July 21, 2008

Review: Why the Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as the Solution for China, Tibet, and the World

Review: Why the Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as the Solution for China, Tibet, and the World

Professor Robert Thurman

The day I got this book, I headed over to one of my favorite coffee cafés for some lunch and to start reading. A patron walked by, noticed what I was reading, and said, “It’s a sad comment on the world we live in when we need a book to tell us that.” I agreed with him and we chatted briefly, then I returned to my book. Later, I reflected on it, and really began to delve into the meaning behind the title. Why does the Dalai Lama matter? For the past 40+ years, Professor Robert Thurman has enjoyed a personal friendship with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and the warmth that he feels for his friend shows in this book, and throughout the book, Prof. Thurman proceeds to answer that very question. Throughout the book, Thurman discusses His Holiness from a variety of perspectives: religious leader, politician, philosopher, and scientist to name but a few. He then goes on to illustrate how his commitment to nonviolence is the best, if not the only, real way to achieving the world we all claim to want. What I found particularly interesting is that Thurman acknowledges the abuses and atrocities committed on the Tibetan people but doesn’t delve into any attempt to alienate the Chinese people or his reader. Instead he calls to China to lead the world towards that bright future by setting an example for the rest of us to follow by liberating Tibet and putting into place a five point plan for Tibet. I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested not just in Buddhism or the Dalai Lama, but in how we as a species can best achieve world peace.

Professor Thurman will be in Boulder to talk and sign his book this Wednesday at the Boulder Theater. For information and tickets, click here.

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