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Bodhisattva of Compassion: The Mystical Tradition of Kuan Yin (Shambhala Dragon Editions) Paperback – February 12, 1988
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Top Customer Reviews
There are a few pages of b/w photos, of Kuan Yin, Tara and Avalokiteshvara, the pictures vary in quality. However, many of them I have never seen before and a few definitely inspire devotion.
The fact that John Blofeld lived and traveled in China, his joyous devotion to Kuan Yin, and his knowledge of the Chinese language and culture adds immensely to the book and puts it in a class by itself.
What sets Blofeld apart is his ability to weave personal anecdotes in with philosophical exposition, historical narrative, folklore, and "how to" instructions in various meditative exercises.
Blofeld's task in this book is to explain who - or what - Kuan Yin is, and to put beliefs concerning Kuan Yin within the context of Buddhism as a whole. This is no easy task, because devotion to Kuan Yin - a female representation of Buddhist compassion and enlightenment - seems (for many Westerners) to be at odds with the fundamental Buddhist precept to "be a light unto yourselves."
As Blofeld traces the evolution of Kuan Yin from the male Hindu Boddhisattva Avalokita, to the female Tibetan Boddhisattva Tara, on to her Chinese representation as Kuan Yin, we see that we are dealing with what appears to be a figure of mythology and folklore, a creation of storytellers and artists. But not quite . . . Time and again - and Blofeld illustrates this with many personal anecdotes - Kuan Yin seems to manifest as an actual, independent being. Blofeld devotes many pages to this apparent paradox, and the reader will have to judge for himself whether the stated explanations actually resolve that paradox.
Expressed in various ways, the explanation is essentially reduced to the doctrine of One Mind, i.e.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am not sure if there is a better book on Kuan Yin, but this is by far my favorite. This book is really a treasure, once I go back to again and again whenever I feel as though I... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Aimee Rebekah Shea
This is perhaps the best book on Kuan-Yin that is available. I have three others from Amazon on the subject, but this is by far the best. Totally enjoyed it. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Beethoven
This book is fabulous, right after I received my first copy, I purchased another. If you are seeking wisdom on this faith I recommend this book.Published on February 27, 2014 by nosborne
Of both books about. Kuan Yin this is the one I liked the most, never read before about John. Blofield, but loved how he explained the Boddhisattva's myth and stories and her... Read morePublished on April 28, 2013 by Diego R.
John Blofeld, was one of the greatest Sinophiles of the twentieth century. From the time as a child, that his aunt gave him a Buddha statue, John Blofeld's karmic connection and... Read morePublished on December 28, 2012 by David Gould
Kuan-yin/Avalokiteshvara has been an enchanting wisdom figure for me for many years, guiding my own cultivation of compassion along the way. Read morePublished on October 28, 2012 by Robert L. Rose