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Posted June 14, 2014
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Posted December 28, 2012
This story was written about 1,000 years ago in one of the world's most isolated regions. But it's an epic spiritual adventure, with one of the greatest female heroes in world literature. This is a woman of almost unbelievable intelligence and drive, who inspires a whole nation. It's a tale mixing medieval-style myths and miracles with surprisingly modern-style personal honesty. At first, Tsogyal's precocious girlhood abilities make the Buddhist path look dramatically easy. But gigantic trials will come, including rape and all other abuses commonly suffered by traditional women. The privations she endures rival those of St. Antony (but hers are colder); her deeds of compassion surpass those of St. Francis; her humiliations rival those of St. Augustine. In the end, Tsogyal's insight transforms it all. The strangest thing to most Western readers is the role of sex in spiritual practice. With Tsogyal's path, we can speak of "right sex" as one of the means of enlightenment.
This is a book where even the notes and glossary are full of good stories. The story should be one of the planet's spiritual classics.
--author of A Galaxy of Immortal Women: The Yin Side of Chinese Civilization