Random Notes

  • Tricycle Community 1 comment

    Karmapa on MySpace Paid Member

    The media's tittering over the Karmapa's MySpace page -- supposedly set up in anticipation of his visit to the West this summer. The attention is great, but all the interest over the page's existence seems to betrays a common Western notion that Buddhists all live in caves and have never heard of the internet, pop music, sports, or Lindsay Lohan. Some will argue the oddness of the cultural encounter is not the stupification on the Western end but rather a culture where designating young people as incarnations of dead people or saints is accepted as an everyday thing. Well, fair enough. Our understanding of monastic culture is very dim in any case. More »
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    Negative Theology Paid Member

    "Yoga classes during Eucharistic adoration" in Florida? What's next, the Black Mass during CCD? The National Catholic Register asks, "Do Catholicism and Buddhism mix?" Short answer: No. Also, a writer for Psychotherapy Networker attends a week-long meditation retreat, and writes a long article about it. - Philip Ryan, Webmaster More »
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    Zen and the Art of Celebrity Prison Stays Paid Member

    Sometimes the Dharma has a habit of popping up in the last place you’d expect. A perfect example is the bags Paris Hilton is packing for her upcoming 45-day prison stay on a drunk-driving charge. Along with the Bible, infamous heiress and socialite Hilton was photographed holding a copy of Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now,” which, while not explicitly Buddhist, essentially reframes Buddhist teaching on suffering in terminology even a Hilton could understand. Tolle’s book will teach the famous blonde that her suffering arises from attachment to her own mind and her concept of ego, and that freedom from needless pain arises from mindfulness and from being fully present in the moment—a concept familiar to most Buddhists as the Four Noble Truths. More »
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    Can do Paid Member

    Violence in northern Sri Lanka and southern Thailand continues. . . Isn't there any cheerful news in the Buddhist world? Well, this self-described "Unitarian Buddhist," reported about in Northwestern University's Medill Reports (from their Graduate School of Journalism) apparently gathered enough aluminum cans to start a real live retreat center. There's something to think about next time you polish off a can of your favorite fizzy. Also, Deepak Chopra, whose new novel was reviewed in the current Tricycle, writes about the Buddha's take on fear and anxiety for the Huffington Post. Read it before you judge it! I mean the HuffPo article, of course. More »
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    Hot News! Paid Member

    So it seems the Naga Jolokia pepper is the hottest in the world, with a Scoville scale rating of about 1,000,000. (Jalapeños clock in at 2,500 to 8,000, according to Wikipedia, but I bet that doesn't mean the Naga Jolokia is 125 to 400 times as hot as the jalapeño. Numerical scales can be very misleading in this way. Like, when it's 80 degrees Fahrenheit out, does that mean it's "twice as warm" as 40 degrees Fahrenheit? More »
  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    Tough times for the Bodhi Tree Paid Member

    You remember the uproar a year ago about a missing branch of the Bodhi Tree? As far as I know it was never resolved—maybe the branch wasn't missing at all, and if it was, there was no clear trail to who took it, or damaged the tree. Here's an update that doesn't answer any interesting questions but says the tree is not looking so hot. Apparently the tree was diseased a few years back and needed some intervention, and the missing branch isn't helping much. More »