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    The Wisdom of No View Paid Member

    "The very belief that violence is unavoidable is a root cause of violence," Samdong Rinpoche, the newly elected leader of Tibet's Government-in-Exile, commented in a recent conversation with Tricycle. Far from advocating violence as a means of freeing Tibet of Chinese domination, the head of the Tibetan Cabinet-in-Exile—the Kalon Tripa, as he is known—argues that to build a legacy of violent resistance would only lay the groundwork for still more violence once the desired goal is achieved. Although he acknowledges that Tibet itself was never free of violent conflict during centuries of Buddhist rule, the Kalon Tripa remains optimistic. Turning for inspiration to Gandhi's practice of satyagraha, or nonviolent resistance, he carries with him in one hand the Dhammapada—the seminal Buddhist text—and in the other, the Hind swaraj, Gandhi's writings on Indian home rule. More »
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    What Color is Your Mind? Paid Member

    This issue's special section, Dharma, Diversity, and Race, suggests that little dialogue exists among Asian-American Buddhist communities, and between those communities and Americans new to Buddhism. Not coincidentally, in the very absence of dialogue lies the heart of the question: is the unfolding of Buddhism in this country evolving into something called "American Buddhism"; and if so, does the "American" part of that accurately represent the multicultural diversity of Buddhists in America, or is it simply another projection of the white majority? Multiculturalism in the United States exists in a context defined by two factors: actual white racism, and the idealized, constitutional promise of racial equality. This contradiction provides an axis around which America continually reinvents itself: witness, for example, a nation eager to know how "the race card" will be played in the O. J. Simpson trial. More »
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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 »