For over three decades, Pico Iyer, one of our most cherished travel writers, has been a friend to the Dalai Lama. Over these years through intimate conversations, he has come to know him in a way that few can claim. Here he paints an unprecedented portrait of one of the most singular figures of our time, explaining the Dalai Lama's work and ideas about politics, science, technology, and religion. For Buddhist and non-Buddhist alike, The Open Road illuminates the hidden life and the daily challenges of this global icon.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Open Road|
|Release Date: 03-25-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||The Open Road|
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The Open Road
The two young men had many things in common as they settled into the room under the snowcaps, bright Tibetan scrolls on the walls, pine-covered slopes all around. Both of them were travelers—exiles—who had left their homes behind and so were in a position to think about home in a new way, without the limitations of nationality or race. Both were philosophers, too, but philosophers with a keen interest in the real world and the ways in which politics and society could be transformed by being seen in a different light. Both were coming of age at a time when cultures could reach one another as never before, thanks to jet planes and television screens, and the first question before them, perhaps, was how to turn this global reality into a fresh opportunity.
The Fourteenth Dalai Lama was only twenty-four at the time, having come into India barely a year before, in March 1959, when Chinese troops had threatened to bring war to his capital of Lhasa and he had been forced to flee his native Tibet. Now, for the first time in his adult life, he was sharing a house with his mother and some siblings, relishing the chance to talk to strangers and come down from his throne as he could never have done in his old home. He loved to take walks in the high mountains in those early days, to picnic in meadows; he even started a garden as he had done in Lhasa. But every time he did, he later confessed, one of India’s notorious monsoons would sweep through, reducing all his efforts to nothing, and a part of him would miss the high, dry plateaus of Tibet.
My father, when he came into the room, was moving in the opposite direction. He had been born five year