Books

  • 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 »
  • Ordinary Recovery: Mindfulness, Addiction, and the Path of Lifelong Sobriety Paid Member

    Starting Monday, April 11, we're going to begin reading William Alexander's Ordinary Recovery: Mindfulness, Addiction, and the Path of Lifelong Sobriety at the Tricycle Book Club. It's the story of an alcoholic on the path to recovery. By using mindfulness, story, and meditation, Alexander teaches us how we can use the present moment to start the healing process.  From Ordinary Recovery: More »
  • Choosing a time to meditate Paid Member

    Plan to meditate at about the same time every day. Some people find it best to sit first thing in the morning; others find it easier to practice at lunchtime, or before going to bed at night. Experiment to find the time that works best for you. Then make a commitment to yourself. Write it in your datebook.I suggest you start by sitting for twenty minutes of meditation three times the first week—but if you'd rather start with a shorter time and gradually lengthen it, that's fine. Decide before each session how long it's going to be. (Set an alarm if you're worried about knowing when the time is up.) You'll add one more day of meditation in Week Two, another in Week Three, and two in Week Four, so that by the end of the month you'll have established a daily practice. More »
  • Breath Meditation Instructions from Sharon Salzberg Paid Member

    Sharon Salzberg is now leading a Tricycle Retreat on The Five Hindrances, the five negative thought patterns that interrupt our practice (and life). The following meditation instructions are from pages 46-51 of her bestselling book Real Happiness: More »
  • What to do when mindfulness is not easy Paid Member

    The primary approach of mindfulness is to pay attention to what's happening and to develop a different relationship to our experience so that we're not rejecting it or hating it, but we're also not overwhelmed by it. So mindfulness has an inherent sense of balance. But the reality is that there are times when mindfulness is not that easy. We may be exhausted, or we may not be able to find balance through coming back to the breath, or mental noting, or other techniques we employ, or our mindfulness may be too intermittent. So there are a whole host of approaches to help us come back into balance and once again be mindful. It's fine to explore these methods instead of following a traditional mindfulness practice. Sometimes people think, "Oh, I blew it, I can't do the real thing." But it's not like that at all. More »