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Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2008

    a truly amazing outlook

    When Lhamo Thondup was just two years old, a search party sent to find the new incarnation of the Dalai Lama arrived at his house. After spending a short time there, they concluded that Lhamo Thondup was the new Dalai Lama. Re-incarnation is a crucial component of Tibetan Buddhism. When a person dies, it is believed that his/her person continues to live in another body or living creature. The purpose of re-incarnation is so that the person can continue to strive for the end of suffering for all sentient beings. If it is most advantageous for the person to be re-incarnated as an insect, then that person will be re-incarnated as an insect and if it is most advantageous for the person to be re-incarnated as a monk, then so be it. After a monk dies, the following year or so other monks will try to find the re-incarnate. The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in March of 1959 for Dharamsala, India when the People¿s Liberation Army invaded Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, claiming that they were saving Tibet from imperialists. The Dalai Lama still lives in Dharamsala where he has set up the Tibetan Government in exhile. Over the years, the Chinese forces have committed many human rights¿ violations in Tibet and continue to occupy Tibet today. As the Chinese forces greatly inhibit or even prohibit the spiritual activities of Tibetan monastics, and many Chinese migrate to Tibet, the Tibetan people and culture are being overwhelmed. In the foreword, along with explaining what the phrase ¿Dalai Lama¿ means, the Dalai Lama states that his autobiography is not primarily a book about Buddhism, but rather about himself and the historical events of his life. In my interpretation, he means to expose the truth about the situation in Tibet in order to overcome the lies of Chinese propaganda that have been promulgated over the years. The truth is that the actions of the Chinese in Tibet seem very much like genocide. The beauty and the goodness of the Dalai Lama¿s soul truly shine through his words in Freedom in Exhile. Because of his spiritual condition, the Dalai Lama really experiences freedom in exhile: freedom from fear and freedom from anger. He continues to love the Chinese people even the authorities, despite what they have done in Tibet, recognizing they they are people just like him. It is not them but their actions that have caused harm. Throughout the autobiography and in other speeches that he has made and books he has written, the Dalai Lama stresses that all human beings share the desire to be happy and not suffer. In addition, all human beings have the same right to achieve this goal. All other differences between people are superficial. Upon completing Freedom in Exhile, I want to do all that I can to help Tibet. I even want to visit Tibet, though I recognize that due to Chinese invasion, it is sadly no longer the same Tibet that the Dalai Lama grew up in. Furthermore, I might not be allowed to visit Tibet. I would need to investigate Chinese policy on that matter. Finally, I am totally inspired to maintain my spiritual condition. Though the Dalai Lama expressly stated that the book is not about Buddhism, he does write about his daily practice and includes many spiritual tips that I hope to include in my own practice.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2003

    Provides wonderful insight

    The Dalai Lama takes the reader into his heart and his mind by simply revealing himself as an ordinary person with an extraordinary purpose in life. You will see history through the eyes of a gentle, determined, truly compassionate man.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2000

    A great read about a great man

    With out question, one of the most moving autobiographies I have read in a long time. I Encourage anyone who is interested in his holiness the Dalai Lama to get this book !!!. If your looking for a point by point detailed description of the events surounding the Dalai Lama, this book may not be for you. Instead, this book gives you an understanding of how the Dalai Lama perceived the events and people that changed the country of Tibet and his life. This is not to say that the book does not contain good historical detail, infact it can be quite detailed at times. In my opinion, it is his decriptions of his emotional and spiritual understanding of the people and events that provides the most impact to the reader. It is a personal and compassionate work that basicly says tells you how he felt during his life in Tibet. I encourage anyone who is interested in his holiness the Dalai Lama to get this book with out question !!!.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 3, 2008

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