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The Sacred Sites of the Dalai Lamas remarkably mixes stunning photographs of Tibet’s most sacred monasteries of the early Dalai Lamas with text on the historical relevance of these sites in the unfolding of Tibetan Buddhism. Appearing throughout the book are brief biographies, inspirational quotations and passages from the writings of the early Dalai Lamas.
The book takes both an experiential form (through the photographs) and an intellectual exploration of these power spots. It explores the caves where the early Buddhist masters meditated, enters the monasteries where the Dalai Lamas and others taught, and looks down from an altitude of over 16,000 feet into the famous oracle lake of Lhamo Lhatso (where every Dalai Lama has had prophetic visions).
The sacred sites include: • Potala • Jokhang • Drepung Monastery • Nechung • Drak Yerpa Valley • The Caves of Songsten Gampo, Jowo Atisha, and Guru Rinpoche • Samye Monastery • Lambhu Lagang Castle • Ani Sanku Nunnery • Lama Tsongkhapa Meditation Cave • Tranduk • Kangyur Stupa • Terdak Lingpa • Tashi Lumpo • Champa Zhishi • Sakya • Chokhor Gyal • Milarepa’s Cave • The Oracle Lake
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About the author
Glenn Mullin (Lama Maitrizopa) studied Buddhism with the Tibetan refugees in India for over 12 years. His two most important teachers were the two spiritual masters of the Dalai Lama — Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and Trijang Dorjechang. He has written 25 books on Tibetan culture including a dozen on the lives and works of the early Dalai Lamas. His latest is Tibetan Book of the Dead (Illustrated). Glenn Mullin lives in Mongolia.
2013 Nautilus Award: Silver
“The Dalai Lamas left their imprints on sacred landscape through centuries of teaching enlightenment wisdom in Tibet and throughout neighboring kingdoms. As architects inspired by visionary dreams, they designed monastic castles and retreated to power spots amidst soaring mountains and high plateaus. This sense of belonging and connection to the realm of the divine, this spirit of place, is nowhere more perfectly expressed. As this most beautiful of books reveals, the Dalai Lamas continue to teach us that there are, indeed, other ways of thinking, other ways of being, other ways of orienting ourselves in social, spiritual, and ecological space. This idea, the quintessential expression of a perfect mandala world, can only inspire and fill us with hope.”
—Wade Davis, Explorer-in-Residence, National Geographic Society
“In Tibet, it is said, ‘The sky is Buddhist and the land is Buddhist.’ The presence of the Buddhist culture is thus felt not only in the many monasteries, philosophical colleges, and hermitages found everywhere on the Roof of the World, but also on hillsides covered with prayer flags and rocks carved with mantras. In such a world, the spiritual presence of the various incarnations of the Dalaï-lama has been a constant source of inspiration for many generations of Tibetans since the 14th century. In his beautiful book, Glenn Mullin, who has been close to the Dalaï-lamas’ teachings, life stories, and blessings for the greater part of his life, shares with us a vision of a world that is deeply inspiring and poignant, as Tibet struggles to retain its spiritual and cultural identity.”
— Matthieu Ricard, Buddhist monk, photographer, and author of Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill, Tibet: An Inner Journey, and The Quantum and the Lotus
“In Tibetan Buddhism, khorra (or, pilgrimage) to sacred sites and power places is considered to be spiritually healing and transformative. Today perhaps no one is better suited to lead us on khorra to the sacred sites of Tibet’s Dalai Lamas than renowned tibetologist, Dalai Lama historian, and translator, Glenn Mullin. Accompanied by pristine photographs of places and people along the route, Mullin’s commentary guides us wisely, and well.”
—Jan Willis, author of Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist and Buddhist—One Woman’s Spiritual Journey
“As this wonderfully illustrated book takes the reader on a journey to the magnificent sacred sites of central Tibet, its narrative sheds light on the history and methods of Buddhist pilgrimage practices. Through his engaging narrative, which weaves together historical facts, passages from Buddhist texts, writings of Dalai Lamas, and his own personal experiences, Glenn Mullin keeps the reader interested and edified.”
—Vesna A. Wallace, Professor of Buddhist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
“Glenn Mullin is the consumate expert on the Dalai Lama and Tibetan/Buddhist culture. Everything Glenn writes or speaks about shimmers, captivates, and educates. This book is no exception.”
—Lloyd Nick, Director, Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
“A gorgeous book, full of extraordinary information.”
—Joan Halifax, Buddhist teacher, anthropologist, and author of Being with Dying
“Having only experienced the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism in the West, I was missing a deeper experience. I have always hoped to be able to gain that experience and I now have begun through this remarkable book of photography and history. Thank you, Glen Mullin, for this most enlightening gift.”
—Jun Po Denis Kelly Roshi, Zen Master and Abbot, Hollow Bones Sangha
Accompanying Mr. Mullin on pilgrimage were photographers Gerry Croce, Rob Deming, Michael Wiese, and William P. Wood Jr. Book Editor: Donald McCrea.