Tricycle Talks

Podcast series featuring leading voices and thinkers in the contemporary Buddhist world

Beating Burnout by Just Being

With Lawrence Levy
Beating Burnout by Just Being

Feeling burnt out does not make you a failure. That’s the first thing Buddhist teacher and former tech executive Lawrence Levy would want you to know. Burnout, Levy says, is a healthy response when our human needs aren’t being met. As the former Chief Financial Officer of Pixar, Levy knows what it means to have a demanding job. But it was during his many years practicing in the Gelug lineage of Tibetan Buddhism that Levy began to find a way to apply Buddhist principles to the difficulties that we face in our everyday lives, leading him to co-found Juniper, an organization devoted to making meditation and the dharma accessible in a modern context. Here, Tricycle Editor and Publisher James Shaheen talks to Levy about the importance of continuous self-care in a mutually supportive environment and how meditation, learning, and connection can help us tend to the conditions that lead to burnout.

Listen Now on Tricycle | iTunes | SoundCloud

Transforming Negativity Through Fierce Feminine Wisdom

With Lama Tsultrim Allione
Transforming Negativity Through Fierce Feminine Wisdom

Women have a lot to be angry about. A history of inequality and violence in the Buddhist world and beyond persists to this day. The question remains: what can we do with that anger? Lama Tsultrim Allione says that we have the ability to transform it into a source of strength and clarity—and that goes for all of us, not just women. Known in good part for her work exploring feminine power in Tibetan Buddhism, she examines the figure of the dakinis, fierce feminine embodiments of wisdom, and how they challenge the dominant role models for femininity in Western culture. Lama Tsultrim, who was once Allen Ginsberg’s meditation teacher, has written a new book called Wisdom Rising: Journey into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine. Here, Lama Tsultrim talks to Executive Editor Emma Varvaloucas about mandala meditation as well as her personal struggle to rediscover Buddhism’s fierce female role models and advocate for equality in a male-dominated culture.

Listen Now on Tricycle | iTunes | SoundCloud

How to Fight Hate (Without Your Fists)

With Arno Michaelis & Pardeep Singh Kaleka
How to Fight Hate (Without Your Fists)

In recent years, ethno-nationalist movements have had an apparent resurgence. What can we do to counter the hateful ideologies that have led to so much harm? Arno Michaelis, an ex-neo-Nazi, and Pardeep Singh Kaleka, whose father was murdered by a white supremacist, say that a combination of lovingkindness (Pali, metta) and relentless optimism (Punjabi, chardi kala) is the only path forward. The pair came together after the 2012 Sikh temple shooting in a Milwaukee suburb that left Kaleka fatherless. The gunman, Wade Michael Page was a member of the white power group that Arno had founded years earlier. (Arno had since left the organization and later became a Buddhist.) How Arno and Pardeep met and began working together to spread their anti-hate message is the subject of their new book, The Gift of Our Wounds. Here, they talk to Tricycle web editor Matthew Abrahams about their lives and their mission.

Listen Now on Tricycle | iTunes | SoundCloud

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Double-Edged Empathy

With Roshi Joan Halifax
Double-Edged Empathy

Altruism. Empathy. Integrity. Respect. Engagement. These five psychological states are keys to living a compassionate, courageous life, according to Buddhist teacher, anthropologist, and social activist Roshi Joan Halifax. However, each has the potential to become counter-productive: altruism can become pathological, empathy can prevent you from seeing another’s situation clearly, and engagement can become an endless to-do list. In her latest book, Standing at the Edge, Roshi Halifax likens these states to ecosystems that are the most instructive when we work from their edges. Here, Roshi Halifax speaks to author Sandy Boucher about how “edge states” have been vital to her work as a change-agent, and how they might help us nourish love and justice in society today.

Listen Now on Tricycle | iTunes | SoundCloud

The Mindful Way to Kick a Craving

With Judson Brewer
The Mindful Way to Kick a Craving

The second of the four noble truths teaches that craving leads to suffering. But that would be obvious to anyone struggling with addiction. Psychiatrist Judson Brewer, who is the director of research at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, brings mindfulness practice to the treatment of addiction. Here, Brewer talks to Tricycle contributing editor Amy Gross about the mechanisms in the brain that activate when we have cravings and how Buddhist teachings can help combat a wide variety of addictions.

Listen Now on Tricycle | iTunes | SoundCloud

How Buddhist and Muslim Stereotypes Conceal the Real History

With Johan Elverskog
How Buddhist and Muslim Stereotypes Conceal the Real History

In the 13th century, Muslim soldiers attacked the Buddhist monastery Nalanda in India. This event is held up as an example of how Muslim invaders were responsible for the eventual destruction of Buddhism in the Indian subcontinent. But it is far from the full story. Here, history professor and Chair of Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University, Johan Elverskog, talks to Tricycle editor and publisher James Shaheen about common misconceptions about the history of Islam and Buddhism, which are often rooted in stereotypes. Elverskog also debunks the assertion that the Mughal invasions were the sole cause of Buddhism’s waning on the subcontinent, a long-held narrative often used to justify Islamophobia.

Listen Now on Tricycle | iTunes | SoundCloud

The Task Is Being You

With Mark Epstein
The Task Is Being You

The Buddha had a prescription to end suffering—the eightfold path. But can the Western tradition of psychotherapy build upon these essential steps? Here, Buddhist psychotherapist and bestselling author Epstein talks with Tricycle contributing editor Amy Gross about how the two realms of wisdom view the idea of self as both problematic and helpful. Drawing from his new book, Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself, to discuss the ways meditation illuminates aspects of ourselves that we’re afraid or ashamed of, allowing us to let go of the identities that constrict us.

Listen Now on Tricycle | iTunes | SoundCloud

What Do Buddhists Mean When They Talk About Not-Self?

With Guy Armstrong
What Do Buddhists Mean When They Talk About Not-Self?

The foundational Buddhist concept of “no-self” can be a headbanger. What does it mean that our self is fundamentally empty? And if that’s true, who are we? In our latest Tricycle Talks podcast, Insight meditation teacher Guy Armstrong explains the concept to Tricycle contributing editor Amy Gross. Drawing from his book Emptiness: A Practical Guide for Meditators, he breaks down what happens when we stop constructing a sense of “I, me, mine” and begin to let go of the extraneous mental activity that leads to unnecessary suffering.

Listen Now on Tricycle | iTunes | SoundCloud

(Part 1) Mindfulness in Prison and Beyond

With Fleet Maull
(Part 1) Mindfulness in Prison and Beyond

In this two-part Tricycle Talks episode, Tricycle’s web editor, Wendy Joan Biddlecombe, speaks with Acharya Fleet Maull at the Engaged Mindfulness Institute in Deerfield, Massachusetts, about his work, and why he’s moving beyond prisons to train the next generation of mindfulness teachers.

Listen Now on Tricycle | iTunes | SoundCloud

Film Club

Buddhist films and discussion for the Tricycle Community

In Between Mountains and Oceans (Umi Yama Aida)

Every 20 years, locals tear down Ise Jingu, one of the most important Shinto shrine complexes in Mie Prefecture, Japan, only to rebuild it entirely from scratch. Acclaimed Japanese photographer Masaaki Miyazawa explores this 1,300-year-old ritual in his debut feature. Miyazawa takes viewers on a meditative journey through Japan’s cypress forests, mountains, and coasts, where coexisting with the natural world is part of enduring Buddhist environmentalism.

Directed by Masaaki Miyazawa

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