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Cave in the Snow Paperback – Aug 24 1999

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Press; New edition edition (Aug. 24 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747543895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747543893
  • Product Dimensions: 32.9 x 32.9 x 50.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #88,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Very possibly, the central figures of these two books?one German, the other British?met during their Buddhist training and charitable work. They undergo similar transformations, abandoning established middle-class lives to adhere to strict Buddhist rules of self-denial, meditation, and hardship. Khema, however, escaped Nazi Germany and had a remarkably peripatetic life that entailed two marriages and much travel. Her telling of her search for Buddhism and life as a nun dwells on the facts of her travels and good works rather than inner thoughts. Despite professions of humility and selflessness, she appears arrogant and proud. But perhaps this impression comes from the process of dictation and a translation from German that is full of cliches and inappropriate expressions. On the other hand, in Cave in the Snow, Mackenzie, a journalist with a special interest in Buddhism, recounts with passion and beauty the story of Tenzin Palmo (nee Diane Perry), which involved 12 years of living in an Indian cave, snowbound for eight months of each year. She delves into Palmo's motivations, feelings, thoughts, and teachings, presenting the facts of her life while preserving the anguish, desire, conviction, and conflict that accompanied her conversion to Buddhism. The result is thoroughly engrossing.?Kitty Chen Dean, Nassau Coll., Garden City, NY
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Amy VG TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 9 2010
Format: Paperback
I am deeply moved by Tenzin Palmo's life story. I practice Insight Meditation, and being a woman, I look for stories by other woman practitioners on the Buddhist path that I can indentify with and perhaps aspire to. Definitely Tenzin Palmo is one such woman. I enjoyed her life story, from her English beginnings to her early days as a Tibetan nun in India to her time in her cave to her teachings that came after. I thoroughly enjoyed getting glimpses of her core teachings in the later chapters of the book. And also, the debate of the role of women in Western Buddhism, as well as, being provided with information on some of the other Buddhist women teachers who have chosen to get married and have children with-in their spiritual path. And I think her current quest to build a Tibetan nunnery is so wonderful and inspiring. I highly recommend this inspiring read.
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Format: Paperback
It would seem difficult to commend sufficiently the merit of this book. Despite lackluster writing by journalist Vicki MacKenzie (whose fascinating book on lama Osel, the surprising tulku recently discovered in Spain, seemed affected arbitrarily by the same lack of dynamism in the writing) the story of Tenzin Palmo shines through, and witnesses to a kind of freedom that is the stuff of legend, and a harbinger of peace. Her presence is clear on every page, distinct and standing and shining on its own power, and perhaps in that way MacKenzie's notably waveless style serves the book well. The book is assembled beautifully, MacKenzie takes her time in just the right places; the final few chapters take up a kind of ecstatic explosion of joy, rumbling to a final free-flying celebration of a remarkable woman's life and freedom. I enjoyed it immensely; and what really calls, and remains a part of us is the woman, this rather great personage of achievement, the lama of freedom- Tenzin Palmo! Her teaching is without any superfluous edges, one finds on nearly every page of this book an immensely grateful and happily intelligent woman, one worth considering for the quality of her genuine spiritual impact. One of the more satisfying books I've read this year, its minimalist decor notwithstanding; not that the writing is so impoverished, but a little bloodless, as I say. But take heart, Tendzin Palmo is a bountiful journey! 4 glad stars!
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Format: Paperback
A potentially interesting and inspiring story, masacred by a journalist. While Ms. Mackenzie sees, she has a problem to smell, hear and feel. Even though we get into the Cave, she never pulls her reader into the mind and body of the Protagonist; and, while Tenzin Palmo has undoubtedly plenty to say, she says a precious little.
The definition of Enlightement, why to get it and what to do with it after you get it - is hardly there, and the accomplishment of it by the Protagonist, has been circumvented.
Has Tenzin Palmo been truly Enlightened, or just Entertained/never bored? One has to wonder. And, why should Tenzin Palmo seek "Enlightement" while those who already have it, behave like dirty old men? And why those (dirty old men), who supposedly believe in Reincarnation, treat women like dirt? Have they ever been or will plan to be women themselves and get back what they dished out? Where is their logic or even their respect for Karma (cause and effect) pertaining to their actions? Are they truly practicing what they preaching? Or, as Dalai Lama himself says: "Spy on your guru for ten years or more before you can trust him?" Are things in the spiritual enlightement world even worse than in Corporate America or in the Oval Office?
Is twelve years in the Cave (Tensin Palmo), or twelve years on the Rock like the Birdman (of Alcatraz), Machine-gun Kelly or even Al Capone the passport to Enlightement? And, moreover, why Tenzin Palmo, who left the world of the Mammon, is returning to it now, begging? Absence of Indian visa or the lack of computer skills?
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Format: Hardcover
This biography of the first western woman Tibetan Buddhist lama, child of the second half of the 20th Century & seeker of spiritual perfection is delightful, frank, detailed & absorbing. Born into war-torn London's East End this girl always felt out of place, survived some astonishingly dangerous childhood traumas & headed pell-mell into London's Swinging Sixties. All the while she's been searching, finding the rare Budhhist community, knowing yet not knowing what to do with her life. Finally she earns enough money for her passage to India & to the exiled Tibetan Buddhist communities in the fabled foothills of the Himalayas. There, when she isn't taken seriously as wanting to immerse herself in the religious life just as the monks do, her determination becomes unshakable & the ultimate feminist battle is engaged. Does the Soul have gender?
This is a stunning book! Exciting & infuriating; transformational & down-to-earth. For the first time my Western mind has been able to grasp the concept of reincarnation.
A superb gift for anyone who has ever contemplated a life of meditation & devotion; for anyone who thinks religion has no humor. This book will have your heart laughing & your spirit bursting open like a flower in sunshine. For my full review please see [my website]
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