interview

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    The Mystery of Doubt Paid Member

    Tricycle: Do you think of yourself as a Buddhist? Gray: No. Some people think that I am, I don’t know why. They say “us Buddhists,” or “you Buddhists.” I only got interested in Buddhism when I read that it was supposed to be a philosophy. And I thought, “Well, I’m interested in philosophy.” I got to the point where I could read or discuss the philosophy of Buddhism. But I couldn’t get around the religious construction. As soon as it got to be dogmatic in any way, as soon as the philosophy was no longer open, I’d get claustrophobic. More »
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    The Emperor's Tantric Robes Paid Member

    June Campbell studied Tibetan Buddhism in monasteries in India in the early 1970s. Subsequently she traveled throughout India, Europe, and North America as a translator and interpreter for various Tibetan lamas. Her book“Traveller in Space”examines the patriarchy of Tibet’s political, religious, and social structures, and the real and symbolic role of women in Tibetan society. Today Ms. Campbell teaches Women’s Studies and Religious Studies in Edinburgh. This interview was conducted by Helen Tworkov in New York in June 1996. More »
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    The Chinese Hermit Tradition: An Interview with Red Pine Paid Member

    Bill Porter lived for three years in the early seventies as a Buddhist monk in Taiwan where he began his translations of poetry by the famous Chinese poet-recluse Cold Mountain. Porter’s mentor in this undertaking was the Buddhist scholar and translator John Blofield. After leaving monastic life, he married a Chinese woman and continued his translation work. Years later, Porter began the first of many long journeys in mainland China that he chronicled for radio audiences in Hong Kong and Taiwan. He produced over 1,100 short programs about different Chinese locales, embellishing his narratives with details from Chinese history and culture. In recent years he has focused on China’s great Zen monasteries, traveling to scores of the remaining abodes of famous ancient Zen teachers. More »
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    Superscience Paid Member

    S. N. Goenka has been teaching Vipassana meditation for thirty-one years and is most widely known, perhaps, for his famous introductory ten-day intensive courses, which are held free of charge in centers all around the world, supported by student donations. Born in Mandalay, Burma in 1924, he was trained by the renowned Vipassana teacher Sayagyi U Ba Khin (1899-1971). After fourteen years of training, he retired from his life as a successful businessman to devote himself to teaching meditation. Today he oversees an organization of more than eighty meditation centers worldwide and has had remarkable success in bringing meditation into prisons, first in India, and then in numerous other countries. The organization estimates that as many as 10,000 prisoners, as well as many members of the police and military, have attended the ten-day courses. More »
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    The Power of Solitude Paid Member

                             When I mention my own experience of going into isolated retreat for ten days, most of my friends get a little suspicious. They think of another Ted who spent time in a cabin alone: Ted Kaczynski, the so-called Unabomber. Why do people often have such a negative impression of isolated retreat? We are a very extroverted society. Even though within the Western tradition the practice of seclusion and retreat are very much a part of our own spiritual culture—the contemplative practices of Roman Catholicism, for example—most people are not aware that they are part of our heritage. More »