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  • Tricycle Community 106 comments

    What's at Stake as the Dharma Goes Modern? Paid Member

    In the summer of 2010, I sat a Dzogchen retreat at Garrison Institute with my teacher, a well-known Tibetan lama. He gave teachings during the day and then in the evening handed the microphone over to several academic luminaries who were also attending. In the morning and afternoon we received instructions on attaining buddhahood; in the evenings we heard lectures on how Buddhism’s contact with the West was leading to cutting-edge advances in brain-science research, medicine, and psychology. More »
  • Tricycle Community 59 comments

    What the Buddha Thought Paid Member

    Dr. Richard Gombrich has spent much of his life studying Buddhism, but he does not call himself a Buddhist. The only child of two educated and broadminded parents, he was brought up to hold humanistic values, notably reason, and to look on religion as irrational and best left alone. He became a historian like his father, Ernst Gombrich, and since his father seemed to have Europe well covered in his work, the younger Gombrich turned to Asia, specifically India. He learned Sanskrit and Pali, and encountered the ideas of the Buddha in his reading. Having decided early on that he was an atheist, yet following his parents in placing a high value on morality, Gombrich was drawn to Buddhism because, he says, “it is atheistic and also emphasizes ethics.” More »
  • Tricycle Community 54 comments

    Lost in Quotation Paid Member

    Many people who don’t know much about old Buddhist texts often know one passage from the Pali canon: the part of the Kalama Sutta (Anguttara Nikaya 3.65) stating that old texts can’t be trusted. More »
  • Tricycle Community 78 comments

    The Seeds of Life Paid Member

    Rebirth is a belief common to all Buddhist traditions, although in Tibetan Buddhism, a belief in reincarnation—the reappearance of a great master, known as a tulku— developed in the late 13th century C.E. The tradition continues amid much discussion of its contemporary relevance. Here, Trinlay Tulku Rinpoche, a Western-born tulku, discusses with Pamela Gayle White the traditional Tibetan view of reincarnation and answers some of the more common questions skeptical Westerners ask. More »
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    The Nuns of Monkol Won Paid Member

    At the time these photos were taken, the nuns and monks of Monkol Won Pagoda in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, were cautiously optimistic that the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia might bring democracy to their country. For a number of months in 1992, the nuns allowed us, U.N. volunteers, to set up registration sites in their pagoda for the first "free and fair" election in Cambodia since the era of French colonization, which ended in 1953. Their optimism was rewarded. In May 1993, ninety percent of those who registered cast their votes in the U.N.-sponsored election. Hun Sen, the leader of the Vietnamese-installed government, and Prince Norodom Ranariddh, King Sihanouk's son, would become co-prime ministers. More »
  • Tricycle Community 4 comments

    Swimming in the Infinite Paid Member

    Robert A. F. Thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University. A former Tibetan Buddhist monk—the first Westerner ever to be so ordained—he is the cofounder and current director of Tibet House in New York City. For decades he has been a close friend of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and a prominent champion of Tibetan Buddhism and the Tibetan cause. He has translated classic texts from Tibetan to English and is the author of numerous books, most recently Circling the Sacred Mountain (Bantam, 1999) and Inner Revolution (Penguin, 1999). This interview was conducted at his office at Columbia University. More »