July 25, 2011

Coming Soon! Buddhist History for Buddhist Practitioners

In August, Rita Gross will be leading a Tricycle Retreat titled Buddhist History for Buddhist Practitioners. Gross is an accomplished scholar, renowned for her innovative work on gender and religion, and is also an experienced dharma teacher, trained by Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche. Highly adept and bridging the academic and the spiritual, Rita is sure to lead an engaging and illuminating month of teachings.

Modern historical study challenges much in the Buddhist tradition. Yet, understanding Buddhist history can enrich dharma practice by, among other things, demonstrating how Buddhist teachings and institutions are themselves impermanent and contingently arisen. It is our hope that this examination of Buddhist history may lead to a less sectarian appreciation of dharma, may help us see our biases and presuppositions more clearly, and that it may open up Buddhism to a richer dialogue with the contemporary world.

In preparation, we recommend reading Rita's piece, Buddhist History for Buddhist Practitioners, from our Fall 2010 issue, which was the inspiration for next month's retreat. We also recommend:

What the Buddha Taught? by Andrew Cooper
Whose Buddhism is Truest? by Linda Heuman
Modern Buddhism: So New, So Familiar by Donald S. Lopez, Jr.

To take part in Tricycle Retreats, please become a Tricycle Community Supporting or Sustaining Member.

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jimboer's picture

How excellent! History becomes somewhat blurred over time. "American Buddhism" is a particularly interesting topic. The US has developed what might seem to be native versions of Buddhim and I think we do a fair job of it as well. I've included a chapter related to American Buddhism in my new book:

Christopher Budd's picture


I wanted to say first this sounds like a great program. I'm really looking forward to it.

I also wanted to say as a general point of feedback that it would be really helpful if you had some information on how these online retreats work. I'm a sustaining member but I've not done any of the retreats thus far. And so when I read this and think "boy, this looks interesting what do I need to do", there's no clear, simple instructions about this retreat in particular or online retreats in general. A "Click here for more information about Tricycle Retreats" link at the very bottom, after the membership plug would be a good thing.


Monty McKeever's picture

Thanks for the feedback Julian. Indeed, we are looking forward to Rita's retreat as well. She's great.

Tricycle Retreats are pretty straight forward: Each month one is lead by a different teacher and they consist of four video talks which are posted at the beginning of each week. The teachers then lead discussions about the teachings and answer participant questions throughout the month.

That being the general form, each retreat is unique, so in terms of what practices, contemplations, and/or supplementary reading may be recommended, this varies from month to month. The best way to find out about a retreat is simply to watch the teachings!

All retreat teachings stay up and available even after the retreat is no longer in session, so I recommend looking through some of the past teachings to get a feel for them. http://www.tricycle.com/retreats

Christopher Budd's picture

Thanks much for the reply and the information.

I understand your point about the best way to find out is to watch the teachings. I would just make a suggestion that you basically take the nice write up you made, put it on a static page, and include a link to it at the end of announcements like this as a matter of course.

The problem it would solve is until I got your good reply, I hit a brick wall and didn't know what to do or where to go. And a lot of people aren't willing to post questions/comments related to that in a public forum.

So a link like that will help people help themselves.

Thanks much!