Books

  • 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 »
  • Mindfulness in Plain English and Beyond Paid Member

    The examiner.com has posted a short and sweet slide show of Bhante Henepola Gunaratana's Bhavana Society, the Appalachian Buddhist refuge tucked in the wilds of West Virginia. Bhante G, as he is affectionately called, is perhaps most widely known as the author of the bestselling classic Mindfulness in Plain English. Now, after nearly two decades, the Sri Lankan monk has followed up with an introduction to deeper states of meditation—Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English, currently available from Wisdom Publications. More »
  • Tricycle Community 1 comment

    Blasphemous reading material Paid Member

    Upon finishing a recent retreat overseas, I found myself with a day to kill in London. After attending the requisite West End theater production and wandering along the Thames, the thought of a six-hour flight prompted me to pick up a book. Stepping into an overpriced Borders lookalike, I walked straight to the psychology section and picked up The Freud Reader, edited by Peter Gay. Whether ironically or expectedly, the retreat itself motivated this purchase (which I had already been planning covertly for several days). Sitting with a large group of my fellow sufferers for a week affirmed more than anything the futility of efforts to escape reality with pious discipline, though I think that's what we were all secretly hoping for. More »
  • Tricycle Community 7 comments

    A book Buddhists were "too lazy to write" Paid Member

    Mark Hattaway's Peoples of the Buddhist World profiles almost 250 Buddhist "people groups," and touts itself as the "first ever book produced that profiles all the Buddhist peoples of the world." Replete with hundreds of "superb full-color photographs" and 13 essays on aspects of Buddhism, the book offers an added bonus: It will help its readers "pray more effectively." Pray more effectively? That's right, according to the promotional claim made by the Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF), the UK evangelical organization that published the book. More »