"As a Russian who travels around Tibet, researching Milarepa and Marpa, and such places where they roamed, I was very happy to read this version of Milarepa's life and found it very inspiring, concise and touching - unlike more academic versions which are so stoic. Boris Erokhin, Buddhism.ru
"Among the realized yogis of Tibet, nobody touched people through the centuries like 'Laughing Diamond,' Milarepa Shepa Dorje. Enjoy his words and find inner freedom!" Ole Nydahl, author of several books on Mahayana and Tibetan Buddhism
"I have read several versions of this fascinating story, and this is by far the most refreshing and inciteful. The others tended to be more ponderous or focused on one aspect of Milarepa's fascinating biography - whereas this version was well-rounded and included some vital info concerning Milarepa's lead-up lineage regarding the Kagyu lineage from Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa and onward. I look forward to more such books authored by Ken." Moll Stewart, Editor, Dreams Fulfilled, Ashland OR
From the Author
This is a story from 900 years ago. In the 1970's I read the translation from Tibetan in to English by Lobsang Lhalungpa - which inspired me to research further in to Milarepa and his lineage within the Kagyu line. I wanted to adhere to Lhalungpa's telling as much as possible, but also make the telling of it a bit more like a tale, than a tome. As a comparison, there are thousands of tellings of Jesus' life, and millions find inspiration therein. The story of Milarepa should be better known than it is. Two primary differences between the story of Jesus and the story of Milarepa is one was short-lived and sad, the other was long-lived and had a joyous ending. Jesus fasted for 40 days in the desert. Milarepa fasted for years, while self-walled in a frigid and dark Himalayan cave. Westerners, in particular, are awed by the life and teachings of Jesus and Mohammed respectively, yet that has much to do with the relative lack of deep spiritual legacies within Europe and the Middle East. In contrast, the Indian sub-continent and the Himalayan region have had deep thick roots in spirituality for centuries. A meditating ascetic with a message of non-attachment, non-materialism in a western or Middle Eastern country is a big deal. Such ascetics in India or the Himalayas are as common as flowering bushes. If an eagle chick hatched, yet never flew, it would be sad, because it never reached its potential. Perhaps it never had the inkling to do so. It is similar with people who never even attempt to gain spiritual realizations or enlightenment. Most people are so focused upon getting a mate and getting a good job, so they can buy the dazzling things that their neighbors have, then sneak around to find sex with others, while hoping their spouse won't find out. It's like an eagle who is so busy hopping around looking for worms to eat and sex partners to boom-boom, that it barely even contemplates spreading its wings and flying. Yet, just as it takes willingness, strength and skill for an eagle to fly - it takes those attributes for a person to experience spiritual enlightenment, or at least glimpses of it. I hope you enjoy reading the Life Story of Milarepa, and hope it inspires you to greater heights.