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1. Himmler's Crusade : The Nazi Expedition
$10.17 $1.25 list($14.95)
2. Seven Years in Tibet
$10.46 $3.49 list($13.95)
3. My Land and My People : The Original
$40.95 $38.00 list($65.00)
4. The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols
$10.50 $6.97 list($14.00)
5. Trespassers on the Roof of the
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6. The Tibetan Book of the Dead:
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7. A CULTURAL HISTORY OF TIBET
$23.10 $9.10 list($35.00)
8. The Buddha's Art of Healing :
$12.89 $12.30 list($18.95)
9. A Handbook of Tibetan Buddhist
$29.70 $12.95 list($45.00)
10. Indo-Tibetan Buddhism : Indian
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11. Lost Lhasa: Heinrich Harrer's
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12. The Tiger Rugs of Tibet
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13. Tibet's Hidden Wilderness: Wildlife
$19.69 list($28.95)
14. Buddha's Warriors
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15. Yangzi River Map: From Source
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16. On The Margins Of Tibet: Cultural
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17. Return to Tibet: Tibet After the
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18. The Dragon in the Land of Snows:
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19. The Secret Lives of Alexandra
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20. Tibetan Portrait: The Power of

1. Himmler's Crusade : The Nazi Expedition to Find the Origins of the Aryan Race
by ChristopherHale
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471262927
Catlog: Book (2003-10-03)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 50514
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"As the Indiana Jones films showed, Nazis, new age mumbo-jumbo and exotic locations are a formula that works. Christopher Hale's gripping and well-researched tale of an SS-sponsored scientific mission to Tibet in 1938-39 has the whole shebang: mad occult beliefs, mountains, strange charactors called Bruno or Ernst and stomach-churning concentration camp experiments to round things off."
—The Sunday Times (London)

A scientific expedition or a sinister mission?

Why would the leader of the Nazi’s dreaded SS, the second-most-powerful man in the Third Reich, send a zoologist, an anthropologist, and several other scientists to Tibet on the eve of war? Himmler’s Crusade tells the bizarre and chilling story one of history’s most perverse, eccentric, and frightening scientific expeditions. Drawing on private journals, new interviews, and original research in German archives as well as in Tibet, author Christopher Hale recreates the events of this sinister expedition, asks penetrating questions about the relationship between science and politics, a nd sheds new light on the occult theories that obsessed Himmler and his fellow Nazis.

Combining the highest standards of narrative history with the high adventure and exotic locales of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Himmler’s Crusade reveals that Himmler had ordered these men to examine Tibetan nobles for signs of Aryan physiology, undermine the British relationship with the ruling class, and sow the seeds of rebellion among the populace. Most strangely, the scientists–all SS officers–were to find scientific proof of a grotesque historical fantasy that was at the center of Himmler’s beliefs about race.

Set against the exquisite backdrop of the majestic Himalayas, this fast-paced and engaging narrative provides new and troubling insight into one of the strangest episodes in the history of science, politics, and war. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars What's in a name, what's in a title?
First, let me congratulate Mr. Hale on such a worthy feat of scholarly research. He has really gone "out on a limb" to try and present something new which we can "all" learn from. In the context of we i am speaking about many of us who read about this period in history in the hope for a better understand of humanity and existence. Why is humanity sacrificed to such degrees in the name of science? Is this still happening again today? Are there other atrocities taking place in world whereby, social, economic or political beliefs are sacrificing humanity in the name of science, experimentation, etc. Would economics (capitalism, socialism, communism) and religion(Christianity, Islam, paganism) have anything to do with this?

Mr. Hale, from the perspective of shedding any new academic thought, theory or light on these precious subjects has failed miserably. Much like the great propaganda machines of the later day third reich and Doctor Goebbels and the present day apparatus of the Blair-led British government combined with US social science experimentation(pre-emptive strikes, internet wire-tapping, falsifying of evidence, off-shore torture labratories, Guanamtomo, etc) it seems Mr. Hale could be trying to only lend support to the status quo.

To pick-up on Hale's technique one only needs to draw attention to how he chooses to describe is main characters. Schafer, the main character is carefully described throughout the book in terms such as, "shameless", "raging", "developing fixations",etc. The average reader could actually be convinced that these German explorers are rabid racists and architects of the final solution that culminated in Auswitz. Perhaps it is all of this archealogical work they have been forced to do through forced occult ceremonies by Himmler that have somewhat hypnotised what were once normal and highly educated cultured University graduates and professionals of the world's scientific community. Hale even goes so far as Goebbels would in his scholorship by citing references from Nietzsche, "'we cannot fail to see the blond beast of prey..avidly prowling round for spoil and victory'...He has warned, 'The beast must come out again, and return to the wild.' By the beginning of 1939,the beast was loose." Perhaps, Hale should spend some more time researching Nietzsche instead of copying what other writers/propagandists have to say about Nietzsche and the third reich. I am certain the great Walter Kaufmann: Basic Writings of Nietzsche, would welcome Hale as a student in an attempt to further rid yet another propagandist on the true value/meaning of Nietzsche's works.

If one is still in doubt of my somewhat lowly opinion of Hale who should be taken as a serious propagandist one only needs tp read the cleverly titled chapter at the end named Aftermath. Hale sums up his vast library of "original" research by implying that archeological expeditions sponsored in the name of lost civilisations will ultimately lead to a 'slippery slope descending into darkness.' the darkness he is referring to is what culminated in the nazis concentration camps. The path he is suggesting we stay clear of is today's renewed interest in lost civilisations and cultires vis-a-vi Hancock: Fingerprints of the Gods." Perhaps, hidden somewhere in Hale's research is an explanation for the construction of the pyramids, lost unaccounted Inca treasure, interpretation of the ruins in Tiwanaku, etc. Most likely, with a little more research and a grant from the mainstream British/American science community Hale could recycle traditional science's excellent many modern day theories on this subject: hard labour primitive tools, world was created a few hundred years before Christ in 7 days, etc. As for the 'dangerous slippery slope of darkness' I wonder if he would include British/American War adventurism as a descent into darkness based on economic trade alchemy and scientific technological warfare and torture in the same category.

Hale is a propagandist who has highjacked the "holy grail" of WW2 subject matter - himmler and the occult - to once again hammer home the point of bad versus good. Bad in the world of Hale translates into the shameless practice of tracing our ancestorial origins, contrary to mainstream beliefs. Ultimately asking to many questions and searching to far will push us towards evil and darkness. Perhaps Hale and the conformist "matrixed" community of commerical hypothesis demanding members he represents should look in the mirror more often. If they look hard enough they might even have the will to smash it with an honest attempt to give history a new name.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Chilling and Compelling Account of a Nazi Obsession
This is a gripping historical account of a little known chapter of Nazi history. "Raiders of the Lost Ark" was indeed based on truth stranger than fiction. Hale details the Nazi quest for the origins of the "Aryan master race" in a German led expedition to Tibet in 1938 supported by nut-bar extraordinaire, mass murderer and head of the S.S., Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler himself.

Hale brilliantly documents from a wide range of sources a strange brew of bizarre Nazi race theories, poisonous ambition and swashbuckling adventures in China and Tibet ending in the horrors of Auschwitz.

In a time of when the shameless Madame Blavatsky is still taken seriously and the outer fringes of New Age ideas verge on the lunatic- David Ick et al- this book is a powerful reminder of the requirement for clear-headed rational scientific thinking.

Bravo to Christopher Hale for writing a story that needed to be told!

5-0 out of 5 stars a compelling book
I found this account of the Himmler sponsored expedition to find the mythical origins of the Aryan race utterly absorbing, not only because it sheds light on one of the odd, yet central strands of the Nazi cosmology but also because of the ways in which it was observed by the British. I had little idea that Tibet formed the locus of Western spiritual projections over so many decades.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Account of History
This is a brilliant and incredibly well researched book analyzing a little known, but powerfully important, part of Nazi history. I picked the book to read because it received such a stellar review by Michael Burleigh, the most renowned international authority on the Third Reich. Immediately, I was entranced by every aspect of Hale's account of an SS-sponsored expedition to Tibet in 1938-39. Hale goes way beyond doing a comprehensive book study of the subject. He actually conducted his own expedition to Tibet, retracing the steps that the SS-sponsored expedition leaders took and interviewing individuals who were either part of the expedition or who were associated with it. For example, throughout the book Hale provides astonishing information from his interviews with Bruno Beger, an anthropologist and SS member who would later be brought to trial and imprisoned for selecting over 100 inmates for "study" at Auschwitz (all of whom were gassed). I would recommend Hale's book for anyone interested in the origins and perpetuation of Nazism. Himmler's Crusade is already a classic in the field.

