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VIRTUAL: The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi in conversation with Eileen Donahoe / Running Toward Mystery: The Adventure of An Unconventional Life

June 5, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm PDT

Booksmith is pleased to collaborate with The Internet Archive to host a virtual event with The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi for his new book, co-authored with Zara Houshmand, Running Toward Mystery: The Adventure of An Unconventional Life. He’ll be in conversation with Eileen Donahoe. This event will be held on June 5th, Saka Dawa, a day celebrating Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and parinirvana (passing from this life). It is said that Saka Dawa is an especially auspicious day for spiritual practice.

Please note: This is a ticketed event. Tickets are on sale here and below.

Tickets available here now

Purchase of the book will also grant you access to a brief one-on-one with Tenzin following the event, during which he’ll be happy to virtually sign your book. Due to time constraints, this offer is valid for the first 100 book sales.

You may purchase the book here or below — be sure to include a note in the special field that you’d like to attend the event.

Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions: events@booksmith.com.

“A necessary and captivating narrative of spiritual courage and truth seeking far beyond the veil of our contemporary delusions.” – Sting

Born in India to a prominent Hindu Brahmin family, the Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi was only six years old when he began having visions of a mysterious mountain peak, and of men with shaved heads wearing robes the color of sunset. “It was as vivid as if I were watching a scene from life,” he writes. And so at the age of ten, he ran away from boarding school to find this place—taking a train to the end of the line and then riding a bus to wherever it went.

Strangely enough, he ended up at a Buddhist monastery that was the place in his dreams. His frantic parents and relatives set out to find him and, after two weeks, located him and brought him home. But he continued to have visions and feel a strong pull to a spiritual life in a tradition that he had never heard of as a child. Today, he is a revered monk and teacher as well as President and CEO of The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he works to build bridges among communities and religions.
Running Toward Mystery is the Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi’s profound account of his lifelong journey as a seeker. At its heart is a story of striving for enlightenment, the vital importance of mentors in that search, and of the many remarkable teachers he met along the way, among them the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Mother Teresa. “Teachers come and go on their own schedule,” Priyadarshi writes. “I clearly wasn’t in charge of the timetable and it wasn’t my place to specify how a teacher should teach.” And arrive they did, at the right time, in the right way, to impart the lessons that shaped a life of seeking, devotion, and deep human connection across all barriers.
Running Toward Mystery is the bracing and beautiful story of a singular life compelled to contemplation, and a riveting narrative of just how exciting that journey can be.

EVENT SCHEDULE: All time are Pacific Time

Be sure to join us early for a live musical prelude

  • 12:55 PM: Musical Prelude by members of Del Sol Quartet
  • 1:05 PM: Welcome by Brewster Kahle, Founder, Internet Archive
  • 1:10-2:10 PM: Conversation with the Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi and Eileen Donahoe, an expert in human rights, cyber security and foreign policy
  • 2:10-2:30 PM: Q & A
  • 2:30-2:45 PM: Break
  • 2:45-3:45 PM: 1 on 1 with the author for a Virtual Book Signing (limited to first 100 book buyers thru this Booksmith link.)

photo of the Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi by Christopher MichelThe Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi is an innovative thinker, philosopher, educator and a polymath monk. He is President & CEO of The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


photo of Eileen DonahoeEileen Donahoe is Executive Director of the Global Digital Policy Incubator (GDPI) at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Center. She served as the first US Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva during the Obama Administration. After leaving government, she was Director of Global Affairs at Human Rights Watch where she represented the organization worldwide on human rights foreign policy, with special emphasis on digital rights, cybersecurity and internet governance. Among her many degrees, Donahoe received a Ph.D. in Ethics and Social Theory from the Graduate Theological Union Cooperative Program with UC Berkeley.

Charlton Lee Kathryn Bates photo credit- RJ Muna Violist Charlton Lee and cellist Kathryn Bates are members of the Del Sol String Quartet. The internationally-acclaimed quartet is a leading force in the Bay Area music scene, championing music by living artists that explores aspects of social change, technology, and artistic innovation. Del Sol has premiered hundreds of works, released 9 albums, and produces vibrant productions and educational experiences.



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