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.