Cave in the Snow

  • by Vicki Mackenzie
  • Narrated by Georgina Sutton, Vicki Mackenzie, Tenzin Palmo
  • 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Includes a bonus track of Tenzin Palmo introducing a retreat.
This is the story of Tenzin Palmo, the daughter of a fishmonger from London's East End who became a Tibetan nun. After meditating for 12 years in a cave 13,000 feet up in the Himalayas, she became a world-renowned spiritual leader and champion of the right of women to achieve spiritual enlightenment.
Diane Perry grew up in London's East End. At the age of 18, however, she read a book on Buddhism and realised that this might fill a long-sensed void in her life.
In 1963, at the age of 20, she went to India, where she eventually entered a monastery. Being the only woman amongst hundreds of monks, she began her battle against the prejudice that has excluded women from enlightenment for thousands of years.
In 1976, she secluded herself in a remote cave 13,000 feet up in the Himalayas, where she stayed for 12 years between the ages of 33 and 45. In this mountain hideaway she faced unimaginable cold, wild animals, floods, snow and rockfalls, grew her own food and slept in a traditional wooden meditation box, three feet square - she never lay down.
In 1988, she emerged from the cave with a determination to build a convent in Northern India to revive the Togdenma lineage, a long-forgotten female spiritual elite. Despite her international teaching schedule, Tenzin Palmo maintains a deep commitment to her nunnery, Dongyu Gatsal Ling, in Himachal Pradesh.

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What the Critics Say

"Cave in the Snow is full of extraordinary insights. It is a desert island book - one we can't very well live without." (Tricycle Magazine)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Audio version is best format for this book

I’m not sure I would've read this book so fast if not for the audio version. The writing is very plain and contains lots of attributions such as “she stated” and “she commented,” like a newspaper article. Also, for those who are unable to read books that take the supernatural seriously (and I’m one such person), it can be difficult to accept all of the Tibetan Buddhism mysticism. All that said, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and learning about Tenzin Palmo’s journey from young woman in England to Buddhist nun. What makes the book so engaging, in addition to adventures like being buried in her cave under an avalanche, is its strong and unapologetic feminism. She vows to attain enlightenment in female form “no matter how many lifetimes it takes.” I especially liked when she made the Dalai Lama cry when she explained all of the sexism women must face when pursuing Tibetan Buddhism. Excerpt: “What she had promised was to become a female Buddha, and female Buddhas (like female Christs and female Mohammeds) were decidedly thin on the ground. Certainly there had been plenty of acclaimed women mystics and saints in all parts of the world, but the full flowering of human divinity had, for the past few thousand years at least, been deemed the exclusive domain of the male. The female body, for some reason, had been seen as an unfit or unworthy vessel to contain the most sacred. Now Tenzin Palmo was publicly announcing she was intending to overthrow all that.” The audio version includes two half-hour talks given by Tenzin Palmo in Israel. Grade: A
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- Mark

Wonderfully inspirational!

I just could not stop listening....I feel forever changed by her life and comittment. Thank You Pioneer in our female form.
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- Julianne Waggoner

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-07-2015
  • Publisher: Dharma AudioBooks