History

As a 2,500-year old religion, Buddhism has a rich and diverse past
  • Tricycle Community 13 comments

    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 »
  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    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 »
  • The Man Who Woke Up Paid Member

    Buddhism begins with a man. In his later years, when India was afire with his message and kings themselves were bowing before him, people came to him even as they were to come to Jesus asking what he was. How many people have provoked this question—not "Who are you?" with respect to name, origin, or ancestry, but "What are you? What order of being do you belong to? What species do you represent?" Not Caesar, certainly. Not Napoleon, or even Socrates. Only two, Jesus and Buddha. When the people carried their puzzlement to the Buddha himself, the answer he gave provided a handle for his entire message. "Are you a god?" they asked. "No." "An angel?" "No." "A saint?" "No." "Then what are you?" Buddha answered, "I am awake." More »
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    Jataka Mind Paid Member

    In a former life, many aeons ago, the Buddha took up residence in a forest hermitage, living the life of a recluse and studying with a resolute mind. Sauntering through the woods one day, admiring the springtime foliage, he rounded a bend near a mountain crevasse and saw a cave. There at the mouth of the cave, but a few feet from him, lay a starving tigress who had just given birth. This tigress was so overcome by her labors, so weak with hunger, that she could scarcely move. The future Buddha noticed her dark and hollowed eyes. He could see each rib distending her hide. Starved and confused, she was turning on her whelps, on her own tiger pups, seeing them only as meat to satisfy her belly. The pups, not comprehending the danger, were sidling up, pawing for her teats. More »