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    Celebrating Two Decades of Tricycle Paid Member

    When Tricycle’s founders published their inaugural issue in the fall of 1991, they had little assurance the modest niche quarterly would make it beyond its first three months, let alone its first year. But a glance at the table of contents for the first issue offers a preview of how Tricycle would fulfill its mission as the first independent and inclusive Buddhist magazine. A special section on the International Year of Tibet featured Spalding Gray’s interview of the Dalai Lama and a dharma talk on renunciation by Buddhist nun Pema Chödron—two prominent Buddhists who have since appeared many times in our pages. An interfaith roundtable on “Authority and Exploitation,” with Benedictine monk David Steindl-Rast joining Zen teacher Robert Aitken Roshi and psychotherapist Diane Shainberg, established a format we have used often to explore sensitive issues facing Buddhist practitioners and, indeed, spiritual seekers of every sort. More »
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    Only Connect Paid Member

    Tricycle’s features editor, Andrew Cooper, recently wrote me the following: More »
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    Sticking with It Paid Member

    People tell me meditation is easy but sticking with it is not. I could say “Just sit” (and I have), but that just annoys. In other words, I haven’t been much of a help. Until recently, that is, when I came up with a pretty simple—and all too obvious— idea: I asked a seasoned meditation teacher to present a teaching on sustaining a meditation practice (“Sticking with It”), and Sharon Salzberg, cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, graciously obliged. More »
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    Awake in the World Paid Member

    In case you haven’t already looked, our newly designed website delivers all the lay practitioner could ask for. At tricycle.com, we bring you today’s celebrated teachers by audio, video, and interactive discussion. Short of a live teaching, for the far-flung or short of funds—or for those who just want more support for their practice (don’t we all?)—it’s the next best thing. Our online motto is “Awake in the World,” because, like all of us here at the magazine, most of you are no doubt lay practitioners. When I say lay practitioner, I keep in mind for inspiration the enlightened layman Vimalakirti, of the Mahayana tradition: More »
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    The Butler Wrote It Paid Member

    It’s said that no man is a hero to his butler. But it is with the butler’s view that we get a more complete picture of heroic figures in their full humanity.For those who like their heroes pure, the butler’s unvarnished view may well be unwelcome. But it’s precisely his perspective that throws into high relief what the hero has accomplished despite his human frailty.In the early 1980s, Thich Nhat Hanh was already known in the United States primarily for his work for peace during the Vietnam War. Although he had published a few books in English, Thay, as his students call him, was not yet widely known here for the teachings that would later exert such a tremendous influence on Buddhism in the West. More »
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    The Spirit of Inquiry Paid Member

    Science has not been kind to religion. For a few centuries now science has been chipping away at reiigion's most cherished beliefs, leaving none but the most stalwart to argue the believability of a parting sea or a virgin birth. Some religions have been more vulnerable than others: the Abrahamic traditions—Christianity, Islam, and Judaismwith their built-in hisroricism, have been hit particularly hard. Most of their adherents either have dropped any claims to literal truth, skillfully adapting their beliefs to suit a postmodern sensibility, or, anachronistically, have held tightly to them, turning a blind eye ro empirical evidence. Buddhism, with its deconstructionist bent, has had an easier time in many ways, but with its varying degrees of emphasis on reincarnation and karma—and, in some cases, its own pantheon of deities—it, too, has come under the scrutiny of scientific inquiry. More »