Books

  • Ellen Frankel's "Syd Arthur" Paid Member

    Like Herman Hesse before her, Ellen Frankel has joined the ranks of authors inspired to fictionalize Siddhartha Gautama’s journey from prince to preceptor—only Frankel’s Siddhartha, whose spiritual quest is chronicled in Frankel’s new book Syd Arthur, is a middle-aged Jewish woman who owns a Range Rover. Although a self-described “long-time shopper, dieter, and organizer of domestic bliss,” Syd Arthur is serious about practice. We might not all have Range Rovers, but we can all relate to Syd Arthur’s shaky foothold in the often-hilarious pull between cultivating renunciation for samsara while actively participating in it. Or as Frankel addresses her readers on Syd Arthur’s dedication page: “May your spiritual search bring answers to the age-old questions—‘Where do you find your bliss?’ ‘How do you attain enlightenment?’ and ‘What’s for dinner?’” More »
  • At the Tricycle Book Club: The Heart of the Revolution with Noah Levine Paid Member

    We're reading Noah Levine's The Heart of the Revolution over at the Tricycle Book Club. Pick up a copy of the book and come over and join us! More »
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    Ethical Wisdom: An interview with Mark Matousek Paid Member

    Mark Matousek is a Tricycle contributing editor. His new book, Ethical Wisdom: What Makes Us Good, is now available in bookstores. More »
  • The Platform Sutra of Hui-neng Paid Member

    This edition of The Platform Sutra is another translation and close reading by Bill Porter, b.k.a. Red Pine. Clark Strand turned me onto his Heart Sutra, which I wrote about here. The Platform Sutra does not purport to be spoken by the Buddha, but rather is spoken by a buddha, Hui-neng, known as the Sixth patriarch of Zen or Chan Buddhism (and also called Huineng and in Japanese, Yeno or Eno.) The basic narrative that begins it is very well known, and runs something like this: The 5th Patriarch Hung-jen (or Hongren in a slightly newer anglicization) is growing old and asks his disciples to compose poems to demonstrate their understanding. Shen-hsiu, his best student, writes The body is a bodhi treeThe mind is like a standing mirroralways try to keep it cleandon't let it gather dust. More »
  • Angulimala and Tantric Buddhism Paid Member

    The British scholar of Buddhism Richard Gombrich has a seemingly endless supply of insightful readings of texts that we as Buddhists assume we know through and through. Take Angulimala (please). The standard story is one of the most famous in all of Buddhism. A fierce robber and murderer named Angulimala cuts off the fingers of unwary travelers in his forest. He wants to get 1,000 fingers and already has 999 sewn together in a monstrous necklace (hence his name: anga, finger + mala, garland/necklace). Along comes the Buddha. Angulimala chases him and though the Buddha simply walks at a slow and stately pace and Angulimala runs as fast as he can, the villain can't catch up. Amazed by this and by the Buddha's calm in the face of danger, Angulimala renounces his evil ways and becomes a devoted Buddhist. More »
  • Three Kinds of Laziness Paid Member

    This excerpt is an adaptation from Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo's new book Into the Heart of Life, which is the Tricycle Book Club selection for July, taken from Snow Lion: The Buddhist Magazine & Catalog, a quarterly effort from Snow Lion Publications. She will also be leading July's Tricycle Retreat. More »