Running Toward Mystery: The Adventure of an Unconventional Life (Hardcover)
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A revered Buddhist monk tells the bracing and beautiful story of a singular life compelled to contemplation, sharing lessons about the power of mentorship and an open mind
“A necessary and captivating narrative of spiritual courage and truth seeking far beyond the veil of our contemporary delusions.”—Sting
Born in India to a prominent Hindu Brahmin family, the Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi was only six years old when he began having visions of a mysterious mountain peak, and of men with shaved heads wearing robes the color of sunset. “It was as vivid as if I were watching a scene from life,” he writes. And so at the age of ten, he ran away from boarding school to find this place—taking a train to the end of the line and then riding a bus to wherever it went.
Strangely enough, he ended up at a Buddhist monastery that was the place in his dreams. His frantic parents and relatives set out to find him and, after two weeks, located him and brought him home. But he continued to have visions and feel a strong pull to a spiritual life in a tradition that he had never heard of as a child. Today, he is a revered monk and teacher as well as President and CEO of The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he works to build bridges among communities and religions.
Running Toward Mystery is the Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi’s profound account of his lifelong journey as a seeker. At its heart is a story of striving for enlightenment, the vital importance of mentors in that search, and of the many remarkable teachers he met along the way, among them the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Mother Teresa. “Teachers come and go on their own schedule,” Priyadarshi writes. “I clearly wasn’t in charge of the timetable and it wasn’t my place to specify how a teacher should teach.” And arrive they did, at the right time, in the right way, to impart the lessons that shaped a life of seeking, devotion, and deep human connection across all barriers.
Running Toward Mystery is the bracing and beautiful story of a singular life compelled to contemplation, and a riveting narrative of just how exciting that journey can be.
About the Author
The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi is an innovative thinker, philosopher, educator and a polymath monk. He is President & CEO of The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“Told with honesty and elegance, Tenzin Priyadarshi’s story is utterly amazing.”—Robert A. F. Thurman, Jey Tsong Khapa Professor Emeritus of Indo-Tibetan Bhuddist Studies, Columbia University
“Running Toward Mystery is not merely a book, but an experience, a biography, a formula for living, and a manifesto for a new kind of exploration of life. Tenzin Priyadarshi writes with the extraordinary conviction and grace that can only come from fulfillment. This book produces a kind of joy—and a nudge towards curiosity—that only few books can provide. It is, at the same time, a pathway and a journey. I could not put it down.”—Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies
“Enthralling from beginning to end, Running Toward Mystery encourages us all to connect with our deeper and higher self. Tenzin’s journey, which seamlessly traverses multiple worlds, is awe-inspiring.”—Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO, Thrive Global
“Tenzin’s amazing life story is not simply a stunningly compelling journey of meaning, discovery, and spiritual reawakening. It is a story of life. Everyone should read this book.”—Reid Hoffman, co-founder, LinkedIn
“Tenzin’s courageous spirit and honest nature can be a model for anyone seeking peace and purpose in their lives.”—Mellody Hobson, co-CEO, Ariel Investments
“This is a remarkable story and quest, filled with insights on leading a life of compassion, discipline, and integrity.”—Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take and Originals
“Tenzin shows that the world does not fall apart in the face of paradox and mystery. His fearless embrace of that ambiguity invites us into full conscious living, awake and loving for the benefit of all.”—James Orbinski, former president, Médecins Sans Frontières