In the Shadow of the Buddha: Secret Journeys, Sacred Histories, and Spiritual Discovery in Tibet

In the Shadow of the Buddha Secret Journeys Sacred Histories and Spiritual Discovery in Tibet Spiritual biography meets edge of your seat undercover reporting how an American Buddhist smuggled out hard evidence of abuse and torture in Tibet For nearly a decade Matteo Pistono smuggled out of T

  • Title: In the Shadow of the Buddha: Secret Journeys, Sacred Histories, and Spiritual Discovery in Tibet
  • Author: Matteo Pistono
  • ISBN: 9780525951193
  • Page: 268
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Spiritual biography meets edge of your seat undercover reporting how an American Buddhist smuggled out hard evidence of abuse and torture in Tibet For nearly a decade, Matteo Pistono smuggled out of Tibet evidence of atrocities by the Chinese government, showing it to the U.S government, human rights organizations, and anyone who would listen Yet Pistono did not origiSpiritual biography meets edge of your seat undercover reporting how an American Buddhist smuggled out hard evidence of abuse and torture in Tibet For nearly a decade, Matteo Pistono smuggled out of Tibet evidence of atrocities by the Chinese government, showing it to the U.S government, human rights organizations, and anyone who would listen Yet Pistono did not originally intend to fight for social justice in Tibet he had gone there as a Buddhist pilgrim Disillusioned by a career in American politics, he had gone to the Himalayas looking for a simpler way of life After encountering Buddhism in Nepal, Pistono s quest led him to Tibet and to a meditation master whose spiritual brother is Sogyal Rinpoche, bestselling author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying Pistono not only became the master s student but also couriered messages to him in Tibet from the Dalai Lama in India This began an extraordinary, and ultimately vital, adventure.In the Shadow of the Buddha is a book about Tibet through the eyes of a devotee a stranger hiding in plain sight It s about how a culture s rich spiritual past is slipping away against the force of a tyrannical future It s about how Tibetans live today, and the tenacity of their faith in the future in spite of dire repression and abuse It s also about Pistono s own journey from being a frustrated political activist to becoming a practicing Buddhist mystic, a man who traveled thousands of miles and risked his own life to pursue freedom and peace Watch a Video

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      Matteo Pistono

    About Author

    1. Matteo Pistono is a writer and meditation teacher His books include Meditation Coming To Know Your Mind Hay House, 2017 , Fearless in Tibet The Life of the Mystic Tert n Sogyal Hay House 2014 , and In The Shadow of the Buddha One Man s Journey of Discovery in Tibet Dutton Penguin 2011 Pistono s writings and photographs about Tibetan, Himalayan, and South East Asian cultural, political, and spiritual landscapes have also appeared in The Washington Post, BBC s In Pictures, Men s Journal, Kyoto Journal, and HIMAL South Asia Pistono was born and raised in Wyoming, completed his undergraduate degree in Anthropology from the University of Wyoming, and in 1997 he obtained his Masters of Arts degree in Indian Philosophy from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London After working with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C on Tibetan cultural programs, Pistono lived and traveled throughout the Himalayas for a decade, bringing to the West graphic accounts and photos of China s human rights abuses in Tibet, which he wrote about in In the Shadow of the Buddha He sits on the Executive Council of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists Matteo and his wife Monica reside in Washington DC.

    One thought on “In the Shadow of the Buddha: Secret Journeys, Sacred Histories, and Spiritual Discovery in Tibet

    1. Having finished this book about a month ago, I ve had a little time to digest its content and value for other readers What I would say about the book is that if you have an interest in Tibet and the struggles of the people there against Chinese oppression to maintain their lifestyle and religion, then this book is definitely worth reading.I read it as a travel book, and in some regards it fits the bill However, the author is a Westerner with a devout sense of Buddhism and it s a very personal st [...]


    2. IN THE SHADOW OF THE BUDDHA Secret Journeys, Sacred Histories, and Spiritual Discovery in Tibet Dutton January 20, 2011 is Pistono s story, told in his own words, for the first time Part undercover reporting, part spiritual biography, this book takes readers deep into the heart of Tibet how Tibetans live today, their rich spiritual past, the tenacity of their faith, and firsthand accounts of repression and abuse by Chinese authorities, smuggled out by one dedicated man.Disillusioned by a career [...]


    3. I m not sure how objective I m going to be but so far I love this book I met and was friends with Matteo through Amnesty International while living in Wyoming He was in college and I was a newly divorced mother of two in my early 30 s Even then, I was very impressed with his seriousness and maturity when it came to thinking globally Only because that is not at all what was on the top of my list of priorities when I was 20 And he was a long haired, snowboard shredder, free spirit with, who knew, [...]


    4. At first I was completely lost The book moves quickly between the author s present day journeys through Tibet and Tibetan Buddhist history Perhaps it was my relaxed state of mind I was reading it while on a camping trip in beautiful Big Sur , but in the beginning I had a hard time keeping up Once I settled in to the back and forth pace, I was hooked I was moved by the reporting aspect of the book with regard to the current human rights conditions in Tibet I was curious about the history lesson a [...]


    5. Enjoyed the physical descriptions of the area of Tibet and high areas of India, but the author stretches credulity in some of his narratives He accepts without question some very strange happenings, such as the bodies of lamas becoming, on their death, pure light, leaving behind only nails and hair Also several grammar usage errors, including bailing for baling and symbols instead of cymbals.


