Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama
In this astonishingly frank autobiography, the Dalai Lama reveals the remarkable inner strength that allowed him to master both the mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism and the brutal realities of Chinese Communism.(Amazon)
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The Dalai Lama is just a regular guy!
For those who might be more familiar with the Dalai Lama's more popular works in the west, such as "The Art of Happiness" or "Beyond Religion," this book might offer a new and slightly different angle on who the Dalai Lama is. This autobiography takes the reader through the Dalai Lama's personal memories of childhood into his exile from Tibet. It's remarkable to read and consider that at some time, the Dalai Lama was just another young boy who wanted to play outside and had little interest in political or spiritual leadership. The journey to finally taking the reigns of this responsibility is not an easy one nor a very happy one, but eventually the Dalai Lama is able to come into his own. The Dalai Lama's true feelings about Potola Palace (it's dirty and old and full of old men who only want to talk about scholarly lessons!) remind the reader that as the Dalai Lama himself has put it, he is just an ordinary monk. In many ways, this autobiography humanizes a man that the west has often depicted as nearly god-like and heroic. While he might certainly be an incredibly inspirational and significant spiritual presence, Freedom in Exile is meant to remind us more of how he has grown into the role as you see him today. This book pairs well with the documentary film, The Sun Behind the Clouds, which mirrors some of these sentiments in the modern era of the Dalai Lama's rule.