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The Yogins of Ladakh: A Pilgrimage Among the Hermits of the Buddhist Himalayas Paperback – January 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 447 pages
  • Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass; New edition edition (January 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8120814797
  • ISBN-13: 978-8120814790
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #613,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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"Reading this work is a confirmatory experience for me, like receiving a teaching and knowing its implication for practice immediately." --Dr. Eddy Street

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This is a very beautiful book. When reading it, it is not difficult to feel the dry wind blowing through the barren rocks, and almost desert-like landscape. And see the wrinkled and tough faces of the people living here - and to understand that if buddhism should flourish anywhere, than it must be here, in the high Himalayas and on the Tibetan plateau.

The book perhaps tries a bit too much, and at times comes with some very general introductory explanations, while at other times giving examples of highly esoteric and technical advice. But the breadth means anyone with an interest can enjoy it. The scholar, the 'amateur' buddhist and armchair traveller.

The narrative switches a bit confusingly between the travel accounts of the authors and their own anecdoctes, general accounts of the life of people, the monastic community, the culture of the Ladakh and the Zanskar region of Northwestern India, and the author's meetings and interviews with meditation masters. One reason for the somewhat confusing structure is actually a very positive aspect of this book: Unlike many books on buddhism and other forms of exotic meditation and practice, this book is an account of real people and their often quite unbelieveable dedication to their practice. Life doesn't fit a nice and simplified narrative.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By keido yuzen on February 4, 2012
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A great book that points out the tireless devotion of Ladakh Buddhist practitioners. It is interesting to see their devotion to the Dharma without the political and cultural contexts that too often obscures Tibetan Buddhist practice. I would highly recommend this book.
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This book provides what I've looked for and not found in at least two other books of a similar kind. You will really get a feeling for the practice and commitment of these yogins many of whom have decades of practice behind them. Some of the discussions with them provide profound teachings. You will also get a very alive sense of who they are as people. I agree with the earlier review that the organization of the book is a bit confusing, but if you really pay attention to the first chapter you'll be able to navigate through all that. I wasn't always clear about who John Crook was travelling with and who was present at some of the discussions. This is a very minor flaw in a very fine book. Crook makes it clear which parts of the book were written by him and which by James Low. I feel sure that at least 2/3 was written by Crook and while the organization may not be so great the exposition is otherwise excellant! He has a real gift for description. There are some really beautiful descriptions of the landscapes they passed through or stayed in as well as the monasteries, temples etc and their dramatic settings. And the adventures they went through are described wonderfully. Don't be surprised if you've broken out in a cold sweat and your heart is racing at the end of one of those episodes. And finally - I'll say it again - the accounts of the yogins they met make you feel you've met them yourself.
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