Classic and Contemporary Buddhist Works

Like a Waking Dream - Foreword

The Autobiography of Geshe Lhundub Sopa

Foreword

Today, interest in Buddhism is spreading throughout the Western world, encountering new cultures and new languages. In such circumstances it is very important that the Dharma be transmitted by scholars and practitioners who possess a deep and vast understanding of the Buddha’s teachings, because that is the only way to protect their purity and authenticity. One such teacher is the monk and scholar Geshé Lhundub Sopa, whom I have known for over fifty years. Through his contribution as a scholar and a teacher of scholars, as a Buddhist mentor and guide to hundreds of Western students, and as a pure holder of the monastic tradition, Geshé Sopa has been an exemplary representative of Tibetan Buddhist culture. During my final geshé examination in Lhasa, he was one of several very able students chosen to challenge me in debate.

With my encouragement he left for America in 1962. In due course, he was invited to the University of Wisconsin, where he became one of the first Tibetan language instructors at an American university. His subsequent career as a professor spanned more than thirty years, during which time he taught many of the current scholars of Buddhist studies in America. It is a cause for celebration that Geshé Sopa, a man from faraway Tibet, could rise to the highest levels of Western academic attainment largely on the basis of his Tibetan monastic education and his own personal qualities.

It is my hope that this engaging account of Geshé Lhundub Sopa’s exemplary life will allow interested readers to deepen their understanding and appreciation of what he has achieved, as well as of the value of Tibetan monastic education.

Tenzin Gyatso,
the Fourteenth Dalai Lama
September 20, 2012

 

How to cite this document:
© Geshe Lhundup Sopa, Like a Waking Dream (Wisdom Publications, 2012)

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