Politics

Buddhist teachings on civic engagement without attachment to outcome
  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    Liberty and LSD Paid Member

    Over the last 25 years, I’ve watched a lot of Deadheads, Buddhists, and other free-thinkers do acid. I’ve taken it myself. I still do occasionally, in a ritual sort of way. On the basis of their experience and my own, I know that the public terror of LSD is based more on media-propagated superstition than familiarity with its effects on the real world. I know this, and, like most others who know it, I have kept quiet about it. Shortly after the Bill of Rights was drafted, the English philosopher John Stuart Mill said, “Liberty resides in the rights of that person whose views you find most odious.” The Buddha was wise to point out that people must be free to work out for themselves what is true from actual experience and express it without censure. I will go further and say that liberty resides in its exercise. It is preserved in the actual spouting of those odious views. It is maintained, and always has been, by brave and lonely cranks. More »
  • Tricycle Community 17 comments

    Why Buddhism Needs the West Paid Member

    In an oft-cited statement, which might be apocryphal, the British historian Arnold Toynbee said, “The coming of Buddhism to the West may well prove to be the most important event of the twentieth century.” Given the monumental social, political, and scientific changes of the last century, that claim seems pretty unlikely. But Toynbee may have noticed something the rest of us need to see: that the interaction between Buddhism and the West is crucial today, because each emphasizes something the other is missing. Whether or not Toynbee actually made this observation, the significance of the encounter may be nearly as great as his statement suggests. More »
  • Tricycle Community 8 comments

    The R Word Paid Member

    In our current atmosphere of cultural polarization, the term religion has become highly contested. Just how contested was brought home to me in April 2006, when, during a public lecture I gave at the University of Montana in Missoula, a man in the audience sharply questioned my very use of the word. I said that I was simply following a long history of usage, that I knew that some people contrast spirituality, which they see as good, with religion, which they believe is bad, but that I had never found that dichotomy helpful, as spirituality until recently was always considered an aspect of religion, not a rival to it. But he was adamant. Religion, he insisted, is a terrible thing and if I didn’t want to use the term spirituality, I should think of some new word. Like what? I queried. He had no answer but insisted I come up with one. More »
  • Tricycle Community 1 comment

    Satyagraha Special Section: Blueprints of Freedom Paid Member

    In Atlanta SCLC office, 1966   FAR FROM THE police dogs, jail cells, and hostile crowds, Martin Luther King, Jr., stands in his office with his arms crossed in front of a portrait of Mohandas Gandhi. The juxtaposition of these two spiritual titans in this photograph reminds me that Gandhi’s “experiment with truth” was at the heart of King’s work for justice and equality. For King as well as Gandhi, the methods of satyagraha, far from being neutral tools devoid of cultural values, contained precise, challenging blueprints for leading a moral life. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    In the News Paid Member

    CHANGE YOUR MIND At 12:30 p.m. on June 8, Michelle Laporte struck a large brass gong 108 times to initiate Tricycle's third annual Change Your Mind Day. The setting for this day of meditation in a free and public format was a quiet wooded lawn in New York’s Central Park. The Reverend T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki from the New York Buddhist Church opened the presentations with a vigorous chant. Pat Enkyo O’Hara of the Village Zendo, a co-host of the event, led a guided meditation. A talk by Lobsang Samten of the Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia followed. Next, John Daido Loori, abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery, took questions from the audience. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    War or Peace? Thinking Outside the Box Paid Member

    Tricycle: How do you view the U.S. government’s military response to the events of September 11? Jan Chozen Bays: I would have preferred a more restrained response. In an ideal world you’d send special forces into Afghanistan in the dead of night, anesthetize the core group of terrorists, put them in padded restraints, provide them with lawyers, and deposit them on the steps of the international court in the Hague. This is an imperfect world, but still I had hopes for a more “surgical” intervention. As a physician I think of terrorism as analogous to cancer. A physician’s job is to go in and surgically remove the cancer to alleviate the immediate cause of suffering. Tricycle: José? More »