News about Fearless in Tibet and In the Shadow of the Buddha

Anniversary of Khenpo Jikme Phuntsok

January 14, 2014

Tags: Khenpo Jikme Phuntsok, In the Shadow of the Buddha

Khenpo Jikme Phuntsok and Matteo Pistono
The fire at Larung Gar on January 9th was tragic news, as have been the other fires in eastern Tibet at Kathok, Litang and a few days ago in Gyalthang. The monks and nuns at Larung Gar are as resilient as they come and I'm confident they will bounce back. The anniversary of Khenpo Jikme Phuntsok, the meditation master who founded Larung Gar, falls this year on January 15th. There will be ceremonies in his honor around the world, and in particular at Larung. At the beginning of "In the Shadow of the Buddha," I recall the first time I visited Larung Gar in 1999 and meeting the great master. That section follows below. On this auspicious anniversary, may we recall Khenpo Jikme Phuntsok's kindness and wisdom and pray that all of his aspiration for Tibet and for the world be fulfilled.


Winter 1999, Year of the Earth Hare
Larung Buddhist Encampment, Eastern Tibet

The younger monk with whom I had traveled in the bus to the encampment had space on his kitchen floor for me to sleep. We wound our way through the muddy alleyways of the encampment to his shack. Monks and nuns chanted scriptures behind the doors we passed. Smoke rose from simple tin chimneys in the homes of those who had money to buy yak dung for fuel. A few refugee dogs were curled against the doors of some of the huts, trying to stay warm. (more…)

March 30th Bangkok 'In the Shadow of the Buddha' book launch details

March 18, 2013

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, event, Bangkok, International Network of Engaged Buddhists

Saturday 30th March 2013
13.00 – 16.00 p.m. Auditorium Room, Queen Sirikit National Convention Center
English-Thai translation by Lapapan Suppamantra

Book Launching and Public Lecture

IN THE SHADOW OF THE BUDDHA
Secret Journeys, Sacred Histories, and Spiritual Discovery in Tibet

Programme
13.00-13.30 Registration
Refreshments will be available through the meeting.

13.30-13.35 Welcome by Wallapa van Willenswaard, Manager of Suan Nguen Mee social enterprise.

13.35-13.40 Introduction of Matteo Pistono by Hans van Willenswaard, Project Director of School for Wellbeing Studies and Research

Book launching In the Shadow of the Buddha: Secret Journeys, Sacred Histories, and Spiritual Discovery in Tibet in Thai translation

13.40-14.40 Public Lecture IN THE SHADOW OF THE BUDDHA by Matteo Pistono

14.40-15.40 Dialogue with the author moderated by Veenarat Laohapakakul
15.40-16.00 Questions & Answers

For the full (more…)

Thai edition of 'In the Shadow of the Buddha' to be released at Arjan Sulak Sivaraksa's 80th birthday

March 14, 2013

Tags: Sulak Sivaraksa, Engaged Buddhism, In the Shadow of the Buddha

The Thai edition of 'In the Shadow of the Buddha' will be released on Sunday, March 24, 2013 at the celebration of Arjan Sulak Sivaraksa's 80th birthday. Check out the event page for the full schedule.

Then, on Saturday, March 30, 2013 there will be another book launch and lecture by Matteo Pistono at 13.00 – 16.00 p.m. in the (more…)

Dutch translation for 'In the Shadow of the Buddha'

March 1, 2013

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, translation, The Netherlands

In dienst van de Dalai Lama Voorwoord door Richard Gere (Groot op omslag) Door dit boek krijg je meer waardering geven voor de oude Tibetaanse tradities en begrijp je hoe deze van wezenlijk belang zijn voor de wereld waarin we nu leven, of het nu in je hart, je directe woonomgeving, of in de (more…)

Thai Edition of In the Shadow of the Buddha to be released March 2013

February 21, 2013

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, event, Bangkok, International Network of Engaged Buddhists

The Thai translation of "In the Shadow of the Buddha" will be released in Bangkok in late March. I am honored to have Arjan Sulak Sivaraksa's preface for the Thai edition, published by Suan Spirit .

There will be two book events in Bangkok; the first at The Siam Society on March 24, 2013 with Arjan Sulak and the second on March 30. Details for both events will be announced soon. I look forward (more…)

TIBET: BALANCING A SPIRITUAL QUEST WITH A STRUGGLE FOR LIBERATION

April 20, 2012

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, event, Holy Cross College

A deep bow and thanks to Professor Predrag Cicovacki, and Evan and Susan Piercy for hosting me at Holy Cross College. We had a full house in the beautiful Rehm Library and the students in the philosophy department and the Peace and Reconciliation Program asked exceptional questions.

