31 July 2006

Book Review: An Englishman in Rizong Monastery, by Lobzang Jivaka, ***

Review

The author is Michael Dillon, an Englishman otherwise known for having been the first person to undergo phalloplasty. This book is an interesting account of the several months he spent in Rizong Monastery, in Ladakh, in the early sixties, just before he died. It is mainly a travelogue, detailing his unique personal experience in the monastery. In this, it is unprecedented, to my knowledge, as no other Westerner had been ordained and allowed this kind of access before. And this to me is the most interesting dimension of this work. The book is however also a deeper reflection on Tibetan Buddhism. Quite a few good drawings and some pictures from Rizong complete the volume.

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