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Magic and Mystery in Tibet Paperback – 9 Mar 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Souvenir Press Ltd; New Ed edition (9 Mar. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0285637924
  • ISBN-13: 978-0285637924
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

David-Neel's trailblazing travels were driven by curiosity and deep-seated Buddhist spirituality... Her writings blend descriptions of extraordinary psychic exercises and Bon sorcery... with accounts of the wonders and rigours of early 20th-century travel in remote regions. --'Wanderlust'

A fascinating account of the spiritual training of Tibetan monks and mystics… an intriguing book… A true travel classic that will enchant thinkers and adventurers alike. --'Geographical'

One of the most remarkable and influential female travellers of all time, delves into the mysterious world of Tibetan Buddhism… Her lucid prose and insightful observations will captivate readers throughout, opening the door to a different kind of reality. --'Big Issue'

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jenny Daniel on 28 May 2009
Format: Paperback
I first read this book when I was in my teens; the impression it made on me then has lasted 50 years. I keep having to buy the book again because I give my copy away to friends! As a teenager, I revelled in imagining rites of the lamas and the sheer concentration of mind and spirit which gave them such powers. Now I am still overawed by what ADN actually achieved: a (small) woman, travelling alone, or with her adopted son, a hundred years ago in the wilds of Tibet, enduring extraordinary hardships.
When you've read this, read "My Journey to Lhasa".
As well as an extraordinary traveller, she was a linguist and scholar -- and above all her mind was both analytical and receptive.
By the way, her literary style is not great -- it's just the material which is mind-blowing!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Wright on 14 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
I couldn't put this book down! Alexandra David-Neel, the first European woman to meet the Dalai Lama, describes her travels through the forbidden "Land of Snows" during the early 20th century. She encounters hermits who have acheived extrordinary spiritual and physical feats and describes her own mysterious experiences. This book is a thorough account of Tibetan Buddhism and the methods that were employed by some Tibetan mystics and Bönpo magicians - such as the terrifying Chöd ritual - as well as the culture and customs of Tibet. The true story of a woman with incredible determination and a thirst for knowledge.

As it says in the back cover of the 2007 edition:

She describes "Tibetan mystics who could live naked in temperatures below freezing... lames who could run for increadable distances without rest, food or drink and monks who could defy gravity."

If you have an open mind, read this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By starling on 19 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Alexandra David-Neel tells her stories in several books. This one deals with accounts of strange behaviour she observes during her many years in Tibet in the 1920s and 1930s - the only woman ever to have travelled there at that time and surely the only one ever to have had personal teaching on request, by the Dalai Lama (13th), accepted as a hermit in a small cave, and taught by the most learned and practised of Tibetan Buddhists.

Plainly her intelligence and understanding were apparent to Tibetan lamas of a high order, who would normally have only taught men, and never encounter any foreigners at all. The encounters she made are not easily brushed aside with any kind of familiar explanation - in fact, I cannot understand at all how some things came about, other than the mysterious explanations she gives which simply do not fit within our Western understanding of the possible, but which do fit with deep Buddhist understanding of the nature of the mind and the world.

David-Neel was well aware that her readers would be incredulous, as she says of herself, and does her best to recount what happened, originally written in her diaries, as plainly as possible, so that at least, her reports are read without immediate disbelief. Anyone inclined to think that a scientific explanation of the physical world is pretty much well mapped out, might be inclined to reconsider. Otherwise, enjoy the book for its wonderful account of a world now vanished - but yet, perhaps not?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pascale Serre on 28 May 2009
Format: Paperback
Alexandra David Neel was the first European woman to meet the Dalai Lama. She travelled extensively and learned Buddhism from mystics & hermits. Alexandra David Neel was an authority on Buddhism and published many books until her death at 101 years old.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By elsie purdon TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book, having been blown away by it in my teens back in the day ! However this edition does NOT contain any of the wonderful original and fascinating photographs taken by the author. and so I'd rather have bought a different printing.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J in Spain on 14 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
She definitely was accepted by the locals and had interesting experiences. The book does not read like "a story" so does take some effort to read. It's not for the person who wants just an interesting read about Tibet, but is more for someone who has done previous reading about monks in Tibet and their practices to advance towards enlightment. The book is very informative.
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