The Buddhist Review

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Fall 1992

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In This Issue

Special Sections

Special Section

Law and Order

As the son of a raja, Siddhattha had grown up in a household where political and legal questions were daily topics. He had attended dozens of sessions in the assembly and had been present at numerous trials. Thus he had gained a considerable knowledge of legal matters. Although politics and jurisprudence were not central to his […]

By H Schumann

Special Section

Re: Voting

  LEANN KYOAN NAIL Graduate student Dallas, Texas “It means voting. I like the way Plato wanted us to do it: all politicians would be housed in barracks. They wouldn’t have much money, but they’d be taken care of by society, so the only thing they would have to do is govern.” ALLAN HUNT BADINER Writer Big […]

By Tricycle
bell hooks buddhism

Special Section

Agent of Change: An Interview with bell hooks

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 […]

Interview with bell hooks by Helen Tworkov

Special Section

By the People, For the People

This excerpt from “The Great Story,” or Mahavastu—the Buddhist text that appeared about three hundred years after the death of Shakyamuni Buddha is part of a cohesive cosmogony that provides an account of the origins of precepts and their necessity. The story, told by Shakyamuni Buddha to his monks, describes the human compulsions toward greed, […]

By Tricycle

Special Section

The Politics of Enlightenment

The point of discussing a Buddhist platform is not to generate something altogether new and exotic, but to reinforce enlightenment-oriented tendencies and to mobilize active Buddhist participation in American politics. It is a misunderstanding to think that enlightenment is some sort of final escape from life and that the doctrine of the unsatisfactory nature of […]

By Robert A. F. Thurman



Mindful to the Quarter-inch

  Mid-afternoon, twenty-four hours into a three-day vipassana retreat, I entered the teacher’s cottage for my interview. Although I had attended many meditation retreats with lay teachers, this was my first interview with an Asian monk. Hesitant, bowing, unsure of etiquette, I walked in, sat on the floor, and waited for him to speak. He waited […]

By Janet Howey


Report from Rio: The Earth Summit

  Monday, June 1 Flying to Rio de Janeiro from New York, we pass over Freshkill Landfill, the largest man-made object in the world. It reminds me that we Americans throwaway twice our body weight in garbage every day. In Miami Airport’s red-carpet lounge a journalist calls in his “angle” on his way down to […]

By Lavina Currier


Rebirth: A Case for Buddhist Agnosticism

In 1254 the Franciscan friar William of Rubruck, a missionary in Mongolia, became the first Westerner to describe a reincarnate Buddhist teacher. In the report of his mission to King Louis IX of France he recounted the following episode: A boy was brought from Cataia [China], who to judge by his physical size was not […]

By Stephen Batchelor
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black and white photograph of jack kerouac


Negative Capability: Kerouac’s Buddhist Ethic

Jack Kerouac’s interest in Buddhism began after he spent some time with Neal Cassady, who had taken on an interest in the local California variety of New Age spiritualism, particularly the work of Edgar Cayce. Kerouac mocked Cassady as a sort of homemade American “Billy Sunday with a suit” for praising Cayce, who went into […]

By Allen Ginsberg


Letters to the Editor Fall 1992

MERTON NUTT From Spalding Gray’s interview with the Dalai Lama to Philip Glass and Khyentse Rinpoche, I have come to eagerly anticipate Tricycle‘s excellent interviews. But Harold Talbott on Thomas Merton is the very best yet! As something of a Merton nut, I am familiar enough with the growing body of material on Merton to […]

By Tricycle

Editors View

Platform Sutra 1992

As we go to press with our first anniversary issue, our late-night efforts have been interspersed with televised reports from the Democratic Convention at Madison Square Garden, just ten blocks from our office. The last four-day event at the same location that vied for our attention in the midst of a deadline was the Kalachakra, the […]

By Helen Tworkov

In the News

In the News Fall 1992

MAD. AVE. STRIKES AGAIN   How many Tibetan monks does it take to advertise PowerBook, the new laptop from Apple Computer, Inc.? According to a recent blitz of two-page ads, the correct answer is four—that’s not counting the cross-dresser in the center, a Caucasian in monastic robes with long white hair pulled back, holding an open […]

By Tricycle
black and white image of death mask for story on jamgon kongtrul rinpoche's bardo teachings

Brief Teachings

Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche’s Bardo Teachings

In one of his final teachings the Buddha introduced the idea of tathagatagarbha, the buddha essence within every sentient being. The teachings make it very clear that tathagatagarbha pervades all beings equally in quantity as well as quality. This primordial essence is never defiled, but it becomes obscured when an individual engages in negative activity […]

By Jamgon Rinpoche

In Transition

Mary Farkas

Mary Farkas (1911-1992) Mary Farkas, director of the First Zen Institute of America, died on June 7th in New York City. She was eighty-one years old and her long life embodied the transmission of Zen from Japan to the United States. A pioneer of American Zen, Mrs. Farkas’ studies predated the Zen boom sparked by […]

by [Mary Farkas](1911-1992) Tricycle


Letters to the Editor Fall 1992

PRACTICING FAITH I have no qualms about Mr. Batchelor’s agnosticism regarding reincarnation. His beliefs are quite reasonable. However, when he states that “an agnostic position toward death seems more compatible with an authentic spiritual attitude,” I wonder where he acquired the copyright to the “authentic spiritual attitude.” Science requires proof; religion and philosophy are as yet […]

By Tricycle
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