The Buddhist Review

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Winter 1991

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In This Issue



First Lesson, Best Lesson

Born in Baltimore in 1937, Philip Glass began studying the violin at age six but reports that his serious interest in music didn’t begin until he took up the flute two years later. After his sophomore year in high school, he entered the University of Chicago, where he studied mathematics and philosophy. He graduated at […]

Interview of Philip Glass by Helen Tworkov and Robert Coe
Jiddu Krishnamurti


The Shadow Side of Krishnamurti

Jiddu Krishnamurti mistrusted all religions and denounced the Eastern convention of deifying living spiritual masters. But by the time he died in Ojai, California, in 1986 at the age of 91, he had helped—perhaps more than anyone in this century—to introduce Eastern teachings on the nature of mind to the West. In Lives in the […]

By Helen Tworkov


The Lady and the Monk

In 1987, Pico Iyer, author of Video Night in Kathmandu, arrived in Kyoto, Japan, bearing two suitcases and the name of a local Buddhist temple. Determined to learn, from the inside, all that he could of Zen and of Japanese culture, Iyer cultivated friendships with both natives and foreigners: with Mark, an artist from San […]

By Pico Iyer


Contradictions In Action

An eleventh-century Burmese king honored his conversion to Theravada Buddhism by building Pagan, an imposing city containing 13,000 temples and pagodas on the fertile plains of the Irrawaddy River. Slaves constructed this spectacular homage to the teachings of the Buddha. In the late twentieth century, a Burmese dictator commands a military government that tortures, murders, […]

By Paula Green


The Changing of the Guard

The procession carrying the body of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche was heralded by the wails of a lone bagpiper and the slow, steady heartbeat of a deep bass drum, followed by the hoarse guttural cries of Tibetan horns. As a crowd of more than three thousand American students and guests watched in silence, the funeral procession […]

By Rick Fields


Lost Legacy

Tenzin Norbu Namseling, the sixth Khado Rinpoche, is the son of Namseling, as aristocrat and finance minister of the former Tibetan government. In 1958, the elder Namseling was sent to the south of Tibet to negotiate with the Khampas, or Tibetan resistance fighters, but joined them instead. After helping safeguard the Dalai Lama on his […]

By Elizabeth Bayard


The Nuns’ Island

Here in the nunnery the afternoon is for sleep, study, contemplation. The night before, Ayya Khema suggested that we imagine we are going to die shortly and then see what we cling to. I find I am sad to lose my possibilities—for achievement, and, yes, for liberation. Why am I here, after all, if I […]

By Sandy Boucher



Profiles: Great Simplicity

On Friday afternoons, in a lecture room in the northwest corner of Philosophy Hall, at Columbia University, a small, wiry, and very aged Japanese named Dr. Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki regularly unwraps a shawlful of books in various ancient Oriental languages and, as he lovingly fingers and rubs them, delivers a lecture in an all but inaudible […]

By Winthrop Sargeant


Letters to the Editor Winter 1991

AUSPICIOUS BEGINNINGS The first issue of Tricycle was superb—a most auspicious beginning. I especially enjoyed Joel McCleary’s fine tribute to Geshe Wangyal, Dean Rolston’s moving “Memento Mori,” and the delightfully unorthodox Spalding Gray interview with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The quality of the writing was very high and was matched by a marriage of […]

By Tricycle

Editors View

Many is More

Following the failed coup in Russia a cartoon in a New York newspaper featured two people standing in front of the Kremlin. One was saying to the other, “If you miss the one-party system, go to America.” As the cartoon implies, new political alliances threaten to recast the United States as, at best, a beleaguered […]

By Helen Tworkov
Anathemas and Admirations


Anathemas and Admirations

Anathemas and Admirations By E. M. Cioran. Translated by Richard Howard. Arcade: New York, 1991. 256 pp. $22.95. I’ve always been a sucker for well­-articulated despair and fin de siecle weariness, and what better way seemingly to serve this indulgence than with the latest acerbic and eloquent offering of E. M. Cioran, the solitary Romanian aphorist […]

By Rudy Wurlitzer


Enlightened Living: Teachings of Tibetan Buddhist Masters

Enlightened Living: Teachings of Tibetan Buddhist Masters Translated by Tulku Thondup. Edited by Harold Talbott. Shambhala Publications: Boston, 1990. 178 pp. $12.95 (paperback). In these cynical times, when political and religious scandals hit the newspapers daily and the erosion of an ethical basis for personal and community-based behavior seems to be in full swing, it […]

