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Cave in the Snow : Tenzin Palmo's Quest for Enlightenment

Mackenzie, Vicki

Published by Bloomsbury USA, 1998
ISBN 10: 1582340048 / ISBN 13: 9781582340043
/ Condition: Collectible: Good / Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Cave in the Snow : Tenzin Palmo's Quest for ...

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Collectible: Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Signed: ISigned

Edition: First Edition.


Signed Very nice hardback and jacket. Only slight wear. Age toning to pages. Loosely laid in is a letter signed by author and dated Sept 24, 1999, thanking the book owner for a donation. Also included is the signed receipt and the envelope with postmarked India stamps. Minor pencil markings in text. First edition, 1st printing. Full number line: 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 (Shelf location: L) All items carefully packed to avoid damage from moisture and rough handling. Tracking included. Bookseller Inventory # 047699

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(1,181 ratings)


Dianne Perry led an average childhood in London's East End until, in her teens, she became convinced there must be a spiritual dimension to life of a kind unavailable to her. After reading a book on Buddhism she realized that this was what she had been seeking and left England for India at the age of twenty.

After considerable searching she entered a monastery. The only woman among hundreds of men, she grew determined to break down the prejudices that had excluded women from the path to enlightenment for thousands of years. She left after six years, set on attaining enlightenment in the body of a woman; a totally radical objective. She decided to seclude herself in a remote cave, 12,00 feet up in the Himalayas. For twelve years she faced unimaginable cold, wild animals, floods and rockfalls, grew her own food and slept in a traditional wooden meditation box, three feet square---she never lay down.

In 1988 she emerged from the cave determined to build a convent in northern India, and to revive the Togdenma lineage, a long-forgotten female spiritual elite. From living as a mendicant of $80 a year, she became a globe-trotting fundraiser. Tenzin Palmo has agreed to tell her story only to Vicki Mackenzie.

Review: It sounds like a legend out of medieval Tibet: the ascetic who leaves home to join the Buddhist order, then spends 12 years in a cave, 15 hours a day in a meditation box. This is no legend, but you could call Tenzin Palmo legendary in her single-minded pursuit of higher realizations. From the East End of London to halfway up the Himalayas, she is now back in society, attempting to pull medieval Tibetan Buddhism into the modern era--women's rights and all. As biographer Vickie Mackenzie says by way of background, a group of elite women practitioners called "Togdemnas" still existed just decades ago. Tenzin Palmo, having studied with her male counterparts, is now canvassing the planet, welcoming women into full participation in Tibetan Buddhism and building support for an academy of Togdemnas that she plans to establish in the Himalayas. Mackenzie helps raise awareness for women's roles in Tibetan Buddhism by going into some detail about obstacles still faced by women as well as heroines who have overcome those obstacles, such as Yeshe Tsogyel (Sky Dancer) and Machig Lapdron, a mother who started her own lineage. If Mackenzie has it her way, it won't be long before Tenzin Palmo joins that list of heroines. --Brian Bruya

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