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Cave in the Snow: A Western Woman's Quest for Enlightenment Paperback – 27 Jul 1999

29 customer reviews

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Cave in the Snow: A Western Woman's Quest for Enlightenment + Into the Heart of Life + Reflections on a Mountain Lake: Teachings on Practical Buddhism
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New edition edition (27 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747543895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747543893
  • Product Dimensions: 32.9 x 32.9 x 50.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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53 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Brown on 18 Mar. 2001
Format: Paperback
In 1976 Diane Perry, by then known by her Tibetan name Tenzin Palmo, secluded herself in a remote cave, over 13,000 feet up in the Himalayas, cut off from the world by mountains & snow. There she engaged in years of intense Buddhist meditation. Her goal was to gain Enlightenment as a woman.
Tenzin Palmo's path inspired, uplifted & gave me the giggles too! From Diane's war-worn childhood to her wild teen years in Swinging London during the 1960s to her determination to follow her calling to the exiled Tibetan communities in Northern India. From Diane's survival of strange childhood ailments to her connection with the rare Buddhist societies in England to her glimpses of the Path to Perfection, Vicki Mackenzie tells this modest pioneering woman's adventures on her way to the roof of the world among a people with a long lineage of spiritual attainment with a lively, insightful fluency enhanced by snippets of conversations & seemingly simple philosophies.
Vicki Mackenzie has written an articulate modern adventure story complete with everyday bean counters & spiritual soul counters.
There is an amusing & entertaining history lesson to be had from Cave In The Snow. Being of the same age as Tenzin Palmo, I was also exploring Buddhism, except I emigrated to America. Even so I came across the same shin-whacking taboo - women cannot become gurus, lamas, priests, imams or rabbis because...& the silly litany tumbles out of men's mouths the way excuses do when they're caught with their fingers in the cookie jars.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By V. Geddes on 11 April 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is one of the most amazing books tha I have ever read. I closed the back cover and open the front to read it again.This book is an experience rather then just something that you will read and forget about.
The strength and conviction of Tenzin Palmo should be an inspiration to all. Very few people ever put their money where their mouth is like her.
She has found what very few ever find, real contentment and a real purpose in life, proving that the things that we surround ourselves with are not this things that make us happy in the end.
I just can't recommend this book enough.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 May 2000
Format: Paperback
Vicki MacKenzie really takes the reader inside the life of Tenzin Palmo and shows her determination to get to enlightenment. What is the most striking is how the daily hardships seem to be barely mentioned by Tenzin Palmo even though, as pointed out by the writer, they seem immense to a Western reader. Reading this book made me realise just what true religious dedication is and makes my own worries seem so minor. Overall, an uplifting read which although outlining much of the core of Buddhism is more memorable as a story of a truly amazing woman.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 April 1999
Format: Hardcover
"Cave in the Snow" is a biography about the religious life of a truly amazing woman. No matter what your beliefs are you will not be able to put this book down until you have read every word. You will also find yourself thinking about it long after it has been consigned to the bookshelf. Vicki Mackenzie is a talented author and her great interest in Tenzin Palmo's quest for enlightenment shines through every page. The book has left me with a great desire to watch Tenzin Palmo's future path to perfection with interest. Highly recommended.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Mar. 2001
Format: Paperback
This is an interesting view of what one woman undertook to journey toward enlightenment.The tale is one of great courage and is very inspiring. The attitude of traditional Tibetan Buddhism toward women was a shock to a Westerner. The chapter on the "flaws" of some of the Tibetan spiritual leaders reminded me that we all have a process in seeking enlightenment and that each person must witness him/herself throughout the journey. Even those who have reached a high level are still human beings. This was encouraging. However, I frequently found myself wishing the book were written better. The sometimes plodding style was occasionally distracting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By felicitas on 17 Nov. 2008
Format: Paperback
This is an inspiring and fascinating insight into the world of an extraordinary woman (Tenzin Palmo, previously Diane Perry), who endured all kinds of privations and gender discrimination in order to follow her arduous path to enlightenment. She belonged to a Tibetan Buddhist lineage, but her story reminded me of that of another British woman (Jiyu Kennett Roshi) of the same era, who became a Soto Zen Buddhist priest in Japan. Her book ("The Wild White Goose") is also well worth reading. In fact, although there is no mention of it, it would be surprising if the two women were not aware of each other as their paths must have crossed at some point.
Despite all the positive things I have said about the book though, I think the message that came over to me most strongly is that even if you copy Tenzin Palmo's example completely you will still only catch glimpses of enlightenment before you die! There's no short cuts.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Aug. 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tenzin Palmo's life is a story of determination, courage and humility. In a time when few in the West had heard of Tibetan Buddhism, Tenzin Palmo travelled to India to embark on a spiritual journey by entering the often chauvinistic, monastic life of Tibetan Buddhism. With grace and fortitude she showed through her actions that women had equal right and ability to walk the path of enlightenment.
This book is an extremely digestible read and it is easy to be caught up in Tenzin Palmos's life from the outset.
I would go as far as to say this book has the potential to become a turning point in peoples lives.
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