    6. I m not really sure how to describe this book well It was in part about the author s journey to Tibet to try and smuggle documents out of there to show how the Chinese were treating the Tibetans It was also about the Dalai Lamas and some other spiritual people that helped the Dalai Lamas.This was a short book 220 pgs , but it was taking me forever to read it and I was just not into it It was a book club pick, so I was going to power through it, but once another member gave up I felt like that wa [...]


    7. This was an interesting book, but it wasn t always an easy to read one.I can see why other reviewers commented on the constant jumping around through time not just back and forth between 19th early 20th C Tibetan history and the present day, but within each timeframe as well.It did seem to settle eventually and given the Buddhist view of time, some non linearity is probably appropriate but my logical Western mind found it a little confusing in places.The history and legends were rich, and the de [...]


    8. This book only has 227 pages of content I should have whipped through it in just a few days, especially since it was for a book club that was going to meet less than a week from when I picked it up from the library A week later, I still had 100 pages to go I kept carrying it around everywhere I went, but had trouble staying awake while reading it It doesn t know what it wants to be a record of human rights atrocities a travel tome a story of spiritual discovery exploration of East vs West It dra [...]


    9. Such an intimate look into Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism The horrors of what the Chinese government is doing in Tibet is hard to read, but is as important as ever


    10. i bought this book a few years ago from Bangkok , i read it and i loved it , i read it in 2 days was well written is about matteo Piston , he is a buddhist who has lived in Tibet and Nepal for over a decade.he has given some beautiful discriptions of Nepal and of kathmandu is his journey and about how he travelled in Asia he talks about Dalai Lama and about the crimes that have been commited by the Chinese government and about how they have tortured people.he is actually from wyoming in america. [...]


    11. Much like a modern version Alexandra David Neel s Magic and Mystery in Tibet, with the added thrills of the Chinese occupation, borders without papers, and smuggling documentary evidence of human rights violations It is a triple story, as the sub title implies, and they are well woven Much of the spiritual discovery involves magic and mystery, and it has something of a believe it or not feel to it If events like At this time, a robust raven landed on the windowsill of the room, cawing as it bobb [...]


    12. amazing account so far an look forward to a westerners exp in the name of smuggling evidence from tibet on abuses to buddhists and reveal to US His going to the historical timeline while interweaving his exploration and enlightening political and spiritual journey was well done is well done I met the author and is very humble obviously his teachings in tibet aided that attitude Its different in that the smuggling of info by chinese govt she s factual evidence of believed atrocities perpetrated [...]


    13. Come along with author Matteo Pistono on his Buddhist pilgrimage in Tibet as he follows the same path as Terton Sogyal in the late nineteenth century His personal mission also becomes one for the Tibetan people as he bears witness to the human rights violations committed by the Chinese and smuggles photos and documents out for the world to see In the Shadow of the Buddha, readers will travel both the world and in time as they learn about Tibetan Buddhism through the spiritual development of the [...]


    14. I suppose I had different expectations for this book versus what it actually had to offer A good human rights pursuit story always gets me So does a travel tome And a spiritual journey All those things together make for a brief description of so many of my favorite books.What would ve made me better would have been getting of Pistono s transformation throughout the story, of a personal approach So much of the book felt like a historical review and report The information is valuable, but the pr [...]


    15. 3.5 stars An interesting and inspiring account of Tibet s spirituality and history, the meaning of pilgrimages and sacred sites, and of Tibetan masters teachings about the essence of life However, I find that the style is not uniform throughout the book, being at times impersonal and dull and giving me the impression that some parts were written by a different hand For this reason, the story doesn t flow smoothly especially in the first half of the book and so becomes less engaging and convincin [...]


    16. I read this book in one sitting last night Really readable, and very interesting The only reason I didn t give it five stars was that some of the historic stories lost me I didn t have enough context for 1880s Buddhist history to stay following the people and events, other than the sweeping generalization that it was the time that China started to really crack down on making Tibet part of China and overthrowing the Buddhist governance in order to do so.


    17. This follows a young man Matteo s journey through Tibetan history and Tibetan Buddhism by way of following in the footsteps of great Buddhist figures Throughout the book, it flips back between historical stories and those of the present, including teachings by various figures of Tibetan Buddhism and stories about recent atrocities against the Tibetan people under the current Chinese regime It was an interesting read, with many stories throughout its pages.


    18. Thoroughly readable peep into the esoteric world of Tibetan Buddhism both past and present as well as the human rights situation in Tibet today.Pistono writes crispy and clearly Both his personal narrative and re telling of the life of Tert n Sogyal are compelling, engaging and easy to read Recommended for anyone generally interested in Tibetan Buddhism or the current political situation in the country You don t need a high level of prior knowledge.


    19. I have been wanting to read a book about the oppression in Tibet that I could understand for a long time This book really kept me interested by him being on a pilgrimage, the people he met and the history all woven together with his amazing quest of getting the Tibetan peoples voices heard He is so commendable for this and very lucky to be alive


    20. Sometimes exciting, sometimes mystifying, sometimes depressing a recent history of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhist through the eyes and mind of a Western convert who smuggled out documentation of Chinese government repression at the same time as he plunged himself into a far from Western view of life.


    21. It s like Into the Wild meets Lord of the Rings meets The Tibetan Book of the Dead meets The New York Times I learned about the history of Tibetan Buddhism and the current political situation, which is much complex historically and disturbing currently than I knew Fascinating book.



    22. Terrific book Part travelogue, part history, part pilgrimage, part human rights struggle Well written, I had no trouble moving between past and present Make me want to travel.





    23. A swashbuckling adventure of political activism and spirituality in Tibet I wrote a blog entry about it goingforrefuge 20



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