Tsultrim Allione has been inspired by the teachings of the 11th-century female Tibetan teacher Machig Labdrön since the early seventies, when she was living as a Tibetan Buddhist nun in India. Her new book—Feeding Your Demons: Ancient Wisdom for Resolving Inner Conflict, from which her article “Feeding Your Demons” has been adapted—presents Machig’s teachings in a form accessible to Westerners. Allione says, “Machig presented a method that was quite extraordinary: feeding the enemy instead of attacking it.”
Lynda Barry, creator of the weekly comic strip Ernie Pook’s Comeekand author of several books, including The Good Times Are Killing Me, began “The Thousand Monkeys Project” (“Monkey Business,”) when a friend passed away. “I was so devastated that I couldn’t work at all for a while,” she says. “And then I found I could stand to paint monkeys in meditation. I thought I’d paint a hundred of them, but when I did a hundred it still wasn’t enough. So I kept on painting them. It was the only thing I could do for weeks.” The project Barry undertook over two years ago remains important to her: “I still paint monkeys all the time.”
Marshall Glickman recounts his experience on an Insight Dialogue retreat in “Talk Like a Buddha.” He tells Tricycle, “I’ve always strived to be a good listener. But feedback from my wife and close friends let me know I had a long way to go. So years ago, I took a weekend course in Nonviolent Communication (NVC). I liked and respected the work we did in that class, yet it didn’t have much effect on my behavior. Insight Dialogue, however, has made a difference and continues to do so long after the retreat ended. It speaks to the depth of the practice.”
Andrew Olendzki’s column “Thus Have I Heard” appears regularly inTricycle. Each essay is built around a passage from early Buddhist literature and seeks the common ground between the scholar’s analysis, the meditator’s experience, and the contemporary Buddhist’s context. This integrated perspective is the hallmark of the institution Olendzki leads, the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, in Barre, Massachusetts. “I am most interested in the Buddha as a historical figure,” he says, “and in understanding his world, his ideas, and his experience. I suspect we don’t fully appreciate the unique vision he articulated, and I’m eager to investigate his teachings and bring their transformative influence into our modern world.”
Jaimal Yogis tells Tricycle that he grew up “attending various California-ized Hindu and Buddhist events with my parents.” Ever since, he has grappled with the contradictions between following in his parents’ spiritual footsteps and forging his own path. Yogis says, “Since I’m 28 and still can’t figure it out one way or another, I’ve taken to writing narcissistic stories about the process.” His efforts include “Diehard Dharma,” as well as a forthcoming memoir, Saltwater Buddha: A Surfer’s Quest to Find Zen on the Sea (Wisdom Publications, March 2009).
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