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Visions of Buddhist Life Paperback – 10 May 2005


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"Inspired and inspiring.... [A] visual treat." - Shambhala Sun "The overall impression is that of a rich and varied celebration.... The photographer sets out to open a spectacular view on the beauty and diversity of Buddhism and this he ably does." - Japan Times "The global range of Buddhism, from Los Angeles to Japan to India to Thailand to South Korea, is captured in this astonishing book of photos and text." - USA Today "Since 1987, Don Farber, a Buddhist and Fulbright scholar, has photographed Buddhist life in eight Asian countries and the United States. This beautiful book is a collection of his best work from those travels. As professor of religion and philosophy Huston Smith says in his foreword, 'Farber doesn't tell us what drew him to Buddhism. He shows us.'" - San Francisco Chronicle "This gorgeous, near-square coffee-table volume is a loving, beautifully realized tribute to Buddhists around the world." - Publishers Weekly"

About the Author

Inspired by Buddhism early in his career as a professional freelance photographer, Don Farber became a disciple of the late Vietnamese Zen master and scholar Thich Thien-An. Following the publication of his critically acclaimed book, Taking Refuge in L.A.: Life in a Vietnamese Buddhist Temple (1987, with text by Rick Fields and introduction by Thich Nhat Hanh), Farber set out to photograph Buddhist life internationally and, to date, has carried out this work in eight Asian countries and the United States. This Fulbright scholar's photographs have been exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Asia Society in New York, have appeared in magazines such as Life and Time, and have been featured on the covers of many books, including The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler (1998). Huston Smith is Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, Syracuse University. His book The World's Religions (1958, revised 1991) has sold several million copies. In 1996 Bill Moyers devoted a five-part PBS special to Smith's life and work.

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IT WAS JANUARY 1977, LESS THAN TWO YEARS AFTER the fall of Saigon brought 100,000 refugees to America, when I first visited the Vietnamese Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I would recommend this to anyone interested in Buddhism 24 Dec. 2002
By Andrew Parodi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
VISIONS OF BUDDHIST LIFE is a beautiful documentation of the diverse world of Buddhist life and practice. It's hard for me to review this book without succumbing to the familiar cliches of "inspiring," "moving," "breath taking," etc., because, well, that is exactly what this book is.
Many of the photographs have corresponding text to describe what is happening; though such text is informative, it is also often incidental. These pictures are so crisp and so clear that they really don't need much description. My own personal favorite photo is the one of about a dozen monks sitting at a table in full ceremonial attire and performing a solemn ritual blessing on the food they are about to eat. What is so endearing about the picture is that each monk has a can of Coke sitting next to his plate. So exotic and other worldly . . . and yet so down-to-earth.
Crowley, Vivianne. “Review: 'Visions of Buddhist Life', by Don Farber, Foreword by Huston Smith.” 3 April 2015
By Vivianne Crowley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Crowley, Vivianne. “Review: 'Visions of Buddhist Life', by Don Farber, Foreword by Huston Smith.” The Middle Way: Journal of the Buddhist Society 81, no. 2 (August 2006): 121.

Don Farber’s stunning photographs of Buddhist life span a quarter of a century, beginning in 1977 with photographs of lay worshippers and masters such as the Ven. Dr. Thich Thien-An and His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (1924-1981) at the temple created by Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles. In 1985, Don Farber made his first trip to Asia – to Japan and Taiwan, and in 1987 added South China to the itinerary, photographing monks and nuns along the journey. In 1988, Don Farber was able to photograph the opening of the Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights, California, the largest Buddhist temple in America. The photographs range from the reverential – a beautiful photograph of the opening ceremony with representatives from Buddhist monasteries from around the world – to the joyful, nuns enjoying a Disneyland ride during a break from proceedings.
Don Farber’s photographs include portraits of H.H. The Dalai Lama and other great teachers of recent years. In all of these, the masters' radiance shines through – a tribute to Don Farber’s skill and artistry. Nor are the photographs confined to male masters. Some of his most serenely expressive photographs are of women teachers such as Her Eminence Jetsun Kushok Chimey Luding, the Venerable Khandro Rinpoche, the Venerable Master Cheng Yen and Khandro Tsering Chodron.
Photography today can, of course, show us marvels that earlier Buddhists could never share. A series of photographs from the mid-eighties to the early nineties portray Kalu Rinpoche, moving from the Rinpoche’s funeral in Tibet to photographs of the son of Lama Gyaltsen who was recognised as the reincarnation of Kalu Rinpoche, and culminating in two whole-page portraits of the two Rinpoches sitting in almost identical robes and poses.
This is a beautiful book for those who enjoy photography and the creative use of the visual image. In making this record, Don Farber has performed a great service for Buddhism.
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