The Buddhist Review

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Winter 1999

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In This Issue

Special Sections

Special Section

Does the Millennium Mean Anything?

“In these matters take no notice of the words of any man [meaning Aristotle], for it is the foundation of our[Jewish] faith that God created the world from nothing, that time did not exist before, because it depends upon the motion of the sphere, and that too was caused.” Moses ben Maimon (twelfth century, Egypt) […]

By Arno Penzias

Special Section

Fuse Yajiro’s Death Poems

A warrior named Fuse Yajiro grew ill in the spring, and by autumn he was dying. He wrote this poem: Before longI shall be a ghostbut just nowhow they bite my flesh!the winds of autumn. After Writing this poem so full of nostalgia for life, Fuse Yajiro recovered somewhat and lived on for another month. […]

By Tricycle

Special Section


While rotating on its axis at 1,670 kilometers per hour, the planet earth orbits the sun at 108,000 kilometers per hour. Light, traveling at a speed of 300,000 kilometers per second, is energy created by wave motion. Through innumerable births and deaths, all species pass life on to succeeding generations. The never-ending cycle of creation […]

By Taishi Hirokawa

Special Section

Time from the Point of View of a Slime Mold

As we get older we wonder at our impatience, when, as children, we had to wait in the station for the train to arrive. It is one of the many signs that time has very different meanings for us, even over our own life span. Time and life are intertwined in so many different ways, […]

By John Bonner

Special Section

Special Section: Vast Time

Between the Buddhist Calendar, which dates the coming year at approximately 2543, and Buddhist teachings that speak of “beginningless time” in which the whole of the past and future exist only in the present moment, the millennium blitz seems to have drawn us into its illusory phenomenon of a linear, short-term sense of time, as […]

By Tricycle

Special Section

Watching the Ancestral Prayers of Venerable Others

Lena Higgins, 92, breastless,blind, chewing her gums by the window,is old, but the Great Comet of 1843 is much older than that. Dry landtortoises with their elephantinefeet are often very old, but giant sequoias of the western Sierrasare generations older than that.The first prayer rattle, made on the savannah of seeds and bonesstrung together, is […]

By Pattiann Rogers

Special Section

Deep Time: Beyond 2000

As we approach the millennium, some two thousand years after the birth of Christ, it is tempting to reflect on time in the widest scientific sense in order to attempt to break free of Judea-Christian cultural residue and its somewhat stultifying, apocalyptic tone. Studying stars, slime molds, and bacteria broadens our experience of time. If, […]

By Dorion Sagan

Special Section


Rock is naturalist scripture. The deeper you go the older the story. Pikas & squirrels scamper over the top, then spiral descent from gone tooth & twig. Petrified bone sediment myth. Or psychic fossil? Horesetail & algae glow green again, come to life in car engines. Fantastic shapes, old as forests. And now the likelihood […]

By Andrew Schelling

Special Section

Big, Big Bang

One of the fathers of the Big Bang was sitting across the aisle from me on the train, so I introduced myself. I had seen P.J.E. Peebles speak at a conference in Washington that afternoon at the National Museum of Natural History, and now we made small talk about this and that: the weather, a […]

By Richard Panek



Flights From Lhasa

Forty years after the Chinese invaded Tibet, Orville Schell looks back to 1904 when Colonel Francis Younghusband led a British expeditionary force into the holy city of Lhasa. Despite many brutal losses, the Tibetans and their culture remained largely unchanged, but Younghusband was never the same.

By Orville Schell
charles johnson suffering


A Sangha by Another Name

A Buddhist and one of America’s preeminent African-American writers applies the suffering of the First Noble Truth to the suffering of blacks in white America, and traces the history of Dharma among black artists.

By Charles Johnson
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Letters to the Editor Winter 1999

I Like Trike I continue to be amazed by Tricycle—its intelligence, its emotional impact, and the thread of compassion that weaves through it. I am impressed, delighted, angered and frustrated by Tricycle—and I learn from it. The articles on Yasutani Roshi’s anti-Semitism are notable in this respect. Chogyam Trungpa, speaking on the need for a […]

By Tricycle

Editors View

Millennium Mind

Seeking words of wisdom from a renowned adept, a young acolyte trekked to the top of a mountain. Sitting at the master’s feet he asked, “Can you tell the future?” The master said, “Certainly I can. It’s easy. Today is just like yesterday. Tomorrow will be just like today. Unless, of course, there’s a change […]

By Helen Tworkov

Web Exclusive

Genetic Engineering: A Buddhist Assessment

What will it be like to be a Buddhist in a future world where your life starts with your parents designing your genes? In addition to screening for unwanted genetic diseases, they select for sex, height, eye, hair, and skin color, and, if your parents are Buddhists, maybe even genes that allow you to sit […]

By Ron Epstein

In the News

In the News Winter 1999

UNTOEING THE LINE Monks from the banned Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV) are facing more arrests and detention. According to Reuters, a UBCV monk, Thich Khong Tanh, 56, was detained in September. Upon his release he told the UBCV’s Thich Quang Do, the 72-year-old and a one-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee who heads the […]

By Tricycle

On Gardening

Everything, O Bhikkus, Is Burning

On New Year’s Day five years ago, I planted a handful of seeds gathered from a Paulownia tree that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, fifty years before. The seeds were given to me by Japanese peace activist and painter Mayumi Oda, who was a small child when her country was bombed. It was […]

By Wendy Johnson


Books Winter 1999

Books in Brief An annotated selection of new and noteworthy guidebooks, teachings, and scholarly texts The Practice of MahamudraDrikung Kyabgon Chetsang RinpocheSnow Lion Publications, $12.95Mahamudra is the highest teaching in the Kagyupa school of Tibetan Buddhism. The Practice of Mahamudra is a thorough explanation of this teaching, condensed from talks given in the United States […]

By Tricycle



GenNext: Taking a Breather

“I’m so stressed out!” That was my mantra during the first exam period my freshman year of college. After homage to the Stress God I would gulp another cup of coffee, exacerbating my nervous condition. My friends fared worse: Some became severely ill, some had nervous breakdowns, a few dropped out entirely, and others began […]

By Sumi Loundon Kim


A Gathering of “Wild and Wise” Women

Spirit Rock Meditation Center hosted its fourth annual “Wild and Wise” Buddhist women’s weekend gathering, September 25-26. Located in the rural hills of California, the retreat was led by Tsultlim Allione, author of Women of Wisdom; China Galland, author of The Bond Among Women; eco-philosophcr and Buddhist activist Joanna Macy; and Deena Metzer, a Bay […]

By Diana N. Rowan