The Story of Tibet

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The Story of Tibet is a work of monumental importance and a crucial addition to our understanding of a country with one of the world's richest backgrounds. Over the course of three years, journalist Thomas Laird spent more than sixty hours with His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet in candid, one-on-one interviews that covered His Holiness's beliefs on history, science, reincarnation, and his lifelong study of Buddhism. Laird brings his meetings with His Holiness to life in a rich, vibrant historical narrative that outlines the essence of thousands of years of civilization, myth, and spirituality. Tibet's story is both rich with tradition and filled with promise. It begins with the Bodhisattva Chenrizi ("The Holy One"), whose spirit many Tibetans believe resides within the Dalai Lama, We learn the origins of Buddhism and the era of Great Tibetan emperors, whose reign stretched from southwestern China to northern India. His Holiness introduces us to Tibet's greatest yogis and meditation masters, and explains how the institution of the Dalai Lama was founded. Embedded throughout this journey is His Holiness's lessons on the larger roles religion and spirituality have played in Tibet's story, reflecting the Dalai Lama's belief that history should be examined not only conventionally but holistically. Traveling across great distances to offer vivid descriptions of Tibet's greatest monasteries, Laird explores with His Holiness Tibet's relations with the Mongols, the golden Age under the Great Fifth Dalai Lama, Tibet's years under Manchu overlords, the four decades of modern independence in the first half of the twentieth century, and the Dalai Lama's personal meetings with Mao Tse-Tung just before His Holiness fled into exile in 1959. With so much of Tibetan identity based on oral history, The Story of Tibet is His Holiness's personal look at his country's past, and also a summation of a life's work as the spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan people.

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