Tricycle Talks

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

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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(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.

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Why (Science Says) Buddhism Is True

With Robert Wright
Why (Science Says) Buddhism Is True

In this episode of Tricycle Talks, best-selling author Robert Wright speaks with Tricycle’s web editor, Wendy Joan Biddlecombe, about how evolutionary psychology supports what the Buddha taught us about suffering and not being satisfied in the present moment. In the talk, Wright explains why we haven’t evolved past difficult emotions such as anxiety and how mindfulness meditation can provide a way to work through—and maybe even free us from—them.

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When Your Sangha’s Sex Scandal Goes Viral

With Shozan Jack Haubner
When Your Sangha’s Sex Scandal Goes Viral

Shozan Jack Haubner, the pen name of a Zen monk, went to the monastery in search of wisdom—and left with a sex scandal. Haubner joins Tricycle’s executive editor Emma Varvaloucas in this podcast to discuss how writing helps him unravel the “big things” in life; the patterns of behavior commonly seen in communities where sexual abuse occurs between teacher and student; and his advice for any group that has a problem that’s been driven underground. “It’s alive,” he says, “and it’s calling for you to deal with it.”

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How Religion Can Bring Peace to a Fearful World

With Michael Kinnamon
How Religion Can Bring Peace to a Fearful World

We live in a world of fear. But need we be driven by it? In this episode of Tricycle Talks, Dr. Pilar Jennings, a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner and psychotherapist, speaks with Michael Kinnamon, former Dean of the Lexington Theological Seminary and author of the The Witness of Religion in an Age of Fear, about the restlessness, anxiety, and even panic characteristic of contemporary society.

Listen Now on Tricycle | iTunes | SoundCloud

Film Club

Buddhist films and discussion for the Tricycle Community

Ta’ang

Ta’ang

Chinese filmmaker Wang Bing turns to the war-torn northeastern border of Myanmar in Ta’ang, a documentary that follows villagers of the Ta’ang ethnic minority as they flee to China, escaping an escalating civil war. In two refugee camps, some of the displaced attempt to create reasonably safe living conditions; others go deeper into China searching for work in sugarcane fields. Ta’ang captures the constant insecurity, instability, and disorientation that come with life as a refugee as well as the complexities—and emotional toll—of the choices Ta’ang families face.

Directed by Wang Bing

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