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    Love Divine Paid Member

    FOUR HUNDRED OF US, all wearing white, gather in a field somewhere between Ahmedebad and Bhopal in the late afternoon. We’ve been on buses without air-conditioning since seven a.m., so even though the Indian midsummer heat is oppressive, the fresh air is a relief. We turned in relatively early last night and got a few hours of rest, which is good because it is impossible to sleep on the bus, so packed with devotees that women lie, for endless, bumpy hours, on the floor. They believe their discomfort burns off bad karma, but I have my doubts. More »
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    Who's Zoomin' Who? The Commodification of Buddhism in the American Marketplace Paid Member

    After the Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya, he walked the dusty roads to the Deer Park in Sarnath, where he delivered his first sermon, The Sutra of the Turning of the Wheel of Dharma. Here for the first time he described life’s conditions in terms of the Four Noble Truths, declaring desire, craving, “thirst” as the driving force that keeps us stuck in the mire of suffering called samsara. More »
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    The Appetite of Birds: The Challenge of Nonkilling Paid Member

    Lately, i have had to ask: Can I take refuge in the Buddha and still remain true to my role as a conservationist? More »
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    Nirvana: Three Takes Paid Member

    In the centuries following the Buddha’s death, dharma teachings spread from India into the rest of Asia, evolving eventually into the three yanas, or vehicles for the teachings—Theravada, Vajrayana, and Mahayana, the predominant traditions of Southeast Asia, Tibet, and East Asia, respectively. The doctrinal distinctions that arose have caused fundamental aspects of what the Buddha taught to be disputed. Even the teachings on such essential matters as karma, enlightenment, and rebirth vary in the three yanas, and from school to school within the yanas—now more so than ever with Western epistemologies stirred into the doctrinal diaspora. More »
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    Talk Like a Buddha Paid Member

    I’M SITTING knee-almost-touching-knee with Ted, a chubby and towering sixty-something-year-old with a few days’ gray stubble, bushy eyebrows, and nose hairs calling for a trim. We met just fifteen minutes ago, and tears are running down his face. Ted’s breathing is labored, and I can smell his sour breath, yet I feel content. I comfort him—not so much with words but simply by being present, by gently meeting his gaze and accepting him and the moment. During our hour together, I work at remaining openhearted and mindful, and it seems to help Ted regain his balance. When our hour together is over, he’s much calmer, maybe even happy. More »
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    No Interference Paid Member

    Sky Wheel, 1972, diameter 17.5 inches HIDDEN LIKE A Chinese hermit or a coyote in his den, Michael Sawyer lives at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, in a narrow valley north of San Francisco. To visit him you must walk past the formal zendo and Japanese teahouse, up to a converted trailer at the very edge of the open hills.More »