I am a grateful LWOP (Life Without Parole) convict at the California Correctional Institution who eagerly awaits each issue of Tricycle. Currently our world is very dysfunctional, and the devaluation of human life has sadly become normalized in mainstream society. I am so, so pleased to tell you about a group of men who have come together to become ambassadors of change at this institution. Our group is called Lives Worthy of Purpose. LWOP–condemned men attend our weekly motivational meetings to promote hope and positive change and living amends to those we’ve harmed in the past. We have a #LivesWorthyOfPurpose Facebook page that highlights the men, including myself, who have joined in solidarity to promote a non-violent, positive lifestyle. I personally have the teachings of Buddhism to thank for changing my life and shedding light on a world that requires empathy, compassion, and kindness to create balance as well as prosperity. There are good-quality men behind bars here who are working very hard at evolving into men who deserve a chance at freedom someday.

– Respect, Scott D.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Tricycle is evolving with the times. As the print edition enters its thirty-third year of publication, there’s also growing interest in our posts on tricycle.org and our twice-monthly podcasts: Tricycle Talks with editor-in-chief James Shaheen, launched in 2017, and Life As It Is with James and Buddhist teacher Sharon Salzberg, launched in 2021. Here is some of the feedback we’ve received from our listeners. 

I have been listening to your podcasts for quite a while, and I enjoy the variety of subjects and topics that you discuss. I particularly like the interviews with the authors of articles featured in the current issue of Tricycle. I feel much more connected to the author, the article, and the message conveyed by the article after having listened to the author. That deepens the experience for me, and I am grateful.

– Dave Gerlits

On “Let Life Come to You” with Pico Iyer, Tricycle Talks, March 7, 2023:

I am 71, and for the first time in my life I took the opportunity to listen to an interview with someone who, through experience and knowledge, has provided me with a very enriching understanding of the wonderment of being human and the possibilities available to us all. I admire Mr. Iyer for exhibiting a “don’t-know mind” throughout his many world travels, and I certainly appreciate his ability to welcome inclusivity with all peoples and cultures.

– Randy Nelson

On “Tired of Pretending to Be Me” with Joseph Goldstein, Tricycle Talks, June 9, 2021:

While I invariably find your podcasts to be just as high-caliber and informative as the magazine as a whole, I wanted to say that Mr. Shaheen’s interview with Joseph Goldstein is not just a wonderful interview but one of the most lucid and useful Q&As on meditation practice I’ve ever experienced. Shaheen and Goldstein have real chemistry, and what a privilege to get a taste of Joseph’s lifetime of deep lay practice. Extremely inspiring. 

– Kevin Knox

You have to appreciate someone who can use Janis Joplin to illuminate deep principles.

Thank you for the explanation of No Self. After fifteen years of studying Mindfulness and never, ever coming close to understanding that concept, one sentence from Joseph and I get it—lack of self-centeredness. Every time Tricycle offers an article or podcast, there is always a little nugget to be mined.

– Sue Legree

On “Learning to Live Without a Self” with Jay Garfield, Tricycle Talks, April 13, 2022:

You have to appreciate someone who can use Janis Joplin to illuminate deep principles.

– Anonymous  

Buddhist “not-self” or “no-self” is demystified and embodied in this wonderful talk. So helpful for those of us who are trying to build collaboration in community. The cult of self does seem to be a bit “on the nose,” and this gives us a wonderful framing to not reject our “identity” but to reclaim our humanity. I love the fluid, creative potential of being a part of the whole and influencing it by showing up authentically and with humility. Thank you, Jay, for this life-affirming talk.

– Anonymous

I’m so glad I came across this [episode] and listened this morning, and I have downloaded the transcript, which I know I will go back to. For many years my understanding of no-self has been most strongly informed by the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh and the understanding that we have no independent self separate from the Earth (or Universe) and everything it comprises—the inarguable truth and bedrock understanding of Interbeing that has blessed my life since I sat on the lawn at Green Gulch farm in Marin [County, California] 30 years ago and listened to Thay explain how the whole world exists in a piece of paper. 

– Rita Townsend

On “A Beginner’s Guide to Rebirth” with scholar Roger Jackson, Tricycle Talks, June 8, 2021:

Thank you for sharing Roger Jackson’s talk on the concept of rebirth. These talks enlighten me on the rich and diverse traditions/practices of Buddhism in both the ancient world and present world. Please continue to share these podcasts with members like myself. It helps persons who come from another tradition [Catholic] to move toward understanding and practice in the Buddhist tradition.

– Joanna Fisher 

On “Patience to Make It Through” with Dzigar Kontrul Rinpoche, Tricycle Talks, November 25, 2020: 

Up till now, no one has talked about patience as a main theme. That is so down-to-earth and helpful for everyday life.

Up till now, no one has talked about patience as a main theme. That is so down-to-earth and helpful for everyday life. Also the explanation that patience includes investigating, looking in—patience with ourselves as well as with outside stimulation as a step one and then trying to figure out more deeply what is behind all this. I have learned that in my life out of necessity, and it has been so helpful on so many levels.

– Anonymous

On “Accepting Death to Live More Fully” with writer and interfaith minister Barbara Becker, Life As It Is, September 22, 2021:

I loved this podcast. The deep, calm peacefulness of Barbara Becker as she answered the questions of James Shaheen and Sharon Salzberg on what it means to “turn toward death” was carried in not only what she said but how she said it. The calm that Barbara Becker brings to this discussion is not only the calm of one who has studied, researched, and worked with death and dying—as an author, interfaith counselor, and hospice volunteer—but also, perhaps more importantly, the calm of one who has herself “turned towards death” during her recent cancer diagnosis and walked the talk of shifting how death is held. 

– Glenda Hesseltine

On “Remembering the Forgotten War” with author Marie Myung-Ok Lee, Tricycle Talks, May 11, 2022:

I really enjoy [Tricycle’s podcasts] and generally find them informative and often inspiring, if occasionally confusing. I practice Theravada/Early Buddhism so the Tibetan terms are sometimes a heavy lift. But we listen to expand our horizons, don’t we? I really enjoyed the conversation with Marie Myung-Ok Lee and just bought a copy of The Evening Hero after listening to it.

– Michael Stoner

On “Every Moment Is a Bardo” with writer Ann Tashi Slater, Life As It Is, August 25, 2021: 

Ann Tashi Slater’s story of connecting to her ancestral past and her “bardo journey” was amazing. I believe these kinds of connections help us heal/understand in so many ways, in whatever situations we may find ourselves in.

– Elaine Carrasco

On “Coming Back to Embodiment” with Martin Aylward, Life As It Is, December 8, 2021:

James and Sharon’s conversation with Martin was one that struck me in a surprising and inspiring way. Martin’s ability to explain qualities of embodiment really made for a wonderful complement to the work I’m doing with my somatic therapist and in my own seated practice. As soon as [the talk] ended, I ordered Martin’s book, and I look forward to learning more about embodiment as part of the contemplative space and integrating it into my life and practice.

– Anonymous

To be considered for the next issue’s Letters to the Editor, send comments to editorial@tricycle.org, post a comment on tricycle.org, or visit us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.

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