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Magazine | Special Section

Who Are You?

Who are you? My name is Peter. If you went to Nicaragua, you’d be called Pedro. Are Pedro and Peter one person or two? One, because I am only who I am. Are you a name? No, of course not. Then who are you? I am a man. You mean you are not a woman? […]

By Tricycle

TeachingsMagazine | Special Section

What Is Enlightenment?

SHUNRYU SUZUKI ROSHI (1904-1971), founder of Zen Center San Francisco and author of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, was known to discourage questions about enlightenment. Once, when pressed on the subject, he replied, What do you want to know for? You may not like it. —Suzuki Roshi

By Tricycle

MeditationMagazine | Special Section

How Important is Faith?

In Pali (the language of the original Buddhist texts), the word for faith is saddha. While sometimes translated as “confidence” or “trust,” the literal meaning of saddha is “to place your heart upon.” When we give our hearts over to a spiritual practice, it is a sign of faith or confidence in that practice. Faith […]

By Sharon Salzberg

Magazine | Special Section

Where To Study?

AS INTEREST IN BUDDHISM continues to grow in America, many people are choosing to deepen their understanding of this tradition through graduate level study. If you are contemplating this route, one of the first things to examine is your motivation for pursuing an advanced degree in this field. Is it to complement a Buddhist practice? […]

By Duncan Ryuken Williams

a stone buddha statue

IdeasMagazine | Special Section

Who was Buddha?

Siddhartha Gautama was born around 567 B.C.E., in a small kingdom just below the Himalayan foothills. His father was a chief of the Shakya clan. It is said that twelve years before his birth the brahmins prophesied that he would become either a universal monarch or a great sage. To prevent him from becoming an […]

By Rick Fields

TeachingsMagazine | Special Section

The Fourth Noble Truth

The Buddha to his companions at the Deer Park: “The fourth truth is the path which leads to the cessation of suffering. It is the Noble Eightfold Path of right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. “I call it the Right Path because it does […]

By Thich Nhat Hanh

Handwritten note where is buddha? honesty in buddhism

MeditationMagazine | Special Section

Where is Buddha?

IN MY OFFICE THERE IS A SCROLL with Japanese calligraphy and a painting of Zen master Bodhidharma. Bodhidharma is a fat, grumpy-looking man with bushy eyebrows. He looks as if he has indigestion.  The calligraphy reads, “Pointing directly at your own heart, you find Buddha. “ Bodhidharma brought Zen Buddhism from India to China. He […]

By Pema Chödrön

what is karma

TeachingsMagazine | Special Section

What Is Karma?

Karma means action, and refers to intentional physical, verbal, or mental actions. These actions leave imprints or seeds upon our mindstreams, and the imprints ripen into our experiences when the appropriate conditions come together. For example, with a kind heart we help someone. This action leaves an imprint on our mindstream, and when conditions are […]

By Ven. Thubten Chodron

TeachingsMagazine | Special Section

Do Thoughts Ever Stop?

The Buddha advised his bhikkhus (ordained followers), “Bhikkhus, when you have assembled together you should do one of two things—have dhamma discussions or observe noble silence.” Noble silence is the state of mind where there are no thoughts. The mind is totally silent. But thoughts can be stopped only if we train our mind to […]

By Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Magazine | Special Section

Dharma 101

Dharma 101 is a sampling of the questions that commonly arise in the course of practice. In some cases, Buddhist teachers themselves identified the questions they most frequently hear from students. To those, we brought experiences from workshops, retreats, and classes—and asked some questions of our own. While the inquiries may sound familiar to many […]

By Tricycle

MeditationMagazine | Special Section

Why Do We Bow?

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 […]

By Norman Fischer

TeachingsMagazine | Special Section

Etymology: The Three Jewels

BUDDHA. From the Sanskrit root budh, literally “to wake, wake up, be awake.” Sanskrit was the elite language of the Aryan tribes whomigrated to South Asia sometime in the second millennium B.C.E. Various forms of this root, budh, appear in the oldest Sanskrit literature of the Vedas, the sacred texts of the Aryans (c. 2nd to […]

By Tricycle


Magazine | Feature

Alice in Enlightenedland

Suppose Alice had been reading a book on American Buddhism before drifting off to sleep on that fateful afternoon. Her exchange with the Cheshire Cat might have gone something like this: ALICE CAME TO A FORK in the forest path and was standing for a moment, puzzled as to which way to go, when she […]

By P Law

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CultureMagazine | Book Reviews

The Tale Of The Incomparable Prince

The Tale of the Incomparable Prince Mdo Mkhar Tshe Ring Dbang Rgyal Translated by Beth Newman HarperPerennial: New York, 1997 319 pp., $13.00 (paperback). It’s not surprising that The Tale of the Incomparable Prince—which its publisher calls “the only pre-exile Tibetan novel”—is full of surprises. An epic tale that builds to a thundering Buddhist sermon, […]

By David Guy

Magazine | Letters

Letters to the Editor Spring 1997

Lama Drama It was with relief and recognition that I read the interview with June Campbell in your Winter 1996 issue. For the first time, I have read of someone who acknowledged similar experiences to my own (and who implied the prevalence of that experience).  I too had an affair with a rinpoche, and then […]

By Tricycle

CultureMagazine | Book Reviews

Manchu Palaces

Machu PalacesJeanne LarsenHenry Holt and Company,Inc.:New York,1996342 pp., $25.00 (hardcover) In China during the Qing dynasty, when hard-riding warriors from Manchuria ruled the vast lands “between the passes,” Beijing’s new gentry altered the rules of architecture. The Manchu lords built rambling compounds with highly ornamented ritual halls and bed­chambers facing onto courtyards perfumed by fruit […]

By Patrick Rogers

Magazine | From The Academy

Digesting The Dharma

In my last column, I provided a brief history of the attempt to anthologize Buddhist texts, to reduce the teachings of Buddhism to a single volume. The organization of these anthologies was often telling, revealing the presuppositions and prejudices of the editors. Some were chronological, beginning with Pali texts (believed to be the earliest sources) […]

By Donald S. Lopez Jr.

IdeasMagazine | In the News

In the News Spring 1997

PAGODA SIEGE Vietnam’s communist government intensified its crackdown on the Unified Buddhist Church (UBC) when more than 200 armed security forces raided a 400-year-old pagoda in Hue and arrested two prominent monks there in November. The International Buddhist Information Bureau, a foreign organ of the UBC, said that the raid was part of a government […]

By Tricycle

CultureMagazine | Book Reviews

Mountains And Rivers Without End

Mountains And Rivers Without EndGary SnyderCounterpoint: Washington, D.C., 1996 165 pp., $20.00 (hardcover) Wet and covered with pine needles, Gary Snyder’s new book arrived at my door on a rare rainy day in Los Angeles. Perhaps this was a portent of things both remembered and yet to be read, as Mountains and Rivers without End […]

By Russell Leong

Magazine | Editors View

Back to Basics

Dharma 101, this issue’s special section (p. 40), includes some very basic questions, but that doesn’t limit it to beginners. There’s nothing elementary in asking about karma, enlightenment, emptiness, or in asking, “if there is no self, who is born, who dies, who meditates?” They’re introductory questions not only because they tend to bedevil the […]

By Tricycle

Personal ReflectionsMagazine | On Gardening

Daughters of the Wind

EVERY YEAR around the spring equinox, the prevailing westerly winds begin to gust, battering the California coast just a scant half-mile from Green Gulch Farm. These westerlies are a swollen river of air moving across the face of the Pacific, blowing shoreline sand into long drifts and heaving spindrift spume against the dark bulk of […]

By Wendy Johnson