Books

  • Where do we go from here?: Day 28 of the 28-day meditation challenge Paid Member

    We did it! We just finished sitting together in the office for the final day of the 28-day meditation challenge. It feels good. Now we're all completely enlightened and we'll never have to meditate again. Just kidding. While the 28-day challenge has been a wonderful experience for all of us here at Tricycle—and hopefully for all of you—the real challenge is keeping up the meditation practice moving forward. Ideally, this experience has given you a taste of what a consistent meditation practice can do for your overall well-being and will provide you with the inspiration that you need to continue. For tips of maintaining your practice, check out Sharon's article on how to sustain your practice ("Sticking with It") in the most recent issue of Tricycle. More »
  • Where is the love?: Day 25 of the meditation challenge Paid Member

    In Real Happiness Sharon tells us about one of her students who thought “the whole idea of lovingkindness meditation seemed hokey and rote to her, but she focused on the phrases nevertheless.” I’ve thought the same exact thing about lovingkindness meditation. It’s a group hug, mushy, mawkish. As much as I like the idea of lovingkindness in theory, I’ve never taken it very seriously. I might say to myself “May I be happy,” a few times and think of my mom for a while, but sooner or later—usually around the time I start trying to extend that warm feeling to some jerk or other—it just starts to feel silly and I go back to the serious business of trying to develop concentration. More »
  • At the Book Club: A discussion of Living This Life Fully: Stories and Teachings of Munindra Paid Member

    “Munindra’s message is that we can go the distance,” writes Mirka Knaster in Living This Life Fully: Stories and Teachings of Munindra (Shambhala, 2010, $21.95 paper, 274 pp.), the first book about the highly revered and influential Bengali Vipassana teacher. It’s a testament to Anagarika Munindra’s character that this message comes across so effortlessly on the written page. Though the book includes previously unpublished material from his formal teachings, it’s the stories and memories shared by his devoted students that fully bring Munindra and his dharma to life. Knaster, a scholar, writer, and Vipassana practitioner, skillfully weaves these teachings and personal stories into 16 chapters, each assigned a specific quality of an enlightened being—from mindfulness to equanimity—that Munindra embodied. More »
  • The Weather is Just the Weather: Birth of a Tricycle Article Paid Member

    In late September 2010 I traveled by train to Cambridge, Massachusetts. As I passed through Rhode Island, bored, tired, hungry—all the small negatives that combined make travel a magical experience—I remembered some snippets of history, King Philip's War, William Blackstone leaving Boston on the back of a bull ("The Puritan court ordered his house burned down"), the birthplace of American industry, and so on, and read about it in fragments and snatches on my cellphone. More »
  • Real Happiness 28-Day Meditation Challenge, Day 23 Paid Member

    After sitting in the office today, I reflected on the past several days as a flurry of anticipations. Rarely do I realize how inundated my day-to-day life is with waiting. I am always in waiting—relentlessly—for the next thing—whatever it might be. These anticipations take all the colors of the rainbow—from desire for a new thing, stress about an upcoming interview, up to the noblest aspirations of helping another or cultivating my own positive qualities. Whatever it is that I’m waiting for, by the time it arrives (if it ever does), there is already another thing for which I sit in waiting.More »
  • The Bodhisattva’s Embrace: Dispatches from Engaged Buddhism’s Front Lines Paid Member

    The Bodhisattva’s Embrace: Dispatches from Engaged Buddhism’s Front Lines (Clear View Press, 2010, 244 pp., paper, $15) is a collection of personal essays written by Alan Senauke over the last twenty years. Senauke, former director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and advisor to the International Network of Engaged Buddhists, is a Zen priest who writes with authority on the topic of engaged Buddhism, from Israel and Palestine to the streets of Burma. He takes on difficult subjects to invite readers to “bear witness” to them, holding the belief that the deep suffering of the world naturally inspires compassionate action. Throughout his essays, Senuake’s words are like rocks: simple and strong. It’s a no-nonsense, sober approach to the truth of suffering, and Senuake’s message is clear: we’re all in this together, so let’s help each other out. More »