• 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 »
  • Don't Panic, Just Practice: Mirka Knaster on dealing with a tsunami alert Paid Member

    We sit everyday. Sometimes we go on retreats. We're practicing to become better people—wiser, more generous, happier people—but, for many of us, doubt lingers. Does the practice work? In a post on her blog, author and vipassana practitioner Mirka Knaster writes about how she responded recently to a tsunami alert near her home in California. By describing her equipoise and clarity of thought during an emergency Knaster reminds us that sometimes, often when it matters most, our practice does have a powerful and positive effect on our lives. Knaster writes: More »
  • Sex and the Spiritual Teacher: Sexual Addiction Paid Member

    We students often believe that great spiritual insight and sexual addiction (or, indeed, any addiction) are mutually incompatible. We think, Surely anyone with such wisdom would recognize the painful consequences of addictive behavior and be able to hold themselves in check. Once again we are ignoring reality and clinging to a cherished ideal. Not only do some spiritual teachers suffer from sexual addiction, but a few have become notorious for their compulsive sexual encounters, which typically involve their students. More »
  • This month at the Tricycle Book Club Paid Member

    It’s a good month to be a member of the Tricycle Book Club. We’re discussing two very excellent—and very different—books through the end of March. The first is Sex and the Spiritual Teacher by Scott Edelstein. It’s a levelheaded, honest look at a serious and real issue—and it couldn’t be more timely. Here’s an comment from the discussion already taking place, from Edelstein: More »
  • Food of Bodhisattvas: Buddhist Teachings on Abstaining from Meat Paid Member

    Due to Buddhist teachings on nonviolence and compassion, people often assume that Buddhists are vegetarians. Indeed, many Tricycle readers cried foul after we ran a recipe in the Winter 2010 issue that listed chicken as an ingredient. One letter to the editor said, "I feel this [recipe] is as disturbing in your magazine as it would be if it had been published in Vegetarian Times. Please no more chicken recipes." We printed a short response saying that while we respect vegetarianism, the fact is that many Buddhists eat meat. (Note: personally when I say I "respect" vegetarianism, I mean it in the "hold in high esteem" sense of the word, not like "I respect your right to eat whatever you like." Also, a fun fact: when it comes to dietary restrictions the Tricycle staff is a motley crew.) More »