Tuesday, July 01, 2008

"The Open Road" by Pico Iyer

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, was his country's ruler until the Chinese takeover of Tibet forced him into exile. Since 1959, he lives in Dharamsala, India, close to the border with Tibet.

Dalai Lama (lama means spiritual teacher) has been influential in bringing Tibetan Buddhism to foreign cultures. He was awarded the 1989 Nobel Peace prize, and even though he's in his 70s, he continues to travel the world tirelessly.

Meanwhile, the travel writer Pico Iyer - born in England of Indian parents is a journalist and essayist and has explored the borderlines between East and West in his writings. He begins The Open Road with his personal history : meeting in 1959 in Dharamsala between the Dalai Lama and his father, a professor of philosophy. He portrays the community of Tibetan exiles in Dharamsala, but mainly the book is an extended profile of the Dalai Lama as man, monk, leader and icon.

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