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  • Tricycle Community 30 comments

    Growing Ground Paid Member

    IT BEGAN AS A FINE PLAN: replace the primitive outdoor toilets at our rural, monastic-style Zen Center. The head monk at the time was an idealistic German, and he made the final call to install composting toilets. CTs are based on a beautiful principle. It’s a principle with great metaphorical as well as practical value. The way the toilets work is, you crap down a long, narrow chute, and it accumulates in a large, plastic box. Once a week you shovel a bag of wood chips into the box. Eventually heaps of rich, earthy soil appear. This manure, or “humanure,” makes primo fertilizer for your gardens. What you took from the earth in food, you return to it as food. Beautiful, right? More »
  • Tricycle Community 6 comments

    The Final Word: An Interview with Jacqueline Stone Paid Member

    What is the Lotus Sutra about? In it we read how to hear the sutra, how to preach the sutra, who was gathered to hear it preached, what happened before it was preached, why it is so important, how it was preached in the past, what will happen in the future to those who hear it, and so on. It is like an extravagant preamble to an event that never seems to arrive. Some scholars of the Lotus Sutra have noted just that point, and I think it is a fair reading. If we just read the sutra, and set aside later interpretations, one thing we see going on is that the sutra is establishing its own authority. For example, at the beginning the Buddha emerges from meditation and begins to preach spontaneously, and not, as is usually the case, in response to a question. He says that he will soon enter final nirvana, and so he is now going to preach the true and unsurpassed dharma. More »
  • Tricycle Community 9 comments

    Touching Enlightenment Paid Member

    DURING MY OWN PRACTICE and teaching of meditation over the past thirty-five years, many things have surprised me, but none more than the growing and somewhat anguished realization that simply practicing meditation doesn’t necessarily yield results. Many of us, when we first encountered Buddhism, found its invitation to freedom and realization through meditation extraordinarily compelling. We jumped in with a lot of enthusiasm, rearranged life priorities around our meditation, and put much time and energy into the practice. More »
  • Tricycle Community 19 comments

    A Greater Awakening Paid Member

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  • Tricycle Community 2 comments

    Calm Abiding Paid Member

    There are many methods for creating a mind that is one-pointed and joyful, the most important of which is meditation. The Buddhist tradition offers a multitude of diverse meditations. It is said the Buddha taught eighty-four thousand gates of samadhi [one-pointed concentration]. We first meditate on calm abiding [shamatha], as it is indispensable and easiest for those who are beginning to practice. More »
  • Tricycle Community 11 comments

    The Right to Ask Questions Paid Member

    The practice of the dharma is learning how to live, and this is both hard and joyful work. Practice makes extraordinary demands of us. It requires that we take nothing for granted, that we accept nothing on faith alone. If we practice with diligence and honesty, then we must question everything about ourselves; we must challenge our most basic beliefs and convictions, even those we may have about the dharma itself. Of all the teachings of the Buddha, the Kalama Sutta is one of my favorites precisely because it encourages such rigorous inquiry into our beliefs. Indeed, if Buddhism were not infused with the spirit of this sutta—a spirit of questioning, of critical examination—I’m quite sure I would not have a meditative practice today. More »