The day after the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012, Shannon Watts, a former communications executive and stay-at-home mom of five, founded Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Since then, the grassroots initiative has matured into a nationwide movement with over 6 million supporters fighting to end gun violence. Now the largest gun-prevention organization in the US, Moms Demand Action has had major successes at the ballot box, on school boards, city councils, in state legislatures, and in corporate America. In the latest episode of Tricycle Talks, Watts tells Tricycle’s editor-in-chief James Shaheen and cohost Sharon Salzberg about what it’s like to work with communities afflicted by gun violence and how her Buddhist meditation practice has kept her in the fight despite Twitter trolls and fierce pushback from the National Rifle Association.
Flere episoder fra "Tricycle Talks"
Accepting Death to Live More Fully
46:10When her closest childhood friend was diagnosed with cancer, writer and interfaith minister Barbara Becker set out on a quest to live a year of her life as if it were her last. Drawing from a variety of wisdom traditions, Becker explored questions of what it means to be mortal and how turning towards death can help us live more fully. This journey eventually led her to train as a hospice volunteer and interfaith minister, accompanying patients at the bedside and helping families make sense of their loss. In today’s episode of Life As It Is, Tricycle’s editor-in-chief James Shaheen and co-host Sharon Salzberg sit down with Becker to discuss the power of ritual in coping with loss, the Buddhist teachings that help her turn towards death, and how the pandemic has changed the way we grieve.
'Music or Madness, It's Up to You'
38:05“A book must start somewhere. One brave letter must volunteer to go first, laying itself on the line in an act of faith, from which a word takes heart and follows, drawing a sentence into its wake. From there, a paragraph amasses, and soon a page, and the book is on its way, finding a voice, calling itself into being. A book must start somewhere, and this one starts here.” So begins Ruth Ozeki’s new novel, "The Book of Form and Emptiness," which follows the story of a young boy, Benny Oh, who starts hearing voices after his father’s death. In this poignant exploration of grief, Ozeki weaves together Zen Buddhism, pop culture, environmental politics, and the writings of German philosopher Walter Benjamin—not to mention a cacophony of voices that calls into question our understanding of what is “real.” In this episode of Tricycle Talks, Tricycle’s editor-in-chief James Shaheen sits down with Ozeki to reflect on the redemptive power of writing, the interplay between creativity and madness, and relational modes of healing.
Every Moment Is a Bardo
48:56For many of us, this past year has felt like an in-between state, as our usual routines and realities have been upended. Tricycle contributing editor and writer Ann Tashi Slater likens this suspension to the bardo journey, the transitional path between death and rebirth outlined in "The Tibetan Book of the Dead." Born in Andalusia, Spain to an American father and a Tibetan mother, Slater, who was raised in the US, is no stranger to navigating in-between spaces. In her writing, Slater explores themes of ancestral pilgrimage and the bardo journey, and her connection to the bardos has deepened in recent years through personal encounters with illness and loss. In today’s episode of Life As It Is, Tricycle editor-in-chief James Shaheen and co-host Sharon Salzberg sit down with Slater to discuss near-death experiences, end-of-life rituals, and what the living can learn from "The Tibetan Book of the Dead."
The Anxiety of Return
41:16After months of isolation, many of us are in a moment of transition, whether we’re attending larger social gatherings again, seeing relatives, or preparing to head back to the office for the first time in months. While there’s a lot to be excited about, such changes are also likely to stir some fear and anxiety. If anyone can explain how anxiety grips us, it’s Josh Korda, a counselor and the guiding teacher of Dharma Punx NYC. In today’s episode of Tricycle Talks, Tricycle’s editor-in-chief James Shaheen sits down with Korda to unpack what he calls the “anxiety of return.” Drawing from early Buddhist teachings, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology, Korda offers a more skillful way to manage life’s stressors and live with greater ease.
Inside Tricycle's Fall 2021 Issue
55:27In this special episode of Tricycle Talks, editor-in-chief James Shaheen is joined by three contributors to Tricycle’s 30th anniversary issue, out this August. First, Jordan Quaglia, a neuroscientist and experimental psychologist who runs the Cognitive and Affective Science Lab at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, talks about a video game he reviews in the issue that teaches unexpected lessons on impermanence. Quaglia and Shaheen discuss virtual friendships, cultivating compassion in the digital world, and the unique opportunities video games can offer contemplative practitioners. Next up is Vanessa Zuisei Goddard, a Zen teacher and writer based in New York City. In “Just Love Them,” Goddard writes about a time when her job at a Buddhist monastery was getting in the way of what she calls the “real work.” She joins Tricycle Talks to talk about the dangers of perfectionism, the transformative power of lovingkindness, and practical tools for dealing with burnout. Finally, Ira Helderman, a religious studies scholar, psychotherapist, and lecturer at Vanderbilt University, comments on his feature article, “The McMindfulness Wars: What’s a Psychotherapist to Do?,” which lays out contemporary debates about the ethics of mindfulness-based interventions. Shaheen and Helderman explore the long histories of these debates, as well as possible paths forward. Also in this issue: Stephen Mitchell demonstrates the thrill of “dharma combat” and how it can reveal a student’s understanding of the truth—until the truth changes again; teacher and writer Stephen Batchelor explores the rituals and mysteries of creativity with novelist and Zen priest Ruth Ozeki; we learn how some of Tricycle’s contributing editors’ opinions have evolved over the last 30 years; and psychologist and science journalist Daniel Goleman speaks with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Diseases of the Heart
48:55Welcome to Tricycle’s new podcast series, Life As It Is. Each month, Tricycle’s editor-in-chief James Shaheen and co-host Sharon Salzberg will speak with Buddhist practitioners about their work, practice, and everyday life—and, perhaps most importantly, how they're navigating these uncertain times. In today’s episode, Sharon and James sit down with Buddhist writer, cultural activist, and Tricycle contributing editor Daisy Hernández to discuss her new book, "The Kissing Bug: A True Story of a Family, an Insect, and a Nation's Neglect of a Deadly Disease." Equal parts memoir and investigative journalism, "The Kissing Bug" tells the undertold story of a parasitic disease that disproportionately affects Latinx communities.
