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    Letters Spring 2008 Paid Member

    FORGETTING THE FREAKS Andrew Goodwin's review of Christopher Hitchens's God Is Not Great (Fall 2007) is slanted and confused. Although Goodwin applauds the book (except where it applies to Buddhism), he uses the review as a podium from which to preach his own hostile view of theism and religion, two separate if overlapping categories he regularly confuses. More »
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    Letters to the Editor—Summer 2008 Paid Member

    KARMA RULES? David Loy (“Rethinking Karma,” Spring 2008) states that karma has traditionally been used to justify racism, the caste system, economic inequality, or the status quo. The suttas, though, show that the Buddha never used karma to justify any of these things. In fact, he used it to expose these things as empty conventions. Many suttas state unequivocally that a person’s worth is determined by his or her behavior—present karma—rather than by status or birth. Examples include Suttas 93 and 96 in the Middle-Length Discourses, and Sutta 3:24 in the Connected Discourses. The last chapter of the Dhammapada is devoted to the theme that a person is a true brahmin not because of birth but because of his or her present karma. More »
  • Letters to the Editor Summer 2003 Paid Member

    Faith In Faith?Andrew Cooper’s interesting article “Modernity’s God-Shaped Hole” [Spring 2003] concludes with the largely unsupported statement that “we humans are inescapably religious.” This declaration of faith in faith, which puts Cooper in the mythos camp rather than in the logos, or reason, camp, is a fallback position during these times of global multiculturalism and religious diversity. Since we really don’t know what to believe anymore, we’ll just soldier on anyway, by—rather abstractly—believing in belief itself. More »
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    Letters to the Editor Paid Member

    Lama Drama If Thinley Norbu Rinpoche has the severe philosophical and practical problems with Western Buddhist teachers, groups, and students that he claims to have, then it should be plain and clear that factual examples need to be given support to these very serious criticisms. If this chafing indeed exists as he says, then it needs to be openly aired, not further irritated by keeping it under cover (this is mainly the job of the journalist, not the interviewee). I would hope the spirit of open and honest inquiry is present whether you are interviewing a Tulku or a first-year student or a person hostile to the dharma. I find it difficult to believe that the interviewer didn’t ask the obvious “Who?” More »
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    Letters to the Editor Paid Member

    Talking Heads Congratulations on the Richard Gere interview [Spring 1996]. Once again, Tricycle has played its trickster hand. This time converting a cherished image of Gere as the main representative of designer dharma into a portrait of a guy who is really wrestling with his practice just like the rest of us. He is one wonderful photographer as well. Bob SchumannMadison, Wisconsin The last issue [Spring 1996] was spectacular - filled with heart, with an exceptional amount of material that really gets under the skin. Especially fine were the interviews with Richard Gere, Gavin Harrison, and Gretel Ehrlich. Betsy DavisPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania Please cancel my subscription to Tricycle. I cannot take any magazine seriously that features an interview with Richard Gere. More »
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    Letters to the Editor Winter 2005 Paid Member

    View the print version of this article in PDF format The Dispute Of HappinessThe Tricycle Fall 2005 issue was one of the best yet! So many articles on happiness, so much to think about—and like all really good discussions, it left me asking so many questions! Here are two: As a college professor, I sometimes ask my students what they think is the most important thing in life; increasingly, the answer is “happiness.” But I remember asking that question when I was a college student and getting answers like “I want to be rich,” “I want power,” or (since it was the '60s) “I want love.” It seems as if fewer people are making the assumption that happiness comes automatically as part of some external factor. Could this mean that we are beginning to learn something? More »