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    ZenX: A Prescription for Despair Paid Member

    This roundtable was conducted in July 1996 by Helen Tworkov in Rochester, New York. The participants, all in their twenties, were residents of the Rochester Zen Center at the time of the conversation. More »
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    Tulkus in Training Paid Member

    According to the Tibetan world view, highly evolved adepts are reborn as tulkus—children who embody a developed capacity for spiritual attainment. The search for such a gifted child is based either on the precise instructions left by the deceased, or on the signs inspired by dreams and visions, and from the intuitions of other great lamas. Tulkus are only fully recognized as such at the age of two or three years old. They are commonly enthroned at the age of four or five and usually do not enter a monastery until they are six years old. Each tulku receives a private education by one of two tutors. The child may be brought up with other tulkus but the rules vary according to each monastery. Tulkus, even as children, are given the honorific title of "Rinpoche," which means "precious one." More »
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    Alice in Enlightenedland Paid Member

    Suppose Alice had been reading a book on American Buddhism before drifting off to sleep on that fateful afternoon. Her exchange with the Cheshire Cat might have gone something like this:ALICE CAME TO A FORK in the forest path and was standing for a moment, puzzled as to which way to go, when she spied the Cheshire Cat sitting in full lotus position on a bough of a tree a few yards off, meditating. It looked so peaceful that she dared not disturb it, but at the same time it had such a compassionate air that she felt it might help solve her dilemma. So when it opened its eyes, she cleared her voice and said in her sweetest tone, "If you please, Cheshire-Puss, could you tell me the way to the Queen's croquet game?" For a moment the Cat only grinned at her, with its eyes bulging out quite alarmingly, but then it simply said, "Which would you rather do? Go to the Queen's croquet game, or get enlightened?" More »
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    Buddhism Without Beliefs Paid Member

    IF YOU GO TO ASIA and visit a wat (Thailand) or gompa (Tibet), you will enter something that looks very much like an abbey, a church, or cathedral, being run by people who look like monks or priests, displaying objects that look like icons, enshrined in alcoves that look like chapels, revered by people who look like worshipers. If you talk to one of the people who look like monks, you will learn that he has a view of the world that seems very much like a belief system, revealed a long time ago by someone else who is revered like a god, after whose death saintly individuals have interpreted the revelations in ways like theology. There have been schisms and reforms, and these have given rise to institutions that are just like churches. Buddhism, it would seem, is a religion. More »
  • Tricycle Community 145 comments

    White Trash Buddhist Paid Member

    I am forever in debt to the handful of teachers, writers, and thinkers who introduced me to Buddhist practice, provide constant inspiration, and continue to shape my knowledge of this path. Actually, I’m just forever in debt. Every time I get in my 12-year-old car and rattle away to the nearest retreat center, I’m reminded that I’m a poor white trash Buddhist. It’s a good thing none of those luminaries will ever try to collect, since I can’t even afford the practice as it is. That’s a shame, because the dharma saved my life. More »
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    Brain Karma Paid Member

    It seems that everyone wants change: the latest tech gadget, a different job, a better relationship. Things “as they are” are somehow just not quite satisfying. Buddhists will recognize this situation as evidence of the first noble truth: dukkha (suffering or inherent “unsatisfactoriness”) is simply part of existence. More »