• Surviving the dragon Paid Member

    Tsering Namgyal writes for phayul.com today that Arjia Rinpoche, former tutor to the last Panchen Lama, spoke to the Tibetan community in Minneapolis this week about his book Surviving the Dragon: A Tibetan Lama's Account of 40 Years under Chinese Rule, published earlier this year. Arjia Rinpoche fled Tibet when he was asked to tutor the Panchen Lama's Chinese-appointed successor (the successor the Dalai Lama selected disappeared into Chinese custody in 1995 and hasn't been heard from since). More »
  • Be a child of illusion Paid Member

    Each Friday, Acharya Judy Lief, teacher in the Shambhala tradition of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, comments on one of Atisha's 59 mind-training (Tib. lojong) slogans, which serve as the basis for a complete practice. Following each commentary Judy offers us a weekly practice. Here is Slogan 6 (each slogan provides links to the previous slogans, including a two-part discussion of their history and use in practice). I've been following along each week myself—a good way to stay grounded—rather ungrounded!—in my practice. 6. In postmeditation, be a child of illusion. Practice can be divided into two: meditation and postmeditation. More »
  • "The End of Lost: Death, Dharma, and the Dao" on Huffpost Paid Member

    Here is an interesting Huffington Post article on the finale of Lost.  Michael Carmichael writes, In the shattering aftermath of the end of Lost, the overwhelming tendency will be to dumb down its meaning to the level of mere western entertainment. Lost deserves to be understood as an epic -- an infinite interlocking series of trilogies and operas articulating the transformations of consciousness through the processes of death. More »
  • Buddhist chess king hosts extraterrestrials Paid Member

    Chess is compulsory at schools in Kalmykia, the Russian Federation's only Buddhist republic. The republic's millionaire chess fanatic president, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (pictured here in 2006 with World Juniors Champion Zaven Andriasian), is also president of the the World Chess Federation, the most prestigious organization of its kind. But maybe not for much longer: chess great Anatoly Karpov wants Ilyumzhinov's position when the latter's mandate expires in September. According to Stuart Williams writing for AFP, both are now engaged in "a struggle which has become a bitter test of guile and stamina reminiscent of famous battles on the board." But the charismatic Ilyumzhinov may be able to call on extraterrestrial support: More »
  • Whose Buddhism is best? Paid Member

    It depends on who you ask. Each school has taken time to assert its superiority by virtue of its "authenticity." In the last issue, Tricycle editor-at-large Andrew Cooper took a historical look at such claims: Traditionally in Buddhism, for a school or doctrine to be regarded as authentic, it must be traceable back to the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. Most often this has been done through scripture: schools or movements based themselves on particular texts said to be the Buddha’s teachings. This was seldom only a matter of establishing legitimacy; it was usually tied as well to sectarian polemics about superiority. More »
  • Extraordinary Imperfection Paid Member

    ‘I don’t believe in religion.’ So goes the response to my reluctant confession that I teach about religion for a living (obviously a religious nut). Yet, when I drop in that I teach about Buddhism, the tone changes. ‘But Buddhism’s not really a religion is it? More a way of life?’ While in some ways it comes as a relief that my cherished spiritual principles are not dismissed as so much garbage, if not positively harmful, it puzzles me that Buddhism should escape the wrath of the anti-religious zealot. Is it so anodyne as to cause no one offence? Are Buddhists so accommodating that they bend whichever way the wind blows? Or is it simply that the general perception of Buddhism is so rose-tinted and exoticized that it cheerfully resists the all-too-mundane reality? There is no doubt that in general Buddhism has a very positive press in the Western media. More »