Cave in the Snow : Tenzin Palmo's Quest for Enlightenment by Vicki Mackenzie

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By Vicki Mackenzie

Dianne Perry led a regular formative years in London's East finish until eventually, in her adolescents, she turned confident there needs to be a non secular size to lifetime of a sort unavailable to her. After analyzing a booklet on Buddhism she learned that this used to be what she were looking and left England for India on the age of twenty.After significant looking out she entered a monastery. the single lady between hundreds of thousands of guys, she grew made up our minds to collapse the prejudices that had excluded ladies from the trail to enlightenment for millions of years. She left after six years, set on reaching enlightenment within the physique of a girl; a unconditionally radical aim. She made up our minds to seclude herself in a distant cave, 12,00 ft up within the Himalayas. For twelve years she confronted incredible chilly, wild animals, floods and rockfalls, grew her personal nutrients and slept in a standard wood meditation field, 3 toes square---she by no means lay down.In 1988 she emerged from the cave decided to construct a convent in northern India, and to restore the Togdenma lineage, a long-forgotten woman non secular elite. From dwelling as a mendicant of $80 a 12 months, she grew to become a globe-trotting fundraiser. Tenzin Palmo has agreed to inform her tale basically to Vicki Mackenzie.

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These elementary lessons were to prove invaluable later when she was faced with being in an all-Tibetan community with only Tibetan texts to read. At the time, however, this unexpected boon had some dire moments. 'Snellgrove was terrifying. He used to stand in front of us and utter these crushing remarks. I used literally to shake before going into the classroom. The nice thing was he had these three Bonpo lamas (the religion from pre-Buddhist Tibet), staying with him. ' Over the next year a few other Tibetan lamas were to trickle into England, lamas who spearheaded the first wave of the implantation of Tibetan Buddhism to the West.

He was a lovely friend and such a wonderful person - kind, intelligent. He was a very humb{e person who had a genuine devotion to the dharma (Buddhist path) without any kind of arrogance at all. Towards the end he wrote to me saying he was becoming more and more involved in Chinese Buddhism, was beginning to talk Mandarin like a Chinese, had grown a white beard, and that when he looked in the mirror he reminded himself of a Taoist sage. I replied that I'd hoped he'd grown his hair too and was wearing it in a top knot with a jade clip because if you're going to do something it's worth doing properly,' she said, quoting her own personal lore.

When Tenzin Palmo found her way to the Buddhist Society it was the oldest and largest Buddhist organization in the West. Still, it was a small building with a very limited membership. 'I walked through the door and discovered that all the other people there were not wandering around in yellow tunics! e wrong somewhere," I thought. " I told my mother and she gave me the key to a wardrobe where she had locked them all up. She hadn't got rid of them at all. She never said a word, she just waited. ' At Eccleston Square Tenzin Palmo immersed herself in the treasures ofTheravadan Buddhism, the 'Southern School' which existed in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

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