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  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    How to Not Waste Time Paid Member

    I hate the phrase “killing time.” No one has an overabundance of time here on this earth—the idea of killing any second of it just makes me cringe. In Zen monasteries you often see an old Chinese poem written on the han, the wooden board that’s hit to call people to meditation. It goes like this: Great is the matter of life and death Moments go by swiftly and are lost To squander time is a great shame Do not waste your life People have a great variety of definitions for what constitutes time wasting and what doesn’t. Some people want to stay busy and productive every minute. On the other hand, when asked what he thought was the purpose of life, Kurt Vonnegut said, “We’re all just farting around, and don’t let anyone tell you different.” But Kurt Vonnegut accomplished a lot in his time. More »
  • Tricycle Community 6 comments

    Breaking Through Paid Member

    Detours and obstacles are a fact of practice life. Some arise out of our own psychology and conditioning: patterns of self-judgment and perfectionism, a tendency to procrastinate or seek diversions, addiction to control, and the like. Other obstacles seem to be more universal, and these are the ones that nearly every practitioner faces at one time or another. These obstacles are at the heart of practice, yet they are seldom given the emphasis they deserve. But until we can see them clearly—see how they manifest in our lives—it will be difficult, if not impossible, for our practice to move forward. There are three obstacles in particular that we need to address. Misunderstanding the depth of waking sleep More »
  • Tricycle Community 8 comments

    Allegiance to Life Paid Member

    It’s no secret that our world is in a tough spot. The critical problems that we face today—political, economic, and ecological—can be overwhelming even to think about. Joanna Macy, Ph.D., however, believes we are in a moment she calls “The Great Turning”: a transition from a society shaped primarily by industrial growth to a society structured to be life-sustaining. In her workshops, Macy—a scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology—encourages people to take part in this collective transition not by hiding from their pain for the world but by embracing it. In honoring our despair, Macy says, we discover our love for the world. More »
  • Tricycle Community 39 comments

    10 Tips for Living More Mindfully Paid Member

    What follows are just a few of the most important ways to support your meditation practice and strengthen your practice of mindfulness in everyday life—what I call “headspace.” The theme that runs throughout is awareness, an understanding of both oneself and others. It’s about developing a gentle curiosity: watching, noticing, and observing what’s happening in every aspect of your life—how you act, how you speak, and how you think. It’s not about trying to be someone else: it’s about finding a sense of ease with you as you are, right now. 1. Perspective: Choosing how you see your life More »
  • Tricycle Community 25 comments

    DNA Sutra Paid Member

    It began with a rush of blood. Then came fear, and curiosity. Were there dangers hidden in my genes? Clues about my future, even my death? Was my “self,” my personality, programmed into my genome? Penetrate completely the matter of birth and death, says the traditional Zen instruction. Somehow I imagined it might be easier to let go of “body and mind,” as Zen master Dogen instructed, if I knew that both of those phenomena had been constructed genetically. Most of our ancestors are forgotten, faceless and nameless. But they left their genes, and some left their words. I searched through those words and genes, expecting to see in them the familiar face of a hero or victim from the old stories. I glimpsed that face. But I saw something else, too. I saw the face of a persecutor, a killer. I saw a stranger’s face. My face. More »
  • Tricycle Community 14 comments

    Aren’t We Right to be Angry? Paid Member

    In May 2011, at the Newark Peace Education Summit in New Jersey, the Dalai Lama and Jody Williams—both Nobel Peace Prize winners—debated the role of anger in social action work. The Dalai Lama held that people must have inner peace in order to promote peace in the world. “Too much emotion, attachment, anger, or fear, that kind of mental state, you can’t investigate objectively,” he said. Williams respectfully disagreed. “It’s anger at injustice which fires many of us,” she argued. As Buddhists, we may tend to agree with the Dalai Lama. But after listening to Williams, a powerful activist for social change, a compelling question emerged: Is anger ever a good thing? More »