I was also honored to receive a signed copy of Professor Cicovacki's "Albert Schweitzer's Ethical Vision A Sourcebook" and to discuss deeply about Schweitzer's life and philosophy, which were indeed one in the same. Prof. Cicovacki writes "Schweitzer argues that the material aspect of our civilization has become far more important than its spiritual counterpart. Even organized religion has put itself in the service of politics and economy, thereby losing its vitality and moral authority." (more…)

Highlights from Tucson Festival of Books

March 12, 2012

Tags: Tucson Festival of Books, In the Shadow of the Buddha, events

It was a privilege to present “In the Shadow of the Buddha” at the 2012 Tucson Festival of Books. More than 100,000 people attended the Festival to hear and speak with the 450 authors. What an weekend!

Dinner with Tucson mayor, Jonathan Rothschild and Rodney Glassman was a great start for me at The Author’s Table dinner on the night before the Festival. And it was a treat to be on the ‘Eden Seekers’ panel on Saturday with Brook Wilensky-Lanford, author of "Paradise Lust: Searching for the Garden of Eden," and Carolyn O'Bagy Davis, author of "The Fourth Wife: Polygamy, Love & Revolution”. Both Brook and Carolyn spoke eloquently about their writing and journeys. On Sunday morning, Sy Montgomery, a naturalist and author of 17 books including The Good Good Pig, and I had a great time sharing our experiences of travel and adventure around the globe. I highly recommend the books by Brook, Carolyn, and Sy! And thanks to everyone who came out to our panels!

Speaking with and attending sessions by Diana Henriques and Luis Urrea (more…)

FPMT Mandala magazine Editor's Choice review of In the Shadow of the Buddha

March 11, 2012

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, book, Pistono, Review

FPMT Mandala Magazine Book Review
Editor’s Choice April-June 2012

Author Matteo Pistono skillfully tells the interweaving stories of his spiritual quest, political work and travels to remote areas of Tibet in his book In the Shadow of the Buddha, recently released in paperback. The author’s high-stakes adventures, which take place over the course of a decade, are by themselves riveting. But add to the mix a fascinating profile of an historic Tibetan master and a frank account of human rights abuses and you get a page-turner that has real substance.

In his twenties, Pistono launches into a pilgrimage in Tibet to trace the steps of Terton Sögyal (1856-1926), a highly regarded Buddhist spiritual master who also advised and taught the 13th Dalai Lama. Terton Sögyal’s ability to combine high-level Dharma practice with politics attracts Pistono, (more…)

Events with Matteo Pistono at the Tucson Festival of Books, February 9-11, 2012

March 5, 2012

Tags: Matteo Pistono, In the Shadow of the Buddha, Tucson Festival of Books

Matteo Pistono will participate in the upcoming 2012 Tucson Festival of Books March 9-11th.

On March 9th, Matteo is one of the authors featured at the Festival of Books annual Author’s Table Dinner. Tickets for the event are sold out.

Then, on March 10 and 11, Matteo will take part on two panels:

Saturday, March 10, 2012 4-5:30 pm.
University of Arizona campus, Integrated Learning Center, 150
'Eden Seekers' panel discussion:
Matteo Pistono will join Brook Wilensky-Lanford, author of "Paradise Lust: Searching for the Garden of Eden," and Carolyn O'Bagy Davis, author of "The Fourth Wife: Polygamy, Love & Revolution” for a discussion entitled 'Eden Seekers'. The moderator of the hour-long panel is Rabbi Samuel Cohon of Temple Emanu-El, the oldest congregation in Arizona.

Sunday March 11, 2012 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Traveling Wild — Exploration Adventures;Panel
University of Arizona campus, Chemistry - Room 111:
Matteo Pistono will join Sy Montgomery, a naturalist, author, documentary scriptwriter and radio commentator for a discussion moderated by Laura Penny.

The Tucson Festival of Books brings together authors, publishers (more…)

Taking What Is Not Given--an extract from In the Shadow of the Buddha

February 3, 2012

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, extract, Richard Gere

With a nod of gratitude to Richard Gere, I thought I would post an extract from “In the Shadow of the Buddha” where I write a bit about how Richard effectively communicates the critical message from Tibetans inside Tibet to those in position of political power around the world. It is people like Richard and other human rights advocates who continue to press governments around the world to call on the Chinese government to stop their repressive policies in Tibet and cease their gross human rights abuses.
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March 2002, Year of the Water Horse
Washington, D.C.

Stale air hung in U.S. House of Representatives’ Rayburn Hearing Room. Maybe it was the tie and jacket, perhaps the central heating, or the fact that there was a ceiling where I was used to endless sky. Members of Congress took their seats in an arc that stretched the length of the room. Photographers jockeyed for position as they shot from the floor to accompany the next day’s headlines. Hundreds of foldout chairs were jammed behind three experts testifying. A large group of congressional staff and the public waited impatiently in the hallway, trying to get in for the few standing-room-only positions.

