Books

  • 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 »
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    The Haiku Spirit Paid Member

    Stephen Addiss, PhD, is Professor of Art at the University of Richmond in Virginia. Author of The Art of Haiku, one of Tricycle’s picks for “Books in Brief” this issue, Addiss is a prolific scholar-artist who has been practicing Japanese calligraphy and ink painting for over 40 years. He is a true jack-of-all-trades—Addiss also studied music under the tutelage of John Cage and toured internationally for 16 years as part of the folk duo “Addiss & Crofut.” Tricycle’s Emma Varvaloucas spoke with him by phone last month about his recently published book and his thoughts on the “haiku spirit.”   More »
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    If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break: Field Notes from a Zen Life Paid Member

    Author and blogger James Ishmael Ford is a dually-appointed Unitarian Universalist minister and Soto Zen Priest. His newest book, If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break: Field Notes from a Zen Life, was published by Wisdom Publications in September. The following passage is excerpted from the chapter "Spiritual Directors." More »