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    Yawn 2K 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 happens 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 »
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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 »