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Change Your Mind Day

In 1994 a few hundred people gathered in Central Park to attend Tricycle’s first Change Your Mind Day. The magazine’s board had agreed on a day of free Buddhist meditation instruction as a way of reaching out to the community, making dharma more accessible, and bringing together members of different sanghas.

It seemed like a simple idea: Put down some meditation cushions in a park, invite teachers to come, get a microphone, and put up flyers announcing the event to the public. Doing it, however, was more complicated: We had to sign a contract with the park, buy insurance, and the microphone turned into a sound system. Our “free” day of meditation was getting expensive.

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The board met again. How could we afford to pay for this? Corporate sponsorship? But we didn’t want lamas sitting under logos. Maybe we could license vendors. But we didn’t want a dharma fair.

One board member said: “We have to keep Change Your Mind Day commercial—free and find a way to pay for it ourselves. If even one person gets started on the path to enlightenment, it will be worth the expense.”

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