The inspirational biography of one of the first Tibetan Gelugpa lamas to teach in the West. Geshe Sopa was also the teacher of many renowned lamas including Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Thubten Zopa.
From the time he was a child, Geshe Sopa knew he would be a Buddhist monk. He was not chosen, as some are, to inherit the estate of a deceased master as a reincarnate tulku. Instead, as the only child of elderly farmers he diligently worked his way up through the ranks of his provincial monastery, eventually becoming an accomplished scholar and serving as a debate partner for the Dalai Lama. Geshe Sopa lived through the turbulent political changes in his homeland during the 1950s and fled to India upon the takeover of Tibet by Chinese Communist forces. In the early 1960s, the Dalai Lama chose him to be part of a delegation to the United States, changing his life forever. The account of his years in Tibet preserves valuable insight and details about a now vanished world.
Geshe Sopa is a professor of South Asian studies at the University of Wisconsin and a highly respected monk and spiritual teacher. He is the founder of Deer Park Buddhist Center in Wisconsin where he lives. He is the author of a series of commentaries on the Lama Tsong Khapa's epic work Lam Rim Chenmo - Steps on the Path to Enlightenment.
"Geshe Sopa's life story is central to the story of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. In shaping generations of leading American scholars of Tibet, he became renowned not just for teaching Buddhist ideas and ideals, but for making them real by personally embodying them." John Makransky.
"Geshe Sopa is one of the greatest living Buddhist masters of his generation. A consummate scholar and respected university professor, his impact on the establishment of Buddhism (and Buddhist studies) in the United States cannot be overestimated. This marvelous life story, rich in detail and told in his own words, will captivate the hearts and minds of anyone who reads it." Jose Ignacio Cabezon.