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  • Tricycle Community 16 comments

    The Dismay of Motherhood Paid Member

  • Tricycle Community 5 comments

    From Russia with Love Paid Member

    By some estimates, there may now be three million or more people in the United States who identify themselves as Tibetan Buddhists. Sixty years ago, there were precisely 587 of us who could assert that claim—and we were all Kalmyk Mongols. Eighteen years before Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche—the charismatic tulku widely assumed to have brought Tibetan Buddhism to North America—set foot in the States, a small band of Kalmyks, America’s earliest Tibetan Buddhists, would establish the religion’s first temple in the Western hemisphere. Refugees from Stalinism and unlikely beneficiaries of America’s early Cold War maneuverings, the Kalmyks transformed an unassuming town in the middle of New Jersey into the epicenter for Tibetan Buddhism in the West. More »
  • Tricycle Community 5 comments

    Burning for the Buddha Paid Member

    On an April morning in 1998, a 60-year-old man stepped into a public toilet in New Delhi and doused himself in gasoline. Outside, the police had just broken up a six-week-old hunger strike led by members of the Tibetan Youth Congress, an organization calling for Tibetan independence. Setting himself on fire, the man emerged flailing and jumping before bringing his hands together in prayer. Thupten Ngodup, a former monk, had become the first Tibetan to self-immolate in protest of China’s decades-long occupation of Tibet. He died soon after in a Delhi hospital following a personal visit from Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama. More »
  • Tricycle Community 8 comments

    America's Guru Paid Member

    The road to Ram Dass’s home on the north shore of Maui winds from the Hana Highway toward the roiling Pacific. The sage green split-level sits on a lushly landscaped rise overlooking the ocean; waves crash against the rugged shore below, and trade winds whip the palms and Norfolk pines. This is the Hawaii of surfers’ dreams and National Geographic photo spreads, the Hawaii of poetry and the imagination. It’s a rare day when a tropical afternoon shower does not produce a spectacular rainbow, one end of which often pierces the ocean like a blade. I am here for a five-day private retreat with Ram Dass. My friend Liz and I will stay in the guesthouse on his estate and spend private time with him each day. I have no idea what to expect. More »
  • Tricycle Community 8 comments

    The Supreme Contemplation Paid Member

    One of the best ways to prepare for death is to acknowledge that we really are going to die. We’re falling in the dark and have no idea when we’ll hit the ground. Buddhist scholar Anne Klein says, “Life is a party on death row. Recognizing mortality means we are willing to see what is true. Seeing what is true is grounding. It brings us into the present. . . .” We all know that we’re going to die, but we don’t know it in our guts. If we did, we would practice as if our hair were on fire. One way to swallow the bitter truth of mortality and impermanence—and get it into our guts—is to chew on the four reminders. More »
  • Tricycle Community 10 comments

    Focus: The Power of Paying Attention Paid Member

    We text while we’re driving, check our email in meetings, post photos of meals before we eat them. Americans are now known around the world—well, to waiters in France, at least—as the people who are “glued to their personal devices.” Does all this digital engagement compromise our ability to focus on what’s really important in life? What’s it doing to—and for—our kids? How does our brain keep us from seeing the big picture? Can meditation offer us relief? More »