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    The Point of Contact Paid Member

    At the age of fourteen, Steve Young, a Jewish kid growing up in Los Angeles, saw a samurai movie. It triggered in him an interest in Japanese culture and language that eventually led to his enrollment in an alternative school system for Japanese-American children. From then on, he grew up “bilingual and bicultural.” When he reached high school, to deepen his understanding of Japanese culture, Young felt he needed to understand its Chinese influences, so his parents hired a Mandarin language tutor. When he learned of the influence of Indian culture on Chinese culture by way of Buddhism, he moved on to Sanskrit, and asked his parents for another tutor. More »
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    Stroked by the Guru Paid Member

    Ram Dass’s books and lectures have been an inspiration to many people. Ram Dass (formerly Richard Alpert, Harvard professor and longtime friend of Timothy Leary’s) is responsible for turning on many in the West to Eastern religious ideas and is the author of such spiritual classics as Be Here Now; The Only Dance There Is; and Journey of Awakening. He created the Hanuman Foundation to spread spiritually directed social action in the West and co-founded the Seva Foundation, an international service organization working on public health and social justice issues, which has made major progress in combating blindness in India and Nepal. More »
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    Awareness Itself Paid Member

    His Holiness the Twelfth Gyalwang Drukpa is the head of the Drukpa School of Tibetan Buddhism, one of Tibet’s great practice lineages, and is a renowned master of the Mahamudra and Dzogchen lineages. He has monasteries and nunneries in India and Nepal, as well as centers in Europe and Mexico. This is his first interview in ten years. Lama Surya Das, a Western Dzogchen teacher, taught English to the Gyalwang Drukpa at His Holiness’s monastery in Darjeeling, India, in the early seventies. Lama Surya Das is the founder of the Dzogchen Center and author of numerous books, most recently Letting Go of the Person You Used to Be: Lessons on Change, Loss and Spiritual Transformation. This conversation took place at Lama Surya’s hermitage and sanctuary, Dzogchen Osel Ling, outside Austin, Texas, last November. More »
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    Ordinary Struggles Paid Member

    Socho Koshin Ogui Sensei is an eighteenth-generation priest in the Jodo Shinshu (True Pure Land) tradition, the most commonly practiced form of Buddhism in Japan. A resident of the United States since 1962, he became minister of the Cleveland Buddhist Temple in 1977 and of the Midwest Buddhist Temple in Chicago in 1992. In 2004, he was appointed Socho (Bishop) of the Buddhist Churches of America and has been instrumental in the ongoing revitalization and outreach efforts of that organization. The author of Zen Shin Talks, he now lives in San Francisco. Last fall, Tricycle contributing editor Clark Strand spoke with Socho Ogui about the idea of “practice” in Jodo Shinshu and his experiences in combining a Zen style of meditation with a Jodo Shinshu style of living. Photos © Michael Endo More »
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    Karma Crossroads Paid Member

    A lot of people think of karma in terms of “What did I do to deserve this?” It implies a notion of fate or cosmic justice. This is a view that is inspired by the Judeo-Christian tradition. In Buddhism, there is no notion of an external entity judging our actions and bestowing punishment or reward. What is the Buddhist view? More »
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    Surviving the Dragon Paid Member

    Arjia Rinpoche was born in 1950, the same year Mao Zedong’s People’s Liberation Army invaded Tibet. His early years were ones of geographical and political isolation. His nomadic family herded their yaks across the high plains of the Tibetan-Mongolian border, their camp never far from the vast blue waters of Lake Kokonor. At the age of two, he was recognized by the Tenth Panchen Lama (the second-ranking figure in Tibet after the Dalai Lama) as the reincarnation of the father of Tsongkhapa (the founder of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism). At the age of seven, he was sent to live in Kumbum Monastery, one of Tibet’s six great monastic universities. More »