Zen

  • The Council of Lhasa (792-794 CE) Paid Member

    The Council of Lhasa did not take place in Lhasa, but rather at the Samye monastery, which is located 3-1/2 hours away from Lhasa by bus these days. Samye is said to be the oldest monastery in Tibet, built in the middle of the 8th century at the request of King Trisong Detsen (one of the three Dharma Kings of Tibet) with the help of Padmasambhava, who brought to the local spirits to heel, and the scholar-monk Shantarakshita. The grounds at Samye are laid out in a mandala pattern and the main building is said to be based on Odantapuri, one of the great Buddhist universities of India, now destroyed (Odantapuri's high walls caused it to be mistaken for a fortress by the general Khalji, who conquered Bihar and Bengal at the end of the 12th century. Though if it had low walls, he might have knocked them down too.) More »
  • A Beautiful Fall Morning at the Village Zendo Paid Member

    Tricycle's web editor, Phil Ryan, and I had the good fortune to spend the morning sitting and speaking with Roshi Enkyo O'Hara at the Village Zendo, located just south of Houston on Broadway in lower Manhattan. We were there to interview her about the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Village Zendo community. Naturally, the conversation started with the telling of Enkyo's own Buddhist story, and from there we were able to cover topics ranging from how to best adapt various Zen rituals for a lay community in America to the challenges and joys of practicing in the city. Stay tuned for the fruits of the interview. Image: from www.villagezendo.org More »
  • Getting something out of your Zen practice Paid Member

    A "Bodhi cartoon" by artist Brian Howlett. More »
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    A Zen priest calls for full inclusion of women in all religions Paid Member

    In a blog posted yesterday on the Huffington Post, Soto Zen priest Norman Fischer called for the full inclusion of women in American Soto Zen Buddhism and "all religions." For 15 years---since a female student approached Fischer tearfully, lamenting the lack of women in the lineage they chanted each day---Fisher has worked to include women in the American Soto Zen tradition by chanting the names of a lineage of women and by advocating the giving of women's lineage documents in all Soto Zen initiation rites. Fischer speaks about the founding of the American Soto Zen Association of America, the frustrations of trying to negotiate an affiliation between the Japan Soto Zen organization, and the pitfalls of deferring to ancient religious traditions: More »
  • A morning at Japan Society, with artist Max Gimblett Paid Member

    The Tricycle staff made a field trip to Japan Society today to spend the morning with Max Gimblett, the New York artist behind the current Ten Oxherding Pictures exhibition. Gimblett was serious, charming, and engaging while he introduced us to his oxherding work in hushed, deep rich tones (we had to be quiet because they were filming an episode of Gossip Girl upstairs... yes, a strange experience to intimately explore 12th century Chinese Zen ideas while an American teen television series is being filmed in arm's reach. To nonduality!). Long story short: the show is great, and we recommend going to see it if you can. The show is running through January 16, 2011. Image: Max Gimblett outside Japan Society More »