5-0 out of 5 stars Underlying forces in the Third Reich
This is an excellent book. It describes the mostly unknown drive of the Nazis to discover the roots of their people and their influences around the world for many thousands of years before the Third Reich. It doesn't get any more interesting than this. The title is somewhat of a misnomer, however. The Nazis never questioned where the Aryan race originated, they were only trying to discover their history and influences around the world. Modern archaeology shows us that caucasian peoples were in North America over 11,000 years ago. The northern European caucasian mummies found in the arid lands of northeastern China show the unrelenting wanderlust of the curious peoples from the north. These exoduses of the European peoples are what the Nazis sought to discover. These are the real "diaspora peoples" whose languages have been confused and who have been spread around the world. That is what drove them in Indiana-Jones-like fashion to try to find these things. Still, it is an excellent book full of great information to those who have never thought or read about these things. Most books parrot the tired old terms about Hitler: "Monster", "Murderer", etc. It is nice to see a book which shows a glimmer of the kinds of underlying motivations which could so fanatically compel an extremely advanced and intelligent population to do the things they did. This book serves to help raise that curtain. ... Read more


2. Seven Years in Tibet
by Heinrich Harrer
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0874778883
Catlog: Book (1997-09-01)
Publisher: Jeremy P. Tarcher
Sales Rank: 40652
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (60)

5-0 out of 5 stars The incredible adventure and spiritual odyssey in Tibet
I first read Seven Years in Tibet 12 years ago. That it is as popular now as it was then and has been ever since it was first published in the 1950'speaks to its timelessness as a true adventure classic. But it is more than just an adventure story and Harrer, more than just an adventurer. As the story unfolds the reader's attention is drawn to the many layers of the author's odyssey across the "Roof of The World".

The descriptions of the physical and cultural landscapes and the people of the Himalaya provide a wonderful geography to this high, remote and troubled corner of the globe.

I am certain that a Buddhist would consider it Karma that the book was written in the first place and Karma that it has enjoyed such longetivity, especially in context of the apparent growing awareness by the global community of the Tibetan people's plight at the hands of the expansionist Chinese.

The recently released movie of the same title is a reasonably accurate adaptation of the book. The book, however, should be a must read for anyone with an adventurous spirit, a romantic imagination, and an empathetic soul for a peace-loving and persecuted people.

5-0 out of 5 stars A story of an incredible adventure and a fascinating culture
I decided to read this novel because I enjoy travel literature, and also because of a recommendation from a friend from Liechtenstein who was acquainted with the author. I found this novel to be quite fascinating, telling a story of survival in harsh terrain, a love for the mountains, and the gathering of knowledge about an isolated and mysterious culture. Mr. Harrer's ability to survive in the Himalayas, his quick adaptation to Tibetan lifestyle and language, and his writing skills paint the picture of an incredibly intelligent and enterprising individual. This book lends strong support to the cause for a free Tibet.

4-0 out of 5 stars Seven Years in Tibet
I was very surprised by this book becuase it is almost nothing like the Hollywood movie staring Brad Pitt. It was much better. The writting stlye was easy to read and involving and the candor of the books author about the people he lived with for years implies that he had a true love and respect for them, and had spent alot of time seriously observing them, this book was not written lightly or in a joking tone!! It' a wonderful story - read it!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, Amazing Detail and Information, Too Much Ego
I read this book for the first time when I was only 13. I was absolutely captivated by Harrer's stunning descriptions of pre-occupation Tibet, and specifically Lhasa. Harrer portrays life in a world forbidden to foreigners and that no longer exists.

His memoir begins with his attempt to summit Nanga Parbat in the himalayas and continues through his captivity in a British POW camp through his many escape attempts to reach Tibet.

Harrer continues through his exhausting trek through the unwelcoming plains of Tibet, even encountering the infamous Khampa bandits.

Harrer then goes into his stay in Lhasa, emphasizing his time tutoring the young 14th Dalai Lama. He also discusses his time working as a public servant for Lhasa alongside fellow escapee, Peter Aufschnaiter, mapping Lhasa, building dykes along the river et cetera.

Finally Harrer discusses the downfall off Tibet due to the Chinese invasion from an insider's standpoint, even up to Harrer's escape from Tibet.

His writing makes old Tibet so real, and his final words (which I will not reveal) speaks to our hearts as humans, not as Americans, Chinese, Tibetans, Germans, Austrians, or whatever we may be.

The only flaw that I can think of for this book is Harrer's ego shows through his writing. While it is not a major flaw, it is annoying.

I highly reccomend this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars A great story
This book is first of all a great story about a daring escape from a POW camp in Northern India followed by a fugitive's trek across some of the worlds most inhospitable territory. It seems impossible that anyone could have survived trekking over the Himalayas in winter with no equipment other than a few rags for clothing. The rest of the book is a remarkable eyewittness account of Tibet and especially Lhasa just before the time of the Chinese invasion. Harrer paints a vivid picture of a lively and colourful Forbidden City (Lhasa), and his great love of the country and its charming people shines brightly through. Towards the end Harrer becomes a personal tutor of H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama and his account of his relationship with the only 14 year old leader of Tibet is endearing and touching. I enjoyed the book very much not only because of the topic matter but also because of Harrer's honest, tough, and yet deeply respectful and caring attitude toward Tibet and its people. ... Read more


3. My Land and My People : The Original Autobiography of His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet
by The Dalai Lama
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446674214
Catlog: Book (1997-12-01)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 39454
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Written by the Dalai Lama as a young man in exile, this dignified testament re-creates the miraculous search that identified him as the reincarnated leader of his country. It paints a rare, intimate portrait of Tibetan Buddhism-a way of life that would end with a terrifying foreign invasion surpassing sanity and reason. And it reveals the evolution of a man from gentle monk to a world leader, one struggling to this day to free his country...one able to touch our hearts with the goodness that makes him one of the most beloved men of our time. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars A little disappointed, but still a good and important read
I am a college student who has studied China extensively in school. I can speak Chinese and have traveled to China several times and to Tibet once. While I have never agreed with many of the Chinese governments policies in the areas of religion, personal freedom, Tibet, and Taiwan, I think this book could have done more for its cause.

I decided to read this book after I spent 2.5 weeks in Tibet last year while studying in China. Tibet was one of the most fascinating places I have been to and I really wanted to know more about what happened there after China invaded. This book tells the Dalai Lama's story very well. Up until the last 15 pages or so, I really loved the book. However, before closing, the Dalai Lama makes several accusations about Chinese human rights abuses in Tibet (beatings, child abductions and the like) but provides no evidence of their existence.

While I personally feel Tibet was and still is a sovereign country and what China has done is wrong in many ways, the charges made in the last few pages don't belong in this book. While the Dalai Lama's story of his life and last days in Tibet are very powerful, I really think it would have been even better had the those last parting shots been omitted. Charges of human rights abuses such as these are very important and would be better served in a book of their own.

I think most Americans will enjoy this book but not share the same reaction I had to the last few pages. I have studied China for several years now and have heard accusations from both China and the world on countless occasions on a wide range of issues. Maybe this is why I get turned off when I don't see concrete evidence included when someone makes a charge such as the Dalai Lama does at the end of his book. I still think the Dalai Lama is a wonderful man and has an important story to tell, but feel this one could have come across a little better.

5-0 out of 5 stars the failure of genocide
The cry to "free Tibet" takes on new meaning and a more personal conviction after reading this book. This original autobiograhpy, published in 1962, is an intimate narrative of the Dalai Lama's life from his humble beginnings as the son of a Tibetan farmer to his evolution as the greatest spiritual leader known to the modern world.
It is also the story of a young man struggling with responsibilities that are unimaginable for someone so young and of a remarkable people who were willing to give up their lives in order to protect their unique way of life.
But, more importantly, this book tells the story of an attempt by a mighty military power to eliminate a small peace-loving culture thus eliminating it's religion, a religion based simply on having compassion for all living things. In this regard, the efforts of the mighty power failed. The government of China may have been successful in taking the beautiful land from the Tibetans (thanks in part to the rest of the world turning a blind eye to what was happening) but the culture and religion is still thriving thanks to the efforts of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his government in exile.
In conclusion, this book reminds us that we all need to be aware of how frangible freedom is and that all peace-loving people must join hands throughout the world, regardless of cultural and religious beliefs, to protect that precious thing called freedom.

