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Bhutan: The Land of Serenity Paperback – October 15, 2012


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About the Author

The Dalai Lama’s French interpreter since 1989, Matthieu Ricard lives in the Shechen Monastery in Nepal.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; 1 edition (October 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 050029044X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500290446
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 0.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk who had a promising career in cellular genetics before leaving France to study Buddhism in the Himalayas 35 years ago. He is a bestselling author, translator and photographer, and an active participant in current scientific research on the effects of meditation on the brain. He lives and works on humanitarian projects in Tibet and Nepal.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Radim S on October 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have been to Bhutan recently and fell in love. Fell in love with the country, with the amazing landscapes, with its people and even with our fantastic guide (every foreigner gets a guide in Bhutan, but their quality and experience widely differs. Ours was just fantastic!). I should have bought this book earlier, in order to know that 4 days in Bhutan isn't enough to enjoy everything this secret kingdom hides. Pictures in this book are like a magnet. You want to go and see these locations on your own, sit down there and meditate. The print is very high quality, pictures really stand out so brightly that you feel like being ALMOST there.
Go get it, if you want to Bhutan. Or, as I did, get the book if you are really looking for a proper souvenir for yourself. Better than a cheap scarf or a fridge magnet. This book will always be on my tea table now and will make me feel I'm still there.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John L Murphy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unlike other photo-narratives on this often-mythologized kingdom, this practicing monk takes a sober, almost detached approach that reveals his calm. After a decade in the company of the Dalai Lama's tutor there, Tibetan refugee Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, and now the Dalai Lama's French translator himself, French-born Ricard brings the same considered evaluation of Buddhist practice and culture that his sponsorship and appearance in the films "Brilliant Moon" and "The Spirit of Tibet" (see my Dec. 2012 reviews) demonstrate about his devotion to his mentors. What this has to do with Bhutan as a larger entity comes across more gradually, and the brief three pages introducing each of these eight sections of his brilliantly reproduced color photography, 1980-2007, convey this more vividly than the miniscule font (too small, let alone the captions even smaller) do in this admittedly handsome, compact text, translated by Ruth Sharman.

About half of this content in words and images features or complements the surroundings of his dharma teacher in Bhutan. This complements Ricard's other treatments of him; it means that much of the photography documents monasticism and ceremonies around its operations. As for the country, this is not the best introduction, as no reading list, no map, and very little background is given about the region. The urbanization of many Bhutanese and the complications of modernization are barely glanced at. Intentionally, no doubt, but readers may want to consult other titles as well.

The typeface is as noted tiny and may not be legible for some readers. The book is elegantly laid out, but rather small.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By S. J. Matley on May 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful images of a pristine land, valued by its people & protected by its government.Presents as a collection of images & text to deliver the beauty & serenity of a magnificent unspoilt landscape. Well recommended for those interested in this region of the world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Annette Wood on December 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having just visited Bhutan the contents of this book give a very insightful view of the country, historical and political, accompanied by beautiful photographs. A wonderful reference book which has made my trip come alive and will be a lasting memory of a very spiritual and interesting country. However, if you are looking for a guide book this book would not meet your needs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Edward Lazarus on January 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't know that this book would be particularly interesting to those who have not been to Bhutan. But if you have, it captures the color of the country.
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