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Cave in the Snow Paperback – November 26, 2003
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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At the age of 20, Diane Perry, looking to fill a void in her life, entered a monastery in India--the only woman amongst hundreds of monks---and began her battle against the prejudice that had excluded women from enlightenment for thousands of years.
Thirteen years later, Diane Perry a.k.a. Tenzin Palmo secluded herself in a remote cave 13,000 feet up in the Himalayas, where she stayed for twelve years. In her mountain retreat, she face unimaginable cold, wild animals, floods, snow and rockfalls, grew her own food and slept in a traditional wooden meditation box, three feet square. She never lay down.
Tenzin emerged from the cave with a determination to build a convent in northern India to revive the Togdenma lineage, a long-forgotten female spiritual elite. She has traveled around the world to find support for her cause, meeting with spiritual leaders from the Pope to Desmond Tutu. She agreed to tell her story only to Vicky Mackenzie and a portion of the royalties from this book will help towards the completion of her convent.
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Buddhism has misogynistic attitudes towards women like the Abrahamic religions. Women are considered unclean, inferior, devious, seductive and therefore incapable of the highest realization: enlightenment.
Tenzin Palmo made the promise to herself and for all of us to become enlightened in the body of a woman and started that process by spending 12 years in a cave. This is the story of that journey and the blessing that her life has given to all women in the West and in the East.
Visit the website that represents her work establishing a nunnery in Himachal Pradesh, India: Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery and support her students.
Mackenzie is an accomplished writer and she approaches and treats the subject with utmost skill and respect. The book, as narrative, is a pleasure to read, the wonderful theme and message aside.
But it is the theme and message that truly matters. The amazing journey of Diane Perry from a cold post-war England to the East and thence into her truer persona of Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo and thence into seclusion and true pursuit of enlightenment rises like a bright light of the spirit in this ever-darkening world of ours (darkening under the amassing clouds of greed and violence).
Tenzin Palmo, by her very life, tells us that searching for truth matters; that, in fact, nothing else truly matters. She never backed down from her intent, always did what she had to do, whatever it took, and one sits astonished at the strength and determination of this wonderful woman.
Immerse yourself in this extraordinary and exemplary life and find yourself illuminated. Tenzin Palmo is someone well worth getting to know, and Mackenzie facilitates getting to know her very nicely indeed.