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    Economics, Engagement, and Exploitation in Ladakh Paid Member

    There can be no compassion without wisdom. Indeed Buddhism teaches that wisdom and compassion are the two wings of the bird of enlightenment. By nurturing a compassionate heart which supports and is supported by an awareness that all “things” are empty of inherent existence, we can transcend our narrow sense of self and experience ourselves not as limited static entities but as part of a web of relationships. Few have combined compassion and wisdom with the brilliance of the great ninth-century Buddhist sage Shantideva, who taught that all the joy that exists in the world comes from wishing for the happiness of other sentient beings, and all misery from narrow egotism. To the extent that we care only for ourselves, he assured us, our lives will be filled with suffering. Could this, the heart of Buddhist teaching, ever be more relevant than it is today? More »
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    Confessions of a Dharma Punk Paid Member

    Noah Levine, born in 1971 in Garberville, California, began dharma practice while institutionalized - having been arrested for drugs and violence - in Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall in 1988. He has been practicing since then, primarily in the Theravada tradition. The son of Patty Washko, and of Stephen and Ondrea Levine who are dharma teachers and pioneers in the field of conscious dying, Noah directs the Spirit Rock Teen and Family Program in Woodacre, California. For the last…Noah Levine, born in 1971 in Garberville, California, began dharma practice while institutionalized - having been arrested for drugs and violence - in Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall in 1988. He has been practicing since then, primarily in the Theravada tradition. The son of Patty Washko, and of Stephen and Ondrea Levine who are dharma teachers and pioneers in the field of conscious dying, Noah directs the Spirit Rock Teen and Family Program in Woodacre, California.   More »
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    Mean Street Monks Paid Member

    Theravadin monks in Stockton, California, open their temple to the streetwise youth of the local Southeast Asian community, and offer a haven from gang-ruled neighborhoods. Now the monks stand accused of violating their monastic vows by engaging in worldly affairs. Abbot Sombun Athitano stands on the balcony of Wat Chansisamakidham and looks out over the parking lot. With his arms akimbo and his expression deeply serious, he resembles a mythic hero keeping a vigilant watch over his protectorate. More »
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    Truth in Trance Paid Member

    The Nechung Oracle, medium for both prophecies and warnings, has been the protector of Tibet since the eighth century. Today, the Oracle is a monk living in Dharamsala, who grows flowers and speaks perfect English. More »
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    Freedom: Guns or Dharma Paid Member

    I had already made up my mind to return to Nepal after leaving Cornell when I picked up a copy of Time magazine and read the story about Fred Hampton’s tragic death. As they slept in an apartment at 2337 W. Monroe Street in Chicago he and one of his comrades had been shot to death. The pictures of the room showed blood-splattered walls and bodies lying in disarray. I had personally met Fred Hampton… More »
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    Lessons of History Paid Member

    Nearly thirty years have passed since I first became involved in Buddhism. I was nineteen at the time, dizzy with the optimism of the 1960s and the thrill of having traveled overland from England to India. The Tibetans had been in exile from their homeland for just over a decade. The Dalai Lama was only thirty-seven years old and had yet to visit the West. I remember walking up the mist-drenched hills above Dharamsala into�Nearly thirty years have passed since I first became involved in Buddhism. I was nineteen at the time, dizzy with the optimism of the 1960s and the thrill of having traveled overland from England to India. The Tibetans had been in exile from their homeland for just over a decade. The Dalai Lama was only thirty-seven years old and had yet to visit the West. I remember walking up the mist-drenched hills above Dharamsala into the hushed village where the Dalai Lama and his followers had settled. More »