Tackling Tibet

As violent protests spread in China, two TIME veterans offer unparalleled insight into the life and mind of Tibet's holiest leader, the Dalai Lama

James Nachtwey / VII fot TIME

In his isloated home near the Himalayas, His Holiness reads deom the Buddist Text.

Pico Iyer, one of the world's premier prose stylists, has been following the journey of the Dalai Lama since he was a tiny child. In 1960, when Pico was 3 years old, his father visited in India with the newly exiled Dalai Lama and brought back a picture of the shy 24-year-old for his son. That picture sat on Pico's desk for 30 years, until 1990, when a fire roared through his family's house, wiping out everything including the photo and bringing home to him the Buddhist idea of the impermanence of life.

Pico first visited with the Dalai Lama when...

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