The classic spiritual travelogue by one of Tibet's best-known explorers, The Way of the White Clouds is the remarkable narrative of a pilgrimage which could not be made today.
In 1948, Lama Anagarika Govinda made an unforgettable journey into Tibet before its invasion by the Chinese. His unique account is not only a spectacular and gloriously poetic story of exploration and discovery; it is also invaluable for its sensitivity and clearly presented interpretation of the Tibetan tradition.
Above all, this book is a vivid and beautifully written account of a personal spiritual journey, his meeting with his guru, Tomo Geshé Rimpoché, and his growing understanding of and commitment to the Vajrayana tradition of Buddhism.
©1966 Lama Gotami Govinda (P)2015 Ukemi Productions
I was moved to tears and inspired on so many occasions while listening to the beautiful poetic descriptions of an incredible cultute. Lama Govinda has given us a link through his experiences to world that I am so grateful once existed
"An absolute must read Precious Book"
This book is an account of a truly great and precious Lama, describing an amazing time and place which Tibet once was. A place where actual miracles were witnessed, where true sainthood was common, and where true Buddhas could be encountered in the form of teachers. This book has truly put to rest my doubts about reincarnation and has reaffirmed and strengthen my resolve on the path.
I highly recommend it!
"Inspirational with excellent narration."
I was saddened whenif heard the words "And so I will close this book ..." , because it meant it was over. The narration was so good. Right tempo, intonation, everything.
"Way too preachy"
I bought this book because somehow, whether because I like Sean Barrett's narrations (and it was excellent here, too), or because I like travel adventures (some more than others), or both, Audible recommended it to me. I was skeptical because I'm a rationalist, a skeptic, an atheist. Some people who reviewed this said it is like a travelogue. And, in spite of my lack of faith, I practice a religion for ethnic reasons, and am always interested in comparative religion. So I said, sure, why not? Several times, I was ready to return this book, and then I decided that maybe there is "a pony in there". Not much, actually. The writing is beautiful, and I can say that I learned something. I also learned more about Tibet because due to my skepticism, I read some articles in the course of listening to this book about serfdom and slavery in Tibet, about the wealth of the clergy (see the value of comparative religion? You find out how all of them have similar problems), and how not everything is as wonderful as the author tries to depict it. I learned about the perspective of the Chinese (a very interesting article on Atlantic). And more. And so, by listening to this book, I learned a lot that I didn't know before about Tibet, and about at least some types of Buddhism. But I found the author too much like anyone who is among the "recently converted", though he already was converted a while back. It's all so wonderful, and those who have not yet seen the light are missing out. He has a certain scorn towards "Western" belief or skepticism, Western science, Western materialism, as if I could be convinced to admire people who sit in a cell and meditate instead of being a Jonas Salk or Edward Jenner. No, I won't be convinced. Of course, I got the impression that as a Buddhist, maybe I shouldn't be so broken up if my child died of smallpox, because he would be reincarnated. So what is the great value of wiping out the disease? I found that attitude annoying. Perhaps he feels that attitude among Westerners towards Buddhists and Tibetens, I'm sure it exists. It is truly hard for a Westerner, even one who is not so materialistic, who does not work on Wall Street, is not a huge consumer of material goods, and who might even do some public service or contribute to bettering the world, to appreciate the value of so many people spending so much time meditating, praying, and living in monastaries. In the author's eyes, if one of these gurus or monks or whatever go out and teach other people "the truth", then they are doing something useful. I am more impressed with those Christian missionaries, who might also have been out to convince people of "the truth", but along the way offered medical care (oh, yes, he is a believer in faith healing, and other methods of medical care, so he thinks they are also providing medical care), teaching better agricultural methods (I don't think he's got a parallel for that), or setting up schools.
I read that one of the values of the book is to get a glimpse of what Tibet was like before everything was destroyed by the Chinese. Yes, the depiction of temples, frescoes, etc. was definitely interesting.6
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