My Spiritual Journey

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In His Own Words

The Compelling Personal Story of the Spiritual Life of the Dalai Lama

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My Spiritual Journey

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In His Own Words

The Compelling Personal Story of the Spiritual Life of the Dalai Lama

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso is known to the whole world as The Dalai Lama. To this divine title, this Tibetan spiritual leader had thirteen predecessors, but none of them has been as widely known or as influential as this Nobel laureate. My Spiritual Journey is not a conventional memoir. Instead, it uses previously unpublished materials and recent interviews to bring readers a message that encompasses suffering, success, and hope. An affirmation of common humanity by one of the most revered men on earth.

New Age Retailer
“An important record of the mind and heart of one of the great figures of our times.”
Organic Spa Magazine
“In his moving new memoir, My Spiritual Journey,… the Dalai Lama’s immense hope and good humor shine throughout.”
Los Angeles Times
“An intriguing portrait of the Tibetan spiritual leader.”
AARP The Magazine
“When a spiritual leader banned from a small Asian nation galvanizes a worldwide following, attention must be paid. Reading My Spiritual Journey is an alternately inspiring, fascinating, frustrating, and hopeful way to do just that.”
“Readers both well versed in and new to the Dalai Lama’s teachings will make invaluable discoveries as the Dalai Lama emphasizes our common humanity, our interdependence, and the need for us to ‘cultivate a greater sense of universal responsibility.’”
The Washington Post
“’Spirituality’” may be the most nebulous word in the English language, but My Spiritual Journey provides a definition that both devotee and atheist might approve: ‘the full blossoming of human values that is essential for the good of all.’”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062018090
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/4/2011
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 166,280
  • Product dimensions: 5.32 (w) x 8.06 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

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

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Listening to the Dalai Lama's Appeal to the World Sofia Stril-Rever Stril-Rever, Sofia

