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    Five Favorite Dharma Books Paid Member

    "[G. K.] Chesterton was once asked what books he would most like to have with him if he were stranded on a desert island. 'Thomas's Guide to Practical Shipbuilding,' he replied." Oops, the Tricycle Blog's been tagged (a while ago, actually -- sorry!) Here goes: 1. Chan Insights and Oversights by Bernard Faure. Haven't even opened this one but I've stared at the spine on my bookshelf for years. One of these days... 2. The Mind Like Fire Unbound by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. This book not only contains great poetry but does an excellent job explaining a lot of deep metaphors that otherwise would be lost in translation. 3. The Faith to Doubt, by Stephen Batchelor. "It is most uncanny that we are able to ask questions; for to question means to acknowledge that we do not know something. More »
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    Books: Never Turn Away by Rigdzin Shikpo Paid Member

    Rigdzin Shikpo, a student of Shambhala-founder Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, has been practicing Buddhism since the 1950s. An heir to Trungpa’s lineage but independent of the Shambhala community, his book Never Turn Away: The Buddhist Path Beyond Hope and Fear (Wisdom Publications, 2007, $14.95 paper, 192 pp.) is an inspired look at the relationship between meditation and everyday life. More »
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    Book Review: Haiku Haven Paid Member

    For northern city-dwellers, the grey months of January and February can feel like a kind of apocalyptic-aftermath, but duller: dirty slush on the subway steps and reality television. When seasonal melancholy threatens, it’s best to turn to poetry, which makes ennui seem more bearable—or, at the very least, more important. The most premium of all poetic medicines may be the haiku, being formally required to address time and loss, as well as beautiful enough to make up for the indignity of damp socks. Turning the pages of Haiku Master Buson, you feel can feel your commonplace Seasonal Affective Disorder being transformed into something unique and delicate, more along the lines of With the soundlessness of winter rain on mosses, vanished days are remembered More »
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    BOOKS: Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing? Paid Member

    Polish philosopher Leszek Kolakowski's Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?: 23 Questions From Great Philosophers was supposed to be longer. Or rather, it is longer in the original Polish: the English-language version (or at least the American version) drops seven philosophers, leaving twenty-three thinkers and their questions. The questions span the whole range of philosophical concern: What is the human spirit? How is knowledge possible? What is evil? What is the source of truth? Many questions are variations on what we can know and how we can be certain of anything (i.e. epistemology.) More »
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    Compassionate Gift-Giving and Dharma Combat Paid Member

    Joan Duncan Oliver wrote a piece for Tricycle about compassionate gift-giving that might help with some tricky decisions this holiday season. Singapore - City - Zen links to an amazing article on, Dress for Excess: The Cost of Our Clothing Addiction. (S-C-Z often has great environmental links.) Here's some brief passages from the Alternet article: The numbers are astonishing. Apparel is easily the second-biggest consumer sector after food. We're spending $282 billion on new clothes annually, up from $162 billion in 1992, based on U.S. Census figures. . . More »
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    Sharon Salzberg and Burma Paid Member

    This morning, insight meditation teacher and author Sharon Salzberg appeared with Tricycle editor James Shaheen on a show called "Be Happy, Dammit!" on Sirius radio at Lime 114 in a conversation with host Karen Salmansohn, bestselling author many books on happiness. For more on Karen, see Here's a programming schedule for the channel -- Be Happy, Dammit! airs weekdays at 8 AM East Coast time. Sharon is of course well known in the Buddhist community. More »