5-0 out of 5 stars A memoir that stirs up compassion and feeling
I started this book with the thought that I would gain a better sense of the history surrounding the current events in Tibet, where I recently visited. What I didn't anticipate was that the book would generate such strong feelings of compassion and emotion within me. Read it slowly and allow yourself to fully digest the Dalai Lama's simple but compelling portrayal of the suffering his people have encountered, as well as the incredible courage they displayed- as a testament of their deep devotion to him and their unwavering belief in their most valuable posession: Buddhist religion. I had to stop every so often and calm the inner turmoil I felt, as I read. While I have deep respect for the Dalai Lama and his own struggle to save his people & religion and to keep the Tibetan story alive, it is truly the Tibetan people who have proved their heroism and strength. When I read about them surrounding the Potala, armed only with sticks and determination, in order to protect their holy leader, it just overwhelmed me to remember that human struggles of the most basic kind are still occuring and need to be remembered and championed by those of us so far away. When I was in Tibet, I thought that it would be a tragedy to lose such a rich and vibrant culture but now after reading this, it's even more unimaginable. There are few cultures that cultivate such inner strength and whose people demonstrate such devotion for what is meaningful to them- I hope Tibetans will find a way to survive the continued oppression of China and that China will soon recognize the value of what they seem intent on destroying.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dalai Lama inside
A very honest and personal but also historical and buddhist account of the Dalai Lamas life written in his very own words. Besides the tragedy of the the subjugation of the tibetan people, which was the cause for the Dalai Lamas exil and indirectly for the writing of this book, it shows the development of a and of this Dalai Lama, the monk Tenzin Gyatso, as he likes to call himself. Without pretention he reports about his priviledged education as "a prisoner" of the Potala, the castle of Lhasa. During the last decades, this book was an introduction into matters tibetan for many western people and it can still be recomended warmly.

5-0 out of 5 stars An amazing story, who's ending has not yet been written.
Whether you are a fan of H.H. Dalai Lama or not, this book is fascinating. It is written with the energy of a young man in a passionate struggle to save his people. It will grip, inspire and anger you. Read the book, and you'll be moved to give your support to the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet in their fight for freedom. ... Read more


4. The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs
by ROBERT BEER
list price: $65.00
our price: $40.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 157062416X
Catlog: Book (1999-10-12)
Publisher: Shambhala
Sales Rank: 98781
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Tibetan Buddhism has one of the most complex iconographies of any religion. Robert Beer, the artist who brought to life the saints of Tibetan Buddhism in Buddhist Masters of Enchantment, has now brought the myriad symbols of Tibetan Buddhist art to life. Not exactly arranged like an encyclopedia, this book is more like a tour of the categories of Tibetan Buddhist symbols, beginning with Landscape Elements (rocks, clouds, rainbows, etc.); moving on to such areas as Flowers and Trees, Cosmology, and Mudras (hand gestures); and ending with Geometric Borders. Exquisitely detailed line drawings (using fine-pointed traditional brushes) are grouped on full-size plates, each of which the author tells us took between 50 and 200 hours to draw. The eight years that went into this book are revealed not only in the drawings but also in the text that is equally detailed in its descriptions of the religious significance of the symbols as well as their sources and development in Tibetan art. Beer's encyclopedic knowledge has not come from book learning, but from 30 years of doing Tibetan art and learning firsthand from Tibetan masters. After glimpsing just of few of these plates, you'll be calling Beer a master too. --Brian Bruya ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars The most useful and insightful art book on the shelves
If you are looking for beautiful, black and white line drawings of Tibetan (and Chinese) art then this book is for you. The book has 169 plates (some plates have over 40 pieces/objects) accompanied by a detailed explanation of its origins, meanings, and uses. The plates/objects are crisp and clear, which make is easy to...umm..."study" (all text and illustrations are protected by copyright law, of course.)

Included in this book are:
Landscape elements
Flowers and trees
Animals (with the beautifully intense snow-lion)
Narrative subjects (Four Friends)
Cosmology (with a beautiful full-page astrological diagram)
Mudras (postures of hands and feet)
The Chakravartin and his Seven Precious Possessions
Auspicious symbols (endless knots, golden fishes, et. al.)
Various peaceful offerings (covers 55 different Gzi stones)
The Wheel of Sharp Weapons
Wrathful offering, tormas, and Ritual Fire Hearths
Geometric borders, patterns, designs, and motifs (more plates than any other chapter!)

Robert Beer does a phenomenal job of researching, collecting, and illustrating Tibetan sacred art. The book is printed on the highest quality paper giving you the best images possible.

If you are simply studying or researching Tibetan art, or as I am, designing a Tibetan tattoo, this book is for you. It is easy to use, fully explained, and a great all-around reference. I HIGHLY recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs
I'm not going to babble on and on about this book. I'ts an excellent reference material. I only wish it had color schemes.

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautifully illustrated book
This book is not only an incredible collection of art, it is also wonderfully explanitory. R. Beer tells the mythos and history behind each set of images in a logical and easy to read format. I only wish that it was in full color (rather than just black and white); however, the author gives full details of how each image is traditionally coloured.

I -highly- recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Tibetan culture.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent tibetan art reference
This is a great book, a customer brought it in to me to show what she wanted for a tattoo and I was amazed at all the rad stuff in it. Lots of cool stuffs for tattoos and whatnot- I did a big ol' snake headed deity on her arm, it was so killer looking- thanks to this book, I am going to sleeve out her whole arm now with images from this tome. Thats how well the art translated into tattoo designs...A must for any tattooer (or regular artist) interested in this style or japanese/ asian motifs.

5-0 out of 5 stars who else can draw like this?
Other reviewers have praised the usefulness of this beautiful book for those interested in Tibetan Religious Art and Vajrayana Buddhism. No doubt the efforts of this author to make this most complex of traditions more accessible and intelligible deserves our gratitude. However I would like to particularly point to the artistic quality of the plates. Today in the time of computer graphics and push-button reproduction of images, it is hard to find anyone under the age of 70 who has taken the care to acquire artistic skill and apply it as Robert Beer has done. The plates in this book are all originally composed, not just copied. They are accomplished by drawing with the finest imaginable brush and ink (no computerized improvements here). In other words, we are talking a labor of love which is also a masterpiece. Each plate yields new detail and delight on each viewing. I write this to tempt those who are not devotees of Eastern religion but are lovers of fine art to invest. It will yield hours of pleasure in the seeeing for the rest of your life. ... Read more


5. Trespassers on the Roof of the World: The Secret Exploration of Tibet (Kodansha Globe)
by Peter Hopkirk
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1568360509
Catlog: Book (1995-06-01)
Publisher: Kodansha Globe
Sales Rank: 53023
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
OVer summer vacation, sitting in France and wishing I could someday go to Central Asia I read and really enjoyed this book. Mr. Hopkirk takes a fascinating piece of history and makes it read like an adventure story. His story about the many who tried to go to Lhasa and failed is fascinating. This book is not a book glorifying any given party but helps explain many players. He provides interesting details and insight into the would be explorers and the conditions that finally lead to the success of the quest. At the same time he provides valuable information on Tibet and its rulers and the British and Chinese and their motivations. His discussion of the Pundits is informative, interesting and sympathetic. It is a short and fast read and well worth the time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well told
This book is a history of the outsiders who have tried to gain entry to Tibet through the centuries. It begins with a brief description of Tibet, its geography and history, and why the political and religious leaders decided to forbid foreigners from visiting during the Middle Ages. The book then examines each of the major attempts by foreigners to enter the country and learn its secrets.

The first descriptions are of Captain Thomas Montgomerie's spies, Indians who were trained in surveying and espionage skills and sent into Tibet under cover to map the country. The information these spies provided was essential for drawing the first accurate maps of Tibet. Hopkirk then describes the many subsequent attempts by Westerners to crash the gates and see Lhasa first hand. These Westerners included army officers from both the British and Russian armies, missionaries, and private citizens. All were turned back before they reached Lhasa until Francis Younghusband and the British army blasted their way through in 1903-1904. After Younghusband's opening of the country for the British, it became a little easier for foreigners to gain access to the country, at least for British government officials, that is. Hopkirk provides brief accounts of other subsequent adventurers and their expeditions to Lhasa, including Alexandra David-Neel, Heinrich Harrer, and Sven Hedin. He also describes the trips of the first explorers who attempted to climb Mt. Everest, especially Mallory. He closes the book with a description of the Communist Chinese invasion of Tibet as one final example of unwelcome trespassers.

