In the Shadow of the Buddha: Secret Journeys, Sacred Histories, and Spiritual Discovery in Tibet

Matteo Pistono, Dutton, $25.95 (324p) ISBN 978-0-525-95119-3
Pistono draws on his experiences as a journalist, activist, and student of Tibetan Buddhism to explore the intersection between spirituality and politics. He weaves together the stories of his pilgrimages in Tibet, his role in smuggling out evidence of the Chinese government's human rights abuses to the West, and the history of Terton Sogyal, a lama who served as spiritual and political adviser to the current Dalai Lama's predecessor in the late 19th and very early 20th centuries. Pistono follows the path of Terton Sogyal across vast expanses of the Tibetan landscape while hearing testimonies to suffering by Tibetans who sought him out to share their stories. The phurba, a "great weapon of compassion" in Tibetan ritual to destroy anger, provides a continuing motif. Spiritual aspirations and political realities collide tragically in present-day Tibet, and through this complex set of narratives Pistono explores his own search for freedom from anger when faced with massive injustice and the apparent ineffectiveness of activism on behalf of Tibet. These inner and outer journeys are no less astonishing for being told matter-of-factly, accompanied by keen analysis of modern realpolitik. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 01/01/2011
Genre: Religion
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-452-29751-7
Paperback - 290 pages - 978-1-84850-421-9
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-101-47548-5
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-101-46714-5
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-101-47131-9
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