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My Spiritual Journey

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  862 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
In this elegant self-portrait, the world’s most outspoken and influential spiritual leader recounts his epic and engaging life story. The Dalai Lama’s most accessible and intimate book, My Spiritual Journey is an excellent introduction to the larger-than-life leader of Tibetan Buddhism—perfect for anyone curious about Eastern religion, invested in the Free Tibet movement, ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by HarperOne (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,572)
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Ben Babcock
He’s just this guy, you know?

My Spiritual Journey is a collection of the Dalai Lama’s writings, speeches, and thoughts as they pertain to his life as a human being, as a Buddhist monk, and as the Dalai Lama. This is not a traditional autobiography or memoir. Instead, some of the chapters (passages? sections?) are quite short—even less than a page—but no less meaningful or inspiring. Rather than looking for some kind of chronological theme, it helps to view this book in those three stages outline
I'd first like to clarify that I found very much of this book interesting and I came away having learned very much about Tibet and Buddhism. This being said, I still really had to push myself to finish this book. I came into reading it with very high expectations, I thought it would be the exact type of book I would be enthralled in. However, I reserved a few problems with it.

First, I, personally, did not feel a great sense of continuity or organization within the book. I learned and enjoyed the
I am trying to be objective in this review, as this book was a disappointment for me, but that is because I've read a whole lot about and by the Dalai Lama, and have studied Buddhism for nearly 20 years. A lot of this is cut from previous letters/speeches/books with some explanations thrown in. Originally translated from French, I did notice some minor content differences. If you haven't read a lot of his works, this would be a great book for you. If you've read a lot of his works, skip it, unle ...more
Dane Grover
Feb 16, 2016 Dane Grover rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Dalai Lama, Spiritual Master of Tibet, has written many books. This is the first I have read, and I would call it Lama/Tibet lite. It is entertaining, educational, in some parts humorous, and always a page turner. For someones first exposure to the Dalai Lama, we learn some of his history, a brief account of the tragic Chinese overthrow of Tibet, an his insights into living and the modern world. No lecturing, anger, finger pointing, etc. but a lot of talk of his efforts to resolve the Tibet ...more
Makaela Davis
Mar 05, 2012 Makaela Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This unique book written by the Dalai Lama himself was a fantastic read. Full of adventure, and hardships that were endured throughout the life of his holiness. the Dalai Lama has written other books, but this one was the first time that he had written about his personal life and all of his experiences from the man who has seen it all. This book does not only contain stories and information about his time as the Dalai Lama, but the training it took to get to where he is and how well established
As always, lot of good thoughts and quotes. The Dalai Lama is always an interesting and inspirational read. I learned a lot about the atrocities in Tibet and I find it hard to believe that so little has been done. I like that the Dalai Lama focuses so much on compassion. It's definitely one of things this world could use tons more of. My biggest gripe with this book was that it seemed kind of repetitive. Like each section was approved individually with out consideration to whether most of the in ...more
Apr 19, 2011 Ro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVING this book - if you are in tune with your own spiritual journey, I think you will love it too. I am fascinated to learn about how the Dalai Lama found out he was the incarnation of the 13th dalai lama and about his childhood. But it's interspersed with anecdotes about current political situations affecting Tibet and essentially, the whole world. China is really something else. . .I will pray for them. I recommend this book for all spiritually minded individuals.
Ambili shyam
Aug 13, 2015 Ambili shyam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a collection of Dalai Lama’s public speeches, his personal reflections and his dharma talks along with the author Sofia Stril Rever’s thoughtful insights. The book has three parts, which Dalai Lama describes as “three commitments in Life”. The first part is “As a human being” where he says he is just a human being who has chosen to serve as Buddhist monk. He speaks about the basic nature of all human beings. Despite the fact that we already possess many positive qualities like lovin ...more
Jan 31, 2016 Nia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of reflections, essays, and speeches given by the Dalai Lama over a number of years which cover everything from his selection as the 14th Dalai Lama and his childhood to Buddhist views on the environment and humanity as a whole. It also goes into quite a bit of depth regarding Tibetan cultural and political history which I found to be very clearly explained and informative. The book has been compiled by a French editor who has spent a lot of time with the Dalai Lama; her not ...more
David Hallman
Feb 10, 2015 David Hallman rated it it was ok
Yes, I am giving the Dalai Lama two stars. Not that there isn't valuable material here, there always is when it comes to the DL. But to market this as a spiritual autobiography is a bit unfair to the reader. This is primarily a political track emphasizing the Tibetan government in exile's current position in relation to China. As far as spiritual writing goes, there is a fair bit of that as well. But what this book doesn't do enough of is tell the story of the Dalai Lama's early spiritual develo ...more
Jan 24, 2016 Bryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this book does provide some autobiographical material, I was disappointed it did not have more. Still, a book well worth reading. Much of it is a reflection by the Dalai Lama on his long career, and focuses most especially on his efforts to free Tibet from the despotic control of the Chinese. I cannot help but feel discouraged for him, as he has spent over 65 years trying to bring peace to Tibet, and it seems like he is not closer today than he was in the 1950s to his goal. I am impress ...more
Jan 09, 2016 Elias rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I suspect that Buddhism to many in the West is a religion often associated with ancient and arcane traditions, curious mysticism and obscure rituals and practices. This autobiography by the Dalai Lama, the principal figure of Tibetan Buddhism, sheds light on the practice of Buddhism as not merely a religion, but also a deep and spiritual philosophy towards life. One of the features of Buddhism that struck me most was its ability to accommodate other religions comfortably despite its universalism ...more
Man O'neal
May 30, 2012 Man O'neal rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Eh, nothing much to it. The message is nice. The 14th Dalai Lama's emphasis on love, freedom, peace, forgiveness and compassion is very noble and positive. I don't think you'll find many who will argue that. But it's nothing new or interesting, not to me at least. All that jazz about humanity and kindness is great and wonderful etcetera etcetera. But I didn't find the thoughts put down in this book to be particularly unique or life changing. Maybe to someone else it would be. In fact, I wouldn't ...more
Lauren Henderson
I did not finish this book.

