interview

  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    A Voice from the Outside Paid Member

    David Budbill has been a freelance writer for five decades. The recipient of awards from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, he has written seven books of poems, eight plays, a novel, a collection of short stories, a picture book for children, and dozens of essays. In a series of three books of poems—Moment to Moment, While We’ve Still Got Feet, and Happy Life—Budbill draws connections between his own life and the lives of ancient Chinese and Japanese poets he admires. A new book, tentatively called “Tumbling Toward the End,” is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press. His work has been featured many times on Garrison Keillor’s National Public Radio program The Writer’s Almanac. More »
  • Tricycle Community 2 comments

    Nothing Need Be Done Paid Member

    One morning in 1984, a letter posted on the other side of the world clacked through the flap of my door in Cape Town. It was from the poet, environmental activist, and longtime Buddhist Gary Snyder, a warm response to questions about his writing. I was a graduate student at the time and had been reading his work after a friend gave me a copy of his 1967 collection A Range of Poems. That first letter was the beginning of a long long-distance friendship and an ongoing conversation. More »
  • Tricycle Community 2 comments

    Good for Nothing Paid Member

    The Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo (Wisdom Publications, fall 2014) features the wisdom of three generations of Zen masters: Kodo Sawaki Roshi (1880–1965), Kosho Uchiyama Roshi (1912–1998), and Shohaku Okumura (1948–). “Homeless Kodo” refers to the first in this dharma line, Kodo Sawaki, who powerfully revived and popularized the Soto Zen practice of shikantaza, or “just sitting”—as distinct from the Rinzai Zen school’s focus on koans—by bringing the practice outside Japan’s monasteries to its laypeople. An itinerant teacher for most of his life, he established in 1949 Antaiji Shichikurin Sanzen Dojo, a still thriving Buddhist temple now in Hyogo Prefecture. After Sawaki died, his dharma heir, Kosho Uchiyama Roshi, published a collection of brief sayings by Sawaki with commentaries of his own. More »
  • Tricycle Community 28 comments

    The Embodied Mind Paid Member

    To be fruitful, the encounter between Buddhism and science demands intellectual boundary crossers—rare scholars who are expert in both realms, who can translate ideas across the divide and identify and critically appraise assumptions each side brings to the table. The philosopher and cognitive scientist Evan Thompson is one of these. Thoroughly grounded in Western and Buddhist philosophy and learned in science, Thompson has been dedicated to cross-cultural and interdisciplinary dialogue between Buddhism and cognitive science for over two decades. More »
  • Tricycle Community 10 comments

    Other Fingers Pointing to the Moon Paid Member

    Ruben L. F. Habito is a master in the Sanbo Zen lineage, the founding teacher of Maria Kannon Zen Center in Dallas, Texas, and a professor of world religions at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology. He is also a former Jesuit priest, and as a young ecclesiastic was sent from his native Philippines to Japan, where he encountered Zen and entered formal training under Yamada Koun Roshi, with whom he studied for 18 years. Discovering Zen was epiphanic for Habito (“it pointed to a realm beyond language”), and koan study became for him a profound foil to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, a set of meditations and devotional practices for Jesuits that Habito had been practicing since entering the order. During his time in Kamakura, the seat of Sanbo Zen, a fusion of Rinzai and Soto traditions formerly called Sanbo Kyodan, Habito met Maria Reis, who became his wife and mother of their two sons. More »
  • Tricycle Community 7 comments

    The Counselor Paid Member

    Buddhist priests in Japan have always dealt closely with death. They are the officiants at funerals for the majority of the population, counselors to the grieving, and partners through the long series of memorial services that follow a death. Yet few priests have made it their business to confront suicide, which last year claimed close to 28,000 lives in Japan. Ittetsu Nemoto is an exception. “If one path leads toward suicide, I want to do anything I can to lead people in the opposite direction,” says Nemoto, who serves as chief priest at Daizenji, a small temple nestled between rice fields and forested hills in rural Gifu Prefecture. More »