Member

    Tea and Chan (Japanese: Zen) Buddhism go back a long ways. Tea leaves are said to have sprung from Bodhidharma's eyelids when he cut them off to remain awake, and the tea ceremony has been an integral part of Japanese culture and religion ever since. In fact, it was a Buddhist monk, Eichu, who brought tea to Japan after a visit to China. Now Chinese Chan Buddhists are working to rediscover the place of tea in their practice. A two-month long Chan-tea culture Festival just wrapped up at Tanzhe Monastery in Beijing: More »
  • Tricycle Community 4 comments

    Is there an ethical way to visit Burma? Paid Member

    There has been plenty of discussion about the ethics of traveling to Burma, although its repressive government has been impervious to just about any kind of pressure the outside world applies. While there are Buddhist practitioners who visit monasteries to practice on extended retreats, most other travel has been frowned upon by many activists. But today's Washington Post lists a few tour agencies that "are mindful of the ongoing ethical debate about visiting Burma and have taken measures to ensure that at least some of their tourist dollars go to support small, locally owned businesses and not the repressive military dictatorship." More »
  • The Just War: Do the Buddhist teachings ever allow for violence? Paid Member

    A lively discussion followed a recent post here on the Army's first Buddhist chaplain. The latest response comes from John Scorsine, a military officer in the National Guard and a newly ordained Buddhist minister, who writes, "This question of the reconciliation of Buddhism and being a professional at arms has been a defining matter of inquiry for me." Scorsine continues, describing his discussion of this issue with the Dalai Lama: When I asked HHDL what in his view was the karmic consequence for killing for one’s country or for being killed in battle he responed: “And over here, liturgically speaking, most important is motivation and goal. Now goal to serve interest for larger community and motivation – compassionate motivation. Genuine sense of care. And then, if the circumstances, there’s no other way, only the violent way, then violence is permissible. More »