With this our 50th issue, we look back at how we got from there to here—year by year, issue by issue, teaching by teaching. Selected by Tricycle’s editorial staff, this collection is by no means comprehensive. But from the words of the Dalai Lama to the thoughts of the everyday practitioner, these excerpts offer a glimpse into the peculiar life of the dharma in the West.

1.
Spalding Gray: I first read about Tibet in John Blofeld’s book, The People Flew. Did you ever see anyone flying in Tibet?

The Dalai Lama: No, but one thing surprised even me. One elderly nun who lives now in Dharamsala told me that when she was young, she spent a few months at a mountain place quite near Lhasa. She met there an elderly practitioner, around eighty years old, living in a very isolated area. She discovered he was the teacher for around ten disciples, and two monks among them were flying through the air off one side of the mountain. Now you see, they would fly using this part {holding up the sides of his robe}.

Spalding Gray: Like a hang glider.

Image 1: Holding up his robes, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama playfully demonstrates to culture critic and solo-performer Spalding Gray how Tibet's legendary monks spread their wings and took flight. © Gaetano Kazuo Maida
Image 1: Holding up his robes, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama playfully demonstrates to culture critic and solo-performer Spalding Gray how Tibet’s legendary monks spread their wings and took flight. © Gaetano Kazuo Maida


The Dalai Lama: Yes, you see, she said they could fly one kilometer, with their arms out like this. She told me last year that she actually saw it. I was surprised, very surprised {laughter}.

—”Inside Out: The Dalai Lama Interviewed by Spalding Gray,” Fall 1991

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