Arts & Culture

The growing influence of Buddhist artistic expression in contemporary culture
  • Tricycle Talk with Pema Rinzin Paid Member

    I had the great honor to interview Pema Rinzin, whose art is located in Rita Gross's article "Buddhist to Buddhist" in the Spring 2012 issue. We talked for two hours at his Tibetan Art Studio in Brooklyn, New York over a range of topics. He has  many important things to say, and his enthusiasm for Tibetan culture and for art is inspiring to hear. As soon as he began speaking, I was immediately engaged and couldn't set up my recording gear fast enough. Pema mentioned frequently that in Tibet, talking about art and actually finding books on art was a 'luxury'. We tend to forget how important books are (and how far away art is from day-to-day necessity), especially when so many of us are reading solely on electronic devices. More »
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    Zen and the Art Paid Member

    For better or worse, “Zen and the Art of…” has become a phrase that, like “Catch-22,” gets bandied about in all kinds of contexts. Zen and the Art of Changing Diapers, Zen and the Art of Casino Gaming, Zen and the Art of Faking It—there are now literally hundreds of books with “Zen and the Art of…” in the title, all presumably taking their cue from Robert Pirsig’s huge 1970s bestseller, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Likewise, hundreds of articles—even scholarly ones—appear under the same banner: “Zen and the Art of Medical Image Registration,” “Zen and the Art of Policy Analysis,” and so on. More »
  • The Taliban's Least Favorite Buddhist Art, Now on View in New York Paid Member

    Jed Perl at the New Republic, on the Asia Society's ongoing exhibition, The Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan: Art of Gandhara, More »
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    True Dharma Eye Paid Member

    According to the calendar spring is just 10 days away, but winter still has its icy grip on Montreal, Canada. Wearing an oversized parka and a borrowed pair of boots, Kazuaki Tanahashi carefully picks his way down a slush-encrusted sidewalk while I hover protectively, worried that he will lose his footing. “I’m all right,” he insists, but I’ll have some explaining to do if something happens to a national treasure on my watch. More »
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    Sleeping with the Hungry Ghost Paid Member

    Hungry ghost, a morphology all by itself between our realmsHungry ghost: that dwells in consciousness, torments our desireSexy ghost, a performer, a demon, a gadflyTo never have enough be enough get enoughDancing on coalsIn a state of mind, bewitched, unsettled over what he thinks or she thinks, what they thinkWhat the “I” thinks: hieroglyph for the hungry ghostUnsatisfied—dancing on nails!Jostled by waves, the real kind, that pull you underTurbulent in a shadow realm between waking and sleepHungry ghost with sacrifices in the sand, hewn characters inthe mind, arms and legs that are brisk strokes of gestures in air, in language, flailing about, writing with the skeletal stylus of the hungry ghostSleeping with the hungry ghost who writes your book More »
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    Lex Hixon: "In The Spirit" Paid Member

    Lex Hixon affected many lives in different ways. In the course of his own studies, he became an accomplished adept in (among othet traditions) Zen, Vedanta, Sufism, and Russian Orthodoxy. His house in the Rivetdale section of the Bronx often functioned as a haven for people who tepresented religion at the crossroads. A robed TIbetan high lama would be coming in one door as a disgruntled runaway from a Zen communiry would be entering through another, and Lex's magnanimiry extended equally to each. Of all the roles that Lex played, none surpasses in significance the post he held at WBAI, the public radio station in New York City where, from 1971 to 1984, he conducted a weekly radio show called "In the Spirit." He interviewed rabbis, sheiks, priests, ministers and representatives from an impressive range of religious traditions. More »