Pico Iyer

Pico Iyer

Pico Iyer is the author of fifteen books, most recently
Autumn Light and A Beginner’s Guide to Japan, twinned works on living with uncer­tainty and impermanence.


Recent Articles

How Travel Opens Your Mind and Heart

Travel wakes us up to the world. Three personal stories of transformational travel in Thailand, Ethiopia, and Yemen.

Pico Iyer looks over railing at water.

An Interview with Pico Iyer, The Contemplative Traveler

For writer Pico Iyer, travel is a spiritual experience that shakes up our usual certainties and connects us to a richer, vaster world. Iyer talks with editor-in-chief Melvin McLeod about his new book, "The Half Known Life: In Search of Paradise," and his eclectic contemplative practice.

My Flight from the Real

Pico Iyer thought he would find what is truly real by going off to a monastery, but he was really fleeing it. Dropping his spiritual romaticism, he found it in ordinary life.

Whatever Way the Wind Blows

So-called objective reality, Pico Iyer finds, is as fickle as the weather. Maybe that’s because it’s as much mind as matter.

My Private Cineplex

The writer's job, says Pico Iyer, is to watch his moods and thoughts, as captivating yet passing as the seasons, and decide which are worth sharing.

Truth in Fiction

Pico Iyer loves reading spiritual books, but he’s found just as much good dharma in the books of three favorite novelists.

Leonard Cohen Burns, and We Burn with Him

“God is a fire,” said Nikos Kazantzakis. “He burns and we burn with Him.” Art, passion, and Zen are fires too—burning the self, leaving behind only ashes and essence.

heart of the dalai lama japan high school students pico iyer Lion's Roar shambhala sun Buddhism

Heart of the Dalai Lama

In this exclusive and heartfelt essay, Pico Iyer reveals the simple human secret that makes the Dalai Lama the most beloved spiritual figure in the world.

Ambulance Pico Iyer Soul Retreat Shambhala Sun Lion's Roar Buddhism

An ICU for the Soul

When a friend is dealt a heavy emotional blow, Pico Iyer suggests to her that silence and stillness might be the best medicine.

Graham Greene Pico Iyer Lion's Roar

Pico Iyer on Graham Greene, the Dalai Lama, and “The Man Within My Head”

Pico Iyer's name is likely familiar to you; he's been a frequent contributor to Lion's Roar, writing about the Dalai Lama, music, travel.

radar of compassion Lion's Roar Buddhism Pico Iyer Dalai Lama Shambhala Sun Aspen Institute Symposium on Tibetan Arts and Culture Colorado

Radar of Compassion

Pico Iyer on the Dalai Lama’s unerring ability to home in on those who most need his love.

Love Makes the Difference

The Dalai Lama draws lessons for all of us from his own experience dealing with difficult times. A conversation with Mary Robinson, Pico Iyer.

Pico Iyer on a haiku by Kobayashi Issa.

About a Poem: Pico Iyer on a haiku by Kobayashi Issa

Pico Iyer on a haiku by Kobayashi Issa.

Feeding the spiritually hungry Dalai Lama Japan

Feeding the Spiritually Hungry

For all their material success, says Pico Iyer, many Japanese feel alienated and spiritually starved. They responded hungrily to the Dalai Lama’s teachings on his recent tour of Japan.

Thanks for the Dance: Pico Iyer considers Leonard Cohen

Pico Iyer considers Leonard Cohen—the ladies’ man, the balladeer, the Zen poet, and the essence of cool with a new love giving voice to his songs of parting and old age.

Why We Travel: A Love Affair with the World

Like falling in love, travel throws us into a state of delight, uncertainty and self-discovery. Like lovers, travelers both give and receive.

Leonard Cohen: Several Lifetimes Already

Over a long and brilliant career, the poet and singer has lived many lives already, from essence of hip to celebrated lover to serious Zen man.