As I read this book, I was again struck by the contrast between how little average Tibetans had in the way of material goods or lifestyle, and how fiercely they struggled to keep it that way and keep foreign influences out. The descriptions of Lhasa at the turn of the century when Westerners first gained access to it make the place sound quite miserable- -open gutters, vermin, disease were everywhere. The monks and religious leaders possessed incredible power, and subjected people to hideous corporal punishments if they stepped out of line. When considering such circumstances, it's hard to believe that average Tibetans would really prefer to be left alone, to mire in their own dirt ruled by a strict theocracy. Nevertheless, these days the very word Tibet evokes images of the exiled Dalai Lama and his endless missions for peace. The idea that we have of Tibet today must somehow have been contained in the culture that the trespassers described in this book found and fought to destroy.

The book is quite well written and engaging. Hopkirk does a masterful job at weaving together a coherent narrative thread from the various documents that describe the expeditions. His organization and selection provide clear insights into the topic and a balance that is hard to realize when reading the various firsthand accounts of these expeditions..

4-0 out of 5 stars I could not put this book down...
This book was fantastic.

I bought it in Kathmandu before heading up to Lhasa by bus. Hopkirks incredible, true stories gave my journey to Tibet (and my extended stay there) much more meaning and significance. But that isn't to say that you have to go to Tibet to appreciate this book - its engaging stories of Westerners desperately trying to get to the sacred and forbidden city of Lhasa in the 18th and early 20th centuries is both accessible and exciting. Even if you never go to Tibet, you'll be amazed by some of the stories in here. And if you do go, this book is an absolute must read simply for historical context. I found it fascinating.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Outside World Comes Crashing In
This is a very entertaining little history book by the master expert on the obscure lands of Central Asia, Peter Hopkirk, who is also an excellent writer. The focus here is an esoteric bit of history which has probably not been covered elsewhere - the race by the outside world to get into mysterious Tibet, and especially its forbidden capital Lhasa. The Tibetans' almost pathological need to be left alone led them to repel anyone from outside shortly after such interlopers crossed the border. Add to that Tibet's inaccessibility, surrounded on three sides by the most impenetrable mountains on Earth, and on the fourth side by equally hostile deserts, all of which many people though the ages have died trying to traverse. Of course this all made outsiders, especially Westerners, yearn to "gatecrash" this forbidden land.

Hopkirk tells the intriguing tales of the various adventurers, diplomats, and missionaries who made the earliest attempts to reach Lhasa, most of whom didn't make it. While mostly unsuccessful in reaching their ultimate goal, these hardy souls still had incredible stories to tell and contributed immensely to the sparse knowledge of Tibet's geography and culture. Included are some unexpected goodies like the story of the indestructible Pundits from India who literally counted the steps they took, plus the earliest deadly attempts to conquer Mt. Everest. The book ends rather depressingly with the story of China's brutal occupation in the 1950's, which ended Tibet's self-imposed isolation once and for all, after which the Chinese closed it off even more tightly because of political paranoia.

Throughout the book, Hopkirk offers some key insights into ancient Tibetan culture and their homegrown brand of extreme Buddhism. As a result we find that Tibet was never the spiritual paradise of pure thought and devotion that modern celebrity Buddhists try to tell us it was, before the outside world screwed everything up (we see that not even the Dalai Lama makes that claim). You may be surprised by the fierce, if naïve, warlike tendencies of the Tibetans, even their monks. The only problem with this book is Hopkirk's tendency to hold back on many stories. He starts to describe some very interesting tales, like the harsh ordeal of the lone female missionary Susie Rijnhart or the mysterious Japanese spy Narita Yasuteru, only to abruptly claim that the conclusions are outside the scope of the book or more extensively described elsewhere. This is a rather frustrating tease from the author, especially since this book is not that long and there is surely room to spare. But that's the only misstep in this most enjoyable book. (Note: for the much larger story of this region, in which Tibet played a small historical part, see Hopkirk's later masterwork "The Great Game.")

5-0 out of 5 stars More China bashing from the Great Game maestro
Another classic from the Englishman who brought us Great Game tales and the story of China's missing Buddhist artwork.

This time it's the story of the race to be first in Lhasa - even though the Tibetans asked no one to come and gave no one permission to enter their country. An international cast of Russians, North Americans, the French and the British all attempted to win. Hopkirk's tale of heroism and derring-do then ends with the tragic days of the mid-twentieth century when China invaded and Mao's Red Guard fanatics tried to destroy everything that stood in the way of total domination.

Most travellers entered Tibet incognito, either as private travellers hoping to evade detection, and win the prize of being first to enter the sacred city, or in the service of their military or religious masters. All failed, until the legendary Sir Francis Youghusband fought his way there - in true Great Game style - as the head of a British army battalion sent to head off Russian imperial advances into Tibet.

Of course, the Tibetans didn't want the Brits telling them what to do and conflict broke out. These days, the manner of the British victory at Guru - in the modern day Indian state of Sikkim - would be the subject of an international enquiry.

Many of the other tales are also tragic ...Others are heroic. Most spectacular of all were the 'Pundits' - British trained Indian's spies - who entered Tibet disguised as holy travellers and spent years spinning their prayer wheels, counting every pace and mapping every corner of the country for their colonial masters. It's amazing what you can learning from boiling water.

But the final thoughts that linger are those that wonder why the British, after having spent so much energy defeating the Tibetans, then turned turtle and abandoned them in their hour of need. The United States, by then the world's dominant power, stood by and did nothing either.

It's a melancholy ending to a truly classic work of art that has you groping for the travel maps and the hiking boots. Once again, Peter Hopkirk has managed to spin an enormously enjoyable story about a page of history that very few know anything about.

Watching the Dalai Lama rail against China on the BBC will never be the same again. ... Read more


6. The Tibetan Book of the Dead: Or, the After-Death Experiences on the Bardo Plane, According to Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup's English Rendering
by Karma-Glin-Pa, W. Y. Evans-Wentz, Donald S. Lopez Jr.
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195133129
Catlog: Book (2000-07-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 180389
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

1927. The after death experiences on the Bardo plane, according to Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup's English rendering. This book is meant to teach the reader the art of living life so that death is a fulfillment and not the end. It is a book about rebirth from death; how the soul travels through life, then from one life to another, that there really is no true death. This volume give sage advice on how to learn from mistakes in previous lives and how to make one's destiny perfect. ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Book of the Mind
First published in 1927. Translated by LAMA KAZI DAWA-SAMDUP. Edited by Dr. W.Y Evans-Wentz, formerly of Jesus College, Oxford who spent the rest of his life dedicating himself to following the teachings of this very translation. This writer is the one who first produced the teachings of 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead' to occident man in the west. It still remains the definitive edition to this day. The book also has many footnotes and an important lengthy introduction by C.G. Jung to introduce the occident mind to the nature of the book. The footnotes are the helping hand in reading and understanding the text.

This is a book about the raw mind. It may take you many lifetimes to understand. You may understand it after the first reading. There are no devices, tools, sects, schools or Gods used to get you there. This is a book about your mind. The mind is the only device you should need along with the book to bring you to the understanding of - knowing the nature of reality. Then when you are done with the book pass it on and use the only tool that this book expounds on. The mind.

I have not even attempted to read anything else since I found this book. That is because it is definitive. The book only needs your mind. Nothing else. That is why this book is THE definitive book of the mind. Christians should not be afraid of this book in any way shape or form. It is good natured, good willing and does nothing more than help expand your goodness.

It is through the book of the dead that you will learn the book of life.

As the recently deceased Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, of Tiruvannamalai, South India, admonished Evans-Wentz when he sojourned in his ashram he said - "Each of you should ask yourself, 'who, or what, am I?' Why am I here incarnate? Whither I am destined? Why is there birth and why is there death?'"

This book has never been equaled by any other book. And I am not just talking about within the confines of theology.

This is THE book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Evans-Wentz TBD
Tamuning, Guam February 5, 2000

"The Tibetan Book of The Dead"; translated by Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup, edited by W.Y. Evans-Wentz, is written in clear, formal, academic British English circa 1922.

It is a masterpiece of translation and esoteric religious exposition.

No serious religious scholar should be without it.

It is not particularly easy to read. A good dictionary (look up "numinous" to test) should be at hand. And, unless you are reasonably versed in Tibetan & Oriental Studies, be prepared to learn a great deal of genuinely esoteric lore.

However, "The Tibetan Book of The Dead" will take you places beyond the Plane of Earthly Existence, through the Light, the Joys, Fears & Desires of the AfterLife & Back a New Born Babe.

I'd say that's worth the effort to read it & to try to understand.

