As we prepare to ring in a new year—and a new decade!—we’re taking a moment to reflect back on the highlights of the year that’s now coming to a close. 

To honor the year’s end, we—the Tricycle team—put our heads together to compile our Top Ten pieces of 2019. Admittedly, choosing the top writings of the year is something of an odd exercise for a publication whose subject matter (Buddhist wisdom) is essentially timeless. These pieces may not be pegged to the news of the day, but they reflect the keen insights of our contributors and the real concerns of our readers at this moment in time. 

Narrowing the list down wasn’t easy—we could go on forever with highlights from the many outstanding articles we were able to offer in 2019.

In case you missed them, here are ten of our favorite pieces of the year:

  • Peeling Away the Promise of Desire by Joseph Goldstein
    Why do we find ourselves looking for happiness in all the wrong places? Joseph Goldstein investigates what the Buddha had to say about the search for true fulfillment.
  • Why Do We Still Have Religion? with Elaine Pagels
    In one of our most popular episodes of the Tricycle Talks podcast, author and religious studies professor Elaine Pagels grapples with the role of religion in a secular culture.
  • Awakening from Climate Slumber by Linda Heuman
    Read this to learn why the Dalai Lama thinks Buddhism could help save us from ecological collapse. 
  • The Couch and the Cushion: Why Mindfulness Is No Substitute for Therapy by Rande Brown
    When we turn to meditation as a cure for psychological problems, we often end up avoiding them instead.
  • Is Buddhism Scientific or Religious? by John Dunne
    Many Western Buddhists claim that Buddhism is more like a science of the mind than a religion. Is there any real truth to that claim?
  • Learning to See Our Racial Biases with Rhonda Magee
    Law professor and mindfulness teacher Rhonda Magee digs down to the persistent roots of racial injustice in a powerful conversation on the Tricycle Talks podcast. 
  • Goodnight Metta: A Bedtime Meditation for Kids by Sumi Loundon Kim
    Teach little ones about lovingkindness with this simple, soothing bedtime ritual.
  • Leaving Everything Behind by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche with Helen Tworkov
    A renowned Tibetan Buddhist teacher leaves the comfort of his monastery and comes face-to-face with death during a four-year “wandering retreat.”
  • The Buddha’s Communication Toolbox with Oren Jay Sofer
    Mindful communication teacher Oren Jay Sofer translates ancient principles of right speech into the world of modern communications in this four-part Dharma Talk series.

  • Get Out of Your Head by Sean Murphy
    By drawing our attention to the five skandhas (conditions of reality), we can learn to catch ourselves in the moment before we slip into old patterns of reactivity.
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