special section

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    Satyagraha Special Section: Introduction Paid Member

    IN DECEMBER 2005, the annual Tricycle pilgrimage to Buddhist India started off in a hotel lobby in New Delhi, where twenty-two pilgrims gathered. Our first destination was Patna, a city in the lands of the historical Buddha, but the bus to the airport stopped at Birla Bhavan, the site of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination. In 1948, after more than fifty years of agitating for change through nonviolence, Gandhi was gunned down by a Hindu fanatic, a member of a group opposed to his sympathetic negotiations with Muslims. Only six months earlier, the Mahatma had led India to its independence from British rule. More »
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    The Evolution of Happiness Paid Member

    It is said that after his enlightenment the Buddha was motivated to teach by seeing that all beings were seeking happiness, yet out of ignorance were doing the very things that brought them suffering. This aroused his great compassion to point the way to freedom. The Buddha spoke of different kinds of happiness associated with various stages on the unfolding path of awakening. As we penetrate deeper into the process of opening, the happiness of each stage brings us progressively closer to the highest kind of happiness, the happiness of nibbana, of freedom. More »
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    Letting Daylight into Magic Paid Member

    Praise to you, violent god of the Yellow Hat teachings, Who reduces to particles of dust Great beings, high officials, and ordinary people Who pollute and corrupt the Gelugpa doctrine. - From “Praise to Dorje Shugden,” quoted by Zemey Rinpoche (1927-1996) The so-called Drakpa Gyaltsen* pretends to be a sublime being. But since this interfering spirit and creature of distorted prayers Is harming everything, both dharma and sentient beings, Do not support, protect or give him shelter, but grind him to dust. - The Fifth Dalai Lama (1617-1682) *The Drakpa Gyaltsen was the Fifth Dalai Lama's rival. Dorje Shugden is considered to be his reincarnation, resurrected to oppose the involvement of Gelugpa monks with Nyingma teachings. More »
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    The Knife of Compassion Paid Member

    Once upon a time a young Tibetan lama was living in the West. He was a very high-ranking tulku. In addition, he had always manifested an unusual inclination for the wisdom and compassion of the dharma; and the crazy wisdom masters of his lineage had nurtured him with special attention and unbounded affection. He lived humbly in a small house with two Western students, a man and a woman. The two Westerners did not get along. The woman was always irritated with the man. She scolded him for the careless way he left his boots, for putting dishes in the sink without washing them, for not folding his towel in the bathroom, not putting away the bread knife, using too much hot water for his own bath and on and on. The lama never commented on this situation. More »
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    Yagé and the Yanas Paid Member

    With more than a little trepidation, my girlfriend Marion and I boarded a flight to Hawaii. Once buckled in, I fell into a deep and unusually restful sleep. Hours later, I raised the shade and, overcoming a blast of near-blinding light, peered out the small window. The palm-fringed handful of islands strewn in a random arc in the middle of the blue Pacific looked like the last grains from a weary sower’s hand. I remembered that it wasn’t for the black sand beaches and helicopter rides over volcanoes that I had made this journey. It was 1987, and my moment with a shaman was coming near. I had an appointment with yagé, the “vine of the soul.” More »
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    Death, Sex, Enlightenment & Money Paid Member

    The first time I came to the Tibetan center the teachings were just beginning and I found a place on the floor in the back of the shrine room. Had I arrived five minutes earlier, I might have had time to inspect a gaudy altar, or to inspect the dead-eyed devotees and spiritual show-offs, and I would have had my first opportunity to recoil from an officious caucus of administrators whose every fawning gesture exuded an extravagance of modesty. Only the master himself could have held me. And, thankfully, he did. More »