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    Buddhism & the Beat Generation Paid Member

    In 1953, President Eisenhower issued Directive 10450, mandating the immediate removal from government service of those who had been soft on communism, along with those who had any history of drug or alcohol abuse, sexual deviation, mental illness, or even membership in a nudist colony. Eisenhower’s injunction articulated the paranoia that had accumulated over a decade. Ever since the dropping of the first nuclear bombs, which brought World War II—America’s last “good war”—to a close, a fierce anxiety had seized the nation. With the development of the H-bomb, followed by the Korean War, and the Cold War in the fifties, this dread only intensified. More »
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    On the Green Credo Paid Member

    THE WORLDVIEW of the international Green movement often hinges on a set of simple beliefs that have become obstacles to facing the global crisis. Dogma and ideology develop when we treat beliefs as absolute truths. The unofficial Green Credo says: 1. We are stewards of the earth. 2. Resources are worth saving for future generations. 3. The future matters. 4. Time is running out. We treat these and other dogmas as truths carved in rock rather than ways of conceiving values. Challenging these beliefs provides a service to ourselves and the earth.   1. WE ARE STEWARDS OF THE EARTH. More »
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    Litany Paid Member

                        Last year, on a whim, I went to fabled Malibu to an afternoon meditation retreat held by Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Buddhist teacher and monk. I was skeptical, even cynical. I told my friend Jandro, who was driving a Toyota: let me count the number of BMWs and Volvos in the parking lot and I will tell you the composition of the audience. More »
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    Nondual Ecology Paid Member

    RECOGNIZING the inherent Buddha-nature of rocks and clouds is not that hard—many acknowledge this in principle. Liberal thinkers admit most animals and plants and even microbes to the select company of sentient beings. Rocks and clouds are beginning to be accepted, too, as part of the "natural living world," i.e., the world that existed before mankind brought civilization out of his brain and spread it across the landscape. But recognizing this prized quality of aliveness in technology, in human/machine interaction, and in abstract symbolic systems is something else again. Buddha-nature in nuclear bombs? In computer systems, in our urban networks, in the workings of pure mathematics? No one in the environmental world seems willing to go that far; only cyberpunks and techno-futurists have such thoughts, and they are generally dismissed as frivolous by us serious, "nature"-loving Deep Ecologists. We Buddhists, and Muirists, and Thoreauists. More »
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    Sweet and Sour Buddhism Paid Member

    Two years ago, I participated in a week-long Chinese Ch'an (Zen) retreat attended by both white Americans and ethnic Chinese. At the end of the retreat, the master asked each participant to express what benefit he or she had derived from the retreat. The white Americans spoke uniformly of how the long hours of meditation had helped them get in touch with themselves, given them strength and sanity to cope with the pressures of society, and assisted them in the process of self-realization. The Chinese contributions were very different. The first Chinese woman broke down in tears as she spoke. The week of meditation had made her realize how selfish she usually was; she wanted, right then and there, to bow down in apology before her family; she wanted to perform some act of deep repentance. More »
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    What Does Being A Buddhist Mean to You? Paid Member

    “Bodhichitta.” L. J. Dedham, MA “It’s the sum of all that is.” John Boulder, CO “I don’t believe in a 'Higher Power’ in the sense of someone or something separate from myself. The most important thing I learned about a power greater than myself early in sobriety was that what is happening in a meeting is the activity. Through the activity, it becomes obvious that there is a power greater than that. There better be, because if not I’m in big trouble.” T. Mt. Tremper, NY “To answer that question is to become a prisoner of it. If I am hoping to be free of one addiction, the last thing I need is another prison.” Robbie K. Tucson, AZ More »