My Spiritual Journey

By the Dalai Lama and Sofia Stril-Rever, translated by Charlotte Mandel

Available from HarperCollins

In this elegant self-portrait, the world’s most outspoken and influential spiritual leader recounts his epic and engaging life story. The Dalai Lama’s most accessible and intimate book, My Spiritual Journey is an excellent introduction to the larger-than-life leader of Tibetan Buddhism—perfect for anyone curious about Eastern religion, invested in the Free Tibet movement, or simply seeking a richer spiritual life. The Dalai Lama’s riveting, deeply insightful meditations on life will resonate strongly with readers of Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hanh, or the His Holiness’s ownThe Art of Happiness and Ethics for the New Millennium.

The world knows the public face of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. We have read about his near escape from Tibet after the Chinese invasion, his nobel Peace Prize, and his friendships with world leaders, Hollywood actors, and scientists around the world. But what are his inner, personal thoughts on his own spiritual life? For the first time and in his own words, the Dalai Lama charts his spiritual journey from his boyhood days in rural Tibet to his years as a monk in the capital city of Dharamsala, to his life in exile as a world leader and symbol of peace.

My Spiritual Journey provides a vivid and moving portrait of the Dalai Lama’s life journey that is personal in tone but universal in scope. He explores three phases or commitments of his spiritual life—as a human being, as a Buddhist monk, and as the Dalai Lama—each of which has made him more dedicated to exploring and teaching human values and inner happiness, promoting harmony among all religions, and advocating for the civil rights and well-being of the Tibetan people.

At the age of two, little Tenzin Gyatso was identified as the fourteenth reincarnation of the first Dalai Lama. From then on, his life has been on a trajectory few can imagine. Some see him as a living Buddha and moral authority, others identify him as a “god-king,” while still others see him in political terms as either a hero or a counterrevolutionary. In My Spiritual Journey, we see the personal struggles, the courage, the laughter, and the compassion that have defined the remarkable life of one of our world’s greatest living legends.

His Holiness The Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual leader of Tibet and head of their government-in-exile. Since 1959, His Holiness has received over eighty-four awards and honorary doctorates, including the Nobel Peace Prize and the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of his message of peace, nonviolence, interreligious understanding, and compassion.

Sofia Stril-Rever is a Sanskrit expert and an interpreter for the Dalai Lama. She received training from a traditional Indian pandit and a Tibetan lama in the monastery of Kirti (Dharamsala). She translated and published a collection titled Kalachakra Buddhist Scriptures and cofounded the website www.buddhaline.net.