Tibetan Buddhism

  • Homosexuality, Marriage, and Religion in Tibet: An Endlessly Complicated Situation Paid Member

    A post which Tricycle editor James Shaheen recently wrote at the Huffington Post blog has picked up a good bit of attention around the internet.  James's subject was the Dalai Lama's views on gay marriage, which, as he rightly discussed, are quite a complicated matter.  In part this stems from the utterly different cultural and religious assumptions about sexuality that monks raised in traditional Tibetan culture bring to the discussion, vs. the cultural and religious assumptions of Western gay rights advocates (or, for that matter, Western opponents of gay marriage). More »
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    Buddhism and Science Paid Member

    In our Spring 2003 issue, B. Alan Wallace wrote, Buddhism, like science, presents itself as a body of systematic knowledge about the natural world. It posits a wide array of testable hypotheses and theories concerning the nature of the mind and its relation to the physical environment. These theories have allegedly been tested and experientially confirmed numerous times over the past 2,500 years, by means of duplicable meditative techniques. In this sense, Buddhism may be characterized as a form of empiricism, rather than transcendentalism. Are Buddhism and science close relatives? If Buddhism disagrees with science, must we side with science? Read the whole article. More »
  • In Dharamsala India, Buddhism meets the Big Bang Paid Member

    An article appearing in yesterday’s New York Times highlights an emerging month-long math and science program designed for Tibetan nuns and monks living in Dharamsala, India. Students in the Emory Tibet Science Initiative, which is backed by Emory University in Atlanta, attend a wide range of courses including biology, physics, neuroscience, math, and logic. In its second session this past spring 91 monastics enrolled in the rigorous program which introduces concepts such as the Big Bang Theory, cloning, and climate change. The Times article explores Tibetans’ emerging interest in modern science despite a Buddhist curriculum that remains largely unchanged: Tibetans marked the 50th anniversary of their exile this year, and a return to their homeland remains elusive. More »
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    Lama Hates the Sunset Paid Member

    The inimitable Lama Yeshe: More »
  • Practicing Buddhism whether you're a Buddhist or not Paid Member

    "The greatest gift you can give someone," says B. Alan Wallace, "is your attention." I've just given him nearly 15 minutes of mine and it was worth it, and I'll listen to more tomorrow (thank you for the tip, William Harryman!). Here's the opening talk of a two-day retreat hosted by the Jefferson Tibetan Society of Charlottesville, VA,  focusing on The Four Immeasurables (the Brahmaviharas) and Shamatha (meditative quiescence), followed by a guided meditation. Wallace, a meditation teacher, scholar, former Tibetan monk and a longtime student of the Dalai Lama's, teaches that any of us can benefit from these practices whether we're Buddhist or not. Great stuff, take a listen... More »