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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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    The Power of Solitude Paid Member

                             When I mention my own experience of going into isolated retreat for ten days, most of my friends get a little suspicious. They think of another Ted who spent time in a cabin alone: Ted Kaczynski, the so-called Unabomber. Why do people often have such a negative impression of isolated retreat? We are a very extroverted society. Even though within the Western tradition the practice of seclusion and retreat are very much a part of our own spiritual culture—the contemplative practices of Roman Catholicism, for example—most people are not aware that they are part of our heritage. More »
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    Healing Mind, Healing Body Paid Member

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    The First Precept Paid Member

    To refrain from killing is the first Buddhist precept. The Theravada tradition of Southeast Asia interprets this precept in terms that parallel a Western sense of morality: there is a clear-cut distinction between killing and not killing in which the existence of a breathing, moving being either comes to its end—or doesn't. In this view, there is a killer, a separate entity that is killed, and the activity of killing. Compassion is expressed by not harming others, and many followers honor this precept by choosing a vegetarian diet. More »
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    Welcome to the Real World Paid Member

    In the wake of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, in many quarters there is a subtle undercurrent of satisfaction, even glee, that the U.S. is finally experiencing a small glimmer of what life is like outside its privileged bubble. We have come to take for granted a level of prosperity, security, and personal freedom unheard of in most parts of the world. While we are obsessing about ups and downs of the stock market, the price of gas, or the hassles of HMOs, countless others are worrying about surviving ethnic violence and genocidal warlords, falling ill with no chance of treatment, or finding enough food to eat and clean water to drink. Can you blame people for feeling it’s about time we joined the real world? More »