Pico Iyer has been engaged in conversation with the Dalai Lama (a friend of his father's) for the last three decades - an ongoing exploration of his message and its effectiveness.
Now, in his insightful, impassioned book, Iyer captures the paradoxes of the Dalai Lama's position: though he has brought the ideas of Tibet to world attention, Tibet itself is being remade as a Chinese province; though he was born in one of the remotest, least developed places on earth, he has become a champion of globalism and technology.
He is a religious leader who warns against being needlessly distracted by religion; a Tibetan head of state who suggests that exile from Tibet can be an opportunity; an incarnation of a Tibetan god who stresses his everyday humanity.
Moving from Dharamsala, India - the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile - to Lhasa, Tibet, to venues in the West, where the Dalai Lama's pragmatism, rigor, and scholarship are sometimes lost on an audience yearning for mystical visions, The Open Road illuminates the hidden life, the transforming ideas, and the daily challenges of a global icon- Grace Cathedral
Pico Iyer, born in Oxford, England, in 1957 and educated at Eton, Oxford, and Harvard, is the author of two novels and eight books often found in the travel literature section of bookstores. Among his works are long-running reader favorites Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk, The Global Soul and The Open Road (a record of his 34 years of talks and travels with the 14th Dalai Lama). His most recent book, The Man Within My Head is about Graham Greene and the conundrums of travel everywhere from Bogota to Bhutan and Bolivia to Berkhamsted.
An essayist for Time for more than 25 years, Pico Iyer also writes for The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, Harper’s and many others. Having spent much of the past 30 years journeying from North Korea to Ethiopia and from Yemen to Easter Island, he has written regularly for Conde Nast Traveler since its third issue, in 1987, and his pieces on travel appear often in The Financial Times, National Geographic, and Granta. A two-time Fellow of the World Economic Forum at Davos, he has also written a film-script for Miramax, helped name an internationally known soft drink, and contributed liner notes to several Leonard Cohen albums.
Rev. Alan Jones
Alan Jones, Ph.D., has been dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco since 1985.
Jones was formerly the director of the Center for Christian Spirituality and Stephen F. Bayne Professor of Ascetical Theology at General Theological Seminary in New York City. Born and educated in England, Jones was also on the staff of Trinity Institute of Wall Street's Trinity Church. He became a citizen of the United States in 1975.
Jones is the author of several books, most notably, Soul Making, The Desert Way of Spirituality, Passion for Pilgrimage and most recently, The Soul's Journey: Exploring the Three Passages of the Spiritual Life with Dante as a Guide. He is widely known as a gifted preacher and travels throughout the world preaching, lecturing, and leading retreats.