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Why the Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as the Solution for China, Tibet, and the World

Overview

The suppression of Tibet’s cultural heritage has the potential to set a precedent for all oppressed peoples of the world. Perched on the top of the world, changes in Tibet’s ecosystem affect the entire global climate. And, most importantly, Tibet is the spiritual and physical home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, though he can never return.

But why should Tibet matter to you? Tibet is more than its mountains, its monks, and its martyrs. Robert Thurman, renowned Tibetan scholar, ...

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Why the Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as the Solution for China, Tibet, and the World

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Overview

The suppression of Tibet’s cultural heritage has the potential to set a precedent for all oppressed peoples of the world. Perched on the top of the world, changes in Tibet’s ecosystem affect the entire global climate. And, most importantly, Tibet is the spiritual and physical home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, though he can never return.

But why should Tibet matter to you? Tibet is more than its mountains, its monks, and its martyrs. Robert Thurman, renowned Tibetan scholar, teacher, and activist, presents his provocative, five-point plan that will enable China to win the respect of the entire world by allowing Tibet to regain its cultural, economic, and political autonomy. Thurman shows how the Dalai Lama’s tireless work is the harbinger of peace for the world and essential for human survival.

The book outlines several key factors that will educate and empower readers to take action: What is the history of Tibet, and how do the political, religious, ecological, and social factors affect each other?- Who is the Dalai Lama, and why does his work matter to the world? What does the China-Tibet relationship mean to the global community? What can individuals do to bring attention to this issue, and make a change where they are? How can the five-point plan be used as a model of peaceful change throughout the world?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Dr. Thurman clearly describes how the 14th Dalai Lama can forge a path to a far better world in our time. As Albert Einstein urged, we must engage a different level of thinking to help solve the signifi cant problems we face, problems often caused by our ordinary assumptions. The Dalai Lama is a unique exemplar of a different, vital, inclusive, and powerfully effective way of thinking. This wonderfully written, compelling book invites us to freedom."
—Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness

"No one has worked harder to bring Tibet, Tibetan Buddhism, and the special power of the Dalai Lama to American audiences than Robert Thurman. Long may he write and, as in this latest work, bring learning and spirit, great vigor, and close knowledge together."
—Pico Iyer, author of The Open Road and Sun After Dark

"I could not put this book down. I found it powerfully inspiriting to imagine a positive alternative to the sixty-yearlong tragedy wrought by China in Tibet. As Robert Thurman shows us, by reversing its colonialist cultural genocide in Tibet (and so inspiring a reversal of the murderous policies of the regimes in Myanmar and Sudan), China could truly emerge as a responsible world power and take its place within the moral community of nations."
—Mia Farrow, actor, activist, and humanitarian

"This book kindles hope for Tibet, for China, and for peace. It listens deeply to the Dalai Lama, making clear what he offers and can accomplish. It vividly envisions the freedom the Tibetan people urgently need and the respect China desires from the entire world."
—Uma Karuna Thurman, actor, and activist

Publishers Weekly

Tibetan scholar Thurman paints a splendid portrait of the Dalai Lama and masterfully elucidates the 50-year-old conflict between Tibet and China in this timely analysis. The author presents an eloquent introduction to Buddhism and the Tibetan concept of the Dalai Lama before focusing on the current "living embodiment of the Buddha"—a man born as Tenzin Gyatso—the 14th Dalai Lama. Thurman sympathetically renders his lifelong friend as a "simple Buddhist monk," a teacher, philosopher, scientist and the political representative of the Tibetan people, who has achieved renown for holding together a large refugee community and preserving its culture. Promulgating a "common human religion of kindness," the Nobel Peace laureate lobbies for a peaceful resolution to the question of Tibetan autonomy within China, while espousing love, altruism and spirituality as the forces that will lead mankind into a "kinder, happier twenty-first century." The book concludes with a five-step plan to broker peace between Tibet and China—an agenda simultaneously pragmatic and idealistic, demonstrating truly the talent and power of faith. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

With Tibet in the headlines, libraries should be sure to keep an eye on the latest books on the struggles there. Both of these authors are well established in Tibetan studies as scholars and observers, and both take strong stands here against China's rhetoric and actions in Tibet. Smith (Tibetan service, Radio Free Asia) provides a thorough and specialized study of relations between the two entities over the last century. He argues that assimilation is China's goal for Tibet: Tibet is becoming more Chinese and less Tibetan, as demonstrated by the recent mass immigration of Chinese into Tibet and China's dominance of both the government and the economy. With as many as 80 footnotes per chapter, Smith's substantial, and rather pricey, book is an option for research libraries but heavy going for general readers.Thurman (Buddhist studies, Columbia Univ.; Inner Revolution), the American Buddhist monk ordained by the Dalai Lama over 40 years ago, reaches out to a broader audience. He covers some of the same ground more concisely and accessibly, delves more deeply into the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism, and adds some hopeful suggestions for finding a "middle way" in which the Dalai Lama's "ethical and spiritual revolution" can be accommodated along with China's determination to modernize Tibet, adjustments that would improve China's sagging stature in the international arena. Thurman also points out Tibet's pivotal environmental position in Asia and suggests that preserving its natural features would improve those of China because several of China's watercourses begin in Tibet. Thus, Thurman posits Tibet as both a spiritual and a natural reserve. Thurman's book is an excellent choicefor most public libraries.
—Harold M. Otness

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582702216
  • Publisher: Atria Books/Beyond Words
  • Publication date: 5/3/2011
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 844,597
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Thurman is the author of the critically acclaimed, popular original books Inner Revolution and Infinite Life and a translator of sacred Tibetan texts, including The Essence of True Eloquence and The Tibetan Book of the Dead. He teaches at Columbia University and holds the first endowed chair in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in America. Cofounder of Tibet House US and Menla Mountain Retreat Center, he lives in New York City and Woodstock, New York.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I Who Is the Dalai Lama and Why Is He the Key? 1

1 Who Is the Dalai Lama? 3

2 What Has the Dalai Lama Accomplished? 35

3 The Dalai Lamas Call for an Ethical and Spiritual Revolution 99

Pt. II The Solution for China and Tibet 123

4 A Middle Way for China and Tibet 125

5 A Plan for President Hu and the Dalai Lama 137

Pt. III Tibet Solved, Freed, Restored 153

6 Envisioning the Goal 155

7 The Bod Autonomous Region Internal System of Government 169

8 The Dedication of Tibet as a Nature Preserve 185

9 Freeing Tibet: A Great Win for China and Tibet, Ecologically and Economically 209

Conclusion 221

Afterword Ten Points of Hope 227

Resources 229

Tibetan Flag Key 232

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2012

    Highly recommended!

    Wonderful spiritual messages! In fact I am sending a copy of the book to a family member.

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  • Posted June 21, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    can't go wrong with the Dalai Lama!!!

    Haven't read much but what I have read I like! Robert Thurman is a wise man who has seen alot and experienced alot in his life..Meeting the Dalai Lama is just one event. The Dalai Lama IS important and this book is just another confirmation into why. Take a read!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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