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 present this selection of his work.
Just click any article's title to start reading.
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.)
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.
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.
Pico Iyer on the Dalai Lama’s
unerring ability to home in on those who most need his love.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
So-called objective reality, Pico Iyer
finds, is as fickle as the weather. Maybe that’s because it’s as much
mind as matter.
"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."
Pico Iyer in conversation with His Holiness.
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