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    What Do the Numbers Tell Us? Paid Member

    Over the years, we’ve received countless inquires from media outlets, foundations, and the merely curious about Buddhist demographics: How many Buddhists are there in the United States? How many are converts? How many are immigrants or Americans of Asian descent who continue to practice in the traditions of their parents? More »
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    Greening, Not Green Paid Member

    This issue marks the first step in our decision to “go green.” The paper you’re looking at is “FSC-certified,” which means the Forest Stewardship Council has determined that it comes from “responsibly managed forests.” According to the FSC website, the Council’s seal of approval guarantees that forests are “certified against a set of strict environmental and social standards,” and are “tracked all the way to the consumer through the chain of custody certification system.” Forests, pulp providers, mills, merchants, and our printer up in Vermont must all obtain FSC certification in order for us to call our paper “FSC-certified.”Who knew? I confess, I didn’t. I’d grown too attached to the, well, less environmentally responsible paper—you know, the kind that allows for higher-contrast printing, that’s bleached snow-white and, for all I know, comes from the very tree in which Julia Butterfly Hill herself once perched. More »
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    Encourage Others Paid Member

    A student asked Nakagawa-Soen during a meditation retreat, “I am very discouraged. What should I do?” Soen Roshi replied, “Encourage others.” This celebrated anecdote, which is included in Michael Wenger’s book 49 Fingers: A Collection of Modern American Koans (see this issue's "Parting Words"), is one of those deceptively simple stories that, like many of the best spiritual teachings, sparks deeper understanding upon reflection. I’ve been sitting with this story for several months, and I feel like I’m not even close to exhausting its meanings. More »
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    The More Things Change... Paid Member

    SITTING FRONT ROW CENTER, through childhood and into adulthood, we watch our parents' lives unfold. At once familiar and shrouded in iconic mystery, our parents are variously idolized or blamed by us. Usually with time—if we're lucky enough to get to know them in adulthood—our parents shrink to the size of everyday human beings whose challenges and peccadilloes assume an ordinariness we'd expect in anyone else. Gratitude may come easily at this point, although for many, doubts and resentments linger well into middle (or even old) age. And yet the Buddha's view on the proper attitude to cultivate toward our parents is pretty clear. We must pay them a debt of gratitude even if it means inspiring in them virtues they lack: More »
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    Celebrating Two Decades of Tricycle Paid Member

    When Tricycle’s founders published their inaugural issue in the fall of 1991, they had little assurance the modest niche quarterly would make it beyond its first three months, let alone its first year. But a glance at the table of contents for the first issue offers a preview of how Tricycle would fulfill its mission as the first independent and inclusive Buddhist magazine. More »
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    Celebrating Two Decades of Tricycle Paid Member

    When Tricycle’s founders published their inaugural issue in the fall of 1991, they had little assurance the modest niche quarterly would make it beyond its first three months, let alone its first year. But a glance at the table of contents for the first issue offers a preview of how Tricycle would fulfill its mission as the first independent and inclusive Buddhist magazine. A special section on the International Year of Tibet featured Spalding Gray’s interview of the Dalai Lama and a dharma talk on renunciation by Buddhist nun Pema Chödron—two prominent Buddhists who have since appeared many times in our pages. An interfaith roundtable on “Authority and Exploitation,” with Benedictine monk David Steindl-Rast joining Zen teacher Robert Aitken Roshi and psychotherapist Diane Shainberg, established a format we have used often to explore sensitive issues facing Buddhist practitioners and, indeed, spiritual seekers of every sort. More »