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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