Sunday, January 16, 2011

“The next life or the next breath, which will come first is uncertain.”

Check out Michael Dunham's review of the new book In the Shadow of the Buddha, by Matteo Pistono.

Here is a taste:
Pistono, the spy: During the last decade, the author has made numerous trips to Tibet to surreptitiously photograph evidence of Chinese oppression inside Tibet and to smuggle out written documents that have become essential data to international human rights organizations, as well as to the US State Department. His fearless information gathering has contributed greatly to a deeper understanding of Tibet, normally off-limits to Western reporters.

Pistono, the Tibetan historian: By weaving in the biography of the 19th century Tibetan mystic Terton Sogyal, the author brings a deeper understanding of the importance of spiritual lineage in Tibetan culture – both from religious and political standpoints. Terton Sogyal’s recorded lineage began with Padmasambhava – the adept who brought Buddhism to Tibet twelve centuries years ago – gained renewed importance during the politically pivotal era of the XIII Dalai Lama, and remains extremely relevant to the XIV Dalai Lama, as well as to Terton Sogyal’s present-day incarnation Sogyal Rinpoche, (author of the best-seller Tibetan Book of Living and Dying).
Also be sure to check out Matteo Pistono's website, where you can learn more about the author, read an excerpt, and pre-order the book.

[The quote that is the title of this post is actually from Sogyal Rinpoche. See Dunham's review for the context.]