His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Seeds of Compassion is honored to welcome His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to Seattle to participate in dialogue with leading educators, researchers and policy makers during the 5-day event. (VIEW VIDEO)
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A Brief Biography of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
(from The Website of The Office of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama)

His Holiness the Dalai Lama
His Holiness began his monastic education at the age of six.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is both the head of state and the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born on 6 July 1935, to a farming family, in a small hamlet located in Taktser, Amdo, northeastern Tibet. At the age of two the child, who was named Lhamo Dhondup at that time was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. The Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and patron saint of Tibet. Bodhisattvas are enlightened beings who have postponed their own nirvana and chosen to take rebirth in order to serve humanity.

Education in Tibet
His Holiness began his monastic education at the age of six. The curriculum consisted of five major and five minor subjects. The major subjects were logic, Tibetan art and culture, Sanskrit, medicine, and Buddhist philosophy which was further divided into a further five categories: Prajnaparimita, the perfection of wisdom; Madhyamika, the philosophy of the middle Way; Vinaya, the canon of monastic discipline; Abidharma, metaphysics; and Pramana, logic and epistemology. The five minor subjects were poetry, music and drama, astrology, motre and phrasing, and synonyms. At 23 he sat for his final examination in the Jokhang Temple, Lhasa, during the annual Monlam (prayer) Festival in 1959. He passed with honours and was awarded the Geshe Lharampa degree, the highest-level degree equivalent to a doctorate of Buddhist philosophy.

Leadership Responsibilities
In 1950 His Holiness was called upon to assume full political power after China's invasion of Tibet in 1949. In 1954, he went to Beijing for peace talks with Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders, including Deng Xiaoping and Chou Enlai. But finally, in 1959, with the brutal suppression of the Tibetan national uprising in Lhasa by Chinese troops, His Holiness was forced to escape into exile. Since then he has been living in Dharamsala, northern India, the seat of the Tibetan political administration in exile.

Since the Chinese invasion, His Holiness has appealed to the United Nations on the question of Tibet. The General Assembly adopted three resolutions on Tibet in 1959, 1961 and 1965.

Democratization Process
In 1963 His Holiness presented a draft democratic constitution for Tibet that was followed by a number of reforms to democratize our administrative set-up. The new democratic constitution promulgated as a result of this reform was named "The Charter of Tibetans in Exile". The charter enshrines freedom of speech, belief, assembly and movement. It also provides detailed guidelines on the functioning of the Tibetan government with respect to those living in exile.

In 1992 His Holiness issued guidelines for the constitution of a future, free Tibet. He announced that when Tibet becomes free the immediate task would be to set up an interim government whose first responsibility will be to elect a constitutional assembly to frame and adopt Tibet's democratic constitution. On that day His Holiness would transfer all his historical and political authority to the Interim President and live as an ordinary citizen. His Holiness also stated that he hoped that Tibet, comprising of the three traditional provinces of U-Tsang, Amdo and Kham, would be federal and democratic.

In May 1990, the reforms called for by His Holiness saw the realization of a truly democratic administration in exile for the Tibetan community. The Tibetan Cabinet (Kashag), which till then had been appointed by His Holiness, was dissolved along with the Tenth Assembly of Tibetan People's Deputies (Tibetan parliament in exile). In the same year, exile Tibetans on the Indian sub-continent and in more than 33 other countries elected 46 members to the expanded Eleventh Tibetan Assembly on a one-man one-vote basis. The Assembly, in its turn, elected the new members of the cabinet. In September 2001, a further major step in democratization was taken when the Tibetan electorate directly elected the Kalon Tripa, the senior-most minister of the Cabinet. The Kalon Tripa in turn appointed his own cabinet who had to be approved by the Tibetan Assembly. In Tibet's long history, this was the first time that the people elected the political leadership of Tibet.

Peace Initiatives
In September 1987 His Holiness proposed the Five Point Peace Plan for Tibet as the first step towards a peaceful solution to the worsening situation in Tibet. He envisaged that Tibet would become a sanctuary; a zone of peace at the heart of Asia, where all sentient beings can exist in harmony and the delicate environment can be preserved. China has so far failed to respond positively to the various peace proposals put forward by His Holiness.

The Five Point Peace Plan
In his address to members of the United States Congress in Washington, D.C. on 21 September 1987, His Holiness proposed the following peace plan, which contains five basic components:

1. Transformation of the whole of Tibet into a zone of peace.
2. Abandonment of China's population transfer policy that threatens the very existence of the Tibetans as a people.
3. Respect for the Tibetan people's fundamental human rights and democratic freedoms.
4. Restoration and protection of Tibet's natural environment and the abandonment of China's use of Tibet for the production of nuclear weapons and dumping of nuclear waste.
5. Commencement of earnest negotiations on the future status of Tibet and of relations between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples.

Strasbourg Proposal
In his address to members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 15 June 1988, His Holiness made another detailed proposal elaborating on the last point of the Five Point Peace Plan. He proposed talks between the Chinese and Tibetans leading to a self-governing democratic political entity for all three provinces of Tibet. This entity would be in association with the People's Republic of China and the Chinese Government would continue to remain responsible for Tibet's foreign policy and defense.

