editors view

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    The Big Sit — Editor's View Paid Member

    TWO YEARS AGO we invited our readers to participate in “Commit to Sit,” a 28-day meditation challenge in print and online, developed with the support and guidance of Vipassana meditation teachers Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein. Although we were hopeful, we couldn’t have expected the enthusiastic response we got. Readers across the country—newcomers and seasoned practitioners alike—joined us for what proved to be a fruitful and well-attended virtual retreat. The online forum filled with questions, so we asked Sharon to join us to respond to our meditators’ queries. The online conversations among our readers continued long after our fourweek challenge had passed. More »
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    Finding Common Ground Paid Member

    SINCE MEDITATION IS so closely associated with Buddhism in the West, it may be a surprise to many of our readers that the majority of the world’s Buddhists do not meditate at all. Yet one of America’s most vibrant Buddhist groups—and certainly the most ethnically, socially, and economically diverse—doesn’t practice sitting meditation. Instead, students of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) are known for chanting the daimoku. You’ve no doubt heard the daimoku yourself, whether from Tina Turner on Larry King Live or from a friend or colleague: Nam-myoho-renge-kyo—veneration to the Lotus Sutra, which makes the radical proposition that everyone, without exception, can attain enlightenment through faith in the sutra’s teachings. More »
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    Heroes and Communities Paid Member

    IT IS TEMPTING, almost habitual, to view Gandhi through the prism of Western individualism, as a solitary leader who somehow lifted the entire Indian subcontinent on his shoulders and, David-like, took a stand against the Goliath of empires. But while there is no gainsaying Gandhi’s dedication and genius, if the approach to nonviolence he practiced had depended on heroism and charisma, his movement would have petered out into a cult of leadership instead of coming to define an approach to life that can speak to our concerns today. More »
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    The Baseball Diamond Sutra Paid Member

    THIS YEAR MARKS the centennial of the Parliament of World Religions; for the first time in America, clergy from non-theistic religions were invited to represent their traditions. Zen abbot Soyen Shaku (see "Ancestors") addressed the assembly in Chicago, having had his letter of acceptance written by his disciple, D. T. Suzuki. Also present was Dharmapala, the fiery leader of the Buddhist revival movement in what is now called Sri Lanka. The Archbishop of Canterbury was so offended by the placement of other religions on equal footing with Christianity that he denounced the Parliament and refused to come. Yet the task of extending religious pluralism in the United States beyond the confines of the prevailing Judeo-Christian traditions had begun in earnest. In terms of Buddhism, the Parliament was a major turning of the dharma wheel, setting in motion work which Tricycle continues today. More »
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    Many is More Paid Member

    FOLLOWING THE FAILED COUP in Russia a cartoon in a New York newspaper featured two people standing in front of the Kremlin. One was saying to the other, "If you miss the one-party system, go to America." As the cartoon implies, new political alliances threaten to recast the United States as, at best, a beleaguered advocate of ideological plurality. Let's hope that American Buddhism doesn't follow the national political trend, especially since diversity is as central to Buddhist history as it has been to the history of the United States. More »
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    At the Crossroads Paid Member

    The Dalai Lama receives a small golden tricycle from Editor Helen Tworkov    More »