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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 Crossroad Paid Member

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    Willy-Nilly Dharma Paid Member

    In Oliver Stone's new movie Heaven and Earth, Buddhism plays a major role in a Hollywood movie for the first time. (See interview with Oliver Stone in this issue.) Earlier, What's Love Got to Do with It offered a glimpse of Tina Turner's conversion to the Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist sect, and Bernardo Bertolucci's film Little Buddha is now scheduled for release in April. Rumors of related film projects include plans for Martin Scorsese to direct the dramatic story of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. With all this high-finance film interest, both television and the printed news media have stepped up their coverage of things Buddhist—and with more sympathy than what long-time Buddha-watchers in this country have come to expect. More »
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    Ground Zero Paid Member

    With all the events that signal the acculturation of Buddhism in the West—including the interface between Buddhism and psychology or social action, or between practitioners and scholars—it is increasingly difficult to keep track of everything that is going on. It also makes the temptation to keep busy with Buddhism all the more seductive—and the need to be selective, more pragmatic. Part of what makes "dharma news" so enticing is the way in which we find ourselves both witnesses and participants in the unfolding of Buddhism in the West. On some days it has the great pull of Shakespearean drama, on others, the small-hearted tug of a daytime soap. Paradoxically, it is the very experience of these constant pulls and tugs that makes us yearn all the more for the stability of a mountain, the indestructibility of "diamond mind," or the drama of no drama at all. More »
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    Not Yet Paid Member

    “A special section on anger? But I thought Buddhists weren’t supposed to get angry?” I kept hearing this as we prepared “Seeing Red: Practicing with Anger.” Often enough, the verbal response was followed by a giggle, or a twist of embarrassment around the mouth, as if the witness had just, deliciously, become privy to some secret admission. So. Buddhists aren’t supposed to get angry. Hmmm. That’s a good one. In Buddhism greed, anger, and ignorance are the root causes of suffering. If anger had proven easy to tame, train, or transform, the teachings of the Buddha would not have survived. Two thousand five hundred years after their inception, the teachings still resonate with clarity and conviction, addressing us as we are: greedy, angry, and ignorant. More »
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    Buddhism: For Adults Only? Paid Member

    “How did you come to Buddhism?” It’s a question I’ve asked plenty of Buddhists I’ve met over the years. People often answer that they came to Buddhism because they felt their churches or synagogues had lost touch with their faith’s spiritual ground. Or that they felt they could no longer abide by mores or live by tenets that did not sufficiently address the realities of their day-to-day lives. Attending ritual after empty ritual, they associated key dates of the religious calendar more closely with holiday sales and seasonal vacations than anything else. And yet, when it came to weddings and funerals—and, even among the more secular-minded, baptisms—they found themselves seeking out the local rabbi or priest. More »