Tibetan Government in Exile's Official Web Site - Official Tibet Website
Dalailama.com - Official Website
The Dalai Lama
The significance of the Dalai Lama to a Beastie Boys fan varies from person to person. For some he is considered as "His Holiness the Dalai Lama", yet for others he is considered to be the reason that the Beastie Boys have not released more albums since 1992. Regardless of your position or opinion, the Dalai Lama has affected the Beastie Boys as much or more than any of their other contemporary influences. Because of this influence he earns an entry in the Beastiemania.com Who's Who.
"When we make mistakes, we cannot turn the clock back and try again. All we can do is use the present well." -Dalai Lama
Today the plight of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people has become a part of our common knowledge. Movies such as "Seven Years in Tibet" (with Brad Pitt) and "Free Tibet" have made the Dalai Lama something of a pop culture icon. First it was sort of a Hollywood phenomenon; actors like Harrison Ford and Richard Gere became Dalai Lama supporters. Soon after that, there were Students for a Free Tibet chapters popping up on college campuses across the nation.
Adam Yauch first became interested in Tibetan culture and the Buddhist faith in 1992; for Beastie Boys fans that would not become apparent until two years later. In 1994, Ill Communication was released and two songs from that album would be some fan's first exposure to Tibetan culture. The songs "Shambala" and "Bodhisattva Vow" featured sampled elements of chanting Tibetan monks. From the money brought in as royalties for these songs, The Milarepa Fund was started.
In 1996, The Milarepa Fund would host the first Tibetan Freedom Concert in San Francisco, CA. Three more benefit concerts would follow during the next three years; it was during this period that the Beastie Boys were criticized for not having spent more time focusing on their music. Instead of recording, Yauch had put forth a great deal of energy into the promotion of the Tibetan Freedom Concert cds and later in developing the Free Tibet movie. You may recall an interview Yauch conducted with the Dalai Lama that was printed in Grand Royal Magazine; it too fell in this period of 1996-1999.
Adam Yauch is the only Beastie Boy who is a practicing Buddhist. There are many magazine articles about Yauch's decision to follow that lifestyle and faith, but if you find yourself curious about his interaction with the Dalai Lama, the Grand Royal Magazine article is a good place to start.