I was really looking forward to learning more about the Dalai Lama's spiritual journey. I love his whole Lo-ove is my Religion outlook on life, and I feel like a lot of Christian's can learn a lot from him. Especially after learning that there are so many parallels between the Dalai Lama and the Avatar: The Last Airbender series (one of my favorite cartoon series), I became extremely interested in how he discovered that he is the Dalai Lama and how he became who he is
Sep 30, 2012 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a dynamic book about the Dalai Lama. It is part biography, Tibetan history, politics, spirituality and personal vision. This is a good begining for those interested in Tibet or the current Dalai Lama. It is written with the assistance of Sofia Srtil-Rever. The most fascinating aspects of this book is when the Dalai Lama talks about his childhood in Tibet and his obligations and routines as the Dalai Lama.

This book is not a spiriutal guide or Buddhist teaching tool. It is a great book th
Maggie Gaylord
Apr 16, 2013 Maggie Gaylord rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama writes about his experiences gaining his title as well as living it out. In his memoir, My Spiritual Journey, he describes the hardships he has had to face as well as the rewards he has gained. From the beginning when he was chosen as the Dalai Lama, to fleeing Tibet in order to escape the Chinese, he has stayed true to his faith and religion throughout.
My Spiritual Journey takes place in Tibet. He is first chosen as the Dalai Lama by Buddhist monks who f
Oct 16, 2011 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a soft spot in my heart for books on this amazing man. This book, however, was an odd collection of thoughts (written by a Frenchwoman)that I hoped would shed more light on his true spiritual "journey." It ends up the book is more a haphazard spin of his general life, most facts of which I already knew... so nothing new learned. Also, it seems as if entire paragraphs were repeated in different sections, a structure I found mildly annoying. I really did enjoy the thoughtful pieces on "taki ...more
Trenton Johnon
Oct 30, 2015 Trenton Johnon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was refreshing to learn about the transformation of the Dalai Lama from a head of a feudal state to become an advocate of human rights. This transformation by no means is simple and straight forward. This was quite a spiritual journey.
The book also hints about the internal struggles of the Dalai Lama. The three commitments of the Dalai Lama, at the surface, appear that can be coexistent harmoniously. However, when one looks deeper, one may find that it is not necessary the case. As a human be
May 12, 2013 Rubina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book which is part biographical, Buddhism teachings, Tibetan history, politics and (even) green activism. The first half of the book touches on the Dalai Lama's childhood years and his identification and confirmation as the 14th Dalai Lama. In the second half of the book, he imparts Buddhist teachings of loving-kindness, compassion and universal responsibility; to exercise brotherly exchanges between religions, and his interest in the interface between science and humanity. In the fina ...more
Peter Heisler
This is a good introduction to the Dalai Lama's thinking on religion and our role as citizens of the world. The most interesting parts in my opinion had to do with his early childhood and upbringing. Toward the end it gets very political and repetitive, mostly because of the selections the co-author makes (speeches all on the same subjects). Still, a worthwhile read, and from the most authoritative source on the subjects.
Mar 14, 2016 Connie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought the book was good, and a bit sad. Sad, because I visited Tibet last year and saw everything the the Dali Lama talked about happening in real life. Except even more. He kept talking about hope and for the Tibetan people to stay strong, but all I saw were Chinese troops, Chinese influence everywhere, and the final stages of the take over. There are hundreds and hundreds of new apartments rising high on out skirts of Lhasa. The Chinese allow visitors to see "some" of the ancient culture o ...more
Madonna Analla
