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Circling the Sacred Mountain : A Spiritual Adventure Through the Himalayas

Thurman, Robert; Wise, Tad Author

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( 6 ratings by GoodReads )
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To Tibetan Buddhists, Mount Kailash is the most magical place on earth, a place where one's prayers are answered instantly.  The journey to the diamond-shaped peak is arduous, as it is located in the heart of the world's tallest mountains; yet it is well worth the effort.  For according to tradition, one trip around the sacred mountain at 17,500 feet can wipe away the sins of a lifetime.

It was this promise of transformation that inspired Robert Thurman, preeminent Buddhist scholar and teacher, to lead a group of eager pilgrims on the spiritual trek of a lifetime.  Among the group was a former student and longtime friend, Tad Wise.  Together, Thurman and Wise recount their experience circling the mountain, in chapters that counterpoint the most profound inner teachings of Tibetan Buddhism with a magnificent description of a land of awesome beauty and unexpected hardships.

Thurman serves as the group's spiritual leader.  Through the wisdom and insight gained from years of study in India with the Dalai Lama and other gurus, he offers his fellow companions a rich understanding of Tibetan Buddhism, including techniques of meditation, visualization, compassion, and selflessness.  Meanwhile, Wise describes in vivid detail the soaring mountains and breathtaking vistas of this hidden land of snows.  He also chronicles the difficulties he faces as he tries to incorporate Thurman's accelerated Buddhist teachings into his own life.

Together they take us deep into Chinese-occupied Tibet to visit sites few Westerners have ever seen: sacred graveyards, meditation caves of ancient masters, and majestic monasteries.  As they navigate perilous mountain passages, Thurman guides the travelers past the pitfalls of spiritual life to the realization of the Buddha's promise of liberation from human suffering.

Chronicling the inner as well as the outer journey, confrontations both physical and metaphysical, Circling the Sacred Mountain serves as an inspiring metaphor for the challenging passage to enlightenment open to each of us.

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Review:

In the harsh, forsaken landscape of Western Tibet, a holy mountain rises up, the legendary center of the world. Sacred to Hindus and Buddhists alike, Mount Kailash had been in professor and popular writer Robert Thurman's mind for some time when he finally decided to organize a group and go--across the Chinese border, where he has always been persona non grata. Writer Tad Wise decides to tag along and put the adventures on paper. While recording Thurman's dharma lectures, Wise comes face to face with the magic of the mountain, its myths and its people, and haltingly transforms from cynical skeptic to tear-streaked pilgrim. Wise's writing leans toward the quirky, pushing ordinary sentences to their lapidary limits, and Thurman, as usual, tosses off tantalizing Buddhisms like "mind-body bubble" and "supreme orgasm of bliss-void-indivisible." For a book that's effectively about walking 32 miles over rubble around a remote peak, Circling the Sacred Mountain succeeds in drawing you into a mandala of swirling ideas and experiences, nudging you toward your own realizations. --Brian Bruya

From the Back Cover:

"Wise's sections make for an absorbing travelogue."
-- Kirkus Reviews

"A lively circumambulation of Asia's holy mountain in Tibet, illuminated by Tenzin Thurman's passionate teachings."
--Peter Matthiessen, author of The Snow Leopard

"A fine adventure and a brilliant direct pipeline to the ancient teachings of Tibet."
--Jack Kornfield, author of A Path With Heart

"This extraordinary book is a dream come true. Who would not wish to be taken on pilgrimage to the holiest mountain in the world by a golden-tongued giant of a teacher? It is not the altitude that takes our breath away as we read, it is the living force of Professor Thurman's dharma. By his own example, he makes us see that it is indeed possible to go to pieces without falling apart."
--Mark Epstein, M.D., author of Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart

"Pilgrimage is a timeless spiritual practice, a way to transform ourselves and awaken to the natural holiness of life. Go on this spiritual adventure with one of our preeminent Tibetan tour guides, wise Bob, and his friend and fellow pilgrim, Tad. Take up this book; circumambulate this holy power place. Join the sacred circle."
--Lame Surya Das, author of Awakening the Buddha Within

"This is no mere tale of a trek. Deep Buddhist wisdom, driven from the Himalayas by blind arrogance, has been given no choice but to search the world for new hearts and homes. To embrace this book, to circle its radiant inner mountain, is to defy Chinese occupation and harbor Tibet's exiled, ever-joyous soul."
--David James Duncan, author of The River Why and The Brothers K

"Tibetan Buddhism has recently become fashionable in the West...but Thurman and Wise go beyond the buzz to demonstrate that it is also a religion rich in history and teaching, complex in myth and story...The tale of this pilgrimage--part high adventure, part Buddhist instruction--is certain to empower and inspire readers on their own spiritual adventures.
--New Age

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Thurman, Robert; Wise, Tad Author
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ISBN 10: 0553103466 ISBN 13: 9780553103465
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Book Description Bantam, 1999. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "Wise's sections make for an absorbing travelogue." --Kirkus Reviews "A lively circumambulation of Asia's holy mountain in Tibet, illuminated by Tenzin Thurman's passionate teachings." --Peter Matthiessen, author of The Snow Leopard "A fine adventure and a brilliant direct pipeline to the ancient teachings of Tibet." --Jack Kornfield, author of A Path With Heart "This extraordinary book is a dream come true. Who would not wish to be taken on pilgrimage to the holiest mountain in the world by a golden-tongued giant of a teacher? It is not the altitude that takes our breath away as we read, it is the living force of Professor Thurman's dharma. By his own example, he makes us see that it is indeed possible to go to pieces without falling apart." --Mark Epstein, M.D., author of Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart "Pilgrimage is a timeless spiritual practice, a way to transform ourselves and awaken to the natural holiness of life. Go on this spiritual adventure with one of our preeminent Tibetan tour guides, wise Bob, and his friend and fellow pilgrim, Tad. Take up this book; circumambulate this holy power place. Join the sacred circle." --Lame Surya Das, author of Awakening the Buddha Within "This is no mere tale of a trek. Deep Buddhist wisdom, driven from the Himalayas by blind arrogance, has been given no choice but to search the world for new hearts and homes. To embrace this book, to circle its radiant inner mountain, is to defy Chinese occupation and harbor Tibet's exiled, ever-joyous soul." --David James Duncan, author of The River Why and The Brothers K "Tibetan Buddhism has recently become fashionable in the West.but Thurman and Wise go beyond the buzz to demonstrate that it is also a religion rich in history and teaching, complex in myth and story.The tale of this pilgrimage--part high adventure, part Buddhist instruction--is certain to empower and inspire readers on their own spiritual adventures. --New Age. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0553103466

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Book Description Bantam, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: Like New. Flawless new hardcover book in also mint dustjacket. Signed, not inscribed by author Robert Thurman. Signed by Author. Bookseller Inventory # 030212012

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