History

As a 2,500-year old religion, Buddhism has a rich and diverse past
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    Manchu Palaces Paid Member

    Machu PalacesJeanne LarsenHenry Holt and Company,Inc.:New York,1996342 pp., $25.00 (hardcover) In China during the Qing dynasty, when hard-riding warriors from Manchuria ruled the vast lands "between the passes," Beijing's new gentry altered the rules of architecture. The Manchu lords built rambling compounds with highly ornamented ritual halls and bed­chambers facing onto courtyards perfumed by fruit trees, all hidden from the squalid streets by high walls. Over generations, new structures rose to meet their needs—a summer house set aside for an infant male heir, or a walled garden, evocative of the hilly south­land, built to cheer a homesick concubine—until brick and mortar came to embody complex genealogy. More »
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    The Fourth Noble Truth Paid Member

    THE  BUDDHA TO HIS COMPANIONS at the Deer Park: “The fourth truth is the path which leads to the cessation of suffering. It is the Noble Eightfold Path of right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. More »
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    Who was Buddha? Paid Member

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    Buddhism Without Beliefs Paid Member

    IF YOU GO TO ASIA and visit a wat (Thailand) or gompa (Tibet), you will enter something that looks very much like an abbey, a church, or cathedral, being run by people who look like monks or priests, displaying objects that look like icons, enshrined in alcoves that look like chapels, revered by people who look like worshipers. If you talk to one of the people who look like monks, you will learn that he has a view of the world that seems very much like a belief system, revealed a long time ago by someone else who is revered like a god, after whose death saintly individuals have interpreted the revelations in ways like theology. There have been schisms and reforms, and these have given rise to institutions that are just like churches. Buddhism, it would seem, is a religion. More »
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    Truth or Consequences Paid Member

    IF THE ANCIENT CHINESE proverb has much relevance today, I would say that I am cursed by living in interesting times. Beginning zazen while wearing the uniform of a U.S. Marine thirty years ago, I began to question "authority"—not only the authority of the Marine Corps and ultimately of the U.S. government, but the authority of Zen teachers, and even my own authority, my own sponsorship of and participation in the growing war in Vietnam. A stateside friend sent me an essay by Albert Camus, "Neither Victims nor Executioners," from which I copied most of one paragraph in my notebook: More »