Rabbi Vander Cecil

5-0 out of 5 stars Not "Pop Buddhism," A Guide For The Living
This is not the Richard Gere "pop Buddhism" approach. This is the work of an English academic in the early 20th Century, as he uncovers an "Oriental" classic for a Western audience. Evans-Wentz even brings Carl Jung into the picture for the Westerners, as Jung's psychology was "New School" at the time and offered a sublime link between Oriental and Occidental thinking. I hold this book in the highest regard, not because it is a mystical Buddhist text, but rather because it offers tips for daily living and and self-actualization. As with most quality philosophical doctrines, this book is a paradox...a book of the dead that is really an abstract book for the living, regardless of religion or nationality. It is a refreshing and enlightening break from an increasingly fundamental world.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Original Book and Translation (1927)
This is the original "Tibetan Book of the Dead". All other versions are a toned-down version of this work by different authors who want to accommodate people who do not want to put the work in. You need to put the work in. No one can spoon-feed this kind of wisdom to you.

The Tibetan Book of the Dead is an extremely authoritative translation of the original texts of the "Bardo Thodol" by Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup who schooled W.Y.Evans-Wentz in Tibetan Buddhism. The book is an extremely important piece of work for both the scholars of psychology and religion, and the lay person who has the time to spend working on it. The book is also the reality behind the "Necronomicon" which has been popularized by fiction writers, such a H.P.Lovecraft, but has been completely taken out of its true context.

To begin with, this book is a beautiful book once you truly understand the message that it is trying to convey to the reader - or more correctly, when the reader correctly understands the message that is being conveyed. It has a primordial air to it and is certainly ancient in its wisdom and understanding. The book was translated in the early 1900s and was first published in 1927. Be warned - this book is exceptionally difficult to read because the standard of grammar used is of the highest acumen humanly possibly. Evans-Wentz was a Doctor of Literature, a Doctor of Science and a Master of Arts. If you don't have a full size Oxford dictionary, then you will have trouble reading it. There is also a difficulty in the translation. There are many Tibetan words that do not exist in English so Evans-Wentz sometimes derives a more descriptive meaning behind the message that is trying to be communicated to the reader. Dr. C.G. Jung has written an introduction at the start of the book which is mostly concerned about explaining the Tibetan meaning of the words "Soul" and "Mind". It is for reasons like these that the book requires multiple readings to fully absorb the information that is being presented. So what exactly is The Tibetan Book of the Dead? It is a corpus with several teachings. Tibetan Buddhist monks believe that if you understand the meaning of death then you will understand the meaning the life. It expounds in detail on the illusions of the human mind and gives a context for working out many questions that are philosophical and spiritual in nature.

The book is essentially split into three parts. The first part has introductions from various students of theology, psychology and Buddhism. Evans-Wentz then explains the nature of the book and gives a rough breakdown of what we will find in the "Bardo Thodol" and how it is used to help the dead find their way to Nirvana during the after-death ceremonies (like an Irish wake) but also how the book can be used as a guide for the living, which is its true intended purpose. The middle part of the book is the "Bardo Thodol" translated directly into English and third part covers the topic of Buddhism in general with references to the different schools of thought and Christianity.

The middle part of the book, the actual "Bardo Thodol", is split into three parts. There is an introduction at the start which explains the entry into the "Chikhai Bardo", the first of the Bardo regions that one automatically enters at the point of death. Then there is the second phase of the "Bardo Thodol", the "Chonyid Bardo" before the final phase of the "Bardo Thodol" the "Sidpa Bardo". Essentially these three areas can be explained as - the moment of death and the dawning of the light or nirvana, the karmic illusions of worldly things and finally the rebirth process. However do not think that this means that everybody is reborn or that Tibetans/Buddhists take reincarnation literally. It is all part of a thinking puzzle. You have got to work out things for yourself. There are hidden meanings in there. You must compare the different concepts in this book to find out what it really means! Question the "Bardo Thodol". Question what it teaches! Question what it says about itself!

The Bardo Thodol is a technical and thoroughly scientific examination of consciousness that is still highly regarded as one of the most logical and controlled methods of understanding the mind and its relation to the world of phenomena. At first glance the book may seem horrid, uncanny and evoke a fear by the mere mention of the word "death", but this is a book about the living, dedicated to life and expounds on some of the most important questions that man can ask himself. It is extremely satisfying and worthy of repetitive readings. There is a pile of footnotes to help guide you through each page.

Enormously recommended! ! ! !

(As a side note Evans-Wentz wrote several other books to follow up on this one. They should be read in the following order - (1)The Tibetan Book of the Dead, (2) Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa, (3)Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines and (4)The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation.)

5-0 out of 5 stars The central book of Thanatology
This book is probably the pre-eminent "global" text on Ars Moriendi. Stripped of culturally conditioned paraphernalia ( various Bodhisattvas, elaborate Mahayanist mythologies etc ), what remains is probably the most descriptive essay on the "great beyond" ( apart from Plato's "Phaedo", which I find even more aesthetically and cognitively persuasive, but greatly differing in spirit ).

Among the greatest merits of the book are, IMO, a clear exposition of the Trikaya doctrine, ie. Mahayanist ontology; subtle psycho-spiritual analysis ( mainly in footnotes ) of 'Knower' ( principle of consciousness, caitanya or shes-pa - permanent reincarnating "I": an entity in perfect concordance with Tantricism but not very plausible in Buddhist Theravada orthodoxy ) and visionary cartography of the three ( "Divine"( Chikai ), noetic/causal ( Chonyid ), and psychic/imaginal ( Sidpa )) supraphysical Bardo states/worlds.

Probably the biggest failure is Jung's introduction, something that makes a man suspicious whether Jung had read "Bardo Thodhol" at all. Avalon's foreword is not bad, but also not very illuminating. What makes the book readable and understandable are Evans Wentz's intro and footnotes without which "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" would be a dry and dull read. Since inception of Wentz's "Tibetan Canon" ( 4- 5 books ) many eminent authors ( Chogyam Trungpa, Tarthang Tulku, Sogyal Rinpoche,..) have written numerous works on the Vajrayana, but, as far as I'm concerned- they haven't succeeded in surpassing these early masterpieces. ... Read more


7. A CULTURAL HISTORY OF TIBET
by HUGH RICHARDSON
list price: $20.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1570621020
Catlog: Book (1995-06-06)
Publisher: Shambhala
Sales Rank: 752586
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A well-balanced History of Tibet
This is the best book I have read on the history of Tibet, especially as it pertains to religion. It fairly treats the BON as well as all four Sects of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism equally. Unlike other histories or recent art books on Tibet written by western converts, this work does not reflect a personal political agenda. ... Read more


8. The Buddha's Art of Healing : Tibetan Paintings Rediscovered
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0847820904
Catlog: Book (1998-06-15)
Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications
Sales Rank: 558747
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Buddha's Art of Healing provides a rich introduction to the world of Tibetan medicine, a cultural achievement considered by the Dalai Lama to be one of Tibet's most valuable contributions to the modern world. Illustrated with intricate and vivid scroll paintings based on The Atlas of Tibetan Medicine, a seventeenth-century masterpiece that is the foundation of Tibetan medical education, this volume explores pertinent global concerns and contributes profound insights to enhance rather than supplant Western medical science.

The paintings, commissioned around the turn of the century and now in the collection of the History Museum of Buryatia in Russia, are from the only surviving set of medical tangkas outside Tibet. Together they express the high point of an ancient and uniquely effective system of healing based on a combination of precision and intuition. The integration of physical, mental, and spiritual health inherent in this system and its emphasis on ethics and ecological balance are both relevant and timely.

Complementing the paintings are essays by renowned scholars that elucidate the conceptual and theoretical foundations of Tibetan medicine and describe the role of the paintings as mnemonic and meditational devices in the training of physicians. Each of the forty paintings is reproduced as a full-page plate and described in detail with commentary on its visual content and symbolism.