The crowd was not gathered because all the congressmen on the com¬mittee were present at the hearing, an uncommon occurrence. Nor was it because this was a hearing on U.S. policy considerations on Tibet. Rather, the best-known Buddhist associated with Tibet, after the Dalai Lama, was present. Richard Gere had just flown in from a Toronto movie set to testify on religious persecution in Tibet.
(more…)

Upcoming dates for 'In the Shadow of the Buddha' in Chicago, Feb 6-8

February 2, 2012

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, book, Pistono, Schedule, Chicago

Monday, February 6, 2012, 4:30-6:00 p.m. Evanston
Northwestern University Harris Hall-Room 108
"Conversation on Tibet, China, Religion, Human Rights, and Friendship"
Hosted by Dept. of Religious Studies, Asian & Middles East Studies, and Asia Studies Cluster
free and open to the public (refreshments will be provided)

February 7, 2012 Chicago, IL
SLIDESHOW & TALK "Tibetan Pilgrimage: In the Shadow of the Buddha"
6:00 p.m. at Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA)
820 N. Michigan Avenue
RSVP to luma@luc.edu or 312.915.7608 free and open to the public

February 8, 2012 Evanston, IL
SLIDESHOW & TALK "Tibetan Pilgrimage: In the Shadow of the Buddha"
7:00 p.m. at Tibet Alliance of Chicago
2422 Dempster Street
RSVP: RigpaChicago@att.net free and open to the public
A traditional Tibetan dinner will be offered after the event

for more information, click on the image to the left...see you in Chicago

Paperback launch of 'In the Shadow of the Buddha: One Man's Journey of Discovery in Tibet' at Bedford Post in upstate New York

February 2, 2012

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, book launch, Richard Gere

“In the Shadow of the Buddha: One Man’s Journey in Tibet” was launched last night at Richard Gere’s Bedord Post Inn. The Westchester Buddhist Center graciously hosted the event where fifty people attended the slide show and book discussion. I was pleased that Richard Gere, who wrote the foreword to the book, came for the event.

I was able to thank Richard for his support for the book project and for my non-profit organization, NEKORPA, by giving him a framed print of the hand drawn map of Tibet that is in the book.

The drawings in the four corners of this map are of the pilgrimage sites found in "In the Shadow of the Buddha": which are the Jokhang Cathedral in Lhasa, the Enlightenment Stupa of Tertön Sogyal at Nyagar, Kalzang Monastery in Nyarong, and the Cave That Delights the Senses at Tsadra Rinchen Drak near Palpung in Eastern Tibet.

The spiritual geography of the map developed over the years of pilgrimage in Tibet. And the first part of the journey I wrote about in the early part of the “In the Shadow of the Buddha”:
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When I came to Kalzang Monastery, One-Eye Wangde held the keys to the iron padlocks on the door to the dusty library on the top floor of the temple. As we walked to the temple library, I held his bony elbow as his curved knuckles gripped a cane. (more…)

His Holiness the Dalai Lama on "In the Shadow of the Buddha"

January 31, 2012

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, Dalai Lama, extract, book

I endeavored to tell two stories in “In the Shadow of the Buddha.” The first story is the mystical life of Tertön Sogyal, a tantric practioner from the 19th century who was called to assist the XIII Dalai Lama and the Tibetan nation in a time of great need. The second story was that of my own travels in the mystic's footsteps, as well as to shed light on the repressive circumstances that Tibetans find themselves living today under the Chinese government.

As I was finishing the writing of “In the Shadow of the Buddha” I respectfully requested His Holiness the Dalai Lama (the XIV) to write a word or two about the book. I sent the manuscript to Dharamsala. Some time later, I was honored and blessed to have His Holiness write the following:

“This story of Matteo Pistono’s quest to visit places in Tibet associated with Tertön Sogyal, the adept who was a companion of the thirteenth Dalai Lama, is revealing not only of the Tertön’s life but also (more…)

Peter Gabriel, musician and human rights advocate, on "In the Shadow of the Buddha"

January 30, 2012

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, extract, book, Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel’s music and lyrics have impacted me deeply. More than twenty years ago at an Amnesty International rock concert I heard him sing ‘Biko’. That song was an introduction to Stephen Biko and to human rights abuses around the world. But perhaps more importantly, listening to that song was a call to act to combat such abuses.

