The Seed of Compassion

Publisher: Puffin

This interesting non-fiction book introduces children to the 14th Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, charting his life from early childhood to the present day.

Born in 1935 in a small village in Tibet, he grew up on his family’s farm, surrounded by tall mountains, clear streams and many animals. Although his mother was unable to read or write, she taught him many important lessons, sowing in him the seed of compassion, through acts of kindness, generosity and love.

When he was three years old, he was identified as the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama. He subsequently moved to the capital city of Lhasa to embark on his training as a monk, studying many subjects, such as Buddhist philosophy, metaphysics, poetry and medicine. Throughout his life, he never forgot the importance of compassion, a value which remains at the core of his teachings.

Gentle, full-page illustrations set the scene, beautifully enabling children to visualise the environment in which he grew up. With a timeline of key events in his life, and suggestions on how young people can develop compassion, this is a fascinating insight into the life of a key figure in Buddhism.

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