The paintings illustrated in The Buddha's Art of Healing will be seen for the first time in the West in an international exhibition that opens at the Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta and travels to the Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C., and other venues.
... Read more

Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars For Inquiring "New Investigators" to "Seasoned Pros"
What this version lacks is poster-sized illustrations...other than that, you'll find it here. While much time is spent on in-depth detail of information and explanation ranging from historical context and relevance, to the present day continuation of many of the ancient beliefs/practices, the inquiring reader won't have to worry about "treading water" here due to the well-defined, logical layout of the work. Rather than bounce from here to there and back again, the read and "look" is more like an entertaining, well-mapped history book; great lay out, fun, and informative. ;) ... Read more


9. A Handbook of Tibetan Buddhist Symbols
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1590301005
Catlog: Book (2003-10-14)
Publisher: Shambhala
Sales Rank: 104877
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Especially informative for connoisseurs of Tibetan art
The Handbook Of Tibetan Buddhist Symbols by Robert Beer (who has studied and practice Tibetan thanga painting for more than thirty years) is a straightforward reference guide to the meaningful symbolism of sacred Tibetan art. Black-and-white illustrations depict all the major Buddhist symbols and motifs, while the text offers depth and interpretation behind the meaning and usage of each. The Handbook Of Tibetan Buddhist Symbols is enthusiastically recommended for inclusion into Buddhist Studies and especially informative for connoisseurs of Tibetan art. ... Read more


10. Indo-Tibetan Buddhism : Indian Buddhists & Their Tibetan Successors
by DAVID SNELLGROVE
list price: $45.00
our price: $29.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1570629730
Catlog: Book (2003-03-18)
Publisher: Shambhala
Sales Rank: 323489
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Reference Book on Tibetan Buddhism
I recommand this book for one who want a good reference book on Tibetan Buddhism. This book is imformative and has a reasonably comprehensive coverage on all the most important areas in Tibetan Buddhism. This book is certainly a good bargain and has a good "useful information per dollar" ratio, especially when compared to many other books in the market.
This book has also been referred to and cited by many other scholars and is a respected authority in this area. ... Read more


11. Lost Lhasa: Heinrich Harrer's Tibet
by Heinrich Harrer
list price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810927896
Catlog: Book (1997-09-01)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 563941
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

In the 1940s, Austrian mountain climber Heinrich Harrer escaped from a British internment camp in India and walked across the Himalayas. He limped into Lhasa two years later, and spent five years there as an honorary Tibetan. He kept diaries, bartered for an old Leica camera, and took thousands of pictures. Then in 1950 the Chinese invaded Tibet and Harrer fled. Seven Years in Tibet tells that story, but Harrer wanted to do more to raise international awareness. The result is Lost Lhasa, a collection of hundreds of previously unpublished intimate photographs of the Lhasa that used to be. With an explanatory text written in the same unpretentious prose that made Seven Years so popular, this paean to the Lhasa Harrer knew is beautiful and irreplaceable. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars The top of the world in pictures
Most of LOST LHASA documents the peaceful years that Heinrich Harrer spent in Tibet. The map of Tibet and its border with northern India is shown inside the front cover, with a line marking Harrer's route from Dehra Dun near the Ganges River in India, up into the Himalayas far northwest of Mt. Everest. After escaping from a prison camp in April, 1944, and climbing for 18 days to Tibet, then stuck in Traduen until December, 1944 while they waited for permission to travel further, they waited in Kyirong on the border of Nepal until November, 1945, when they escaped again. "To avoid large cities, we decided to move even farther north, into the Changthang region--the famous Tibetan Plateau. Here we would see only nomads and brigands; government officials avoided the area." (p. 43). Walking into Lhasa like starving beggars on January 15, 1946, "We thought of our adventures and of our comrades still in the internment camp at Dehra Dun." (p. 47).

Heinrich Harrer is famous, now, as the author of the best-selling book, SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET, which told the same story. LOST LHASA was not published until 1991, when the 2000 negatives which he had kept became the best reminder he had of the years he had enjoyed most. There is a lot of writing in this book to tell the entire story again, and in places where there aren't many pictures, the people are still fascinating. A young couple, who had given Peter Aufschnaiter and Harrer each a dried apricot on a 20,000-foot pass two months before, had much to complain about after they reached Lhasa. "They were surprised that they had to work for daily necessities, even if it was only a place to spend the night or a cup of tea. They felt that people in Lhasa were greedy, demanding things that in the Changthang you wouldn't think about. . . . We invited them to our modest home, where we had lots of barley, rice, and butter, and we supplied them for their return to the Changthang, their nomadic home, where they had plenty of meat, butter, cheese, milk, and where nature would provide for all their needs." (p. 65).

Picture captions are jumbled together. The caption under the picture on page 116 explains "Noblemen and women . . ." with everyone in winter clothes "in front of the Kumbum monument in Gyangtse [above]. The girl [right] sits behind three fancy teacups, complete with stands and cover." also explains the picture of a young child on page 117 with very short hair and a necklace of beads sitting behind a table with four teacups. My first clue that it was a picture of a girl was the covers on the teacups. The 7-inch-square picture on page 116 shows plain cups and saucers. I did not realize that four teacups with stands and covers were on the table in front of the kid until I tried to measure the height of each cup to see if they were taller than the kid's head in the picture. Allowing for perspective, it might be possible for a knob on top of the fourth teacup to be mistaken for an earring, just below one of the kid's ears, but the earring pictures are elsewhere in this book.

Several trips to Lhasa are described in this book, including "When I returned in 1982, I found that the Chinese had destroyed the medical school that perched atop Chagpori and replaced it with a radio tower." (p. 208). A Glossary on pages 218-219 explains terms like Dob-Dob (monk-police) and Tsampa (parched barley flour, the Tibetan's staple food). Notes on the pictures on page 220 identify two of the people in the picture on page 116 and explain that the picture following it is of the daughter of Surkhang Wangchuk, the governor of Gyangste. Harrer had fled Lhasa and was staying with the governor of Gyangste when the Dalai Lama with a caravan that contained more than a thousand animals came through on the flight from Tibet to the Chumbi Valley. Harrer left there in March, 1951. "Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama returned to Lhasa to find posters of Mao plastered against the walls of the Potala." (p. 207). Among the brighter aspects of the nostalgia in this book is the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the Dalai Lama in 1989 because he "opposed the use of violence. He has instead advocated peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect, in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people." (pp. 216-217). This book is a monument to that tradition.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lovely, informative book
What a lovely book! Engrossing illustration of a way of life destroyed by the Chinese conquerors. I love reading Buddhist writings, but I think this would appeal even to those who are not interested in Buddhism, as Harrer seems to be not particularly religious and he concentrates on the everyday life of Tibetans in Lhasa. ... Read more


12. The Tiger Rugs of Tibet
list price: $60.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0500973695
Catlog: Book (1989-03-01)
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Sales Rank: 360590
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars An Encyclopedia of the Tibetan Tiger Rug
Four and a half stars.
Mimi Lipton has done the rug community a great service in putting together this wonderful volume. It is in no way a definitive work as the rugs took on many different forms (see for example the Bernheimer Tiger rug offered for sale at the famous Christies auction in 1996) and there are some repetition of subtypes. Nevertheless it is quite an amazing book and makes a good contribution to the literature on oriental rugs.
Many cultures of the East valued the pelt of the tiger. But leave it to the Tibetans to come up with a compassionate and ecologically wise solution to the demand of these prized skins.
This also makes for a great coffee table book.
Recommended. ... Read more


13. Tibet's Hidden Wilderness: Wildlife and Nomads of the Chang Tang Reserve
by George B. Schaller
list price: $45.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810938936
Catlog: Book (1997-09-01)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 649840
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14. Buddha's Warriors
by Mikel Dunham
list price: $28.95
our price: $19.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1585423483
Catlog: Book (2004-12-29)
Publisher: Tarcher
Sales Rank: 2552579
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Book Description

Buddha's Warriors is the first book that brings to life Tibet before the Chinese communist invasions and depicts the transition of peaceful monks to warriors with the help of the CIA.

Tibet in the last sixty years has been so much mystified and politicized that the world at large is confused about what really happened to the "Rooftop of the World" when Mao Tse-tung invaded its borders in 1950. There are dramatically conflicting accounts from Beijing and Dharamsala (home of the Dalai Lama's government-in-exile). Adding to the confusion is the romanticized spin that Western writers and filmmakers have adopted in an effort to appease the popular myth of Shangri-La.