Universal Recognition
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a man of peace. In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet. He has consistently advocated policies of non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression. He also became the first Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concern for global environmental problems. His Holiness has travelled to more than 62 countries spanning 6 continents. He has met with presidents, prime ministers and crowned rulers of major nations. He has held dialogues with the heads of different religions and many well-known scientists.

Since 1959 His Holiness has received over 84 awards, honorary doctorates, prizes, etc., in recognition of his message of peace, non-violence, inter-religious understanding, universal responsibility and compassion. His Holiness has also authored more than 72 books.

His Holiness describes himself as “a simple Buddhist monk”.

Additional Reading on His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Demi. 1998. The Dalai Lama: A Biography of the Tibetan Spiritual and Political Leader New York: Henry Holt.
In simple language and glorious art, Demi pays tribute to the 14th Dalai Lamas remarkable life, capturing the beauty of Tibetan culture, as well as the charm, talent, and vision of one of the world’s best-known spiritual figures. Appropriate for children grades 3 to 8.

Farrer-Halls, Gill. 1998. The world of the Dalai Lama: an inside look at his life, his people, and his vision. Illinois: Ruest Books.
With stirring text and striking color photographs, this intimate portrait shows the Dalai Lama in his many roles, from his childhood in Old Tibet to his current life on the world stage.

Gibb, Christopher. 2003. The Dalai Lama: Peacemaker from Tibet (Famous Lives). Chicago: Raintree Press.
A biography of the current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, discussing the spiritual and political life of this Buddhist leader. Dalai Lama. 2001. An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Every Day Life. New York: Little, Brown and Company. In the summer of 1999, the Dalai Lama addressed an audience of over 40,000 in New York’s Central Park on how to live a better life. Open Heart is derived from this and other popular lectures given in New York.

Morgan, Tom; editor. 2006. A simple monk: writings on His Holiness the Dalai Lama (photographs by Alison Wright). New World Library.

Pandell, Karen. 1995. Learning from the Dalai Lama: Secrets of the Wheel of Time. New York: Dutton Children’s Books.
Gr. 3-6. On rare occasions, the Dali Lama, spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhists, performs a sacred ceremony, the construction of the Kalachakra or the Wheel of Time. The incredibly delicate work is an intricate mandala made completely out of colored sand. An easy to understand introduction to Buddhism.

Stiekel, Bettina [Editor]. The Nobel Book of Answers: The Dalai Lama, Mikhail Gorbachev, Shimon Peres, and Other Nobel Prize Winners Answer Some of Lifes Most Intriguing Questions for Young People
Gr. 3-6. Nobel Prize winners honored for their work for peace and in science, economics, medicine, and literature speak to children about elemental issues. The word “answers” in the title is misleading: many of these writers, including several scientists, make it clear that the best answers open up great new questions.

Willis, Clint. (Editor) 2002. A lifetime of wisdom: essential writings by and about the Dalai Lama. New York: Marlow and Company.
A Lifetime of Wisdom brings is an anthology of writings that, taken together, constitute an essential account of the Dalai Lama’s teaching legacy. Includes accounts of the Dalai Lama’s early days as a child plucked from obscurity to rule over Tibet, his struggles with the Chinese who invaded his country, and his tireless efforts on behalf of human rights and world peace.

Zalben, Jane Breskin. 2006. Paths to Peace: People Who Changed the World. New York: Dutton.
A brief summary of the lives of sixteen people who have made an impact on the world by trying to make it a better place. Artwork and quotes capture the essence of each personality.

Video Recordings:

The Dalai Lama video recording: the soul of Tibet. CBS News for A&E Network; produced by Brooke Runnette and A&E Home Video; Distributed by New Video, 2005.

Kundun [video recording] 1998.Touchstone Pictures presents a Cappa/De Fina production; produced by Barbara De Fina; directed by Martin Scorsese ; written by Melissa Mathison.

From his childhood to adulthood, the Dalai Lama’s life story is told. (Note: Select short sections to use with students, or view for teacher background information.)


Daniel Goleman is an internationally known psychologist who lectures frequently to professional groups, business audiences, and on college campuses. Working as a science journalist, Goleman reported on the brain and behavioral sciences for The New York Times for many years. His 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence (Bantam Books) was on The New York Times bestseller list for a year-and-a-half; with more than 5,000,000 copies in print worldwide in 30 languages, and has been a best seller in many countries.

His latest book, Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships, will be published on Sept. 26, 2006. Social intelligence, the interpersonal part of emotional intelligence, can now be understood in terms of recent findings from neuroscience. Goleman’s book describes the many implications of this new science, including for altruism, parenting, love, health, learning and leadership.

Goleman was a co-founder of the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning <http://www.casel.org/> at the Yale University Child Studies Center (now at the University of Illinois at Chicago), with a mission to help schools introduce emotional literacy courses. One mark of the Collaborative—and book’s—impact is that thousands of schools around the world have begun to implement such programs.



