Imatge de l'autor
63+ obres 2,320 Membres 13 Ressenyes 3 preferits

Sobre l'autor

Andrew Harvey is the author of "Son of Man" (named one of "Publishers Weekly's" Best Books of 1998) & the bestsellers "The Journey to Ladakh" & "Hidden Journey". With Sogyal Rinpoche, he coauthored "The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying". He lives with his husband, photographer Eryk Hanut, in Nevada mostra'n més near the Mojave Desert. (Bowker Author Biography) mostra'n menys

Inclou el nom: Andrew Harvey

Crèdit de la imatge: Andrew Harvey - Author, Mystic, Sacred Activist


Obres de Andrew Harvey

A journey in Ladakh (1983) 265 exemplars
The Essential Gay Mystics (1997) 189 exemplars
Teachings of Rumi (1999) 111 exemplars
The Return of the Mother (1995) 73 exemplars
Burning Houses (1986) 56 exemplars
Dialogues with a Modern Mystic (1994) 48 exemplars
Teachings of the Hindu Mystics (2001) 40 exemplars
The Web (1987) 20 exemplars
Love's Fire (1988) 19 exemplars
One Last Mirror (1985) 16 exemplars
No Diamonds, No Hat, No Honey (1984) 8 exemplars
Masks and faces : poems (1978) 4 exemplars
Gay Mysticism (2000) 4 exemplars
Dhammapada (2015) 2 exemplars
Return to Joy (2016) 2 exemplars
Spind (1988) 2 exemplars
A full circle : poems (1981) 2 exemplars
Love is Everything (2022) 1 exemplars
Top Secret : Workbook 1 (2014) 1 exemplars
Turn Me to Gold (2018) 1 exemplars
The Call to Lead (2002) 1 exemplars
Winter scarecrow: Poems (1977) 1 exemplars

Obres associades

Rumi : turning ecstatic [video recording] (2007) — Features — 1 exemplars
Sacred activism [video recording] (2005) — Featured — 1 exemplars
One Through Love : A Gathering of Lovers [video recording] (2012) — Col·laborador, algunes edicions1 exemplars
The New York quarterly : NYQ : Number 36, Summer 1988 — Col·laborador — 1 exemplars


Coneixement comú



Travel in Ladakh - with a heavy mystical tone, as the author studies Tibetan Buddhism. Interesting character sketches, some lyrical description but concentrating on monks and monasteries to the exclusion of almost everything else.
DramMan | Hi ha 3 ressenyes més | Dec 3, 2021 |
This is not an analysis of mysticism, it is a collection of primary sources grouped by the cultures that wrote them, with very brief introductions into each section. As such, it is an interesting first glimpse at the subject, but the author’s repeated references to the end of the world, “the human race may die out”, “in a time when the natural world is being destroyed”, “crucial now to our human survival”, “as we all face the threat of extinction”, make me think of a long-haired, white robed, man in the supermarket parking lot with a sign, handing out pamphlets of unintelligible gibberish. Why were these fragments chosen? Why were others omitted? Why be concerned about the fate of one planet, one species, even if it is ours, when mysticism claims the entire universe is “god”? I prefer my mysticism more up-to-date, sprinkled with a bit of quantum mechanics and wondering about the life that exists on the thousands of exo-planets recently discovered. This book is twenty years old, and we’re still here. We should look elsewhere for enlightenment.… (més)
drardavis | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Nov 18, 2017 |
Ladakh is a windswept mountainous region of Jammu and Kashmir, bordered by the Himalayan Mountains to the South and the Kunlun Mountains to the North. Although Ladakh formerly was a thriving trading crossroads, with the Chinese government’s closing of borders to Tibet and Central Asia, it declined in prominence. From that point on, it has been known primarily as one of the centers of Tibetan Buddhism, due to its proximity to Tibet and its substantial Tibetan population. As pictures reveal, Ladakh is beautiful in a harsh way, with rugged mountains, desert regions, and bursts of wildflowers where one might least expect them. {For some especially beautiful photographs, see }


Leh, Ladakh

With the collapse of the old trade routes running through Ladakh, tourism has been the main focus of the economy for decades now. Tourists, especially from the West, come to Ladakh in search of Tibetan Buddhism. They are driven by different motivations for their journey -- bragging rights over visiting a region that is off the beaten path; a trip back in time to Tibet before the Chinese takeover; an “authentic” spiritual experience -- based on whatever unspoken standards they may have for spiritual authenticity. In many cases, tourists seem to be searching for a past, preserved in amber, that may only have existed in the imaginations of other disaffected Westerners.

