Tibet is the Roof of the World, a place where you feel that you are in the sky just as much are you are on the earth. The intense blueness of space contrasts sharply with the deep green of eastern Tibets rolling grasslands and the mineral colours of the west with its expanses of barren rock. For over a thousand years, Buddhist culture has been at the heart of Tibetan society, and anyone who has travelled across these high plateaux will understand how this contemplative civilization flourished in a landscape of such vastness. This book seeks to bear witness to all that survives of that ancient world a world capable of making a valuable contribution to contemporary life. It also aims to provide a glimpse of a unique culture that is desperately trying to preserve its authenticity, despite the major upheavals that have shaken the land of its birth. May the images that follow serve as an homage to inner beauty Matthieu Ricard, from the Introduction.