The Republic of Buryatia in Siberia is home to a line of craftsmen known as darkhans, who have long been revered for their metalwork, artistry, and shamanistic abilities. Today, Buryatian sculptor and darkhan descendant Dashi Namdakov has continued this lineage and brought new attention to the craft passed down to him. Galleries and museums around the world have exhibited Namdakov’s transfixing metal figures, which reflect Buryatia’s unique synthesis of local shamanistic and Tibetan Buddhist traditions. Explore this prolific artist’s distinctive sculptures in the portfolio “Forging On.”

Photo by Mitsue Nagase


Author, poet, and Zen practitioner Natalie Goldberg is one of the premiere voices on writing and spirituality. Over the course of her four-decade-long career, she has written fifteen books, including Long Quiet Highway (1993), about her Buddhist teacher Katagiri Roshi, and Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home (2018), a memoir about navigating cancer. This issue features an excerpt from her latest book, Three Simple Lines: A Writer’s Pilgrimage Into the Heart and Homeland of Haiku (2021). In it, Goldberg reflects on the 18th-century haiku master Chiyo-ni, who challenged her male peers’ ideas about women poets.

Photo by Leonardo Adrian Garcia


Mike Gillis is the head writer of the satirical newspaper The Onion. His article “Press X to Awaken” is a first in more ways than one: It’s his first contribution to Tricycle and Tricycle’s first review of a video game. And while Gillis has been a writer and Zen practitioner for decades, this is his debut article about Buddhism. In it, he examines how video games (and one in particular) can inspire self-awareness in their players and affect their karma. Gillis’s interest in Zen began in his youth and was bolstered by a college study abroad program in Japan. Since then, he says, he has maintained a daily—“or, y’know, near-daily”—practice in Chicago with the support of the Ancient Dragon Zen Gate temple.

featured contributors spring 2021
Photo by Marissa Russell Markova


With over thirty years of experience reporting in English and Spanish, Adrienne Bard de Palazuelos is a multimedia journalist whose work covers Central American political and cultural affairs. Based in Mexico City, Bard has contributed to Business Week, Time, and more. “My life in Mexico deepened my ties to Buddhism,” Bard told Tricycle. “I connected in a more profound way after covering the Dalai Lama’s visit to Mexico City in 2004. He appeared to be the happiest person I had ever seen. His laugh stayed in my head.” As part of our Meet a Teacher series, Bard introduces us to Miles Bukiet, a young teacher with an innovative approach.