Arts & Culture

The growing influence of Buddhist artistic expression in contemporary culture
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    Buddhism Beat & Square Paid Member

    One afternoon in 1953, a young poet named Allen Ginsberg visited the First Zen Institute which was then still housed in an elegant private uptown apartment in New York City. Ginsberg occupied himself by perusing the Zen paintings, records and books in the library. But he did not stay very long: the whole atmosphere of the place made him uncomfortable; it was, as he remembered years later, “intimidating—like a university club.” Ginsberg had only recently discovered Buddhism and Chinese philosophy in the New York Public Library. “I had only the faintest idea that there was so much of a kulcheral heritage, so easy to get at thru book upon book of reproduction,” he wrote Neal Cassady in California. More »
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    Reflections of the Flowerbank World Paid Member

    Detail from Unattached, Unbound, Liberated Kindness, 2013. Pencil, gouache, 22 karat gold, and gum arabic on rice paper. More »
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    The Flute Teacher Paid Member

    Contemporary Chinese writer and government critic Liao Yiwu first began writing his memoir, For a Song and a Hundred Songs: A Poet’s Journey through a Chinese Prison, in 1993, three years after he was imprisoned for composing the incendiary poem “Massacre,” a response to the 1989 student protests at Tiananmen Square. He spent three years of his four-year sentence at the Song Mountain Investigation Center before being transferred to a labor camp in Sichuan Province. More »
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    Fredericka Foster Paid Member

    Watch "Like a Circle in Water," a Tricycle Original Short on Fredericka Foster's work. I grew up in Seattle—a city of water blanketed by humidity from rain, forests, lakes, and Puget Sound. I have always loved abstract art, and I wanted to paint evocative subject matter that could carry emotion and thought. Water was my solution. Painted without a horizon, it was constantly changing, rich with meaning, and always abstract. More »
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    The Squirrel Sutra Paid Member

    Walking to the water troughI stopped to see a squirrel stop,a red squirrel drinking at the tap. Hearing me it climbed the firstthin branches of a pine, then lookedto see if I was any kind of threat. And as I stood, a blackcap settledon a branch, then hummingbird-likeseemed to stop midair while the Yellow King with his hordeof hungry ghosts, the White Kingsurrounded by celestial musicians, More »
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    The Science Delusion Paid Member

    Curtis White pulls no punches. To readers who see in Buddhism little room for spirited debate, White’s unapologetic bluntness may seem unexpected or even jarring. But for White—Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Illinois State University, novelist, and author of several works of criticism including the 2003 international bestseller The Middle Mind: Why Americans Don’t Think for Themselves—there is too much at stake in our current intellectual climate to indulge in timid discussion. More »