John Gottman, PhD., the author of “How to Raise an Emotionally Intelligent Child,” is world renowned for his work on marital stability and divorce prediction, involving the study of emotions, physiology, and communication. His breakthrough research on marriage and parenting has earned him numerous major awards including:

• Four National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Awards
• The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Distinguished Research Scientist Award
• The American Family Therapy Academy Award for Most Distinguished Contributor to Family Systems Research
• The American Psychological Association Division of Family Psychology, Presidential Citation for Outstanding Lifetime Research Contribution
• The National Council of Family Relations, 1994 Burgess Award for Outstanding Career in Theory and Research.

He is the author or co-author of 119 published academic articles and 37 books. He has appeared on numerous TV programs and articles written about him have ranged from The New York Times to Psychology Today.

Dr. Gottman was the co-founder of the Gottman Institute with his wife, Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman. He is executive director of the nonprofit Relationship Research Institute, currently evaluating interventions for the transition to parenthood. Dr. Gottman is an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Washington.

Dr. Gottman is a warm and entertaining speaker who is well known for engaging in lively interactions with his audience using wisdom, clarity, and candid humor.


Mark Greenberg is Professor of Human Development and Psychology at Pennsylvania State University, Director of The Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development, and Associate Director for the Penn State Consortium on Children, Youth, and Families. He holds the Edna Peterson Bennett Endowed Chair in Prevention Research at Penn State. He received his PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of and taught and conducted research at the University of Washington from 1977-1997.

Since 1977, Dr. Greenberg has focused his research on Intervening in the developmental processes in risk and non-risk populations with a specific emphasis on aggression, violence, and externalizing disorders; promoting healthy social and emotional development through school-based prevention; the study of community partnerships and the diffusion of evidence-based programs; the interface of neuroscience and prevention. He has authored numerous publications throughout his career and received numerous.

Dr. Greenberg has authored more than 170 journal articles and book chapters on developmental psychopathology, well-being, and the effects of prevention efforts on children and families. He was awarded the Research Scientist Award from the Society for Prevention Research in 2002.


Bob Marvin began his work in attachment theory in 1964 as one of Mary Ainsworth’s undergraduate students at The Johns Hopkins University. Throughout his graduate work at the University of Chicago and his early years on the psychology faculty at the University of Virginia, Dr. Marvin conducted research on developmental changes in attachment, parent-child relationships, and children’s communication skills.

Bob Marvin began working in 1991 with the other creators of the Circle of Security™ (COS) Project to develop an evidence-based intervention for high-risk parents and children founded on attachment theory and research on early parent-child relationships.

Over the past five years, he has helped to develop a number of programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia that are designed to improve Best Practices in the field of Child Welfare, especially foster and adoption services. From the Mary D. Ainsworth Child-Parent Attachment Clinic at the University of Virginia, he continues to train a wide range of professionals, as well as conducting clinical research, assessments, and intervention.

Dr. Marvin has been involved in developing and testing a number of research and clinical procedures for assessing attachment and care giving behavior. He also conducts workshops on these topics both nationally and internationally.


Dr. Andrew N. Meltzoff holds the Job and Gertrud Tamaki Endowed Chair and is the Co-Director of the University of Washington Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences. A graduate of Harvard University, with a PhD from Oxford University, he is an internationally recognized expert on infant and child development. His discoveries about infant imitation have revolutionized our understanding of early cognition, personality, and brain development. His research on the effects of television viewing on infants has helped shape policy and practice.

Dr. Meltzoff's 20 years of research on young children has had far-reaching implications for cognitive science, especially for ideas about memory and its development; for brain science, especially for ideas about common coding of perception and action and "mirror neurons"; and for early education and parenting, particularly for ideas about the importance of role models, both adults and peers, in child development.

Dr. Meltzoff is the recipient of the Merit Award of the National Institutes of Health for outstanding research. He has been inducted into the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, is the recipient of the James McKeen Cattell Sabbatical Award, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychological Society.


Roger P. Weissberg is a Professor of Psychology and Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and a founding member of CASEL. He also holds an appointment as a Senior Research Scientist with the American Institutes for Research. For the past 25 years, Professor Weissberg has trained scholars and practitioners about innovative ways to design, implement, and evaluate family, school, and community interventions.

Professor Weissberg has authored about 200 publications focusing on preventive interventions with children and adolescents and has written curricula on school-based programs to promote social competence and prevent problem behaviors including drug use, high-risk sexual behaviors, and aggression.

Professor Weissberg has been the President of the American Psychological Association’s Society for Community Research and Action. He co-chaired an American Psychological Association Task Force on “Prevention: Promoting Strength, Resilience, and Health in Young People.” He is a recipient of the William T. Grant Foundation’s five-year Faculty Scholars Award in Children’s Mental Health, the Connecticut Psychological Association’s Award for Distinguished Psychological Contribution in the Public Interest, and the National Mental Health Association’s Lela Rowland Prevention Award. He was named a 1997-2000 University Scholar at the University of Illinois and also was a 2004-2005 UIC Great Cities Institute Scholar. Professor Weissberg received the 2000 American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Contribution Award for Applications of Psychology to Education and Training, and the Society for Community Action and Research 2004 Distinguished Contribution to Theory and Research Award.