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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 Crossroad Paid Member

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    A Word of Dissent Paid Member

    A friend of mine who begins each morning on the cushion used to get on my nerves carrying on about oceanic oneness. Not long after September 11, though, he was hopping mad and pinning his hopes on a “daisycutter,” the most devastating conventional weapon in our military’s arsenal. Espousing absurdly reductionist views about the “clash of civilizations”—courtesy of Harvard’s Samuel P. Huntington—he quoted the eminent professor with dramatic flair: “The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.” Such big ideas! Where, I wondered, had he hidden his cushion?More »
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    Nothing to Lose Paid Member

    From a Buddhist view we are all ego addicts, in service of our own special interests. The good news is that liberation already resides within us, but to help prime the pump of awakening, we must leave behind our “possessions”—not in terms of what we literally own, but rather in terms of what owns us: those limiting, habitual patterns that diminish and dull our lives. More »
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    Dumbfounded in the Dharma Paid Member

    In Thoughts Without a Thinker, Dr. Mark Epstein recalls an encounter between Kalu Rinpoche and Korean Zen master Seung Sahn that took place twenty years ago at the home of a Harvard professor. As the Zen and Tibetan traditions employ “dharma combat” to test and hone one’s understanding, the students of both masters arranged for them to debate each other. Seung Sahn opened the debate, reaching into his gray robe and removing an orange. With classic Zen theatrics he held the orange toward his opponent’s face and yelled: “What is it?!” The elderly lama just continued to finger his prayer beads. Seung Sahn tried again, holding out the orange and demanding to know: “What is it?!” More »