Japan

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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 »
  • "Oldest man in Tokyo" has been dead for 30 years Paid Member

    When Japanese officials arrived at Sogen Kato's house to congratulate the elderly man on his 111th birthday, they were in for a big shock. After family members chased officials away claiming that Kato did not want to see them, police were able to break into the house where they found Kato's remains covered in his bed. According to his family, Kato shut himself up in his room three decades ago to "become a living Buddha." Japanese authorities speculate that Kato---thought to be the oldest man living in Tokyo---may actually have been dead for 30 years. Police are now investigating the family for possible fraud charges. Read more about this story here. Image: chestofbooks.com More »