Described on Amazon as a “bracing and beautiful story of a singular life compelled to contemplation, sharing lessons about the power of mentorship and an open mind,” the book takes us through Venerable Tenzin’s life journey. It describes many vital lessons and people he met along the way. 

Born in India to a prominent Hindu Brahmin family, he 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,” Priyadarshi describes. “And at the age of ten, I ran away from boarding school to find this place—taking a train to the end of the line and then riding a bus to follow this inexplicable vision.”

The book is a profound account of his lifelong journey as a seeker. At its heart, it is a story of looking for enlightenment, the importance of mentors in that search, and the many remarkable teachers he met along the way, including the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Mother Teresa. 

“Teachers come and go on their own schedule,” Priyadarshi adds. “I clearly wasn’t in charge of the timetable, and it wasn’t my place to specify how a teacher should teach.” 

The musician Sting describes Running Towards Mystery as “a necessary and captivating narrative of spiritual courage and truth-seeking far beyond the veil of our contemporary delusions.”

The Venerable Tenzin's unusual background also encompasses graduate education at Harvard University with degrees ranging from philosophy to physics to international relations. He is also a Tribeca Disruptive Fellow and a 2018 Fellow at Stanford University Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences.

Priyadarshi is President and CEO of The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT. The center is dedicated to inquiry, dialogue, and education on life's ethical and humane dimensions. It is a collaborative and nonpartisan think-tank, and its programs emphasize responsibility and examine meaningfulness and moral purpose between individuals, organizations, and societies. Six Nobel Peace Laureates serve as the center’s founding members, and its programs run in several countries and are expanding.

In addition, Venerable Tenzin serves on the boards of several academic, humanitarian, and religious organizations. He is the recipient of many recognitions and awards, including Harvard’s Distinguished Alumni Honors, for his visionary contributions to humanity.

For more information on the Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi, please visit his website. Running Toward Mystery is available on