Our new Buddhism for Beginners website will launch this month! There’s a backstory, and it’s one that bears telling:

A few years ago, when we were overhauling our website, we noticed that several articles we no longer promoted were getting a lot of traffic through organic search. And they all had something in common: they were articles introducing the Buddhist basics. These articles—appearing under titles like “The Eightfold Path,” “The Four Noble Truths,” and “What Is Karma?”— were outperforming much of the content we did promote through email and social media, and on our own site.

Tricycle has always had an educational mission, and it occurred to us that we could be doing a better job of educating those who are curious about the fundamentals of Buddhist philosophy and practice. After some investigation, it also occurred to us that there was no single easily accessible go-to spot that offered reliable information about the ABCs of Buddhism. And so, after much discussion, we launched a new initiative: Buddhism for Beginners.

Buddhism for Beginners is a new website that poses the questions the typical newcomer might ask: Who was the Buddha? Do Buddhists believe in God? How do you become a Buddhist? We’ve provided answers that are as clear as they are concise (for a quick answer to the last question, for instance, see p. 20). The site is easy to navigate and well-organized, and—best of all—it’s free.

The initiative is ongoing, and we’ll be continually adding new content to make it comprehensive. The contributing writers all have extensive experience covering Buddhist topics, and the text has been vetted by experts and scholars. Still, we expect to get plenty of feedback (try getting any two Buddhists to agree on anything), and, as always, we’ll be listening—reader participation will prove essential.

We’re deeply grateful to the longtime donors who have covered a good portion of the cost up front. A successful Kickstarter campaign (we more than doubled our goal!) covered the rest and then some, making Buddhism for Beginners a reality. So get ready: we’re launching in November. You can visit Buddhism for Beginners at tricycle.org/beginners.

Our other great news is our new look. Creative director Carla Frank has given Tricycle a long-needed makeover. Content will now be easier to find, organized into clearly marked sections that bring a fresh and contemporary feel to the magazine. In “The Conversation,” you’ll hear from our readers, contributors, and yours truly; “Openings” lets you know what’s going on now in the Buddhist world; “Teachings” contains the quarterly dharma talk and practice pieces. It’s all followed by a features section with the relevant content you’ve come to expect. We close with “Reviews” and an updated “Dharma Directory.”

Have a look, and enjoy the Winter issue!

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