Dalai Lama, My Son: A Mother's Autobiography
Diki Tsering, Khedroob Thondup
The autobiography of the mother of one of the world's most revered spiritual leaders and an intimate portrait of his beginnings.... On the birth of His Holiness: "He was different from my other children right from the start. He was a somber child who liked to stay indoors by himself. He was always packing his clothes and his little belongings. When I would ask what he was doing, he would reply that he was packing to go to Lhasa, and that he would take all of us with him." On traditions: "I am proud to be, despite my resilience and ability to change, a very traditional woman. Does this make me archaic and anachronistic? I don't think so. My traditions, my roots as a Tibetan, have fortified me. Traditions cannot be denied or forgotten. They are the creators of your spirit and your pride, and are the backbone of your sensibilities. They make you what you are and define what you want to be."In 1999, forty thousand people stood in the blazing heat of Central Park to hear His Holiness the Dalai Lama speak. Some sixty-four years earlier, in the warmth of the huge stove that dominated their simple Tibetan home, one woman recognized the special blessing of his birth. Dalai Lama, My Son is the story of this remarkable woman as she recounts in her own words what it was like to realize her son was being received as a living Buddha, to watch him grow physically and spiritually, and finally to see him become one of the most recognized faces in the world.Known now as the Grandmother of Tibet, Diki Tsering was born to a peasant family in 1901, the Year of the Ox, and married at sixteen. In Dalai Lama, My Son, she tells her own amazing story and that of her son in his formative years. She recalls His Holiness's unfolding personality and Buddhist upbringing; the visitors who came to her town seeking the new Dalai Lama; the move to Lhasa; and the years there until the Chinese invasion of Tibet and the family's escape and ultimate exile. Beautifully packaged and illustrated with family photographs and a map of Tibet, this glimpse into the origins of the Dalai Lama personalizes the history of the Tibetan people, the magic of their culture, the role of their women, and their ancient ideals of compassion, faith, and equanimity.
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