By Steven D. Goodman
Anguish of Tibet


The Anguish of Tibet

The Anguish of Tibet Edited by Petra K. Kelly, Gert Bastian, and Pat Aiello. Parallax Press: Berkeley, 1991. 382 pp. $17.00. Tibet may be in vogue in this International Year of Tibet, but the iron yoke of Chinese oppression continues unimpeded by world opinion. Despite the fact that the Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize […]

By Christine Keyser
World as Lover


World as Lover, World as Self

World as Lover, World as Self By Joanna Macy Parallax Press: Berkeley, 1991. 251 pp. $15.00. Joanna Macy has always considered it perfectly natural to feel the sufferings of the world as her own. She has worked with Tibetan refugees in India, developed a system of workshops in Europe and America to cope with the psychological […]

By Tyrone Cashman

On Art

Wisdom and Compassion: Sacred Art of Tibet

Strains of long silver trumpets and the deepthroated chanting of monks greeted the arrival of His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco in April. The religious and temporal leader of Tibet’s exiled Buddhist population had come to grant a special blessing, initiating the creation of a large-scale […]

By Tamara Wasserman Hill

On Translation, Teachings And Texts

The Rectification of Names

  “Dukkha is everywhere,” the Buddha said, by way of introducing his Four Noble Truths. “There is a cause of dukkha, there is liberation from it, and the way to this liberation is the Eightfold Path.” When we translate dukkha as “suffering” we get a certain worldview, but it may not be Buddhist. Suffer comes from […]

By Robert Aitken


Ta-mo’s Fighting Monks

In the sixth century the Indian monk Bodhidharma took up residence at the Chinese temple of Shao-lin, where he introduced Dhyana Buddhism, the Indian school of meditation that in time gave rise to Chinese Ch’an (Zen). Since then, both the man and the monastery have been subjects of widespread rumor and speculation. Bodhidharma’s teachings at Shao-lin […]

By Robert W. Young

On Food

Eating Time

All beings are dependent on food, that is, eating. There is food for the body, food for feeling, food for volitional action, and food for rebirth. The Buddha cried when he saw this endless cycle: the fly comes and eats the flower; the frog comes and eats the fly; the snake comes and eats the frog; […]

By Maha Ghosananda

Shakyamuni Buddha: A Life Retold

The Finger Bone Path of Angulimala

In this episode of the life of the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni encounters the treacherous murderer, Angulimala, who subsequently transforms into a monk “more gentle than a handful of earth.” Excerpted from Old Path White Clouds, Thich Nhat Hanh’s biography of the Buddha, this story occurs after the Buddha has already acquired many followers among the […]

By Thich Nhat Hanh
18th century bodhidharma drawing

Teachings And Texts

Bodhidharma’s Teachings

If you use your mind to study reality, you won’t understand either your mind or reality. If you study reality without using your mind, you’ll understand both. Those who don’t understand, don’t understand understanding. And those who understand, understand not understanding. People capable of true vision know that the mind is empty. They transcend both […]

By Bodhidharma
rainbow over water nature of mind

Teachings And Texts

Teachings on the Nature of Mind and Practice

Like waves, all the activities of this life have rolled endless on, yet they have left us empty-handed. Myriads of thoughts have run through our minds, but all they have done is increase our confusion and dissatisfaction. Normally we operate under the deluded assumption that everything has some sort of true, substantial reality. But when […]

By Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Teachings And Texts

From “Teachings on Mindfulness”

And how, monks, does a monk abide contemplating the body as body? Here a monk, having gone into the forest, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty place, sits down cross-legged, holding his body erect, having established mindfulness before him. Mindfully he breathes in, mindfully he breathes out. Breathing in a […]

By Shakyamuni Buddha

Dharma Talk

Body as Body

This vipassana practice is based on the Mahasatipatthana Sutta, the scripture that deals with the four foundations of mindfulness. We started with the first domain of mindfulness: paying attention to body sensations. As a way of beginning, we have people bring their attention to the breath and to walking. But really, if you think about it, […]

By Tricycle
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Buddhist Journal Beat

RIVERS & MOUNTAINS The first issue of Buddhism at the Crossroads (formerly Spring Wind Buddhist Cultural Forum), published by the Zen Lotus Society in Toronto, focuses on the environment. In her article on environmental ethics, Stephanie Kaza argues that “because Buddhism focuses on the mutually conditioned nature of mind and the interaction of mind and nature, […]

By Rick Fields