I wrote about that day in “In the Shadow of the Buddha”:
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“I first came to know about human rights when I was sixteen at a music concert in Italy in 1988. I was attending high school as an exchange student in Ravenna, the same year Amnesty International’s Human Rights Now! concert toured the world with Bruce Springsteen, Sting, and Peter Gabriel headlining. (more…)

Richard Gere's foreword to "In the Shadow of the Buddha"

January 29, 2012

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, Richard Gere, extract, book

For more than a decade, Matteo Pistono has lived in Nepal and Tibet, and worked in the fields of human rights and religious freedom. He knows the territory well, and it shows in both the grit and scope of his narrative. In the many years and many places that I’ve known him, from India to Washington, Matteo has remained an informed, reliable, skillful, and joyously energized individual. He is a true student of Buddhism, and has had the great fortune of having received significant teachings from some of the world’s greatest teachers, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Sogyal Rinpoche, and the late Khenpo Jikmé Phuntsok inside Tibet—a rarity indeed.

The book you hold in your hands is the story of how great spiritual practitioners from Tibet, like the mystic Tertön Sogyal, and the thirteenth and fourteenth Dalai Lamas, are able to bring the full force of the bodhisattva commitment—the burning desire to free all beings from suffering—into whatever situation they face, including the world of politics. The experiences Matteo writes about in this context are often esoteric, but never less than deeply human. He speaks to us of the vital importance (more…)

Exposing China’s Secret Prisons in Tibet One Photo At A Time

January 20, 2012

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, extract, book

A few weeks earlier a man in Chengdu had told me about his experience of a prison in Kandze. When I met the man, half Han and half another ethnic group I did not recognize, he was fixing a flat tire on my bicycle at a repair shop. He did not tell me the reason for his incarceration on the Tibetan Plateau. I thought he probably was busted for theft, but I had no way of knowing. He spoke matter-of-factly of what had happened inside the prison walls, the way only someone who has spent time in jail can do. He detailed the physical abuse in prison, even smirking at the way one particularly skinny policeman’s punches did not hurt him. Beatings and electric shock, he said, were a routine part of interrogation. He was released after a month without explanation or charge. There were pink scars on his wrists above his greasy hands, not yet completely healed.

“Handcuffing our hands to our ankles with our arms behind our back, (more…)

Doonesbury and 'In the Shadow of the Buddha'

January 17, 2012

Tags: Doonesbury, In the Shadow of the Buddha

I researched "In the Shadow of the Buddha" for nearly a decade in Tibet, Nepal and India; wrote much of it on the Lower East Side in New York City; and edited most of it while sitting at the coffee shop 'Modern Times' just below Politics & Prose in Washington DC. And the book was launched at Politics & Prose to a standing room only with over 100 folks. So I had to smile when I saw Politics and Prose in Doonesbury yesterday. Love it.

Meeting Khenpo Jikme Phuntsok in Eastern Tibet

January 9, 2012

Tags: Khenpo Jikme Phuntsok, In the Shadow of the Buddha, excerpt

Khenpo Jikmé Phuntsok (1933–2004) was the most prominent teacher who emerged from the Cultural Revolution to begin teaching and reviving Buddhism in Tibet. He is one of two simultaneous reincarnations of Tertön Sogyal and, here, holds the tertön’s phurba dagger.
from Chapter 2 of Matteo Pistono's "In the Shadow of the Buddha: One Man's Journey of Discovery in Tibet"

Winter 1999, Year of the Earth Hare
Larung Buddhist Encampment, Eastern Tibet

The younger monk with whom I had traveled in the bus to the encamp¬ment had space on his kitchen floor for me to sleep. We wound our way through the muddy alleyways of the encampment to his shack. Monks and nuns chanted scriptures behind the doors we passed. Smoke rose from simple tin chimneys in the homes of those who had money to buy yak dung for fuel. A few refugee dogs were curled against the doors of some of the huts, trying to stay warm. My head pounded from the lack of oxygen at this altitude. When we arrived at my host’s small home, he started a fire as I fell into a corner, exhausted from the journey. The monk put a kettle of water on to boil and then ran out the door halfway down the valley to Khenpo’s residence to deliver my request to meet the teacher, and pass along a letter Sogyal Rinpoche had written for me requesting assistance on my pilgrimage.

For the next week, while waiting for a response to the request to speak privately with Khenpo, I attended his teachings (more…)

Upcoming New York and Chicago dates for 'In the Shadow of the Buddha: One Man's Journey of Discovery in Tibet'

January 7, 2012

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, book, Pistono, Schedule

The paperback edition of 'In the Shadow of the Buddha: One Man's Journey of Discovery in Tibet' will be released January 31, 2012. This is the redesigned cover with His Holiness the Dalai Lama's blurb about the book at the top.

Matteo will launch the paperback edition in Bedford, New York, and then head to Chicago for a few talks and slideshows.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012 Bedford, NY 6:00 p.m.
Westchester Buddhist Meditation Center
954 Old Post Road in Bedford, NY.

