Victor Chan was born and raised in Hong Kong. After completing high school and attending universities in Canada and the US, he spent three years exploring the principal Buddhist and Islamic spiritual centres in Central and Southeast Asia and the Indian sub-continent.
During that time, he had the good fortune of meeting the Dalai Lama in his residence in Dharamsala. This first meeting and many following life-affirming encounters are the subject of Wisdom of Forgiveness: Intimate Conversations and Journeys
(Riverhead Books, 2004), a book co-authored by the Dalai Lama and Chan. The book was short-listed for the Best Spiritual Book of 2005 (Nautilus Prize, New York) and translated into 14 languages.
The Dalai Lama and Chan's second book, the Wisdom of Compassion: Stories of Remarkable Encounters and Timeless Insights
, was also published by Riverhead, an imprint of Penguin Random House of New York.
To gather material for these two books, Chan has extensively travelled with the Dalai Lama, chronicling many remarkable gatherings in Asia, Europe, North America and inside the Arctic Circle. The co-authors also sat down for numerous one-on-one conversations about the issues the Dalai Lama is most passionate about, compassion, tolerance and peace among them.
In 2004, Chan convened a symposium on "How to Balance Educating the Mind with Educating the Heart" in Vancouver, Canada. The event featured three Nobel peace prize laureates: the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Shirin Ebadi. Building on the considerable momentum of the event, Chan and the Dalai Lama founded the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education, an NGO with the mandate to balance educating the mind with educating the heart.
Situated in Vancouver, the Dalai Lama Center is consulting with all levels of government and international agencies to develop public policies that contribute to a more compassionate, inclusive and peaceful society by advancing social and emotional competencies.
Nearly three decades of friendship with the Dalai Lama have taught Chan a lot about the connection between compassion and happiness, and he has travelled extensively to share the Tibetan spiritual leader’s key messages on tolerance, forgiveness and authentic well-being.