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What the Lotus Said: A Journey to Tibet and Back

Eric Swanson

7 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0312266936 / ISBN 13: 9780312266936
Published by St. Martin's Press, 2002
Condition: Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: What the Lotus Said: A Journey to Tibet and ...

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Good

Edition: 1st - may be Reissue.

About this title

Synopsis:

Yes, it’s about Tibet, but not the mystical wonderland of Western imagination. There is magic, to be sure -- saints who pass invisibly among prison guards, ceremonies that stop torrential rain, and a ferocious landscape that inspires uneasy reverence. But the country described in these pages is incontestably real, harsh, and shocking.

What the Lotus Said is the story of Eric Swanson’s journey through East Tibet in the company of a Tibetan lama and several other Americans. The ostensible purpose of the trip is humanitarian supporting fledgling schools and bringing medical aid to nomads—but Swanson, a self-confessed “spiritual shopper,” nurses private hopes of enjoying a peak experience in a cave once inhabited by the eithth-century mystic who transcribed the classic Tibetan Book of the Dead. Through episodes alternately comic and harrowing, Swanson gradually discovers the liberating power of disenchantment, and in a startling turn of events, at last deciphers his lama’s cryptic statement that Tibetan Buddhism offers Westerners a way to die.

Written in a fragmentary style evocative of the classic text that inspired Swanson’s journey, What the Lotus Said introduces the reader to the irreducible complexities inherent in the search for spiritual solace.

About the Author:

After years of flirting with a variety of spiritual traditions, Eric Swanson became a student of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in 1996. He was educated at Yale University and the Juilliard School, and worked as an actor for several years before publishing his first novel in 1990. It’s quite possible that he lives in Brooklyn with several cats.

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