guarded them so long. May the day come soon when the

monasteries and nunneries of Tibet rise again from their

rubble, and the vast spaces of Tibet again are dedicated to

peace and the pursuit of enlightenment.

A large part of the future of humanity may depend on the

reestablishment of a free Tibet, a Tibet that would act as a

sanctuary for seekers of all kinds and of all faiths, and as the

wisdom heart of an evolving world, the laboratory in which

highest insights and sacred technologies could be tested,

refined, and enacted again, as they were for so many centuries,

to serve now as an inspiration and help to the whole

human race in its hour of danger. It is hard to find the perfect

environment to practice this wisdom in a world like ours; a

Tibet restored, purified by tragedy and with a determination

renewed by all that it has suffered, would be that environment,

and so of crucial importance for the evolution of


I would like to dedicate this book to the hundreds of thousands

who died in the terror in Tibet, witnessing at the end

their faith and the wonderful vision of the Buddha's teachings,

and to those who have died this past century in similarly

appalling conditions: to the Jews, to the Cambodians, to the

Russians, to the victims of two world wars, to all those who

died abandoned and unremembered, and to all those who go

on and on being deprived of the opportunity to practice their

spiritual path.

Many masters believe that the Tibetan teachings are now

entering into a new age; there are a number of prophecies by

Padmasambhava and other visionary masters that foretell of

their coming to the West. Now that this time has come, I

know that the teachings will take on a new life. This new life

will necessitate changes, but I believe that any adaptations

must spring from a very deep understanding, in order to avoid

betraying the purity of the tradition or its power, or the timelessness

of its truth. If a depth of understanding of the tradition

is fused with a real awareness of the problems and

challenges of modern life, adaptations will arise that will only

strengthen, enlarge, and enrich the tradition, revealing ever

deeper layers of the teachings themselves, and making them

even more effective in dealing with the difficulties of our time.

Many of the great Tibetan masters who have visited the

West in the last thirty years have now passed away, and I am

certain that they died praying that the teachings would benefit

not only Tibetans, not only Buddhists, but the whole world. I

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