My Three Commitments in Life 1

Part One As a Human Being

1 Our Common Humanity 5

I Am No One Special 7

I am just a human being 7

In our blood, a vital need for affection 8

My mother, a compassionate woman 11

It's time to think in human terms 12

Every person we meet is our brother or sister 13

Loving-kindness, the condition of our survival 14

I pray for a more loving human family 15

We are all alike 16

Until My Last Breath, I Will Practice Compassion 18

What do we mean by "compassion"? 18

True compassion is universal 20

The power of compassion 21

I am a professional laugher 23

I am a devoted servant of compassion 25

Compassion, path of my happiness 26

I love the smile, unique to humans 28

2 My Lives Without Beginning or End 31

I Rejoice at Being the Son of Simple Farmers 35

My everyday life 35

I was born on the fifth day of the fifth month 37

I can see into the humblest souls 39

My parents never thought I might be the Fourteenth Dalai Lama 41

I recognize my rosary 42

I successfully pass the tests of remembering my previous life 44

My Childhood in Lhasa 46

I climb up into the Lion Throne 46

I find my teeth 48

Childhood memories 49

I indulge in illegal treats 50

I almost looked like Moshe Dayan! 53

My Reincarnation Lineage 55

I am summoned to become the Dalai Lama to serve others 55

The Tibetans will decide if they want a Fifteenth Dalai Lama 58

My Dalailamaship 60

Why shouldn't a very beautiful woman be my next incarnation? 62

We are without beginning or end 65

I could reincarnate in the form of an insect 66

Part Two As a Buddhist Monk

3 Transforming Oneself 73

My Ideal: The Bodhisattva 75

My identity as a monk 75

My monk's vows 76

The daily meditations of a Buddhist monk 77

Living as a bodhisattva 79

Spiritual practice in order to become better human beings 80

Temples of Kindness in Our Hearts 82

Toward brotherly exchanges between religions 82

Politicians need religion more than hermits 83

My pilgrimages, from Lourdes to Jerusalem 84

A life of contemplation on love 86

Temples inside 87

Transforming Our Minds 88

Analysis of the mind as a preliminary to spiritual practice 88

Impermanence and interdependence, or seeing the world as it is 90

Transforming our mind on the Buddha's path 93

Actualizing our potential 96

Training our emotional life 100

4 Transforming the World 103

I Call for a Spiritual Revolution 105

We can do without religion, but not without spirituality 105

Spiritual revolution and ethical revolution 106

The sickness of duality 107

The disregard of interdependence by Westerners 108

I Do Not Believe in Idelogies 109

Humanity is one 109

Interdependence is a law of nature 111

A sense of responsibility is born from compassion 112

War is an anachronism 115

Everyone must assume a share of universal responsibility 117

My Dialogue with the Sciences 119

Why is a Buddhist monk interested in science? 119

Humanity is at a crossroads 123

Ethics in the sciences to save life 126

The tragedy of September 11, 2001, taught me that we must not separate ethics from progress 129

5 Taking Care of the Earth 133

Our Ecological Responsibility 135

As a child, I learned form my teachers to take care of the environment 135

The Tibet of my childhood, paradise of wildlife 139

In Tibet the mountains have become bold as monks' heads 141

Reflections of a Buddhist monk on our ecological responsibility 145

Our Planet is One World 151

The Buddha in the Green Party! 151

Human rights and the environment 152

Mind, heart, and environment 154

Taking care of the Earth 156

Interdependence as seen from space 158

Part Three As the Dalai Lama

6 In 1959 the Dalai Lama Meets the World 163

I Was the Only One Who Could Win Unanimous Support 165

At sixteen, I become the temporal leader of Tibet 165

We wrongly believed that isolation would guarantee us peace 168

I endorse the Kashag's appeal to the United Nations 172

The motherland, a shameless lie 174

Mao's personality impressed me 176

March 10, 1959, a day of insurrection in Lhasa 178

My Children, You Are the Future of Tibet 180

Forced exile 180

My Priority is stopping the bloodshed 183

Children of hope 185

I am a proponent of secular democracy 188

Liberty, equality, and fratenity are also Buddhist principles 190

I love the image of swords transformed into plowshares 192

Human beings prefer the way of peace 194

What would Gandhi have done in my place? 197

7 I Appeal to All the Peoples of the World 199

I Denounce the Sinicization of Tibet 201

I ask the world not to forget that thousands of Tibetans were massacred 201

In the name of humanity, I appeal to all the peoples of the world 206

The Han-ification campaign in Tibet 209

Five hundred Tibetans perished while fleeing their occupied country 212

Tibet, Sanctuary of Peace for the World 218

My people's contribution to world peace 218

I propose that Tibet become a sanctuary of ahimsa for the world 224

In the name of the spiritual heritage of my people 227

My weapons are truth, courage, and determination 233

Tibet is still suffering from flagrant, unimaginable human rights violations 239

In China, I see that change is on the way 246

To all my spiritual brothers and sisters in China 252

Conclusion: I Place My Hope in the Human Heart 257

We Can Only Live in Hope 259

Afterword: Winning Peace with the Dalai Lama Sofia Stril-Rever Stril-Rever, Sofia 263

Notes 267

Bibliography 272

The Dalai Lama's Annual Speech to Commemorate the March 10, 1959, Lhasa Insurrection 275

The Kalachakra Mandala 280

Index 281

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Customer Reviews

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( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

    Good book

    Good book

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2015

    All the world should get to know this inspiring man

    I may be of Western thought but this is a vital read. It made me think of Saint Teresa, of Ghandi, of others from scripture and history. Selflessness is defined; compassion is his call to the world, and the whole world needs it. The book will uplift you as it indermines your beliefs; it will make you smile at your enemies and cherish your friends.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2014


    Donr mom has vestes

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2014

    For those who might be curious why madison wis has

    ia buddist retreat things do get around like our town outside ohare field has a hindu temple and hari krishna festible by high school wheaton last of theosphilosopy retreats a mosque nearby and a zen retreat

    0 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2014


    Pads back to main camp cant wait

    0 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2014


    Follows with my fish

    0 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 25, 2015

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