Social Justice

Buddhism teaches that we are noble by our actions, not by birth or circumstance
  • Tricycle Community 31 comments

    Does Race Matter in the Meditation Hall? Paid Member

    In late spring, Tricycle contributing editor Tracy Cochran met with Vipassana teacher Gina Sharpe for a frank discussion on race and the dharma. Sharpe is co-leader of the People of Color retreat, a semi-annual gathering that has drawn plenty of attention—and some criticism—since it first appeared in retreat catalogs in 2003. Sharpe, who serves on the boards of Insight Meditation Society, in Barre, Massachusetts, and New York Insight, in New York City, was interviewed at her home in northern Westchester County, New York. More »
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    Practice First Paid Member

    Sensei Enkyo O’Hara is abbot of the Village Zendo, in lower Manhattan. A Zen priest, she is a dharma heir in the Maezumi-Glassman line of the White Plum Asangha of Soto Zen Buddhism. She serves as an elder in the Zen Peacemaker Order, part of an interfaith network integrating spiritual practice with peacemaking and social action. Sensei O'Hara spoke with Tricycle in November 2002. More »
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    After the Flood Paid Member

    As usual, a cigarette is dangling from our friend Smokey's lips as she pulls up in front of our house with a load of spare plywood. “Be Nice or Leave,” it says on the rear window of her weathered old pickup truck, and “New Orleans, proud to crawl home.” It's early Sunday morning, August 28, and clouds are moving quickly across the sky. Overnight, Hurricane Katrina powered up to a Category 5, and our neighborhood is alive with last-minute preparations. Smokey helps unload the plywood, gives me an evacuation map and a kiss, then hurries home to pick up her hip boots; she knows there's going to be water. Lots and lots of water. Then she drives to Tulane Hospital, where she will spend the next four days preparing meals around the clock for dozens of doctors, nurses, patients, policemen, and firemen. More »
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    In the Land of the First Noble Truth Paid Member

    We had just opened our building in lower Manhattan when we saw smoke sliding out from under Rooster Vargas's door. My then supervisor, a sultry woman in her mid-twenties who did not know what she was getting into (and who soon became conveniently pregnant and left), pounded on Rooster's door. She got no response. She barged into his room with a fire extinguisher so shiny and immaculate it resembled a religious object. We found a chicken defrosting under a scalding shower. Rooster had gone shopping. Seven years have since past. Rooster's residence is without Rooster. After interminably shooting up, snorting, tormenting staff, inflicting on other residents his bug-laden cart that clung to him like a second body, Rooster was evicted. I am still a case manager at the forty-four-unit independent housing facility run by my agency for people who are mentally ill (there are also rooms for people who are handicapped, either physically or financially). More »
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    The Path of Complete Engagement Paid Member

    In some sense, we should regard ourselves as being burdened: We have the burden of helping this world. We cannot forget this responsibility to others. But if we take our burden as a delight, we can actually liberate this world. The way to begin is with ourselves. From being open and honest with ourselves, we can also learn to be open and honest with others. So we can work with the rest of the world on the basis of the goodness we discover in ourselves. Therefore, meditation is regarded as a good, in fact excellent, way to overcome warfare in the world: our own warfare as well as greater warfare.—Chögyam Trungpa RinpocheShambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior More »