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    Selling Water by the River Paid Member

    It’s not unusual for Tricycle to cover the enormous diversity of Buddhism, but in this particular issue, the spectrum is about as broad as it gets. At one end, we have the barbaric destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan. At the other, Mirabai Bush speaks of introducing contemplative practices to American power spots such as Harvard University and the bio-tech giant, Monsanto. In one place, sublime expressions of Buddhism are destroyed; in another, it is used as a new and civilizing agent of change. More »
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    Net Worth Paid Member

    One story retold from the life of the Buddha concerns a mother who loses her child. Distraught, the woman wanders aimlessly, clutching her dead infant to her breast. When she hears that the great sage Shakyamuni is expounding the dharma nearby, she goes to him and asks, "Why has this happened to me?" In response, the Buddha sends her on a mission: to collect one mustard seed from each household in the village that has never known death. Only when the woman returns empty-handed, does she begin to find solace. Two thousand and five hundred years after this legendary event, the information superhighway (see this issue's special section) is being heralded as the great revolution of our age, an unparalleled breakthrough that will generate radical changes in our daily lives. Nothing, however, suggests that these changes will have any effect on a mother who loses a child. More »
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    On Tap Shoes Or a Harley Paid Member

    When Tricycle cover designer Frank Olinsky proposed the current cover, I wasn’t sure if I was looking at Newsweek or Time. After a few seconds, my eyes began to focus on the fifty—count ’em, fifty—Tricycle covers. A few on our staff objected, “But it doesn’t look like a Tricycle cover.” And yet, it was nothing but Tricycle covers. I got to thinking: Sometimes Buddhism in the West doesn’t look like Buddhism, what with all its Western trappings. And yet, if you look closely, you’ll see that the dharma has found its way into nearly every nook and cranny of our culture, from intensive retreats at often remote locations to the everyday lives of ordinary folks. In a section we dubbed “Three Lives,” the lives of three very different Americans cross the Buddha’s path in unexpected ways. More »
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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 »