Tricycle, training wheels and a crack marketing department

Tricycles are just no fun after age 5

Between NellaLou over at Enlightenment Ward, Kyle at Reformed Buddhist and James over at the Buddhist Blog. there is really nothing for me to even say about that silly Buddhist Blogger Bashing Article over at the Tricycle.  Now, I don’t rant as well as Kyle or write as succinctly as James or express myself in chapters as well as NellalLou (her posts are long – like eons long – but awesomely awsome) so I will just highlight some of my opinions on this thing.

The only real statement that I can make is that this blog as well as most of the blogs that are listed to the right and a bit below the fold are all honest, day-to-day practitioners of a variety of Buddhist schools, sects and viewpoints.  Most are respectful but all are respected. 

This is one thing that Tricycle is missing for the most point.  We engage with each other through different mediums to broaden, expand or focus our practice.  By following the pitfalls and triumphs of these everyday peoples we have a more complete practice.

I don’t deny that some of us get argumentative at times but, from what I can gather, most of us practitioners continue to engage in a very mindful and “ego-free” fashion.   This is not to say that we aren’t flawed, human and ego-monsters at times but hey, no-one’s perfect. 

I tired quickly of Tricycle’s constant attempts at Dharma and advertising because all they do is talk at us (or sell at us).  There is no sense of engagement or even respect from that particular magazine.  I, for one, prefer to not have my Dharma or practice spoon-fed to me.  I out grew that long ago and don’t find much merit in that particular method.  With following bloggers, you know that there aren’t advertisers or a marketing department or an editorial board making the decisions on what you hear or see.  Its honest and blunt.    Not always right or pretty but it is honest.

I will admit, though, that when I want to check out some good-looking white people and a window shop some retreats that I will never able to afford, Tricycle is the first place to go.  It is the Cosmo of the Buddhist world.  Pretty, glossy with an occasional nice centerfold but, overall, superficial. 

Now, before anyone starts in on me with the “Popular media Bad, Bloggers Good” rant and tell me to sleep on it and when I wake up I will have a more “Buddhist” viewpoint, let me mention that Buddhadharma has been engaging with those online practitioners lately in a couple of blog posts.  They actually *gasp* ask us about how we practice and engage with each other!  Imagine that!

So it does seem that some of The Big Three is getting the bigger picture about this particular issue.  Good for them! 



6 thoughts on “Tricycle, training wheels and a crack marketing department

  1. It is the Cosmo of the Buddhist world. Pretty, glossy with an occasional nice centerfold but, overall, superficial.

    Well said. I like Shambhala Sun a lot. Same with BuddhaDharma. I’m not against all magazines but Tricycle needs to clue in more as to what is going on online. They are missing a huge segment of American Buddhism.

    • I honestly just started to read Shambhala Sun and BuddhaDharma but it does seem that they are less inclined towards sensationalism. Tricycle just seems to want to stay alive by publishing fluff.

      Hopefully the next edition of BuddhaDharma will have some nice quotes from us humble online, home-practitioners!



  2. I read them all and have gotten value from them all at some time or another but consistent value comes (for me) from Buddhadharma and Shambhala Sun the most. Tricycle seems to be consistently inconsistent in it’s hit or miss style. I think this most recent issue that everyone is commenting on is almost totally a miss for me.

  3. so many people seem to think of tricycle the way people tend to think of big faceless corporations–evil, untrustworthy, only interested in profit. In fact, tricycle is non-profit with a tiny staff of very dedicated hard-working people who are doing their best to make the dharma (in the broadest sense possible) accessible. it could be that the breadth of Buddhism makes this impossible to do with the depth that one who has been practicing for a while looks for, especially once you’ve found a particular school. I think that might account for the “hit or miss”–it is spreading itself too thin, essentially, by trying to include as many schools and approaches as possible–including, with admirable regularity of late, those traditions that don’t make up its base. In any case, the people (all 6 of them) who work at Tricycle don’t deserve the kind of derision their white liberal audience usually reserves for big brother. Criticism, sure.

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