Books

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    Books: How the Swans Came to the Lake: A Narrative History of Buddhism in America Paid Member

    As a recent arrival at Tricycle as well as a relative newcomer to Buddhism, I’ve got a fair amount of reading to catch up on. Editor-in-chief James Shaheen recommended that I check out Rick Fields’ How the Swans Came to the Lake, which offers an in-depth history of Buddhism’s role in American life. Originally published in 1981 and last updated in 1992, Swans is a (mostly) current and always relevant look at Buddhism’s roots. In a culture saturated with pop-Eastern philosophy—toy Buddha car accessories, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and The Tao of Pooh, the now-discontinued “Om” fragrance by Gap—it’s clear that Buddhism has secured a place in the imagination of the American public. In warm, witty prose, Fields takes on the question of why and how this came to be. More »
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    Books: EVERYTHING BE OK Paid Member

    Many of our readers will recognize the jagged and ruminating coyote with his scraggly beard, twig ear, and inky backgrounds. This Zen master’s creator, Neal Crosbie, has been contributing illustrations to Tricycle for over twelve years. A regular feature in our cartoon space in “Letters to the Editor”, Crosbie’s vignettes show the canoe-riding coyote musing on The Big Questions: “thank you for letting me come here to talk about my mountains. they were here and now they’re gone and so forth. it is said we will soon enter nirvana. what’s the hold up?” and giving curious advice: “THE NAVAJOS WERE RIGHT: for more info see a Navajo.” More »
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    Books: Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind Paid Member

    Earlier this year Wisdom Publications released Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind: The Life and Letters of an Irish Zen Saint by Maura Soshin O'Halloran. This extraordinary young woman (sadly numbered among those forever young, since she was robbed of the chance to grow older) was a world-traveller who became a very serious student of Zen in Japan in the early 1980s. The book is a collection of Maura's journals and letters, mainly chronicling her stay in Japan, and is a rare and valuable window into the world of intensive Zen training as experienced by a Western woman. More »
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    A Handful of Leaves—For Free Paid Member

    The Buddha taught far fewer things than he knew of. He told his disciples: "[T]hose things that I have known with direct knowledge but have not taught are far more numerous [than what I have taught]. And why haven't I taught them? Because they are not connected with the goal, do not relate to the rudiments of the holy life, and do not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. That is why I have not taught them." More »