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Living and practicing harmoniously with others is essential to Buddhist teachings
  • Tricycle Community 10 comments

    The Hidden Lamp Paid Member

    For most of the last 2,500 years, women have had to struggle mightily in order to practice Buddhism. In ancient China, Japan, and other Asian cultures, women were generally not allowed to ordain without the permission of male family members. They were kept home to be householders, slaves, laundresses, cooks, wives, and rearers of children. A few, determined to practice, even scarred their faces so they could enter a monastery without disturbing the monks with their beauty.  As a result, contemporary Buddhists all over the world practice in traditions where historical women’s voices are rare, and many of the teachings and practices have come down to us from a male point of view. This is certainly true in most of the familiar Zen stories and koans, like those in the famous Chinese koan collections: the Blue Cliff Record, The Gateless Barrier, and the Book of Serenity.  More »
  • Tricycle Community 7 comments

    Okay As It Is, Okay As You Are Paid Member

    I grew up in Middletown, a midsize suburban town in the middle of New Jersey. (What it lacks in originality it makes up for in aptness of name.) Throughout my childhood I thought of it as one of many suburban towns that are the Wonder Bread of American society: plain, boring, and (mostly) white.  I’ve heard it said that suburbia is a cradle of unimagined secrets. Still, when Tricycle came across Merle Kodo Boyd, founder of the Lincroft Zen Sangha in Middletown, New Jersey, I was shocked. I had spent 18 years of my life there, never knowing that a committed sitting group was less than 10 minutes from my home.  More »
  • Sitting for Good: The Brooklyn Sit-a-thon Paid Member

    This Friday, May 11, Brooklyn Zen Center will hold a day-long sit-a-thon to raise funds for the Awake Youth Project, a program that the Zen center runs in partnership with Brooklyn College Community Partnership to bring mindfulness and meditation programs to Brooklyn youth. "Many of the young people with whom we work live with considerable economic hardship and risk for violence," say the staff members of Awake Youth Project, "They struggle with enormous stress, anxiety, anger and other strong emotions that make an already demanding life schedule all the more difficult. Consequently Awake Youth Project’s high school-based groups employ meditation and mindfulness practices to address the many challenges in the lives of our youth." More »
  • Tricycle Community 23 comments

    The Examined Life Paid Member

    I address you now not as your professor, but as Seido, Rinzai Zen monk, caretaker of Hokoku-An Zendo. The semester has come to an end. When I look out at you I see 30 people. When you look at me you see one. But for each one of you I am a different professor. There are 30 different versions of me standing before you in this classroom. It is my job to create a relationship of sorts with each and every one of you. I do that by reading your journals and your papers, by observing how you are in class, whether or not you come prepared, whether or not you take notes, how often you text, and how often you nod off. I’m like Santa Claus. I see you when you’re sleeping and I know when you’re awake; I know when you’re taking notes and when you’re checking your Facebook page. More »
  • Tricycle Community 4 comments

    The World is Places Paid Member

    In Gary Snyder’s essay “Re-inhabitation” he asks, “How does knowledge of the place help us know the Self?” First posed in a 1976 talk, the question feels even more pertinent today. With the ordinariness of air travel and online technology, it can be all too easy to forget the significance of specific physical places. In the following interview about his recent book, Dixie Dharma: Inside a Buddhist Temple in the American South, religious studies scholar Jeff Wilson does his part to remind us. (“You don’t breathe online,” he told me.) By looking at a multidenominational Buddhist temple in Richmond, Virginia, Wilson shows us why understanding region is crucial to understanding American Buddhism. More »
  • Tricycle Community 9 comments

    Buddhist to Buddhist Paid Member

    Given the various crises in our world today, the claim made by some that we are in the midst of what in Buddhism is called a “dark age” certainly has some merit. But for those who study and practice the Buddhist teachings, a very different view of our moment in time and the possibilities it affords presents itself. We are, I believe, at the beginning of what could become for Buddhism a new golden age. More »