Books

  • 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 »
  • Dharma Combat: Roshi vs. Rinpoche Paid Member

    Sometime in the early 1970s, two Buddhist masters met in Cambridge, Massachusetts. One of them, Kalu Rinpoche, was a renowned Tibetan meditation master who had spent many years in solitary retreat in the remote mountain caves of Tibet. The other was Seung Sahn, a Korean Zen master who had recently come to the United States and was supporting himself by working in a Providence, Rhode Island, Laundromat, slowly planting the seeds of Zen in the minds of those coming to wash their clothes. At this now famous meeting of enlightened minds, Seung Sahn held up an orange and, in classic Zen dharma combat fashion, demanded, "What is this?" Kalu Rinpoche just looked at him, wonderingly. Again Master Seung Sahn asked, "What is this?" Finally Rinpoche turned to his translator and asked, "Don't they have oranges in Korea?" More »
  • Thank you to Enkyo Roshi and Sharon Salzberg Paid Member

    Well, nothing lasts forever. This week, Roshi Pat Enkyo O'Hara's Tricycle Retreat, "Ease and Joy in Your Practice and Life," wraps up, as does the Tricycle Book Club discussion of Sharon Salzberg's book Real Happiness. Both events considerably brightened up an otherwsie gloomy February here at Tricycle! To both Enkyo Roshi and Sharon Salzberg, thank you very much for the gift of the dharma you've given us. Thank you for being available, generous, and patient throughout the month! A participant in the Week 4 discussion of the retreat put it beautifully: More »