Books

  • Buddha Buzz: The Kindness of Roger Ebert and the Magical Effects of Mindfulness Meditation Paid Member

    We're surrounded, today and yesterday, with the deaths of beloved cultural icons. Today is the sixteenth anniversary of Allen Ginsberg's death. And yesterday, as I'm sure you know already, the prolific film critic Roger Ebert passed away at 70 years old. You can read his obit by the Chicago Sun-Times, his home newspaper for almost 50 years, here. More »
  • Meditation Month, Day 28: You Happy Lucky Idiot Paid Member

    Meditation month is wrapping up, and though I'm pretty sure I've achieved nothing, I have—I hope—developed some insight into "real happiness." The most pronounced of these is the insight that real happiness isn't so great. In fact, for anyone with half an imagination, it's opposite ("fake happiness," "conventional happiness"?) is far superior. While conventional happiness is filled with bouts of joy and connection, not to mention endless congratulations, awards and achievements, Cold Beer and Beautiful Girls, real happiness has something to do with sustained attention and—can't forget—accords with reality. More »
  • Meditation Month, Day 21: Acknowledging Anger Paid Member

    It was only a few years ago that I realized just how angry I was. I had been immersed in Buddhist practice for some time, but was in the habit of glossing over the token “Anger” chapter in Buddhist practice literature. In Tricycle’s “Dealing with Anger”-type articles I would maybe read the pull quotes and move on to the next piece. I would acknowledge a point well made, but operated under the entrenched assumption that it didn’t really apply to me, or that if it did, it wasn’t the main area I needed to focus on; there were other qualities and realizations and mental states that required development and my immediate, unwavering attention. More »
  • The Dangers of Spirituality Paid Member

    In recent decades, the decline of religious belief and affiliation in the West has been accompanied by a steady increase of interest in “spirituality” and the deployment of the term. The word has come a long way from its Christian roots to encompass alternative and mystic traditions from a number of religious traditions, and, more recently, to denote a kind of lifestyle most often characterized as “spiritual, but not religious.” As the authors of Selling Spirituality, Jeremy Carrette and Richard King observe, “There are perhaps few words in the modern English language as vague and wooly as the notion of ‘spirituality.’” More »
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    The Self in Self-Help Literature Paid Member

    In New York Magazine's new self-help issue, journalist Kathryn Schulz examines how we can improve ourselves and why it's so damn hard. You might know you shouldn't watch the next episode of that serial television show on Netflix (those new countdowns don't help) or eat that deep-fried, bacon-wrapped Twinkie (or five), but that doesn't mean you won't! Exploring this dissonance between the prudent, "better" you and the troublemaking mortal sinner leads Schulz to grapple with the thorny question, "Can self-help work if we have no idea how a self works?" More »
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    Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman Paid Member

    The Tricycle staff had a lot of fun last night at the NYC Union Square Barnes & Noble event featuring actor Jeff Bridges, Zen teacher Bernie Glassman, and Tricycle's very own editor and publisher James Shaheen. Jeff and Bernie were there to promote their recently released book The Dude and the Zen Master. If you've seen The Big Lebowski, you know which one is the Dude and which one is the Zen master, although many fans of the cult classic claim that the Dude is a Zen master. The two friends spent five days at Jeff's ranch in Montana doing what they call "jammin'" and what I like to call being on a "bro retreat"—chilling out, talking about life, and smoking cigars. Their conversation was recorded, transcribed, and voilà: The Dude and the Zen Master was born. More »