52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Cave in The Snow is hot stuff!,
This review is from: Cave in the Snow: A Western Woman's Quest for Enlightenment (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.
As any woman who has ever stumbled into male-run religions knows, it always knocks the breath out of us when, with that simple, lineal logic, we are cast into spiritual exile because those in the know consider the attainment of Enlightenment a man thang & the body female prohibits both the study & the fulfillment of spiritual perfection. As if Spirit has a gender!
Irony is one aspect of becoming spiritual that brought about the giggles. Among all that seriousness there are gentle glimpses of glee such as when a monk bids Tenzin Palmo to raise the volume on her boom box so he could hear the Spanish monks singing their prayers.
High amid the Himalayas, this odd English woman brings to those sonorous sounding monks the rarified harmonies of Gregorian chants. Any Buddhist monk I've ever seen has had a ready smile & a mischievous laugh. That is attractive to me - a religious people who enjoy laughing.
For anyone who wants their heart to soar, their spirit to burst open like a flower, their mind to enfold peace ... Very well done!