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The Garden: A Parable [Kindle Edition]

Geshe Michael Roach
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $11.76
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

With The Garden, centuries of Tibetan Buddhist wisdom are brought to life for readers by one of its greatest Western teachers, Michael Roach. Through a parable in which a young man is brought into a mystical garden by a beautiful embodiment of Wisdom, Roach presents the pantheon of great Tibetan teachers. The nameless seeker lured to the garden meets the dominant historical figures who have contributed fundamental teachings to Tibetan Buddhism, such as Tsong Khapa, the first Dalai Lama, and Master Kamalashila. Unique among works of Buddhism now available, The Garden is destined to become a classic for its lucid revelation of the secrets of the Tibetan tradition and for the wisdom Geshe Michael Roach evokes.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Roach, an ordained Buddhist monk, has crafted an enchanting, luminous introduction to the basic tenets of Tibetan Buddhism. The tale begins when a beautiful personification of Wisdom takes a never-named young man to a garden, where she tries to introduce him to life's truest values. Later, having abandoned the beautiful teacher as well as his home in pursuit of fame and career, the now not-so-young man returns to the garden seeking solace from life's wounds, especially the gruesome death of his mother. Through many visits, he fails to find the one he seeks, but on each occasion a different apparition of one of Buddhism's most sacred historical figures appears to teach him a new skill needed for his advance along the path. Highly recommended for all collections offering popular materials in religion.
-James R. Kuhlman, Univ. of North Carolina Lib., Asheville
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Roach captures the entire breadth of Tibetan Buddhist teaching in this spare, plain-spoken parable about a man led to a mystical garden by his young lover, a teenager who possesses more than average wisdom. Like many lovers, the youth disappears, and the man begins what looks to be a two-pronged quest: to reunite with "Her" and to comprehend the agonizing death from cancer of his good-hearted mother. Over the course of the book, the seeker returns again and again to the garden. Each time he is met by a Tibetan Buddhist saint, each of whom gives him one of the fundamental lessons of Buddhism and guides him on the path to realization. Some historical and philosophical context for these teachers and teachings Roach covers in "The Garden," and explaining the role of guru yoga, parable and debate, among other themes, in Tibetan Buddhism, would go a long way toward making the book accessible to readers with a budding, or general, interest in Buddhism. Still, launching headlong into the book has its merits. Unfiltered, these Buddhist concepts must settle in on their own and, like the seeker, we are left with a trove of spiritual lessons to test for ourselves. -- From Beliefnet