Buddha's Warriors is no fairy tale. Set in a narrative framework but relying heavily on the oral transcripts of the Tibetan men who actually fought the Chinese, Buddha's Warriors tells, for the first time, the inside story of these historic developments, while drawing a vivid picture of Tibetan life before, during, and after Mao's takeover. The firsthand accounts, gathered by the author over a period of seven years, bring faces and deeply personal emotions to the forefront of this ongoing tragedy. It is a saga of brave soldiers and cowardly traitors. It's about hope against desolation, courage against repression, atheism against Buddhism. Above all, it's about what happens to an ancient civilization when it is thrust overnight into the modern horrors of twentieth-century warfare.
... Read more


15. Yangzi River Map: From Source to Sea, Featuring the Three Gorges, Shanghai, Wuhan, Chongqing, & the Source in Tibet
by Wong How Man, Mark Stroud
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9622177158
Catlog: Book (2003-04)
Publisher: Odyssey Publications, Ltd.
Sales Rank: 488322
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16. On The Margins Of Tibet: Cultural Survival On The Sino-Tibetan Frontier (Studies on Ethnic Groups in China)
by ASHILD KOLAS, MONIKA P. THOWSEN
list price: $45.00
our price: $45.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0295984805
Catlog: Book (2005-05-31)
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Sales Rank: 559637
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Book Description

The state of Tibetan culture within contemporary China is a highly politicized topic on which reliable information is rare. But what is Tibetan culture and how should it be developed or preserved? The Chinese authorities and the Tibetans in exile present conflicting views on almost every aspect of Tibetan cultural life.

Ashild Kolas and Monika Thowsen have gathered an astounding array of data to quantify Tibetan cultural activities--involving Tibetan language, literature, visual arts, museums, performing arts, festivals, and religion. Their study is based on fieldwork and interviews conducted in the ethnic Tibetan areas surrounding the Tibetan Autonomous Region--parts of the Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Gansu, Yunnan, and Qinghai. Aware of the ambiguous nature of information collected in restricted circumstances, they make every effort to present a complete and unbiased picture of Tibetan communities living on China's western frontiers.

Kolas and Thowsen investigate the present conditions of Tibetan cultural life and cultural expression, providing a wealth of detailed information on topics such as the number of restored monasteries and nunneries and the number of monks, nuns, and tulkus (reincarnated lamas) affiliated with them; sources of funding for monastic reconstruction and financial support of clerics; types of religious ceremonies being practiced; the content of monastic and secular education; school attendance; educational curriculum and funding; the role of language in Tibetan schools; and Tibetan news and cultural media.

On the Margins of Tibet will be of interest to historians and social scientists studying modern China and Tibetan culture, and to the many others concerned about Tibet's place in the world. ... Read more


17. Return to Tibet: Tibet After the Chinese Occupation
by Heinrich Harrer, Ewald Osers
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0874779251
Catlog: Book (1998-05-01)
Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 295497
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The New York Times bestseller Seven Years in Tibet told the incredible story of an idyllic life on the roof of the world, before it was destroyed by the invading Chinese army.Now, in the extraordinary Return to Tibet, Austrian adventurer Henrich Harrer revisits the people and places he left behind. A compelling mix of history, religion, and travel writing, his book bears witness to the suffering and perseverance of this ancient civilization under Chinese rule.Against a backdrop of ruined monasteries and the beautiful, mysterious Himalayas, Harrer vividly evokes both a free Tibet in whichreligion and faith were central features of daily life, and the present-day occupied nation from which a profoundly spiritual culture threatens to disappear. He reflects on the country's problems and in a reunion with his former pupil, the Dalai Lama, discusses ways of preserving the Tibetans' national character and their homeland.Like Seven Years in Tibet, this is a timeless story of Eastern culture that beckons readers to a land of majestic mountains and a religion that has endured for a thousand years. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Read It As History, Not Travelogue
It is amazing that Henrich Harrer has written separate accounts on Tibet, the roof of thw world, with incredible disparity in emotions. The successor of "Seven Years in Tibets", "Return to Tibet" records the author's revisit 30 years after his departure in 1950. "Return to Tibet" is often regarded as the continuation of "Seven Years in Tibet", except that readers shouldn't read it as a travelogue. Interwoven with the once-vivid and jocund recollection of the country, Harrer contrasted the dismal Tibet under the Chinese neocolonialism. One might find the later volume dry and even disappointing because "Return To Tibet" is not really a showcase of colorful Tibetan costumes, or the rancid butter tea, or the architecture of monasteries. Instead, it is more a political review of how China had annihilated the Tibetan cultures by forcing adoption of new beliefs and ideologies. The climax of the book falls into the author's report to the Dalai Lama, with whom Harrer had built a close friendship. It is through Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibet, that the author realized that Tibetans' beliefs are unshakable. "Tibetans are people of love and patience. They never value war. Yet they value religion and belief more than anything. They would value religion more than not going to war."

3-0 out of 5 stars Return to Tibet - not a story, more a thesis.
After reading Seven Years in Tibet, this book (which I managed to pick up in Pilgrims bookshop in Kathmandu, after visiting Tibet myself in 1998) came across more as a thesis, compared to the story like format of the former book. Return to Tibet concerns Heinrich Harrer's return to Lhasa in 1982 as part of one of the first tour groups to enter Tibet after China began to open up after Mao and the Cultural Revolution. He compare the Lhasa and Tibet he knew over thirty years before with that he saw on his return. He also manages to break away from the group he was with and meet some of the people he used to know - again, the differences in these people show a sharp contrast.

Whereas Seven Years in Tibet is an easy read, this is a lot heavier going. To be honest, I felt that Heinrich Harrer spent too much time lamenting the old days which made for not one the most memorable reads. That said, if only to show how much had changed, it is still interesting from a historical point of view and what caught my attention most was the changes between the Heinrich Harrer's visit in 1982 and my own trip their in 1998 (for example, on the good side monasteries being rebuilt, easier to get around Tibet, but not so good was the development of Lhasa into a modern city with less character, with a very large influx of non-Tibetans into Tibet in general).

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but a little dry
I found Mr. Harrer's account of his return to Tibet after Chinese occupation an interesting account from a factual point of view, but it was rather dry from a reader point of view. If you are interested in Tibet, I would recommend it; if you are interested in a good story, I would not.

4-0 out of 5 stars A first hand account of Tibet after years of Chinese rule.
I loved Harrer's "Seven Years In Tibet". I was somewhat less impressed with "Return To Tibet". After living in Tibet and personally knowing the Dali Lama I expected this book to be a little more in depth on the personal struggles of the Tibetian people and less about the archeological sites that had been destroyed. Even with that criticism, the book is well written and unfortunately a tragic follow up to "Seven Years". ... Read more


18. The Dragon in the Land of Snows: A History of Modern Tibet Since 1947
by Tsering Shakya
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140196153
Catlog: Book (2000-10-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 173992
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Based entirely on unpublished primary sources, Tsering Shakya's groundbreaking history of modern Tibet shatters the popular conception of the country as an isolated Shangri--la unaffected by broader international developments. Shakya gives a balanced, blow-by-blow account of Tibet's ongoing struggle to maintain its independence and safeguard its cultural identity while being sandwiched between the heavyweights of Asian geopolitics: Britain, India, China, and the United States.

With thorough documentation, Shakya details the Chinese depredations of Tibet, and reveals the failures of the Tibetan leadership's divided strategies. Rising above the simplistic dualism so often found in accounts of Tibet's contested recent history, The Dragon in the Land of Snows lucidly depicts the tragedy that has befallen Tibet and identifies the conflicting forces that continue to shape the aspirations of the Tibetan people today.
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Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Objectivity, rare in a book about Tibet
What I noted the most about this book is the fact that the author tries very hard to be objective and impartial in his analysis of the situation in Tibet. Most western books on the topic tend to be blatantly pro-Tibetan independance and are a laundry list of shocking atrocities. I call this the 'Bad China, Good Tibet' view of history. This point of view is non-controversial and highly simplistic in which China is demonized and in which Tibetans are nothing more than clear victims of history.

The fact of the matter is, the situation in Tibet is HIGHLY controversial and HIGHLY complex. Simply considering history to be simply 'Bad China, Good Tibet' is a disservice to Tibetans because it fails to give justice to the vicissitudes of their situation. Furthermore, it preempts further inquiry into the full array of historical issues at work and dumbs down the entire dramatic conflict incredibly.

This is why I found this book a refreshing look at Tibet's conflict with China. The author tries very hard to remain objective. Instead of using his book to demonize China and list atrocities, he tries to explain Beijing's acts from within the framework of Chinese politics and ideology. This is not to say that he does not give sufficient attention to atrocities, however. The author is also critical of myopic policies of the Tibetan government in handling the 1950 invasion. He also examines India's difficult tightrope walk of trying to have good relations with Beijing while providing humanitarian assistance to the Tibetans. In short, this book tries to be a balanced view of the Chinese occupation of Tibet- This in itself is all-too seldom seen in the west, where we see Brad Pitt (in 7 Years in Tibet) showing us how a nice Nazi mountain-climber introduces the joy of cinema to a rosy-cheeked, perpetually 8-year old Dalai Lama.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Research Book.
This book is a great resource for those that might be writting a paper on Tibet,I wouldn't recommend reading it from cover to cover however because Mr. Shakya's writting style leaves a lot to be desired, and the only real problem thati had with the book was with the last chapter devoted to the current Pachen Lama crisis, which i found frusturating because it deserves so much more & is too complex of an issue for the about three or four pages the author allowed it. Anyone interested in that area should definately read "hostage of Beijing. the abduction of the pachen lama" by giles van grasdorff.

