editors view

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    A Gray Matter Paid Member

    If you haven’t heard that Buddhist mindfulness meditation can change your brain for the better, you haven’t opened a magazine or newspaper lately. On the other hand, if you haven’t heard that research supporting such a claim is at best inconclusive, you can’t be blamed—it’s not a view you’re likely to come across as readily. More »
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    Building a Bridge Paid Member

    Since our first issue, Tricycle has delivered traditional Buddhist teachings in an idiom and style relevant to the contemporary practitioner’s everyday life. How much has been lost—or gained—in adapting the traditional teachings has been a subject of much debate. It was inevitable, then, that alongside dharma teachings we would run articles that reflect critically on what we’re doing as we transmit Buddhism to the West. It’s a bit like crossing a bridge even as we’re building it. Presenting the dharma is the crossing, while critical reflection is building the culture of ideas that support it. More »
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    First Steps Paid Member

    When speaking of world religions it’s become standard to turn up the volume on those aspects that are shared and, conversely, to turn it down on the differences. Ecumenical dialogues often sound stripped of authenticity by a tacit consent not to disagree. In the fractured delicacies of postmodern pluralism, there seems little interest in distinguishing between healthy debates and declarations of holy war. New Buddhists have repeatedly embraced their found religion with the cocksure arrogance of the convert. Yet, when it comes to ecumenical forums, they seem to shrink from representing the new religion on the block—they can be like guests currying favor with the authorities or, chameleon-like, camouflaging themselves into a seamless blend with their (Judeo-Christian) hosts. More »
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    Editor's View Paid Member

    The anticipation and subsequent nonevent of Y2K reminds me of a favorite childhood book, The Camel Who Took a Walk, a story about what hap- pens when nothing happens: A beautiful camel goes for a dawn stroll; seeing this, a tiger positions himself down the road, ready to pounce when the camel passes by. Seeing the tiger lying in wait, a monkey climbs into the tree above the tiger and decides that just when the tiger is about to pounce, he'll drop a coconut on the tiger's head. A bird, seeing the monkey, sits on a higher branch and decides that when the camel passes by and the tiger pounces and the monkey drops the coconut—well, you get the picture. But just when all hell is about to break loose in the forest, the camel makes the world's widest, slowest yawn, turns, and walks back down the path. More »
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    Practicing with Anger Paid Member

    A dharma teacher who visits the Tricycle editorial office each time he’s in town has for some time been pushing us to run a series of articles on anger. I’ve resisted for many months, even a few years, pointing out that we’ve been there, done that. “Well,” he’d quip with a shade of irritation in his voice, “people are still angry.” More »
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    Tradition and Innovation Paid Member

    In the Summer 1997 issue of Tricycle, we published an article in which two prominent Buddhist teachers, Robert Thurman and Stephen Batchelor, discussed their differing views on the teachings of karma and rebirth. The article, entitled “Reincarnation: A Debate,” focused not so much on the accuracy of rebirth, either as representing Buddhist teaching or as a description of how the world works, as it did on whether belief in rebirth was an important and expedient part of Buddhist life and practice. Thurman argued for rebirth as an indispensible part of a comprehensive Buddhist view; Batchelor, unsurprisingly for those familiar with his writings, asserted that rebirth is, at best, irrelevant and, because it runs counter to Buddhism’s empirical thrust, is probably spiritually detrimental. More »