Travel

  • Consider the Source: Why Bodhidharma was a rebel, not a myth Paid Member

    Revered as the father of Zen Buddhism, some scholars have still denied or raised doubts as to whether Bodhidharma actually existed. He did. In fact, new evidence from Chinese scholarship suggests that he was a critically important historical figure, one far more fascinating than previously imagined. But if this is true, why doesn’t he appear in any official imperial records that were created while he lived? The earliest and most reliable account we have concerning Bodhidharma’s life, written by the great monk-historian Dao Xuan around the year 650 AD, clearly suggests that Bodhidharma did not like emperors and made a point to avoid them. The famous story of Bodhidharma meeting and rejecting the “Bodhisattva Emperor Wu” of the Liang Dynasty is only the most famous bit of information that supports this thesis. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: The Mindful Lifestyle Movement and "Insta-Karma" Paid Member

    Over at Maclean's Anne Kingston surveys the world of corporate mindfulness and the Buddhist reaction. "What has gripped Western attention," writes Kingston, "is mindfulness's ability to improve performance—of Olympic athletes, parents, and even nations, as promised in U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan’s 2012 bestseller, Mindful Nation." Mindfulness: the panacea to all our personal and societal ills. Tech entrepreneurs, corporations (benevolent and evil), publishers (Buddhist and non-Buddhist), and life-coaches of all stripes have been quick to capitalize on the "mindful" vogue. More »
  • On Pilgrimage Paid Member

    The following poem was submitted by Steve Kohn, a participant in last year's "In the Footsteps of the Buddha" Tricycle pilgrimage to India. He was inspired to submit the poem upon reading Pico Iyer's piece in the pilgrimage special section in the Fall 2012 issue of Tricycle.   Pilgrimage Come be a pilgrim with me.There is a place of great poverty,        With here and there A cow patty of wealth. Come, take a journey and seeGreat hungers feeding ill healthWith invisible poisons in water and air. More »
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    Tricycle Pilgrimage: Self-arising talisman Paid Member

    Phalluses are a common sight in Bhutan. They're thought to ward off evil spirits. They are often nailed to trees or posts, or painted onto the outside walls of houses and shops. At Chimey Lhakang, or the Temple of the Divine Madman, in Bumthang, visitors are tapped on the head with a phallus, which is thought to bring fertility to those hoping to have children. Our guide referred to the sacred object as "the mighty flaming phallus of discerning wisdom of the Divine Madman." The Divine Madman, or Drukpa Kungley, remains a revered historical figure in Bhutan and is remembered as a great master of Vajrayana. After the visit, one witty Tricycle pilgrim let the rest of us know that she had morning-after pills on hand should anyone feel the need. More »
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    Tricycle pilgrims make it to the Tiger's Nest Paid Member

    Tricycle Pilgrims are troopers—most of us made the arduous hike to the Tiger's Nest, or the Taktsang Palphug Monastery, as the Bhutanese call it. Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche), who brought Vajrayana Buddhism to Tibet and Bhutan, is said to have meditated there in a cave for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours. Built in 1692, the monastery was rebuilt after a fire in 1998. I should add that we not only made it up but also made it back down. Some sore muscles but nothing serious! Image: Approaching the Tiger's Nest, Paro Valley, Buthan. © Risto Kuulasmaa. More »
  • Tricycle Pilgrimage: Today's Teaching from Kathmandu Paid Member

    From today's teaching at Shedrub Ling: It's not enough to think you understand impermanence and then to forget about it. The real dharma practitioner is someone who contemplates impermanence many times throughout day. Only then do our fixations begin to loosen, our attachments begin to break. Only then do we finally begin to relax. Image: Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche at the White Gompa. © Risto Kuulasmaa. More »