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Sacred Voices of the Nyingma Masters Hardcover – October, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Photographer and Buddhist psychologist Scales offers a spiritual coffee table book packed with substance. In this collection of pictures of and reflections on (and by) the Tibetan Buddhist masters called Nyingmapas (or "the Ancient Ones"), Scales describes her own journey into Buddhism, which began with meeting Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche in 1976. "The guiding principles of my life changed in that moment," writes Scales, "leaving no choice other than to be near this great master"—so she sold some antique furniture, bought a plane ticket and followed her new teacher to Nepal. We, in turn, follow Scales through the wisdom of the Nyingmapas, traveling to one master's monastery in Boudhanath, and to a garden to sit before another. Woven throughout are meditations and poems by, and interviews with, the masters themselves; these reflections range from instructions on the proper use of a mantra to musings on the true meaning of happiness. This is a visually stunning book; Scales's striking black-and-white photographs are like icons into the Tibetan Buddhist landscape. One warning: true tyros may have trouble following the intricacies of this book. The two-page introduction, for example, reads like it was written for insiders, throwing around terms like "panditas," "dharma," and "yoginis" with little or no explanation. Still, even beginners can appreciate the memorable visual feast.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Padma Publishing; First Edition edition (October 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1881847357
  • ISBN-13: 978-1881847359
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 9.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,019,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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A profoundly beautiful book, imbued with the Dharma.
Tearful Dishwasher
A book especially appreciated in these times and perfect for any spiritual seeker.
Elena Bentley
The book can be ordered directly from the publisher's website.
Alex Sherab Gyatso

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Pema Douma on November 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Having grown up among Buddhist practitioners, as a second-generation western student of Tibetan Buddhism, I've found many useful and inspiring books with quotes from generations of teachers. Sacred Voices has immediately earned a place among the essential modern books of its kind.

Over a period of twenty-five years, and as part of her own spiritual path, Sandra Scales has conducted interviews with and captured evocative photographs of several incomparable masters. In this beautifully-produced work, printed in Italy in stunning gold, black and white, she has disseminated her experiences with twenty-two of them in text and vivid photography. Her personal accounts and genuine, direct presentation make this a compelling and accessible source of teaching and inspiration: a direct connection with the love and wisdom of a generation of Nyingma masters.

Scales is not only an experienced practitioner of Vajrayana Buddhism, she's part of the first generation of western students to discover the teachings, study with determination and commitment, and integrate Buddhist practice into modern professional life. Her perspective on Buddhism and Buddhist Psychology is both authentic and well-informed.

I would recommend Sacred Voices to anyone interested in Buddhism, especially those who have already had contact with the teachings and teachers, and who are naturally thirsty for more.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Elena Bentley on November 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
There is a current plethora of books on Buddhism and its various lineages, many with startlingly beautiful visuals of India, Nepal and the Himalayas and their people. Sacred Voices of the Nyingma Masters stands out among them.

I found the eyes of the Masters particularly provocative and moving. Peering out of the pages of this beautifully rendered book, Dr. Scales' sensitive photography has given us images that provide a unique look at the relationship between the teachings and the teacher. These eyes captivate and create a sense of intimacy with the seriousness, humor, purity and motivation, the conviction, and profound knowledge beyond intelligence from which these Sacred Voices flow.

The brief teachings elicited by Dr. Scales are clear, succinct and non-dogmatic. It is the rare person of any spiritual (even philosophical or intellectual) persuasion, who will not come away from this book with something to think about, meditate upon, or a path on which to move toward a more enlightened understanding of the world.

A book especially appreciated in these times and perfect for any spiritual seeker.

Beverly Hills, CA
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By applewood on November 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In researching this purchase I thought the other reviewers here were perhaps being a bit over-the-top in their praise (and I was especially skeptical when I discovered all three of the existing reviews were the only ones the reviewers have ever submitted!). But I was blown away when I first held this large book in my hands, this is an amazingly beautiful, deep and precious book! More of a treasure than a mere book. Sandra Scales writes clear, simple, personal and glowing recollections of some of the greatest Tibetan Buddhist masters of the last half century. She begins each section with a short, often moving, description of how she met or knew the teacher, followed by a short essential teaching of theirs and sometimes more in depth Q&As. Her black and white photos capture them in equally revealing, respectful and artistic tones. This is a book to come back to again and again for direct and elegant inspiration. Thank you Padma Publishing for the wonderful production.

As the other reviews say - highly recommended for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike!
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