Shambhala Sun

Books in Brief, reviewed by Andrea McQuillin, Shambhala Sun, November 2005.

This exquisitely designed volume by Swiss photographer Manuel Bauer opens with a series of ten full-spread photos taken as the Dalai Lama makes his way by motorcade to an outdoor amphitheatre in India. Monks, nuns, and laypeople wind their way by foot up dusty mountain roads. They press ten and twenty deep against barricades, hoping for a glimpse of their beloved religious leader—it’s all joyful anticipation. The book closes with solemn portraits of the Dalai Lama meditating at home in Dharamsala, and a final, lonely shot of a pair of his cheap flip-flops, worn and compressed at the heels. Between these bookends, Journey for Peace captures nearly 300 arresting images of the public figure and the private man. Bauer accompanied the Dalai Lama on more than thirty trips over three years, getting closer perhaps than any photographer before him. The accompanying text, by Matthieu Ricard and Christian Schmidt, complements the photos, and includes a short discussion with the Dalai Lama, a profile, and a timeline of Tibet in world history.