Monday, February 6, 2012 Evanston, IL 4:30-6 p.m.
Northwestern University, Harris Hall, Room 108
Department of Religious Studies
Contact: Antonio Terrone a-terrone@northwestern.edu

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 Chicago, IL
6:00 p.m. at Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA)
820 N. Michigan Avenue
RSVP to luma@luc.edu or 312.915.7608.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012 Evanston, IL
7:00 p.m. at Tibet Alliance of Chicago
2422 Dempster Street
RSVP: RigpaChicago@att.net

Review in Tibetan of 'In the Shadow of the Buddha' གཞིས་ལུས་བོད་མིའི་རེ་སྐུལ་སྐྱ

December 23, 2011

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, book, Pistono, Review

གཞིས་ལུས་བོད་མིའི་རེ་སྐུལ་སྐྱེལ་བའི་གྲིབ་མའི་འོག་གི་སངས་རྒྱས །
གཟའ་ལྷག་པ།, 23 ཕྱི་ཟླ་གསུམ་པ། 2011 Cornelius Lundsgaard, The Tibet Post International

རྒྱལ་སྤྱིའི་བོད་ཀྱི་ཆ་འཕྲིན། ཕྱི་ལོ་༢༠༡༡ཟླ་༣ཚེས་༢༤ཉིན།
ཨ་རིའི་རྩོམ་པ་པོ་མའི་ཊོ་ཕེ་སུ་ཊོ་ནོ་ལགས་ཀྱིས་རང་ཉིད་བོད་ནང་དུ་སྤྲོ་འཆམ་ལ་བྱིན་པའི་ལམ་བར་དུ། རྒྱ་གཞུང་གི་བཙན་གནོན་འོག་བོད་མི་ཚོས་དཀའ་སྡུག་དང་མནར་གཅོད་གང་མང་མྱོང་བཞིན་པ་ཟིན་བྲིས་སུ་ཕབ་པའི་༼གྲིབ་མའི་འོག་གི་སངས་རྒྱས༽ཞེས་པའི་དེབ་ཅིག་བརྩམས་གནང་ཡོད་འདུག

དེབ་དེའི་ནང་དུ་འདས་པའི་ལོ་རྒྱུས་ཁྲོད་ཀྱི་རིག་གནས་ཕུན་སུམ་ཚོགས་པའི་བོད་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་ཇི་ལྟར་གཏོར་བཤིག་ཏུ་བཏང་བ་དང༌། བོད་རིགས་མི་མང་གིས་རང་སྲོག་བློས་གཏོང་གིས་རང་དབང་དང་ཞི་བདེའི་ཆེད་དུ་འཐབ་རྒོལ་བྱས་པའི་དོངས་བྱུང་ལོ་རྒྱུས་སོགས་བཀོད་ཡོད་འདུག

འདས་པའི་མི་ངོ་བཅུ་གྲངས་ཀྱི་ནང་དུ། ཁོང་གིས་ཉེན་ཁ་ལ་མ་འཛེམས་པར་རྒྱ་ནག་གིས་བོད་ནང་དུ་བཙན་གནོན་དང་མནར་གཅོད་གཏོང་བཞིན་པའི་དངོས་ཡོད་གནས་སྟངས་བདེན་དཔང་དང༌། གཞིས་ལུས་བོད་མི་ཚོའི་རེ་སྐུལ་འཛམ་གླིང་མི་མང་ལ་ཤེས་སུ་འཇུག་པའི་ཆེད་དུ། དེབ་དེ་ཨ་རིའི་གཞུང་དང་འགྲོ་བ་མིའི་ཐོབ་ཐང་ཚོགས་པ། དེ་བཞིན་བོད་ནང་གི་གནས་ཚུལ་ཤེས་འདོད་མཁན་ཚང་མར་སྤྲད་ཡོད་འདུག

ནང་དོན་ཞིབ་ཕྲ་ཤེས་འདོད་ཡོད་མཁན་ཚོས་མའི་ཊོ་ཕེ་སུ་ཊོ་ནོ་ལགས་ཀྱི་དྲ་ཚིགས་ www.matteopistono.comགཟིགས་རོགས་ཞུ།

རྒྱལ་སྤྱིའི་བོད་ཀྱི་ཆ་འཕྲིན་གྱི་གསར་འགོད་པ་པདྨ་མཚོས་མདོར་བསྡུས་བསྒྱུར།

"In The Land Of Lamas"

December 14, 2011

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, book, Pistono, Review

The Pioneer, INDIA

Apart from Tibetan politics and human rights violations, one will learn about tantric rituals and mysticism while reading Matteo Pistono's book, writes Claude Arpi.

Some books come at the right time on the shelves; it is the case with Matteo Pistono’s latest book, In the Shadow of the Buddha: One Man’s Journey of Spiritual and Political Danger in Tibet.

