Tricycle Talks

Tricycle Talks

Conversations with contemporary Buddhist leaders and thinkers

Episodes

April 14, 2021 45 min
We have end-of-life rituals for a reason—to help us accept loss and fully grieve. Of all the rituals disrupted by the pandemic, the loss of funerals and other communal spaces that allow us to support those dealing with the death of a loved one has been one of the hardest to cope with. Virtual gatherings can mitigate feelings of loss and isolation to a certain extent, but there is no real substitute for being with others. With well...
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For the last 12 years, Dekila Chungyalpa has worked with religious and indigenous leaders, scientists, and policymakers to design community-based environmental and climate programs. But having grown up in the northeastern Indian state of Sikkim, surrounded by strong women who chose to walk the monastic path, Chungyalpa hasn’t always found it easy to show up as both a devout Tibetan Buddhist and a conservation scientist. In this e...
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In this episode of Tricycle Talks, Editor and Publisher James Shaheen is joined by three contributors to take a closer look at our Spring 2021 issue. First, James speaks with Zen priest and psychologist Seth Zuiho Segall, whose feature article, “The Best Possible Life,” situates ancient Greek ideals of human flourishing against Buddhist enlightenment. Seth talks about what’s lost—and what’s gained—when practices from one culture f...
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Pamela Ayo Yetunde and Cheryl Giles, the editors of Black & Buddhist, reflect on what the dharma can teach us about race-based suffering, freedom, and resilience—and what being Black has taught them about Buddhism.
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When we think about Buddhism, we don’t often think about monks and nuns conjuring spells or curses to break up lovers, exorcise demons, prevent unwanted pregnancies, or kill enemies. But for over two and a half millennia, magic and healing rituals have been an integral part of everyday Buddhism. They were also key to Buddhism becoming a cosmopolitan religion, flourishing in areas beyond the Indian Buddhist heartland. The magical as...
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December 22, 2020 37 min
In a year of intense suffering, forgiveness may be the last thing on our minds. Some of us may be harboring resentment for family members, government leaders, or maybe the grocery store cashier who didn’t look like they were smiling under their mask this morning. But a new book encourages our capacity for reconciliation by retelling the stories of people who forgave under seemingly impossible circumstances. In Inspiring Forgivenes...
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In this episode of Tricycle Talks, Tricycle’s Editor and Publisher James Shaheen sits down with Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche to discuss turning inward to steady oneself for the world, using humor to combat hurt feelings, and how patience is not passivity. Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche is a Tibetan teacher and the founder of Mangala Shri Bhuti, an organization in the Longchen Nyingtik lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He’s also the author of eigh...
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October 28, 2020 50 min
What is religion? Is Buddhism a religion? How about democracy? And how religious (or not) do you have to be to ask? In the latest episode of Tricycle Talks, Tricycle’s Editor and Publisher James Shaheen speaks to Jack Miles, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and scholar of religion, about what we mean when we say something is a religion and how Miles's own life has led him back to this question time and again. Miles’s lates...
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Arian Moayed is perhaps best known for his role as Stewy in the HBO series Succession. So for fans of the show, it may seem strange that for almost two decades, he’s been working to build a more empathic world through art and outreach. Arian is the co-founder of Waterwell, an organization working to tackle society’s issues through theater, art, and education. In this episode, Tricycle’s Editor and Publisher James Shaheen sits dow...
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“Equanimity” might seem like just another Buddhist buzzword, but Daisy Hernández doesn’t think so. The author of the award-winning memoir A Cup of Water Under My Bed and the co-editor of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism, Daisy is an Assistant Professor in the Creative Writing Program at Miami University in Ohio. Through her meditation practice, Daisy found refuge in her body and also discovered that it wa...
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September 15, 2020 26 min
Buddhism’s four noble truths start with the truth—and the inevitability—of suffering. So what does that mean for an activist? For Michael Kink, suffering became the fuel to power action for justice. The executive director of the Strong Economy for All Coalition, a labor-community organization focused on income inequality and fighting for a fair wage for all workers, Michael has been on the frontline of changemaking for decades. But...
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September 8, 2020 26 min
Since the pandemic began earlier this year, mutual aid funds have become a major resource for people suffering from the burden of job loss and financial strain. One mutual aid fund, Pandemic of Love, has helped thousands of people access funds for things like food, health insurance payments, and even money for funerals for loved ones who have died from COVID-19. The fund, started by mindfulness teacher, writer, and organizer Shelly...
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September 2, 2020 52 min
Some Buddhists would say that the proper response to the current suffering of the world is to turn inward—to use the tools of meditation to develop skillful states of mind. Others might say this isn't enough, that we should be out there—helping others in our communities and demanding action from our representatives. But these two options do not preclude each other, says meditation teacher and author Sharon Salzberg. Her new boo...
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August 25, 2020 45 min
What does it mean to belong? Many of us come to Buddhist practice because we feel we don't. But Sebene Selassie, a meditation teacher in the Insight meditation tradition, uses Buddhist teachings to explain how we can be—wherever we are—truly at home in the world. Growing up in the nation's capital as the daughter of Ethiopian and Eritrean immigrants, Selassie herself spent much of her life on the outside looking in. In h...
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For many of us, the past several months have been a time to get reacquainted with one of the Buddhist truths that has always guided our lives: impermanence. But while this may provide a philosophical compass to help us weather the storms of a pandemic, pronounced racial and economic inequality, and acts of police brutality, we may still find ourselves asking: how do we help the next generation? In this episode of Tricycle Talks, T...
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As this episode goes live on May 9, 2020, many of us have been sheltering in place for the past few months, and some of us are experiencing the myriad effects of solitude on the human psyche. Stephen Batchelor’s new book, The Art of Solitude, was released in mid-February of this year, right before most of us were forced into isolation due to COVID-19. The book documents his explorations of solitude—and how he learned to live in eas...
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April 14, 2020 48 min
In recent weeks, reporters, activists, and others have drawn parallels between the global pandemic and the climate crisis. It seems early to say, but we can sense that the two problems are more related than we think, as they are both challenges that we all must face together. Despite the fear, panic, and pain that rages on in our world, Joanna Macy says that she’s lucky to be alive in this moment—because when everything starts to u...
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Many in the Buddhist world were shocked at the death of Insight Meditation and yoga teacher Michael Stone in 2017. He was only 42 years old, and few were aware that he had been struggling with bipolar disorder. It was later revealed that he had died from an opioid overdose. His death brought up many questions about the stigmas against mental illness, and the responsibility of teachers to reveal their personal challenges. Here, M...
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January 28, 2020 51 min
Buddhism is not a religion at all––at the same time, it’s the true essence of all religions. And yet it is also compatible with science, or even a “mind science” itself. Do these ideas sound familiar? They’re part of a constellation of claims that scholar Evan Thompson calls “Buddhist exceptionalism,” the idea that Buddhism stands apart from all other religions as uniquely rational. Evan is a professor of philosophy at the Uni...
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December 28, 2019 56 min
Many of us struggle to silence our inner critic on a daily basis. According to meditation teacher Tara Brach, that’s because we are living in a “trance of unworthiness,” and are addicted to self-judgment. Tara is the the founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, D.C., a best-selling author, and a clinical psychologist who has been at the forefront of blending Buddhist meditation and therapeutic methods. She is perh...
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