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    Reading Back Paid Member

    I kept a journal when I went to Japan in January of 1960 to join my husband-to-be, a Beat poet and student of Rinzai Zen living in Kyoto. I continued keeping a journal during the four years I spent there—an account of housewifely copings with an unfamiliar culture, social doings of the foreign community, experiences of practicing meditation, voices of the lineage of writing I wanted to become familiar with, and the exhausting question “Who is this self?” plus a few jokes. Reading back some thirty years later is to acquaint myself again with this somewhat brash but unsure person and to recall the beauty and severity of the practice of Rinzai Zen at Daitoku-ji, one of the greatest historical centers of Japanese Buddhism, in Kyoto. More »
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    Special Section: What is the Emotional Life of a Buddha? Paid Member

    In Soto Zen, though there is no formal course of koan practice, students are often encouraged to practice with a question of their own. "What is the emotional life of a buddha?" is a question that poet Jane Hirshfield, a Consulting Editor to Tricycle, has been working with for many years, and she suggested that it be used as the basis far a special section, out of curiosity, to see how it might be addressed more widely. What is the Emotional Life of a Buddha: Table of Contents More »
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    Marpa Loses a Son Paid Member

    Milarepa's guru, Marpa the Translator, was an enlightened master who was also a farmer and family mam In the tenth century he returned to Tibet from India, bringing with him the priceless instructions of the whispered oral lineage.
 Marpa's son Dharma Dode was his main disciple and spiritual successor. Once, Dharma Dode was with Marpa in retreat, on the ground floor of the stone castle that had been built by Milarepa. Both Marpa and his wife, Dagmema the Selfless, had forbidden the youth to attend a local festival He had been forewarned by a prophecy spoken through his mother not to ride horses during the retreat period, but the high-spirited young yogi could not resist. He climbed through a window, mounted his magnificent and gaily caparisoned horse, White Raven, and sped off to the village. More »
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    Ananda Weeping at the Doorpost Paid Member

    THE TWELFTH-CENTURY stone carvings at Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka of the dying Buddha attended by his favorite disciple, Ananda, are among the most luminous works of Buddhist art. Monumental in all senses of the word, the Buddha image is more than forty-six feet long, the image of Ananda nearly twenty-three feet in height. Perhaps surprisingly, the visitor doesn't feel that the makers of this vast ensemble—the patrons and artists who wished and labored here—were pointing to themselves. The conception and workmanship are immensely refined. The scale of the figures creates an encompassing environment, permitting one to enter into the moment and meaning of the Buddha's death; it also "places" one as very small indeed. More »
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    Milarepa Paid Member

    I bow down to all holy Gurus. I am the man called Milarepa,
For possessions I have no desire.Since I never strive to make money,First I do not suffer
Because of making it;
Then I do not suffer
Because of keeping it;
In the end, I do not suffer
Because of hoarding it.
Better far and happier is it
Not to have possessions. Without attachment to kinsmen and companions,I do not seek affection in companionship.
First I do not suffer
Because of heart-clinging;Then I do not suffer
From any quarreling;
In the end I do not suffer
Because of separation.
It is far better to have no affectionate companions. More »