For the past few weeks, Tibetan activists have been in the news trying to bring the horrifying self-immolations of Tibetan monks and nuns to the attention of the world leaders. Hundreds of them invited themselves to Cannes where the G20 Summit was held. That the leaders have remained deaf is another matter, but the Tibetan issue is alive. (more…)

In the Shadow of the Buddha makes Booklist's 2011 Top Ten

November 21, 2011

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, review


Top 10 Books in Religion and Spirituality.
Booklist: Cooper, Ilene (author).
November 15, 2011

This year’s top 10 religion books pay homage to the King James Bible, with 4 of the 10 titles addressing aspects of the book’s 400-year history. Other selections explore Indian spirituality, the history of Jerusalem, and the challenge of bringing compassion to daily life. — (more…)

Claude Arpi's review of In the Shadow of the Buddha

November 10, 2011

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, book, Pistono, Review

Some books come at the right time on the shelves; it is the case of “In the Shadow of the Buddha” (one Man’s Journey of Spiritual and Political Danger in Tibet) written by author and spiritual seeker Matteo Pistono.

For the past few weeks, Tibetan activists have been in the news trying to bring the horrifying self-immolations of Tibetans monks and nuns to the attention of the world leaders. Hundreds them, shouting, “Tibet is burning”, invited themselves to Cannes on the French Riviera where the G20 Summit was held. That the leaders have remained deaf is another matter, but the Tibetan issue is alive.

In the book’s Foreword, Hollywood actor and practicing, Buddhist Richard Gere explains: (more…)

India Book Launch of "In the Shadow of the Buddha" October 28, 2011 in Bodhgaya

October 12, 2011

Tags: India, Hay House, In the Shadow of the Buddha, Engaged Buddhism

Pilgrimage in Tibet: In the Shadow of the Buddha
Slideshow and book talk with Matteo Pistono
October 28, 2011 8 pm

Wat Pa (Thai-Bharat Society) Buddhagaya Vanaram Temple
Bodhgaya, INDIA
hosted by the International Network of Engaged Buddhist

Pistono draws on his experiences as a journalist and student of Tibetan Buddhism to explore the intersection between spirituality and politics. In a slideshow talk, Pistono weaves together majestic images from the Himalayas, stories of his decade-long pilgrimage in Tibet, and his role in smuggling out evidence of the Chinese government's human rights abuses to the West. (more…)

Engaged Buddhism: A Different Kind Of Pilgrimage

October 11, 2011

Tags: Engaged Buddhism, In the Shadow of the Buddha, India, Hay House

There is a great collection of papers on Engaged Buddhism addressing the Future of Buddhism and social action. This collection is being published on the occasion of the bi-annual conference of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) that is happening in Bodhgaya, India from Oct 26-29th. Click on the INEB link to the left to find the conference papers.

Matteo Pistono sits on the Executive Council of INEB and contributed the following to the collection.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF PILGRIMAGE
By Matteo Pistono

When I first journeyed to Tibet in the late 1990s, I was on a pilgrimage in the foot­steps of a nineteenth-century Tibetan mystic named Tertön Sogyal. A horse-riding bandit turned meditation master, (more…)

Paperback of "In the Shadow of the Buddha" to be released January 2012

September 25, 2011

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, book, Pistono, Plume, Penguin

Penguin-Plume will publish “In the Shadow of the Buddha: One Man’s Journey of Discovery in Tibet” in late January 2012. You can pre-order it by clicking on the (re-designed) cover to the left.

Matteo Pistono presents 'In the Shadow of the Buddha' at St. James's Church at Piccadilly, hosted by Alternatives

September 13, 2011

Tags: Matteo Pistono, In the Shadow of the Buddha, Alternatives, St James' Church, Hay House

The final event for the UK launch of "In the Shadow of the Buddha" took place at the 17th century St James's Church at Piccadilly. Speaking and showing slides to the hundred person strong crowd was a great way to conclude my week in London. Thanks to the family at Alternatives, St James's Church (more…)

Talk and book launch at the Free Word Centre, hosted by Tibet Society

September 10, 2011

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, London, Hay House, Tibet Society, Free Word Centre

Tibet Society hosted a talk and book launch by author and undercover reporter Matteo Pistono at the Free Word Centre in London on September 9, 2011. Tibet Society wrote about the event, "The audience were treated to a riveting talk with insights into Matteo's journey across Tibet, including in-depth descriptions of traditional life on the plateau, (more…)

Matteo Pistono on BBC 4 Midweek during UK launch of 'In the Shadow of the Buddha'

September 9, 2011

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, BBC, London

I was honored to spend an hour on BBC 4 Midweek with Libby Purves to discuss "In the Shadow of the Buddha", along with three other fascinating guests in Laura Whitfield, Alastair Hignell, and Nigel Havers.