5-0 out of 5 stars an important contribution
Tsering Shakya's book is dispassionate and comprehensive. Instead of simply rehashing and remixing previously published work, it adds to existing accounts by incorporating interviews with first-hand witnesses among the Tibetan exile community (he apparently has not interviewed any Chinese witnesses, which is unfortunate but understandable). Although I have read widely on this subject before, I found much here that's new and not a little that's surprising. I'm sure Tsering Shakya is taking a lot of flack for writing this book. I hope he perseveres, because I believe that the cause of peace is best served by unbiased and unflinching accounts such as this one.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fine information, awful writing
The thoroughness of this history cannot be doubted. It is a fully detailed history of China's role in modern Tibet. On this point I must agree with all other reviewers. But someone has to point out that this book is horribly written and horribly edited. Names appear with variant spellings-even on the same page. Sentences begin & go no where. Poor writing & editing make this book a difficult read, particularly for non-scholars who may not be fully familiar with names and events. This book does no credit to an important university press in this regard.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must reading for those interested in Tibet.
This is the first serious attempt to examine the history of Sino-Tibetan relations from 1949 to the present. Before I read it, I had been told that it had upset people on both sides. Now I can see why. It pulls no punches, panders no propaganda, and plays no favorites. Though obviously sympathetic to the plight of the Tibetan people and unsparing in its criticism of Chinese rule, it peels back the layers of myth superimposed by both Chinese and Tibetan exiles to show the mistakes and foolishness on both sides. Shakya's explanation of the recent Panchen Lama imbroglio is clear and accurate. Overall, "must" reading for anyone seriously interested in the Tibet issue and Sino-Tibetan relations. ... Read more


19. The Secret Lives of Alexandra David-Neel: A Biography of the Explorer of Tibet and Its Forbidden Practices
by Barbara Foster, Michael Foster
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1585673293
Catlog: Book (2002-11-01)
Publisher: Overlook Press
Sales Rank: 59667
Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Secret Lives of Alexandra David-Neel is the definitive biography of the explorer Lawrence Durrell called "the most astonishing woman of our time." Alexandra David-Neel was the first European to explore Tibet at a time when foreigners were banned; few have led a life of adventure to equal hers or made so much of it.

In Tibet and Sikkim, David-Neel lived among hermits and shamans while studying first hand the secret mystical practices of Tibetan Buddhism, including out-of-body travel, telepathy, vampiric shamanism, and tantric sex. After returning to France, she wrote more than thirty books, among them My Journey to Lhasa and Magic and Mystery in Tibet. She has had a profound influence on Beat culture and the emergence of American Buddhism.

Drawing from rare source material, including information obtained from the secret files of the India office, Barbara and Michael Foster have written a vividly detailed chronicle-of both David-Neel's quest to conquer her personal demons and of the outer journey that made her one of the most celebrated figures of her day.
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Reviews (7)

1-0 out of 5 stars Read Alexandra's own 'My Journey to Lhasa'
The best chapters of 'The Secret Lives of Alexandra David-Neel:'
owe much to Alexandra's own account of her journey to Lhasa. Her own books are wonderful to read, all of them , but in particular her 'My Journey to Lhasa' Beacon Press republished it as a paperback in 1993, ISBN 0-8070-5903-X
I can guarantee you will have a most enjoyable read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Biography
It is my great pleasure to let Amazon readers know about the exploits of Alexandra David-Neel, the explorer of Tibet, which the Fosters chronicle so vividly in the biography, THE SECRET LIVES OF ALEXANDRA DAVID-NEEL. This bio reads more like a novel or adventure tale due to the wonderfully-detailed scenes with such authentic touches I felt as if I were truly there, and often worried about David-Neel's ability to survive. Obviously the Fosters have done their research incredibly well and write graceful,lucid prose; I was captivated from the first sentence and actually resented having to put down the book to take care of chores. This is is one of the best biographies I have ever read. The story cries out to be told visually on the big screen.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unique Woman Explorer at Turn of Century
Little known crossdressing Victorian Frenchwoman undertakes a dangerous journey of discovery in forbidden country disguised as a monk and lives to tell her tale to the world. Thoroughly well researched,and well crafted The Secret Lives of Alexandra David-Neel is the biography of a remarkable woman. A woman born to the mannered and circumscribed Victorian era who chose to strike out on her own initiative to explore the spiritual secrets and she was among the first Europeans to report about it from inside to the rest of the world.
I found it a fascinating read about a remarkable woman of whom I knew nothing, a woman who accomplished amazing things in her life. I recommend this biography by Barbara and Michael Foster to anyone interested in tales of high adventure in exploration, in the golden age of exploration and of unknown exotic lands. If the story of resolutely fearless woman pursuing her dream of exploring Forbidden Tibet whets your appetite I recommned you read this well crafted biography. I can recommend it without reservation. ZaneMason

5-0 out of 5 stars Why I enjoyed reading Alexandra David-Neel's biography
I feel compelled to let people know about a book my best friend gave me for my birthday, The Secret Lives of Alexandra David-Neel. This biography is a riveting read about a woman who did the impossible. A rare bird, she combined intellectual acuteness with a spirit of adventure that took her on a wonderful journey to Lhasa. The Foster's tell her exciting life with verve and in a very readable style. The bio also gave me a worthwhile introduction to buddhism.

5-0 out of 5 stars Accomplished and exhaustively researched account
An accomplished and exhaustively researched account of the life of Alexandra David-Neel, explorer, scholar, mystic and heroine to generations. The Fosters' meticulous research and obvious affinity for their subject results in a highly readable work that is part historical detective work, part travelog, and part cultural study. This book of broad based appeal will captivate students of history, armchair travellers, and anyone interested in Tibet and its people. There is no other comparable work available on this fascinating and timely subject. ... Read more


20. Tibetan Portrait: The Power of Compassion
by Phil Borges, Dalai Lama, Bstan-Dzin-Rgya-Mtsho
list price: $27.50
our price: $17.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0847819574
Catlog: Book (1996-05-01)
Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications
Sales Rank: 112063
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Visually Stunning Portrait on the Theme of Compassion
Phil Borges presents, through the medium of photography, a project that brings attention to the situation in Tibet. Both stylish and yet sensitive, Borges uses an extensive cross section of subjects to accomplish this. He brings to the project, like I mentioned above, an extensive cross section not just of subjects but locations as well that exemplify the phenomenal complexity and diversity in that country. An example is the portrait of Yama, which caught my eye, who could be any child in any place in the world. I might be waxing "noble savage" here but does she not deserve a childhood just like any child in the globe? With text from such notables as Nobel Peace Laureates like Elie Wiesel and His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso - the book is a sure hit and a must for every home. Not to be outdone are other contributors who themselves are "heavy hitters" in the discourse of Tibet and Tibetan issues - Robert F. Thurman and the late Galen Rowell. Phil Borges presents us with nothing less than a tour de force of visual stimulation coupled with profound text and a stylish presentation. A keeper that will stand the test of time.

Miguel Llora

5-0 out of 5 stars Pure feelings you want to share
Each of these faces is pure incarnation of a human feeling...from joy to worriness, from amazement to pride.Some of these people will haunt you for long after you turn the last page (See little 4 year old Pemba's eyes...) Sent the book to friends overseas...just the kind of work you want to share with your closest ones.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Inspirational
Phil Borges amazing photography, accompanied by words from the Dalai Lama make this book not only beautiful to look at, but inspiring as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars The most touching portraits I've seen.
This book is incredible. I am an artist myself and have seen more than my share of photographic portraits and none of them touch the quality of these. It is the kind of book you can look at again and again. There is nothing pathetic or dramatic about these photos, they are pure and seem to cut right to the truth of the subject. Whether the cause of Tibet is something you are passionate about or not - the spirit and life in these portraits will make you feel like you are seeing the soul of the subject and want to do something to help.

5-0 out of 5 stars An ancient wisdom ,clarified.
For those who might have a curiosity as to what THE Power of Compassion is... there is no finer synthesis of portrait and teaching than this rare gem of clarity. Real world suffering as the vehicle of our own liberation in the here and now.Impeccable credentials distinguish the Teacher,His Holiness the Dalai Lama. You are in for a precious experience. ... Read more


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