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    Tantric Art: Maps of Enlightenment Paid Member

    The tradition of Himalayan tantric art evolved over more than a thousand years into a form notable for its iconographic complexity and stunning beauty. In December, Tricycle visited New York City’s Rubin Museum of Art, home of one of the West’s richest collections of Himalayan art. In this interview RMA curator Jeff Watt pulls back the curtain on this potent Buddhist art form.What role can art play in conveying the Buddhist teachings? Buddhists are always talking about tools to use on the path to liberation. Often we are accused of living in our heads, of being too abstract. Buddhist art—and more specifically, tantric art—gives us the opportunity to come down to earth and look at how Buddhism represents itself visually. How is the Buddha represented? How are his teachings and followers represented? More »
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    Back to Basics: Is Meditation Enough? Paid Member

    We all have preconceptions, we all have points of view. Not only do we have ideas, but we have opinions and countless judgments, especially about other people. We may hope to free ourselves from such a tangle, but usually what we find is that we just exchange one set of preconceptions for another. The practice of mindfulness-awareness meditation does not take place in a vacuum. It happens within a certain context and point of view. In the Buddhist tradition, meditation is often presented in the context of view, meditation, and action. Each of these three is essential, as a system of checks and balances. More »
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    Practice Paid Member

    Value your self, look after your self Be watchful throughout your life. You are your own refuge; There is no other refuge. This refuge is hard to achieve. One’s self is the lord of oneself; There is no other lord. This lord is difficult to conquer. You cannot save another, you can only save yourself. Better your own Dhamma, however weak, Than the Dhamma of another, however noble. Look after your self, and be firm in your goal. His mind is restless after many flowers, More »
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    Back to Basics: Why Do We Bow? Paid Member

    Many people have this question the minute they walk into the zendo and are told to make full prostrations to the Buddha image on the altar. They come with an idea that Zen is beyond words and letters, beyond religion, beyond rules, beyond piety, and so the idea of such a thorough-going and outrageous display of what seems like religious fervor seems quite disturbing to them. So why do we bow? I had this same question myself in the beginning of my practice. My teacher at the time took me up to the altar and let me look closely at the tiny Buddha there. He pointed out to me that the little Buddha was also bowing. So I was bowing to the Buddha and the Buddha was bowing to me. “If he can do it you can do it,” he said. I thought that was fair enough. More »
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    Includes Interviews with Two Western Abbots Living This Tradition in California: THANISSARO BHIKKU AJAAN AMARO Dharma Discourses from: BUDDHADASA BIKKHU UPASIKA KEE NANYON A Resouce Guide More »
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    Agent of Change: An Interview with bell hooks Paid Member

    bell hooks is a seeker, a feminist, a social critic, and a prolific writer. Her books include "Ain't I a Woman?": Black Women and Feminism; Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black; Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life (with Cornel West); and, most recently Black Looks all from Southend Press. She was born Gloria Watkins forty years ago in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and was educated at Stanford and Yale. Currently she teaches English and Women's Studies at Oberlin College in Ohio. This interview was conducted for Tricycle by editor Helen Tworkov. Tricycle: What was your first exposure to Buddhism? More »