BBC wrote, "After first going to Tibet to deepen his [Matteo Pistono] meditation skills he was shocked by the (more…)

Interview with Matteo Pistono, HayHouse's 'Author of the Month'

August 30, 2011

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, book, Pistono, HayHouse

Hay House is publishing "In the Shadow of the Buddha" in the UK, India, Australia, South Africa, and elsewhere the second week of September. Hay House has named Matteo Pistono their author of the month coinciding with book launch events in London Sept 6-12th. As part of launch, Hay House is featuring on their website an extract from the book, videos, Matteo's talks and appearances while he is in the UK, and discounts on book, as well as this interview with Matteo:

An interview with Matteo Pistono

If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?

Probably a dog, and I’d be my own dog’s (named ‘Karpo’) best dog-friend.

What is your idea of happiness?

Happiness is an attitude that is open, naked, and fresh. Abiding in the flow of that attitude, no matter the situation — on the meditation cushion or in the halls of political debate, on a mountain top or in the middle of the city — brings great inner strength.

When did you last cry? (more…)

London launch of 'In the Shadow of the Buddha' Sept 7-12

August 16, 2011

Tags: London, Hay House, In the Shadow of the Buddha

I am excited to announce the London event dates for the launch of 'In the Shadow of the Buddha'. All the links can be found on the 'Book Tour' page (click to the left on the book), but the main two events will be held on Friday, Sept 9th, and Monday, Sept 12th. Here are the details:

Friday 9th September, 6:30pm – 8:30 pm
TIBET SOCIETY TALK AND SLIDESHOW
and Q & A and book signing
Free Word Centre
60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA
Tickets: £5, concessions £3

Monday 12th September, 7:00-8:30 pm
TALK AND SLIDESHOW AT ALTERNATIVES
St James's Church, 197 Piccadilly, W1J 9LL
Talk, Q&A and book signing
Tickets: £10, concessions £5

Please let your London friends know and I look forward to seeing you there!!!

Who Is The Dalai Lama?

July 8, 2011

Tags: Dalai Lama, Buddhism, In the Shadow of the Buddha

Who Is The Dalai Lama?
The Washington Post July 8, 2011
by Matteo Pistono

There are up to 100,000 people expected to attend events with the Dalai Lama in Washington, D.C., over the next ten days. If you were to ask each of them, “Who is the Dalai Lama?” you will likely receive different response from every individual. Most certainly deep respect and veneration would be expressed. The Dalai Lama describes himself as “a simple Buddhist monk,” while in Beijing, the Chinese government regularly vilifies him as “a wolf in monk’s robes.” The Dalai Lama strikes many different cords. (more…)

Radio Interview with Pistono on NPR's Open Spaces

April 8, 2011

Tags: Radio, In the Shadow of the Buddha, Interview

WYOMING (WPR) - Matteo Pistono grew up in Wyoming, in Lander. His family was passionate about politics, and Pistono worked on environmental issues in the state. But in the late 90s, he decided to change course. He went to live in the Himalayas, to study Tibetan Buddhism. Pistono tells that story in his new book, In the Shadow of the Buddha. He tells Molly Messick that the decision to go to Tibet very quickly set him on a different kind of path.
(click on OPEN SPACES to listen)

Two Journeys Into the World of Tibet by Mindy C. Reiser

February 23, 2011

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, Review, Tim Johnson, Tragedy in Crimson

The Washington Independent Review of BookS
Two Journeys Into the World of Tibet Reviewed by Mindy C. Reiser

Few international issues have drawn such widespread and sustained popular concern as the cause of Tibetan religious and cultural rights. The struggle for Tibetan freedom and self determination, waged now in the face of an increasingly assertive China, has attracted the support of such well known figures as South African Bishop Desmond Tutu, Czech dissident and man of letters Vaclav Havel, and Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel. Richard Gere, Hollywood star and activist, a tireless promoter of Tibetan human rights, serves as chair of the International Campaign for Tibet. (more…)

30 Minute Radio Interview with Matteo Pistono on The Chris Treece Show

February 2, 2011

Tags: interview, radio, In the Shadow of the Buddha

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Book Review by Divanee-South Asian Politics & Entertainment

January 20, 2011

Tags: Review, In the Shadow of the Buddha, book

Most Westerners today know who the XIV Dalai Lama is. Many would be able to recognize a picture of him. Some, like me, have even seen his wax likeness at Madame Tussauds. Less known is Tertön Sogyal, a lama who was a contemporary of the previous Dalai Lama. It is this man whose journey Matteo Pistono followed over the course of nearly ten years. Out today, “In the Shadow of the Buddha” details not only Pistono’s pilgrimage but also the countless human rights violations committed against the Tibetan people by their Chinese occupiers. (more…)

Mikel Dunham reviews "In the Shadow of the Buddha"

January 15, 2011

Tags: Review, In the Shadow of the Buddha, book

Mikel Dunham writes:

In the Shadow of the Buddha is a book about religious freedom, transmitted from a prism that refracts a quartet of incisively written points of view. What’s really remarkable about Matteo Pistono’s book is that he wears his various narrative hats with equal authority. (more…)

30 Minute Radio Interview with Matteo Pistono in Boulder on KGNU

January 10, 2011

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, interview, book

KGNU 88.5 FM
Joel Edelstein of KGNU radio in Boulder interviewed Matteo Pistono about the book, Tibet and China, and Pistono's own pilgrimage throughout the Himalayas.


