Mail_TextDharma for the 1%

I think there was either an error at your printer or Tricycle is really trying to stretch my mind.

My magazine arrived today with the cover for the summer edition. The first 16 pages, however, are trying to sell me a new home. I actually prefer the art that is usually showcased in Tricycle to the “multi-channel art business” spread. And I much prefer the crocodile skin to stay on the crocodile and not be made into the $14,000 “exotic and exquisite . . . all-Nile crocodile skin” bag featured under “Fashion.” And if I remember correctly, there is a precept about intoxicants, so an article about wine cellars being not “rooms” but “destinations” isn’t what I’m after in a dharma magazine. A property in Paris would be lovely, but at $5,188,875, it is a little above my budget.

On a brighter note, I wonder if there is someone out there with a subscription to a luxury goods magazine currently reading about the dharma.

Anyway, is there any chance that you would be able to send me another copy of Tricycle—with your usual high-quality articles, rather than articles pushing “extraordinary homes for extraordinary lives”?

Lada Dedic

Australia

The Editors respond:

It turns out you’re the third Australian subscriber to write us about this problem. Apparently our printer, who also prints the luxury-home magazine Reside (published by Sotheby’s International Realty), inadvertently ran the first signature of that publication in place of our own opening signature. The printer assures me that the problem affected very few copies, but I know that doesn’t help you any.

Of course we’re mortified. (Did it have to be a Sotheby’s magazine?) I appreciate your sense of humor and hope you have an equal amount of patience. Just so you know, none of us here can afford a place in Paris, either!

We’ll send your replacement copy out today. Then again, you may prefer to browse with the 1 percent instead of reading my editorial, which would be entirely understandable. I hope all is well Down Under.

—James Shaheen, Editor and Publisher

Note to our Australian readers: If you received the incorrect version of our issue, please contact support@tricycle.com or 800-873-9871 for a replacement.

When the Buddha Is Blind

The Man-Made Obstacle,” by Rita Gross (Summer 2014), and your other article in the same issue regarding women and Buddhism (“Roused from a Dream,” by Mary Fowles) had a powerful impact on my experience as a Western female Buddhist practitioner. Reading the story of Buddha’s engagement with women around Buddhism, I felt a stab of disillusionment and confusion; my initial reaction was disappointment that an enlightened being like the Buddha could be what I felt was so blind to conventional, and deluded, gendered power structures. I was inspired to do more reading, researching, and thinking, and am still doing so. It’s brought a complexity to my practice as I begin to consider why the Buddha engaged with women the way he did, what it meant, and what all the implications have been for practitioners throughout history.

I love these moments of confusion in religious practice—it’s when your faith stops being your personal fantasy entertainment and becomes more like your family: beloved, confusing, deeply rooted in history, and at the same time filled with the capacity for transcendent love and clarity. I so appreciate Tricycle for continuing to bring social issues to the surface. This kind of learning is incredibly precious and vitally important as a balance to meditation and devotion.

—Charlotte Clarke

Canada 

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