His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual
leader of Tibet. He was born on July 6, 1935, to a farming family,
in a small hamlet located in Taktser, Amdo, in northeastern Tibet.
At the age two, the child, then named Lhamo Dhondup, was recognized
as the reincarnation of the previous 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten
Gyatso. He was formally recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama at a
public declaration near the town of Bumchen in 1939. His
enthronement ceremony as the Dalai Lama was held in Lhasa on
February 22, 1940, and he eventually assumed full temporal
(political) duties on November 17, 1950, at the age of fifteen,
after the People's Republic of China's invasion of Tibet.
During the 1959 Tibetan uprising, the Dalai Lama fled to India, where he currently lives as a refugee. The 14th Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. He has traveled the world and has spoken about the welfare of Tibetans, environment, economics, women's rights, non-violence, interfaith dialogue, physics, astronomy, Buddhism and science, cognitive neuroscience, reproductive health, and sexuality, along with various Mahayana and Vajrayana topics.
"In one book you have marvelous representations of what the
Tibetans call the two interpenetrating aspects of the enlightened
mind: its boundless compassion and its "empty" wisdom. On whether
we learn how to unite compassion with the 'wisdom of emptiness,'
how both to care enough to work with enough selfless detachment in
the middle of raging and devouring chaos, depends the future. To
that future, this book is a wonderful gift, the gift of a wonderful
man whose heart and mind are as spacious as the universe, and whose
life is that of an authentic and humble hero of truth."
-from the Introduction by Andrew Harvey