The Hungry Ghosts Among Us
52:14We often look to buddhas and bodhisattvas as the heroic protagonists of the Buddhist cosmos. But even the most wretched creatures can teach us a thing or two about the dharma. Andy Rotman, a scholar of South Asian religions at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, is one of the few academics researching the history of hungry ghosts—the denizens of hell who suffer from greed and envy cultivated in past lives. Rotman and Tricycle’s editor-in-chief James Shaheen discuss ancient ghost stories in today’s episode of Tricycle Talks. Together, they reflect on how these cautionary tales and nightmarish images reveal not only some of the fears and concerns of early Buddhist communities but also many of our own. What these tormented souls are meant to do, according to Rotman, is to shock us out of selfish complacency and delusion and wake us up to a more compassionate way of being.
How a Buddhist Mom and Activist Took on the National Rifle Association
48:40The day after the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012, Shannon Watts, a former communications executive and stay-at-home mom of five, founded Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Since then, the grassroots initiative has matured into a nationwide movement with over 6 million supporters fighting to end gun violence. Now the largest gun-prevention organization in the US, Moms Demand Action has had major successes at the ballot box, on school boards, city councils, in state legislatures, and in corporate America. In the latest episode of Tricycle Talks, Watts tells Tricycle’s editor-in-chief James Shaheen and cohost Sharon Salzberg about what it’s like to work with communities afflicted by gun violence and how her Buddhist meditation practice has kept her in the fight despite Twitter trolls and fierce pushback from the National Rifle Association.
Tired of Pretending to Be Me
51:37Not too long ago I attended an online retreat with Joseph Goldstein, cofounder and guiding teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. I've sat with Joseph on retreats before, but what really struck me this time were the repetitive patterns playing out in my mind and body, whether it was getting lost in stories and caught up in self-judgment, or simply being distracted by physical pain—all pretty common experiences on a meditation retreat. In today’s episode, I sit down with Joseph, who recently emerged from a 3-month silent retreat himself, to ask him some questions that have been at the top of my mind. We’ll talk about the value and challenges of a long retreat, the wisdom of investigation and curiosity, and why we need to make more room for joy and humor on retreat and off. At the end of our conversation, Joseph will lead us in a brief mindfulness meditation to re-ground ourselves in the present moment. —James Shaheen, editor-in-chief of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review.
Inside Tricycle's Summer 2021 Issue
1:06:35In the latest episode of Tricycle Talks, editor-in-chief James Shaheen sits down to talk with four contributors to Tricycle’s Summer issue out this May. First up are psychotherapist Mindy Newman and translator and musician Kaia Fischer. Together over the past year they have presented a series of teachings from a newly translated Tibetan sutra. Through their collaborative writing practice, Mindy and Kaia have been able to explore psychology and scriptural exegesis, Buddhist storytelling, and guru devotion in the Tibetan tradition. Poet and short story writer Souvankham Thammavongsa is a rising star in the literary world. Born in a Lao refugee camp in Thailand and raised in Toronto, Thammavongsa is known for her nuanced reflections on immigrant and refugee experiences. In this episode, she joins us to talk about her family’s history, the power and limits of language, dislocation, and loss—themes woven throughout her short story How to Pronounce Knife, which appears in the current issue. In his feature article, “The Land of Many Dharmas,” Kenneth Tanaka, a Jodo Shin Buddhist priest and professor emeritus of Buddhist Studies at Musashino University in Tokyo, discusses how, for the first time, Buddhists from virtually every tradition can be found living side by side in North American cities. He explores America as a site of unprecedented religious pluralism and asks what this means for the future, especially in light of the recent wave of anti-Asian violence. Also in this issue: Pamela Ayo Yetunde and Cheryl A. Giles—the editors of the anthology Black and Buddhist—discuss what the dharma and the experience of Black people in America can teach us about the nature of suffering and freedom; scholar Donald S. Lopez writes about how, for most of its history, Buddhist teachings have had little to offer social activism; and the photography of Burmese artist Nge Lay captures the collision of Myanmar’s past and present.