Books

  • Are we kidding our selves? Paid Member

    In the January 22nd, 2010 Times Literary Supplement, the philosopher Peter Hacker considers Galen Strawson's book Selves, which at 452 pages seems like a dense and weighty philosophical tome. In his review, Hacker traces the use of the word "self" from its early Middle English origins up to its (problematic, he says) use by John Locke in the famous Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). After this, Hacker writes: "Self" rapidly sprouted definite and indefinite articles, and singular and plural forms. It was conceived to be the subject of experience, the possessor of experience and the core of the identity of the person. Indeed, it was supposedly the reference of the first-person pronoun "I". It was the self, thus conceived, that Hume famously failed to find: "When I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other.... I can never catch myself at any time without a perception, and can never observe anything but a perception." Hume's failure will be familiar to most Buddhists. More »
  • Tibetan writer called to trial Paid Member

    A forty-seven-year-old Tibetan writer, accused of "splittism," will stand trial next month in Xining, the provincial capital of Qinghai Province on the Tibetan Plateau. Splittism is a charge most Tibetan critics of Chinese rule face when arrested. The writer, Tragyal, who writes under the name Shogdung, was arrested following the publication of The Line Between Sky and Earth, which, according to the New York Times, is a "painstakingly written indictment of Chinese rule and a call for a 'peaceful revolution' against what Mr. Tragyal describes as Beijing’s heavy-handed governing style." More »
  • The Teacher-Student Relationship Paid Member

    I recently picked up Alexander Berzin's book Wise Teacher, Wise Student: Tibetan Approaches to a Healthy Relationship. The topic is a crucial one for Buddhism and one that has been much on my mind lately. I was familiar with Berzin's writing, and I knew this was one of his themes (he wrote a Tricycle article called "Practical Advice Regarding Spiritual Teachers" some time ago) but the new book seemed very familiar. More »
  • Today at Tricycle.com Paid Member

    It's a  busy day here at Tricycle! Here's what's new this Monday: Bonnie Myotai Treace's Tricycle Retreat, "Whole Life Offering," heads into its fourth and final week with the teaching, "Just One Small Bowl: The Boundless Body." You can visit her retreat here, and watch the first video of her retreat here. The first videos of Tricycle Retreats are always available to all. Next month's retreat will feature Allan Lokos, author of Pocket Peace. More »
  • The cultural vacuum and variant genes Paid Member

    "I worked in hospices for over seventeen years, and I never heard a dying patient wish she had spent more time at work." - Rodney Smith, Stepping Out of Self-Deception More »