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Images of Enlightenment: Tibetan Art in Practice Paperback – January 1, 1994

4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"What delight these two must have had collaborating on this interesting guide to the inner world of Tibetan Buddhist sacred art. Writer Landaw and artist Weber answer those questions many people ask: Who are the figures in those thangkas, and what do they represent? The thirty-two color plates, many of them painted by Weber, could safely be said to be broadly applicable to Tibetan Buddhist art as a whole. And Tibetan art is indeed a potent introduction to Tibetan Buddhism itself."—Mandala Magazine


"A concise introduction to the fundamental points of tantric Buddhism as practiced in the Tibetan traditions."—The Mirror

"A clear and straightforward guide to the inner world of this sacred art."—Napra Trade Journal

"Besides the thirty-two full-color plates of images from Shakyamuni Buddha to Amitabha, there are also thirteen line drawings of arahats, great mahasiddhas, and pioneers of Tibetan Buddhism such as Tilopa, Atisha, and Tsongkhapa. The texts are well-written and describe the symbolic self-transformation and expressions of enlightenment depicted. . . . An excellent text for students, scholars, and practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism."—Eastern Horizon --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

One of the most striking aspects of Tibetan Buddhism is its wealth of visual imagery. Ranging from the tranquility of a serenely poised meditator to the dynamic energy of apparently wrathful figures, this vivid and diverse imagery often leaves Western observers as puzzled as they are fascinated. Who are these figures and what do they mean?

Images of Enlightenment answers the need for a clear and straight-forward guide to the inner world of Tibetan Buddhist sacred art. Focusing on some of its most important and representative images, this richly illustrated book introduces the reader to the tradition of spiritual self-transformation embodied by these depictions of enlightened energy through clear iconographic representations and descriptions.

"Stands out for the way in which depictions of Buddhist deities are grounded in concise yet detailed descriptions of the meditative practices in which those images would be used. Indeed, this is a potent introduction to Tibetan Buddhism."--Dan Cozort, Dickinson College

"...a concise introduction to the fundamental points of tantric Buddhism as practiced in the Tibetan traditions."--The Mirror

"A clear and straight-forward guide to the inner world of this sacred art."--NAPRA Trade Journal --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Snow Lion Publications; 2nd Rei edition (January 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559390247
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559390248
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,820,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The most definitive guide to Buddhism. The deity are all beautifully illustrated in rich color, complete with the historical background of the deity that gain enormous popularity in the east.
It had all the answers that you had always wanted to ask in the past. For illustration why some deities look so wraughtful, fierce and the significance of those implements or objects they hold.
I like the most is the explaination on the deity background concise, full illustrated, very well elaborated and accurate description.
An indispensible guide! Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
If you've ever seen Tibetan Buddhist art and wondered who or what is represented in these colorful paintings (known in Tibetan as thangka), what the various objects in the paintings symbolize, or how the paintings are used in the practice of Buddhism, Images of Enlightenment may answer your questions. Concisely written for a western audience of general readers by two English students of Tibetan Buddhism, this book also provides an introduction to basic Buddhist principles and practice, as well as a brief history of Tibetan Buddhism and short biographies of some of its greatest teachers.

Images of Enlightenment is organized around 32 full-color plates, paintings by Andy Weber, a UK-based artist trained in Nepal by refugee Tibetan painters and now himself a widely traveled and respected teacher in Europe and North America. (See the artist's website for more examples of his work and his current teaching schedule.) Each chapter of the book begins with a theme, followed by explanations of the handful of paintings that best represent them. The first chapter on the life of the Buddha and the basics of Buddhist philosophy, for example, includes descriptions of paintings of the Buddha, stupas, and the Wheel of Life.

As an introductory text, the authors cannot hope to cover the nearly 200 deities of Tibetan Buddhism. They manage, though, to provide an informative, well-written, and properly illustrated volume covering some of the most popular images. If you'd like to learn more about the methods and materials used in painting thangka, you might like to see Jackson and Jackson's Tibetan Thangka Painting: Methods & Materials. The paintings used in this book, while well executed, are quite simple and not cluttered with many of the background items found in many thangka.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this for my Ipad, and was disappointed the Kindle edition does not include the color plates. It doesn't appear to even include the plates in black and white. At least, there are no hyperlinks in the index to the plates. Text is interesting, but loses context without the illustrations.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The main attraction of this book is the beautiful color plates from Andy Weber. However the Kindle edition has only low-resolution dark-contrast grayscale images. The Kindle version is not worth purchasing unless this gross oversight is corrected.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have spent many hours perusing the large print version of this stunning book [each page about 3x2 feet, if i remember correctly], and it's worth every penny. But the kindle version has only poorly reproduced black and white copies of those images, way too dark and unclear to be of any real use. If you are only after the text, then go right ahead, but the real beauty of this book lies in it's stunning high definition reproductions of the images, and the kindle version does an appalling job of those.
But do yourself a favour and check out the large format print version.
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Format: Paperback
Written by experts who spent years living in India to study Tibetan Buddhism and its art, Images of Enlightenment: Tibetan Art in Practice is a straightforward, plain-terms guide to the rich history, legends, and spirituality expressed through Tibetan Buddhist sacred art. 32 full-color plates illustrate Images of Enlightenment, while the text describes the symbolic self-transformation and expressions of enlightenment depicted. Chapters survey different paths and aspects of Buddhism as expressed through art, including the Bodhisattva Path, and the Path of Bliss and Emptiness. Images of Enlightenment is especially recommended for students, scholars, and practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism.
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Format: Paperback
It is a simple, basic, easy to understand introduction to the beautiful images, meanings, and the historical background of the tibetan buddhist images for practice ("yidam", erroneously translated as "god" or "goddess", but the real meanning is "a hidden potential for your ilumination and transformation who live inside of you, and waits for awaken"). But, if you will practice in a daily basis for a long time, you will need the original images, because this ones are so incompletely painted. They are useful just for the very beginners. A Buddhist monk.
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