20 Years, 20 Stories

Celebrating two decades of Tricycle

“As these ancient traditions meet, pressing questions emerge. Is the melting pot approach simply creating a big mess? Or is something new emerging that will revitalize dharma practice for us all? How much of our spiritual practice and discipline is embedded in cultural overlays from the East that are neither relevant nor helpful to us in our Western society? And on the other hand, do we sometimes water down, or even leave behind, the essence of the teachings simply because they take us beyond our Western physical or psychological comfort zone? How much can we pare away or alter before we start missing the point of it all?”—“One Dharma” by Joseph Goldstein

“When we come across a concept that we find difficult to accept, the first thing we should do, especially if it’s something that is integral to the dharma, is to look into it with an unprejudiced mind. We should read everything we can on the subject, not just from the point of view of buddhadharma, but if there are other approaches to it, we need to read about them, too. We need to ask ourselves how they connect with other parts of the doctrine. We have to bring our intelligence into this.” —“Necessary Doubt” by Tenzin Palmo

“Evolution designed us to pursue self-interest and get our genes into the next generation. But it did not design us to be happy. In fact, happiness is something that is designed by natural selection to evaporate. It is designed not to last but to keep you motivated.” —“Darwin and the Buddha,” an interview with Robert Wright

“When you simply ride with your impulses, you don’t understand their force. They’re like the currents below the surface of a river: only if you try to build a dam across the river will you detect those currents and appreciate how strong they are. So we have to look at what’s important in life, develop a strong sense of priorities, and be willing to say no to the currents that would lead to less worthwhile pleasures.” —“The Dignity of Restraint” by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

“Buddhist art—and more specifically, tantric art— gives us the opportunity to come down to earth and look at how Buddhism represents itself visually. How is the Buddha represented? How are his teachings and followers represented?” —“Tantric Art: Maps of Enlightenment” by Jeff Watt

“A life without gratitude is a joyless life.” —“The Gift of Gratitude” by Ajahn Sumedho

Tricycle.com was launched in 1994, but it wasn’t until 2007, with “Commit to Sit,” a 28-day meditation challenge in print and online, that the “Tricycle Community”—a diverse and inclusive global movement—was born.

“Like other spheres of human life, religion—the meaning-making sphere—is often subject to distortion and can become horribly destructive. But getting rid of it isn’t an option. Religion meets a human need, and if you get rid of it in one form, it will come back in another.” —“The R Word” by Robert Bellah

“Each time a person says the nembutsu, it is unique in that moment, because the karmic constellation of that person’s life and of the whole universe is unique in each moment. There’s something fundamentally the same, which is the deepest reality, the highest truth, yet each saying of the nembutsu is unique to the time it is uttered.” —“The Buddha of Infinite Light and Life,” an interview with Taitetsu Unno and Mark Unno

“All my work revolves around the same conversation: What is freedom beyond conditions? Beyond this school, this prison, this ’hood, whatever your conditions are. Do your conditions lead inevitably to suffering? No, they don’t. Only a being’s perspective leads to suffering. Two people in the exact same situation, according to their outlook and expectations, can have completely different experiences. Turn that around, and any conditions can be a vehicle for bondage—or freedom and awakening.” —“The Heartful Dodger” by Alix Sharkey

“The discovery of a new member in the Buddhist canonical family has profound implications for practitioners. It settles the principal justification for long-standing sibling rivalries among Buddhist traditions, and it does so not by revealing a winner but by upending the cornerstone—a false paradigm of history—on which such rivalries are based.” —“Whose Buddhism Is Truest?” by Linda Heuman

Image 1: Photograph by Sarah Sadowsky.
Image 2: Photograph by Allen Ginsberg.
Image 3: Photograph by Don Farber.
Image 5: Photograph by Sally Boon.
Image 6: Seated Kannon, 13th century, Japan, bronze. ©The Avery Brundage Collection, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.
Image 8: Photograph by Paul Richer
Image 10: Photograph by Colin Anderson.
Image 11: Photograph by Douglas Adesko
Image 12: Photograph courtesy of The British Library © The British Library Board.

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