Books

  • “The Tree of Enlightenment” Paid Member

    As a Buddhist in the West, whether by my close non-Buddhist friends, semi-familiar acquaintances, or complete strangers, I have been asked many times to give a quick “general overview of Buddhism”. People often ask this very casually, as if they expect me to snap my fingers and summarize such a massive body of teachings, traditions, and histories, and voila, now you now about the Dharma! Personally, I find this task to be impossible. More »
  • Tricycle Community 86 comments

    Batchelor’s "Confession of a Buddhist Atheist" examined by Mark Vernon Paid Member

    Here’s a review of Stephen Batchelor’s Confession of a Buddhist Atheist from The Guardian's Mark Vernon. Since publishing his best-selling Buddhism Without Beliefs, Stephen has become somewhat controversial in Buddhist circles for his Western approach to the Buddha’s teachings. More »
  • Tricycle Community 1 comment

    Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind in the Tricycle Community Book Club Paid Member

    The Tricycle Community Book Club is discussing Shunryu Suzuki Roshi's timeless classic, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. Zoketsu Norman Fischer, former abbot of San Francisco Zen Center, founded by Suzuki Roshi, introduced the book, and will be stopping by to check in on us from time to time. You need to be a member of the Tricycle Community to participate, but joining is easy, and free! More »
  • Tricycle Community 6 comments

    Books will get you part of the way Paid Member

    For most of us born in the Western world, remote from Buddhism of any institutional kind, knowledge of the dhamma has come entirely from books and, occasionally, spoken words, some quite excellent and informative, certainly. But this kind of learning still retains a somewhat ethereal air in the absence of actions, traditions, and spiritual observances in which we can participate. That the Buddhist religion has survived so long in the world is a result not so much of the durability of manuscripts as of the power of ideas embodied in custom; and custom, for all our abundant sources of information, is what we lack and cannot in the long run do without. More »
  • Survival of the Kindest Paid Member

    Loving-kindness guru Sharon Salzberg points us via Twitter to an Ode article about Italian psychotherapist Piero Ferrucci, who tells us that happiness and freedom start with being kind: The most sensible way to look after our own self-interest, to find freedom and be happy, is not to directly pursue these things but to give priority to the interests of others. Help others to become free of their fear and pain. Contribute to their happiness. It’s all really very simple. You don’t have to choose between being kind to yourself and others. It’s one and the same. And in his book Survival of the Kindest, Ferrucci writes: People who are suffering don’t need advice, diagnoses, interpretations and interventions. They need sincere and complete empathy—attention. More »
  • Tricycle Community 2 comments

    New Translation of the Diamond Sutra Paid Member

    (Updated. It's the Diamond Sutra, not the Lotus Sutra. We regret the error.) Stanford religious studies professor Paul Harrison is currently undertaking a re-translation of the Diamond Sutra, one of Buddhism's most important texts and perhaps the oldest printed book in the world (868 CE). In Harrison's well-researched opinion, the existing English editions misinterpret certain types of words. For example: Most existing translations feature negative statements saying things like “a bookcase is not a bookcase, therefore it’s called a bookcase,” to use an example from our own experience. According to Harrison though, this simple negation does not pay enough attention to the original Sanskrit. More »