Longing for Darkness: Tara and the Black Madonna: A 10-Year Journey

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An alcoholic single mother of three, Texas-born Galland ( Women in the Wilderness ) was raised a strict Roman Catholic, turned to Zen Buddhism, then became obsessed with Tara, the female Buddha of Tibetan tradition, and her counterpart, Kali, the black Hindu goddess, death-dealer and life-giver. In black images of divinity the author sought a touchstone for transformation, an avenue to the unconscious. In a baroque church in Switzerland she observed the Black Madonna, a virgin painted coal-black who holds a black Christ Child in her arms. In India she discussed women lamas with Tibet's Dalai Lama in exile. Her 1987 trip to Poland turned up another Black Madonna but also exposed her to a different kind of darkness: secret police, racism, Auschwitz. Blending travelogue, free-floating meditation, autobiography and adventure, her intensely personal narrative is a disquieting spiritual odyssey. Photos . 20,000 first printing; author tour. (Sept.)
Library Journal
The darkness Galland seeks is somewhat paradoxical to the Western mind, although similar conceptions of darkness exist in many mystical traditions. Here darkness is a metaphor for transformation, wisdom, and insight and also serves as protection. The author travels through darkness, and her book is tied together by the theme of journeying. Her journey comprises many: an escape from alcoholism; a trip to the Himalayas; a walk across Poland; visits with the Dalai Lama and Lech Walesa and to a Swiss monastery; and a journey home to observe the sanctuary movement. The journey focuses on discovering connections between Tara, a female Buddha in the Tibetan tradition, and Western images of the Black Madonna, an exercise at once fascinating and tenuous. There is more spirituality in the unself-conscious observations, the cross-cultural notes, and the issues of human compassion. --Carol J. Lichtenberg, Washington State Univ. Lib., Pullman
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670828180
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin
  • Publication date: 9/28/1990
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 9.29 (w) x 6.64 (h) x 1.31 (d)

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