Books

  • 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 »
  • Sharon Salzberg's Real Happiness is back Paid Member

    Back by popular demand, Sharon Salzberg's Real Happiness is available to Tricycle Community members for the month of April. So if you missed the Tricycle Book Club discussion in February, or didn't get to ask Sharon all of the questions you wanted to, this is your opportunity. Sharon will also be hosting a Tricycle Retreat this upcoming month, entitled "The Five Hindrances." Our hope is that the book and retreat combination will help enrich your meditation practices.From Real Happiness: More »
  • All Craziness, No Wisdom Paid Member

    When crazy wisdom is used as a scam or excuse by unscrupulous teachers, it can take any of three general forms. In the first, teachers claim outright that some or all of their actions are crazy wisdom. In the second, they make no such claim, but publicly sing the praises of crazy wisdom, behave badly, and refuse to explain their actions—thus encouraging their students to connect the dots and infer that crazy wisdom is behind (and justifies) their misdeeds. In the third, teachers delude themselves into believing that a universal wisdom is acting through them, and that they can therefore do whatever they please, because that wisdom is running the show. They thus give up their own power to analyze, evaluate, test, or discern—and become puppets of their own impulses and desires. This delusion can be especially harmful to both the teacher and their students. More »
  • Levels of Enlightenment: How enlightened should a Buddhist teacher be? Paid Member

    My premise is my shakiest part: That enlightenment is not a black and white thing; there are levels to it that land in shades of gray. I say this because I've experienced different levels of realization myself, where my understanding of something has transcended my previous understanding. If you accept this premise, my question is this: How enlightened does one have to be in order to authentically teach the Buddhadharma? Where do we draw the line? Can a Buddhist teacher be addicted to cigarettes? Eat meat? What about sex—can a Buddhist teacher sleep with their students?Many think that the line is drawn at sexual misconduct. Consider a recent comment at the Tricycle Book Club, where we're discussing Sex and the Spiritual Teacher: More »
  • Tantra, Pseudo-Tantra, and Charismatic Teachers Paid Member

    The conversation is heating up at the Tricycle Book Club discussion of Scott Edelstein's new book Sex and the Spiritual Teacher. We knew that this topic would turn some heads, and we also knew that it would put off some people who might think it prurient or in bad taste. But Edelstein treats his topic so sensitively and intelligently that dispels any notion of gossip or rumor-mongering and instead brings us to the vital question: What is to be done about this problem that is so obviously present in our communities? A commenter brings up tantric practice: More »
  • Sexual ethics for Buddhist teachers Paid Member

    As @rebelbuddha said on Twitter yesterday, we’re discussing a “hot topic” right now at the Tricycle Book Club. Author Scott Edelstein is responding to everyone’s comments as we explore the many important issues he raises in his new book, Sex and the Spiritual Teacher. And he’s not shying away from any of the hard-hitting questions either. Here's a some of the dialogue happening at the book club right now about sexual ethics for Buddhist teachers:

mgh writes: More »