Books

  • Tricycle Community 1 comment

    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 »
  • Ajahn Sumano Bhikkhu's The Brightened Mind Paid Member

    Yesterday the newest book by Thai Forest monk Ajahn Sumano Bhikkhu arrived in the Tricycle office: The Brightened Mind: A Simple Guide to Buddhist Meditation. I am familiar with two of the author's previous works, Questions from the City, Answers from the Forest and Meeting the Monkey Halfway, and met him once many years ago, in the late 1990s. I enjoyed both the previous books very much, in particular Questions from the City, which has a great dialectic format that makes for very clear reading. More »
  • Sangye Gyatso and China's Long Memory Paid Member

    A week ago, Professor Robert Barnett wrote for the New York Review of Books, explaining some history to those curious why China is so sensitive to news of the 14th Dalai Lama's planned retirement—news that recently upset many Tibetans. He traces the cause back to the Fifth Dalai Lama, the first to hold temporal power, bestowed, as is well known, by the Mongol Khan (who, I think, was a follower of the Sakya school, not the Gelugs.) In the Fifth Dalai Lama's declining years, the new and ambitious Qing Dynasty claimed sovereignty over Tibet (and many other areas thousands of miles from their capital of Shenyang and later Beijing.) More »