Running Toward Mystery: The Adventure of an Unconventional Life

Spiegel & Grau. Apr. 2020. 256p. ISBN 9781984819857. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781984819864. REL
Here unravels the adventurous life of the Venerable Priyadarshi, founder and CEO of the Dalai Lama Ctr. for Ethics and Transformative Values, MIT, and director of Ethics Initiative at MIT Media Lab. Born in India to a Hindu Brahman family, Priyadarshi left boarding school at age ten to enter a Buddhist monastery in Rajgir. Family prohibited his stay; however, Priyadarshi knew he had found a glimpse into visions and dreams that began when he was six years old. A spiritual odyssey ensued, as he continued his academic studies. Priyadarshi chronicles interreligious dialogs that have transpired over the years, receiving guidance from Mother Theresa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Mamos of Columbia, and Father Thomas Keating. After undergoing formative Buddhist training, Priyadarshi continued to be mentored by the Dalai Lama.
VERDICT The purpose of this memoir, which is highly recommended for all spirituality collections, is not to impress but to inspire readers to find a thread connecting them to humanity and the courage to explore the many facets of oneself. A cross between Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi and Pema Chödrön’s When Things Fall Apart, this more than succeeds.

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