Product Details

  • File Size: 305 KB
  • Print Length: 210 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 038549789X
  • Publisher: Image; 1st edition (March 25, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002361KWG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #836,986 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Garden. A parable February 15, 2000
This incredible book was written not only by a learned scholar of Tibetan Buddhism, but by one who has obviously experienced realizations of the path. In this book Geshe Michael provides us with all of the information we need to embark upon the same spiritual journey, and to experience its magical results. If this whets your appetite for more, he also has created a series of correspondence courses which provide even more elucidation of the Buddhist path to enlightenment. (not a money making scheme-these course are free to those who cannot afford them) These are available through the Asian Classics Institute. If you like this book, try also Santidevas "Guide to the Bodhisattvas Way of Life"
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Garden. A Parable February 10, 2000
About the Garden. A Parable. This is a breeze of fresh air in the heat of a very complex and stressful world. It is also a very clever way to present the ancient and wise buddhist advices for the modern world. Definitely it is a must for anybody interested in the inner development. The message in it is beyond harmful cultural and historical trappings which unfortunately hide the real religious experience that everybody is thirsting for. Being written by a very special person from our western world that has drunk the essence of the great tibetan buddhist training, definitely it is going to reach our hearts and fill them with the greatest blessings.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderment! May 10, 2001
A "wonderment" is a thing of wonder. And this parable is that. Haven't you ever had the itch to someday ask Jesus or the Buddha everything that you have always wondered about. "Why do bad guys get rich?" "Why are some good guys poor?" "What happens after death?" "Who stuck me with such a horrible mother-in-law and why can't she just blow away?" "Why did I eat the potatoe chips with food poisoning?" "Why did I spell 'potato' with an 'e'?" "How come babies die?" The author was the first Westerner to become a Tibetan Geshe. And this takes twenty years! So he knows his stuff. To answer these questions and others that you may want to ask, you will take many trips into a garden. Buddhas and Buddhist saints will come to you and answer these type of questions. The reader is represented by a man who is searching. Isn't this what we want? This is a beautiful parable. And somewhat spooky at times! At least, that's the way I felt. Imagine sitting on a bench and waiting for some spooky Buddha to arrive to answer your grisly questions. And that's what happens. I will say no more. Buy the book.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Valuable Work April 16, 2001
This book is classified as fiction, but anyone in search of a story will be generally disappointed. The story line is a mere thread to hold together and sugar coat teachings about Tibetan Buddhism, and like the thread that holds together a necklace, it more or less disappears under the beads of doctrine. But it is teaching very well done. The technique of the "parable" adds an emotional dimension to what might otherwise be a dry subject, holds reader interest and provides the spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. In search of personified Wisdom with whom he has fallen in love and of an answer to his mother's suffering, the narrator goes to a secret garden over a period of 20 years and there meets various ancient Buddhist teachers who tell him sometimes in a very detailed way about: meditation and meditation techniques to attain compassion and freedom from negative states of mind, about universal suffering and death, past and future lives and the karmic influence between them, the realms of existence, how imprints from actions create our worlds, how the negative imprints can be overcome and the worlds changed, ethical living, the way of the spiritual warrior, and emptiness. The topics may be very familiar for Buddhists, though it will serve as a mini refresher course. A beginner might want to follow up on the book with something more organized, but will find this a good introduction. Non-Buddhist readers, while more clearly informed of Buddhist beliefs by the story, may not accept many elements of the doctrine, but it is after all a parable which invites metaphorical interpretation and adaptation of the lessons to the world view of the reader. All in all an informative, entertaining and useful book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One in a million June 2, 2000
If you are very lucky you come across only a couple of books like this in your lifetime. Geshe Michael Roach has the "can't put it down" style.
This little book contains massively powerful information disguised in a parable. The definition of kharma within these pages is beautiful.
I cant wait to read it again!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brings the levels to life November 30, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This parable brought to life some of the meditation techniques that I have studied and read about. The story is so sweet. I was read the first three chapters by a very dear friend as a bedtime story. I just had to have more to see what would happen to the main character and to keep the memory of the bedtime stories alive. I will read this many times and enjoy new aspects of it each time. It is very insightful and is delightful to read. The author is truely gifted.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple August 10, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a Catholic. I read this, 6 years ago, when I was 17 and very sick from asthma. This book helped me coupe with my condition and depression. This book does not only teach the basics of Buddhism but also has over tones of basic Christian philosophy. Bought another copy due to giving my copy to another who needed it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great teachings in narrative!
what a beautiful parable of the great teachings of Tibetan Buddhism! well done, heart opening and enlightening!
Published 2 months ago by ExpandedStates
4.0 out of 5 stars a wonder read - lessons of buddhism told in a story(ish) format
Another great book by Michael Roach.

My favorite of his is The Diamond Cutter.
Published 4 months ago by Orrin
5.0 out of 5 stars fun, read on Buddhist thought
A quick, fun, read on Buddhist thought!
Published 5 months ago by Terrence Sehy
4.0 out of 5 stars great shape and great book
love this book, great gift.
Published 5 months ago by Luis R.
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspirational, good source of life knowledge!
A wonderful reading for all, important! Deep! Meaningful! To be happy, we need to learn how! This is a place to learn! Thanks!
Published on January 14, 2013 by Valentina R.Spears
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
This is a wonderful book for an introduction to Buddhism, laced with some significant teachings! I pass it along to anyone asking me for a good "starter" book, and I try and... Read more
Published on May 5, 2008 by ST
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderous
This is probably the most important book I've ever read. The style is flowing and easy, while the subject matter is incredibly profound. Read more
Published on December 21, 2000 by rugbymurf
5.0 out of 5 stars Kind of a Buddhist version of "The Great Divorce"
Something about this book reminded me of C. S. Lewis and "The Great Divorce." It had a certain dream-like quality but with a harsh edge of judgmentalism. Read more
Published on June 16, 2000
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More About the Author

Michael Roach is a fully ordained Buddhist monk who received his geshe (Master of Buddhism) degree from Sera Mey Tibetan Monastery after twenty-two years of study. A teacher of Buddhism since 1981, he is also a scholar of Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Russian, and has translated numerous works.

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