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    The Return of the Suppressed Paid Member

    The Chinese rejection of the Dalai Lama’s choice of the next Panchen Lama, the second most important Tibetan lama, represents the greatest threat to the Tibetan institution of the incarnate lama in its history. It is a long history. With the decline of the Tibetan monarchy in the ninth century, political and religious authority shifted gradually to Buddhist teachers. Because many of these were Buddhist monks who had taken vows of celibacy, the problem of succession eventually arose. In some cases, authority was passed from a monk to his nephew. More »
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    The Science of Enlightenment: Meditative Medicine Paid Member

    Listening alongside His Holiness the Dalai Lama at a recent conference on meditation, I was inspired by the notion I was hearing that this century may be remembered less for its velvet revolutions than for the more obscure transformations that have softened the mechanized edges of medicine. Lately, new research areas bearing such names as "bio-individuality," "psycho-neuroimmunology" and "the quantum theory of consciousness" have quietly appeared. To many scientists, these areas are independent of the groundbreaking revolution in relativity, which let physicists see matter as part waves and science as pan religion. But if quantum physics has taught us anything, it is that what appears to be continents actually may be just as cohesive as oceans. Some observers of science see such breakthroughs as a "wave revolution" that is shifting Western science toward the wisdom of Asian traditions. More »
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    On Gardening Paid Member

    PLANTING PARADISE Last summer about this time of year when the Dragon Tongue beans began to thicken their speckled fingers and clutch heavy to the vine, I helped plant a circular “house” of sunflowers with an eager passel of kids. This sunflower circle was a ragged ring of paradise planted on the far edge of the kitchen garden near our giant Rosebrook apple tree. More »
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    Wake Up, Fourth Episode Paid Member

    The first three installments of Wake Up, Jack Kerouac's previously unpublished life of the Buddha, recounted the story of Prince Siddhartha leaving his father's palace and taking up the homeless life. In Episode Three, while meditating under the Bodhi Tree, Siddhartha discovered the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path and became fully enlightened, a buddha. This episode, the fourth of nine to be published in Tricycle, opens just after Shakyamuni Buddha has attained liberation, while he is still seated beneath the tree. More »
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    Responding to Tragedy Paid Member

    As Tricycle’s contact for the Dharma Directory, I had the unusual privilege of speaking with practitioners from dozens of Buddhist communities across the country in the weeks following the September 11th attacks. From my conversations and correspondence I began to get a sense of the ways in which practice had shifted as a result of the disaster—as well as the ways in which it remained reassuringly steadfast. In the end, practice was revealed to be exactly what we say it is: a matter of life and death. More »
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    The Science of Enlightenment Paid Member

    My introduction to Tibetan psychotherapy (lojong) occurred during an encounter with the late Serkhong Rinpoche, His Holiness the Dalai Lama's philosophy tutor. Serkhong's brow wrinkled up in a smile that made him seem like a giant, red-faced Yoda, the gnome-like teacher in The Empire Strikes Back. When I brought him home to meet my family, the Rinpoche was visibly moved upon meeting my mother, who greeted us at the door. When he lifted her outstretched hand up to his cheek, tears filled his eyes as if she were a long-lost child. For years I’d been inspired by the Buddhist teaching of recognizing every living thing as kin, but what had seemed a great idea suddenly hit home as a profound way of being. More »