Aug 15, 2014 Madonna Analla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book full of his personal reflections on his life. The co-writer, Sofia Stril-Rever added some historical context to his writings so I got the backstory on the Free Tibet issue. I didn't know too much about the Dalai Lama's story and the Free Tibet movement and this book gave a good overview of his perspective on his country's struggles.
Jan 31, 2013 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An insightful account into the mind of a both religious leader and the leader of a country in exile. This personal statement is not only religious or philosophical, but gives a great overview of the condition of Tibet. How China took Tibet over, the atrocities committed against the Tibetan people and what those that left are doing for the next generation.
With regards to the spiritual and philosophical points of view, obviously, the Dalai Lama is a pacifist, but nonetheless, he has great insig
Apr 03, 2014 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is most definitely worth reading. The Dalai Lama speaks such wise words in a way that is easy to understand and remember. I tore through the first few chapters eager to learn all I could from him but halfway through the book my enthusiasm tapered off. Many of the speeches were repetitive and I also think I lacked enough understanding of the Tibet situation to understand the context of it all. I am happy I picked this book up, it's definitely one I will want to keep on my bookshelf and ...more
Dec 22, 2010 Mlg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
At the age of only 16, the Dalai Lama became the temporal leader of Tibet. This book details the way in which he was chosen as a very young child, which was fascinating. Much of the book is devoted to his teaching and beliefs. The last third discusses the Chinese incursion into Tibet and the genocide that the Chinese have continued to perpetuate in an attempt to wipe out Tibetan culture, to eliminate their religion and to decimate the Tibetan people. Their actions at the time of the recent Olym ...more
Annie Grigg
Nov 24, 2014 Annie Grigg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book insightful and agree with much of what he says. It speaks to the way we should all strive to live to improve ourselves and the world around us. Slightly repetitive in places.
Jun 22, 2015 Mikelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Uplifting at first before turning to the reality that Tibet faces.
The insight given into the situation is tough to handle but shows the power that is peace and love.
Aug 16, 2012 Aysun rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, kindle
I have some mixed feelings about this book. The beginning was rather disappointing to me, I'll admit. Talking about compassion, love and spirituality to someone so materialistic like me is pointless. Don't get me wrong, they were all valuable and pretty quotable advices to make the world a better place. But it's always easier to say it rather than actually do it. They came off a little too optimistic and jusy up in the air to me.

The main reason I read this book was to get to know more about the
Cathleen Browning
Jan 29, 2016 Cathleen Browning rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not read this book cover to cover. I would pick it up and just dive in midway depending on my mood. I always enjoy reading what he has to say.
Damon Brandt
I found the book just ok. It is a lot of material copied from other sources (letters/writings) of the Dalai Lama so I didn't find much new material.
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Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (born Lhamo Döndrub), the 14th Dalai Lama, is a practicing member of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism and is influential as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the world's most famous Buddhist monk, and the leader of the exiled Tibetan government in India.

Tenzin Gyatso was the fifth of sixteen children born to a farming family. He was proclaimed the
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“Historically, the East was more concerned with understanding the mind and the West was more involved in understanding matter.” 8 likes
“You must understand that even if your adversaries seem to be harming you, in the end their destrucive activity will turn against them.” 4 likes
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