buddhist history

  • This Week in Retreat: Questions on Buddha Nature and Ritual Paid Member

    This week in Rita Gross's ongoing Tricycle Retreat, Buddhist History for Buddhist Practioners, Rita discusses what parts of the Buddhist teachings were unique ideas of the Buddha, as opposed to ideas that already existed in spiritual traditions of his day. She explains that these unique innovations can be broken down into five categories: The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, the lack of a permanent separate self/soul, egolessness, dependent origination, and the purpose of meditation. In response, one participant writes, More »
  • The Three Universal Characteristics of Existence Paid Member

    In Rita Gross's Tricycle Retreat, "Buddhist History for Buddhist Practitioners," we have been discussing what aspects of the Buddha's teachings already existed in the time of the Buddha and what aspects were unique ideas of the Buddha. For example, in the teachings of the Upanishads, an important group of texts in Hinduism, it is stated that beneath our superficial self, or ego, that we will find a true self, a soul. In the Upanishads this true self is called Atman. This notion of a permanent soul, which was quite popular in the time of the Buddha, was addressed in the Buddha's teachings on The Three Universal Characteristics of Existence and marks a very important divergence of Buddhism from Hinduism. From Week 3 of Rita's Tricycle Retreat, More »
  • Tricycle Retreats: Buddhist History for Buddhist Practitioners begins today! Paid Member

    Today we begin teacher and scholar Rita Gross's Tricycle Retreat, Buddhist History for Buddhist Practitioners. In her opening talk Rita explains, More »
  • Coming Soon! Buddhist History for Buddhist Practitioners Paid Member

    In August, Rita Gross will be leading a Tricycle Retreat titled Buddhist History for Buddhist Practitioners. Gross is an accomplished scholar, renowned for her innovative work on gender and religion, and is also an experienced dharma teacher, trained by Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche. Highly adept and bridging the academic and the spiritual, Rita is sure to lead an engaging and illuminating month of teachings. Modern historical study challenges much in the Buddhist tradition. Yet, understanding Buddhist history can enrich dharma practice by, among other things, demonstrating how Buddhist teachings and institutions are themselves impermanent and contingently arisen. It is our hope that this examination of Buddhist history may lead to a less sectarian appreciation of dharma, may help us see our biases and presuppositions more clearly, and that it may open up Buddhism to a richer dialogue with the contemporary world. More »
  • Whose Buddhism is best? Paid Member

    It depends on who you ask. Each school has taken time to assert its superiority by virtue of its "authenticity." In the last issue, Tricycle editor-at-large Andrew Cooper took a historical look at such claims: Traditionally in Buddhism, for a school or doctrine to be regarded as authentic, it must be traceable back to the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. Most often this has been done through scripture: schools or movements based themselves on particular texts said to be the Buddha’s teachings. This was seldom only a matter of establishing legitimacy; it was usually tied as well to sectarian polemics about superiority. More »