Madame David-Neel understands, writes and speaks fluently all the dialects of Tibet. She has spent fourteen consecutive years in the country and the neighbouring regions. She is a professed Buddhist, and so has been able to gain the confidence of the most important Lamas. Her adopted son is an ordained lama; and she herself has undergone the psychic exercises of which she speaks. Madame David-Neel has in fact become, as she herself says, a complete Asiatic, and, what is still more important for an explorer of a country hitherto inaccessible to foreign travelers, she is recognized as such by those among whom she has lived.
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Table of Contents
Author’s Preface 9
CHAPTER I: TIBET AND THE LAMAS 11
CHAPTER II: A GUEST OF THE LAMAS 49
CHAPTER III: A FAMOUS TIBETAN MONASTERY. 85
CHAPTER IV: DEALING WITH GHOSTS AND DEMONS 117
CHAPTER V: DISCIPLES OF YORE
AND THEIR CONTEMPORARY EMULATORS 143
PSYCHIC SPORTS 167
MYSTIC THEORIES AND SPIRITUAL TRAINING 197
PSYCHIC PHENOMENA IN TIBET –
HOW TIBETANS EXPLAIN THEM 231
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is one of the most fascinating books I've ever read. She was one of those marvelous women adventurers from the turn of the 20th century, but with a distinctive difference. She was a practicing Buddhist and a Buddhist scholar. From the mid 19-teens and through the 1920s, she travelled throughout Indian, China, Japan, Ceylon, Nepal, Tibet and other Asian countries. She met the Dali Lama of the time, who was then in exile in India. Tibet was a country closed to outsiders, yet she dared to journey there incognito and spent 14 years in search of knowledge about Tibetan lamaist and mystic practices. Her description of the people, their way of life, their beliefs, the rituals, practices and teachings is what makes the book such an amazing read. She gained access to high-ranking lamas as well as seeking out hermits and ascetics. She gives details of many of the rituals and meditation practices, in which she participated as well, even living as hermit for months herself. Though much of is about how the Tibetans practiced their form of Buddhism, there's also an underlayer of far more ancient shamanistic beliefs and practices. There were magicians and sorcerers who dealt with summoning and controlling demons. Tales of sorcerers animating dead bodies. Of mystic training that could make phantoms of the mind become so real that others could see them. I loved this book and need to seek out the one that preceded it. I ended up reading part 2 first without realizing it, not that I mind.
For those interested in the day to day practice of Tibetan buddhism and beliefs, this is a good introduction taken from the Westerner's viewpoint..