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Surviving the Dragon: A Tibetan Lama's Account of 40 Years under Chinese Rule Hardcover – March 2, 2010


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Surviving the Dragon: A Tibetan Lama's Account of 40 Years under Chinese Rule + My Land and My People: The Original Autobiography of His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; First Printing edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605297542
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605297545
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #848,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

ARJIA RINPOCHE, one of the most important religious leaders to escape Tibet since the Dalai Lama fled into exile, started the Buddhist Center for Compassion and Wisdom in Mill Valley, CA, and is the director of the Tibetan Cultural Center.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Thank you, Arjia Rinpoche for the gift of this teaching.
michael betson
He gives a first hand account of these events including killings and tortures of monks as well as destructions of monasteries at Kumbum and other places.
N. Raut
I found it to be a vivid and stunning story that is as inspiring as it is heartbreaking.
Darcee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By K. Nix on March 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Arjia Rinpoche is a wonderfully unassuming man. I have had the privilege to attend his classes in Bloomington. After reading his story, I have an even deeper respect for this wonderful teacher. The book blends his personal story, which is compelling in itself, with an honest look at the Chinese take-over of Tibet. If you read only one book this year, make it this one.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Janice on March 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Arjia Rinpoche writes that his life provides an interesting lens through which to see larger events in Tibet and China. Certainly that is well-stated. Thank you, Rinpoche, for offering us the privilege of gazing through this remarkable lens. Thank you for shedding clear light on events that have otherwise been hidden in shadow. This is a powerful book and an important one. The significance of its impact is not only for the Tibetan people, but for our human family as a whole.

This is an honest account in which Rinpoche shares his experiences over the past five decades or so. The generosity of his open sharing is inspiring. This book truly is a gift from a compassionate and wise heart.

May Rinpoche's dream, hope and prayer be fulfilled.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ama Mary on March 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Surviving the Dragon is a compelling account of what has happened in Tibet during the last 50 years. It is very honest. It does not try to "pull your heart strings," but the sheer force of the actual events narrated caused me to cry. Everyone who wishes to know what it is like to live in Tibet/China should read this book
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Darcee on March 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading, Surviving the Dragon, by Arjia Rinpoche. I found it to be a vivid and stunning story that is as inspiring as it is heartbreaking. It shares the true circumstances and complexity of difficult times, times in which the practicality and logic of a people must be in balance with religious dedication in order to survive.

Although we can all relate to the challenge of balancing our practical and spiritual lives, the complexity of this task is incredibly magnified by the fact that the author, Arjia Rinpoche, is a deeply revered Tibetan Buddhist lama. The story of his journey is, I'm sure, as difficult to share and it is, at times, to read. The suffering and injustice experienced by so many in Communist China brings out the best and worst of human nature. Physical and spiritual dangers abound. Yet, Arjia Rinpoche manages to maintain his integrity, his dedication to his religion, and his service to the Tibetan and Mongolian people.

Arjia Rinpoche's life has taken him on an amazing journey- from his identification as a reincarnate lama in Tibet at the age of two to his being named Director of The Tibetan Mongolian Cultural Center and Kumbum Chamste Ling in Bloomington, Indiana. However despite the unique nature of his life and experiences,the themes that play out in his book go beyond borders and touch everyone. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By michael betson on March 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"Be pious and respectful of the Three Jewels; believe deeply in the law of karma; cultivate compassion and benevolence. Let these be your guides." the words of Gyayak Rinpoche from p. 131 "Surviving the Dragon" by Arjia Rinpoche.

There are many books that document the devastation that followed the Communist Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1949, but this book is unique in its narrative, scope and perspective. Reflecting the wisdom and compassion of the author, Arjia Rinpoche, it is an honest account of the brutality of the destruction of the Tibetan culture.

The reader is able to viscerally imagine what it felt like to experience these horrors, while benefiting from a viewpoint that is not so easily accessible to most of us...a deep sense of compassion for both the victims and the perpetrators of this tragedy.

One is moved to tears, but also moved to feel a boundless joy in the potential for all sentient beings to reach a higher state of understanding and service to others. This book transcends the presentation of "noble Tibetan, evil Chinese" that could easily be expected of an account of this type. Rinpoche evaluates the actions of those around him with equanimity. Tibetan Lamas, average monks, and Communist Chinese leaders are all described according to their actions, without bias, while maintaining the Buddhist ideal of seeing each of them as beings shaped by their past actions, positive and negative.

I especially enjoyed the "insiders view" of Kumbum Monastery, and the daily life of the monks and Rinpoches. As a Buddhist practitioner, this book is useful as an "experiential lojong", or mind- training text. It is said that the lives of great teachers are the greatest teachings of all. Thank you, Arjia Rinpoche for the gift of this teaching.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David Germano on April 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Arjia Rinpoche was at the very pinnacle of influence amongst Buddhists and Tibetans, as well as the Chinese government, when he secretly and abruptly went into exile in a daring escape. Very few Tibetan lamas in Tibet enjoyed his privileged experience on the inner workings of the Chinese government, much less while still maintaining great status amongst Tibetan Budddhist communities as well. This autobiography tells his story, one of astonishing ups and downs from his childhood recognition as the reincarnation of a famed Tibetan religious leader, to his demotion within the cultural revolution, to his rapid rise to hold an extremely high position in the Chinese government religious association, to his abrupt escape to Guatemala, to his current status directing the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in Bloomington, Indiana, for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. For anyone interested in Tibet in relationship to contemporary China, it is compelling reading; it is also absorbing in its own right as a dramatic story of religion and politics in our present uncertain times.
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