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    The Economy of Gifts Paid Member

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    Confessions of a Buddhist Political Junkie Paid Member

    In the late seventies and early eighties I would escape every few months from my political work in Jimmy Carter’s White House to play chess with my old friend and Buddhist teacher, Geshe Wangyal, in Washington, New Jersey. From dawn till night the long silences, laughs, and wild accusations of cheating could be heard throughout the house. Meditative serenity sought by those looking for the “Wisdom of the East” was hard to find in his retreat center. More »
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    Born in Tibet Paid Member

    In the summer of 1951, Heinrich Harrer began writing his classic Seven Years in Tibet in a hotel room in Kalimpong, India, only months after fleeing the Chinese invasion of Tibet. A newly independent India, fearing the Red Army now at its border, soon ordered Harrer home to Austria and a war-devastated Europe. In his native Alps, the renowned mountaineer completed his dramatic story: trapped by the outbreak of war while mountaineering in India, Harrer escapes a British prisoner-of-war camp, and survives a two-year flight through the Himalayas to Lhasa. There he becomes friend and teacher to the young Dalai Lama. Since its publication in 1953, Harrer's story has unwittingly contributed to the myth of Tibet as an exotic and inaccessible Shangri-la. More »
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    Radical Confidence Paid Member

    IN THE SUMMER OF 1992, the Louisiana Pacific Lumber Company decided to cut several stands of old-growth forest on land it owned on the Albion River, in Mendocino County, California. The forest and associated meadows were much loved in the community, and a group of local people responded by occupying the forest for two months until a court order to stop the cutting could be obtained. Fifteen people lived in the trees. Hundreds of others came every day to stand at the property boundary, held back by sheriffs. It became a celebration joined in by Alice Walker and many others from all over Northern California. So deep a sense of community was formed that the two-month occupation of the forest was dubbed The Albion Nation, and its protest was successful. But such a confident uprising and such success are all too rare. More »
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    The Great Conversion Paid Member

    AS AN UNTOUCHABLE BOY in village India at the turn of the century, Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (1891-1956) was forced to sit silently on a piece of burlap at the back of his classroom; his notebooks could not be handled by the teacher, and drinking water was poured into his mouth to avoid physical contact. Like the other boys from the Mahar community of untouchables, he was beaten if he accidentally touched a caste Hindu. More »
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    An Interview With Thubten Jigme Norbu Paid Member

    Lopez: What is the role of “protector deities” in Tibetan Buddhism? More »