Best Damn Creative Writing Blog Reviews In the Shadow of the Buddha, by Jan Rider Newman

December 15, 2010

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, Review

"Tibet – the word calls up images of high Himalayas and red-robed monks meditating and chanting in ancient temples. Unfortunately, China is destroying that Tibet. Much of what remains of traditional Tibetan Buddhism is centered in India, where the Fourteenth Dalai Lama lives in (more…)

New Dates for Book and Lecture Tour Scheduled

December 8, 2010

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, Schedule

Clinton Book Shop, Georgetown University, and various dates in Wyoming have been scheduled so continue to check out the EVENTS page for the full book tour.

Video-Book Trailer for In the Shadow of the Buddha

December 8, 2010

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, video

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Peter Gabriel writes about In the Shadow of the Buddha

November 14, 2010

Tags: Peter Gabriel, blurb, In the Shadow of the Buddha

"Matteo Pistono chose a journey that, inside and outside, would lead him into unfamiliar territory. He followed the path of one of Tibet’s great mystics through the Land of Snows, but what he encountered was a mass of contradictions: the elusive past and the intrusive present; brutality and torture greeted with nonviolence and (more…)

His Holiness the Dalai Lama on In the Shadow of the Buddha

November 13, 2010

Tags: blurb, Dalai Lama, In the Shadow of the Buddha



"This story of Matteo Pistono’s quest to visit places in Tibet associated with Tertön Sogyal, the adept who was a companion of the thirteenth Dalai Lama, is revealing not only of the Tertön’s life but also of circumstances in (more…)

Kirkus reviews In the Shadow of the Buddha

November 12, 2010

Tags: Kirkus, Review, Pistono, In the Shadow of the Buddha


“Pistono. Matteo Pistono. Buddhist superspy, teaching bad guys the disappointments that come from attachment.

Since 1999, Pistono has been journeying into Chinese-occupied Tibet, porting in messages from the Tibetan government in exile, stealing out with evidence of official misdeeds, such as the mistreatment of a cleric “who was scalded with boiling water and then jailed (more…)

Review in Publishers Weekly

November 8, 2010

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, book, Pistono, Review


I'm pleased with the review in Publishers Weekly (Nov. 8, 2010):

"Pistono draws on his experiences as a journalist, activist, and student of Tibetan Buddhism to explore the intersection between spirituality and politics. He weaves together the stories of his pilgrimages in Tibet, his role in smuggling out evidence of the Chinese government's human rights abuses (more…)

Book Tour Schedule

November 2, 2010

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, book, Pistono, Schedule

Dates for the book tour have been scheduled for New York City, Washington DC, Baltimore, San Francisco, Denver and Boulder. Check out the events page for the locations and dates, and email Matteo on the contact page to let him know you will be attending so he can look out for you!!! See you at the book events

Stellar review from Booklist

October 25, 2010

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, book, Pistono, Review



Booklist has given a stellar advanced review of the book for their November 15, 2010 issue. Booklist is a publication run by the American Library Association, which has about 25,000 subscribers—mainly librarians, schools, and bookstores. Here is the review:

"From Wyoming to Himalayan meditation caves to Capitol Hill, Pistono’s account of his quest for spiritual illumination and political justice is heartbreaking and awe-inspiring. (more…)

Robert Thurman writes about In the Shadow of the Buddha

September 17, 2010

Tags: Robert Thurman, In the Shadow of the Buddha, blurb



What an endorsement! I am so grateful. Robert Thurman, Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Buddhist Studies at Columbia University and President of Tibet House US, sent me the following endorsement for the book. Also, check out Professor Thurman's books Inner Revolution and Infinite Life, among others.

"What a fabulous saga! A mystical tale of defending the land of the Buddha Dharma at the turn of the 20th century interwoven with the life and death struggle now going on at the turn of the 21rst! This moving account is written beautifully from the heart, and it lifts the heart to read (more…)

Minyak Gongkar on the cover of In the Shadow of the Buddha

August 2, 2010

Tags: In the Shadow of the Buddha, book, Pistono


The sacred mountain of Minyak Gongkar, highest peak in Eastern Tibet, is shown on the cover of the book, and in the foreground is a new temple and stupa at Lagong.





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