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    In the Pure Land Paid Member

    Buddha of Infinite LightD. T. SuzukiShambhala: Boston, 199896 pp., $16.95 (cloth) River of Fire, River of WaterAn Introduction to the Pure Land Tradition of Shin BuddhismTaitetsu UnnoDoubleday: New York, 1998272 pp., $12.00 (paper) OceanAn Introduction to Jodo-Shinshu Buddhism in AmericaKenneth K. TanakaWisdomOcean: Berkeley, 1997288 pp., $14.95 (paper) More »
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    Nothing is True: William Burroughs and Buddhism Paid Member

    William Burroughs was not a Buddhist: he never sought or found a “teacher,” he never took refuge, and he never undertook any bodhisattva vows. He did not consider himself a Buddhist, nor, for that matter, did he ever declare himself a follower of any one faith or practice. But he did have an awareness of the essentials of Buddhism, and in his own way, he was affected by the Buddha-dharma. More »
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    Pushing the Limits Paid Member

    All phenomena, the Buddha once said, are rooted in desire. Everything we think, say, or do—every experience—comes from desire. Even we come from desire. We were reborn into this life because of our desire to be. Consciously or not, our desires keep redefining our sense of who we are. Desire is how we take our place in the causal matrix of space and time. The only thing not rooted in desire is nirvana, for it’s the end of all phenomena and lies even beyond the Buddha’s use of the word “all.” But the path that takes you to nirvana is rooted in desire—in skillful desires. The path to liberation pushes the limits of skillful desires to see how far they can go. More »
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    What Is True Happiness? Paid Member

    For more than three decades, scholar and contemplative B. Alan Wallace has considered the perennial question What is happiness? from the dual perspectives of modern science and traditional Buddhist meditation practice. These two disciplines are at the heart of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies, launched by Wallace a year ago to conduct rigorous scientific study of contemplative methods in collaboration with established investigators in psychology and the neurosciences. Initial research co-sponsored by the Institute includes the Shamatha Project, a long-term study of the effects of intensive shamatha—tranquility—practice on cognition and emotion, and the UCLA Mindful Attention Program (MAP), which is evaluating mindfulness training as treatment for Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). More »
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    The Wisdom Of Frogs Paid Member

    Outside the south window of my house is a small patch of weeds that never gets mowed because it lies between the fuel tank and the wall. Every year in early spring, three or four frogs take up residence there, singing at intervals throughout the day, often while I am chanting. A few years ago, when I placed the altar next to the window, I had not yet noticed their song. Now I would never consider moving it. Even though the frogs sing only three or four weeks out of the year, I have the vague feeling that even when I can no longer hear them, they are there all the same. Sometimes when I am chanting late at night, I can sense their seedlike bodies under a foot or more of snow, patiently waiting to be reborn. I know that I am supposed to be chanting to the mandala on the altar, but having come to Buddhism through haiku poetry, the truth is, I am often singing to the frogs. More »
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    Life Or Death Paid Member

    The one thing I have never fully understood about many Buddhists is why they devote so much attention to the individual roots of greed, hatred, and ignorance, yet so little attention to the manifestations of these poisons in social institutions. Is it simply understood that the real work needs to be done on our individual failings, with social greed, hatred, and ignorance being someone else’s problem? Or is it that Buddhists, like so many people, have been deceived into believing that political issues are “none of their business”? Have they been trained to see problems and solutions solely in personal rather than political terms? More »