For nearly a decade, Matteo Pistono smuggled out of Tibet evidence of atrocities by the Chinese government, showing it to the U.S. government, human rights organizations, and anyone who would listen. Yet Pistono did not originally intend to fight for social justice in Tibet-he had gone there as a Buddhist pilgrim.
Disillusioned by a career in American politics, he had gone to the Himalayas looking for a simpler way of life. After encountering Buddhism in Nepal, Pistono's quest led him to Tibet and to a meditation master whose spiritual brother is Sogyal Rinpoche, bestselling author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Pistono not only became the master's student but also couriered messages to him in Tibet from the Dalai Lama in India. This began an extraordinary, and ultimately vital, adventure.
In the Shadow of the Buddha is a book about Tibet through the eyes of a devotee-a stranger hiding in plain sight. It's about how a culture's rich spiritual past is slipping away against the force of a tyrannical future. It's about how Tibetans live today, and the tenacity of their faith in the future in spite of dire repression and abuse. It's also about Pistono's own journey from being a frustrated political activist to becoming a practicing Buddhist mystic, a man who traveled thousands of miles and risked his own life to pursue freedom and peace.
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|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Part I 1
Chapter 1 The Mission Begins 3
Chapter 2 Following in the Footsteps of the Master 19
Chapter 3 A Different Kind of Pilgrimage 31
Part II 45
Chapter 4 From Bandit to Saint 47
Chapter 5 Taking What Is Given 58
Chapter 6 Disappearing Bodies 73
Chapter 7 In the World but Not of It 93
Part III 113
Chapter 8 In Service to the Dalai Lama 115
Chapter 9 The Merging of Politics and Spirituality 135
Chapter 10 Trouble on the Path 159
Part IV 179
Chapter 11 Wielding the Phurba 181
Chapter 12 Continuing the Pilgrimage 199
In Gratitude 221
Dramatis Personae 229
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Although I meditate, my favorite spiritual books are personal and anecdotal. I don't like to read philosophy or dry history. This book reads like a novel, as a previous reviewer said. It reminds me of Blazing Splendor, the autobiography of Tulku Orgyen Rinpoche, is its sheer excitingness. Sure, I made that word up, but it fits. This book manages to be a personal spiritual journey as well as a record of important and extremely sad current events. As if that weren't enough, there is romance and a biography of Terton Sogyal, a fascinating Tibetan master who counseled the previous Dalai Lama. I pretty much gave up my life while I read it because I couldn't put it down. And I'm very glad I did. I read it in e-book format, which showed the photos really well compared with many ebooks. Essential reading for those interested in modern and historical Tibet, human rights issues pertaining to the Tibetan people, and the spiritually inclined.