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Pico Iyer in the Shambhala Sun

For more than twenty-five years, Pico Iyer has covered His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan situation for Time, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and The New York Times Op-ed page.

Iyer has also been a frequent contributor to the Shambhala Sun, writing about the Dalai Lama, music, travel, and more. We are proud to prevent this selection of his work.

Just click any article's title to start reading.



Leonard Cohen burns, and we burn with him

Art, passion and Zen are fires—burning the self, leaving behind only ashes and essence, They burn in Leonard Cohen's heart, says his admirer Pico Iyer, and light up the darkness for us. (An excerpt from our May 2013 issue. Read the full article inside the magazine.)

An ICU for the Soul

When a friend is dealt a heavy emotional blow, Pico Iyer suggests to her that silence and stillness might be the best medicine. Sometimes, it seems, you've got to retreat before you can move forward.

Heart of the Dalai Lama

For thirty-five years Pico Iyer has been a friend, observer, and student of the Dalai Lama. In this exclusive and heartfelt essay, he reveals the simple human secret that makes His Holiness the most beloved spiritual figure in the world.

Radar of Compassion

Pico Iyer on the Dalai Lama’s unerring ability to home in on those who most need his love.

My Private Cineplex

The writer’s job, says Pico Iyer, is to watch his moods and thoughts, as captivating yet passing as the seasons, and decide which are worth sharing.


Centered at the Summit

Over the decades that Pico Iyer has known His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he has pondered his many qualities and roles, tried to define the essence of the man and of his importance to the world. He concludes that only the Dalai Lama brings true spiritual peace to the summit of world affairs.

Why We Travel: A Love Affair with the World

Like falling in love, travel throws us into a state of delight, uncertainty and self-discovery. Like lovers, travelers both give and receive. Travelers, like lovers, go naked into the world.

Feeding the Spiritually Hungry

For all their material success, says Pico Iyer, many Japanese feel alienated and spiritually starved. They responded hungrily to the Dalai Lama’s teachings on his recent tour of Japan.

Thanks for the Dance

Pico Iyer considers Leonard Cohen—the ladies’ man, the balladeer, the Zen poet, and the essence of cool with a new love giving voice to his songs of parting and old age.

Whatever Way the Wind Blows

So-called objective reality, Pico Iyer finds, is as fickle as the weather. Maybe that’s because it’s as much mind as matter.

Writing Undoes Me

"To give oneself over to the objective business of writing," says Pico Iyer, "is to see how subjective the whole business of the self and writing is."

Over Tea with the Dalai Lama

Pico Iyer in conversation with His Holiness.

Among the Living and the Dead at Angkor Wat

Pico Iyer visits Cambodia's famed monument and ponders the conundrums of travel-cell phones and ancient spirits, killing fields and champagne breakfasts, beauties past and tragedies present.





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