Like a Waking Dream

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“Geshe Sopa is one of the greatest living Buddhist masters of his generation. This marvelous lifestory, rich in detail and told in his own words, will captivate the hearts and minds of anyone who reads it.”—José Ignacio Cabezón, Dalai Lama Professor and Chair of the Religious Studies Department, UC Santa Barbara


The Autobiography of Geshe Lhundub Sopa

Geshe Lhundub Sopa Paul Donnelly

Among the generation of elder Tibetan lamas who brought Tibetan Buddhism west in the latter half of the twentieth century, perhaps none has had a greater impact on the academic study of Buddhism than Geshé Lhundub Sopa. He has striven to preserve Tibetan religious culture through tireless work as a professor and religious figure, establishing a functioning Buddhist monastery in the West, organizing the Dalai Lama’s visits to the U.S., and offering countless teachings across the country. But prior to his thirty-year career in the first ever academic Buddhist studies program in the United States—a position in which he oversaw the training of many among the seminal generation of American Buddhist studies scholars—Geshé Sopa was the son of peasant farmers, a novice monk in a rural monastery, a virtuoso scholar-monk at one of the prestigious central monasteries in Lhasa, and a survivor of the Tibetan uprising and perilous flight into exile in 1959.

In Like a Waking Dream, Geshé Sopa frankly and observantly reflects on how his life in Tibet—a monastic life of yogic simplicity—shaped and prepared him for the unexpected. His is a tale of an exemplary life dedicated to learning, spiritual cultivation, and the service of others from one of the greatest living masters of Tibetan Buddhism.

book information
  • Hardcover
  • 368 pages, 6.50 x 9.25 inches
  • $24.95
  • ISBN 9780861713134
  • ebook
  • 368 pages
  • $18.99
  • ISBN 9781614290360
about the author
Like a Waking Dream

Born in the Tsang region of Tibet in 1923, Geshe Lhundub Sopa was both a spiritual master and a respected academic. He rose from a humble background to complete his geshe studies at Sera Je Monastic University in Lhasa with highest honors and was privileged to serve as a debate opponent for the Dalai Lama’s own geshe examination in 1959. He moved to New Jersey in the United States in 1963 and in 1967 began teaching in the Buddhist Studies Program at University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he was professor emeritus. In 1975, he founded the Deer Park Buddhist Center in Oregon, Wisconsin, site of the Dalai Lama’s first Kalachakra initiation granted in the West. He is the author of several books in English, including the five-volume comprehensive teaching, Steps on the Path to Enlightenment.

Geshe Lhundub Sopa passed away on August 28, 2014, at the age of 91. His Holiness the Dalai Lama composed a prayer of request for the swift return of Geshe Sopa.

Other books by Geshe Lhundub Sopa:
Nāgārjuna’s Advice for Buddhists
The Crystal Mirror of Philosophical Systems
Steps on the Path to Enlightenment, Vol. 5
Peacock in the Poison Grove
Steps on the Path to Enlightenment, Vol. 3
Steps on the Path to Enlightenment, Vol. 2
Steps on the Path to Enlightenment, Vol. 1
Steps on the Path to Enlightenment, Vol. 4

Like a Waking Dream

In 1989, Paul Donnelly entered the PhD program in Buddhist Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He earned his doctorate in 1997 and is now an associate professor and director of the Religious Studies program at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

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