Monastery, Leh, Ladakh

Andrew Harvey's book is much more a spiritual memoir than a traditional travel book. In three sections, he recounts a trip he took to Ladakh, a region in India close to Tibet in which Tibetan Buddhism was still flourishing. He had been drawn to the idea of visiting Ladakh for many years. An Englishman who lived in India during his childhood, but who was writing as a poet in Oxford at the time of his trip in the summer of 1979, Harvey described himself as a man who was so frightened of following through on his pilgrimage for spiritual insight that he almost talked himself out of using his plane ticket that summer. He was not a practicing Buddhist, but he felt drawn to the spirituality of the religion, the combination of pragmatism and wisdom, which he found in his studies.

As he enters Ladakh by bus, Harvey first is struck by the beauty and majesty of the mountains:

Nothing I had read or imagined prepared me for the splendour and majesty of the mountains that day; that was the first gift Ladakh gave me, a silence before that phantasmagoria of stone, those vast wind-palaces of red and ochre and purple rock, those rock faces the wind and snow had worked over thousands of years into shapes so unexpected and fantastical the eye could hardly believe them, a silence so truly stunned and wondering that words of description emerge from it very slowly, and at first only in broken images -- a river glimpsed there, a thousand feet below the road, its waters sparkling in the shifting storm-light, the path below on the bare rocky surface moving with sheep whose wool glittered in the sunlight, small flowers nodding in the crevasses of the vast rocks that lined the road, rocks tortured in as many thousand ways as the mountains they are torn from, sudden glimpses of ravines pierced and shattered by the light that broke down from the mountains, of the far peaks of the mountains themselves, secreted in shadow, or illumined suddenly, blindingly, by passing winds of light.

Harvey gives himself over to the landscape, to the mountains, as he turns his back on his Western heritage and prepares to open himself to Ladakhi society and spirituality.

Mountains with Prayer Flags

The central theme of Harvey's book is the limits of the Western perspectives on religion and spirituality, which he describes throughout as being too divorced from everyday life, too sterile and isolated. The beauty he finds in Ladakh's Buddhist communities comes not only from the power he perceived in the Rinpoches and monks whom he meets, but more in the profound connection between spiritual practice and everyday life. Rituals make way for children's laughter as well as for the awkward late entry of a group of tourists -- a disruption that annoys Harvey, but that the monks greet with gentle laughter:

We walked up the steps to the main shrine. There, too, everything had changed, The first time that I had seen it, it had been empty except for two short lines of monks, the Rinpoche, and a handful of flickering lamps; it had been hard to make out anything more than a few dream-like faces of Buddhas on the walls. Everything, that evening, had seemed ghostly and hieratic, a trance of ritual I could be moved by but not enter. Now, the room was flooded with morning light. From all sides, the brilliant reds and greens of Buddhas in meditation shone at me and I could see plainly their quiet faces, raised hands, haloes of green and red and yellow light. On the far walls huge whirling mandalas flanked two large wooden structures, full of holes for books, whose silk bindings shone in the gleam of a thousand butter lamps and the sunlight from open windows in the roof. And this time, too, the building was full, so full I could hardly find a place to sit down, full of Ladakhis, at least three hundred of them, mothers and small children, old men, young men, the whole of Shey and its surrounding villages, talking and praying and singing and whirling prayer wheels and walking up and down greeting each other. And at the centre of all this brilliant, noisy, exuberant life was the Rinpoche, seated cross-legged on a small throne.

Enlightenment can be found just as easily in a westernized coffee shop or a muddy ditch as in a gompa. Harvey makes a strong case for Tibetan Buddhism as a spiritual path that requires true immersion in the world -- instead of walling themselves off from material temptations, Tibetan Buddhists choose to walk in the world, to serve people in their local communities, and while doing so to resist the hollow call of material possessions and wealth. At the same time, there is great power associated with Tibetan rituals and practices -- Harvey devotes some passages to eerie descriptions of an oracle’s possession, as well as of the power he sees exhibited by rinpoches during monastic rituals.

