We’ve finally made it to the end of 2020. It’s been a difficult and momentous year—one that’s brought tremendous change and uncertainty to our lives and our world. 

Every December, our editors take a look back at the stories and conversations that defined the year. In 2020, many of our top stories grappled with the most pressing issues of the day: the pandemic, the climate crisis, racial justice, and the US presidential elections. Others highlighted perennial wisdom and spiritual practices to help us find our inner core of strength, compassion, and joy, no matter what’s going on in the world around us.

We’ve compiled our top 10 articles of 2020 in the list below. We hope they may serve as a source of reflection, inspiration, and comfort through the winter holidays. Enjoy! 

  • Embracing Extinction By Stephen Batchelor
    Climate change poses an existential threat to humanity. Secular dharma teacher Stephen Batchelor asks: How can Buddhism help us meet this pivotal moment in our evolution? 
  • Absolutely, Indestructibly Happy Interview with Tina Turner by Clark Strand 
    The pop icon opens up about the Buddhist practice that supported her through the darkest moments of her life—and has given her an unshakable hope for the future. 
  • Shin Buddhism: A Path of Gratitude By Rev. Dr. Kenji Akahoshi
    The secret of Shin Buddhist practice is a mental shift from the constant desires of the ego to a deep appreciation for all that we’ve already received. 
  • Say a Little Prayer By Ken McLeod
    How do you make your life your spiritual practice? For writer Ken McLeod, the answer was hiding in a 12th century Tibetan prayer. 
  • Practicing in a Pandemic By Tricycle 
    Our favorite Buddhist teachers and writers offer insights, advice, and practices for coping with COVID and navigating times of uncertainty. 
  • The Buddhist Bet By Leslie Mancillas
    A writer looks back on the 100-day chanting challenge that saved her mother’s life and healed their abusive relationship. 
  • Racial Justice Is Everyone’s Work By Tricycle 
    At the height of the Black Lives Matter protests, our editors compiled a series of Buddhist essays and conversations on healing racism within ourselves and in our country. 
  • How to Read the Lotus Sutra Interview with Jacqueline Stone and Donald S. Lopez Jr. by James Shaheen
    The Lotus Sutra has mystified and perplexed generations of spiritual seekers. Scholars Jacqueline Stone and Donald Lopez show you how to make sense of the “King of Sutras.” 
  • One Hundred Karmas By Mindy Newman and Kaia Fisher 
    Karma isn’t about blaming ourselves for the things that happen to us. Instead, it’s about empowering ourselves to change our lives for the better.  
  • Don’t-Know Mind and the Election of Our Lives By David Loy 
    For Zen teacher David Loy, the anxiety-ridden days leading up to the US presidential election were an opportunity to explore the power of not knowing. 

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In case you missed it:

Our most popular Dharma Talk of this year was Digital Detox: Reclaim Your Mind From Social Media Addiction by Buddhist teacher Bodhipaksa. 

Plus, be sure to check out our podcast Tricycle Talks, a series of interviews with leading Buddhist thinkers, including a heartfelt interview with the late Buddhist teacher Michael Stone’s wife Carina Stone on grief and recovery, a deep-dive into solitude with dharma teacher and writer Stephen Batchelor, and a sparkling conversation with 91-year-old writer and ecologist Joanna Macy

And don’t forget our new podcast series of short practices, For the Moment, which debuted as a response to the anxiety caused by COVID-19. 

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