Arts & Culture

The growing influence of Buddhist artistic expression in contemporary culture
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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 »
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    A Monk Dressing Paid Member

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    Two in Relation Paid Member

    To view the Oxherding portfolio, as featured in the Spring 2011 issue of Tricycle, click here. Lewis Hyde is a poet, essayist, translator, and culture critic. Of his 1983 book, The Gift, David Foster Wallace said, “No one who is invested in any kind of art can read The Gift and remain unchanged.” A MacArthur Fellow and former director of undergraduate creative writing at Harvard University, Hyde teaches during the fall semesters at Kenyon College, where he is the Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing. During the rest of the year he lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he is a Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. More »
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    Oxherding Paid Member

    The set of poems and drawings known as the Oxherding series presents a parable about the conduct of Buddhist practice. In the most common version, attributed to a 12th-century Chinese Zen master, there are ten drawings, the first of which shows a young herder who has lost the ox he is supposed to be tending. In subsequent images he finds the ox’s tracks, sees the beast itself, tames it, and rides it home. In the seventh drawing the ox disappears: it “served a temporary purpose,” the accompanying poem says; it was a metaphor for something, not to be mistaken for the thing itself. The herder too disappears in the next drawing; the image simply shows a circle (Japanese, enso), a common symbol for enlightenment. The ninth drawing implies that the person who has achieved enlightenment does not then retreat from the world; called “Returning to the Roots, Going Back to the Source,” it usually shows a scene from nature. More »
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    Great Swan Paid Member

    These tantric songs are excerpted from the forthcoming Great Swan: Meetings with Ramakrishna, by Lex Hixon. Great Swan is a dramatic retelling of the life of Ramakrishna (1836-1886), a Hindu priest who devoted himself to the worship of the goddess Kali. For twelve years he engaged in several practices including Christian and Islamic, and eventually, through personal experience, realized the universal truth inherent in all religions. His teachings, transmitted informally and recorded by a disciple, are translated into English as The Gospel of Ramakrishna. It is this record, in addition to other eyewitness accounts, that Lex Hixon draws on to create a powerful contemporary portrait of Ramakrishna, known to nis disciples as Paramahamsa, or the Great Swan. More »