Social Justice

Buddhism teaches that we are noble by our actions, not by birth or circumstance
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Beyond Rangoon Paid Member

    BURMA IS, IN ITS WAY, a kind of shadow Tibet, Tibet without the glamour or mystique, a "Land of Buddhas" as devoutly constant as the land of six thousand monasteries to the north. The charms of its premodern culture have been preserved from the modern world by a policy of inwardness. Its people have a good nature and gentle strength that instantly convert every visitor to their cause. And for thirty years now, it has been suffering a demeaning and remorseless repression that the rest of the world is either unable or unwilling to combat. A nation is dying in silence there (in some ways, it is dead already, Burma having been renamed “Myanmar” by its oppressors). More »
  • Tricycle Community 13 comments

    A Sangha by Another Name Paid Member

    The black experience in America, like the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, begins with suffering. It begins in the violence of seventeenth-century slave forts sprinkled along the west coast of Africa, where debtors, thieves, war prisoners, and those who would not convert to Islam were separated from their families, branded, and sold to Europeans who packed them into pestilential ships that cargoed 20 million human beings (a conservative estimate) to the New World. Only 20 percent of those slaves survived the harrowing voyage at sea (and only 20 percent of the sailors, too), and if they were among the lucky few to set foot on American soil new horrors and heartbreak awaited them. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Useless is Best Paid Member

    I HAVE OFTEN STOOD on interminable lines—at the bank, the post office, the airport, the supermarket—and succumbed to sharing with other corporate-held hostages those rolled-up eyes, grimaces and audible sighs that communicate extreme annoyance. But more than once I have entertained myself by wondering if being in monastic garb would mitigate my own behavior, contain those expressions that only add to dissatisfaction—my own and others. In short, I’ve wondered if the robe itself has a role to play. More »
  • Tricycle Community 8 comments

    Buddha in the Market Paid Member

    Venerable Samu Sunim became an orphan in Korea at the age of 10, after which he lived as a beggar on the streets of Seoul. One day, seeing a beautiful temple at the end of an alleyway, he went to inquire how he might live in such a place. The resident monk told him that he could do so only if he became a Buddhist monk, and so he traveled to a mountain monastery, where he studied in the Son (Zen) tradition.Samu Sunim came to the United States in 1967. Since then he has established centers in Toronto, Mexico City, Ann Arbor, and Chicago. The following interview was conducted in New York last June by Tricycle Senior Editor Clark Strand. More »
  • In the News: Summer 1995 Paid Member

    On March 3 a Vietnamese Buddhist monk was stabbed to death by a homeless man whom he had taken into his temple in Philadelphia. Thich Hanh Man, 43, had served only three months as resident monk at Philadelphia’s first Vietnamese Buddhist temple when the attack occurred. Though other members of the temple had warned him about Lan-Ngoc Nguyen, a Vietnamese homeless man whose past, they said, included arrests and a history of mental illness, Man felt that it was his duty as a monk to offer help. Police said they saw evidence of a struggle in the temple kitchen. Members of the temple who knew Man, however, said that the turned-over tables and chairs were evidence not of a fight, but of a chase. Man, they said, who outweighed his attacker by twenty pounds, would have been trying to escape when he was stabbed nine times. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Meditation 101: Less is More Paid Member

    My instructions to first-time meditators are becoming more and more minimalist. These days, it’s something like “Sit quietly and notice what’s going on.” It used to take longer—when I was the meditation instructor at a Soto Zen sangha in Mountain View, California, I would spend thirty to forty minutes telling newbies how to sit, how to breathe, how to bow—not to mention how to enter and leave the zendo, how to ask a question, and (talk about setting them up!) what to expect. More »