Living in the Dharma

  • Tricycle Community 5 comments

    Making the Sangha Whole Again Paid Member

    In Buddhism, the standard phrase to refer to the transition of becoming a monastic is “to go forth from home into homelessness.” The Pali term for “going forth,” pabbajja, is now also used to mean a monastic candidate’s first ordination by which one becomes a novice monk (samanera) or nun (samaneri). From there, a candidate can pursue higher ordination as a fully ordained monk (bhikkhu) or nun (bhikkhuni), one who follows the full extent of the Vinaya, the Buddhist monastic code. More »
  • Tricycle Community 7 comments

    Okay As It Is, Okay As You Are Paid Member

    I grew up in Middletown, a midsize suburban town in the middle of New Jersey. (What it lacks in originality it makes up for in aptness of name.) Throughout my childhood I thought of it as one of many suburban towns that are the Wonder Bread of American society: plain, boring, and (mostly) white.  I’ve heard it said that suburbia is a cradle of unimagined secrets. Still, when Tricycle came across Merle Kodo Boyd, founder of the Lincroft Zen Sangha in Middletown, New Jersey, I was shocked. I had spent 18 years of my life there, never knowing that a committed sitting group was less than 10 minutes from my home.  More »
  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    Beneath Belief Paid Member

    Venerable Hae Doh Gary Schwocho, the abbot of Muddy Water Zen, in Royal Oak, Michigan, and the first American-born to be elected a bishop in the Taego Order of Korean Buddhism, has felt called to ministry since elementary school. Born to parents who were active in a fundamentalist Christian denomination that believes, among other things, that the Pope is the Antichrist, Schwocho strayed from the church while in college and was eventually excommunicated. Still, the ministry called, and he was on track to become a Presbyterian minister when he attended an introduction-to-meditation retreat in 1987, led by Haju Sunim and Samu Sunim at the Buddhist Society for Compassionate Wisdom in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Schwocho received the precepts from Samu Sunim in 1997 and was ordained in 2003 by P’arang Geri Larkin, Samu Sunim’s dharma heir. The next year, Schwocho converted his garage into a dharma hall and moved the Muddy Water Zen sangha into his suburban Detroit home. More »
  • Tricycle Community 12 comments

    Get Real Paid Member

    Reverend Patti Nakai, the associate minister at the Buddhist Temple of Chicago, grew up as a Presbyterian. Born in the Lakeview area of Chicago, to a Buddhist father and a Christian mother, she attended a church with a congregation that, like the neighborhood itself, was heavily Japanese-American. A third-generation Japanese-American herself, Reverend Patti began delving into the Buddhist side of her heritage while at the University of Minnesota, where she earned a degree in international economics and Japanese history and culture. After graduation, Nakai returned to her hometown to find that a staunchly conservative minister had taken over her childhood church. This change, coupled with a lingering heartbreak from college, led her to join her father’s old congregation at the Buddhist Temple of Chicago. More »
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    If We Watch, Wisdom Comes Paid Member

    Carol Wilson grew up in the town of Huntington, on New York’s Long Island, in what she calls a typical middle-class home. Her father was an airline pilot, which explains her itch to travel, she thinks, and her mother took care of the three children—Carol, her sister, and brother. She discovered Buddhism in her teens, “the only thing,” she says, ”that has ever fired me up”—so much so that she kept interrupting her education to follow the dharma. More »