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

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

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 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: 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 Read More 
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His Holiness the Dalai Lama on "In the Shadow of the Buddha"

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

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”:
“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.  Read More 
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Richard Gere's foreword to "In the Shadow of the Buddha"

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  Read More 
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Matteo Pistono invited to Tucson Festival of Books, February 10, 2012

I am honored to present “In the Shadow of the Buddha” at the Tucson Festival of Books on Saturday, March 10, 2012 at 4 p.m.

I will participate on the ‘Eden Seekers’ panel, which will include 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.” The moderator of the hour-long panel is Rabbi Samuel Cohon of Temple Emanu-El, the oldest congregation in Arizona.

The Tucson Festival of Books brings together authors, publishers and the reading public in a family-friendly community event. Net proceeds of the Festival are used to promote literacy in Southern Arizona.  Read More 
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Exposing China’s Secret Prisons in Tibet One Photo At A Time

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

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

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

Wednesday, February 8, 2012 Evanston, IL
7:00 p.m. at Tibet Alliance of Chicago
2422 Dempster Street
 Read More 
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Review in Tibetan of 'In the Shadow of the Buddha' གཞིས་ལུས་བོད་མིའི་རེ་སྐུལ་སྐ&#4017

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།

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"In The Land Of Lamas"

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.  Read More 
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