Jan Willis is a distinguished scholar, practitioner, and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism whose immersion in the tradition spans more than half a century. After growing up in Jim Crow-era Alabama, Willis majored in philosophy at Cornell University in the 1960s and soon after studied Buddhism under the direction of Lama Yeshe, a prominent Gelug master, at a monastery in Nepal. In 1977, having earned her PhD in Indic and Buddhist studies from Columbia, she began teaching courses in Buddhism and religion at Wesleyan University. Now in retirement, she teaches part time at Agnes Scott College, in Decatur, Georgia. Willis’s “A Vision of What Could Be,” an adaptation from her new book, examines race and class in American Buddhism.

Photo by Spyder Sloman


Celeste Sloman is a New York City–based photographer and director whose work has been featured on NPR and in such publications as The New York TimesTime Magazine, Newsweek, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2019, the New York Times published The Women of the 116th Congress: Portraits of Power, by Sloman and Elizabeth Herman. For this issue of Tricycle, Sloman caught musician Devendra Banhart in Brooklyn toward the end of his album tour. 

Photo courtesy Liv Bailey


A junior at Yarmouth High School in Maine, Liv Bailey writes poetry and creative nonfiction. Her work, which covers such topics as cli­mate change and mindfulness, has been published in KidSpirit, a nonprofit magazine created by and for teenagers. When she’s not writing or doing schoolwork, Bailey runs for her school’s track and field team, creates art, and competes on her school’s debate team. For this issue, Bailey reviewed Take in the Good, a mindful activity book for teens by Gina Biegel.

Photo by Rachel Wolf


Author of the acclaimed Advice for Future Corpses (and Those Who Love Them), Sallie Tisdale is the godo (director of teaching) at the Dharma Rain Zen Center in Portland, Oregon. Her essays and books have earned her a Pushcart Prize, the James D. Phelan Literary Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship. In “A Life in Her Hands,” Tisdale contemplates the morality of euthanizing pets.

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