Ladakh Monastery

Monks at Hemis Gompa, Ladakh

Harvey devotes the third section of the book to a description of his studies with Thuksey Rinpoche toward the end of his visit. In the Rinpoche, Harvey finds the Master for whom he had been searching, sometimes fearfully. Harvey is especially clear and detailed in his discussion of the barriers he has erected against spiritual change, including fear and distrust. In a conversation with Harvey, the Rinpoche provides insight into the value of spiritually enlightened people still living in the world, rather than secluding themselves in monasteries:

'The man who really helps is the man who is in the world but not of it, who loves the world but is not attached to it, who lives in the world but is not stained by it. A lotus arises from mud, doesn't it? But it is not made of mud and it has no mud on its bud or petals. A lotus arises from water, but it arises above the water. If it flowered under the water, no one could see it and get pleasure from it. A man who is suffering can have compassion, can be intelligent and humane--but he will not have the power to help others. It is necessary not merely to feel for others, not merely to win a certain kind of wisdom from the trials of living, but also to live the life necessary to acquire the good powers, the healing powers, that can save created beings from torment.'

Although Harvey includes some moving and detailed passages outlining his conversations with the Rinpoche, he learns as much from some of his fellow travelers. An Indian couple introduces him to the Rinpoche, and also provides him with two very different perspectives on the value of a spiritual quest. A Swiss Buddhist who at first seems pedantic opens up to Harvey and provides him with a perspective on how Buddhism can be practiced in the West. Harvey’s descriptions of his discussions with his varied spiritual guides provides the book with its sense of movement -- his most important journeys are deep into himself, rather than to farflung areas of Ladakh.

Thuksey Rinpoche

Shey Monastery, Ladakh, where Harvey met Thuksey Rinpoche

Drukchen Rinpoche, whom Harvey also meets at Shey Monastery

Harvey concludes his book with some preachy, albeit heartfelt, passages on the ways in which Buddhism can be adapted in the West. As a whole, though, his writing throughout the book is moving, heartfelt, and honest. He uses his talents as a poet to draw evocative pictures of the landscape and the people of Ladakh. He doesn’t describe his journey as one that led to a final destination, but as one that opened up a new spiritual practice, one that he has adapted throughout his life.

A final, personal note: I picked up this book (electronically) yesterday when I was feeling restless and worried, unable to focus on anything for very long. I was captivated by Harvey's prose. There are lovely passages in which he is describing the scenes around him, or focusing on a few insights he has gained. Reading those passages gave me some moments of tranquility when I most needed them. I also appreciated his humanity, his clear-eyed view of his own limitations, and his ability to describe his spiritual transformation in a way that seemed honest as opposed to saccharine. I'm grateful that I picked up this book when I needed it.

Monks Creating a Mandala

… (més)
KrisR | Hi ha 3 ressenyes més | Mar 30, 2013 |
This book is a loving homage to Ladakh, it people, the country and its spirituality. Harvey is acutely aware of the fragility of all of this as the isolation that protected Ladakh is being broken down all around him (in 1981), by politics and by tourism - even (as Harvey admits) spiritual tourism. Harvey's journey is about spiritual searching, but for the first two parts of the book he is a poet wandering about Ladakh, describing the people and the place with a poet's eye and pen, and the result is very satisfying. There is a sense of his slowly absorbing the countryside, the pace of life and the spirit of the place. But the story also reveals, little by little, Harvey's own inner geography and character. He has reservations about plunging into the full spiritual life. The intensity of Tibetan Buddhism fascinates and frightens him, he appears anxious about losing himself in it, or finding out that it has nothing to offer.

So far this is a travel narrative, and a good one. Very few stories of journeying don't include a component of the inner journeys we make in parallel with the visible one. But in the third part of Harvey's book he takes the plunge, and the reader - if he or she is inclined - is propelled into some very deep (beautifully written) discussions on Buddhism and the big questions of life. The reader needs to be prepared to accept that the snatches of authentic everyday dialogue in the earlier parts of the book are succeeded here by weeks of very long discussions with religious leaders, all faithfully recorded. As a diarist in a former life I know that this is possible, but I miss some reflection from Harvey how he went about this. That said, I found this one of the easiest and best expositions on what Buddhism is (and isn't) about I have ever read. The debunking of the 'seeking enlightenment' crowd was superb, and there is an intelligent discussion on the applicability of Buddhism for Westerners. Most of all the humanity of the people Harvey talks with, their love of the people and the country, shines through.

Read this for the beautiful description of Ladakh, for the insights into one man's encounter with Buddhism, or for both. On any of these grounds this is an excellent book.
… (més)
nandadevi | Hi ha 3 ressenyes més | Apr 20, 2012 |



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