History

As a 2,500-year old religion, Buddhism has a rich and diverse past
  • Tricycle Community 48 comments

    Whose Buddhism is Truest? Paid Member

    Two thousand years ago, Buddhist monks rolled up sutras written on birch bark, stuffed them into earthen pots, and buried them in a desert. We don’t know why. They might have been disposing of sacred trash. Maybe they were consecrating a stupa. If they meant to leave a gift for future members of the Buddhist community—a wisdom time capsule, so to speak—they succeeded; and they could never have imagined how great that gift would turn out to be. More »
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    The Man who Saved Tibetan Buddhism Paid Member

    It is a daunting task, trying to capture a sublime being on the page. In fact, in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, if someone is to compose a namtar—a sacred biography—the writer must have certain enlightened qualities equal to that of his subject. This is not a namtar, and I have none of his qualities, but nonetheless I will make an attempt to describe E. Gene Smith of Ogden, Utah, a very great man. More »
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    "Gen Sun Tzu at the Allied Front," "Selling Samsara," and "Eat a Cookie, Save a Tree." Paid Member

    Gen Sun Tzu at the Allied Front A Chinese text on military strategy written 2,500 years ago for the Chinese kingdom of Wu is now an indispensable element of U.S. Marine Corps modern warfare. The Corps' commandant, General Alfred Gray, has made The Art of War, by General Sun Tzu, required reading for his men. Shambhala Publications, Inc., recently shipped 10,000 copies of the audiotape to the marines, and the book was a reported favorite among commanders and frontline marines during the Kuwait liberation.  More »
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    Buddhist History for Buddhist Practitioners Paid Member

    I am convinced that an accurate, nonsectarian study of Buddhist history can be of great benefit to dharma practitioners. As a scholar and practitioner, I have for many years worked to bring the findings of historical scholarship into dharma centers in Zen, Vipassana, and Tibetan lineages. While many students deeply appreciate this opportunity, others find the approach unnerving. Modern historical studies challenge assumptions commonly held in Buddhist traditions, though those assumptions differ in the different forms of Buddhism. More »
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    Where the Buddha Woke Up Paid Member

    Most are propelled by their devotion. I was propelled by a vague sense of duty and very little effort—I arrived by plane. The effort came only once I stopped busying myself with the outside world. More »
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    What the Buddha Taught? Paid Member

    People have always made sense of the present through understanding the past. Usually, we arrived at the past through a blend of myth, legend, spoken accounts of actual events, and perhaps written records. While historical study is often said to have begun in ancient Greece, with Herodotus and Thucydides, it is only in the modern period that its methods have matured to become our definitive way of knowing, well, history. More »