Japan

  • The Chimera of Human Advancement Paid Member

    In The Zen Teachings of Homeless Kodo, three generations of dharma teachers grapple with the social and technological changes they witnessed in Japan over the course of their respective lifetimes. Kodo Sawaki, the eponymous "Homeless Kodo," first brought Soto Zen Buddhism out of the monasteries and into the streets during the early 1900s. His dharma heir, Kosho Uchiyama, continued this tradition during the latter half of that century. Now Shohaku Okamura, the title's translator and last commentator, applies the wisdom of his forebears to our present day.—Ed.Kodo Sawaki: After all our efforts, racking our brains as intensely as possible, we have come to a deadlock. Human beings are idiots. We set ourselves up as wise and then do foolish things. In spite of our scientific advancement, we haven’t yet achieved greatness of character. What’s the reason for this? More »
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    The Value of Suffering Paid Member

    Suffering is inevitable, yet it is something many try hard to avoid. This avoidance has its risks, according to Tricycle contributing editor Pico Iyer in yesterday's piece in The New York Times. Iyer contends that there is great value to suffering. And that it's danger is not if this suffering will harm us, but rather if we learn nothing in its wake. More »
  • Meet Tokyo's Bartending Monk Paid Member

    Bartenders are easy to confide in. Not just because you're probably wasted, but because so many others have been before you. Your neighborhood barkeep has already heard it all, and though he might not be able to impart any sage advice, he's at least developed some good listening skills. While barkeeps seem to have always occupied this unique social position, it's therapists who often do these days. Before therapy, which developed from the Christian culture of confession and divulgence, it was the clergy who saddled this responsibility. Vowz Bar in Tokyo revitalizes that once important role of clergy, placing them right behind the bar, where Buddhist-themed cocktails are mixed for spiritually thirsty patrons. Run by monks in the bustling Shinjuku district, it's likely the only bar where boozy-and-stirred concoctions are offered with a prayer. More »
  • Beautiful Image from Japan Paid Member

                            This image came to us via a friend on twitter. We're not sure of the story behind it but I find it to be quite moving. More »
  • Upcoming Earthquake/Tsunami Memorials in Los Angeles Paid Member

    We just receiving word on some inspiring activities in Los Angeles from an old friend of Tricycle: More »
  • Three Practices for Japan Paid Member

    Even with the vast amount of information available to us through the media and internet, the amount of destruction, death, and suffering that is a result of the earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear catastrophe in Japan is hard to comprehend. It is enough to make the brain of any person with a capacity for empathy short-circuit. Yet losing our minds helps nobody. This morning I came across this passage in a piece titled How Japan's religions confront tragedy by Dan Gilgoff. From the CNN Belief blog, More »