Right up front, the Dalai Lama claims that English is not his first language and he requests the reader bear with him. At times, the english is a little stilted but it never detracts from the story being told. His honest account of the young days having been found as the 14th Dalai Lama but still being a little boy is wonderful. He leads you through a chronological account of his life and spiritual work.
The book was an education for me on the basics of Buddhism, the struggle of the Tibetans, the role of the Dalai Lama and glimpse of China's past and present. I'm motivated to read more on all these topics - in particalar, Buddhism and the history of China (the notable Gang of four).
If you're looking for information on the Tibetan struggle and the Dalai Lama, this book is it. THe Dalai Lama is always honest and frank about his opinions on events and people. His strength and poise comes across clearly in his writings.
The pain and trauma of the Tibetans has left a mark on my conscience. The Dalai Lama's non-violent opposition of the Chinese is admirable and to be an example for us all.
The story of the Dalai Lama and his people as told by His Holiness is charmingly written. (He uses words like 'whilst and amongst'.)
We follow the very young playful boy from his very modest home in the Tibetian province of Amdo to the capital of Lhasa where his education as a Buddhist monk begins. He relates much detail about the rich culture and beauty of Tibet; however he is honest about it's isolation and failure to keep up with a more modern world.
As he tells of the miliary and political struggle with China, one can almost feel the tension mount. The account of his escape into exile is exciting, yet sad. The destruction of Tibet, the atrocities upon its people, and the genocide still being committed there is more than sad. Yet, the Dalai Lama does not hate. He has compassion even for those who have caused the suffering of the Tibetian people.
Great book. I recommend it.