From the time he was a child, Geshe Sopa, one of Lama Zopa Rinpoche's teachers, knew he would be a Buddhist lama. He was not picked like other lamas to inherit the estate of a deceased master as a reincarnate tulku. Born the only child of older farmers, he was allowed to become a monk only through personal persistence. He diligently worked his way up through the ranks of his provincial monastery and eventually become one of the most accomplished scholars of the central monastery in the capital, Lhasa, where he even served as the debate partner of the present Dalai Lama. He witnessed firsthand the turbulent political changes in his homeland during the 1950s, and upon the takeover of Tibet by Chinese Communist forces in 1959, he fled over the Himalayas and went into exile in India.
The Dalai Lama chose him in the early 1960s to be part of a delegation sent to the United States under a Rockefeller grant, living first in New Jersey and in 1967 going to Madison, Wisconsin, where he has since lived. There, he began as a lecturer and eventually became a full professor at the University of Wisconsin, training some of today’s most well-regarded scholars of Tibetan Buddhism in the U.S.
He also founded Deer Park Buddhist
Center in Oregon, Wisconsin, which has played host on numerous occasions to large events with the Dalai Lama, including the first Kalachakra initiation given in the West in 1981. Now retired and nearly 90 years old, Geshe Sopa continues to teach and to publish. This account of his years in Tibet preserves valuable insight and details about a now-vanished world.
Hardcover: 368 pages, with foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama