Wisdom Collection

The best of Tricycle's member-supported content

Tricycle Teachings | Tricycle wisdom in e-book format

Member Supported Content

Tricycle Teachings e-books are available to all Supporting and
Sustaining Members. Join now to enjoy the entire collection.

The Latest in the Wisdom Collection

  • Tricycle Community 22 comments

    The Buddha's Smile Paid Member

    The most difficult Buddhist idea to explain, I’ve found, is not interdependent arising or nonself, challenging though these are, but equanimity. How is it that one can neither like nor not like something without being emotionally detached or indifferent? Our sense of identity is so bound up with our desires that to many people the thought of being without preferences for one thing or another is tantamount to being stripped of the very quality that makes us human. Nonattachment is just so dry. Give me the pot-bellied laughing Buddha any day (who, of course, is not a Buddha at all but a Chinese folk deity), rather than the austere figure presiding over our meditation halls with barely a hint of a smile on his face. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    May I Be Happy Paid Member

    Walking along the Rhine River during my lunch break from teaching yoga in Basel, Switzerland, I felt mellow and full of gratitude to have such a wonderful job opportunity. Then my phone started to vibrate. Instantly my mood shifted, and a powerful sense of urgency took hold of me. It was like a Rube Goldberg chain reaction—I was balancing a cappuccino in one hand, fighting an uncooperative purse zipper with the other, trying to keep my glasses on my nose, and worrying that someone was calling from my mother’s nursing home. More »
  • Tricycle Community 21 comments

    A Gray Matter Paid Member

    Participants in the dialogue between science and Buddhism have long modeled their discussion primarily on the idea of convergence, the premise that the most significant comparisons are those that reveal common ground. This is by no means the only model for comparative discussion, and I would argue that in the case of Buddhism and science it is deeply flawed. Instead, another model—one based on mutual challenge, in which the two sides are able to shed light on each other precisely because of their differences—offers what I see as a more potentially fruitful alternative. More »
  • Tricycle Community 58 comments

    The Scientific Buddha Paid Member

    According to Buddhist doctrine, there can be only one buddha for each historical age. A new buddha appears in the world only when the teachings of the previous buddha have been completely forgotten, with no remnant—a text, a statue, the ruins of a pagoda, or even a reference in a dictionary—remaining. Because the teachings of Gautama Buddha, the historical Buddha—that is, our Buddha—remain present in the world, we have no need for a new buddha. But in the 19th century, a new buddha suddenly appeared in the world, a buddha who is not mentioned in any of the prophecies. What he taught is said to be compatible with modern science, and so I call him the Scientific Buddha. Today, the Scientific Buddha is often mistaken for Gautama Buddha, the historical Buddha, the real Buddha. But they are not the same. And this case of mistaken identity has particular consequences for those who seek to understand and practice the teachings of Gautama Buddha. More »
  • Tricycle Community 12 comments

    The Last Gift Paid Member

    Ajahn Chah recorded the following talk at the request of one of his students, whose mother was on her deathbed. The student had expected no more than a few words for his mother, but instead Ajahn Chah offered an extended message of consolation, encouragement, and meditation instruction for the mother and the whole family. Now, Grandma, set your heart on listening respectfully to the dhamma, which is the teaching of the Buddha. While I’m teaching you the dhamma, be as attentive as if the Buddha himself were sitting right in front of you. Close your eyes and set your heart on making your mind one. Bring the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha into your heart as a way of showing the Buddha respect. More »
  • Tricycle Community 8 comments

    Diamond-like Resolve Paid Member

    When I entered my first three-year retreat in France, in 1991, the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, had been gone for ten years already, and speculation about how the next Karmapa would manifest and why the recognition process was taking so long was a common topic within our lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. The Karmapas are the supreme heads of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, and indeed the tradition of Buddhist lineages headed by reincarnate bodhisattvas formally began in the 13th century with the Karmapa line. More »