Sorrow Mountain: The Journey of a Tibetan Warrior Nun

The story of Ani Pachen resonates with the kind of courage and spiritual certainty that perhaps very few of us our capable, but all of us admire. In contrast to her indomitable strength, the Chinese occupation of Tibet takes on outrageous dimensions -- an ugliness and brutality hard to bear. For one nine-month period during her twenty-one years of imprisonment, Ani Pachen endured a dark, earthen cell slightly larger than her body where she spent her time praying, accomplishing one hundred thousand prostrations devoted to the well-being of all. When released by the Chinese, she took up the cause of a free Tibet in Lhasa, demonstrating against the torture and murder of her people and country, putting herself in the greatest possible peril. Ani Pachen has lived at the very depths of the soul and sorrow of Tibet and emerged triumphant, a woman of compassion and beauty who will inspire all who read her magnificent story.

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  • Relié: 288 pages
  • Auteur: Ani Pachen & Adelaide Donnelly
  • Editeur : Kodansha America (février 2000)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 1568362943
  • ISBN-13: 9781568362946
  • Dimensions du produit: 23,6 x 16,1 x 3 cm
  • Etat/Condition: comme neuf, as new

Sorrow Mountain is both a novel and a woman's life story. As Adelaide Donnelley explains in an afterword, "It is as much narrative as strict biography." Stories of the "life" of Ani Pachen, including her spiritual power to transcend torture and twenty-one years of imprisonment, and to transform destruction into hope, were the BASIS for this remarkable book. Ani Pachen wanted to be a nun, living peacefully and not killing (many Tibetan people have a religious calling); the circumstances of her birth forced her to become a warrior against the Chinese (again, this echoes the history of those of her generation). Captured, imprisoned, and tortured, she preserved her spiritual beliefs and her integrity (again, read the story of many her generation; the difference is that so many did not survive). Ani Pachen survived, made it to Dharamsala, and finally lives a life of meditation and spiritual focus. Thousands of Tibetans have escaped; many of those now live in northern India with His Holiness. The spiritual example they set: certainty of impermanence, compassion, forgiveness, and detachment--works for everyone on the planet. All of this matters. But there is something more which matters. This book, like the story of its subject, transcends and crosses boundaries: in form, in approach. It is a novel, a spiritual guidebook, a history of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism. The tone is mythic: "My country was once at the roof of the world, a place where the great spirits lived." The tone is cinematic: "In a darkened corner of my mind, a small patch of green appears. I watch it grow brighter, larger, until a vast green meadow stretches out at my feet. The meadow is dotted with clusters of flowers and is treeless, except for a willow or two." The tone is intensely personal, acutely descriptive: in prison, "The lice were so bad that I could see them crawling all over the heads in front of me. So thick I could sweep them off with my hand and not make a difference in their numbers." The story is woven of dreams, memories, Buddhist teachings, horrors re-lived or imagined, and above all details that give it taste, sound, texture, and breath. As a work of art, it breaks all prior boundaries and should be studied by all writers who ever consider telling life stories--their own or anyone else's. If there is any drawback to the book, it is only that we cannot know what is Ani Pachen's voice and what is Adelaide Donnelley's. A Buddhist would assure us that the illusion of separation is unimportant, temporary, superficial. A Buddhist would tell us that Ani Pachen's story, and Adelaide Donnelley's storytelling genius, have become one voice for all of us. As the editor of another woman's life story, I come to this book to learn. I look back at my work and see how much trouble I took to leave Mpho Nthunya's voice exactly as it was, to be merely a secretary, taking dictation from her. I tried to keep my white privilege and sensibility out of the way of her African experience and her African ways of seeing. I think that was a good thing to do. But I deeply admire the merging of voices in the Pachen/Donnelley collaboration. It is a miracle to read, to study, to learn from. I am deeply grateful for it.

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