special section

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    It's Not Our Karma Paid Member

    THE SRI LANKAN VILLAGE where the Theravadin Buddhist nun P. G. Ranwala built her temple is in the upcountry, miles from any city. One-story mud-and-thatch houses painted pastel pink, blue, and green, and deeply ridged paddy fields carved into the mountainside below give the village a prosperous feeling, although the people here live on the edge of poverty. Before Ranwala came, the villagers waited weeks for monks to come from the city of Kandy to perform chanting ceremonies and other Buddhist rituals on their behalf. Most parents relied on weekly radio programs to provide religious education to their children. More »
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    Buddhism Beat & Square Paid Member

    One afternoon in 1953, a young poet named Allen Ginsberg visited the First Zen Institute which was then still housed in an elegant private uptown apartment in New York City. Ginsberg occupied himself by perusing the Zen paintings, records and books in the library. But he did not stay very long: the whole atmosphere of the place made him uncomfortable; it was, as he remembered years later, “intimidating—like a university club.” Ginsberg had only recently discovered Buddhism and Chinese philosophy in the New York Public Library. “I had only the faintest idea that there was so much of a kulcheral heritage, so easy to get at thru book upon book of reproduction,” he wrote Neal Cassady in California. More »
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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 »