feature

  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Bonfire Paid Member

    I live in a dark wood whose icy blue shadows have long been cast across my heart. Rich almost unto excess, the Yaak Valley is filled with soft-shaped mountains that resemble lying-down men and women. Rich in its four distinct seasons, the valley spans the Montana—Idaho—British Columbia border. Its array of eccentric human characters are scattered through the forest, but the Yaak is richest of all in its diversity of life forms. It’s a place of anomalies and opposites, of paradoxes—or rather, what seem only at first to be paradoxes, but which really are each other’s complements of the whole. It is this richness—this fullness of opposites—that gives the valley such a feeling of completeness, a resonance that is palpable even to a visitor. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Eating and the Wheel of Life Paid Member

    Knowing how much is enough when eating...This is the teaching of the buddha. —Dhammapada “Knowing how much is enough when eating.” It sounds so simple. Yet how often the matter of “enough” trips us up. For much of the world, getting enough to eat is the problem. Here in America we eat too much. Two-thirds of the population is overweight, nearly a third clinically obese; meanwhile, our ideal of physical beauty keeps getting thinner and thinner. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Buddha in 2001: Two New Versions of the Path Paid Member

    In two new books, psychiatrist Mark Epstein and dharma teacher Ken McLeod bring contemporary Western sensibilities to the life and enlightenment of the historical Buddha. With reference to Freudian theories of pleasure and desire, Mark Epstein focuses on a little-known story in which Siddhartha, emaciated after practicing extreme asceticism, remembers sitting under an rose-apple tree as a child. This memory triggers a reevaluation of his asceticism and the realization that the experience of pleasure does not preclude enlightenment. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    The Heartbeat Sutra Paid Member

    The first time I talked with “Dr. Chaos” about Buddhism was one twilit night a couple of years ago in a California January. We were sitting on the deck of a friend’s house in Big Sur, two hundred feet above the Pacific. It’s a place where you can both hear and see the waves break. As we listened and watched, the water stretching out like a vast mirror to the horizon, there, in glorious magenta light, the winter sun slowly set: metallic, then amber, then scarlet—one of those natural scenes so far beyond the viewer, so much grander and deeper, that a kind of vertigo swept over us. “You know, I have never watched a sunset before in my life, not to that final moment,” said Dr. Chaos as the darkness rose up out of the ocean and covered us. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Transmuting Blood and Guts: My Experiences in the Buddhist Military Paid Member

    It was an unanticipated homecoming for me, addressing a West Point audience on military matters a few years ago. My original connection to the United States Military Academy runs through my great-grandfather, class of ’77, who’d gone on to win the Congressional Medal of Honor for action against a Native American uprising in the Southwest. His son, my grandfather, graduated from the Academy in 1907; his only son, my uncle, went from Harvard to military intelligence in Korea, and from there to the CIA. But I became Buddhist soon after leaving high school, and I graduated from college as a conscientious objector, refusing the draft because of religious opposition to war of any kind. Yet, paradoxically, it was Buddhism that brought me back to West Point. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Eye on the Ball Paid Member

    It happens at least once every time I turn on the television and watch the Los Angeles Lakers play basketball. Their opponents may be younger, with a ragged, raw, desperate energy. Fans may be ringing cowbells, waving plastic wands, and booing, while the Lakers pass the ball fluidly among themselves. Amidst the movement, calm descends. The ball bounces, shuttles, and moves, and then—quicker than sight—Shaquille O’Neal or Kobe Bryant will leap and plunge it into the basket. More »